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HOLMES: Keeping New Year’s resolutions close to home

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Last year was another challenging one, but I am hopeful that things will improve as this year passes. While most of our New Year’s resolutions centre on self-improvement, weight reduction, and going back to the gym — all of which are essential for a healthy mind and body — what about your home? Our homes, too, must be healthy, and they must be checked and maintained on a regular basis.

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This year I urge everyone to consider making some home-related resolutions for 2022. Here are some top resolutions to consider.

ENERGY USE

When you leave the house, do you make the mistake of leaving all the lights on? Is your thermostat set to a high temperature all of the time? You have two choices: pay attention to your habits and modify them, or work toward a “smart home.” A smart thermostat will help you save money by allowing you to control your heating and cooling system from afar and adjust it according to your schedule. It will also keep track of your home’s energy consumption in real time.

Automation hubs are excellent for managing your lighting by allowing you to regulate which lights turn on and off through an app. Even modest water usage can be recognized and tracked through an app. Some systems can also send you a notification if a leak is detected, and switch off your water within five seconds to stop any damage from happening.

MAINTENANCE

Most individuals want to blame the builder, contractor, or someone else when problems arise in the home, when there is a good possibility that lack of maintenance is to blame. This is why doing proper home maintenance checks are essential to keeping your home healthy and safe.

I have maintenance checklists for every season, and I encourage homeowners to stay on top of these.

Regular checklist items include:

Changing your furnace filters.

Checking your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans for blockages.

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Checking for cracks and holes in your home’s exterior walls and foundation.

Making sure your gutters are free of debris and not damaged.

Hire an expert to inspect all of your home’s essential systems. Have them check the roof, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as the basement, garage and attic to make sure they are all in good working order. The results will help you identify problems and prioritize what has to be corrected first, which is very useful if you’re looking to renovate.

KEEP WATER AWAY

It is critical to keep water away from your home and foundation via grading, roofing, and eavestroughs and downspouts. Snow should be shovelled away from the foundation to keep moisture out of your basement.

In the attic, look for water spots, especially near the rafters. Remember that your roof is your home’s first line of defence, and your attic can tell you how well it’s holding up.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Have your indoor air quality tested. Radon, mould, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can all be harmful to one’s health, with radon being the primary cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Inspection of your indoor air is the best advice I can give anyone interested in having a healthy house.

To establish whether your house contains potentially hazardous levels, the test findings are compared to national health and safety regulations.

YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR

Homeowners are continually renovating their kitchens and bathrooms, knocking down walls, and enlarging their living areas. They spend all of their time picking out tiles, flooring, appliances, and lighting. Do you, however, have any idea where the money should be spent first? It should be directed toward the outside of your home.

Too many homeowners ignore their property’s outside and put everything inside in jeopardy. If you neglect the exterior, you could end up with broken tiles, ceiling leaks, poor interior air quality, or, worse, a newly rebuilt basement damaged by flood or water damage. It’ll only be a matter of time before such problems arise.

So, start the year off right by making some home-related New Year’s resolutions that will protect you and your home and keep making it right.

Follow Mike Holmes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more renovation and maintenance tips.

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