16 Mar Top 9 Preventive Maintenance Tasks That Save Money
9 Ways Preventative Maintenance Can Save You Money
- Clean vents and filters to keep systems running more efficiently.
- Check and maintain water-based appliances to prevent water damage.
- Clean refrigerator coils to lower electric bills and extend appliance life.
- Clean out gutters to prevent damage from rot and prevent overflowing that can cause water damage to your walls and ceiling.
- Tune up your AC and Furnace each season to ensure maximum operating efficiency.
- Change the oil in your vehicle every 5,000 to 10,000 miles according the manufacturer’s recommendations to reduce repair cost and extend engine life.
- Rotate and balance your tires every 3,000 to 7,000 miles to extend tread life and increase fuel efficiency.
- Change your air filter every 10,000 to 12,000 miles to increase fuel efficiency and extend engine life.
- Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s schedule for major and minor tune-ups to ensure peak fuel efficiency.
Routine maintenance can improve efficiency, increase the life of your property, and lower both operating and ownership costs. Appliances, HVAC systems, vehicles, and home electronics typically come with recommended maintenance schedules. Following these preventive maintenance measures will save you money.
Many of these recommended maintenance procedures are seasonal or based on specific time intervals, so, be sure to adjust your household budget for seasonal changes to your spending and always account for the unexpected system failure or breakdown and be sure you have adequate funds set aside in your emergency fund to cover any unplanned expenses.
Home Maintenance That Can Save You Money
Experts recommend that homeowners save between 1 and 3% of the home’s value annually to cover repair and maintenance costs. Since repairs do not follow an exact schedule, setting aside money each month will ensure you have the funds available when something needs repair or replacement.
Clean vents and replace filters: Cleaning home vents will improve airflow and reduce the strain on your system. You should replace quality filters every 90 days and less expensive filters more frequently. The Department of Energy estimates that dirty filters result in 15% more energy consumption.
Check water-based appliances: Water is the leading cause of home damage. Leaks can originate from the roof, windows, water heater, or plumbing fixtures. Immediate costs can include an increased water bill. However, an unaddressed leak can lead to expensive repairs. The average cost to repair water damage is $2,788. A semi-annual inspection for water leaks can keep repair costs low.
Clean refrigerator coils: Refrigerators have the highest operating cost of any appliance. Manufacturers recommend cleaning refrigerator coils, located either in the back or underneath the fridge, twice a year. Dirty coils can consume 35% more energy and shorten the life of your most expensive appliance.
Clear gutters of debris: Gutters carry water away from the home’s foundation. Keeping gutters clear of debris can prevent wood rot, foundation or landscaping damage, leaky roofs, basement water issues, and even keeps pests out of your home. You can scoop out the debris, use covers to prevent the gutters from clogging or hire a professional every spring and fall.
System tune-up for HVAC, furnace, or air conditioning units: Heating and cooling systems represent the largest use of power in most homes and can account for 50% of energy usage. It is also the most expensive system to replace running up to $10,000 to upgrade. Servicing your heating and cooling system before the winter and summer months can extend the life of the system and ensure it runs efficiently.
Car Maintenance That Can Save You Money
Well maintained vehicles last longer, get better gas mileage, and have improved performance. Taking care of your vehicle can avoid breakdowns and give you a warning for impending repairs. AAA estimates that average fuel costs run 11.6 cents per mile, and maintenance costs are 8.94 cents per mile driven. If you drive $12,000 miles per year, you can expect to spend $1,392 annually for fuel, and $1,073 on car maintenance. Preventive maintenance should include the following:
Oil changes every 5,000 to 10,000 miles extend the life of the engine. Converting to synthetic oil can reduce the number of oil changes needed to every 15,000 miles.
Maintaining tires include both regular tire pressure checks and tire rotations. Properly inflated tires provide better handling and braking as well as improved fuel efficiency. AAA recommends monthly tire pressure checks with tire rotations occurring every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.
Replace air filter, tires, brakes, battery, and wiper blades are a few common items that need regular servicing and replacement.
Tune-ups. Fuel injection systems can last up to 100,000 miles before needing a tune-up. Rough idling and stalling are signs your vehicle needs a check.
Following the recommended preventive maintenance schedules for your home and vehicle will save money on energy consumption and replacement costs. Failure to follow preventative maintenance schedules of home and auto systems can lead to large, unexpected repair bills. Planning and budgeting for these items can have a big impact on your wallet down the road.
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