Back-to-School Home Maintenance Checklist: Are Your Clients Ready?

Sponsored by HWA|Published: Sep. 13 2019

School is officially in session. Which means homeowners with children may have a little extra time to give their homes some love.

To ensure your clients’ homes are ready for the busy year ahead, here are the essential recommended tasks for home maintenance. Completing these tasks now will save on stress and finances in the long run.

  • Tune up the furnace. Scheduling this annual service with a licensed HVAC technician is one of the most important things homeowners can do to make sure their furnaces are in good shape when the temperatures drop. Before a tune-up, make sure to replace the furnace filter.
  • Consider upgrading the thermostat. A programmable thermostat can help homeowners save energy and money when homes are typically empty, like when everyone is at work and school. Smart thermostats offer all the same features with the added bonus of being able to control the HVAC system from anywhere with a smartphone.
  • Clean the exhaust fans. Exhaust fans are crucial because they eliminate extra moisture by carrying away steam from hot showers and boiling pots. They also keep odors in check. A thorough cleaning will keep them running efficiently.  
  • Swap out old lightbulbs. Now is the perfect time to upgrade to LED bulbs, which remain cool to the touch and are safer with children around. LEDs are far more energy efficient too.
  • Clean the fridge. Before kids start searching for after-school snacks, it’s important homeowners wipe down their refrigerator’s shelves and sides. They will also want to vacuum the dust and dirt from their refrigerator’s condenser coils. This should be done more often if they have pets or if their fridge is in a particularly dusty area.
  • Clean your dishwasher. More meals mean more dishes. Keep the dishwasher in working order by clearing the drain and cleaning it with vinegar and baking soda – safe and chemical-free!
  • Flush the water heater. Sediment builds up at the bottom of water heaters. Without a proper flush, the sediment can bake into a large mineral deposit. This will decrease the volume a tank can hold and, if heavy enough, cause a leak.
  • Check weather stripping. The rubber gaskets around doors and windows can become dry, cracked and brittle, leading to air leaks. Try closing a dollar bill in each window and door. If the bill pulls out easily, it’s time to replace the weather stripping.
  • Clean the gutters. With fall ahead, it’s important to clear out all the leaves, twigs and dirt in the gutters. If gutters are full of debris, water will be unable to flow through the downspout. As freezing temperatures approach, this water can push up to the roof, freeze and cause damage.
  • Check the roof. Check the roof for any damaged, curled or loose shingles. Finding and repairing damage is essential to avoid leaks and save money in the long term. Exercise caution when examining the roof. If your clients don’t feel safe, advise them to call a professional.

Before your clients get any of their appliances/systems repaired or replace, advise them to review their home warranty plan. With one call, a service provider can be sent to their home for a small fee of $60-$100, depending on the region. This can make all the difference in the middle of a busy school year. Learn more about home warranty plans here.

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