Mike Holmes’ Top Home Maintenance Tips

I started a career in TV because I wanted to help educate homeowners on how to take care of their home. Home maintenance is very important. If you keep on top of your maintenance tasks, you will avoid major issues with the house down the road.

I have four seasonal home maintenance checklists that I use throughout the year to protect the home. When it comes to your heating and cooling systems, I always recommend these be performed twice a year.

In the autumn, we should be thinking about the winter months ahead and preparing for the colder temperatures. This is your time to winterize your home and make sure your heating system is working efficiently.

Here are my top 7 home maintenance tips to get your home ready for the winter season.

#1. Schedule Heating and Cooling Inspection

A regular annual furnace inspection will extend the lifespan of your furnace and HVAC system, prevent any breakdowns, and save on energy. I recommend scheduling your inspection in the fall so you aren’t scrambling to find an HVAC professional when they get busy or you find out that your furnace isn’t working on the first cold snap! Regular HVAC inspections are meant to boost your heating and cooling system’s efficiency. Your HVAC technician will identify potential areas of trouble and let you know how to resolve them.

Boiler maintenance and inspections are equally as important. If you have a boiler, get this inspected annually to ensure it works effectively and efficiently even on the coldest nights.

#2. Look Into Residential Boilers

If you are in the market for a boiler, the Bosch Singular Combi Boiler and the Bosch Greenstar Boiler are great options, depending on your needs. Look into this before the winter season arrives.

The Bosch Singular Combi Boiler provides energy-efficient heating and plenty of hot water for your home. The Bosch Greenstar Boiler is available in both heat-only and combi versions, and comes with the Bosch-manufactured cast aluminium-magnesium-silicon heat exchanger that only needs to be cleaned every 5 years. This means lower maintenance costs for you!

RELATED: MIKE HOLMES APPROVED PRODUCT - BOSCH

CONTRACTOR TIP: All 16 Greenstar Boiler models use the same key service parts. That means you can carry less inventory on your truck and still fix any size or model of Greenstar!

#3. Clean or Replace Furnace Filter and Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV)

Furnace filters not only protect your furnace, but also prevent allergens from getting into your home. If your filter is clogged, your furnace fan has to work harder, causing wear and tear on your unit...and higher energy bills! Not to mention, it has negative effects on your indoor air quality.

I recommend changing your filters every month during the winter and every 3 months when it’s not used as much.

HOMEOWNER TIP: If you must stay in your home during a large renovation, it’s important to change your furnace filters every month and make sure your contractor seals off the appropriate areas to keep the renovation dust to a minimum.

If you have an HRV, you’ll have several filters that require cleaning, but they are easy enough for a homeowner to do. All of these filters can be cleaned by running them under the tap or using a hand sprayer – but you have to make sure they are completely dry before you put them back into the unit. The intake filters should be cleaned every 3 or 4 months, and the air exchanger once a year.

#4. Cover or Wrap Air Conditioner

Cover your air conditioner unit with a protective waterproof cover to help insulate and protect your unit from cracking, debris and the elements. A waterproof tarp secured with bungee cords is a good alternative, if you’ve misplaced the cover.

Before you cover your AC for the season, make sure the area surrounding it has been cleared of debris, like leaves and twigs, and give it a wipe down.

#5. Look Into Bosch Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners and provide heating and cooling for your home. They are cost effective, provide fresh indoor air, and good temperature control.

High-efficiency heat pumps, like the Bosch IDS family , are a great choice. They dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in summer months.

I also love the Bosch mini-split heat pumps . They are a great energy-efficient way to heat your home. We just got one installed in a project we’re working on, and I highly recommend you check it out.

HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Winter Tips for your Heat Pump
If you already have a mini-split (or ductless mini-split system) make sure you are prepared, and keep the surrounding area of the unit clear of snow and ice during the winter. The cover should allow protection from snow and ice but should have sufficient space for airflow surrounding the unit.

#6. Have Humidifier and HRV (Heat Recovery Unit) Serviced

Ventilation is an important part of your HVAC system and an HRV is an excellent way to help your home have a continuous supply of fresh air, allowing for improved indoor air quality.

If you have a humidifier or an HRV, servicing should be part of your annual HVAC check up with a HVAC technician. They will clean and check all the essential parts, including rebalancing airflows and also test the heat exchanger.

RELATED: HEAT & ENERGY RECOVERY VENTILATORS

TIP - PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS AND WIFI TECHNOLOGY CAN MAKE YOUR HOME MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT- as it can be adjusted to a specific temperature and adapt to your needs, while allowing you to monitor your home’s temperature, humidity, and even gas and water usage all in one place.

#7. Drain Sediment from Water Heater

Flushing your water heater on an annual basis can help remove sludge and sediment from the bottom of your water tank and can improve the efficiency and lifespan of your water heater.

Depending on your water source and the mineral content, both gas and electric water heaters should be flushed of sediment every 6 to 12 months, to ensure optimal performance. If you are not comfortable with doing this yourself, contact a professional service provider.

If your storage water tank needs replacing or you aren’t getting a sufficient supply of hot water in your home, now is the time to consider a tankless water heater. A tankless water heater provides a continuous supply of hot water, on demand, when you need it.

They are also a good idea if you are short on space. Tankless water heaters can be powered by electricity, natural gas or propane, so it’s important to factor energy costs when making a decision.

Bosch has a great line of tankless water heaters called the Bosch Greentherm 9000 Series. They come with an industry leading 15-year warranty on the heat exchanger, as well as a convenient top water connection and bottom drain ports for easy maintenance and servicing. Plus, Bosch tankless water heaters should last 20 years – that’s two to three times longer than most standard tank-type heaters.

For more information on the Bosch products I recommend, check out:
Bosch Tankless Water Heaters
Bosch Mini Splits
Bosch Boilers
Bosch Heat Pumps

More Info:
THE COMPLETE HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST