If you don’t have an emergency fund, unforeseen expenses can wreak havoc on your budget. These unforeseen expenses can take on several forms: a coffee run, a flat tire, a health emergency, or in most cases, a home appliance breakdown. But with the daily wear and tear happening to your home appliances, saving up for home repair and maintenance is out of the question. In this article, we’ve come up with top tips to help you stay on top of your home repair and maintenance:
1. Keep a maintenance fund. Based on Department of Statistics Singapore’s survey, a household spends approximately $270 for furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance every month. By setting a budget for home maintenance and decoration, you’ll have something to pull out in case of an emergency repair or a brand-new appliance if you prefer to buy a new one.
2. Keep a calendar for regular home maintenance. Our homes – and all the stuff in it – need care and regular check-ups too to keep them in good shape. If you’re not sure about the whats and whens of home maintenance, you’ve come to the right place. For starters, here’s what you should check every month:
• Inspect HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) filters and change it if necessary. If you have a small family without allergy or pets, a filter change every 2-3 months will be fine.If you see that the filter is already dirty, you should have it changed immediately, otherwise leave it for next month’s inspection.
• Clean range hood filters. With all the smoke exiting your cooker hood everyday, don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by a thick layer of dirt stuck in the filters.
• Inspect fire extinguishers. We can never tell when a fire breaks out but when it does, you know it’s going to be massive. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your fire extinguisher can be easily accessed, the gauge has adequate pressure, and it doesn’t have any visible sign of wear and tear.
• Check the visible parts of your plumbing system. Checking your plumbing system and taps every month is also a smart move to ensure that there will be no unexpected issues that may arise.
The following can be done every 3 months:
• Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. This should be a quick one: just make sure that your detectors have a test button and that it’s working.
• Test your faucet and toilet flush for seldomly used bathrooms. Run water and flush to prevent grime and other kinds of buildup.
You can do these every 6 months:
• Check your water heater’s pressure relief valve. This will prevent mineral buildup and corrosion and will make your heater work more efficiently.
• Give your home some general cleaning – and a deep one.
• Replace the batteries in your smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. With something this important, you shouldn’t wait for the battery to drain out before you replace it.
• Vacuum refrigerator coils. With your fridge sucking 15% of your total electricity, you wouldn’t want it any less efficient.
You can get away with doing these annually:
• Have your air conditioning system serviced
• Repair damaged window screens
• Look for any bathroom or kitchen repair needed
• Test your electricity however you can
• Tighten handles, door knobs, anything with a loose screw
• Check all locks and deadbolts
• Remove your showerhead and clean up any buildup
3. Be vigilant for new home repair & maintenance issues. Being a smart homeowner means being observant of the possible maintenance issues that may arise. Some problems can be very subtle but can cause a huge inconvenience when left unnoticed.
Home repair and maintenance is an all-year obligation, tedious they may seem. If you want your household running smoothly, you have to do your part. Luckily, it can be as easy as bookmarking this and writing them down on your calendar once and for all.