Improving your home's fitness


Every January, millions of Americans make resolutions to get in shape, save money and get organized. {}While exercise can help shed pounds and a list can keep you organized, a renewed commitment to the overall fitness of your home is an essential key to saving money and reducing stress.{}DIY Network host Amy Matthews partnered with HomeAdvisor to share tips on how routine home maintenance checks can help your viewers avoid home repair emergencies and unexpected costs in 2013. HomeAdvisor is a free website that connects homeowners with pre-screened service professionals and provides free resources for home projects such as project cost guides. {}Start from the top. {}Check your shingles on your roof after any period of inclement weather, like our recent snow and ice, not to mention the weeks-worth of rain. {}If you notice any missing or torn shingles, you can get a jump on a patch before it becomes a big problem. {}When it comes to your garbage disposal, there are a couple of things that can damage things. {}Avoid dumping coffee grounds, egg shells or chicken bones in the disposal. {}Once a month, you can drop a few pieces of lemon or lime with a couple of ice cubes. {}It keeps things fresh and clean.Nothing is worse than a cold shower in the winter, so check on your hot water heater. {}Experts suggest draining them once a year, to remove sediment. {}Also, a $25 hot water heater blanket can help save energy on older models. {}And don't forget about the air filters in your HVAC systems. {}Replace your filters about once a month. {}Not only does it improve air quality in your home, but it improves the efficiency of the system.Are you sure you're DIY-capable enough to take care of projects at your home? {}If you're not sure, there's a way to test yourself before a big, and possibly expensive blunder. {}HomeAdvisor and Amy Matthews have teamed up to develop the Home Report Card. {}It's a free, online quiz that homeowners can take to assess the shape of their home and learn simple steps to improve their home's health. {}To get advice or take the test, go to{}