CLOTHES DRYER Even if you clean your clothes dryer's lint trap with each load, a surprising amount of lint makes it past the trap. Clogged air vents and ductwork not only lead to dryer inefficiency, and an estimated $300 additional to operate yearly, but could also spark a fire. Each year dryers cause some 16,800 residential fires, 15 deaths and 300 injuries, and estimated $236 million in property damage, according to a report by the U.S. Fire Administration. In 70 percent of the cases, "failure to clean" was the leading cause
WASHING MACHINE The biggest disaster with any washing machine is flooding from a burst water hose, which can release 650 gallons of water per hour. Burst hoses top PEMCO's list of homeowner's insurance claims, resulting in an average $4,000 to $6,000 in damages. "If the owner is home and they catch the leak within an hour, it's usually on the low end," says PEMCO spokesman Jon Osterberg. "The bad-case scenario is if they're on vacation. In some of the higher end homes with second-floor laundry facilities, you can reach $100,000 in damages."
WATER HEATER Sold with 6 or 12-year warranties, PEMCO Insurance suggests replacing your tank every 10 years. Roto-Rooter caps the useful life at 15 years. Several factors lead to tank corrosion. Water sediment at the bottom of the tank builds up if not drained properly. Tanks also have sacrificial anode rod, When these rods wear out, water begins to corrode your tank from the inside out.
REFRIGERATOR Several factors can lead to refrigerator poor performance: Excessive dust and dirt can clog the condenser coils forcing the coolant to work harder; an un-leveled refrigerator can knock the doors out of alignment, causing cold air and energy to escape, and a dirty door gasket can break the tight seal necessary to maintain your refrigerator's efficiency. In refrigerators with water dispensers, a clogged filter can stop the automatic icemaker from working and produce discolored water.
HVAC Often a major expense, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, systems require yearly professional inspections and adjustments to ensure proper operation. Just a 10 percent leak in refrigerant could result in a 20 percent decrease in efficiency. Homeowners may save up to 50 percent in energy costs with proper HVAC maintenance, according to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. Clean filters result in a 5 percent to 15 percent reduction in energy consumption, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 49,200 heating equipment related home fires.
LIGHTING The average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Traditional incandescent lights convert approximately only 10% of the energy they consume into light, while the rest becomes heat. The use of new lighting technologies, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), can reduce the energy use required by lighting by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time that lights are on but not being used. Here are some facts about CFLs and LEDs: CFLs use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs last even longer than CFLs and consume less energy. LEDs have no moving parts and, unlike CFLs, they contain no mercury.
DISHWASHER “The biggest thing you can do to keep your dishwasher running well is to clean food off your dishes before you put them in,” Krier says. Food bits get stuck in crevices, gum up moving parts and cause bacteria to form. Krier recommends using a dishwasher cleaning product every three to six months to remove calcium buildup.
PLUMBING SYSTEMS Property damage resulting from water damage due to plumbing failures and freezing pipes is the second most common cause of homeowner loss. Water caused $9.1 billion in annual homeowner policy property losses annually from 2007 to 2009 – approximately 23 percent of all homeowner property losses.
Up to 93% of the cost of water damage could have been prevented or minimized if an automatic water leak detection and shut-off system had been present in the homes, according to an ACE Private Risk Services study of damage sustained by affluent homeowners.
Over 2,660 deaths and 15,200 injuries occur on average due to problems or failure with fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and smoke alarms. with direct property loss due to home fires estimated at $7.3 billion annually. According to recent data, almost two-thirds of residential fire casualties occurred in homes without properly functioning smoke alarms.
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
Each year up to 20,000 people are treated for injuries related to garage doors.
A poorly maintained home increases safety and health risks, increases operating costs, and can lead to expensive service calls and repairs after failures.
Performing regular home maintenance will save both time and money and will help prevent you and your loved ones from becoming a statistic.
A well maintained home can also help protect your home’s value if you should choose to sell. Buyers are guarded against spending their hard earned money on a poorly maintained properties and the home will not command high market values.