6 New Years Resolutions For Homeowners

Forget giving up carbs, cutting back on social media or joining a gym (especially if you know you won’t really follow through)! This year try resolutions that will keep your family safe and save you money. It might require a little work but I promise you it will be worth it.


1.  Buy or service home safety equipment 

If you don’t already have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, go out and get them today. The death rate in home fires is twice the rate in homes with no alarm systems. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. If you do not have a working detector in your home and you have carbon monoxide, you and your family are at serious risk. Fire extinguishers can stop small fires from spreading. It’s really that simple.  

These items save lives if used properly. Make sure you know how many and where they need to be placed in your home. You can read more about these safety items and how to properly install at the National Fire Protection Association website.

If you already have these items, January is a great time to make sure they are up and running properly. Make sure the batteries are replaced, have your fire extinguishers inspected, and run safety drills with your family.


2.  Get an Energy Audit

The new year is a great time to find out where your home is losing energy and what you can do to fix it.  A home energy audit can cost between $200 – $400 but it can save you thousands in the end. Some WI utility companies offer discounts on audits so check with your provider. If there are issues, Some fixes can be simple and inexpensive. If more expensive problems arise, Focus on Energy is a program that can help with rebates.  To get the rebates an energy audit is required but you can get up to $900 back on just insulation projects.  


3.  Have a Simple Maintenance To-Do Saturday 

There are a bunch of small jobs we never seem to get to but will make you (and your family) safer, happier and healthier.  Here are just a few:

Clean your shower head: put vinegar and water in a baggie and tie it around your shower head for a while to remove mineral buildup. 

Clean your dryer vent: use a rag tied to a plumbing snake to clean that bad boy out.

You can easily clean your garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes and then flushing with hot water.

Here is a list of fun cleaning hacks for your home!


4.  Check Your Sump Pump

If you have your own septic system, it is a good idea to test your sump pump.  This short video will show you how. This could prevent a flooded basement so it’s worth a watch.


5.  Flush out your hot water heater

By flushing your hot water heater, you remove built up sediment that can cause issues. Check out The Art of Manliness (for ladies too) on how to do this.  You should do it every 1-3 years. Don’t forget to check and replace salt while your there.


6.  Annual inspections

Walk around your home and do some quick inspections. Make sure heating vents aren’t covered. Be sure to check kids room as they often cover vents with toys and stuffier. Also check cords that are plugged in for wear and tear. Check drains for clogs and buildup. I also recommend an annual heating and air check by a professional HVAC professional but spring and fall are the best time for these.


There are plenty of ways to keep your home up and running smoothly.  I hope you can use these tips this year and have a great 2020,