Homeowners often ask, “What are some general guidelines for keeping my home safe and healthy for my family?” Our experience over the last 28 years has proven that certain interior maintenance steps are critical to the long-term performance of your home, and a regular maintenance schedule can help you to avoid serious problems and inconvenience.
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
As a mechanical system, they require regular maintenance to operate at their most efficient level. For optimum efficiency, you should have your HVAC systems serviced twice a year, spring and fall. This should include changing the filter (monthly with an EAC) and a system inspection; and for your AC, a refrigerant check and a cleaning of the condenser.
Many homes are equipped with a humidifier to help raise the humidity during the dry winter months, and provide a great benefit to indoor air quality. To keep the units working properly, they do require annual maintenance to replace the pad inside the humidifier. Over the winter months the pad collects calcium and other deposits from the water source, which may cause it to clog and start leaking. To keep this from happening, be sure that your HVAC service company replaces the pad every fall during their service visit.
Hot Water Heaters
The process of heating water causes particles and minerals to form and settle at the bottom of the water heater, which can cause inefficiency and lower capacity over time. To ensure maximum performance and to minimize maintenance hassles, you should drain 10-15 gallons of water from the bottom of the unit annually.
Fireplaces and Chimneys
Regardless of use, it is recommended that fireplaces and chimneys be inspected at least once per year to ensure nothing has nested and deposits have not formed in the flue. Additionally, the exterior of the chimney should be inspected for possible point up and to inspect the masonry cap as cracks and voids can cause water damage.
Bathtubs and Showers
The lifespan of caulking at bathtubs, showers, sinks and backsplashes is greatly impacted by the amount of use and exposure. Twice a year, all bathroom caulking should be inspected and repaired as needed to avoid leaks.
Showerheads and Faucet Screens
Even with a water cleaning system, it is possible for deposits to build up in showerheads and faucet screens. It is recommended that you inspect each a minimum of once a year and clean as needed to keep them flowing properly.
All appliances require some level of maintenance to continue efficient operation. A few examples are vacuuming the refrigerator and ice maker condenser coils and cleaning the screens on your range hood. Please refer to the manufacturer’s literature for specific maintenance and cleaning instructions for appliances throughout your home.
A regular schedule of home maintenance is critical to keeping your home healthy and family safe all year long. These baseline preventative maintenance steps should help to ensure your home’s interior stays in top shape.
Tim Burch is Vice President of BOWA, an award-winning design build firm specializing in luxury renovations ranging from master suites and kitchens to whole-house remodels. A Northern Virginia native, Tim focuses on clients in the Loudoun and Fauquier County areas providing them with his 25 years of expertise in the design build construction industry. He is a third generation builder, certified remodeler, and instructor. Prior to joining BOWA, he was the Lead Project Manager of Construction for the Emmy Award winning construction reality television show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ABC Television. For more information on Tim and the BOWA team, visit www.bowa.com, or call 703-734-9050. Have a question for Tim that you’d like to see covered in Middleburg Eccentric? Email him at AskBOWA@bowa.com.