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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Working from home has its perks, but it has drawbacks as well. Your home may now be occupied 100 per cent of the time at full occupancy and that could lead to excessive strain.

Home strain is a real issue and families working in close quarters can be tense but it could also become expensive. There are appliances we once only used on occasion now being used more frequently. Heaters are now on all the time, circuits are overloaded due to electronics, and even plumbing fixtures like toilets and sinks are used more often. 

Things we take for granted may quickly become stressed to capacity. 

It can be costly to replace a dishwasher, a water heater, or even a power failure where the generator gives out exactly the wrong time. It can all add up. 

A little maintenance can go a long way and save you money. Here are some examples.

  • Kitchen: Test your smoke detectors, clean the dishwasher filter, change bulbs to LED, check for leaks under the sink.
  • Office: Be sure not to overload the plugs that trip circuit breakers.
  • Bathrooms: Decalcify faucets, and clean hair out of the drains. 
  • Yard: Clean the gutters, ensure drains are diverted away from the house, eliminate pooling, check your home's exterior for cracks.

I asked Andrew Wynn, director of Home Services at Hippo Insurance: If you had only $50 to spend on home maintenance, where would you spend that money? 

“We actually find it's the simplest things that are the most important,” he said in an email. “Start by replacing HVAC filters, cleaning your dishwasher filters and replacing batteries in your smoke detectors."

However, you may want to leave some home repairs to the pros, he added. Plumbers, electricians and roofers are often considered essentials workers. 

Bottom line: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take good care of the things you use a lot. These are unusual times, and for a lot of us, our usage has increased significantly. 


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