Be honest — when was the last time you changed your smoke detector batteries? If you own a home, it’s likely your biggest investment, which means you need to make a habit of maintenance checks at least twice a year. We know home maintenance can feel like a lot of work; however, much of what you should be checking for is for your and your family’s safety. To make the task easier and less daunting, we’ve put together a checklist of what you should be doing every New Year.
- HVAC Inspection — We use and abuse our HVAC systems. In fact, there are only a few days each year that we can get away with turning our systems off entirely. Call an HVAC technician to ensure your system is running optimally. Be sure to ask your HVAC technician to clean your dryer vent. Dirty dryer vents are responsible for nearly 3,000 house fires in the US every year! Also, take this opportunity to swap out your HVAC filters. This is a good time to call in a team to do duct cleaning and gutter cleaning as well. HVAC filters should be changed every 90 days. Don’t push this task off…take it from someone that had to call the fire department to a house full of smoke for forgetting to change their HVAC filter!
- Painting the Interior — Look, we know it’s easy to ignore the marks and stains on our walls, but the longer we wait, the more we have to touch up, right? Of course in the winter, it’s too cold touch up the exterior of your home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your home’s interior some TLC. Take a few hours to walk through your house with some paint and cover marks along the way.
- Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors — When your smoke detector starts beeping, taking the battery out seems like a simple solution. Well, when you’re trying to protect your life’s biggest investment, this is just about the worst thing you could be doing. In fact, nearly two-third of houses that have burned down had smoke detectors that were not in working order. Order batteries ahead of time and replace all of your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector’s batteries. Once you’re done and feel safer in your home, you’ll be glad you did it.
- Clean Your Chimney — Your chimney does more than filter out smoke from your fireplace. In fact, it is also designed to remove dangerous gasses from your furnace, stove and other heat-fueled appliances in the home. Clean your chimney annually to ensure that it remains unblocked so you’re not breathing in harmful gasses.
- Rake Your Leaves — Leaves covering your lawn aren’t just an eyesore for your neighbors, but they can also cause major grass damage. Mold growth is the most common culprit of failing to clean up your leaves after your trees have shed. If you absolutely hate raking leaves, mow over them. This breaks leaves down, providing nutrients to your grass, while also making them small enough to blow away over the coming weeks.
You probably made some resolutions this New Year. Well, be sure to make home maintenance one of your priorities — your health and life could depend on it. This is also a great time to hire contractors for projects inside the home. If you’re looking to do a kitchen or bathroom remodel, winter is a great time to do so without paying surge pricing that comes with the Spring and Summertime. We wish you a safe and prosperous year ahead. Happy 2020!