According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost of maintaining a home is $558 per year. Across the board, experts advise homeowners set aside 1 to 2 percent of the cost of their home for home repairs. Maintenance and repairs can’t always be avoided but some steps can be taken to decrease the frequency and cost, especially regarding heating and air.
“It’s hard to map out exactly when home repairs will take place but they should be planned and anticipated,” said Jon Hill, general manager of Hill & Company. “Many times, homeowners wait too long to make repairs and don’t plan ahead. Waiting too long to service equipment and make necessary repairs can lead to more than $15,000 in maintenance and replacement.”
Hill & Company is offering a few tips for Oklahomans to help keep your home maintained at one, five, 10 and 15 years of owning a home.
Year one – It is ideal to think that homeowners won’t have any maintenance or replacement needs the first year in their home. But, it’s important to be aware of potential issues that may arise so you can anticipate when check-ups should happen. Hill & Company advises that you should have a service professional check your air-conditioning unit and furnace at least once a year. In case there is an issue, it can be addressed early rather than having to replace the entire unit if it breaks down.
New homeowners should also check to make sure there are no cracks around their doors or windows. Although they are small, cracks and gaps can be costly. In the winter, warm air seeps out causing you to run your heater more than necessary. In the summer, cool air is released causing you to overrun your air-condition unit. Sealants are easy to find and inexpensive, but they can potentially save hundreds of dollars each season.
Finally, homeowners should also check for termites. This can be a costly issue and one that is not always easily resolved. Some signs that you have a termite infestation are mud tubes (tunnels on foundation and crawl-space walls), streams of winged termites indoors, damp or blistered wood, and bulging floors, ceilings or walls. The earlier you detect and eliminate termites, the better.
Year five – It’s important to remember that simple maintenance checks should happen every year. Having a service professional take a quick look at furnaces and air-condition units can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars in the long run. Some companies offer pre-scheduled maintenance plans. For example, Hill & Company’s Smart Service schedules maintenance appointments in advance for convenience.
Check the insulation in the attic every three to five years. The attic can be easily forgotten but ensuring there is a sufficient amount of insulation and it is properly placed can save a lot of dollars and energy. Quickly check how much insulation is in the attic; if the insulation is below the joists, add more. Insulation helps keep temperatures leveled and consistent, saving energy and money.
Year 10 – Within the 10th year of owning a home, you should start looking at the age of furnaces and air-condition units. Call a service professional to do an inspection and determine whether or not purchasing a new system is necessary. If you have been maintaining your system properly, a replacement may not be necessary. But, an inspection is important to detect internal damage and possible carbon monoxide leaks.
Additionally, begin to think about replacing your water heater if you have a tank. According to HouseLogic.com, the lifespan of a water heater is 10 to 13 years and newer models are up to 20 percent more efficient, saving up to $700 over the life of the unit. When your tank starts leaking, it’s time for a replacement.
Year 15 – If you have been maintaining your furnace throughout the years, a replacement might not be necessary. According to Hill & Company, the average lifespan of a furnace is 15 years. Call a service professional to check the furnace internally and diagnose its condition. If you need a replacement, newer furnaces save more money and energy in the long run.
About Hill & Company
Established in 1967, Hill & Company is Oklahoma’s premier heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company. Located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, they are a family owned and operated company dedicated to customer service and the highest standards. Hill & Company services all brands of plumbing, heating and air conditioning equipment and proudly stand behind Trane equipment, a world leader in air conditioning systems. Hill & Company has earned the designation of Trane Comfort Specialist.