(This article originally appeared on Home Business Magazine)
Your home is your castle. Your refuge. In many cases it’s also your office. The point is, of all the places where you spend time, your home should be the most comfortable, personalized to make your life easier and more enjoyable.
We spend a lot of time setting things up at home to create our ideal environment, creating spaces for eating, sleeping, working, and relaxing. This is a huge help to us, making it easier and more convenient to do the things we need to do, and most of the time the sailing is relatively smooth.
There are times, though, when chaos comes to call. This is to be expected, and in some cases there’s nothing you can do to avoid a disruption –sick child, injury, mother-in-law visits… But there are some major inconveniences that can be avoided with preventative maintenance around the home.
There are number of items in your home that would cause some major disruptions should they fail and require repair or replacement. These are systems and appliances that we count on every day, and we sort of take them for granted until they’re not there. When they’re on the fritz, it causes major inconvenience.
This appliance is the unsung hero of your household. You may have never given it a thought –honestly now, do you even know where it is? JK, but do you know that depending on the model, your water heater has a lifespan of around 10-15 years?
Simply inspecting, draining, and flushing the unit annually can optimize that lifespan. It also completely circumvents the scenario in which your morning shower becomes an Arctic expedition. Suddenly being without hot water is very disruptive. It not only makes bathing very unpleasant, it can make it impossible to keep up with dishes and laundry as well. Replacing the water heater can cost upwards of $1000, but when the unit fails that is usually your only option.
Climate control is a critical part of a comfortable home. Aside from those few perfect days in the spring and fall, your home’s heating and cooling system works tirelessly year-round. Without attentive maintenance, the HVAC system will inevitably fail, and always, it seems, at the most inopportune time.
The loss of heat or air conditioning brings most activity in the home to a screeching halt. Depending on the season, it can be tough to schedule repairs and the system may be down for several days –or even longer. This is a major disruption, particularly for those who work from home and don’t have the option of spending more time elsewhere.
This can often be avoided entirely through preventative maintenance. One of the easiest ways to avoid costly repairs is to replace HVAC filters regularly. These are easy to find and inexpensive (around $20-$40) and the task takes minutes. In return, your heating and cooling system will run more efficiently, saving energy costs.
Regular maintenance and inspection can uncover potential problems, so small repairs can be made before they become an issue –and the work is done on your schedule; you’re not at the mercy of busy contractors.
One of the most important appliances in your home, the refrigerator has one job. Thanks to its presence we can stock up on fresh foods and have our favorites easily available all of the time. It’s easy to take the refrigerator for granted, but if it fails we are in for some major inconvenience.
Depending on when the fridge dies, you may end up losing all of the food it holds. This includes the contents of your freezer, and can represent a considerable investment. Then there’s the mess. What do you do with all of this food? What can you save? Where will you put it? At least it’s a good excuse to eat out.
If the refrigerator can be repaired there may be a wait for parts and service. Otherwise you’ll need to do some shopping. Staying on top of things through regular maintenance can help you avoid this whole scenario entirely.
Most of us don’t give a thought to the wonder that is modern plumbing. Where would we be without it? One sure way to find out is to neglect maintenance, particularly in the kitchen, laundry, and bath. Faucets, toilets, and drains all require some upkeep, and when any of them fail the household suffers. Undetected leaks can also create big problems, including mold and water damage to walls, floors, and ceilings.
As you can imagine, tearing out a wall in the bathroom or dealing with a flooded laundry greatly disrupts the home. This sort of repair never becomes necessary when the plumbing in the home is monitored and kept in top condition.
Unpleasant surprises can be costly in terms of time as well as money. That’s why it makes so much sense to prevent them with proper maintenance that can be timed to fit your schedule. That’s the whole idea behind GlassHouse.