It's an unfortunate part of homeownership - things break down. Heating and cooling systems have limited lifespans and can cost thousands to replace. Home appliances go on the fritz or the plumbing system shuts down, and before you know it, you've had hundreds of dollars worth of unexpected repairs to deal with.
One thing that can help with unexpected costly repairs is preventive maintenance. In fact, think of it as giving new meaning to the phrase "home health."
Just like your annual physical, preventative maintenance can play a critical role in keeping your home's systems and appliances running smoothly and efficiently. Most homeowners are aware of the basics, like regularly changing the air filters on their heating and cooling systems, checking for leaky faucets, and so on. However, the to-do list of preventative maintenance tasks can get long, and not everyone has the time or experience to do it all themselves.
Unfortunately, without a professional preventative maintenance program, most home systems and appliances never get a thorough check-up, leaving them vulnerable to costly - and often avoidable - problems.
A professional preventative maintenance program can be a homeowner's most important ally when it comes to the upkeep of their heating and cooling system, plumbing, electrical system, and most major appliances. Quality service providers take a comprehensive approach to preventative maintenance, and are trained to look for early signs of wear and tear, perform recommended maintenance, and record the condition of your appliances and home systems so any repairs and/or replacements can be made before they lead to an unexpected breakdown.
Along with the convenience and confidence of regularly scheduled check-ups, homeowners can also realize other benefits, too, such as reduced energy costs, improved system reliability and lower repair costs over the life of their covered items.
American Home Shield, a unit of the ServiceMaster Company and the nation's leading home warranty company, has a network of more than 11,000 independent contractors. With more than 40 years of experience in helping protect homeowners from many of the costs and frustrations that occur when covered home systems and appliances break down, the company is a strong advocate for preventative maintenance.
"Preventative maintenance is an investment in the health and well-being of your home's systems and appliances," said Matt Wendl, director of American Home Shield's new preventative maintenance service, which the company recently launched in 45 markets across the nation. "Early detection of problems can help eliminate the need for more costly repairs."
Wendl offered the following tips for homeowners considering a preventative maintenance plan:
* Get a detailed, written list of all items to be inspected, and how frequently they will be inspected.
* Be sure they are doing a visual inspection, as well as testing how key components of your systems or appliances operate.
* Confirm costs up front for any needed repairs. Some providers offer discounts off their regular rates for repairs.
* Contactors should be licensed, bonded and pass a criminal background check.
To learn more about preventive maintenance and taking care of your home, visit www.AHSpm.com.