Yes, today’s maintenance tip really is Nothing … As in nothing lasts forever. With any system or part of your house, at some point you will need to replace, rather than repair it. For example, we’ve discussed how to maintain your kitchen countertop. But eventually, even the best-cared-for countertop will need to be replaced, whether because of wear or because of style changes. In the same way, while you can extend the life of your heating system by regular maintenance, at some point, it will need to be replaced. Realizing that sometimes there is nothing you can do to repair it and preparing accordingly will greatly benefit you as a homeowner.
HOW TO PREPARE: Planning in advance of a major component of your home wearing out will save you headaches and stress. It is wise to create an account, separate from your normal finances, which is designated as the “Saving for a Catastrophe” fund. If you discipline yourself to regularly put money into this account, you will find that when something breaks (and it will), although you might be blindsided, you are still able to pay for a replacement without obliterating your budget or creating massive debt.
WHEN IT BREAKS: If you’ve prepared financially for the inevitable, when that appliance or system breaks, you have the leisure to shop around and look for the best deal on what you need. A great resource for comparing prices and ratings is the internet. Google-search the item you need to replace and see not only what it costs, but also read reviews by people who have bought it. Then you can make a wise choice in your replacement.
HOW TO REPLACE: Unless you’re an expert handyman, it’s best to have a licensed or certified repairperson do the replacement work. Be sure to check with your repairperson to see if they offer a warranty on their work. Also remember to register your new system or appliance with the manufacturer so you will be notified of recalls.
Hopefully you won’t need to replace systems or appliances for a long, long time. But realizing that eventually you will need to replace some things and preparing in advance will help you to be a happy homeowner, even if you can’t do meticulous maintenance to fix it!