Welcome back to our yearly home maintenance checklist! So far, we’ve covered a myriad of tasks that you should tick off year after year to ensure that your home is in tip-top shape. From duct cleaning to regular landscaping, we’re certain that our tips will improve the look of your home, its value, and the comfort that you enjoy while you’re lounging around the ol’ castle. Today, we’re continuing our tips, covering a few additional topics: HVAC maintenance, power washing your home’s exterior surfaces, and exterior painting. If you’d like to jump back to our previous lists, feel free to check out Your Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist, Part II or Part I. Now let’s dig in.
Your heating and cooling systems should be maintained regularly to ensure that they’re operating efficiently throughout the cold of winter and the high heats of summer here in Las Vegas. We recommend that you have a professional provide maintenance service for your furnace and AC.
What to Do
Like the engine of your car, your HVAC system should be a well-oiled machine. Have an HVAC specialist oil the motor of your AC unit, clean the exterior unit, swap out air filters (as we mentioned in our previous article), and make sure that the refrigerant level is sufficient. As for the furnace, the air filter should be cleaned or replaced consistently (depending on the type of filter being used), the pilot light or auto-ignition should be checked and cleaned, and the burner should be cleaned, among other tasks. You should also have your ducts checked and cleaned at least once per year, especially here in Las Vegas, where sand and dust can make their way into our heating and cooling systems with ease.
When to Do It
Before you turn on your furnace for the first time in the winter, and before you turn on the AC as temperatures begin to spike in the summer, you should give each unit some attention. You should also keep an eye on your energy bills, since an unexpected increase in energy usage may be an indication that your HVAC systems are running overtime. You may even have a frozen evaporator coil in your AC unit, which can lead to further, costlier damage. Also, be wary of noises and other indicators which may reveal that your furnace or AC require attention or repairs.
If your home is caked in mud, your driveway is littered with tire marks, and your deck is lackluster, then you should give them a good cleaning. Power washing is the ideal cleaning method for most exterior surfaces around your property, since you can adjust the pressure of your washer to provide a deep cleaning without damaging the surfaces of your property. You can rent a power washer, purchase your own washer, or hire a professional (which is a good idea if you’d like to clean anything that is higher than ground level).
What to Do
If you’re cleaning the exterior parts of your property on your own, then you’ll need a power washer, and possibly some soap, depending on the surface. Adjust your washer’s psi output according to the material that you’re cleaning. If you’re cleaning your home’s exterior before painting it or if you’re cleaning wooden structures throughout your property (e.g. your deck) before staining them, you will need to give these surfaces plenty of time to dry before you apply a coat of stain or paint. Never spray too close to a surface (stand a couple of feet back), and never work from a ladder (since the pressure can knock you backwards) — instead, get an extended nozzle or utilize sturdy scaffolding to pressure wash high, hard-to-reach surfaces.
When to Do It
Power washing your home’s surfaces may only be necessary once per year. That said, if you notice dirt building up on those surfaces, you’re welcome to clean them whenever you see fit. Take note that power washing absorbent surfaces too often may damage those surfaces, especially if you don’t apply a coat of finish or paint regularly.
Now that your home’s surfaces are clean (assuming that you just power washed them), it’s time to pull out the paint brushes, rollers, and drop cloths. If your home has paint that is beginning to chip, or if your wood fence happens to look a bit grey, then a coat of paint or stain can work wonders to revitalize the look of your property.
What to Do
Power wash your surfaces, let them dry, and give them a thorough coat of paint or stain. Follow the instructions on your paint or stain to ensure the best results for lasting protection and a uniform look. Consider hiring a professional painter if you have to reach above the first story of your home, or if you have intricate details throughout your property (e.g. elaborate trim, spindles across your deck, etc.).
When to Do It
You should coat the surface of your home and other surfaces around your home at specific intervals, depending on the material of the surface at hand. While wood may require attention every four years, you won’t have to paint fiberboard for a decade or more. Here’s a brief guideline to the various materials that may line your home, or that may reside around your property:
- Wood: Power wash and stain or paint wooden surfaces (including your home’s exterior, fences, your deck, etc.) every three to seven years, depending on the wear and tear that your property endures. Most wood stains recommend a reapplication every four years.
- Stucco: Stucco is common here in Las Vegas, and it has a bit more longevity than wood. Repaint your stucco surfaces every five or six years to protect those surfaces.
- Cement Fiberboard: Modern cement fiberboard siding lasts and lasts. You’ll only need to repaint these surfaces every 10 to 15 years.
- Brick: Raw brick will only need to be cleaned as necessary. If the bricks are painted, you should repaint them every 15 to 20 years.
- Aluminum: Aluminum siding will require a new coat of paint every five years or so.
Continue to Part IV
Well, we hope you make the most of your home, so that you can enjoy its comforts day in and day out. Check back soon for Part IV or Your Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist. As always, you can trust the pros here at J & J Air Duct Cleaning for air duct cleaning, HVAC air filter replacements, and dryer duct cleaning services here in Las Vegas — get a free quote while you’re on our site!