man tightening pipe

    Published: February 17, 2016

    Creating a Year-Round Maintenance Schedule

    Maintaining a home is like riding a never-ending carousel: as soon as you finish one task, another and another needs doing until you come full-circle. Creating a year-long maintenance schedule helps you remember what needs doing when, so you can keep your home in the best possible shape.

    Smartphones and calendar apps give you a great home maintenance advantage. With them you can quickly devise a calendar of tasks, and set reminders for each one so it doesn’t sneak up on you.

    Your first task is to make a list of every maintenance chore you need to perform over the course of twelve months. We’ve got a sample list below, but remember each home is different. Yours may have special maintenance needs, or may not need some of the tasks we’ve included. Be thorough—whether it’s a simple five-minute chore or a full day’s work, put it on your list.

    Next, decide how often you need to perform each task. Many of the larger maintenance tasks only need completing once or twice a year, while other chores may need performing once a month. Here’s our sample maintenance list, with suggestions for how often each needs doing:

    Once a Month / Every Three Months

    • Check air vents for possible blockages
    • Check ground fault circuit interrupters
    • Clean and replace filters for furnaces, air conditioning, ventilation systems, humidifiers, air filters, humidifiers and range hoods.
    • Clean garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes and flushing with hot water and baking soda
    • Flush hot water heater to remove sediment
    • Inspect electric cords and power bars for exposed wires and signs of wear
    • Test fire extinguishers
    • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Vacuum heat registers and vents.

    Spring Maintenance

    • Check house exterior for signs of winter damage
    • Check sprinkler system and clean sprinkler heads
    • Clean gutters and downspouts
    • Fertilize and aerate lawn
    • Make repairs to caulking and weather stripping
    • Remove insulation from outdoor faucets and pipes in unheated rooms
    • Schedule air conditioning service
    • Schedule lawnmower service
    • Test sump pump
    • Wash windows and window screens.

    Summer Tasks

    • Check dishwasher and clothes washer for leaks
    • Check interior / exterior plumbing for leaks
    • Clean refrigerator and freezer cooling coils, emptying and cleaning drip trays as you do so
    • Clean the kitchen exhaust fan
    • Oil garage door, door opener, chain, and hinges
    • Prune shrubs and trees
    • Remove lint from washer hoses and dryer vents
    • Replace faucet and showerhead washers if needed
    • Seal tile grout.

    Fall Maintenance

    • Check hot water heater for leaks
    • Drain and store garden hoses
    • Drain in-ground sprinkler systems
    • Insulate external faucets and pipes in unheated garages
    • Remove any gutter/ downspout debris that built up over the summer
    • Schedule chimney and fireplace cleaning and safety check
    • Schedule furnace servicing.

    Winter Tasks

    • Check basement for leaks during winter thaws
    • Clean drains in sinks, tubs, dishwashers, and showers
    • Cover air conditioning unit
    • Inspect exterior of house for damage after storms
    • Vacuum the bathroom fan grill.

    Your initial list of maintenance chores may look overwhelming, but once it’s spread over a calendar year it looks much more manageable. If you live in an area where natural disasters are a possibility, make time every year to inspect your disaster preparedness kit, replacing batteries, water, and food items as needed. Many people also put aside time to review their homeowners or renter insurance once a year, taking pictures of new acquisitions so they can prove ownership should they need to make a claim.

    If you have a water filtration system or water softening system, you need to schedule time to replace their filters as well, and perform any manufacturer’s recommended maintenance. At Pelican, we make maintenance easier with products that require as little maintenance as possible, including our water heater shield, that reduces sediment before it reaches your water tank.