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10 New Homeowner Tasks to Remember

As a new homeowner, you’re probably learning a lot of new things about what owning your own home really means. Some of these things are more exciting than others; for example, the ability to paint your walls or hang things on the wall as you please. On the other hand, you’ll inevitably have some not-so-exciting aspects, such as upkeep and liability.

Fortunately, the benefits of homeownership far outweigh any cons! Even better? Remembering to take care of household tasks at the right time can help you maintain the longevity of your home and reduce the risk of accidents or major repairs. The secret is learning what these tasks are and getting them done before they cause problems.

To help you be the best homeowner you can be, we’ve provided our list of the top ten home maintenance tasks new homeowners often overlook the first year. Check it out, then make sure you’re good to go on all of these items and stay on top of them throughout the year!

1. Swapping Out Fire Alarm Batteries

The entryway to a home where we can see a few fire alarms on the ceiling.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke alarm batteries should be checked at least once a month and replaced at least once a year. The entire smoke alarm should be replaced every ten years.


2. Flushing Pipes Before Winter

Draining your home’s pipes before the cold weather hits is key to avoiding the unpleasant surprise of broken pipes. This is an especially important measure to take before leaving for vacation.


3. Cleaning Behind and Underneath the Refrigerator

 A view of the kitchen that includes the fridge and stove.

We often don’t even realize how many drips and crumbs end up outside of the fridge when we take food out of it or cook nearby it. Not to mention it’s a major area for dust collection. This task will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, but will be so worth it once the task is complete.  To make this process a little easier, check out the section in this worst cleaning jobs made easy guide on cleaning the refrigerator.


4. Check for Leaks

Whether it’s under the sink or behind your washer, you’ll want to frequently make sure all pipes and hoses in your home are secure and not experiencing any leaks. If your washer is leaking, get a new braided hose and make sure it’s securely fastened. Little leaks can potentially turn into bigger problems, so you’ll want to keep your eyes and nose on these areas!


5. Register Appliances

A view of the kitchen that shows several appliances.

With your new home you most likely will have some new appliances, and probably some bigger ones such as a dishwasher and a fridge. Check on all of these appliances to see if there is a website to register them on. By registering you will often activate the warranty on the product, be better able to track the history of the appliance and any issues it may have, and in some cases it can bump up the warranty to extend for a longer amount of time.


6. Flush Your Hot Water Heater

Flushing your hot water heater as necessary will promote longer equipment life and optimal efficiency. This can be especially true if you have hard water where you live. You can pay a plumber to do this, or if you want to save on some costs, it’s not too complicated. Find a step by step D.I.Y. guide or video to learn how to do this on your own.


7. Change Furnace Filter

While you’re getting that nice, cool air in the summer, or cozy, warm air in the winter, you might forget the system at work behind keeping your house comfortable. Your HVAC system has a filter installed that is recommended to change out every 1-3 months, depending on which type of filter you use. This will keep the unit clean and functioning properly. A great way to remember is to set a reminder to replace the filter whenever you make a house payment!


8. Re-Caulk Windows

A bedroom with sun flowing in from the window.

Window caulking begins to wear over time, allowing drafts and outside air particles to enter your home. The first step in preventing this is checking your windows regularly. Should you find that the caulk is beginning to wear, check out this guide on Do it Yourself to re-caulk!

9. Clean and Inspect Chimneys

If you have a chimney, it’s important that you check and clean it on a regular basis to reduce risk of fire and air contamination. Inspection should be conducted by a professional. For information, check out House Logic’s guide to chimney inspection.


10. Cleaning the Dryer Vent

A washer and dryer stacked on top of each other in the laundry room.

Cleaning your dryer vent is an important task in reducing risk of fire and injury. The clogged vent, combined with the intense heat from the dryer can be a perfect storm for causing a fire. The Pretty Handy Girl blog offers a great step-by-step guide to doing this the right way.


Next Steps

Once you get into the habit of doing small things to maintain your house, it will be second nature. Keeping things clean and running efficiently will contribute to the quality of your house, and give you a great return on one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make!  While you’re being handy, you might also be interested in our post on how to better organize your garage!