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The first-time homeowner’s maintenance checklist

Congratulations, you're a homeowner! This is such an exciting time of your life, with lots of changes and many adventures to come. We want to help you protect your investment, but with the right home insurance coverage and some simple proactive measures, you can keep your home in great shape.

Check out this home maintenance checklist and set a regular maintenance schedule to take the guesswork out of when you should complete each task:

  1. Replace your furnace filter every month in the winter. If you have central heat and air, your furnace sucks in dust, pet fur, and debris during the winter months while your heat is on. Keep the air you breathe clean and help your furnace run efficiently by changing your furnace filter every month during the winter.

  2. Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a year. Protect your home and loved ones against fire and the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning by regularly testing your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors to make sure they're in working order. To make it easy to remember when to change the batteries in all your detectors, pick a holiday to replace them, like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.

  3. Clean your dryer vents once a year. Dryer vents collect lint and dust that you can't see. Not only does this prevent your dryer from working efficiently, but it's also a fire hazard. Hire a professional once a year to inspect your dryer vents and clear them of lint build-up. A professional can also check the vents outside your house for cracking or signs of pests, like birds or mice, entering your vents to make a nest.

  4. Check the salt levels in your water softener once a month. If you have a water softener tank, inspect your tank's salt levels once a month to make sure your softener is working well and helping to reduce hard water build-up. If the tank is less than half full, it's time to add more salt.

  5. Clean out your dishwasher once a month. Over time, food and hard water can clog the drains in your dishwasher, which can reduce its ability to drain and may leave food and grease on your dishes. Take some time each month to check your dishwasher's drains and clean out the traps to reduce the risk of it breaking down or running inefficiently.

  6. Inspect your roof every fall and spring. Always check your roof for missing shingles, sagging areas, cracks in the caulking, and blockages in the gutters before the harsh winter months start and again once the snow melts in the spring. This can help you find and repair leaks and avoid costly water damage to your home.

  7. Vacuum all heating registers and grilles. Dust collects over time on the air vents, registers, and grilles in your home. Vacuum these areas each week while cleaning your floors to keep vents clear of debris, boost indoor air quality, and promote efficient air circulation.

If you're a current OTIP policyholder, contact us at 1-833-494-0089 to review your existing home insurance policy. If you’re not insured with OTIP and are shopping for home insurance, call us at 1-833-615-9326 to get a quote and receive a $20 gift card of your choice!

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