Get Your Home in Shape This Year
According to a recent survey conducted by HomeAdvisor, more than half of US homeowners (53 percent) do not engage in any annual maintenance for their home, and only 18 percent of homeowners are very confident in their general knowledge of their home's annual maintenance needs.
Amy Matthews, TV Host and HomeAdvisor's Home Improvement Expert, offers homeowners five simple, useful tips to keep their homes in shape year round.
Spray Foam Insulation
According to survey findings*, 77 percent of bill-paying US homeowners are at least somewhat concerned about their high energy bills this winter. Small holes in foundation or siding, including anywhere pipes or wires penetrate the envelope of the home, can cause serious heat loss and increased costs. These small crevices can be the equivalent of having a window open all winter.
Matthews recommends using a can of spray foam insulation to seal these cracks to help save money on energy bills.
Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters are becoming more energy efficient, but a homeowner who is not yet ready to upgrade can still get the best use out of their current appliance. A helpful tip is to see if the hot water heater is warm to the touch, and if so, to wrap it with an insulated blanket. This will help it work more efficiently.
Homeowners who live in regions that receive heavy rain, hail or snow should be on the lookout for water damage after large storms. Set a reminder to call a roofing pro to inspect the roof for damage or repair needs every one to two years. This continued maintenance will extend the life of the roof and give the homeowner peace of mind.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Ensure the proper function of heating and cooling systems by having them checked by a licensed heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) professional annually to prevent potential future emergency repairs. Matthews recommends that homeowners clean or replace filters every one to three months.
The garbage disposal is one of the most frequently used kitchen appliances and, according to HomeAdvisor, was among the top home appliance repairs in 2012. To avoid garbage disposal repairs, never place coffee grounds, grease, eggshells, bones or potato skins in the disposal. Matthews recommends placing a few ice cubes and the rinds of any citrus fruit in the disposal every few months to keep garbage disposals clean and odor-free.