GOLDEN, Colo., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent survey conducted by HomeAdvisor*, a leading online destination for home repair and improvement, more than half of US homeowners (53 percent) do not engage in any annual maintenance for their home, and only 18 percent of homeowners are very confident in their general knowledge of their home's annual maintenance needs. To help educate homeowners on their home maintenance needs, Amy Matthews, TV Host and HomeAdvisor's Home Improvement Expert, has partnered with HomeAdvisor to develop the HomeAdvisor Home Report Card, a free quiz homeowners can take at HomeAdvisor.com to assess their knowledge of home maintenance and to learn simple steps to improve the health of their home. Additionally, Matthews offers homeowners five simple, useful tips to keep their homes in shape year round.
"As a homeowner and licensed contractor I know that keeping your house in top shape requires routine care and maintenance," said Matthews. "The Home Report Card will help homeowners determine their overall home knowledge. Additionally, I have five simple tips to help identify important home maintenance needs that can prevent costly unexpected repairs in the future."
Matthews offers homeowners the following five tips to keep their homes in shape this New Year:
Spray Foam Insulation
According to survey findings*, 77 percent of bill-paying US homeowners are at least somewhat concerned about their high energy bills this winter. Small holes in foundation or siding, including anywhere pipes or wires penetrate the envelope of the home, can cause serious heat loss and increased costs. These small crevices can be the equivalent of having a window open all winter. Matthews recommends using a can of spray foam insulation to seal these cracks to help save money on energy bills.
Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters are becoming more energy efficient, but a homeowner who is not yet ready to upgrade can still get the best use out of their current appliance. A helpful tip is to see if the hot water heater is warm to the touch, and if so, to wrap it with an insulated blanket. This will help it work more efficiently.
Homeowners who live in regions that receive heavy rain, hail or snow should be on the lookout for water damage after large storms. Set a reminder to call a roofing pro to inspect the roof for damage or repair needs every one to two years. This continued maintenance will extend the life of the roof and give the homeowner peace of mind.
Heating and Cooling Systems
Ensure the proper function of heating and cooling systems by having them checked by a licensed heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) professional annually to prevent potential future emergency repairs. Matthews recommends that homeowners clean or replace filters every one to three months.
The garbage disposal is one of the most frequently used kitchen appliances and, according to HomeAdvisor, was among the top home appliance repairs in 2012. To avoid garbage disposal repairs, never place coffee grounds, grease, eggshells, bones or potato skins in the disposal. Matthews recommends placing a few ice cubes and the rinds of any citrus fruit in the disposal every few months to keep garbage disposals clean and odor-free.
For more information on HomeAdvisor and its services, visit www.HomeAdvisor.com. Home improvement tips and videos are available by subscribing to the YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/HomeAdvisor, visiting www.Facebook.com/HomeAdvisor, and by following @HomeAdvisor on Twitter.
HomeAdvisor is a leading website and mobile app provider offering tools and resources for home repair and improvement projects. With 13 years of expertise helping more than 25 million people find a trusted home service professional, HomeAdvisor offers the patented ProFinder technology showcasing the nation's largest network of over 80,000 pre-screened, customer-reviewed home improvement professionals. Homeowners can make informed home project decisions using resources including: Pro Reviews, featuring reviews from homeowners who have actually been connected with the service professionals they review; Cost Guide, providing average costs for projects coast-to-coast; Home911, offering dedicated 24/7 emergency home repair support; as well as robust home tips and project planning tools. Access to all of the site's features is free for homeowners, with no membership or fees required. HomeAdvisor is based in Golden, CO, and is a subsidiary of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).
*This survey was conducted online within the United States between December 3-5, 2012 among 2,531 adults age 18+, of whom 1,658 were identified as homeowners, by Harris Interactive on behalf of HomeAdvisor via its Harris Poll QuickQuery® omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
*Calculation based on U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 Census which estimates there are 234.6 million adults ages 18+ residing in the United States: 234.6M x 67% homeowners = 157.2M; of these 11% say they never test the safety equipment in their home = 17.3M."