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  • Top 8 Household Chores That Can Save You Thousands

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At first glance, plunging toilets and washing windows might not seem like much fun, but the benefits of regular home maintenance stretch far beyond cleanliness. By staying on top of these simple tasks, you can prevent costly repairs and save your hard-earned cash. Here’s a list of essential household chores that’ll keep your home running smoothly and your bank balance happy.

Change HVAC Filters Regularly

Don’t underestimate the importance of your HVAC system, and changing its filters is a simple yet crucial task. Clean filters enable your system to run efficiently, which can cut your energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent. Dirty filters force your system to work harder and can lead to breakdowns or even fire hazards. Monthly inspection is a good habit to catch when filters need changing. In standard households, you should switch filters every three months. For homes with allergy-prone individuals or pets, a bi-monthly schedule is more appropriate.

Inspect Your Roof Annually

Your roof is your primary shield against the elements, but if left unchecked, leaks or long-term damage can lead to costly replacements. Make a habit of checking your roof at least once a year, especially after severe weather. Look for missing or damaged shingles, degraded sealant, and any signs of sagging. If you’re comfortable, climb up and check for rotting or soft spots. By doing this, you could catch small problems before they become expensive headaches.

Flush Your Water Heater

Water heaters are workhorses that require a tune-up annually. Sediment buildup can reduce efficiency and cause the tank to crack, leading to leaks and damage. To combat this, flush your water heater at least once a year. Turn off the power or gas to the unit, connect a garden hose to the drain valve, and run the water until clear to remove sediment. This can extend the life of your water heater by years.

Clean Your Refrigerator Coils

When refrigerator coils are covered in dust and dirt, they can’t release heat as efficiently, which forces the appliance to work harder and consume more electricity. This simple chore can save you up to $100 annually in energy costs. Use a refrigerator coil brush or a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean the coils typically located either at the bottom of the fridge or at the back. Aim for a bi-annual cleaning schedule for optimal efficiency.

Test and Clean Your Smoke Alarms

A functioning smoke alarm is your first line of defense in case of a fire, so testing it once a month is a non-negotiable safety chore. To clean, gently vacuum around the alarm’s vents or use a can of compressed air to clear dust and debris. This ensures proper function and alerts you to any issues before it’s too late. Also, remember to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms at least once a year, even if they appear to be functioning well during your monthly tests.

Seal Windows and Doors

Air leaks can account for 25–30% of household energy use, so addressing this is a money-saver. Weatherstripping windows and doors can help reduce energy costs and maintain a comfortable home temperature. During seasonal changes, check for leaks by closing doors and windows on a piece of paper. If you can easily pull it out, you need a seal. Use caulk or weatherstrips for small gaps, and replace the sealing if it’s worn out.

Maintain Your Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters can lead to water damage on your roof or foundation, which can be a financial disaster. To keep your gutters in shape, clean them out twice a year, in the fall and spring. Use a ladder to access the gutters, and remove any debris by hand or with a garden trowel. Ensure your downspouts are clear by flushing them with water. Regular maintenance can save you from the costs of repairing water damage.

Regular Septic Tank Pumping

For homeowners with septic systems, regular septic tank pumping is a must to avoid costly repairs. How often you pump depends on the tank size and household usage, but a general rule is every three to five years. Neglecting this chore can lead to sewer backups, foul odors, and even system failure, which can cost thousands to repair or replace. Don’t skimp on this important maintenance to keep your system (and your bank account) healthy.

By implementing these simple chores and schedules into your home maintenance routine, you can avoid large, unexpected expenses and ensure your home remains a safe and comfortable haven for years to come. Adopting a proactive maintenance mindset towards household chores not only safeguards your largest investment—your home—but also provides peace of mind. It’s all about investing a little time now to save big later!

Addy Reeds

By Addy Reeds
who is a freelance writer from Eugene, Oregon. She discovered her passion for journalism while attending the University of Oregon.

Member since March, 2024
View all the articles of Addy Reeds.

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