the time of year when weíre inundated with articles on
how to be healthy, start good-for-you habits and dump
the bad ones. But, what about giving some attention to
another major investment in your life ó your home.
help get your home in tip-top shape, here are five
healthy home habits to start in the upcoming year:
Create a home maintenance and repair budget
break the bank when your washing machine stops or the
hot water heater leaks. Create a budget now for expected
maintenance projects, and set aside extra funds for
those unexpected, emergency repairs that always seem to
occur at the most inopportune time. According to
financial pros, you can expect to spend about one to
four percent of your homeís value annually on repairs
Clean refrigerator condenser coils
your refrigerator live longer and stay cool by cleaning
the condenser coils. Appliance repair pros say itís
the No. 1 refrigerator maintenance task. Condenser
coils, which are located under or behind the
refrigerator, eventually become covered with dust and
pet hair. Keeping the condenser coils clean
can save up to 10 percent on your energy bill. A
professional cleaning costs around $100. However, you
can do it yourself with a vacuum cleaner and an
inexpensive coil brush.
Service your garage door
door maintenance ensures safety and helps prevent
costly repairs. In many houses, the garage door is the
most used door ó and itís a big, heavy one. Hire a
garage door pro to check the tracks, rollers and hinges;
tighten screws and bolts and lubricate the moving parts.
According to professionals and Angie List members,
garage door inspections cost $40 to $100.
Hire a chimney sweep
of whether you use a wood-burning fireplace or a gas log
fireplace. A gas fireplace burns clean, meaning thereís
no creosote or soot, but you want to be sure the ceramic
logs, valves and connections work properly. A gas log
fireplace poses the risk of carbon dioxide poisoning if
not properly ventilated.
wood-burning fireplaces, highly flammable creosote
builds up in the chimney walls and can cause a fire if
not removed. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA)
advises hiring a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)
Certified Chimney Sweep.
inspect the chimney for debris, such as bird nests or
other objects that could block ventilation.
Schedule a furnace tune-up
inspections and cleanings cost less than $100, but can
potentially save you hundreds of dollars in repairs by
keeping your HVAC system in optimal working condition
and catching problems early. HVAC maintenance contracts
typically cost $150 to $500 per year. Donít forget
to change the furnace filter as a clogged air
filter puts extra stress on your HVAC system.