As a homeowner, you have a constant barrage of responsibilities designed to preserve the appearance and function of your home. Looking around your space, we bet you can find a million and one things to take care of. However, not all those tasks require consistent and immediate attention. There are items you should clean every day (without question), but sometimes monthly maintenance is all you need.
Performing monthly maintenance duties may seem tedious at the onset. Nevertheless, staying on top of routine upkeep can help you discover minor issues before they come significant ones. Just think, you could avoid a costly HVAC bill by simply cleaning or changing the air filter regularly.
Whether you’ve been a homeowner for decades or recently purchased for the first time, use the checklist of monthly maintenance projects below to keep your family healthy and your home comfortable.
1. Inspect and Change Air Filters
Have you noticed family members sneezing, coughing, and having trouble breathing? Sure, this could signify weather changes, but the usual suspect is a dirty air filter. Many new homeowners don’t even realize air filters need to be changed every 3-4 weeks to keep homes circulating clean air.
In fact, by changing your air filters monthly, you can:
- Help extend your HVAC’s operation life
- Improve energy efficiency
- Enhance the air quality inside your home
Your local home improvement store carries various types of air filters, including fiberglass, disposable, washable, and reusable filters. Remember to have an HVAC professional inspect your system and ensure you’re using the correct filter for your system.
2. Check and Re-caulk Seals
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted every year from household leaks. Some of the most common water leaks include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, bathtub leaks, and more. One way to combat wasted water is to check seals around toilets and sinks and have a professional re-caulk them if necessary. By performing this monthly repair and maintenance task, you can save up to 10% on your water bill and use those savings to upgrade your home. [GU1] [SB2]
3. Test Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Every year, approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency room due to accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. On the same note, 16% of homes that experienced a fire had a smoke alarm that failed to operate.
Why are we dropping some alarming statistics? To show the importance of testing smoke alarms and CO detectors to ensure proper operation. The good news is doing this is easy and only requires a few minutes of your time. After all, what are a few minutes when it comes to the safety and well-being of your family?
4. Clean Garbage Disposal
Cleaning your sink is one of those daily maintenance tasks you don’t want to neglect because bacteria from old food can linger and create an unsanitary environment in your kitchen. Research completed by the Global Hygiene Council found that over 17,000 bacteria per square inch live in your kitchen sink. You deserve to have family dinners in a comfortable and clean space.
Equally as important is cleaning your garbage disposal monthly to remove foul odors and food residue and kill germs. We recommend using baking soda or white vinegar as natural cleaners instead of harsh chemicals that could damage surfaces or erode your pipes.
5. Inspect Fire Extinguisher
Like testing your smoke alarm and CO detectors, inspecting your fire extinguisher could save your life. First, make sure you own a fire extinguisher. If you don’t own a fire extinguisher, you can purchase one from your local Home Depot or online at Amazon.
To properly inspect your fire extinguisher, follow the steps below:
- Check for signs of physical damage.
- Lift the extinguisher to ensure it’s full.
- Confirm the pressure gauge is in the operable position (in the green zone)
- Ensure the operating instructions are legible.
- Check for any obstructions inside the nozzle.
Remember to house your fire extinguisher in an easily accessible area to anticipate an emergency.
6. Wash Exterior Windows and Siding
Could your home stand a quick wash to bring back some luster? We concur! Washing your home’s exterior windows and siding will revitalize the appearance and preserve the siding material long-term. A mixture of water and vinegar is the perfect natural window cleaner that disinfects and leaves zero streaks. Use a ladder, microfiber cloth, and a mop head to reach exceptionally high windows and siding for a good monthly cleaning.
7. Unclog Drains
Clogged drains are more than a passing annoyance. They contribute to mold and bacteria growth, which we all know never ends well. With constant use, your drains are bound to feel the effects of leftover food and soap buildup.
You can make a drain cleaner by:
- Pouring 1 cup of distilled white vinegar into the drain
- Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the drain
- Plugging the drain with a stopper and waiting 15-30 minutes
- Removing the plug and flushing your drain with hot water
This method should not be used in tandem with a commercial drain cleaner as the chemical reactions and toxic fumes could be tremendously hazardous to your health.
8. Perform Deep Cleaning
Depending on your lifestyle, cleaning your home should always be a weekly (even daily) occurrence. When it comes to deep cleaning, this entails tasks that eliminate dirt, grime, and bacteria from soft and hard surfaces. Take it from us—your home cleaning professionals—there’s almost nothing more satisfying than rolling up your sleeves and giving your home the deep cleaning it deserves.
Focus On Other Upkeep Responsibilities
For those homeowners who don’t have the time or energy to devote to monthly maintenance tasks like cleaning, our specialists are here to help you put the finishing touches on your well-maintained home. We have enhanced disinfection services, green cleaning, detailed cleaning, and more so that you can focus on the other home responsibilities.