Follow these good maintenance practices and inspect your new home on a regular basis to avoid problems.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working. Replace batteries in battery-powered units. Clean or replace filters in HRV, furnace, hoodfan, etc. (do monthly or as needed) Turn off and clean humidifier and close humidifier damper, if you have a humidifier. Ensure air conditioner is ready for use. Close air supply vents to basement to direct cooler air to upper levels of house. Adjust thermostat to summer mode, if you have an air conditioner. Set temperature to 23°C or warmer when heat is no longer needed. Keep furnace fan on if you do not have an air conditioner (set temperature to 15°C to keep it from heating during the summer). Run the fan at all times to provide ventilation to the house. Use a dehumidifier in basement (connect directly to drain) to remove excess moisture from new construction materials. Ensure indoor air vents (HRV & forced air furnace supplies & returns) are clean and not blocked by dust, furnishings, drapes, etc. Turn off pilot light for gas fireplace and clean glazing. Follow instructions in fireplace manual. Know your plumbing. Learn how to shut off the water and where your pipes are located. Inspect for any signs of plumbing problems. Clean windows, screens and hardware. Ensure windows operate smoothly. Vacuum rear of refrigerator and freezer to improve operating efficiency. Clean drip pans. Ensure sump pump (if you have one) is ready to operate when needed. Make sure discharge pipe is connected and directs water away from foundation. Lubricate garage overhead door track, rollers and hinges. Inspect to ensure operating correctly.
Check exterior surfaces of home (including roof and flashings) for items damaged or loosened by winter weather or animals; repair as needed. Clear debris from swales, drainage ditches and culverts; ensure melting snow can run off property. Clean winter debris from eavestrough. Check that eavestrough and downspout joints are secure and ensure water flows away from foundation (at least one metre). Ensure roof louvers, vents and soffits are not blocked. Ventilation is a critical factor in roof durability – air must be able to move through the attic. Check for damaged areas, nests, trees or vines blocking openings, etc. Inspect exterior fixtures, such as lights and satellite dishes, to ensure securely anchored. Ensure gas meter is not blocked by debris, vegetation, snow, etc. Remove any debris from window wells. Check for ground settling at foundation. You may need to build up landscaping to ensure rainwater flows away from your foundation wall. Check exterior steps and readjust, if settled or unstable. Ensure outdoor air vents (exhausts, intakes, dryer, HRV, forced air furnace) are not blocked by debris, vegetation, snow, etc. Remove winter cover from outside air conditioning unit and clean debris from coils. Close bleeder nut and open valve to outside hose connection (hose bib) after danger of last frost. Fertilize young trees and begin spring landscape maintenance. Remove protective shrouds from delicate plants and shrubs. Apply lawn seed to bare patches.