When homeowners think about protecting their home’s assets, they may immediately think about large maintenance issues, like a new roof. But checking on—and updating, if necessary—small details can have a huge impact on the health over your home over time, saving you big dollars by warding off monumental repairs, says Mary Lynn Stone, President of Century 21 New Millennium. Below, Stone outlines a handful of things you should keep up-to-date to lower bills and avoid costly repairs later on, regardless of whether you plan to stay or sell.
Check the ventilation
“Spring can be wet, and a build-up of moisture can peel paint, cause mold and mildew and ruin flooring, carpets and fixtures,” says Stone. At the start of the season, check out kitchen or bath ventilation fans, and consider installing dehumidifiers anywhere prone to excess moisture. “Check out basements and any overlooked crawl spaces, too, to make sure they aren’t prone to leaks,” suggests Stone. Homes can change over time, so just because you have never had a ventilation problem before doesn’t mean you never will.
Give your AC some TLC
Spring is the perfect time to get service your air conditioner, which will get it into its best shape for summer, and help extend the overall live of your system. Stone recommends replacing your air filters at the start of the season, and every 90 days of use.
Insulate, insulate, insulate
“A well-insulated home is going to have lower energy bills,” says Stone. By checking gaps and cracks around your home, and filling in any seals with a sealant, you can monumentally reduce your energy bills. “According to the U.S Department of Energy, as much as 40 percent of your home’s energy loss can be blamed on shoddy insulation,” notes Stone.
Spring often brings rain, and excess water means excess strain on your plumbing. If you have a sump pump, check that it is in working order by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit and monitoring the response. Check all indoor and outdoor faucets. Turn on your hose—if there is a sudden leak inside your home, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked over the winter and needs to be replaced. “Also, you should consider replacing your water heater if it’s more than 15 years old,” recommends Stone, who notes that newer water heaters are more energy efficient.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium. Smarter. Bolder. Faster.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium. Smarter. Bolder. Faster. CENTURY 21 New Millennium, www.c21nm.com, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. In addition to its newest Washington D.C. location, the Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Columbia, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park, Lusby and Waldorf. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement services, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.