MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Self-improvement goals may be at the top of most New Year’s resolutions lists, but the experts at American Home Shield, the nation’s largest provider of home warranties, is encouraging homeowners to make a plan to protect one of their most valuable assets: their home. The best plans include a mix of safety strategies, preventative maintenance, and financial protection.
“We’ve made 4 million visits to customers’ homes this year to diagnose and repair breakdowns to major home systems and appliances. We know firsthand what a difference regular home maintenance can make,” said Dave Quandt, who oversees the company’s network of more than 14,000 home service contractors.
In a recent survey of American Home Shield home service contractors, 87 percent of respondents said consumers can save hundreds of dollars a year just by following simple maintenance guidelines.
Here are five resolutions that Quandt says all homeowners should have on their list to protect their home in 2018:
- Put your safety first. Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all bedrooms and high traffic areas of the home, and make sure they are in good working order. Install a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace and water heater since they are likely to run more during extremely cold weather.
- Create a monthly maintenance calendar and post it on the refrigerator or create reminders on your smartphone. Set aside a day each month and assign a task like testing smoke detectors, changing the furnace filter, checking for leaks around windows and doorframes, flushing your hot water tank, cleaning the coils on your refrigerator, or other important maintenance work.
- Stay warm and clean during the second busiest time of the year for appliance and system breakdowns. No one wants to be stuck in frigid temperatures without hot water, so check the hot water heater’s pressure relief valve to ensure it is relieving pressure appropriately – which should be done once per year. Most traditional tank water heaters need to be drained once a year because sediment can settle inside the tank and cause it to overheat. Draining the water heater is surprisingly quick and easy. Simply attach a garden hose to the drain valve on the bottom of the heater, open the valve and drain away. The manufacturer’s website will likely have detailed instructions for your unit.
- Easy money. The most important piece of preventative maintenance you can do for your furnace is to replace the air filter. It may seem obvious, but countless homeowners forget. Replacing the filter quarterly can add years to the life of the furnace and reduce energy costs, as well as improve the air quality in your home and reduce the number of allergens floating around your home.
- Prepare for the unexpected. A home warranty is a great way to protect your budget against unexpected repair costs, and ensure that covered items are professionally repaired or replaced. Look for a company that has a strong network of service contractors, offers you the coverage options that meets your needs and budget, and has a proven track record for serving its customers. “Our warranties are designed to be used,” said Quandt. “We accept and pay more service requests than any other home warranty company in the nation. That’s added up to $1.8 billion in the past five years.”
*Survey: American Home Shield 2017 Contractor PR Survey
American Home Shield founded the home warranty industry in 1971 and remains the industry leader. Together with all of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, American Home Shield services approximately 1.6 million customers in all 50 states. The companies operate five customer service centers, employ approximately 1,700 employees and have a national contractor network made up of nearly 14,000 independent home service contractors and more than 45,000 service technicians. American Home Shield is a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. The ServiceMaster network of companies includes AmeriSpec, American Home Shield, Furniture Medic, Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean, ServiceMaster Restore and Terminix. American Home Shield® is the Official Home Warranty of Minor League Baseball™.
ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 8,000 company-owned locations and franchise and license agreements. The company’s portfolio of well-recognized brands includes American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). We serve residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company employees and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/ServiceMaster. ServiceMaster® is the Official Home Services Provider of Minor League Baseball™.