It’s a beautiful spring day and you get to choose how to spend it: home maintenance or lounging in the sunshine. Unfortunately for your favorite sunny spot, there are times when you just can’t let a repair wait until a rainy day.
Sure, painting the living room can wait. However, when a small maintenance item can lead to a major, expensive repair it’s best to take care of it right away.
Plumbing leaks can take many forms, and all of them have bad endings. A leaky toilet or dripping faucets can waste hundreds of gallons of water a month and send your water bill through the roof. Leaky pipes in cabinets can ruin cabinets and subfloors; they’ll damage ceilings as well if they’re on the second floor of your home. As part of this, a sump pump in a basement or crawlspace should be functioning and have a battery backup to prevent costly damage.
An aging cooling and heating system
Cooling and heating systems have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Having your system serviced annually can add 3-5 years to that number. Maintenance helps your system run more efficiently, which means it won’t work as hard, which extends its life. In turn, a more efficient system lowers utility costs as well. Annual maintenance also helps prevent emergency repair bills because a trained technician can spot warning signs of a malfunction or worn-out part. If your system cycles on and off frequently or a natural gas pilot light is yellow or orange instead of blue, call for a repair estimate; if the estimate is more than one third of the cost of replacing the system, replace it.
Dirty air filter
A dirty air filter is the single most likely cause of cooling and heating system repair calls. Dirty air filters block air flow and make your system work harder, thereby costing you more on your utility bill every month. The money you save when you don’t buy a new air filter is going out the door when you have to write that check. In addition, the buildup of dust and dirt in your system can lead to those expensive repair costs. So if you aren’t changing your air filter at least every three months (every month is best), you aren’t saving a dime.
Don’t mess around with these. Get every person and animal out of the house and call the gas company immediately from a neighbor’s home or your cell phone.
Flickering lights, frequently blown fuses, or malfunctioning plugs can be signs of bigger problems. Faulty wiring has the potential to burn your house down, so don’t let it wait. Even if the repair is a few hundred dollars, it’s still cheaper than putting your possessions and your family at risk.