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4 Money Saving Home Maintenance Tips Anyone Can Do

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There are some expenses that are fun. We spend money and we get something in return that we can play with. Other expenses are boring and tedious. We spend thousands of dollars on insurance every year in the hopes that it will be money that we never again see. As we get older, an increasing amount of expenses feel that way and many of these expenditures will come from our home. When times are tough and money is tight we look for expenses to cut out and often, those expenses are those related to maintenance. If it isn’t broke, why spend money to fix it or at the very least, why spend money ever year?

Putting off yearly maintenance and cleaning will cost you more money later on, according to home repair experts. Which of the home maintenance items, if neglected, may put a real dent in your wallet later on?

Dryer Vent

This is first on the list because it’s dangerous and especially dangerous for dryers who aren’t on exterior walls. The dryer vent is something we rarely think about but at least once a year we need to think about it. Any time a pipe makes a turn, the chances of a clog or backup grow. Dryers that are on interior walls almost certainly have a series of angles as well as lent having to travel a much further distance to exit your home. When a vent backs up, the dryer will eventually overheat possibly causing a fire. A dryer vent cleaning should cost about $150 but the damage it may avoid later can’t be priced. Along with the cost of a house fire, the cost of you or your family’s life is well worth a yearly $150 cleaning.

Heating and Air Conditioning

At least once per year, spend the $250-$300 to have your heating and air conditioning system cleaned and inspected. Along with avoiding the cost of an emergency repair in the middle of a snowy night (big dollar repair) they will also check for dangerous problems that could lead to a gas leak or other issue that affects the safety of your family. (Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? If not, you should) Many HVAC companies have yearly maintenance plans that will bring your cost down.

Chimney

If you have an active chimney you have to have it cleaned and inspected yearly to remove the hazardous creosote that builds up. Creosote is often the cause of chimney fires that could be avoided for about $150 for a cleaning and inspection. Even if you don’t use your chimney, the inspection can reveal the lack of a chimney cap or cracks that allow moisture in to the chimney causing mold.

Tree Service

For $200-$400 every two years you can avoid the problems that come with dead or overgrown tree limbs. Limbs that lie on your roof allow more insect life to enter your home and uncut limbs can cause dangerous cracks in the tree that could cause all or part of the tree to come down on your home. Dead limbs could fall out of the tree at any time and hit your family or anybody in your yard. A couple hundred dollars is nothing compared to the costs and headache associated with those costs.

No homeowner enjoys putting money in to maintenance but a little money now will avoid the expenditure of a lot of money later. Eventually the air conditioner will be replaced but routine maintenance will extend its life so “eventually” comes a lot further in the future.

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5 Responses to “4 Money Saving Home Maintenance Tips Anyone Can Do”

  1. Shirley says:

    Exterior wall dryer vent outlet:
    We did have a dryer malfunction because the vent was partially blocked. I had potted plants on a table hiding the vent and garden snails had crawled into it. Easy fix from then on was to keep plants away from the vent.

  2. Scott says:

    Two comments on the items listed above:

    Annual chimney inspections and/or cleaning really only applies to wood-burning chimneys. Gas log chimneys need inspection and maintenance much less frequently.

    If you’re worried about a tree in your yard (is it dying? is it not?) you can almost always find a local arborist who will come inspect the tree for free. You’ll still have to pay for any work done to the tree (by whomever you choose) but at least you’ll know you did cut down or trim a tree that was perfectly fine otherwise.

    And two simple maintanence items we’re doing this weekend:

    Flush hot water heater. Very easy to do if you do some minimal research ahead of time.

    Replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if they’re older than five years old. (Replace the batteries at daylight savings changes.)

  3. Ben says:

    $150 to clean a dryer vent? I can hardly imagine a situation where this is not an easy D I Y.

  4. timparker says:

    Ben

    Agreed but if you’re not physically able (the elderly, for example) it would be difficult.

    Also, for interior walls with long systems to get outside, it has to be blown out.

    Of course, with a little work, you can probably get these services much cheaper.

  5. Angela says:

    Great advice. I purchased my home two years ago, and I am *tired* of all the ongoing maintenance. The estimate of the trees are a little low, I haven’t had too many quotes under $600. More quotes I get for tree work are more than what was suggested ………….


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