Home Maintenance Basics

Whether you are a new buyer or a veteran, home ownership is a big responsibility. The investment is significant, and your home will probably be the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime. To protect your home, it’s important to regularly check for and address maintenance issues. Regular maintenance will prevent costly problems down the road, help avoid safety hazards to you and your family, and ensure you get the most out of your investment. Not everyone feels comfortable performing these tasks, but it’s an essential skill to learn if you plan to own. The following are three useful resources that can help you identify important areas to maintain.

In his blog post, 41 Home Maintenance Tips: Save Your House, Josh Matteson offers numerous home maintenance areas to keep an eye on. Some topics he covers are rather innocuous – tasks we do naturally as a part of keeping our home clean: cleaning ceiling fan blades, removing weeds and overgrowth, replacing broken doorknobs and handles, etc. However, some are vital to preventing damage to your home’s systems and appliances. This include testing your sump pump to avoid flooding, checking for mice nests near wiring, cleaning dryer vents to avoid fire hazard, and cleaning refrigerator coils regularly to avoid a premature breakdown. Matteson advises on many areas to watch for, and his article is a great reference for new and existing homeowners.

Ronda Kaysen of The New York Times breaks down the issue of home maintenance by season her article The Home Maintenance Checklist. In the spring, Kaysen recommends typical lawn and pool maintenance, as well as a thorough review of your HVAC system, plumbing, boiler, chimney, and carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. While many of these systems may require a professional, Kaysen notes that there are opportunities for self-repair. In the summer, she recommends cleaning ceiling fans and inspecting your AC unit. Kaysen says that fall is a good time to check and clean the gutters, get your furnace serviced and change your filter, and seal drafts at windows and doors. Finally, in the winter Kaysen advises to watch for frozen pipes and ice dams, stock up on winter supplies, and prepare for winter storms.

On the Art of Manliness blog, contributor Jeremy Anderberg provides a helpful guide on home maintenance issues that should be addressed periodically in his post Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape: An Incredibly Handy Home Maintenance Checklist. Monthly, Anderberg advises to inspect HVAC systems, clean your disposal and range hoods, and check your fire extinguishers. Quarterly, he says to test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, test your garage door’s auto reverse feature, run water and flush toilets in unused spaces, and check the water softener. Every six months, he also recommends cleaning refrigerator coils and to test your water pressure. Anderberg also provides a useful guide by season for scheduled home maintenance.

In the end, how well you maintain your home is up to you. Many of us are busy and have trouble finding the time for these tasks – they’re not exactly engaging or fun. However, choosing to regularly inspect and maintain your home will save you thousands of dollars in the long run and prevent serious issues down the road.


Anderberg, J. (2013, October 8). Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape: An Incredibly Handy Home Maintenance Checklist. Retrieved:

Kaysen, R. (n.d.) Home Maintenance Checklist. Retrieved from:

Matteson. J. (2016, November 16). 41 Home Maintenance Tips: Save Your House. Retrieved:

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