My father-in-law is exceptionally good at maintenance and upkeep of the things he owns. In this way, he avoids having to buy replacement things, and unnecessary waste. In order to benefit from this wisdom, we asked him to share a list of the regular maintenance he does to upkeep his home. I'm sharing a slightly re-worded version here for general reference.
- change filters every 4-6 months (eyeball for time to change)
- furnaces are "forever" so if you maintain them yourself, just keep the outside AC unit clean (hose the heat exchanger fins rigorously)
- increasingly difficult to get to heat exchanger fins so: move the fridge every few years, vacuum floor behind it, then use leaf blower to blow out dust (turn-off fridge for this), then vacuum kitchen which will be full of dust.
- "change filter" lights come on every six months. Don't bother with the air filter but change water filter at 12-18 months
- clean the freezer by emptying it and vacuuming the crumbs, etc.
- clean the inside every few months, you will want to toss the rag
- every few years, vacuum whatever you reach behind the filter using an attachment called Lint Lizard to attach a small diameter hose to the vacuum hose
- depending on the routing, have vent pipe cleaned every 5-10 years (5 if you can do it yourself, 10 otherwise)
- sinks and (especially) shower drains, run a device called Zip-It to get out hair, etc. once or twice a year
- use full strength laundry bleach to control mildew (just be careful)
- you are told to drain some water once or twice a year
- keep it at 110 degrees (to save energy)
- use garage spring spray lubricant to grease the roller axles and the big spring every year or two
- insulate the garage door (they sell kits at Home depot, etc) if under living space
- oil and filter depends on your driving. Don't get it changed if the oil on the dip-stick is still clean, you may be able to go a year or more
- air filter every 30,000, cabin filter every 60,000
- tire pressure (especially as winter arrives) every month or two. rotate every 8-10,000 miles.
- fluids (including distilled water for battery) every 3 months
- for crazy people only! drain and refill the brake master cylinder when the fluid is dark.
Unpainted outside wood
- treat decks, pergolas, etc with a good preservative every 2-3 years