We make New Year’s resolutions to improve our diet and health, our relationships with friends and family, and even to improve how and where we work. Some of us even commit to keeping the house tidier and maybe applying a bit of a makeover to update our living space. Resolutions for better plumbing in the new year, though, may not come as easily to mind as other things. Do you really need to consider changes to your home’s plumbing structure? Maybe not, but it is a good idea to add a few relevant items to your home improvement to-do list.

Now that we have you thinking about your plumbing, here are a few items to consider for the new year as you contemplate improvements to your home:

1) Schedule a plumbing inspection. If you have never had a plumbing mechanic check out the pipes, water heater, and other fixtures before, you are definitely overdue. Even if you perceive nothing is wrong with the way your water flows, it’s a good idea to have somebody come in once year to check out everything. You might find that your plumber can help you save on your water and heating bills with a few suggestions and fixes.

2) Look into going green. By replacing your current water heater with a tankless model, or installing fixtures like eco-friendly toilets and low-flow shower heads, you can help conserve water and energy, and even see a welcome difference in your utility bills. With certain green improvements to your home, you might also qualify for tax rebates.

3) Consider upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms. Your needs change over time. Maybe you have new additions to the family, or the kids have grown and left the nest. These events have an impact on your home in that you are encouraged to make improvements for your personal comfort. This could be the year you add brushed nickel faucets and handles to your bathrooms, or an upgraded, commercial-style faucet with pull-out sprayer to your kitchen sink. If you’ve longed for a jetted tub, why not look into your options now. Enjoy a long, relaxing bath the way you want it.

4) Watch water usage. This is important any time of year. If you’re concerned about high bills, keep an eye on how much water is used in the course of the day. Try not to let faucets run when not necessary, and watch usage with laundry and lawn care. When you track usage, you’re more aware of when to cut down.

Here’s wishing you a happy 2012, and the hope of great, quality plumbing in your home.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach plumbers and Virginia Beach plumbing services.

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