Home Maintenance Checklist
- Allow winter’s rain and melting snow to properly drain by removing fall leaves and other debris from your gutters.
- Consider having your furnace professionally cleaned and tuned annually. Replace those furnace filters monthly, if needed.
- Repair any obvious leaks in the most common drafty areas: recessed lighting, window and door frames, and electrical outlets.
- Feeling drafty? Check the attic to make sure you see a minimum of 12 inches of insulation.
- Check crawlspace for flooding after the first long rainfall.
- Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, especially after electrical storms.
- Check your heating ducts and clean out any abundant dust, animal hair and other debris that can gather and cause respiratory issues.
- Reverse your ceiling fans to force warm air downward, keeping your home more comfortable. Tip: As you look up, blades should be turning clockwise during winter months.
- Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor and in the garage.
- If you haven’t checked the operation of your home’s smoke detectors, now is a great time to do so. Check the batteries too!
- Invest in a carbon monoxide detector; every home should have at least one. They also make great utilitarian holiday gifts!
- If leaving the house for an extended period, avoid frozen pipes by opening the cabinet doors to allow heat to reach the pipes. Don’t turn the heat completely off.
- Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and filter.
- Replace the furnace filter. It may be especially filthy after the winter months.
- Inspect the roof for water damage. It’s also a good idea to check any fences, carports and sheds. Tip: check the south end of your roof first; it’s the first to show wear.
- Test the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clear the gutters of any build up to allow for proper functioning.
- Inspect gutters for signs of sagging or damage. Fix as necessary. Check down-spout extenders to make sure they’re firmly attached.
- Trim back overhanging limbs on trees. Trim back shrubs if overgrown around house.
- Start the grass revival cycle by aerating, thatching and fertilizing.
- Be sure all air vents inside and out are not blocked by fallen debris.
- Clean the windows and screens. Repair any holes or replace screens if needed.
- Inspect and repair siding and peeling paint. Fix or replace damaged siding. Strip peeling paint and replace it with a new coat.
- Check the basement for water damage. Pay attention to musty smells, water stains and damp surfaces.
- Clear leaves and other debris from around outside air conditioner. Remove cover if used.
- Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, if you don’t do it monthly (on outside circuits, too).
- Inspect all electrical cords for wear.
- Inspect washer hoses and dryer vent system (both indoors and out).
- Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs and showers. Use a drain cleaner approved for the materials in your plumbing system if necessary.
- Check pressure levels on fire extinguishers. Service if necessary.
- Check sludge and scum level in septic tank (if you have a septic system). Have system serviced if necessary.
- Have lateral sewer line inspected and cleared, or apply a root killer.
- Remove insulation from outdoor faucets, pipes in unheated garages, pipes in crawl spaces, etc.
- Turn on water to outdoor faucets. Turn on sprinkler system; check sprinkler heads. Make repairs as necessary.
- Inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure it is clean and in good condition so that it can achieve maximum efficiency.
- Schedule to have the chimney serviced and cleaned.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts throughout the season.
- Repair any window cracks or holes in weather stripping or caulking. If the gap is bigger than the width of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk.
- Check to make sure your thermostat is working properly.
- Make sure you have new batteries in all of your flashlights and that they are easily found around the house.
- Have your lawn irrigation system professionally drained.
- Turn ON gas furnace pilot light.
- Clean out the bathroom fans/filters.
- Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Make a fire escape plan for your house and make sure you review it with all family members.
- Disconnect all garden hoses and drain water still in faucets. If you do not have frost-proof faucets, turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.