Many home experts advise setting aside between one and three percent of your home’s value every year to cover repair and maintenance costs. This amount should cover occasional issues like a leaking pipe or a cracked window. But more significant problems lead to bigger expenses. For instance, the cost of replacing your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) is a significant expenditure.

While all appliances and fixtures in a home will eventually wear out, some will need replacement sooner than others.  Extending the life expectancy of items around the home can often be just a matter of monthly maintenance.

You can accomplish many of these tasks using everyday household items, at little cost, and are DIY friendly.  Do these every month, and you will save yourself both money and aggravation by postponing or preventing major expenses.

  • Inspect HVAC system filters. Most filters will need to be replaced every 30 days, others have a longer lifespan, and some can be reused. Dirty filters should be replaced or if recommended by the manufacturer, cleaned.
  • Check sinks and toilets for leaks. A leak, no matter how small, should be investigated and fixed.  Even a tiny leak can be costly. A slow drip can waste 36 gallons of water a day.  Not only does this add to your water and sewer costs, but that water has to go somewhere. Conwhat would happen if you were pouring 36 gallons of water a day on your walls, ceiling, or floor, then leaving it there.
  • Inspect caulking and grout. Filling voids and touching up cracks will not only keep tubs and showers looking better, but it will help to prevent water from seeping into floors and walls.
  • Inspect kitchen and vent hood filter. If you are an avid chef, you might want to check these more often. Clean and replace as necessary.
  • Smoke and carbon-monoxide detector tests. The batteries on these need to be replaced about every six months.  Many people do this when daylight savings time begins and ends.  It is also advisable to check and see if they are in working order every month.
  • Take a walk outside. How often do you look over your house? Every month you should walk around the house and any outbuildings and give it a good look.  Check for any issues with the foundation, vents, drainpipes, and gutters.

Following these simple tasks should result in long-term savings and protect your home’s value.  One tube of bathroom caulk or sealant is usually less than $10.00. Fixing the drywall in a room or a ceiling is a lot more expensive.