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Home Maintenance Checklist

Every homeowner knows that maintaining a house in good repair is a continuing chore. There are many things, some small and annoying, and some serious that can go wrong with a house. However, certain tasks when performed regularly can prevent things from breaking in the first place. Here's a checklist of items every homeowner should get to regularly.

[ ] Test your garage door opener monthly to ensure that it reverses when it hits an obstruction or when the sensor beam is interrupted.

[ ] Vacuum the cloths dryer's exhaust duct at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, replace it (it's a fire hazard). Rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.

[ ] Replace furnace filters quarterly, or as recommended by the furnace manufacturer.

[ ] Test all GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets monthly. Press the test button and use a voltage tester to maker sure the power goes off.

[ ] Clean leaves and debris from the condenser of a central air conditioner seasonally.

[ ] Once a year, vacuum the refrigerator coils underneath the appliance.

[ ] Have a fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned annually.

[ ] Inspect window and door caulking and weather stripping yearly.

[ ] Replace the batteries in smoke detectors yearly. And remember even recent hard-wired smoke detectors have backup batteries that must be replaced. If you have never checked yours, do so.

The above checklist, along with help to tackle those frustrating quandaries that crop up in the house: plumbing problems, appliance failures, computer and electronics breakdowns, pest infestations, a running toilet, a leaking pipe, or hundreds of other problems, can be found in Popular Mechanics When Duct Tape Just Isn't Enough: Quick Fixes for Everyday Disasters

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