Welcome to the New Year! While you are still reminiscing about the ball drop in Times Square, your friends and family are beginning to ask, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”
The tradition of setting goals for the new year is always a heated debate, but studies have shown that special dates like New Year’s are extremely motivating when it comes to goal setting. And while you may be considering ways to achieve health, career, and financial goals in 2022, there is another essential aspect of your life that here at Hippo, we think is worth adding to your important list of New Year’s resolutions – your home.
Not only is your home one of the most significant investments in your life, but it is likely now more than ever, one of the most influential places to you and your family. It provides protection, warmth, and a place to enjoy quality time while also serving as a workplace, classroom, and gym.
Now is a great time to begin setting a resolution (or 7) for the upcoming year. Keep reading for some of Hippo’s favorite New Year’s resolutions for your home.
Reset your water heater’s thermostat
Your home’s water heater can be one of the highest sources of energy usage, raising utility costs. Not only does it already take a lot of energy to heat your home’s water, but according to a study conducted by NPR, 41% of homes have their water heating settings far too high.
Your home’s water heater comes set to a specific temperature and then continually cycles on and off, reheating water to that temperature whether you are actively using it or not. Even if you are a fan of super-hot showers, you likely won’t even notice a difference. Lowering the temperature on your water heater by just a few degrees can save you significantly on your heating bills.
Detour drain clogs
Your home’s plumbing is easy to be thought of as “Out of sight, out of mind,” but neglecting or avoiding doing preventative maintenance for your home’s plumbing will end up costing you so much more in the long run: more time, more money, more aggravation.
The pipes in your home are already working hard without the added pressure from new or existing clogs. Any blockages stress and shorten the lifespan of your plumbing. Prevent obstructing any of your home’s pipes by knowing what goes down the drain. Avoid allowing grease or any food scraps down kitchen drains, fend off hair build-up in bathroom drains, and ensure only toilet paper goes down toilets.
Clean and install gutter guards
To be sure, even though cleaning gutters should be at the top of your seasonal home maintenance checklist, it will always be a bit of a production. To work smarter and not harder in the future, there is a device that you could invest in--saving you time, energy, and in some cases, money in the long run.
Gutter guards are easy to install, bring positive results, and are the solution to not having to clean your gutters as often. In most cases, gutter guards simply snap into place and immediately prevent things from accumulating and clogging your gutter system. Another lesser-known benefit of gutter guards is that they also stop insect and vermin infestations.
Reevaluate your roof
It is very common to only think about the condition of your roof when severe weather is on the forecast or when the damage is already so significant you can no longer ignore it. But since your home’s roof is your first line of defense against the elements, it’s crucial to be proactive when ensuring it is in the best condition. Understanding what types of roof damage exist and knowing your roof’s age and condition from season to season is critical. Take action immediately if you notice any signs of wear and tear.
When you look at your home, you may not notice that at your pet’s level, your home has many choices for things they could ruin by chewing or scratching them. For instance, a decorative shelf can quickly become a chew toy, or a brand-new planter could be mistaken for a litter box. To keep even your most high-energy pet safe and comfortable, pet-proofing every room is a must. To keep your dog from destroying your shoe collection or your cat from scratching up your favorite armchair, you need to do some prep work. By pet-proofing your home, you can easily protect your four-legged friends as well as your favorite belongings.
And if you don’t have pets but instead are looking to baby-proof your home, we’ve got you covered there as well.
Even though life can tend to be a bit stressful, especially as a homeowner, life can be a little easier when you make use of the right smart home devices. In our Hippo survey on the state of homeownership post-pandemic, 44% of people surveyed said they invested in some type of smart home device during 2020. It makes sense. The right smart technology can help you create a certain ambiance, delight houseguests, and keep your home safer and more functional.
Now is the time, so whether you are thinking about installing a smart water gauge, security system, or maybe starting simple with putting in a few smart light bulbs, there is no time like the present. It’s no secret that here at Hippo, we understand the connection between home sweet home and home smart home. That’s why we offer free smart home kits to our customers, plus four times the technology coverage on your home insurance policy.
Home insurance review
Knowing how much home insurance you need can be a tricky question, especially if you aren’t a professional in the industry, and the last thing you want is to find out you don’t have enough coverage when you need it.
This is a common problem. Most people — 70% — conduct no research before initially buying home insurance, according to a 2017 Hippo survey, and 64% don’t have enough insurance to fully repair their homes after a disaster, according to a 2015 Marshal and Swift/Boeckh study. That’s why it is vital to do a home insurance review annually.
Once you have completed a home inventory to determine how much personal property is right for your home, speak with an insurance professional you trust. Make sure to mention any smart home upgrades, additional safety measures taken, and/or big changes made to your home since the last time you reviewed your policy. Once you decide on the perfect level of coverage for your home with the advice of your home insurance company, they can help you look for discounts as well as eliminate any unnecessary coverage.
Happy New Year!
People put together New Year’s resolutions in order to set themselves up for success for the next year and beyond. Because of this, it is easy to get overwhelmed and even throw in the towel on some (if not all) of our resolutions. The key is not to get discouraged. Break goals down into small steps, and enjoy knocking them off your list. Completing New Year’s resolutions in the home can be even more celebratory because not only are you working to keep an important investment safe and sound, but you will also be able to look around your home and see exactly how your resolutions have paid off.
Good luck completing your list of resolutions, and Happy New Year from your Hippo family.