If you woke up Christmas morning to a brand new tool set or a gift card, now is a good time to start thinking about how you can put it to good use. It is a new year with new projects on the horizon. That means it’s time to start planning for your 2019 home improvement resolutions.
1. Give Your Home a Check-Up
Take a look around your house to make sure everything is operating smoothly.
Keep your furnace and air conditioners in working order by giving them routine annual checkups.
Air conditioners collect dust and debris over time, which can reduce your unit’s efficiency. Be sure to replace your filters to avoid any buildup.
Make sure your fireplace is maintained for the winter. It is important to use fireplace safety no matter what kind you have. Here are some good fireplace tips to follow.
Check out the water meter in your house for any plumbing leaks.
Here’s how to go about it:
Turn Off All Water: Start by making sure there isn’t any water being used inside or outside your home including lawn or garden irrigation, toilets, clothes washers, dishwashers, faucets, icemakers, and automatic backflow cleaning in whole house water filters.
Check Flow Indicator: open the cover on the water meter at the street to see if it has a flow indicator. This is a small rotating wheel on the meter that can detect even small amounts of water flow. If the flow indicator is moving, you have a leak somewhere in your house or yard.
Click here for instructions on how to read a water meter.
Check your toilets for any leaks. There are two ways to do this:
Toilet Leak Test #1: Remove the tank lid, and pour a small amount of food coloring in the tank to color the water in the tank. If colored water appears in the bowl without flushing the toilet, it indicates water leaking between the tank and bowl.
Toilet Leak Test #2: Turn the water to the toilet off at the shutoff valve. Remove the lid to the tank and note or mark the water level in the tank. Wait several hours to overnight without flushing the toilet, then check the water level in the tank. If the water level is lower, there’s a leak between the tank and bowl.
2. Save Energy, Save Money
There are several ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home and lower your utility bills.
Insulation: Depending on your climate and the type of insulation used, your attic should have from 12” to 16” of insulation (R-38 to R-49). Common types of insulation include batts, rolls, or blown in fiberglass or cellulose, as well as mineral wool and sprayed foam insulation
Home Energy Audit: Start by having an energy audit conducted to identify problem areas in your home from leaky ductwork, weather stripping around windows and doors, and lack of insulation.
Hot Water Heater: Consider replacing your existing hot water heater with either a tankless, solar, heat pump or high-efficiency hot water heater.
Windows: Older, single-pane windows can account for up to half the heating and cooling loss in your home, so consider replacing them with insulated, glass windows with a low-E coating.