Lowering Home Repair Costs

Regular scheduled maintenance can significantly reduce the cost of home repairs. Heating systems, air conditioners, and water heaters should be inspected once a year. Touch up painting, gutter cleaning, and deck and driveway power washing should also be performed at least once per year.

A general rule of thumb is that air conditioning and heating filters should be these checked and replaced during the spring and fall. Most indoor filters need to be replaced once a month. Check your vents to the duct work making sure they are clear of any debris and dust. Check and make sure the outdoor unit is clear and free from debris. Also make sure the condenser fins are not damaged ant the every thing is properly lubricated. If you live in an area where there are winter snows, this should be done in the fall, and the outside unit should always be securely covered before the first snow falls.

Belts and pulley checked for tightness, and any areas that can be oiled by you should be. Always turn of the power before attempting any regular maintenance checks, and read your owner’s manual first.

Refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines should be pulled out from the wall once a year. You can clean under the unit and check for any leaks, frayed wires, and any other visible damage. Carefully clean around coils and vent openings. Make sure that the dryer exhaust duct is clean, because a clogged duct can make your dryer work harder, and take more energy to dry your clothes. It is also a good idea to run a special cleaning agent through both your clothes washer, as well as you dishwasher, especially if you live in areas that have hard water. These cleaning agents are designed to break down deposits that have built up, and make your appliances run more efficiently.

There are many maintenance procedures you can perform yourself but some things should be left to professionals.

For most people it easier and less expensive in the long run to contact a reputable appliance service technician and get on an annual inspection program. A service call can save you hundreds of dollars because a qualified technician will leave you with a safe and more efficient appliance. Qualified service repair people have specialized tools and test equipment that allow them to do a more thorough inspection. They can detect small issues before they become large unserviceable disasters. The also have the knowledge to check parts and systems that you don’t have access to.

Even with all of these maintenance steps, there are going to be times when your appliances break down. If you don’t already have it, you should consider appliance insurance. This is not the same as homeowner’s insurance. It covers repairs and replacement to your major appliances through normal wear and tear, or even emergencies. Homeowner’s insurance only covers them if they are damages in direct result to a fire or flood, and whatever else you have coverage for, not general repairs.

Brad Tog writes about home repair, small business, and anything else that fits his fancy. Some information for this article came from HomeResourceHSV.com and http://homerepair.about.com.

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