There is something to be said about owning your own piece of land and having a home that is all yours. But, ask any homeowner and they will tell you, along with home ownership comes a lot of responsibilities…and work. Issues will come up when you least expect, or need, them to. Additionally, it’s very important to stay on top of home and appliance maintenance to make sure you get the most out of your belongings.

To help with the costs, you should try setting aside funds every year to put toward these home needs. Any amount helps, but a good rule of them is between one and three percent of your home’s purchase price.

So what maintenance should you plan on doing every year?

Top of FormBottom of FormCheck HVAC system filters. Clean air is always important and vital to health and the purity of your air.Clean or replace filters when they get dirty, which depending on the type of filter, is anywhere from 30 days to a few months. Some filters are reusable, while others are disposable and must be replaced. In other words, make sure you check.

Test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Another extremely important maintenance item for safety is testing your detectors monthly. Consumer reports say you should change batteries every six months. To make sure you never forget, consider changing the batteries at the same time you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time. This is one you never want to forget!

Drain your hot water heater. Sediment collects in the bottom of the heater over time and this can affect its longevity. If you’re not sure how to drain the water heater, YouTube has plenty of tutorials on how to do it.

Clean clothes dryer exhaust. Lint buildup not only affects your dryer’s efficiency, but it can also be a fire hazard. In fact, it’s estimated that approximately 15,500 house fires are caused by clothes dryers every year.

Check for leaks. Water damage is a nightmare.Even the tiniest of leaks can add up quickly. Make it a habit to check for leaks around toilets, sinks, and your roof.

Clean out your gutters. Proper drainage is very important to keep your house from being exposed to excess moisture. Gutter guards can also help prevent the buildup of debris. It’s a dirty job but unstable gutter can spill water to damage the foundation – which is an even bigger headache.

Prune landscape to keep it off your home. While landscaping adds a lot ofappeal to any home, it can also be a way for excess moisture to get onto your siding or foundation. It’s also a way for critters to get into any holes you might not be aware of. And then before you know it, you have a critter party in your attic.

If you have a hard time remembering to do some of these tasks, try setting an alarm in your phone to remind you throughout the year. While they may seem tedious, staying on top of these things and taking good care of your home will pay off in the long run.

Homeownership is a lot of work, but it is totally worth it!