10 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Best Home Ever!

2020 is a new year and a new decade. What changes will you make with it?

Here are our team’s top tips to get your best (and most energy-efficient) home ever!


Install a Smart Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat is a great way to save money and energy in 2020. Smart thermostats connect to your wifi and can be controlled remotely from your phone for convenience. Another plus of smart thermostats is their ability to learn from your habits and programmed settings.

A smart thermostat can learn when you’re home and will automatically adjust the temperature while you’re away to help you save money. Then, when it’s time for the family to start getting home from school or work, your thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature back to the desired comfort level without you having to lift a finger!


Switch to LED Light Bulbs

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LED light bulbs are a great, passive way to save money on your electricity bill. LED light bulbs last 6 to 7 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and can cut energy use by 80%. Quality LEDs will last up to 25 times longer than conventional bulbs, which means no more annoying trips to the store when one light randomly burns out.

Switching to LED bulbs can be simple. You don’t have to swap all your existing light bulbs out at once—just swap the bulbs as they burn out throughout the year to save time and money!


Deep Clean Your Home

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition for many families, but there are many places homeowners forget to check while cleaning their homes.

  • Dryer - Regularly cleaning out your dryer will prevent lint from getting trapped and creating a fire hazard. Grab a dry washcloth and swipe around the inside of your lint trap to collect any dust and lint that may have strayed from the filter.

  • Washing machine - Ironically enough, your washing machine is another place many people forget to clean. Newer models may have a specific setting for cleaning your washing machine, but others will just run a normal cycle with a washcloth inside. After you run your washing machine, check underneath the rubber gaskets for any mold that may be hiding!

  • Door handles - These can be some of the most used areas of your home, but they’re rarely thought of when it comes time to clean! It’s especially important to clean the door handles and knobs during flu season as it can help significantly reduce your family’s chances of catching (and spreading) any illness!

  • Dust surfaces - Dusting is another task that can go unchecked for too long. Debris such as pollen, dust mites, skin and hair particles, pet dander, and other particles make up dust, which can affect your indoor air quality. Use a microfiber cloth to make sure the dust particles get thoroughly picked up and aren’t just getting pushed around.

  • Remotes and controllers - Any home in the 21st century likely has at least one remote control lying around. These devices probably see the same (if not more) hands than your doors do. Dust and disinfect all video game console controllers and TV remotes to prevent any germs from being spread from these busy areas.


Change Your Air Filter

You’ve probably heard up harp on this before, but you should be changing your air filter regularly. The best time range varies from home to home, but you should be trying to change your air filter every 30-90 days. This number is also affected if your home has pets as pet dander and hair can get caught in the air filter and soil it more quickly than homes without pets.

Since Arizona is so hot, homeowners who live in our area should try to change their air filters every one to two months—especially during the summer.


Invest in Pre-Season Maintenance

Pre-season maintenance is the best way to protect your HVAC system’s longevity as well as save you money on your energy costs. A well-performing HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to get your home to the desired temperature as a faulty heater or air conditioner does.

Plus, when you take care of your HVAC system, it will take care of you right back. The typical lifespan for an HVAC system is 15-20 years, depending on how well you’re taking care of it. Many homeowners decide to upgrade after 10-15 years to a newer, more energy-efficient model to help save on heating and cooling costs.


Protect Your Plumbing

There are many myths out there about what should and shouldn’t go down your drains. Keep these tips handy the next time you have drain issues!


  • Chemical drain cleaners - These chemicals don’t typically work for major clogs, and they can be corrosive to your plumbing over time.

  • Bath bombs - Bath bombs often have solid particles like glitter, confetti, or flower petals that won’t easily go down a drain, which can lead to clogs.

  • Cooking oils - Many people know grease shouldn’t go down your sink, but did you know the same rules apply for cooking oils? They can solidify on the sides of your pipes and create large blockages over time. Instead of running the grease or oils down the drain, let the pan cool and then wipe it thoroughly with a paper towel. Dispose of the paper towel in the trash.


  • Baking soda - Instead of chemical drain cleaner, use baking soda and boiling water to create a natural drain cleaner.

  • Bubble bath - Bubble bath typically is a safe choice for your at-home spa night—the soap is lighter than heavy oils used in bath bombs, and there aren’t any undissolved particles to get clogged in your drain.

  • Plumbing snake - A plumbing snake is a great choice to unplug a stubborn clog, and they’re typically more effective than chemical drain cleaners.


Save Water

Did you know that your faucet can use up to two gallons of water every minute it runs? Save water by installing an aerator on your faucet or by upgrading your plumbing fixtures to WaterSense products.

For a low-budget way to save water, make sure to turn your sink off when you aren’t using it and try to cut down on the time it takes you to take a shower!


Install Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are a great way to save money on your cooling costs in the hotter months (AKA most of the year for Arizona homeowners). Blackout curtains will block out most of the sunlight when they’re closed, so keep the curtains closed in rooms that get more natural light to save some money on your energy bill!


Buy Houseplants

Houseplants can add a pop of color to your home, but they can also help you improve your indoor air quality! Place these plants in your home to add life and remove toxins from your air:

  • English Ivy: This houseplant is the perfect choice for those who are working with a less-than-green-thumb. It can live in full shade or full sun. With proper care, it can survive for many years.

  • Bamboo Palm: This plant is perfect inside your home as it prefers partial sun. These plants can help improve your indoor air quality by removing elements such as carbon dioxide, benzene, and formaldehyde.

  • Gerbera Daisy: Not only are these beautiful, but they can also help remove benzene. As an added benefit, its bright colors can help improve your mood.

  • Peace Lily: Be careful around these plants—they’re beautiful, but they’re also mildly toxic to pets. If you live in a home without furry friends, these plants will be a great addition as they help to fight toxic gases such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.

  • Spider Plant: These plants crave bright but indirect light, and is beneficial in removing the harmful pollutants benzene and formaldehyde.


Learn How to Use Your Ceiling Fans

There are many reasons to use your ceiling fans year-round.

Summer: The air circulation can help you save up to 40% on your cooling costs. Additionally, the wind chill effect created by circulating air can make a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler than it actually is! Make sure your ceiling fan rotates counterclockwise during the hotter months to get the full effect.

Winter: Using your fan during winter doesn’t save as much money during the winter as it does the summer, but you can still save 15% on your heating costs by flipping the switch on your fan! Make sure your fan rotates clockwise in the winter for the full savings.

Western States Home Services can assist you with any of the HVAC and plumbing upgrades, services, or repairs your home requires. Contact our team online or at (480) 630-3270 to schedule an appointment!