By adopting a few resolutions, you can fortify your home against potential issues and pave the way for a healthier and financially sound 2024.

By adopting a few resolutions, you can fortify your home against potential issues and pave the way for a healthier and financially sound 2024.

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

As the new year unfolds, many make resolutions to improve their health, fitness, and financial standing. So why not take the same approach to improving your home? Consider these simple resolutions to help boost your home’s resilience for 2024 and beyond.

Safeguard your investment
Protecting the value of your home is a cornerstone for home resilience. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recommends that you have an adequate emergency fund for home repairs, which averaged $1,667 in 2023, and you make sure your homeowner’s insurance is sufficient and that it covers replacement costs in the event of a loss. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company says that an estimated two-thirds of homeowners are underinsured.

Survey your foundation
Cracks in your foundation can be an optimal opening for mice and pests — or could signal bigger structural or drainage problems. Without repair, they could expand and cause major damage. Keep an eye on them and measure and take photos of them. Caulk any small hairline cracks and call a professional for larger cracks. 

Prevent and prepare for fire
Make sure your home is safeguarded from fire by checking smoke detectors and alarms to make sure they are functioning properly. Replace old fire extinguishers, keeping one in the kitchen and on each floor of your home. Be careful using candles and space heaters and read up on how to extinguish grease and electrical fires. Make sure your appliances are plugged into wall outlets and be careful with extension cords and electrical cords. Have your chimney swept every year to remove debris that could become hazardous. If you live in a wildfire-prone area, remove any flammable items away from your home, learn about defensible zones, and work with a wildfire mitigation specialist like Wildfire Partners. Finally, be sure to put together an evacuation plan with escape routes for your whole family. 

Test for radon
January is National Radon Action Month so it’s a great time to address it if your home has not been tested recently. Radon is a radioactive, odorless, colorless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and can build up in your home. Radon exposure can be detected with proper testing. For homes with elevated radon levels, mitigation systems can be installed that vent the radon away from underneath the home.

Breathe easier
Give your family the gift of a healthier home environment by improving indoor air quality. The air inside your home can be two to five times more polluted than the outside air, according to research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Poor indoor air quality can lead to headaches, dizziness, nose and throat irritation, and fatigue. And people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors.

HouseLogic.com points out that various sources can contribute to poor indoor air quality, including an influx of pollutants from outdoor air, household cleaners, paints, carpets and furnishings, cooking appliances, fireplaces, tobacco, pet dander, mold, dust and even candles, according to HouseLogic.com. Wildfires can exacerbate outdoor air quality, with affected areas reaching unhealthy or hazardous levels. 

According to the World Health Organization, all of these pollutants can create health problems, including respiratory illnesses and allergy flare-ups, migraines, and even heart disease. 

Improve indoor air quality at home with these simple steps recommended by HouseLogic.com.

  • Remove air pollutants with an air purifier that has a HEPA or activated carbon technology filter, is equipped with shortwave ultraviolet light, or has ionic purifiers that clean the air by emitting negatively charged ions and using electrically charged filters. 
  • Clean your home weekly to remove dust, pet dander, dust mites and mold to boost your home’s air hygiene. Use a damp cloth to wipe hard surfaces, vacuum carpets with a HEPA-rated filter, and wash bedding in hot water to help control pollutants.
  • Change your home’s HVAC filter regularly with high MERV — minimum efficiency reporting value — ratings on the upper end of the 1 to 16 scale. 
  • Provide natural ventilation by opening windows on both upper and lower levels for at least 10 minutes to create airflow throughout the house. Do not open your windows when outdoor air pollution is high.
  • Use fans — including floor, exhaust and ceiling — to circulate indoor air.
  • Remove aerosols that accumulate from cooking with a range hood vented to the outside. Recently, gas ranges have been identified as nitrogen and carbon dioxide emitters, making the range hood fan even more beneficial.
  • Add air-purifying house plants to help remove toxins from the air, such as English ivy, bamboo palm, parlor palm, snake plant, red-edged dracaena, peace lilies and Boston ferns.

By adopting these resolutions, you fortify your home against potential issues and pave the way for a healthier and financially sound 2024. To delve deeper, read the full articles at aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2023/new-years-resolutions-for-homeowners.html,  familyhandyman.com/list/new-years-resolutions-for-homeowners and houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/indoor-air-quality-solutions-for-your-home.


By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.