Your family's health and safety is your utmost concern, and you make sure to stay on top of cleaning and other household tasks on a regular basis. But are you neglecting these chores? 

Deep Clean Your Dryer  

While you clean the lint trap in your dryer on a regular basis, when is the last time you cleaned the vent and ducts? Did you know that dirty vents and ducts cause more than 15,000 building fires each year in the U.S.? 

Make this the year to make this chore a priority. If this is a job you are not up for, consider hiring a professional. HomeAdvisor shows that the national average cost for this task is $132. When it comes to the safety of your family and home, this is money well spent.

Furthermore, when the duct is clean, it takes less time to dry clothes, because your dryer runs more efficiently. This means you save money on your energy bill. 

Label and Store Household Products in a Safe Place 

Are household products stored in a safe place, away from children and pets? Poisoning is the second-leading cause of accidental deaths in homes, with more than 5,000 deaths occurring a year.  Don't let this happen in your home. 

Invest in safety latches on cabinets that house cleaning products, so little ones cannot get into them. Better yet, store them out of reach. Also, keep yourself safe. One of the most dangerous things you can do is mix products or use products that react with one another. Label spray bottles and other containers with a dark permanent marker to ensure that you know what you are using.

And don’t forget there are many other harmful products. Cosmetics, glue, paint, and laundry detergents are a few other items that need to be safely stored from little ones and pets.

Germ Filled Shower Heads  

Do you clean your shower heads? If not, you should. Why? Because there is a buildup of bacteria and mold due to a constantly damp environment.  Some of those bacteria may be especially harmful to family members that have compromised immune systems, causing a type of pneumonia and lung disease.

Even though you may be tempted to use bleach, don't. Scientists found that bleach multiplies certain strains of bacteria in shower heads. And you should stay away from commercial cleaning products, as these chemicals can damage your shower head. 

The best solution is vinegar. Simply pour vinegar into a plastic bag and secure the bag around the shower head with a rubber band. Let it soak for a few hours and remove. Finally, use a toothbrush to scrub your shower head clean of any residual buildup.

Not only will your shower head be healthy and clean, but you have the added benefit of better water pressure.  

Changing the Air Filter on Your Furnace 

Dirty air filters are harmful to your furnace. Because there is less air flow, evaporator coils can get a buildup of ice, then overheat. This leads to your unit breaking down or even a fire. 

Many factors contribute to dust and dirt in your filter. If you have indoor pets, more allergens are trapped in the filter and spread throughout your home.  Also, if you love fresh air, and leave windows and doors open, naturally more dirt and dust are picked up through your system. 

By changing filters monthly, you are providing your family better air quality, thus a healthier home.

Another reason to keep a monthly schedule is that it will save you more money in the long run. Not only will you save on repairs, but consider this. Angie’s List says that consistently changing your filters saves you anywhere from 5 to 15 percent on utility costs.

A little maintenance and care in your home go a long way in keeping your family safe from hazards. Here's to keeping your family in good hands in the new year ahead.