6 ways you may be neglecting your house

In this economy, you may be tempted to delay or even skip minor home-maintenance repairs, cleaning jobs and inspections in your home. But don’t be penny-wise and dollar-foolish. That $200 or $300 you save today could result in expenditures of $3,000 or even tens of thousands next month or next year if hidden problems in your home go unnoticed and become worse.

Here are the 6 top home maintenance neglects that could leave your pocket feeling a little lighter!

1. Annual HVAC inspection

Cost: $200 to $300, depending on where you live.

How often: At least annually

When: Spring or fall. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning companies aren’t as busy then, and you won’t be in dire need of heat or air conditioning.

2. Chimney inspection

Cost: $65 for an inspection, $150 for inspection and cleaning, including removal of creosote build up, which may lead to a chimney fire.

How often: Annually.

When: Before your first fire in the winter.

3. Termite inspection

Cost: $75 to $200 for an inspection, $200 to $300 for a termite-protection contract for qualifying homes with no current evidence of termites to cover treatment and repairs for later infestations.

How often: Annually.

4. Power-washing and sealing a wood deck

Cost: $100 to $300 for a 200-square-foot deck, more for a larger deck.

How often: Every one to three years, depending on the amount of traffic, moss and mold.

When: Any time in sunny weather.

5. Dryer-vent cleaning

Cost: $120 to $200.

How often: Annually.

When: A sunny day.

6. Carpet cleaning

Cost: About 50 cents per square foot for hot-water extraction cleaning or $500 for 1,000 square feet of cleaned carpet.

How often: Every year, more often for high-traffic areas and homes with small children, pets or smokers. Manufacturers’ warranties may require cleaning every 18 to 24 months. You can save money by focusing on regular cleanings for high-traffic areas and waiting as long as two years for the entire carpet.

When: Any time.

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today!”

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Service Man Working on Furnace

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