Six 2023 Resolutions for Your Home
By Mike Holmes
Come the new year, a lot of us make resolutions to improve ourselves—our health, our fitness, our finances. But the new year is also a good time to think about ways we can improve our homes & major systems.
They say healthy body, healthy mind. I say a healthy home is key to both. A home that is structurally sound and a functional, comfortable place to be. For a healthier home—and a happier life—in the year ahead, make these six resolutions to improve your home.
- Upgrade Your Exterior
Homeowners tend to focus their attention on interior renovations, like a kitchen upgrade or a facelift for the bathroom. They dive into tile choices, flooring options and paint colors. They knock down walls and expand breakfast nooks into formal dining areas. All fine and good.
But remember that the most important part of your home is its exterior. Because if the exterior is not solid, then any improvements you make inside will be at risk. A leaking roof, a weak foundation, weeping tile, weatherworn siding—any vulnerabilities in your home’s envelope can pose a threat to the interior.
Worst-case scenario: you renovate your kitchen, bathroom or some other interior space, then you have to do it all over again when you discover an exterior problem.
- Test Your Indoor Air Quality
Your home is your sanctuary. But the air in there may be full of invisible hazards, including mold, VOCs released by furniture, carpeting and paint, and radon, which is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
To ensure the air you breathe at home is safe, I recommend you get a “healthy home” inspection. This is an inspection that assesses all the areas and systems in your home that may impact your health. A qualified healthy home inspector will test your air quality and rate it against national health and safety standards to see if your home’s air poses any threat to your family. An inspection will detect mold spores, radon, contaminants, allergens, asthma triggers, VOCs and more.
There are DIY air-quality tests on the market but I’m not a fan of these. Your best option is a professional inspector who knows how to do an air test properly and, just as important, knows what you should do with your test results.
Here are my six steps to better indoor air quality in your home:
- Get your air tested by a professional.
- Have all of your ducts cleaned by a professional.
- Open your windows for 15 minutes every day.
- Invest in heat recovery ventilators or energy recovery ventilators, which are air-exchange systems that improve indoor air quality.
- Invest in an air-purification system, which filters your indoor air and removes contaminants and pollutants.
- Always use your bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans.
- Boost Your Water Resistance
What is the number-one threat to American homes? Water. In fact, water damage is the leading cause of homeowners insurance claims in the U.S. To protect your home from water damage, you need to make sure that your roof, gutters, downspouts and yard drainage are all in good working order and working together to keep water out of and away from your home.
If you live in a region with winter snow, shovel or blow the snow away from your house regularly. You don’t want snow sitting and melting against your walls and foundation. The rest of the year, check your exterior for expanding and contracting soil and drainage problems.
Clogged gutters and downspouts will quickly lead to damaged ceilings and walls, so you should clean your gutters at least twice a year. If there is a lot of foliage around your home, clean your gutters every three months.
Inside, inspect your attic for water stains, particularly around the rafters. This is important. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense and your attic will show signs if that defense begins to weaken.
- Do Your Seasonal Maintenance
Maintenance is just what the word implies: something that must be maintained. You should keep a maintenance checklist and check those boxes every season. Here are some of the tasks you can do yourself:
- Replace your furnace and air-conditioning filters every three months. In the winter, I recommend changing your furnace filter every month.
- Check your kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans for buildup.
- Check your outdoor air vents and make sure they’re clear.
- Check for gaps in window and door frames.
- Check for cracks in your exterior walls and foundation.
- Clean your gutters and check for rust or loose connections.
Better still, hire a professional home inspector to check all the major systems in your home and inspect those areas where leaks show up. This includes your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), electrical and plumbing systems, along with your roof, basement, attic and crawlspace. This way, you’ll find problems early and avoid expensive surprises. Consider purchasing a Home Protection Plan from Mike Holmes Protection. Get Started at http://mikeholmesprotection.com/
- Evaluate Your Home Energy Habits
With fuel prices increasing—and no sign of relief—now is the time to think about your home energy habits. Do you leave the lights on when you leave the room? Is your water heater set to blazing hot?
Reconsider these habits and adjust them to save energy. Or think about making your home a “smart home.” A good place to start is your thermostat. A smart thermostat can reduce your utility bills. It can enable you to control your heating and cooling remotely with an app on your phone, so you can turn up the heat before you get home.
- Test Your Water Quality
A while ago I noticed that the water from my taps was looking cloudy. So I removed a few of my pipes and had a look inside. What I saw was a lot
of scale buildup. I thought, whoa, I’ve been drinking
this stuff? After a test, I discovered that my water had a high level of total dissolved solids, a measure that includes calcium, magnesium, potassium sulfates and more.
You can buy a DIY kit to test your water. But I recommend a professional test. If you’re considering a home water-treatment system, a lot of the companies that offer the systems will give you a water test for free.
I hope you have a great 2023.
Make these six resolutions and I know you’ll have an improved home for the next 12 months and beyond.
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