Expensive repairs always seem to intrude on your family’s peace of mind at the worst possible time, when you haven’t budgeted for them or your time is limited. While sometimes you will just need to shell out for the new furnace, you can certainly take steps to avoid costly consequences through routine home maintenance. If you ensure your home is always maintained, when it comes time to sell it, it will have a higher value than the competition.

Install ceiling fans. One of the most budget-friendly ways of keeping cool in the summer is eliminating air conditioning. However, humid Canadian summers can be a bit much even for the toughest among us. If you can go without the AC certain days, do it, but also consider installing a ceiling fan in the upper rooms and hallways of your home—where heat gathers the most. If you’re good at DIY electrical projects, this one will be an exciting challenge.

Caulk all the windows and doors. As opposed to insulation, caulk is inexpensive and very durable. Your local hardware store likely supplies all kinds of caulk, so ask an employee for window and door caulk specifically. This type is designed to withstand the weather-induced expansion and contraction of your home structure, and will maintain the integrity of your windows and doors for many years to come. 

Seal HVAC ducts. Homes typically lose a lot of air that should be flowing through the HVAC ducts, and most of the time, it’s due to improperly sealed and insulated holes. The typical HVAC duct, made of sheet metal, is prone to leakage and not as hardy as you might imagine. That’s why it’s so important to seal them up before you’re swamped with sky-high heating and cooling costs. Filters need to be replaced every so often, too. Typically, you should do it every time you receive an electrical bill.

Clean refrigerant coils. The coolant in fridge coils is what keeps your fridge cold, by literally sucking warmth out of the back. It’s a cool piece of scientific trivia, but it won’t be helpful if your fridge coils are crammed with dust and not functioning properly. This task only takes about five or ten minutes to complete and will save you money over the long term on heating and cooling.