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Interior Home Maintenance Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers

Becoming a first-time homebuyer is exciting! But, it also comes with a ton of new responsibilities to keep your home running smoothly and long-lasting. When we started putting this guide together we realized that our list would be better divided by interior and exterior tasks. Today, we’re sharing our checklist for maintaining the interior of your home. Next month, we’ll feature an exterior home maintenance checklist.

Monthly Home Repairs/Checks

  • Inspect and/or change your HVAC filter. Change your filters every 2-3 months to keep your system running without a hitch. Another pro tip? Use cheaper filters and change out more often instead of purchasing the expensive ones. You can also try out a delivery service like Cleaner Filters to save time and money.

  • Clean the kitchen disposal. Our favorite cleaning tip for this is to make a tray of vinegar ice cubes. Once the cubes are ready, run them through the disposal. The vinegar cleans and refreshes the disposal while the ice cubes sharpen the blades. You can also purchase disposal cleaners at most big box or grocery retailers.

  • Clean range hood filters. Mix degreaser from an auto parts store with hot water and wipe down the filter. Let the mixture set on the filter for a few minutes before rinsing with water. Warning! This is a dirty job but somebody has to do it!

  • Inspect fire extinguishers. Make sure they are in easy access with nothing blocking them from view, check the gauge to ensure it shows adequate pressure, and check for any visible signs of wear and tear.

Quarterly Home Repairs/Checks

  • Test smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Simply press the test button. If the alarm sounds, they are good to go. If not, try changing the batteries, and if that doesn’t work clean the battery terminal. If the detector still doesn’t work it’s time to replace it. Don’t delay this important replacement. Head to the store the same day you discover the need to replace the detector.

  • Test garage door auto-reverse feature. Technically this is considered an exterior repair/check but since kids can run out of the garage door from inside we thought we would go ahead and include it here. All garage doors are required by law to have the auto-reverse feature after many children died from being crushed by garage doors. Test the feature by placing a 2x4 on the ground where the garage door will touch. Then, close the garage door. If it doesn't start reversing itself a second or two after coming into contact with the 2x4, you need to call your local garage door service company.

  • Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces like guest baths and bathrooms in pool houses, basements, attics, or even the garage. Regularly running water in the sink and flushing the toilet will help prevent grime and buildup.

  • Check water softener, add salt if needed.

BiAnnual Interior Home Repairs/Checks

  • Test water heater’s pressure relief valve. Keeping this in good condition prevents leaks, and mineral and corrosion buildup. It also helps the heater run more efficiently.

  • Deep clean your home. Pick a weekend and put the entire family to work giving the home a proper scrub down. We’re talking cleaning baseboards, appliances, and windows and dusting every nook and cranny. Keeping your home clean helps the home last longer and remain comfortable to live in.

  • Replace batteries in the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. We know we’ve already mentioned checking these often but experts suggest changing the batteries every six months regardless if they are still working or not.

  • Vacuum refrigerator coils. Keeping these clean and dust-free helps your fridge stay energy-efficient. Doing this task can save up to $100 a year in energy costs.

Annual Repairs/Checks

  • Check/repair grout in bathrooms and the kitchen. Maintaining the grout will make your tile last longer and look better.

  • Inspect plumbing for leaks and clean aerators on faucets. Leaks can result in a hefty water bill if left unrepaired. If you have poor water pressure, the aerator is likely the culprit. Keep them clean to prevent this problem.

  • Check and clean dryer vent and other exhaust vents throughout the home. Check the dryer vent while the dryer is running. It should smell of fresh laundry and you should see exhaust being released. If not, it’s time to clean out the vents.

  • Get your fireplace and chimney cleaned by a pro to prevent fires.

  • Test electricity throughout homes including all outlets. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, hire an electrician to come out. The annual cost is worth your safety.

Stay tuned for our second part of this checklist coming next month!


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