Homeownership means creating a lifestyle you love and having a place you feel safe and comfortable. It means owning something of worth that could be passed down to your family one day.

Owning a home also means you need to maintain it, which involves a significant amount of ongoing work. That includes cleaning, organizing things in the house, and ensuring each of the main systems and components of the home are operating at their very best.

It’s not uncommon for property owners to struggle to remember to get everything done. Many people don’t think about things like cleaning the condenser coils on the fridge or checking the exhaust fan in the bathroom for problems. As the homeowner, it’s up to you to make sure these things get done so problems don’t build up.

A home preventative maintenance schedule will help you in this situation. This master list of to-do tasks will ensure you stay on top of tasks that could prolong the life of appliances, minimize emergency repairs, or prevent the breakdown of main systems like your central air conditioner or heater.

While it’s a great habit to make this list, maintaining it is an arduous task. A home manager can help make the process simple and efficient. Before we discuss that, let’s jump into developing that maintenance schedule.

What Is a Home Preventative Maintenance Schedule?

A home preventative maintenance schedule outlines the necessary plan to complete on a routine basis to keep major systems in the home functioning properly. You can make it as comprehensive as you like, but it should include all recommendations from system manufacturers. This may include maintenance on the HVAC system, appliances, plumbing, and electrical components in your home.

This maintenance schedule breaks down which tasks need to happen, when they need to happen, and what is involved in the process. For example, you may need to clean the air filters for your furnace every month, whereas you may only need to check the plumbing fixtures once a year.

What Are the Benefits of a Home Maintenance Schedule?

Investing the necessary time and resources into creating a home preventative maintenance schedule is well worth it. It may produce many benefits, including:

Reducing Failure Risks: When there’s regular maintenance of the home’s central systems, including appliances, plumbing, heating, and cooling, there’s less risk of a breakdown. Breakdowns often require expensive repairs, especially in emergency situations.

Increasing Lifespans: Some systems need routine maintenance to function at their best. If you keep them up to date and running well, you’ll likely have systems that will last longer than the average lifespan. That means you may not have to replace your appliances as frequently, helping you save in the long term.

Improving Efficiency: It’s not uncommon for appliances to not work as well as they should when they are not maintained properly. A well-maintained system operates at its best all the time, which may directly reduce energy costs and ensure the best level of efficiency.

Minimizing Fire Risks: With the routine inspection of systems, it may be possible to pinpoint problems that are fire risks early, such as frayed wires or exposure to flammables.

Reducing Flooding Risks: A well-maintained plumbing system will reduce the chances of backups that are damaging to your home.

Maintaining Resale Value: You will be able to maintain, if not improve, your home’s resale value year after year as long as these systems are operating in their best condition. That means you may be able to expect a higher price when selling your well-maintained home.

Related: How to Save Money and Time on Home Maintenance

What If You Don’t Use a Preventative Maintenance Checklist?

What will happen if you simply don’t put together a home preventative maintenance schedule, or if you create the list but don’t follow it? A few things:

· You are more likely to need emergency repairs

· Some energy bills may be higher if the system is not running efficiently

· You may have to replace appliances, furnaces, and other components frequently

· Infrequent maintenances could be more complex and time-consuming

There’s no doubt maintaining a home can be challenging and complex. Yet, it’s an investment in your home that’s necessary to keep your home operating at its best.

How Do You Develop a Home Preventative Maintenance Schedule?

Though creating a home preventative maintenance schedule may seem overwhelming, the task can be made easier when the proper steps are followed, starting with establishing the goal.

Your goal is to document each of the main components in your home that typically need preventative maintenance. This may include:

· Heating systems

· Cooling systems

· Vents

· Plumbing

· Electrical components

· Sewers

· Refrigerator

· Stove, cooktop, and ovens

· Dishwashers

· Washers and dryers

You may have more, but list each of the main items in your home that you rely on day in and day out.

Next, take some time to figure out what type of routine maintenance these systems require. If you have the time, the best way to do this yourself is to gather the manufacturer’s guidebook or owner’s manual for the equipment and appliances you have. You can often find these available online if you don’t have the original copy that came along with each purchase. Nearly all manufacturers list the maintenance tasks you need to perform to keep systems operating at their best. They will provide details about what needs to be done and how often.

If you don’t have the time to devote to that process, you’ll want to research what tasks are typically necessary for the major systems you own. Here’s how to get started.

Make a List of Appliances

In this section, document what type of work is typical for the appliances you own. Here are some general requirements for appliance maintenance:

· Cleaning drain pans

· Inspecting and cleaning condenser coils

· Checking for frayed wiring

· Cleaning components

· Visually inspecting for signs of dampness

Consider the HVAC

Most heating, cooling, and ventilation systems need a good amount of attention. There are some things you typically need to focus on, including:

· Cleaning or replacing the air filter

· Visually inspecting the system for signs of damage

· Cleaning exterior condensers and components

· Inspecting for signs of debris buildup

· Ensuring the thermostat is functioning properly

Think about Plumbing and Electrical

Do not forget your plumbing and electrical systems just because you don’t see wires and pipes in plain sight. You’ll need to consider things such as:

· Flushing or cleaning drains and sewer lines

· Maintaining plumbing fixtures to prevent leaks or damage

· Inspecting outlets to look for signs of damage

· Maintaining the electrical breaker box through a visual inspection

· Monitoring fans and exhaust systems for proper function

· Maintaining hot and cold water systems throughout the home

Be sure to add any additional components in your home that may need routine inspections and upgrades.

Related: The True Cost of Home Maintenance

Focus on Creating a Schedule

Once you have a list of all the tasks you’ll need to complete based on your home’s needs, the next step is to determine how frequently you’ll need to tackle these tasks. It’s a good idea to spend some time doing research here. For example, most air filters need to be cleaned or replaced once a month across all brands, while the preventative maintenance tasks for your home’s heating and cooling may differ from one manufacturer to another.

How to Avoid Forgetting Important Steps

Now that you have a list, what do you do to ensure its implementation? It’s really up to you to determine the best way to monitor this process based on your needs. A range of factors may play a role here.

Use technology to help you. Set up a digital calendar task for each task on the list. That way, you’ll be alerted at the start of the month about what needs to be done.

Create a binder to organize the process. This could be a better option for those who want to track details on paper as they go. You can even have a specific folder or area in the binder for each appliance or major system to track repairs and service calls.

Make it a point to add new items as you get them. No matter which system you use, you’ll want to add in new appliances you purchase as you go. That way, you can stay on top of what’s necessary.

If you have questions about any system, call the manufacturer. Ask them for more information or a link to the owner’s manual.

Should You Complete Your Home Maintenance Tasks Yourself?

A comprehensive home maintenance checklist is an extensive list of important tasks. Making the list is the simple part–making sure everything gets done correctly is the time-consuming, potentially stressful part.

To ease the burden, many homeowners hire a company to perform these tasks a couple of times a year and keep track of everything. Some companies offer a home manager to track and complete these tasks. A home manager will come on the schedule you determine and get to know your home and its needs.

For many homeowners, this takes the stress out of home maintenance tasks and allows them to relax and focus on other things in life, knowing their home is being inspected and taken care of.

If you plan to do the work yourself, remember a few key things:

· You’ll need to have the necessary tools and resources to complete tasks. That may include replacement parts for the appliances.

· Experience matters. If you plan to do the work yourself, do some research on the various solutions for problems and the proper steps for maintaining each system. You may be able to find some videos online to guide you. Take the time to learn.

· Don’t overlook being thorough. It does take time, but it’s time you’re investing in your home, so it is worth it.

· Depending on your goals and available time, try to schedule tasks once a week or once a month. When you make it a consistent process, you are less likely to forget tasks.

How To Know When To Hire a Professional To Handle Preventative Maintenance

For most people, doing all the maintenance work on their own isn’t ideal for various reasons, including time constraints. In fact, it may not even be the right decision for your home because not everyone has enough experience to handle these tasks like a professional. Moreover, you may also need to invest a lot to purchase all of the necessary tools to do the work.

You may want to consider hiring a professional to undertake your home preventative maintenance schedule for several reasons:

· It saves you time. Take back the numerous hours a month it takes to handle these tasks and use that time for something more enjoyable for you.

· Experts help you. A property owner’s home has equity, and having everything working smoothly is essential to maintain the value of the property. When the professionals handle maintenance and repair tasks, they make sure all the tasks are carried out in the best manner possible. Experts also add credibility to the work done in the home, as people tend to think more highly of professional work vs. work or repairs you’ve done yourself.

· It saves you money. From the breakdowns that may happen if you cannot keep up with the tasks on your own to buying all the supplies, professionals tend to save you money.

· It gives you peace of mind. It’s always wise to have a professional help you because once you know them, you’ll feel confident that the job is done well.

Professionals in Home Maintenance

If you’ve put off any of the preventative maintenance tasks your home needs, it’s time to get some help to ensure your home is as safe and comfortable as possible for you and your family.

PreFix will tackle the entire home preventative maintenance schedule for you. They will create a maintenance checklist specifically for your home, and work with you to design a schedule that meets your needs. PreFix uses only highly skilled professionals who can handle the maintenance, provide advice and guidance, and troubleshoot problems as soon as they arise.

Take back your time and let the pros handle that long home preventative maintenance checklist for you. Contact PreFix today.