House to House: New Years Resolutions
25 December 2011 - 15:20, by , in House To House, No comments

new-years-resolutions-300x234      While you are busy making the typical New Year’s resolutions to exercise more, lose weight or quit smoking, why not make a few New Year’s resolutions for your home?  Doing so might not just help you increase the value of your home and/or help you sell it, those resolutions might just save you a few frustrating moments in 2012.

The following are a few ideas I recommend:

Clean those gutters

Cleaning rain gutters are important because if not, emptied water damage and flooding can occur to your home.  Preventing water build up in a rain gutter can also save your home’s roof from rotting and prevent other water damage to your house. Keeping water flow unobstructed in a rain gutter is important and very necessary.

Sweep that chimney

It’s important to clean a chimney to prevent house fires. Besides cleaning out soot and dirt, a chimney needs to be scraped from either inside your home or outside from the roof to remove creosote.

While I recommend hiring a professional for this extremely messy job, it is possible to do it yourself.  I recommend checking in with your favorite hardware store for supplies and keeping in mind the very likely chances that, if you do it yourself, you need to plan for soot and such to invade your home if not done correctly.  So don’t forget to close the flue.

Save some energy

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas shared a new idea for energy savings with me recently – the new industry-exclusive GE GeoSpring™ Hybrid Electric Water Heater.  It is designed to provide the same hot water homeowners are accustomed to, but requires only about half the energy to produce it. According to their website, based on the same standard tank water heater that uses approximately 4,800 kWh per year, the new GE GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater is designed to consume up to 62% less energy than a standard electric water heater and result in energy savings of $320 per year.

Some other simple ways to save energy include:

  • Turn the light off when you leave a room and switch to fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Cook with the lids on your pots.
  • Turn your computer off a night.
  • Wash dishes and clothes only when you have a full load.
  • Skip prerinsing dishes. Consumer Reports has found that it¹s unnecessary, and you’ll save up to 6,500 gallons of water per year.
  • Clean the coils behind or underneath your refrigerator with a tapered appliance brush to keep it running efficiently.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters monthly during the heating season. Clogged filters force the blower to work longer, raising your electric bills.
  • Add insulation. An estimated 80 percent of older homes are underinsulated. Properly insulating and sealing your home can cut your heating and cooling bills by 10 percent.

Whatever you do, on behalf of the Arkansas REALTORS® Association and the more than 6,500 REALTORS ® in Arkansas, I wish you a safe and happy 2012.

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