3 home checks you should tackle this month

Repair versus replace
Posted at 1:03 PM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 13:03:46-05
Too many of us wait until things around the house either break down or die altogether before we fix them. “Now’s a great time to make a resolution to take care of the little things around your house." Angie Hicks, Founder of Angie's List explains, "Even the most experienced homeowner often leaves these things go and they can cost you big in the long run.”
When was the last time you took a look at your water heater? Chances are good that you’ve also never done the annual chore that will keep it working well for the 12 years it’s meant to run well.  Plumbers say the leading cause of cracks in your water heater is caused by the build-up of calcium and lime int he tank.  Flushing the sediment is a real money saver. 
Another annual chore some of us have never done: clearing your outside dryer vent. Fifteen thousand homes catch fire when backed up lint and debris get too hot. 
Roger Elkins, with Williams Comfort Air Service says a clogged vent will also have an effect on how well your dryer performs. “Once that starts to stop up, you’re still wanting to dry clothes so where it might have taken you 30 minutes to dry that laundry maybe it takes you 35 and then it’s 40, and then it’s 45 minutes. Well that’s all a bi-product of my dryer vent is getting stopped up.”
This annual chore might surprise you: deep cleaning your carpet. Pros say most carpet will look good for a decade if you take care of it well, and that means an annual deep cleaning for high-traffic areas on top of weekly vacuuming. 
Basic maintenance does take time but it pays off because emergency repair fees can add hundreds to your replacement costs. Also, appliances and your water heater account for nearly a third of your energy bill. When they work harder, you pay more.