Whether you’re a new homeowner or you’ve been in your place for a number of years, you already understand how expensive it can be to keep up with repair and maintenance costs. Repair expenses are a bit difficult to plan for since you don’t know ahead of time when something is going to break — as nice as that would be! Maintenance prices, on the other hand, are a little easier to plan for.
Your family is likely trying to determine how to budget for various things you’ll encounter in 2023. Perhaps you’re wanting to take the family on a trip this summer, or maybe one of your children needs braces, or you could be trying to save up for a new car. These are all things to consider when you’re trying to calculate how much of your income to put into savings.
When planning your budget, consider how much routine home maintenance will cost this year. Read on to find out which appliances or areas of your home require an annual tune-up with a professional.
Heating and cooling systems
Two of the most important (but often overlooked) systems to maintain in the home are the AC and furnace. These two appliances are what your family depends on for comfort all year long. When these units aren’t working efficiently, you’re likely to have higher energy bills. Not just that, but you’ll also have a home that’s too hot or too cold — and an unhappy family.
This is why it’s recommended that you have your heating and cooling systems cleaned and inspected annually by a professional. During these tune-ups, a skilled technician will carefully and thoroughly inspect all parts inside the units to be sure things are safe and operating as expected. If the technician discovers a problem, they can discuss with you a plan of action to get it taken care of. While this may involve a repair or ordering replacement parts, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t delay getting the issue resolved because the longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that your furnace or AC will stop working altogether.
Along with professional maintenance, it’s your responsibility as the owner to replace the air filter on a routine basis. Many experts agree that the filter should be swapped out each month, more often if there are pets or smokers in the home. The role of the filter is to trap airborne contaminants and prevent them from damaging your HVAC systems or jeopardizing your home’s indoor air quality. The cost for monthly filter replacement should be considered when calculating your maintenance budget for the year. This cost will also vary depending on what size you need and MERV-rating you choose. Shop around to see where you can get the best price for your home’s needs.
The cost of professional maintenance will vary from company to company. However, at Oncourse Home Solutions, we offer affordable Heating Maintenance and Cooling Maintenance plans that can fit into most budgets. For a low monthly price, you can call and schedule an annual inspection/tune-up appointment for your air conditioner and/or furnace (depending on the plan(s) you’re enrolled in).
Along with making sure your home’s heating and cooling systems are in tip top shape, have your air ducts cleaned by a professional. Your ducts are responsible for transporting conditioned air from your AC or furnace out through the vents in your home. As time passes, the ducts in your home can become clogged with dirt, dust, pet hair and dander, smoke particles (if you have smokers in your home), and other materials.
When you have clogged air ducts, your home may feel like it’s not heated or cooled evenly in all spaces — it’s more difficult for your AC or furnace to push conditioned air through dirty ducts to reach your vents. This could cause your systems to work overtime to try and keep your family comfortable. In turn, this could lead to premature wear and tear on the units as well as higher energy bills.
The cost of professional air duct cleaning will vary by service provider, so check around to get the best price when calculating your maintenance budget for the year.
Another area of the home that’s often overlooked when it comes to annual maintenance is the chimney. However, it’s incredibly important to get your chimney cleaned regularly — especially if you have a fireplace. A coating of soot may build up on the walls inside the chimney. This could eventually lead to dangerous gases (carbon monoxide, or “CO”) getting trapped inside. CO poisoning could lead to death.
Additionally, it’s not uncommon for critters such as birds, squirrels, or mice to build nests inside the chimney during the colder months of the year. After all, it’s nice and warm inside. These nesting materials could also trap CO inside and could also potentially catch on fire.
Check with professional chimney sweeps in your area to determine costs when factoring this maintenance task into your family’s budget.
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