Below is a month by month list of maintenance recommendations. Additional helpful links for home owners are also provided here:
-Embed Maintenance Reminders in Your Google Calendar: Click Here
-General Maintenance Advice (By System): Click Here
-General Home Maintenance Manual/Check List: Click Here
-Life Expectancy of Home Systems: Click Here

JANUARY

  • Tighten Up: screws on drawers, doors, and furniture. Make a list of broken electrical face plates, missing pulls or knobs, locks that need lubrication, and spots that need caulking around sinks and tubs. Go to the home improvement store and buy everything you need to make all of your little repairs at once.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: Many experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that’s not always necessary. For smaller families without pets or allergies, you’ll likely be okay changing the filters every 2-3 months. If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Clean Disposal: There are a bunch of ways to do this, but the handiest and best all-around solution seems to be vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal. It freshens it, but as a bonus, ice sharpens the blades. You’re welcome.
  • Clean Range Filter: Use a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and you’re good to go.
  • Check Your Fire Alarms/Extinguishers : Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

FEBRUARY

  • Update Grout: Check and clean grout between tiles in your kitchen and bath. Regrout if necessary. Add sealer to finish.
  • Check Flooring and Carpet: If it needs repair or replacement, take advantage of sales now.
  • Reorganize the Pantry: Assess what you have on hand and if you haven´t been using. If you have goods that you don´t think you´ll use before their expiration dates, donate them to a food bank. Take everything out. Wash shelves and add fresh shelf liner.
  • Organize the Laundry Area: Sort, toss, and organize shelves by task.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.

MARCH – THE BIG SPRING PUSH BEGINS: 

  • Yard Work: Depending on your landscaping, do spring yard clean up. Edge beds.
  • Maintain Grass: Top dress and reseed lawns. Mow when grass gets to be 4″ high. Don´t mow it too short.
  • For the Green Thumbs: Fertilize almost everything.
  • Organize Paper Clutter: Root out and recycle old magazines, newspapers, and assorted mementos. Build a new file system or clear out old files that are past being useful.
  • Attic Check: Check your attic for leaks, vermin droppings, trails in the insulation, bird nests, odd/foul odors, pooling moisture at HVAC or mechanical equipment, staining at the sub-roofing, or anything that looks generally out of place. If you see moisture or anything of concern, call a professional to check it out.
  • Test Garage Reverse Features: In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have this feature after multiple child deaths. Test by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door would close. It should reverse after a second or so when the door hits the wood. Also test the photo-electric sensors if you have them by placing something in front of them (not your body). If the door doesn’t immediately go back up, you have a problem.
  • Check Plumbing Not Often Uses: This mostly applies to guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. The idea is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
  • Check All Available Plumbing Pipes: Open all sinks and check drain lines, supply pipes, and turn shut off valves. Check pipe connections at the water heater for signs of issues/leaks. Check commodes to ensure they are not running. Check outdoor hose bibs for leaks/issues.
  • Check Water Softener, Add Salt if Needed (If Applicable): You shouldn’t need to add salt every month, but better to check anyway, as it only takes about 5 seconds.
  • Check Exterior Drainage: Will rain water flow away from the house? Puddles should not stand around your home for more than 24 hours. If water stays, or moves toward your foundation, you have a few options. First, check your gutters. It could be a bad spout or a loose connection there; they may also just need cleaning. Second, you can grade the area around your home yourself with some dirt; this has worked just fine for me in the past. Third, for pavement, you can have professionals come out and raise it so it drains away from your home.
  • Clean Out Gutters: They’ve likely accumulated leaves from the fall and grime/sediment from the winter snows and/or rains.
  • Inspect the Exterior: Is any paint chipping? Is any siding damaged from winter? Are there any holes in your brick? Take a close look all around your house, and make any repairs as needed. Also be sure to check the foundation for any cracks. A good silicone/caulk can fix a lot of your problems.
  • Service Your HVAC: Contact your HVAC service provider to give the system a once over and make any needed adjustments/maintenance updates.
  • Repair/Replace Damaged Window Screens: You don’t want bugs making their way in because you missed a hole in a window screen. And no, duct tape doesn’t count. It can be a quick fix, but don’t leave it for long. It just looks bad.
  • Clear dead Plants/Shrubs: This could double as a gardening tip, but if you didn’t trim trees or shrubs in the fall, do so now. Plants can weasel their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of your home, causing damage and shortened longevity. Nip that in the bud before it’s an issue. If you have decorative vines on the exterior, pay close attention.
  • Check Trees for Interference With Electric Lines/Roof Contact: Have professionally trimmed if necessary.
  • Inspect Roofing for Damage, Leaks, etc: Repair as needed; you may need a professional.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.

APRIL: 

  • More Cleaning: Empty clothing closets, toy boxes, cupboards, and drawers. (If you’ve been decluttering and cleaning throughout the year, you know which ones you can ignore.) Vacuum, dust, or wash shelves, drawers, and cabinets depending on when they were last cleaned. Repaint or wallpaper a closet if you have time. Take down pictures and artwork. Clean frames and glass. Move appliances and heavy furniture. Clean underneath.
  • Appliance Cleaning: Clean oven and refrigerator.
  • Wall Cleaning: Dust, vacuum, or wash walls and ceilings. (Wash the kitchen ceiling unless you never cook.)
  • Fan Cleaning: Dust and wash blades on ceiling fans.
  • Floor Cleaning: Wash floors, then treat per manufacturer´s instructions.
  • Carpet Cleaning: Clean and shampoo carpets. If you can, hire someone to do this; it will save a lot of time and free you up to do other things.
  • Wood Cleaning: Wash woodwork including moldings, baseboards, and doors.
  • Fixture Cleaning: Clean light fixtures and chandeliers. Put what you can in the dishwasher. Don´t do that with crystal or painted glass shades though; put crystal in warm soapy water, then rinse and dry. Delicate or fragile things will need to be carefully cleaned then set them out of the way where they won´t get broken if you can´t put them where they belong right away.
  • Curtain Cleaning: Take down curtains and drapes. Wash or dry clean. Wash mini-blinds, blinds, or shades. If damaged, repair or replace.
  • Declutter: Empty closets/drawers/garage/storage and donate, toss, or sell what you haven’t used in the last year or simply don’t need. Replace drawer liners and shelf papers.
  • Declutter Office: Sort through computer clutter. Donate usable software, manuals, and equipment. Find a recycling center for dead equipment. Pitch disks and floppies that you can’t read on your current systems.
  • Dump/Sale What You Don’t Need: Set aside garage sale items, drop off donations, and haul garbage to the dump or dumpster.
  • Sprinkler: Check sprinkler systems. Run through each station in manual mode and check for issues.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

MAY:

  • Finish: spring cleaning projects.
  • Mother´s Day: Call your mom, send a card, buy flowers.
  • Clean Fireplace and/or Stove. Call to schedule chimney cleaning (if needed – not likely in Texas). Have chimney repointed if needed.
  • HVAC: Clean around AC compressor.
  • Windows: Wash windows, then put in screens.
  • Decks: Clear out debris from under decks or porches.
  • Re-Check Trees: Cut back any trees or branches that are touching the siding or roof.
  • Pest Control: If you need pest control, call now and schedule exterminators.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

JUNE: 

  • Check Gutters: Clear as Needed
  • Freezer Clean: If you haven´t cleaned the freezer recently and used up what you have, now is a good time. That way you can take advantage of the huge array of seasonal produce that will be available for the next few months.
  • Pool/Spa Professional Assessment: Check all recreational equipment and make sure it´s in good repair, especially swimming pools (if not on service contract).
  • Check Hoses: On washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher. If they show signs of deterioration, replace them.
  • Wood Deck: If you have wood decks, check them for signs of wear or deterioration. Repair or replace as needed. If you have nails popping up, consider replacing them with galvanized screws instead. Clean and seal decks.
  • Railing: Check exterior railings and stairs. Repair if they are loose or showing signs of wear.
  • Dryer Exhaust: Clothes dryer vents should be checked at least once a year to make sure they are clear of any lint buildup that could cause a fire.
  • Attic Check: Make sure attic vents work properly. Consider installing a whole house fan.
  • Attic Check: Check your attic for leaks, vermin droppings, trails in the insulation, bird nests, odd/foul odors, pooling moisture at HVAC or mechanical equipment, staining at the sub-roofing, or anything that looks generally out of place. If you see moisture or anything of concern, call a professional to check it out.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
  • Test Your Water Heater’s Pressure Relief Valve: This will prevent mineral and corrosion buildup, which safeguards against leaks. It will also help your heater run more efficiently. NOTE: This maintenance procedure should only be conducted by plumbers and/or maintenance professionals. For further info, please see the following link: CLICK HERE
  • Flush Water Heater: Flushing a water heater tank will reduce mineral build up, prolong the life of the unit, and improve heating capacity. NOTE: This maintenance procedure should only be conducted by plumbers and/or maintenance professionals. For further info, please see the following link: CLICK HERE
  • Replace Batteries in Smoke/Carbon Dioxide Detectors: I’d never heard this before, actually. I just assumed you changed it out when it started giving you the low battery beeping noise. This tip was in everything we researched, however. With something as important as this, you can’t be too careful, and batteries won’t break your bank. Change ‘em out every six months.
  • Vacuum Refrigerator Coils: The fridge can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power, so you want it running as efficiently as possible. Over time, the coils get dirty and your fridge requires more juice. You can save up to $100 a year by doing this, and it’s not at all a difficult task.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.

JULY:

  • Check Your Project List: If you´re postponing projects, either hire someone to come in and get them done, or do them yourself. Chances are they´ll just get worse over time.
  • Clean the Garage: Get rid of junk. Organize tools and garden equipment
  • Get Rid of Controlled Items: Check with local government regarding waste disposal of old paint, solvents, and other toxic substances you might have. Use it up if you can, otherwise dispose of responsibly. NEVER pour toxic substances down the drain or throw them into the landfill.
  • Check Fences: Repair or replace damaged portions.
  • Septic: Have septic tank pumped if you have a septic system (Every 3-5 Years).
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

AUGUST:

  • Windows: Check windows and doors to make sure locks work properly and that they are in good condition. Clean tracks and lubricate hinges. Repair or replace any cracked windows.
  • Garage: Perform garage door maintenance (as needed).
  • Exterior Walls: Repair minor brick and mortar cracks (as needed). Call a professional if necessary, especially concerning foundations.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

SEPTEMBER: 

  • General Cleaning: Wash out garbage cans, disinfect, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Tighten Handles, Knobs, Racks, etc: Go through the house and inspect anything that could have a loose screw.
  • Check Locks and Deadbolts on Your Doors and Windows: If anything doesn’t work right, replace.
  • Check Caulking Around Showers and Bathtubs: Repair as Needed
  • Remove Showerheads and Clean Sediment: This prolongs its life and helps with water pressure as well.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

OCTOBER:

  • Yard Work: Keep leaves raked to prevent smothering new grass.
  • Get Heating System Ready for Winter (If Texas Has a Winter): Check for any leaks in windows or doors; these can cost an arm and a leg. Make sure heating vents are open and not blocked by furniture. Get furnace serviced/inspected at least every other year, preferably annually. As with the AC, this shouldn’t be a huge expense. Don’t forget about fireplaces if you have them.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

NOVEMBER: 

  • Outdoors: Cut back plants that have been killed by frost.
  • Outdoors: Rake leaves (if needed).
  • Drainage: Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Spring Preparation: Sharpen, clean, and oil lawn mower. Clean, oil, store garden tools. Clean spray equipment before storing for season. Have automatic irrigation system serviced.
  • Holiday Prep: Put Christmas lights up after Thanksgiving. Ensure safety protocols are followed.
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.

DECEMBER:

  • Enjoy the Holidays!!!
  • Inspect/Change HVAC Filter: If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month.
  • Test Fire/Smoke Alarms: Test alarms and change batteries as needed. Ensure extinguishers are easily accessed (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.