Congratulations! You’ve negotiated a deal, secured a mortgage, found insurance and purchased your first home. The hard part’s done, right?
“You don’t have to fix everything right away, but it’s important to stay on top of regular home maintenance to keep your family safe and avoid unexpected expenses,” says Ted Fox, owner of Fox Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical in Vernon.
6 things homeowners should do within a month of moving in
- Build a contact list of reliable trades people. Roof or windows, which should you replace first? If the shower pressure is low or the range hood fan is noisy, who are you going to call? Ask neighbours who they recommend, or start by scheduling a visit from a Fox technician.
- Create a schedule for regular maintenance. Keep all of your appliance manuals in a safe place and familiarize yourself with any warranty requirements. “Heating and cooling units typically need to be serviced once per year in order to stay under warranty,” Fox says. “Regular maintenance is important even for appliances no longer under warranty, because it will help you avoid unnecessary break downs.” Not sure how to keep track of everything? Sign up for the Fox Service Partner Plan to keep your home maintenance on track.
- Replace your air filter. No matter what condition your house is in, replace the air filter on your furnace and air conditioner as soon as you move in. “I visit so many homes that are immaculately cared for, but the air filter is still clogged with dust — too many homeowners are unaware that air filters need to be cleaned and replaced regularly,” Fox says. “It’s not just about the air you breathe — though that is important. Dust breaks machinery, so replacing the air filter helps your heating and cooling systems last longer.”
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries should be replaced twice a year. It’s recommended homes have a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector outside every sleeping area, and on every floor of the home. The main sources of carbon monoxide leaks are your home’s furnace, the dryer vent and the fireplace.
- Test all emergency water stops. Familiarize yourself with the location of the main water shut off in your home, then make sure it actually works. Follow this up by turning off and on all of the shut offs under your sinks, and behind your toilets. This will ensure that if you have a plumbing emergency the shut off are in good working order. They should be turned off and on at least once a year.
- Upgrade your light bulbs. Upgrading to LEDs is a great place to start, for both saving energy as well as piece of mind. “It also gives you the opportunity to get the lighting that you want. The difference between a soft white light and a bright white is very noticeable, and will completely change the mood of a room,” Fox says.
For more home maintenance tips and exclusive savings, visit foxandsons.ca or follow them on Facebook. Call 1-833-793-4569 to request service for plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical issues, or schedule service online.