4 Home Items that Need to Be Inspected Every Year

Owning a home comes with the great responsibility of ensuring that it is appropriately maintained and cared for. Neglecting the required upkeep could ultimately result in unsafe living conditions, large unexpected expenses, or at a minimum unwanted headaches. By annually inspecting the following four home items, homeowners can significantly reduce the risk of encountering issues in the future.

Fireplace and Chimney
As smoke rises from the fireplace and exits the home, the substance creosote builds up on the inner walls of the chimney. This substance is highly combustible and, if it builds up in sufficient amounts, can cause a chimney fire. A chimney fire can either cause significant structural damage to the chimney itself or be the catalyst for the loss of an entire home. If an inspection uncovers a large buildup of creosote and that a cleaning is warranted, a certified chimney sweep professional should be contacted.

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector
At a minimum, every home should have a smoke and carbon monoxide detector on each of its levels. While the actual testing of the detectors should occur on much more frequent periodicity, the detector batteries should be replaced on an annual basis. Note that the batteries should be replaced even for detectors that are hardwired directly into the electrical system of the house. Batteries in these types of detectors will ensure that it functions even in the event of a power outage.

Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment
Once a year a certified professional should be contacted to test and inspect a home’s HVAC system. As replacing equipment associated with HVAC systems is typically expensive and the majority of work requires the time of a certified HVAC professional, it is important to have the appropriate preventive maintenance performed. Not to mention losing a home HVAC system during the winter or summer months can create very uncomfortable living conditions.

Fire Extinguishers
It is possible that the only thing between a small mishap and a catastrophic home event is the use of a working fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher should be kept in close proximity to any area within the home that has an increased potential for a fire to occur, specifically, areas such as the kitchen or garage. Fire extinguishers should be checked from a number of perspectives such as extinguishing type, pressure, evidence of leaks or damage, and ease of access.

Proper home care will reduce the likelihood of incurring large unexpected expenses and more importantly maintain the safety of the living space. It is recommended that every homeowner maintain a list of annual inspections as a reminder to continually be mindful of the these items.