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Do-It-Yourself Maintenance Timeline

January

  • Check conventional filters on forced-air systems- clean or replace as needed. Electronic filters should be checked monthly and cleaned as needed.

  • Lubricate the circulating pumps on the hot water systems.

  • Drain your water heater to remove any sediment.

  • Clear obstructions from outside unit of heating and cooling system. Spray with a regular garden hose if necessary.

February

March

  • Patch any gaps or holes in the caulking in the bathroom. Check for mold spots and clean thoroughly if necessary.

  • Check for leaks under the kitchen sink and around dishwasher. Check the burner operation on stove. If you have tile floors, clean and repair any stained, moldy or cracked grout.

  • Clean you refrigerator coils and drip pan. Defrost freezer if ice has built up. Check the gaskets on both refrigerator and freezer to ensure a tight seal.

April

  • Clear your lawn and garden for accumulation of tree limbs, branches, and debris that can attract wood eating insects.

  • Change batteries on smoke detectors and make sure they are in proper working order.

  • Clean the gutters and check for damaged roofing and flashing materials. Scan the roof for missing shingles and check siding or veneer for cracks, deterioration, warping or rot.

  • Check for cracks or any sign of dampness or leaks in the basement or crawl space. Check for any evidence of termites or wood eating insects.

May

  • Turn off the pilot light on your furnace by following manufacturer's instruction.

  • Check basement and crawl spaces for cracks or any signs of dampness or leaks. Check for evidence of termites or other wood eating insects.

June

  • Check air filters in cooling systems and continue to check monthly while in use. Replace as needed.

  • Clean air vents and keep unrestricted/ unblocked.

  • Have a qualified technician inspect the cooling system and recharge if necessary.

  • Check the outdoor component of the cooling system to ensure it is level. The refrigerant lines should be checked for damaged, missing or loose insulation. Clear any debris from the outdoor component.

  • Turn off the water supply on any built in humidifiers for the cooling season.

  • Close the damper in the humidifier ductwork for the cooling season on systems with air conditioning or a heat pump

July

August

  • Clean ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen

September

  • Remove window air conditioners from the windows for the colder months.

  • Check caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows to make sure there are no cracks or gaps.

  • Clean the gutters and check for damaged roofing and flashing materials.

  • Clean you refrigerator coils and drip pan. Defrost freezer if ice has built up. Check the gaskets on both refrigerator and freezer to ensure a tight seal.

October

  • If the pilot light on the boiler was turned off during the warm months, follow the manufacturer's instructions to relight it.

  • Bleed (release trapped air) hot water radiators prior to beginning to use for the season.

  • Tune up for furnace/boiler/HVAC system- Most oil or gas companies have trained service technicians that may be available to perform this service for a fee.

  • Turn on the water supply to built in humidifiers for the heating season

  • Check outside unit for heating and cooling system to make so there are no obstructions and the unit is clean. Spray with a regular garden hose if necessary.

November

  • Check conventional filters on forced-air systems- clean or replace as needed. Electronic filters should be checked monthly and cleaned as needed.

  • Check for leaks in attic.

  • Check supply plumbing areas and take precautions to ensure pipes will not freeze. Shut off all outdoor faucets from the interior and drain of all water.

December

  • Dust all light bulbs in the house.

Content updated September 12, 2003

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