Caring for your home might seem like a big undertaking, but the ideal home maintenance schedule is easy to plan and implement with the right resources.
The recommended monthly and seasonal tasks detailed below can help you determine the strategy that best fits your schedule and your home’s needs.
Monthly home maintenance
Be sure to take care of these items year-round:
- HVAC: Remove dust buildup or change filters to help regulate your home’s temperature and decrease your monthly utility bills.
- Faucets and drains: Remove debris from drains and remove mineral deposits from faucet aerators.
- Air vents: Check for blockages in indoor and outdoor air vents.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Test detectors and replace batteries as necessary.
Seasonal home maintenance
Winter: (December, January, February)
- Air-conditioning: Cover all air-conditioning units.
- Roof: Use a roof rake to keep dangerous snow and ice buildup off your roof.
- Pipes: When water freezes, it expands and can damage pipes. Insulate pipes where you can, keep cabinets below sinks open on especially cold nights, and set the thermostat to no lower than 55 degrees when you leave for vacation.
- Fire safety: A fire equipment protection company should inspect and certify your fire extinguisher(s) annually.
- Storm prep: Have extra firewood, canned food, and bottled water during heavy storms. Have an emergency kit on hand stocked with first-aid supplies, flashlights, and extra batteries.
- After storms: Check your basement for leaks. Inspect gutters and roof for damage.
Spring: (March, April, May)
- Lawn care: Fertilize your lawn.
- Trees: Have a professional inspect your trees and trim dead branches.
- Roof: Inspect the roof for signs of damage or missing shingles.
- Gutters: Clean leaves and other debris out of the gutters (at least twice a year).
- Home exterior: Wash the exterior with a hose by using a siding cleaning kit attachment. Inspect the outside of the home, foundation, and driveway for cracks.
- Plumbing: Check for leaks in the pipes — especially under your sinks — and signs of water damage.
- Sump pump: Ensure that your sump pump is draining correctly before big rainstorms hit.
Summer: (June, July, August)
- Lawn care: Give the lawn a deep watering about once a week.
- Ceiling fans: Adjust the setting on any ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise to push the air down and create a cooling breeze.
- Heat wave prep: Check the weather stripping around the doors and windows to keep cool air in and warm air out.
Fall: (September, October, November)
- Gutters: Clean leaves and debris from the gutters.
- Outdoor plumbing: Insulate outdoor faucets and pipes in your unheated garage.
- Lawn care: Rake the leaves, and aerate and reseed your lawn.
- Fireplace: Inspect and clean the fireplace.
- HVAC: Check system before cold weather hits. Consider getting a preventive maintenance plan.
- Dryer: Have an appliance specialist inspect and clean your dryer vent and filters annually to avoid potential fire danger.
- Windows and doors: Check for drafts, and caulk or weather-strip the window and door frames that need it. In late fall, you can install storm windows and storm doors to keep cold air out of your home.
- Water heater: Check for leaks. And flush the water heater once a year.
The bottom line
These are some basic maintenance tasks to keep an eye on throughout the year. Note that a home maintenance schedule can be different depending on where you live and what kind of house you have. Visit the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) site for further reading, including safety and home repair tips.