7 Annual Home Maintenance Checklists for Every Homeowner

Your home is one of your biggest investments, and it’s important to keep it in top shape. That’s why here are some of the most important home maintenance tasks in an easy-to-follow guide. It covers everything from windows to garages to sheds, so you can stay on top of all your home’s maintenance needs.

1. Windows

Cleaning your windows inside and out is an important chore that you can perform year-round. Not only will it remove the dirt and grime that accumulates on them, but it’s also a good opportunity to inspect the window frames, sills, locks, and seals to make sure they’re in good condition. While cleaning your windows inside and out, also check for drafts around each one. If you spot any drafty areas (which are likely caused by faulty seals), take some time now to make repairs before winter rolls around again.

If your windows have screens on them, inspect these as well for signs of damage or wear and tear. Screens can deteriorate over time if not properly maintained so be sure to check yours regularly for holes or tears that need patching up with new screen material before they become too large for repair.

2. Fireplace and Chimney

The fireplace is one of the most important features in a home, providing warmth and ambiance during the winter months. As you prepare for cold weather, check your fireplace and chimney for any damage or wear from years of use.

Check for cracks in the firebox and hearth. If you have cracked bricks around your fireplace, call a professional to repair them before using them again this season. It’s also important to inspect the mortar between each brick as well as its condition if it looks loose or crumbling in some places, there could be moisture damage behind those bricks that needs attention before they start falling out.

3. Furnace

Check the filter. The furnace filter should be replaced every month, or at least once a year. Adjust your thermostat. It’s crucial that you use your thermostat correctly, especially if you have a programmable one. Many homeowners forget to turn their programs off during vacations or when they leave home for an extended period of time. If this is the case with your household, make sure that someone in the house knows how to change the settings on this device.

Test your pilot light and gas valves for leaks with soapy water (or any liquid). Leaking gas can lead to dangerous conditions including carbon monoxide poisoning and explosion risks; therefore always be sure that everything is working properly before leaving home for any extended period of time.

4. Air Conditioner

  • Check the thermostat. The thermostat should be set at 78 degrees. Set it to a lower temperature overnight for energy savings and safety, if you need to.
  • Change air filter(s). If your air conditioner was installed prior to 1993, it may have one or more permanent filters. These should be replaced at least every three months with an electrostatic filter. If you have a portable AC unit, replace the filter monthly.
  • Check the drain line and make sure it’s level. An improperly installed drain line can lead to mold growth in your home due to standing water around the condenser coils inside the unit and expensive problems that can cause damage in addition to being unsightly. To prevent this issue, check that there are no dips or curves in your unit’s drain line; if necessary, correct by adding elbows or installing risers on an elbow until water flows freely from both ends of the pipe.

5. Water Heater

You should also make sure that your water heater is working properly. If you notice that the pilot light on your hot water heater is not working, it may be time to call a professional for repairs. You can also check the gas pressure, temperature setting, and water flows from inside your home before calling a plumber.

To clean out sediment in your water heater tank:

  • Unplug the unit from the power source if possible; otherwise, turn off the electricity at the breaker box.
  • Open the drain valve at bottom of the tank with a wrench or pliers to release any remaining water (this will help prevent injury).
  • Open the faucet used for filling the tank until no more air bubbles come out of the hose when the valve is closed, you may have to repeat this process several times depending on how much sediment was built up in there.

6. Roof

Check for leaks. Look for signs of water damage, such as discolored wood or peeling paint. If you see any, use a flashlight to look for wet spots on the underside of your roof decking and joists.

Inspect shingles and flashing. Check to make sure that all of your shingles are still in place, including around chimneys and vents, and that there aren’t any loose nails or damaged pieces (such as missing corners) that could cause leaks. Also, inspect flashing on chimneys and other areas where it’s installed; look especially closely at places where two materials meet, this is where problems often occur.

In general, ensure everything is firmly attached. Be sure all nails have been driven into place with enough force so they don’t come loose over time; if they do become loose due to weather exposure (e.g., heavy winds), replace them with new ones before they can cause further damage by coming off completely.

7. Garbage Disposal and Fridge Drip Pan

Cleaning the drip pan

  • Remove the dishwasher filter.
  • Clean out all debris from inside the unit with a brush or vacuum cleaner.
  • Wipe down the interior with warm water and mild soap, and rinse well.

Cleaning the waste disposal:

  • Put on rubber gloves and turn off the power to the garbage disposal (if applicable).
  • Drain the water out of the sink drain by opening a nearby faucet until water drains into a bucket or pan left in front of it. If you don’t have enough room for this step, use pliers to turn off your house’s main shutoff valve first before doing so (or call someone else who can).


It’s time to stop procrastinating and get started on the home maintenance that your house needs. A little bit of effort can go a long way toward ensuring that your house stays safe and sound for years to come.