A quick and easy guide to monthly home maintenance

Whether it's sunny and warm outside or the winter wind is howling, there are likely home maintenance tasks that need to be completed. Taking care of your house and ensuring that your major appliances and system are functioning properly is a full-time job. However, you can make home maintenance a breeze by using this monthly schedule to clean, inspect and update your property.


                       Use this guide to stay on top of home maintenance tasks.


You're probably bundled up inside during the first month of the year, and luckily, you don't even need to leave the warmth of your home to complete this month's essential task. Check your furnace filter if you haven't already done so this winter, and if you can't see through the built-up dust, replace the filter for less expensive heating bills.

The weather might be starting to warm up a little, but chances are that your windows are still shut tightly to keep the cold out. February is the perfect time to make sure your home is sealed against the chilly winter wind by checking the caulking around your doors and windows. Replace any caulk that's cracked and cover any windows that are overly drafty.

You'll get an extra hour of sunlight when the clocks spring forward during March, so use that extra hour to inspect your home inside and out for damage. There are lots of little ways your home might have suffered during the winter months – frozen pipes, cracked foundations and broken shingles are a few common problems.

You have May flowers to look forward to at the end of this month, but first you'll need to make sure that the seasonal showers don't harm your home. At the beginning of April, be sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts and angle the piping well away from your foundation.

When May rolls around, you've probably turned off the heat and dragged your patio furniture out of storage. Before you clean off the grill for your Memorial day BBQ, take a few minutes to replace your air conditioning filters. This small step will ensure that your cooling system is ready to go once the hottest days of summer roll around.

All those warm showers and steamy baths you took during the winter likely caused sediment to build up in your water heater. June is a good time to drain and flush this appliance to get all those extra minerals and debris out of the system. This maintenance step will keep your water heater in good shape for years to come.

As you're trading your family's long sleeves for tank tops and sneakers for sandals, take time to give your clothes washer and dryer a once-over. If you haven't recently cleaned out the dryer exhaust vent, July is a good time to give it a thorough cleaning. You should also check that your washer's hoses are properly connected.

By August, the dog days of summer have likely rolled in, so keep your family comfortable by weatherstripping your home's doors. It's also a good idea to run a dehumidifier in any damp areas of your home to keep condensation from turning into mold.

Your children's least favorite month has arrived, and that can only mean one thing: It's back-to-school time! During September, set aside an afternoon to clean your refrigerator inside and out. Discard any expired food and dust the condenser coils to optimize efficiency.

Your dusty attic or dark crawl spaces might seem like the setting for a scary movie, but you should check these areas off your maintenance list in October. Inspect these spaces to ensure that the insulation is in good condition and will keep you warm all winter long.

November marks the beginning of baking season, so now's the time to give your oven a little bit of lovin'. Clean this appliance inside and out, and don't forget to scrub your stovetop too. When you take the time to deep clean your oven in the beginning of the month, it will be ready to go for Thanksgiving.

Your task for December is to take a month to relax! If you've kept up with maintenance all year long, you deserve some time to kick back and celebrate the holidays with your family and friends.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.