To start out the new year I’d like to recommend that every homeowner learn the basics of home maintenance.  Here are 5 simple things every homeowner can do to get the new year started off right.

If you live in the Metro Denver area and are interested in learning how to maintain and improve your home visit my website to see our list of home improvement classes and our current calendar of classes.

  1. Check your furnace, humidifier and air cleaner filters.  Clean and replace as needed.  When installing a new disposable furnace filter be sure the arrow printed on the side of the filter is pointing towards the furnace’s blower chamber.
  2. Check and test all your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacles. 

    • Simply plug any electrical device (a small lamp or radio work well) into the receptacle
    • Turn on the device
    • Press the ‘test’ button on the receptacle
    • It should immediately shut off the electrical supply, shutting off the light. If it does not shut off the power supply, replace the receptacle.

  3. Test all Carbon Monoxide and  Smoke alarms. If you do not have a Carbon Monoxide alarm, buy one and intall it TODAY.  Any home with gas-fired appliances (furnace, boiler, water heater, fireplace, stove, dryer, etc.)  should have a carbon monoxide alarm installed.  Replace batteries if necessary.  Never disable your safety devices.
  4. Check all exhaust vents and fans to be sure they are clean and functioning properly. Places where you might find exhaust vents and fans are bathrooms, kitchens (over your stove), attics and crawlspaces.
  5. Locate and mark all shut-off devices for the heating, electrical and plumbing systems. 
    Here is a list of the location of common shut-off devices.

    • Main water shut-off valve – typically located on the lowest level of the home (this could be a crawl space) on the wall near the street.
    • Individual water shut-off valves at sinks, toilets and washing machines.
    • Water shut-off and gas shut-off valves at your water heater.
    • Individual gas shut-off valves at all heating devices (furnace, boilers, gas fireplaces)
    • Individual gas shut-off vales at appliances (gas stoves and dryers)
    • Main electrical service panels and any sub-panels.