California native Breegan Jane is an interior designer, owner of an eponymous design-build firm, and, among other media turns, the new designing face of HGTV’s recent reboot of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” She sees the ongoing Corona virus pandemic as a boost to the practice of home maintenance.
“Either people are finally getting to things they should have done a long time ago,” she says. “Or, they’re home, bored, and looking for projects.”
Whatever gets you to clean the gutters is a good thing, and to help homeowners prioritize their home maintenance projects, Breegan listed some of the more important.
“Air quality matters a lot,” says the entrepreneur who recently added a business relationship with Trane to her professional quiver. “Your heating system filters should be cleaned every 90 days – not once a year, as we tend to think.”
For the comfort of family members who run at different temperatures, she says, “Install zones in your HVAC system.”
Jane is a proponent of what she calls, “Set the temperature for the season.”
Instead of adjusting the thermostat constantly, she says, follow this procedure.
“In the summer, place the system switch on COOL, and the fan switch on AUTO. Then set the temperature by using the indicator on the thermostat control. Now your system will cool your house whenever the indoor temperature climbs above the thermostat setting. It will shut off when the desired room temperature is reached.
“In the winter, when the system switch is on HEAT, the system will operate whenever the room temperature falls below the temperature setting. Once the desired temperature is reached, the system will shut off.”
She also points out that modern AC units are more efficient and kinder to the environment than those of the past.
“If yours is over 20 years old, you may want to consider updating.”
Other maintenance chores Jane champions include vacuuming the dryer vent, re-grouting the bathtub, testing the smoke alarms and power washing and painting the house exterior.
“These are all easy and inexpensive, but make a big difference.”
But whether you are replacing appliances or upgrading your cabinet hardware, Breegan Jane reminds you that there is no substitute for careful measuring.
“So many times, people get carried away when they see that beautiful new fridge in the store, and they don’t realize until it gets delivered that it won’t fit. Get out the measuring tape and think about size and placement. For example, you may want to relocate the dishwasher to be near the silverware drawer.”
Measuring is such an important part of her daily life, that Jane carries a tiny tape measure on her key chain.