New Year Resolutions for the Home

As 2019 quickly approaches, we begin thinking about the changes we’d like to make for the new year. Maybe this year you’ll eat healthier, or finally use that gym membership, or make a better effort to see that friend you always say you need to make a better effort to see. The New Year’s Resolution: we’ve all got one. But we’re not the only ones with resolutions; our homes want in on the game too. Here’s a list of the most common New Year’s resolutions…for your home:

#1 – GET A CHECK-UP ??‍⚕️?

No one likes going to the doctor. Your home is no different, but an annual check-up can find issues that have the potential to become big problems if left unchecked. The most important home health issues to get checked are:

  • Energy Performance – your home may have air leaks, potential combustion safety issues, or ineffective insulation, to name a few. These issues could mean your home is working harder than it needs to, wasting energy. An energy audit is a great way to discover your home’s energy performance. Having your home HERS rated will give you valuable information to improve your home’s performance. Click here to find a certified energy rater near you.
  • Radon Check – 21,000 deaths per year occur due to lung cancer from radioactive particles trapped in the lungs. Radon can have a huge impact on your home’s indoor air quality. Radon is odorless, so you’ll need to test for it. Test kits are available from several sources to detect radon: county and state health departments, state radon programs, hardware stores, and some local American Lung Associations. To find out where you can get a kit or hire a certified tester near you, click here.
  • Lead and Asbestos Check – if your home was built BEFORE 1978, it’s a great idea to have it checked for lead and asbestos. You can buy test kits online, but for something as serious as lead and asbestos, it’s best to find a certified risk assessor and inspector. Click here to locate certified inspectors, risk assessors, and abatement firms in your area.

#2 – DRINK LESS ??

The average person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day. The home uses water in a multitude of ways: showers & baths, dishwashers, washers, sinks, toilets, and irrigation systems, for example. There are many things you can do to curb your home’s water usage:

  • WaterSense Products – replace old products with WaterSense products. WaterSense products will make your home more water-efficient, and they are backed by an independent, 3rd-party certification to meet EPA standards for efficiency and performance.
  • EnergyStar Appliances –replacing older appliances with EnergyStar appliances can greatly reduce your water usage. For instance, older model dishwashers can use up to 16 gallons per cycle, whereas EnergyStar models use as little as 6 gallons. Older washers can use up to 40 gallons a wash, whereas EnergyStar washers use as little as 25 gallons per load. These water savings add up over time.
  • Replace Toilets –most new toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush. Older models can use 3-4 gallons, so if you have an older toilet, it’s a great idea to replace it.
  • Curb Personal Use –there are things each person in the household can do to save water: turn of the faucet when you brush your teeth, take shorter showers, turn of the faucet when shaving, wash small loads of dishes by hand, for example. Simply being conscious about your water usage will help your home use less.


Just like you, your home needs to breathe. Improving your home’s indoor air quality benefits you as well as your home. There are plenty of things you can do to enhance the air quality in your home, but these are the most important:

  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors – if your home doesn’t have carbon monoxide detectors, you need to install them. CM detectors only run about $40 bucks and are easy to find at local hardware, retail, and home improvement stores. Carbon monoxide is odorless, but can be deadly, making the investment well worth it.
  • Proper Ventilation –make sure your home has proper ventilation from the bathroom and attic space. Many homes either don’t have vents or the vents are blocked by something on the roof. Without proper ventilation, moisture can build up in the home causing mold. If you don’t have vents, have them installed.
  • Replace Air Filters –your HVAC needs new air filters every 2-3 months. Replacing filters regularly helps keep the air clean and extends the life and performance of your HVAC system.
  • Low VOC Paints –paint with low VOC paints to keep harmful chemicals out of the air: chemicals found in traditional paints.
  • Clean Lint from Ducts –everyone regularly empties their dryer’s lint filters, but lint can also build up in the vent and duct behind the dryer. It’s best to once or twice a year detach the vent from behind the dryer and, using a dish towel attached to a snake, clean out the vent and duct. Lint can be combustible if it builds up. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 15,000 buildings a year catch fire due to vents and ducts clogged with lint.

#4 – LOSE WEIGHT ⚖️?

Okay, okay. Maybe your home can’t lose weight, but it can definitely trim some fat by going on an energy diet. From minor to major, there are many things that can be done around the house to improve your home’s energy usage:

  • Adjust Your Thermostat – adjusting the thermostat by 3-5 degrees when you’re not home can reduce your monthly bills.
  • Wash in Cold Water –the majority of the energy used to run the washing machine is toward hot water. Most detergents are just as effective in cold water, saving you energy.
  • LED Bulbs –LED lightbulbs are an energy-efficient alternative to incandescent. LED bulbs also don’t produce heat so they won’t raise the temperature of your home.
  • Smart Home Technology –automating your home with smart home technology will allow you to control your home remotely from your smart phone. You can turn lights and appliances off from your phone and program your thermostat around your schedule.


A new year is a great time to de-clutter your home. From closets to attics to basements to the garage, we all have extra stuff lying around that we don’t use…or things that aren’t in a proper, convenient place. These tips will help you get your home organized:

  • Clear the Closet – the best rule of thumb to get rid of extra clothing is to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in a year. Don’t just throw it out: donate to a charity or sell your clothing on an app like letgo to make some extra cash.
  • Create Storage Areas – There are plenty of underutilized spaces in your home that could be used for storage. Under the stairs in a great place for storage. Put up high shelves along narrow hallways or even install drawers in the toe kicks of kitchen cabinets.
  • Garage Sale –I’ve always been a fan of donating unused items. But a garage sale is a great way to make some extra money for the new year. To make your garage sale more successful, you could organize a community sale with your neighbors.

For other innovative ways to create storage and de-clutter around your home, check out this great blog from {LIFE}BUZZ.

Brite Homes Florida would like to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR ??! Hopefully these resolutions will make your house more of a home. But if you’re in the market for a new home this new year, don’t hesitate to reach out. We will be happy to help!!