While you might be proud of yourself for managing to call Total Care Heating and Air, your AC repair service in Riverside, twice a year for furnace and air conditioning maintenance, there are plenty of other things in and around your home that need regular attention.

Some of these maintenance tips are quite obvious, but there are others that you may have not seen on your radar. It’s almost like being a homeowner is a job all in itself.

Check the Filters

This is always on the top of a home maintenance to-do list. It is always one of the most ignored or forgotten projects as well.

Look, it takes all of five minutes to check the furnace filter; two more minutes if you need to swap it out with a new one.

It is also one of the more inexpensive projects you will do in and around your home. Furnace filters range in price, but you can get one for under 10 bucks at your hardware store.

Changing the filter in your furnace on a regular basis benefits you in two ways: It keeps your furnace from overworking and using more energy, which in turn gives it a longer life.

This means that a furnace with a fresh filter will cost you less when you get your energy bill and it will serve you for a longer period of time. These are both great money savers.

Change the Batteries

At least twice a year, you should be testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a project that won’t benefit you monetarily, but it could save your life and your family’s lives.

Test each detector to see if it works. If they all work, your job is done and you can move on to something else. If you have one that doesn’t work, swap out the battery for a new one and try it again. If it works, great, go about your business. If it still doesn’t work, stop what you are doing and go out and buy a new one.

It is really as simple as that.

Check the Water Heater

Your hot water heater will provide you with thousands of gallons of hot water for you to enjoy your morning shower day after day after day over the course of a year. And as with any household appliance, it should be performing at optimal levels.

In order for it to do so, it will need to be inspected annually. Any number of problems can plague your water heater. There might be a minor leak or perhaps a seal is starting to fail. All minor now, but these small problems can grow into big headaches if they are not addressed right away.

Some repairs you might be able to do on your own, some will need the help of a professional.

Faucets and Toilets

While you use them every day, it’s not like you are taking a really close look at them. We are talking, of course, about your toilets and your faucets. These components get use an awful lot and there will be problems associated with them. But if you are routinely inspecting them, you can decrease the chances of having a minor disaster on your hands.

Water will find any way it can to escape, so check for leaks around your toilet and faucets. If you are pretty handy with with tools, most leaks can be fixed with a new seal or the tightening of a bolt.

Condenser Coils

We are going to go out on a limb here and guess that you aren’t aware that your refrigerator is responsible for 15 percent of your total household energy output. Were you surprised that it is so high?

One way in which you can keep your refrigerator energy costs down is by cleaning the condenser coils once or twice a year.

The condenser coils on your refrigerator are notorious for collecting dust, which inhibits your refrigerator’s operation. In turn, your refrigerator must work harder to keep your leftover fettuccine alfredo and soy milk cold.

Pulling your refrigerator away from the wall and cleaning off the condenser coils will make it work noticeably better. It is also expensive to replace your refrigerator and you will want to do what you can to ensure it works for a long time.

Garage Door and Opener

It is also important to inspect and ensure that your garage door and garage door opener are properly functioning and have no issues. It is also a matter of safety.

The chain on your garage door should be lubricated on a regular basis and checked to ensure it isn’t loose. You should also lubricate any exposed metal joints.

You should then check to see that the door runs smoothly on its tracks.

All garage doors installed after 1993 require a safety system with automatic reverse. Basically, the garage door will sense if something is in its path when it is coming down and will reverse and back up, preventing a potentially deadly situation.

To make sure this works, place a 2×4 in the path of the closing garage door and close it. The garage door should reverse the second it touches the wood. If all works well, you have completed the project.

Exhaust Hood

If you owned an eating establishment, you would discover that workers at commercial kitchens are required to clean the exhaust hoods on a regular basis.

And while there are no laws requiring you to clean the exhaust hood in your kitchen, you should do so anyway. It’s going to be a dirty job, but the results will be a clean hood that is less likely to catch on fire.

A dirty kitchen exhaust hood is certainly an eyesore, but worse, it’s a fire hazard as well. Take the time to clean it with an exceptional degreaser and replace the filters as needed.

And there you have it, a handy list of things you should be doping around your house. Don’t forget to call Total Care Heating and Air to have your Air Conditioning unit checked before it gets hot out.