Consumer E-Newsletter - 12/12/2006 (Plain Text Version)
View Graphical Version | Subscribe
to NAHB Publications | Email our
NAHB Home Page| Browse
other NAHB e-publications |Search back issues
In this issue:
What’s Stopping You from Buying a New Home?
Quick Tips to Go From Selling to Sold
Top Five New Year's Resolutions for the Home
Enjoying a Hassle-free Holiday
The Feng Shui Approach to the Holidays
The Ranch House: American Pop Culture Icon
What's Aging in Place Anyway?
Zone Heating Can Save You Heating Dollars
Getting the Most from Your Design Center
The Final Frontier: Home Automation
Propane Tanks: A Hidden Asset
The Vernacular Architecture of the Gulf Coast
Photo Gallery: The Unique and Unusual
Maintenance Chart for Homeowners
Did You Know?
Subscribe to NAHB HouseKeys Today!
Top Five New Year's Resolutions for the Home
With 2007 right around the corner, many of us are starting think about our New Year’s resolutions. Losing those five extra pounds, quitting smoking or starting a new hobby are all top of many people’s lists, but this year let’s consider adding to that list the place where we spend most of our time…our homes. As we move into a new year, here are some tips to keep your home in top condition.
Make resolutions for the place you spend most of your time — your home!
1) Check Your Smoke Detectors
Making sure that your home’s smoke detectors are in good working condition and have new batteries. This is your best defense in case of a fire. Thanks to widespread installation of residential smoke alarm systems in recent years, Americans are safer than they’ve ever been. In fact, according to an August 2006 U.S. Fire Administration report, only 3.7 percent of all the residential fire deaths from 2001-2004 occurred in homes with working smoke detectors.
2) Spruce up Your Home
Whether a simple paint job or a complete home remodel, make your home look its best. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to add value to a home is through a fresh coat of paint, breathing new life into a room for just a little money and few hours of work. Simple upgrades such as new kitchen countertops, bathroom fixtures or new lighting can also make a big difference in a home. If you’re considering a major remodeling project, consult a professional remodeler. Don’t forget about the outside of your home. Your home’s exterior is what creates the first impression, so be sure that siding, paint, landscaping and any other outside areas look well tended.
3) Save More Energy
With energy costs on the rise, homeowners can always benefit from looking for ways of cutting costs and saving energy. Try replacing incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). They use at least 2/3 less energy than standard incandescent bulbs to provide the same amount of light, and last up to 10 times longer. According to ENERGY STAR®, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR®, we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars. In the winter, try setting your thermostat so it is warm when you are home and then turn it down when you leave your house for the day. Do the reverse in the summer to save on air conditioning bills. Adding insulation to your attic and basement can also help cut down that energy bill. Check for drafty windows and doors and replace if necessary. If you are in the market for any new appliances, buy Energy Star® qualified cooling and heating products for the best energy savings. A few easy changes can make a big difference.
4) Maintain Your Appliances
Keeping up on the maintenance of your home appliances will not only save you money, but also will keep your home running smoothly and efficiently. Seasonal furnace maintenance is very important — don’t forget to change or clean your furnace filters once a month, or as needed. It is also very important to clean out the lint from your clothes dryer vent regularly. You should clean the lint filter after each load of laundry and clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically. Not only will having a clogged vent make your dryer less efficient, it's also a major fire hazard.
5) Organize Your home
The longer we live in a home, the more we accumulate. Basements, garages and closets can frequently become so cluttered that they aren’t even used for their main purposes. Not only does clutter look messy and unpleasant but it also takes away precious space. Take the time to get rid of the clutter and make your home be the best that it can be. Get rid of what you don’t need and look into shelving and storage options to make the most of your space.
Taking the time to make (and keep) these resolutions will ensure a happy and healthy New Year — for you and your home.
Related Article: Check our Maintenance List for Homeowners for more detailed resolutions!
For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.NAHB.org
| ©2003, National Association of Home Builders