By Dona DeZube
Are you guilty of being a bad homeowner? Here are the top 10 signs you need to get off the couch and give your home the love it deserves.
1. Your furnace filter has more fur than your golden retriever. Installing a new one-inch pleated furnace filter every month will keep pet hair and other filter-cloggers like dust from harming your HVAC system.
2. Epiphany isn't the day you take down your holiday lights, it's when you realize you left them up so long that you've actually put them up early for next year. Leaving lights up year-round and exposed to the elements can shorten their lifespan and turn them into a fire hazard. If you live in a community association, year-round holiday lights probably violates the HOA's holiday decoration regulations.
3. Your strategy for leaf removal involves a strong wind blowing toward your neighbor's yard. Make the job easier by getting the right leaf-removal equipment.
4. You think that toilet bowl in the front yard really would make a great planter. Bad curb appeal can lower you home's value. Ease up on the lawn ornaments, stash your trash, and seek professional help if you're brown-thumbed.
5. You send out a birth announcement when the family of rats living in your backyard has a new litter. Getting rid of rats takes community effort and having even one neighbor who won't join in the cause can doom neighborhood-wide pest control plans.
6. You tell your son that the fallen tree in your backyard is his new Sherwood Forest play set. The right pruning tactics can save trees damaged by storms.
7. Closing your pool for the season requires a call to the hazmat team. Close your swimming pool the right way to save time next spring.
8. You tell your kids that you don't shovel snow from your sidewalk because you want them to experience the nostalgia of walking to school through 3 feet of snow, uphill both ways. Home snow removal is easier if you buy the right snow-blower.
9. Your strategy for repairing broken windows involves duct tape or cardboard. You can save money by repairing windows yourself, or replace your windows with energy-efficient models.
10. You're charging the neighborhood kids admission to your backyard because they think your dilapidated fence is the gateway to a spooky carnival funhouse. Choose a great replacement fence by thinking about style, cost and HOA limits.
This article originally appeared on HouseLogic.
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