Home Resources Homeowner Maintenance Neglect: Over 1 in 4 Never Check Their Smoke Detectors

Homeowner Maintenance Neglect: Over 1 in 4 Never Check Their Smoke Detectors

When it comes to taking care of our homes, it’s no secret that routine maintenance is key to ensuring a safe and comfortable living environment. However, a significant portion of American homeowners might be falling short in this department.

We surveyed more than 1,000 American homeowners to better understand the state of routine home maintenance across the country. While 75% claim to do home checks once a year or more, more than half admitted they haven’t gotten around to doing any checks yet in 2023.

A Closer Look at Indoor Maintenance

A working smoke detector can save lives, and in some cases, even save a home. The prevalence of smoke detectors in American homes is high, with 61% of households having three or more. However, Americans aren’t consistent when it comes to changing batteries, and 37% report changing batteries only when the detector starts beeping. Surprisingly, 39% of Americans have unplugged their smoke detectors at some point, and 18% have forgotten to plug them back in.

Carbon monoxide detectors are also an important home device, and they’re becoming increasingly common in homes, with more than half (58%) of American households equipped with them. Diligence in changing these batteries also varies, and 29% change batteries only when the detector beeps.

Knowledge is power, and 66% of Americans have heard of radon. However, only 16% actively test their homes for this potentially harmful gas. Furthermore, the majority of those who test for radon only do so when moving into a new residence.

A look at the habits of American homeowners when it comes to routine home maintenance - study from allstarhome.com

The Neglected Necessity: Routine Home Maintenance

The numbers are in, and they’re raising eyebrows. A staggering 29% of American homeowners admit to neglecting routine home maintenance checks. Even more surprising, over half of homeowners (52%) have yet to perform any home maintenance checks in 2023. This prompts us to ask the vital question: How often are you routinely checking your own home?

The majority of homeowners routinely check their homes once or twice a year, with 1 in 10 sharing they perform routine checks monthly. 

While it’s clear that some might be overlooking regular home maintenance checks, it’s encouraging to see that many individuals understand the importance of certain tasks. The top five most important home maintenance tasks are checking smoke detectors, removing lint from the dryer, changing air filters, HVAC maintenance, and checking carbon monoxide detectors. 

As with any aspect of life, some home maintenance tasks tend to be overlooked more frequently than others. Those tasks most often forgotten include:

  1. Checking smoke detectors
  2. Checking pipes
  3. Checking your roof
  4. Changing air filters
  5. Checking for mold. 

The changing seasons play a significant role in motivating homeowners to perform maintenance checks, with many performing these tasks in spring and fall. Additionally, a notable 22% of homeowners take advantage of Daylight Saving Time to change smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector batteries.

The Cost of Caring for Your Castle

A look at some of the financial burdens of routine home maintenance checks - study from allstarhome.com

Home maintenance isn’t just a matter of diligence; it’s also a financial consideration. On average, Americans are allocating approximately $853 annually for routine home maintenance. However, financial constraints deter a significant 40% of individuals from pursuing necessary repairs.

When it comes to tackling these tasks, three-quarters of Americans opt to roll up their sleeves and perform routine home maintenance tasks themselves. The remaining 25% choose to hire professionals for the job. But when faced with a broken component or an issue, 42% of homeowners prefer to hire someone to fix the problem.

States Most and Least Likely to Change Smoke Detector Batteries

The states that are the most and least likely to change their smoke detector batteries - study from allstarhome.com

When it comes to changing smoke detector batteries, which states are the most likely to be on top of it? States most likely to prioritize this task based on an analysis of Google searches include California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania. On the other hand, states least likely to change smoke detector batteries regularly include Maine, Montana, South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Indoor and Outdoor Maintenance Checks: Striking a Balance

When it comes to central air and heating systems, more than half (56%) of homeowners schedule regular checkups or servicing, demonstrating a clear level of maintenance awareness. Moreover, a whopping 90% diligently change their air conditioning filters, which can contribute to the efficiency and longevity of their systems.

In the realm of outdoor maintenance, homeowners showcase a mix of proactive and overlooked habits. While 56% engage in the crucial task of cleaning their gutters, 28% of those individuals opt to hire professionals for the job.  

Additionally, 55% of homeowners take the initiative to trim tree branches near their roofs, which is essential for preventing potential damage.

Routine home maintenance is an essential aspect of responsible homeownership. From checking smoke detectors to ensuring optimal HVAC performance, these tasks contribute to the safety, comfort, and longevity of your home. Neglecting maintenance can have consequences, but a proactive approach can lead to a more enjoyable living environment for you and your loved ones.


In August 2023, we surveyed 1,004 Americans for their feedback on homeownership and routine home maintenance. Respondents were 49% female, 50% male, and 1% non-binary with an age range of 19 to 76 and an average age of 44.

To determine the states most and least likely to change smoke detector batteries, we analyzed the Google search volume of 2,574 terms and phrases related to smoke detector batteries over the period of July 2021 to June 2023.

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