4 Important Maintenance Tasks For the New Year

The holidays have passed, but spring still seems so far away. January is a rather bland month for many people, and that makes it the perfect time to catch up on some neglected maintenance tasks. After you've taken down the holiday trees and packed away the strings of lights, take a few minutes to complete these four maintenance tasks in the new year.

1. Test for radon
Did you know that radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking? You won't know if this toxic gas is in your home unless you test for it. Consumer Reports explained that winter is a good time to perform a radon test because your doors and windows are closed, limiting ventilation. Next time you're in a home improvement store, pick up a long-term radon testing kit. You'll want to set it up on the lowest level of your home to get the most accurate results.

2. Clean your air humidifier
If your family is combating dry skin, you've probably been running an air humidifier for a month or so. Keep in mind that these appliances need to be cleaned frequently to prevent scale buildup. Check the manufacturer's instructions to see which parts of the humidifier need to be cleaned with vinegar and bleach.

3. Check your fire extinguisher
Between the use of space heaters and fireplaces, many home fires occur in the winter months. It's always good to be prepared for this type of emergency, and homeowners should have a fire extinguisher somewhere in their house. The Homeowners & Trades Resource Center suggested that January is a good time to check your fire extinguisher charge to see if it needs to be addressed. If the charge is in the caution or dead area, make sure to recharge the extinguisher or pick up a new one to keep your home and family safe.

4. Purchase a TotalProtect® Warranty
When you're creating a budget for the coming year, consider setting aside money for a TotalProtect Home Warranty. The service can save you a lot of money on the repair or replacement of covered appliances and home systems. It's also beneficial if you're looking to cut back on the money you have to budget out for home repairs.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.