Mar 22, 2022

Home Maintenance Tips To Keep Your House Clean and Cool

In the Philippines, there is technically no “summer” season, as the climate is only either rainy or dry. Filipinos, however, still commonly refer to the hot dry season that usually begins in March and ends in May or June as summer.

Dealing with the scorching heat and intense humidity that this season brings also means that it’s a good opportunity to do some major cleaning and home maintenance activities.  

home maintenance

What is Home Maintenance? 

When it comes to buying a house, you are most probably aware of some crucial details: the mortgage rate, down payment, closing costs, property taxes, and other fees. Equally important but usually overlooked is what’s involved after the purchase has been made. This is the money you must allot for home maintenance, cleaning, and repairs. 

A decent rule of thumb is to set aside 1% to 3% of the purchase price of your property each year for home maintenance. If you’re thinking of renovating your home or if the house is old, it’s recommended to be cautious and make it 3% each year. 

That’s around ₱156,673 for a ₱5,222,450 property. 

That amount is more than enough to cover routine home maintenance and unforeseen events, such as a burst pipe or a damaged window, but larger issues could result in a significantly higher bill. 

While having a savings account to cover unexpected expenses is a good idea, you may be able to prevent them entirely by following a home maintenance checklist. Take note of these important tasks to accomplish so you can relax knowing your house is ready for summer: 

  • Trim grass and weeds around outdoor air conditioning systems. Plants growing in the vicinity of the units can reduce their performance and even cause costly damage. 
  • Examine your decks or patios. Summer is a good time to apply a coat of stain or sealant on wood that is beginning to show its age. To guarantee safety throughout the season, tap down any protruding nails and sand any rough spots. 
  • Check the sidings. Pressure cleaning vinyl or fiber cement siding is best done while the weather is warm. As you clean each piece of siding, keep an eye out for cracks, soft patches, and other signs of wear and tear. 
  • Look for any cracks that need to be repaired. After a heavy rain, check the crawlspace to make sure there isn’t any water inside. 
  • Check your garden irrigation system. Water bills might increase if you have an underground lawn irrigation system with leaks in the pipes or connectors. 

Tips for Home Maintenance

Our lives are made easier by technology, and air conditioners certainly make the hot months more comfortable. For this reason, it’s critical that all summer house maintenance chores include air conditioners. 

Get in touch with a professional technician and get your air conditioner inspected. If they notice something wrong, don’t be afraid to pay for the repairs. Additionally, make sure your air conditioning unit’s filters are clean to help the appliance handle air more efficiently and avoid placing unnecessary strain on it. 

The best time to inspect your home for repairs and renovations is during the hot and dry season. When the rainy season comes, you’ll want your property to be safe and secure, so planning beforehand is essential. Here are the things to consider to ensure that your home is in top condition and ready for anything that Nature might throw at it. 

Kitchen Appliances 

Summertime is well known for bringing record-breaking temperatures. Combine that with the heat generated when you’re cooking in the kitchen, and things can quickly deteriorate. As a result, each summer home maintenance checklist should include an inspection of the kitchen. 

It’s a good idea to make sure the range hood (if you have one) over your stove is working properly because it can help in lowering the temperature in your kitchen. Other items to consider are the numerous kitchen appliances you may be using. Since electricity powers most of them, don’t forget to check the sockets and wiring of these gadgets to guarantee that they don’t get a short circuit and start a fire. 

Food Storage 

Take some time to inspect your refrigerator: Is there anything unusual about the sounds coming from it; are its settings working properly; are there any leaks; and so on. 

To avoid putting too much strain on the equipment, it’s also a good idea to arrange or declutter everything inside your refrigerator on a regular basis. 

Dusting the Fans 

Electric fans, whether mounted on the wall, hanging from the ceiling, or standing in every room, are useful devices for keeping your home well ventilated. Because air-conditioning systems drive up your electricity bill if you leave them on all the time, fans are a more cost-effective way to keep you cool. 

Check if your fans are still working and free of damage, such as a loose bolt or a broken blade, as part of your summer home maintenance. Clean the blade and blade guards regularly to remove dust and allow the fan to push air more efficiently.

Showerheads and Faucets 

Water is the most effective approach to beat the heat. Some people go to the beach while others take long, cold baths. Therefore, it’s a good idea to include showerhead and bathroom faucet inspections in your home maintenance. 

When checking, look for mineral deposits in the shower heads and bathroom faucets, since these can cause a variety of issues with your water drainage system. If you see leaks coming from your water faucet, tighten the packing nut at the handle, since it may just be loose. It’s also possible that you have damaged O-rings that need to be replaced. 

Alarms and Detectors 

Smoke detectors are another important equipment to pay attention to. As the season progresses toward the hotter side of the thermometer, the likelihood of various incidents, particularly home fires, will increase. 

This is why as part of your summer home maintenance you should check your smoke alarms. Because these devices are normally out of reach, it’s also a good idea to clean the dirt that has accumulated in and around them. 

Roof Inspection 

This is a procedure that is best done early in the morning, when the roof is still cool and the sun isn’t as bright. Check for leaks, cracks, holes, or loose/damaged shingles, depending on the roofing material you have. As needed, seal or replace areas. 

Make sure the drain, gutter, and downspout are clear of any dried leaves or other debris that could clog it. Give your roof a fresh coat of paint if necessary. 

Check Ceiling Leaks 

If you still haven’t repaired your leaky ceiling from the previous rainy season, now is the time to do so, especially if it’s made of wood. Mold will grow on wood that has had water seep into it, and it won’t be as strong as it was when it was new, so it’s preferable to replace the afflicted panels. However, be sure you’ve already addressed the source of the leak before proceeding. 

Grout and Tile Stains 

There are numerous powerful cleaners that can remove tile stains, but cleaning grout is somewhat more difficult. After you’ve removed all of the dirt and grime from your tiles (particularly the flooring), we suggest going back to basics and spraying the grout with hot water and scrubbing it with a stiff bristle brush. 

Water is still the mildest and most effective cleaning solution available, but if you’re not pleased, check for a pH-neutral cleanser at your local home improvement store. 

Prune Trees 

It’s best to call an accredited professional to prune trees with branches extending out to electricity posts or hitting your roof, as these can be dangerous during the rainy season. 

Check for Signs of Pests 

A bulging wall or column can indicate an infestation. Small holes in wooden beams, a strong mold odor, and moth visits should all be enough to convince you to call a home maintenance expert before it’s too late. 

Repaint Walls 

Summer is the best time to repaint walls because the heat allows paint to dry quickly and evenly. Clean your walls, tape the edges, apply “masilya” or putty to uneven spots, and then roll on the primer before repainting. These tips for repainting can help you operate more efficiently and extend the lifespan of your paint. 

Air Conditioner and Electric Fan Maintenance 

Here are ways you can maximize your air conditioners and electric fans at home. 

1. Replace the air filters in your entire home. 

Your home’s air-conditioning system draws air from the room, which is then cooled by coils before being blown back into your home through vents. The air filter functions as the system’s lungs, preventing dust, pollen, and other airborne particles from entering and being blown back into other rooms. 

It’s critical that homeowners update the filter on a regular basis because it plays such a crucial part in keeping your property and its occupants healthy. 

2. Make sure all of the air vents are clean and clog-free. 

In order to maintain adequate air flow throughout your home, ensure all air vents and returns (ducts that pull air into the AC system) are free of obstructions. 

See if your vents are blocked by furniture, draperies, or carpets. Check the air flow through each vent in the house while the AC is on. If you find any vents that aren’t blowing enough air, it’s possible that they’re blocked. 

3. Use a hygrometer to keep track of humidity levels in your home. 

We’ve all felt the effects of high humidity on our skin and hair, but did you realize that humidity and moisture levels have an impact on your home’s health as well? Mold growth, hardwood floor degradation, and the attraction of creepy crawlers like roaches, spiders, and silverfish can all be caused by too much moisture and humidity. 

You can use a hygrometer, which detects moisture in the air, to precisely monitor the humidity level in your home. It’s measured in relative humidity, which is the proportion of water vapor in the air to the amount required for saturation (100% humidity). 

4. Instead of using a humidifier, use a dehumidifier. 

A built-in and flow-through humidifier is common in newer heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These systems restore humidity to your indoor air and are commonly used in the cooler months to eliminate static electricity and keep dry air from irritating your sinuses or creating chapped or cracked lips. 

In the summer, though, leaving it on makes your central air conditioner work harder, causing greater wear and tear on the system and higher energy bills. 

5.Make sure your air conditioner is in good condition. 

A malfunctioning or inefficient air conditioning system can be costly, so have it evaluated for any necessary repairs before the summer heat waves arrive. 

In the long run, proper and persistent home maintenance pays off. Cleaning the coils in the AC unit, inspecting the fins for damage, and ensuring the unit is level are all part of this process. 

Remove the fan cover and clean the interior of the unit if it is clogged with debris. Before attempting this, make sure to turn off the thermostat and the AC breaker. 

6. To save money on energy expenses, use a programmable thermostat. 

Set your thermostat to a steady temperature and increase it at night when everyone is sleeping or during the day when no one is home for a more comfortable house and cheaper energy expenses. A programmable or smart thermostat makes this even easier because homeowners may control the temperature at different times of the day or when on vacation. 

Installing a programmable thermostat is the most effective approach to save money on energy expenses. You may program the system to turn on and off on schedule, and many digital thermostats can even be managed remotely from your smartphone. 

7. Ceiling fans can help you save money on cooling costs. 

If it’s not too hot outside, turn on your ceiling fans instead of your air conditioner to save money on cooling expenditures. On such scorching hot days, though, you can still save money by using ceiling fans in conjunction with an energy-efficient air conditioner. 

Allow the cold air to flow by turning on your ceiling fans. The blades should be turned counterclockwise so that you can feel the air blowing down. 

Essential Tools To Have at Home 

If you’re a homeowner, renter, or DIY enthusiast, you probably own a toolbox. If you don’t have one, chances are you have been frustrated because you can’t do even a simple repair at home because you don’t have the tools for it. But what do you really need? 

Fret no more because we’ve got you covered. These are the must-have tools for dealing with both minor and major situations in home maintenance. Most of the items are multi-purpose, allowing you to build the most comprehensive tool set on a budget. 

Cordless Drill 

You won’t have to waste time dealing with tangled wires. Going cordless means that you’ll also be able to work at unusual angles and even take the drill outside with you. If you’re not sure which drill to buy, ask your contractor, handyman, or hardware store for help. Explain if you need a drill for DIY projects or if you want to use it for larger home improvement projects. 

Claw Hammer 

There are no excuses for not having this at home. It can be used to drive and remove nails, as well as to put together DIY furniture. You should experiment first with the hammer to see if you can balance the weight and grip in your hands. Find something comfortable for you, and instead of a wooden handle, get one with a synthetic handle that will last longer. 

Measuring Tape 

You’ll need it more than you think. For measuring drapes, beddings, furniture heights, portraits, and other such items, you can get retractable measuring tapes that are simple to use. 

Adjustable Wrench 

This type of wrench is the most common of all wrenches, and it can handle most of your typical home repairs and plumbing issues. Wrenches with longer handles are better for loosening a tight nut when you need more leverage, while shorter ones are best for maneuvering around narrow places. 

Multi-bit Screwdriver 

Having a screwdriver in multiple sizes is generally essential. Rather than purchasing separate screwdrivers, consider purchasing a multi-bit screwdriver set. The majority of these multi-bit sets function with a magnetic bit holder that allows you to swap out the heads (“bits”) easily. 

You can purchase a set with extension rods, ratcheting driver handles, and a range of screwdriver and precision heads in a number of sizes, depending on your budget. 

Phillips-Head Screwdriver 

The Phillips screwdriver, sometimes known as a crosshead screwdriver, was invented by Henry F. Phillips in the 1930s and is known for its star-shaped head. Most flathead screws have been replaced with Phillips-type screws, so stock up on them in a variety of sizes for your toolbox. 

Flathead Screwdriver 

The flathead screwdriver, as its name implies, can fit into a single slot of a flathead screw or be improvised for a Phillips screw. With its narrow blade, it can be used to pry items out or scrape loose parts. Always remember to turn off the main power to your house if you plan to use a screwdriver for any electrical repairs or fixtures. 

Utility Knife 

It can be used for precision cutting or ordinary household tasks such as cutting through cardboard, rubber, plastic, and carpets. A knife with a comfortable grip, locking function, and can be opened and closed with one hand (MacGyver style!) is the best. 

Flashlight 

Sometimes, you would lose electricity in the house, and you must first locate your phone in order to contact an electrician! A flashlight would be handy in a situation like this. When you need to, you can also use it to peek through dark and tight locations behind appliances. 

Long-lasting batteries should be used in your flashlight, and extras should be kept about the house in case of a power loss. Better still, choose an LED flashlight that is designed to last longer by consuming less energy, so you won’t have to worry about your flashlight running out of juice after only a few uses. 

Duct Tape 

Duct tapes can be used to temporarily repair or secure objects such as a garden hose, a crack in a plastic bucket, or a stack of cardboard boxes. A good duct tape has a strong adhesive, is easy to tear, and wraps over irregularly shaped surfaces nicely. 

Cleaning Sponge 

There are many different types of sponges available. It’s always handy to have a sponge on hand, especially one with an abrasive side for cleaning grungy, dirty surfaces. Sponge cloths that span the gap between sponge and towel, spaghetti sponges (no soap required!), a Scrub Daddy that changes texture depending on the temperature, and silicone sponges that last virtually forever are all options. 

Microfiber Cloths 

Getting a few of them to keep on hand can help you clean more effectively, just like white towels. Microfiber can clean surfaces on its own or with just a little water, and it shouldn’t scratch or create stains (perfect to use for windows). 

Vacuum Cleaner 

You’ll need one of these powerful household machines to keep floors clean and allergies at bay. It’s also more convenient to use compared to a traditional broom, they can, however, complement each other. 

Squeegee 

These handy gadgets are essential for keeping showers free of mold and mildew. They’re also good for cleaning windows if that’s something you do on a regular basis. Make sure you protect the blade of your squeegee when using and storing it to get the most life out of it. If your squeegee is streaking or simply not operating as well as it used to, it’s time to change the blade. 

Multi-Purpose Scrub Brush 

An all-purpose scrub brush can be used on tiles, tubs, fixtures, and difficult stains when a sponge or cloth won’t cut it. You can either utilize an old dish brush or might as well get a heavy-duty cleaning scrubber. 

Home Maintenance Tips for Renters 

By being a responsible renter, you can help both yourself and your landlord. Even if you’re not the one living on the property, taking care of the space you’re renting can save you money and help the landlord keep their home in good shape. Here are handy tips to take note of: 

Don’t flush wet wipes in the toilet. 

This is a regular blunder encountered among tenants. Even wipes that state they can be flushed might cause a lot of damage when it comes to plumbing. Baby wipes generally do not degrade, and they clog drains instead of disintegrating like toilet paper. Even if it makes it all the way through your pipes, it might become a bigger issue in the long run. It also wreaks havoc on water treatment facilities. 

Be aware that you are also responsible for when you lock yourself out. 

We’ve all made the mistake of locking ourselves out by accident. As aggravating as it may be, the tenant is usually responsible for the expense of the locksmith. If something like this happens to you, you should be prepared. 

Inquire about Wi-Fi installation. 

Tenants frequently seek help setting up their internet. Landlords, on the other hand, are not responsible for setting up or assisting with internet installation. This is something that will need to be discussed with the provider directly. 

Replace air filters regularly. 

The importance of changing the HVAC filter on a regular basis is critical to the heating and air system’s condition. A new filter should be installed every six months on average. If your home is larger or you have pets, you may want to consider changing it more frequently. 

If your smoke detector starts to sound, it’s probably time to replace the battery. This is also the obligation of the tenant. If your smoke detector is in a difficult-to-reach location (such as a loft with high vaulted ceilings), speak with your landlord about the best course of action. 

Consider landscape maintenance. 

Check your lease for details on your landscaping obligations. Some property owners pay a gardener to come weekly or monthly to take care of the lawn so the renters don’t have to. Some will require you to maintain the landscape yourself, such as ensuring that the sprinklers are turned on a regular basis or watering the plants. 

Clean your space regularly. 

Cleaning on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your home. This will help the spaces and appliances last longer. Cleaning the oven, microwave, and refrigerator are the usual sources of a large cleaning charge after you move out. 

Make sure your bathroom is appropriately ventilated. Mold and mildew thrive in humid environments, causing damage to your shower and bathtub. To appropriately treat the condition, it’s also necessary to understand the difference between mold and mildew. You can review these home cures if you find any tiny microbial growth. If you suspect you have a mold problem, notify your landlord as soon as possible. 

Know the rules and regulations. 

For some tenants, living in a neighborhood with a homeowners association (HOA) might be challenging. HOAs usually have a set of rules and regulations that must be followed. This can range from specific move-in and move-out dates to what you’re allowed to have on your balcony. There are severe penalties if you break one of these laws, even unintentionally. 

It’s advisable to contact the HOA directly if you have any questions or complaints about any of the HOA rules. Contacting your landlord or property management would simply delay the process because your landlord is unlikely to be as knowledgeable about the rules as the HOA. 

Notify the landlord if issues arise. 

It’s advisable to notify your landlord as soon as possible if there are severe maintenance difficulties at the property. If left untreated, minor problems can quickly escalate into major problems. Some tenants prefer not to disturb their landlord with home maintenance issues, but the landlord will usually appreciate your concern for their property. 

Remember to take note of all important data. 

Any communication with your landlord should be done in writing. This benefits both parties, particularly when it comes to lease renewals, roommate changes, and home maintenance difficulties. This can also assist you in the event of a landlord-tenant disagreement, particularly if the matter goes to court. 

Summer Tips To Keep Your Home Cool (Even Without Air Conditioner) 

When the weather gets unbearably hot, turning on the air conditioner for a long period of time also means emptying your wallet. Follow these useful summer tips to save money on air conditioning while also becoming more environmentally conscious. 

Consider using window films. 

Window insulation films have numerous advantages, including lowering energy expenses and providing privacy while still allowing you to enjoy the view and light of the great outdoors. Compared with unprotected windows, insulated windows can deliver up to 98% infrared heat reduction and also reduce temperature imbalances in your home. 

Try the weather-stripping method. 

Weather stripping is similar to insulation and useful in the summer as it prevents cool air from escaping through the doors and windows. Weather stripping is generally inexpensive and easy to install, and it takes less than half an hour to weather strip the space surrounding a door. 

Do the washing and baking at night. 

Large appliances generate a great deal of heat. It’s advisable that ovens, ranges, dishwashers, and clothes washers and dryers should be used in the evening when temperatures are cooler and their output will be offset. 

Consider purchasing a dehumidifier. 

People and pets are far more uncomfortable in moist heat than in dry heat. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from your home’s hot summer air, making it considerably more comfortable, even at higher temperatures. 

Maintain an indoor humidity level of less than 60%. Use a unit that switches off when humidity falls below your desired level to save money on electricity. Water your plants with the water collected by the humidifier. 

Maximize your fan with ice. 

A cool breeze can be created using a bowl of ice and a fan. Simply put ice or an ice pack in a mixing bowl and place it in front of a fan. When you turn on the fan, the air will take on the appearance of a cool, misty breeze. 

Install cooling drapes. 

When opening all the windows isn’t enough, sprinkle a sheet of thin fabric with cold water and place it over the window’s opening. The breeze will hit the sheet and pass through the cool, damp cloth, which will assist to cool down your home. 

Invest in a relaxing pillow. 

You’ve replaced your flannel sheets with a lightweight set, but there’s still another method to keep cool at night. Consider investing in a cooling, gel-filled cushion that will distribute your body heat. 

Boost your ducts’ performance. 

Installing a duct booster fan can draw extra cold air into a hot room with its simple plug-in-and-power-on design. Simply select the style that best suits your needs, install it in the register vent, and then plug it in to cool your space quickly and easily. 

Avoid using incandescent lights. 

Small changes like switching to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can have a big impact while also lowering your energy bill if you’re trying to cool down a room without air conditioning. Incandescent bulbs waste an estimated 90% of their energy in the heat they emit, so if you’re trying to cool down a room without air conditioning, small shifts like switching to CFLs can have a big impact while also lowering your energy bill. 

Place your fan in the appropriate place. 

Because fans just circulate air rather than actually cool it, it’s ideal to place them in front of windows or corridors to produce a cross breeze that draws cooler air in from the outside (or a cooler section of the home) and distributes it to the hotter parts. 

Final Thoughts 

Nothing inspires cleanliness more than an unexpected guest.  

Radhika Mundra

With a busy schedule and a fast-paced setting, you may think that there isn’t ample time to keep your home squeaky clean and keep everything in good condition. Let this article be your ultimate guide in simplifying your home cleaning and maintenance process. 

For more valuable resources and useful life hacks that will help you achieve your ideal home, stay updated and in the know by visiting enta.ph/resources

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