We’ve made it through another 365 days! What better way to celebrate all the great things that took place than to prepare your home for an even better year? You can ensure the safety of your home, family and guests by following these 5 yearly homeownership tasks to start the new year. Sometimes even small tasks can make a big difference when it comes to the safety of your home.
Check Smoke Detector Batteries
Some smoke detectors beep or have a light to indicate a low battery, but some less expensive options leave it up to the homeowner to figure out when a battery change is necessary. A good rule of thumb is to replace batteries once a year. You’ll have peace of mind knowing there are fresh batteries in the device you rely on to notify you of fire or smoke.
Service Heating System
The middle of winter is the worst time for your heating system to break down! Poorly maintained systems can also leak hazardous and odorless carbon monoxide gases into your home. Prevent issues by having your heating system serviced every year by a professional. This routine maintenance can also prevent larger and more expensive problems down the road.
If you have a wood burning fireplace, having your chimney cleaned is critical for safety. Soot, debris and flammable material can clog your chimney over time. If smoke can’t escape through the chimney, it will flow into your home. The material in the chimney can also catch fire, creating an especially dangerous scenario. There’s no way to climb into a chimney to put out a flame and a fire extinguisher may not reach the embers. Make chimney cleaning a yearly task to avoid potential fires and retain good air quality in your home.
With tax time approaching, it’s important to gather certain paperwork needed for filing. In addition to the normal income forms, it’s a good time to gather documentation on your home-related expenses. Keep a lookout for the tax form from your mortgage company showing how much you paid in interest for the year. Track down payment details for property taxes. Gather receipts for home renovations and repairs. If you purchased or refinanced during 2018, pull out a copy of your closing statement. This will help your accountant prepare your tax returns and allow you to maximize home-related tax deductions.
Check/Replace Fire Extinguisher
Believe it or not, fire extinguishers have an expiration date too. You wouldn’t want to pull one out during a fire to find it has lost pressure or no longer works. Check the date on your extinguishers and replace them as needed. While you’re at it, make sure you have them in all the right placed, such as in kitchens and basements. This small step can quite literally save your life and prevent major damage to your home.
Final Thoughts on Yearly Homeownership Tasks to Start the New Year
Although home safety might not be a new year’s resolution, completing these yearly homeownership tasks will help make your year a better one by saving you money and keeping your home safe. If you’re looking for even more ways to save money and protect your home, give our team a call. We can review your home, auto, and other insurance policies.