Energy Resolutions for a #fithome
New Year’s goals and aspirations for your life, career, and health are well underway. Most of you have already started to hit the gym, eat cleaner, or restructured your day to become more productive. But have you had time to think about setting any new resolutions for your home – the place you start and end each day? Learn how a few small changes now could mean big savings by this time next year!
Routine Cleaning to Boost Energy Efficiency
Save time and help make your future spring-cleaning tasks not so daunting by getting a jump start this month. Cleaning before spring purges will keep your home #fit and lower vampire or wasted energy costs. Utilize a smart home assistant (like Alexa or Google Home) to remind you when it’s time to complete tasks to keep your home #fit and functioning efficiently.
Refrigerator coils and range hood vents: Heavy cooking over the holidays leads to a grease and dust bunny mess. Take time to clean them this month to prevent fires and keep them running efficiently.
Furnace filters: Changing your furnace filter every 3 months will keep it energy efficient and allow you to breathe better.
Dryer vents: Clogged lint and dust in dryer vents are a major fire hazard. Fires caused by clothes dryers cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss each year according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Clean them out and inspect for cracks. Replace if needed.
Water softener, washing machine/dishwasher, and pipes: A quick inspection and clean cycle of major appliances will keep them in top working condition. Remember, anything that involves water is a leak hazard. Now is the time to inspect tubing and pipes for cracks while you clean them.
Checking for mold: Cold weather keeps windows closed tight and leads to less ventilation. Areas like bathrooms can lead to steam build-up. Check fans/vents to make sure things are venting properly to avoid mold. Clean or replace shower curtains.
Routine Maintenance to Avoid Costly Repairs
One of the best ways to have a #fithome is through routine maintenance. Your home will function better, be more energy efficient, and last longer. Living in a #fithome allows you to enjoy everything in proper working order without the frustrations of costly repairs from neglected maintenance.
Air leaks: Repair or replace weather stripping around windows and doors. If you have a room that “stays cold”, you might consider scheduling a Home Energy Audit. Heating and cooling systems can easily be overtaxed by air leak problems. An energy professional will perform tests to pinpoint where the problem areas in your house are and help you create a plan to creating a more #fithome.
Batteries and lightbulbs: Re-stock on batteries, flashlights, and energy efficient light bulbs. Winter storms and power outages can deplete your stockpile. Using smart plugs and setting timers for lights will keep your home safe from intruders during dark winter months.
Fire alarms and carbon monoxide sensors: A #fithome is a safe home. Re-set and change batteries in your carbon monoxide and fire alarms. Invest in sensors in areas or rooms that need one.
Proper insulation: If the insulation in your attic is less than 12” deep you are losing energy. Contact a professional to replenish insulation and lower your energy bills through the remaining winter months. You will also reap the benefits that proper insulation provides during the hot summer months.
Binder or Digital Archive to Manage Your Homelife
In a #fithome, everything has a place. Grab a large 3 ring binder or file and organize all the important things you need to manage your home. Keep it in a place that’s out of sight, but easy to grab. Wanting to go paperless? Consider using an online digital archive like everplans to store all your vital information and keep your home #fit and organized.
Emergency plans: Review lifesaving emergency plans with family and especially any children at home. Keep an updated inventory of first aid supplies, food storage, and emergency numbers and information.
Home and auto insurance: Update your inventory of items in your home and their worth in case of emergency. Keep updated home and auto insurance information here.
Home cleaning and maintenance checklists: Keep checklists of important daily, monthly and yearly cleaning tasks. Save important user manuals with proper maintenance information to keep every appliance functioning properly.
Finances and bills: Save an updated copy of your most recent utility bills. Save login information and passwords in the chance you forget or need someone to help take care of these responsibilities for you.
Personal information: Keep all birth certificates, social security cards, and passports in one place. These are items that you don’t want lost, stolen, or to have to search for when you really need them.
Heath information: Save important insurance EOBs, passwords, pharmacy receipts and other important paperwork here. An emergency reference list of doctors, hospitals and phone numbers will save you time when you need to quickly set this information out for baby/pet sitters.