You’ve got the keys, put out the welcome mat, and have decided where every piece of furniture is going to go; now for the non-Instagram-worthy tasks. Which, while not as glamorous nor exciting, are just as, if not more, important. Here is a list of home maintenance to-dos for a fresh start in your new home.
If your new home has ductwork, duct cleaning should be at the top of your list. It’s likely not clear when the previous homeowner had the ducts cleaned and you have no idea how much dirt, debris, and undesirable microscopic systems have been accumulating. On top of that, if you’re doing home renovations, especially ones involving drywall, there likely will be a build-up of fine dust and debris. Scheduling a proper duct cleaning will ensure a clean and healthy space for your family.
Next is sealing water and air leaks. Feeling like your wallet has a hole in it is probably one you’d like to avoid. Why pay for something you didn’t use? With the money you waste in just one year due to gaps and cracks in your home, you could plug those leaks for years to come. The biggest culprits are found in the attic and basement—definitely start there first. Then check the knee walls (side walls that support attic rafters), attic hatch, wiring holes (for cables, outlets, and phone lines), recessed lights, and basement rim joists (the meeting point between the foundation and wood framing). Once you’ve identified the sources, you can either use caulk, spray foam, or insulation to plug any cracks, or call a professional to get the job done quickly.
After that, it’s time to move on to the heating and cooling system. You want to make sure that the previous owners maintained their equipment well. Get an assessment and a good understanding of the system that will keep your home comfortable. Are the filters clogged? Are the fans and motors dirty? How old is the equipment? Based on your findings, you’ll be able to determine a maintenance schedule that makes sense for your home. Here’s a tip: Keep the number of an HVAC expert handy or purchase a heating or cooling protection plan in case something goes wrong. You don’t want to be caught in sweltering heat or sub-zero cold.
Finally, start fresh with a new furnace filter and clean air vents. To get the step-by-step process on how to replace your furnace filter, read this article. As for your air vents, take off the grilles, clean the grates, grab a vacuum and a mask, and get right in there. Dust’s got nothing on you.
And voila! Home sweet home.