Home sweet home, as the saying goes. Our homes keep us warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and above all, are our safe haven. So, don’t forget to treat your house this Holiday Season, it’s a gift that will keep on giving all year long.
“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” — Gaston Bachelard
Did you know that spending just .50 – $10 can save you hundreds on your water bill? In every faucet, there is a little metal disc that your water passes through. If not cleaned or replaced, mineral build-up will cause loss of water pressure. Purchase a new aerator for each faucet and shower head in your home, and while you’re at it, go green and buy “low-flow” aerators. Leaky faucets can sometimes be fixed with a simple .10 washer or O-ring. Take your old washer with you so you’ll be able to replace it with the correct one. Want to know just how much a leaky faucet can cost you? Find out here. Clean your faucets and shower heads well, and they’ll be functioning like new! If you must replace your faucet(s), this “Best Faucet Buying Guide“¹ from Consumer Reports will help you choose wisely.
In the Kitchen
Refrigerator smelling funky or not keeping it’s cool? How long has it been since you’ve cleaned the evaporator coils? With Christmas dinners and holiday parties on the calendar, this is a super simple, free task that will help ensure your food stays cold and safe to eat. Get your vacuum, the crevice tool attachment and a brush and spend a few minutes sucking up/scrubbing off the fur balls, dried food and other “yuk” that is shortening the life of your fridge. Can’t find the evaporator coils? If you have an older refrigerator, these are usually on the back. If it’s a newer fridge, the evaporator coils are usually on the bottom of the fridge behind a grill/plastic piece that can easily be removed prior to cleaning.
Kitchen Exhaust Fans
Remove and degrease your stove’s exhaust filters. Be sure to unplug/disconnect power supply before starting this job. While your filters are soaking in sudsy water, (or running through the dishwasher), vacuum any visible dust and wipe away any grimy build up with a cleaner-soaked rag. Cost = a little elbow grease.
Doors and Windows
Leaky doors and windows can let heat out and the cold in causing your furnace to work overtime. Save money on your utility bills while extending the life of your furnace by picking up an inexpensive roll of weather-stripping, (make sure to buy the correct width to ensure maximum seal), and installing a door sweep if there isn’t one there already. Be sure to measure the width of your door before heading to the hardware store.
Having your carpets professionally steam cleaned will brighten and ready your home for family and friends. You can save money by doing this yourself. Keeping your carpets clean will extend the life of your carpet and furnace filters. In between cleanings, vacuum your carpet. Cost for renting a machine for 24 hours and cleaner = less than $50. To find a reputable carpet cleaning company in your area, check sites like thumbtack.com, porch.com, homeadvisor.com and Angie’s List.
Furnace Maintenance & Air Quality
Maintaining your gas furnace is very important not only to keep your family warm, but also safe. Replace your furnace filter at least twice a year. While there are many ways to save money, it’s not advised to buy a cheap filter. Buying a good quality filter or air purifier will extend the life of your furnace and keep the air in your home clean. Have your furnace inspected/cleaned by a professional as needed.
After taking care of everything inside, it’s worth it to step outside and make sure your gutters are clean and unobstructed. Rain water and melting snow, if obstructed, the water may run down siding into basements or seep into walls causing water damage; rotting wood and mildew. Gutter guards can help make your job easier by keeping your gutters clean.
We hope this gives you some ideas not only for your own home, but volunteering to do this for someone who can’t do it themselves makes a wonderful gift this Holiday Season. If you’re thinking about buying a home that needs repair or refinancing your current home loan, we’re here to help your dreams come true!
¹”Faucet Buying Guide.” ConsumerReports.org. Consumer Reports, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.
²”Five Minute Fixes That Cost Only Pennies.” ConsumerReports.org. Consumer Reports, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.