Your home is probably one of the largest financial investments you have ever made, and there are many ways you can ensure it gives you consistent returns, from making wise renovation choices to beautifying its exterior with custom landscaping. You can also protect your investment and avoid loss by taking a few preventative measures around your home, especially when it comes to plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Repairs for these units can be costly, so taking the time to protect them can save you money in the future.

1. Avoid Frozen Pipes

When temperatures plummet below freezing, your home’s outdoor water pipes can become vulnerable to freezing.

Frozen pipes can be difficult to thaw and in some cases, if the temperatures drop into the single digits, they can burst and need thousands of dollars in repair.

Burst pipes can also cause indoor flooding. To protect your home’s outdoor pipes, wrap them in absorbent material or coat them in foam insulation in late fall to prepare them for the cold weather.

2. Listen to Your HVAC System

Your home’s HVAC system controls its internal temperature and without it, sweltering summers and freezing winters would be difficult to endure.

Preventative maintenance for this unit does not have to be complicated; in fact, listening to your HVAC system as it cycles can clue you in to a variety of issues, from minor to major.

Not all noises mean imminent HVAC failure, but knowing what to listen for, such as banging, buzzing, wheezing, and squealing, can help you catch problems before they cause major repair bills.

3. Be a Mold Detective

Faulty or failing plumbing in your home can cause thousands of dollars in damage, even where you cannot see it. Leaky wall pipes or those under cabinets can cause your wooden cabinets to rot or your walls to develop weak spots.

However, you can find hidden leaks by becoming a mold detective. Search for mold in your kitchen and bathroom on a regular basis, especially on walls and under sinks that contain interior pipes.

The sudden presence of mold may point to one or more leaks.

4. Invest in Yearly Inspections

Plumbing and HVAC systems require routine maintenance to keep them running at peak performance.

While you can check pipes, change your unit’s air filters, and sweep the vents to keep them free of hair and dust, having them inspected by a professional once or twice a year can give you peace of mind that they are working properly. An inspection can help a plumber or HVAC tech find and correct small issues before they turn into a major problem.

Before you have your systems inspected, prepare a list of questions you might have for your inspector. Ask about any concerns you might have and what you have noticed lately about the way these units have been operating. It is a good idea to have a professional inspector review your plumbing and AC/heating system in the fall and before the start of the summer.

Your home is an investment that is yours to protect. Taking preventative measures to ensure its major systems run properly can prevent repair costs and allow you to live in peace and comfort.