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7 handy ways to improve your home in 2018 - CNET

December 31, 2017 12:25 PM PST

If you let a lot of home improvement projects slip by without taking action in 2017, take heart. 2018 is here! You've now got an entire year to jump on those big household tasks. It's time to seize the day, the month and the year.

Not sure what to put next on your to-do list, or do you even have a list at all? Take a look at this selection of How To articles. Gathered here are everything from quick tweaks like setting your thermostat just right to big jobs like switching locks, doorbells and light switches.

We've even got downright messy but critical assignments such as cleaning dryer vents and gas cooktops. There's bound to be a must-do task below for you, no matter how skilled or experienced you are.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Set your Nest right

Dive a little deeper into your Nest thermostat settings. You'll be able to issue it voice commands though Alexa or the Google Assistant. Other tips are how to have it control humidity, work to save you money, and make it stop acting crazy when it's on automatic.
Read: 5 tips for your new Nest Thermostat

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Brian Bennett/CNET

Make multimeters your friend

If you have no clue what a multimeter is or you own one that's gathering dust, this guide is for you. We take a quick look at how multimeters are versatile, flexible home DIY tools every homeowner should have.

Read: 5 reasons everyone should own a multimeter

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Tend to your gas cooktop

Cooktops, stoves and ranges need regular attention and TLC. If they don't get it, they won't serve you well. Treat them right by keeping them spic and span, with all burners ready for action. Both you and your house guests will appreciate the sparkling new look of your tidy appliance, too.

Read: How to clean your gas cooktop with just a few supplies

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Goodbye, blah light switches

Don't hang onto old, boring light switches just because they happen to be three-way. Use this guide to help you overcome your fear. With a little care and caution, you'll be swapping in fancy new dimmers in no time.

Read: How to replace your old, outdated 3-way light switches

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Ditch the keys for convenience

Physical keys are so medieval. Your front door should rock a sleek, electronic lock like it's 2018. These gadgets are flexible, motorized, and look great. Take a gander for yourself and see just what we mean.

Read: How to install a keyless door lock

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Chris Monroe/CNET

See who's there from anywhere

Know who's at your doorstep before they press the buzzer. Find out if anyone has their paws on your packages. A sweet video doorbell can help with all those things. Read on to learn how to hook one up yourself in a flash.

Read: How to install the Ring Video Doorbell

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Don't neglect that dryer vent

As the saying goes, it's a dirty job but someone has to do it. We're talking about your home's dryer vent. If you don't take time to clear it out every year, it can quickly become a dangerous fire risk. Bite the bullet with this deep dive into dryer vent hygiene.

How to deep clean your dryer duct in 5 steps

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