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  • 5 Important Home Maintenance Tips

    Tuesday, December 27, 2016   /   by Olivia Martin

    5 Important Home Maintenance Tips

    To keep your home in its top shape, it requires regular maintenance to be done every year. To reduce energy costs and prevent future costly repair bills, here are 5 important, yet often overlooked, areas to perform regular maintenance procedures.

    #1 Plumbing
    Clogged plumbing is extremely difficult, costly, and especially dirty to fix. To keep yourself from going through this headache, consider the following precautions.

    Avoid pouring your cooking grease down the drain as it is the common culprit for clogs. If you do accidentally spill grease or oil down the drain, immediately run hot water with some dish soup to break up the grease and move it through the pipes to prevent any build up and potential clogs. 

    Place a hair strainer over the shower and bathtub drain. Hair accumulates in the drain and will eventually build up to the point of clogging. It is certainly a dirty job to remove hair buildup from drains, so using a hair strainer will save you from this dirty chore down the road.

    (Important Tip)
    Don’t use Drano. While it may do a good job of unclogging your drain, the strong acids Drano contains will damage your plumbing, causing leaks in the long run.

    #2 Water Heaters
    Over time, water heaters collect a build up of sediment that is suspended in the water, which eventually settles to the bottom and causes damage to the floor of the water heater. Once a year, follow these steps to prevent this build-up.

    First, turn off the water supply and power to the water heater. If you have an electric water heater, simply flip the circuit break to the “off” position. If you have a gas water heater, turn the thermostat to the “pilot” position.

    After the water and power is turned off, connect a water hose to the bottom of the tank (typical garden hoses are a direct fit to the water heater drain), and run the hose either out of the house or somewhere or dump the water. Then, go around the house and turn on all the faucets and open the water heater’s drain valve.

    Once the water heater is empty, turn the water supply back on with the drain still open to remove any residual sediment. Finally, close the water heater drain valve and all the faucets, then let the tank refill before turning the power
    back on.

    #3 Air conditioning
    While air conditioning is commonly overlooked in home maintenance, it can be costly to repair or replace. Here are some ways to make sure it’s still running properly, and keep it that way.

    Inspect the condensation hose on a regular basis to check if water is able to flow through the line. 

    If there is standing water under the air conditioner, mold and algae can grow and cause spores to be blown into the home and cause some serious health hazards. To prevent this, make sure to create a drainage path for the water to flow away from the air conditioner.

    Next, check for and remove debris from the air conditioner screen. Build up of debris will prevent air from flowing freely and draw more energy than necessary, as well as wear down internal parts.

    #4 Air Filters
    Changing air filters should be a common monthly procedure, and if you haven’t considered it yet, change your air filter immediately. 30 days is the general maximum number of days to leave an air filter in place, 2 weeks is maximum in high-usage months.

    Contrary to what you might believe, cheap fiberglass air filters are actually better to use than the more expensive HEPA filters. Other than being cheaper, fiberglass filters allow more airflow, which lowers energy costs.

    #5 Refrigerators
    Regular maintenance on refrigerators will maximize energy efficiency and prevent premature wear of its internal parts. 

    The first thing that you want to check is the door seals, which is a relatively easy fix if it’s worn. Simply pull on the refrigerator door and see how easily it opens. If it takes a good tug to open it, the seals are fine. If it opens without resistance, it’s time to replace it. You can find new refrigerator seals at any nearby home repair store.

    Next, if your refrigerator has coils on the back, regularly vacuum the coils to keep it clean and free of dust particles. Cleaner coils are more energy efficient, while dirty coils may cause your refrigerator to stop working altogether.
     
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