5 Tips for Air Conditioner Maintenance

Male technician hands using a screwdriver fixing modern air conditioner, repairing and servicing, Maintenance and repairing conceptA well-maintained air conditioner system has a long lifespan and operates efficiently. You can make your AC unit more efficient and reduce regular maintenance costs with a few household tasks.

However, you should not attempt technical repairs and assessment; leave the work to a trained, licensed technician. While handling the maintenance task, always follow safety measures to ensure that the electrical supply is turned off. The following are easy household tips that you can perform for your AC unit.

1. Clean Air Filters

Air filters require replacing or regular cleaning. During high-use seasons such as winter and summer, do it every month and once during the spring and fall. You can locate the air filter in the blower section of the air handler or furnace, slot in the bottom, top, or side of your furnace, or behind the return air grille.

Once the air filter is full of dirt, dust, and allergen particles, it decreases the airflow. This increases the workload of the AC, which could result in a breakdown. Additionally, air flowing in the system might get dustier and dirtier, affecting the air quality in the house.

2. Perform a Check on the Unit’s Fan

It is essential to ensure the unit’s fan blades operate effectively. If they get damaged, your home might not cool as you wish. Remember to power off the electrical supply before you start your work. If the blades have visible cracks or chips, replace them with new ones.

3. Clean the Outside Unit

It is necessary to perform regular cleaning of the outside air conditioner unit. This is because, with time, grass and dirt might build, resulting in reduced airflow and poor system capacity. After disconnecting the power, clean the unit well to remove the debris.

Take care not to damage the fins on the coil; they are very delicate. Also, avoid a powder washer as it can damage the unit. The aluminum cooling fins on the AC compressor should be straight for effective cooling. Remember to trim shrubs around your AC to prevent them from interfering with the airflow.

4. Check the Thermostat

A thermostat ensures that your home keeps the right temperature. If you still use the old one, you should consider upgrading to a new smart and programmable thermostat.

With the smart thermostat, you can set when to turn on and off your AC. This will create a comfortable home for you and save on energy costs.

5. Ensure That Wiring and Components are in Place

The internal connections of the AC unit are essential to its operation. You should check them at least once a year to ensure they are in good condition. With the power supply turned off, remove the access panel and search for any sign of overheating.

Some of the signs include blackened or burnt wires and melted insulation. Also, check whether the electrical connections are tight. Only perform this task if you feel comfortable; if not, call for a trained technician for help.

Conclusion

An effectively working AC unit will save you money and keep you comfortable during high seasons. These routine check-ups will help keep your system running optimally and last for a long time. Apart from routine maintenance, contact a professional air conditioner before winter and hot summer months to avoid late hustles.

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8 Essential Steps To Take After A House Fire Water Damage| Complete Guide

Every homeowner should have a fire emergency remediation strategy in case the worst happens. Some locations are susceptible to a higher frequency of house fires because of geographical factors. Sometimes, it’s a consequence of negligence, a faulty electrical framework, a kitchen accident, or something unexpected. Whatever the reason or cause of your house fire, you must approach remediation sensibly. The steps below will help you protect yourself and your family from the hazards of fire or water damage.

Types of house fire damages

House fires can cause primary and secondary damages to your property, which are sometimes extensive. Smoke, natural/urban ash, soot/smoke residue, and water damage are examples of secondary fire loss. These may increase the risk of respiratory illnesses, leave your house inhospitable, cause structural degradation, and promote mold or mildew infestation. You want to mitigate fire damage loss as much as possible and protect your family.

Steps:

  1. Do not enter your fire-distressed property or start any restoration until you get authorization from your local fire department.
  2. Exercise caution when rummaging through the remnants of your fire distressed property and outdoor environments. Sometimes downed power lines or poles, trees, debris, and ash pits may endanger your life. If you suspect anything unstable or hazardous, call your local fire emergency hotline immediately.
  3. Wear proper protective gear, including a respirator, safety goggles, a hard cap or hat, and boots (steel-toed). The facial masks will protect you from breathing in toxic cancer-causing polycarbonate particles in the home. If anything collapses, such as damaged floors, ceilings, or insulation materials, your protective gear will limit exposure to hazards. Sometimes, it is difficult to judge the stability of hazards after a house fire. If so, you should consult a professional contractor that specializes in emergency damage restoration to ensure your safety.
  4. Even if you disconnect your utilities, do not attempt to switch on the controllers. You do not know the extent of structural damage to the building and if you have any unstable electrical circuitry or gas leaks. The slightest misstep will only escalate matters; for instance, cause flooding, spark another fire, or worst risk your life and possibly others.
  5. Get rid of all food items, including medicines, beverages, and so forth. Also, dispose of your toiletries and cosmetics, especially if it has soot, smoke, or flame residue.
  6. Take some photos before you start cleaning the site as evidence. You should include them to substantiate your insurance claim. Take care to do this before restoring your building from water damage and removing debris and damaged properties.
  7. Call your home insurance provider immediately after the fire to report the case. If your house fire destroyed or defaced any adjacent premises, you must approach this with urgency.
  8. Hire an expert remediation contractor for proper handling of fire and water-damaged surfaces. It is an essential step to maintain the highest safety and sanitization standards when restoring your abode. Your contractor will perform comprehensive assessments to identify smoke/soot contaminated materials and any hazardous elements that may be harmful to your health. What is more, these experts use specialized technologies and cleaning equipment to sanitize your entire home as regulatory requirements dictate.

 

 

Furnace Maintenance Tips

 

Heating systems in American homes are quite expensive. For example, a furnace accounts for approximately 45% of the total energy bill. The most effective way to manage these expenses is to ensure that the furnace is running and operating efficiently. Experts indicate that furnace maintenance is a significant component of home improvement projects. This process can be challenging, especially for new homeowners. However, the following tips can assist in furnace maintenance.

Clean and Change the Air Filters

The filter enables the furnace to deliver warm air to different spaces in your house. It also supports the furnace’s efficiency. Cleaning the filters and replacing them whenever they are not functioning is a simple furnace maintenance tip. It saves the energy and resources that the furnace would consume if it works too hard to sustain airflow in the house.

Monitor the Pilot Light

The pilot light can give you an idea of the furnace’s performance. It demonstrates how gas is burning and whether it has the correct ratio. The standard color is blue. If you check the light and see any other color, you should understand that the furnace might have an issue. For instance, a yellow color might signify the release of excess carbon monoxide. Therefore, examining the pilot light as regularly as possible ensures that the furnace is running smoothly.

Clear the Drainage Tube

This maintenance tip applies to homeowners running propane or natural gas furnaces. In most cases, water is a by-product of these appliances. This water might drain into the drip pan if it fails to turn into steam. For this reason, the homeowner should ensure that the drainage tube is always clean and clear. You can use compressed air o white vinegar to eliminate the backed-up water and prevent it from damaging the flame sensor.

Schedule Regular Inspections

Conducting regular inspections for your furnace will help you avoid major issues. For example, the inspectors can identify a mechanical problem that an untrained person might not identify and then rectify it before it causes extreme damage.

Keep the Furnace Clean

Ensuring that this appliance is always clean is a practical maintenance tip. Use a damp cloth to remove dust and other debris from the blower and outside. The blower is close to the air filter and gets dirty easily. If you need any assistance on the blower’s location or how to clean it, you can consult the instructions manuals.

 

Conclusion

Furnace maintenance might seem tricky and scary, but it is not. Homeowners should focus on ensuring that their furnaces run smoothly to avoid high energy bills and maintain a steady flow of air in the houses. Various maintenance tips ensure that the furnace is not broken and serves you well during winter.

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The Most Common and Often Hidden Allergens in Your Home

It is likely in your home right now, and it is the leading cause of hay fever and asthma in the world.

It’s called HDM. That stands for house dust mite. Many people are allergic to HDM. In addition to asthma and hay fever, it can lead to frequent trips to a doctor for sinusitis and a skin rash called eczema.3d rendered illustration of a house dust mite

HDM can lurk in homes that can be considered exceptionally clean. It is typically found in bedding, soft furnishings, carpets, window drapes, soft toys, and other products that create a habitat for these microscopic insect-like critters. Their populations inside a home tend to peak in warm summer months when humidity is high and temperatures average about 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius).

Speaking of carpeting, they are a major source of hidden allergens in the home. Older carpets especially are easy carriers of an array of indoor allergens, such as dust mites, dirt, pesticides, various toxins, and even heavy metals, such as lead. The latter is dragged in from outside on shoes. Lead is prevalent in the outdoor environment as the result of cars that burn gasoline that contains lead.

Carpets also hold pet dander, hair, urine, and tiny traces of fecal matter from pets. Furthermore, a shaggy carpet is an excellent environment for growing new forms of fungus and harboring bacteria. A good solution to this is to hire a professional carpet cleaner

A third major source of indoor allergens is insects. Cockroaches, flies, ants, and other creepy crawlies bring with them an array of microscopic particulates that can pollute indoor air.

Older fireplaces and furnaces can provide loads of indoor allergens. Open fireplaces that burn wood can release complex mixtures of gases and fine air particulates. The latter can do everything from aggravating asthma to expose us to carcinogenic substances. Furnaces that have not had their air filters replaced in a long time release super-fine dust particles into the air.

Outdoor plants and trees are beautiful, but every time you open a door or window their pollens can drift inside your home. They cause problems in an indoor enclosed environment where air circulation is poor. This becomes a worse problem during periods of natural high pollen production among outdoor plants.

Finally, mold is among the largest contributors to poor indoor air quality in millions of homes. Mold is almost always associated with water damage or in areas of a home where moisture has built up for some reason. The latter could be due to condensation, rook leaks, poor drainage around the home, contaminated air conditioners, blocked gutters, poorly sealed windows, and many other moisture-producing sources.

Molds can cause serious health problems. Black mold is among the worst. It can cause flu-like symptoms, severe headaches, diarrhea, memory loss, and serious respiratory damage.

How to Choose the Right Roof for My Home

Ever since the existence of humanity, the shelter has been and will always be paramount. It is a necessity that one cannot live without, one that every human being ought to never lack. Thousands of years ago, roofing was solely used for one apparent reason; Shelter. In the modern-day, the use of roofs has significantly changed. Today the main reason remains shelter, while it also provides that very much-needed aesthetic touch. In our modern world, roofing materials for our homes keep evolving with each day. As such, choosing the right type of roof for your home as per your wants and needs can at times, prove to be somewhat daunting.

In this article, we will assist you on how to choose the right roof for your home. More often than not, there is an array of factors at play when it comes to choosing the right roof for your home, all of which are dependent on each other.

Durability

For any homeowner, the longevity of a roof is the most important factor. When it comes to choosing the right roof for your home, durability by default tops the list. In truism, no homeowner wants to have a roof that is vulnerable, thus less durable. With that in mind, most homeowners will be more inclined to install a roof that has prolonged longevity.

Does the roof Complement and enhance the look and style of my home?

Well, when it comes to building modern-day homes, the aesthetic factor part is largely at play. I mean, who wouldn’t want a durable and good-looking roof for a home? The durable materials are long-lasting. Naturally, the concrete slate tiles are more durable and long-lasting compared to other materials. Durable roofing material should last more than 30 years.

Will the roofing material be too heavy for my roof framing?

The weight of your roofing material is, without a doubt, one significant factor to consider as it can greatly affect the engineering of the entire house. You certainly don’t want a roof that is too light and too heavy as both have some negative impacts. In the event there are strong winds, your lightweight roof is more likely to be blown away, rendering your home inhabitable for the moment. On the other hand, too heavy roofs might end up affecting your roof framing leaving you in constant worry of it caving in.

Maintenance

Different types of roofs require different kinds of maintenance. Be sure that you are familiar with the specific type of roof that you choose and be sure that you are able to complete basic maintenance such as gutter cleaning and removing moss and debris. An Austin pressure washing service can provide you with a cost estimate for cleaning your roof.

Weather & Climate

If you want your roof to last as desired. Weather and climate are some of the factors that you ought to look at. Does your home area experience mild to extreme climatic conditions? Then if so, selecting weather-resistant roofing would be ideal for you such as corrugated metal roofs. A roofing company in your area will be able to address damage caused by local weather.

 

Home Maintenance Secrets Everyone Should Know

man in a baseball cap with his index finger pressed to his lipsHome maintenance is defined as diagnosing and solving problems that occur inside of your home. When many people think about home maintenance, they think that it is something that has to be done by a professional. However, there are some home maintenance tasks that you can take care of yourself.

 

Quiet a Squeaky Floor

No one wants to hear a squeaky floor all of the time. You can use talcum powder to quieten a squeaky floor. You can spread the powder in the cracks of the floor.

Quiet a Squeaky Door

If you have a squeaky door, then you can use WD-40 to get rid of the noise. You need to spray it on the hinges. You may need to spray some more WD-40 on the door and move it back and forth if you still hear squeaking.

Taking Care of Floors

Hardwood is one of the most popular flooring options because it lasts a long time and looks nice. However, you will have to perform floor maintenance. Before you clean your hardwood floor, you need to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for cleaning hardwood floors. If you spill something, then you can use water and a cloth to clean it up. Additionally, you should vacuum the hardwood floor on a regular basis. You can use a hardwood floor attachment.

Carpeting is also lovely to have. It can be quite expensive to replace, so you should take good care of it to make it last. Your carpet should be vacuumed weekly to keep dirt and grime from wearing down the fibers. A Pasadena carpet cleaner also recommends that your carpet be professionally cleaned at least once a year. 

Additionally, you should vacuum the hardwood floor on a regular basis. You can use a hardwood floor attachment.

Remove Water Stains From Your Ceiling

The water stains on your ceiling are likely caused by a leak. The first thing that you will need to do is get the leak fixed. After you have gotten the leak fixed, you should remove the stains. You can use bleach to get rid of the water stains. Let the bleach sit on the stain for 24 hours.

Pressure Wash Your Home

It is a good idea to pressure wash your home at least once a year. Pressure washing your home can remove dirt and grime. It can also make your home look a lot better. Make sure that you know how to use the pressure washer.

Unclog Your Toilets

You don’t have to call a plumber to unclog your toilets. You also don’t have to use any harsh chemicals to unclog your toilet. All you need is dishwashing liquid. Pour the dishwashing liquid into the toilet and allow it to sit for one hour. The soap will loosen up whatever is blocking the toilet.

Install a Storm Door

You can improve the energy efficiency of your home by installing a storm door. You can also make your home more secure. Additionally, it will help you prepare your home for hurricane season.

Professional Pressure Washing Vs DIY

You have the option of choosing between a professional pressure washing and a do-it-yourself job. You may want to pressure wash your own home. However, you should hire a professional. There are several reasons that you should get a professional pressure washing.

Man on steep roof with pressure washing equipment

DIY Can Be Dangerous to Yourself

It can be dangerous for you to use a pressure washer if you have not received the training to do so. The pressure washer generates anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 PSI. Keep in mind that your standard garden hose only operates at about 50 PSI. Every year, 6,000 people have to visit the emergency room due to an injury that occurred while using a pressure washer.

Professionals have been trained to properly use the equipment. They know how to minimize the risks.

 

DIY Can Be Time-Consuming

Even if you know how to use a pressure washer correctly, it can still take up too much of your time. You will have to rent or buy a pressure washer if you don’t already have one. You will also have to take the time to learn how to use it. Furthermore, the pressure washing itself can take several hours.

Professional pressure washers know how to efficiently get the job done. You can take care of other activities while the professionals clean your property.

 

DIY Can Damage Your Property

Not only can a pressure washer harm people, but it can also do a lot of damage to your property. It can damage your roof, plants, and window screens. You have to expose your property to the right amount of pressure or damage will occur. Professionals know how to use the correct amount of pressure.

 

DIY May Not Be As Effective

Pressure washing machines that you rent are not as effective as the ones that a professional uses. The manufacturers know that these machines can be dangerous for the average person to use. That is why the machines operate at lower speeds. You may not get the results that you want if you clean your own property.

 

DIY May Cost You More Money

The main reason that people like DIY jobs is because they think that it helps them save money. However, if you do the job incorrectly, then you may end up causing a problem that can cost you thousands of dollars to fix. You will save more money if the job is done correctly by a professional the first time.

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When it comes to pet odor and stain removal, hire a professional carpet cleaning service!

Does pet odor penetrate your home’s carpeting? Do you have carpeting that is covered in stains from your day-to-day life?

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A carpet cleaning service is designed to lift those stains, dirt, and odors directly from the surface. Only a professional carpet cleaning service is capable of ensuring that all of this dirt and debris are removed.

Vacuuming your carpet on a regular basis is a great way to remove some of the dust from your carpet, but the majority of the dust and dirt remains even after your carpet has been thoroughly vacuumed. This is why you definitely want to consider having a professional carpet cleaning company visit your home.

Over time, your home’s carpet builds up mold and dust. Even a small amount of mold can turn into a large growth of mold. Smaller mold spores can be easily removed with a bit of carpet cleaning, which is destroyed by the high-pressure steam and the detergents which are designed to break down the mold spores in your carpet.

Dust particles are particles that can cause problems for your respiratory system and contribute to a very unhealthy environment. The carpet’s fibrous nature is designed so that it’s absorbing particles from the air, which then become embedded in the structure of your carpet’s fibers.

Carpet cleaning is designed to ensure that all of the debris and dust is being removed from your carpet’s fibers. A thoroughly-cleaned carpet is one that will last longer, be healthier for your lungs and body, and have a fresher and neater appearance.

A professional carpet cleaning company is here to resolve your pet odor or stain problems. Professionals are the best at taking care of these unsightly carpet problems that you often forget about.

Don’t forget those homebuyers will pay attention to the condition of your home’s carpet when your house is on the market. They’ll notice pet odors or stains very quickly, which is one of the biggest reasons why you will want to have our professional carpet cleaning company visit your home right away in order to keep your home’s carpet clean.

Be sure to contact a professional right away if you are looking for an estimate. They will ensure that you’re happy with the results once we’re done cleaning your home’s carpet. If you wait longer, there’s a bigger chance that your carpet will become gradually more saturated with dirt and debris.

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Tips for Keeping Your Home Clean and Allergen Free This Holiday Season

The holidays are near, and people across the country are gearing up for a sneezy winter. Being inside with the heat all winter can really take a toll on those with allergies. Luckily, if you start preparing now, you enjoy an allergy-free holiday season.

  1. Get Rid of Dust

 

Dust particles are tiny, but pack quite a punch when it comes to allergies. Around the holidays, people tend to start bringing down decorations from the attic, which can kick up dust that has been settling for months. At the beginning of the season, you should replace all air filters in your home, so that your HVAC system can easily filter out the dust and allergen particles.

 

You should also start vacuuming more often to keep allergens from building up. This is especially important if you have dogs, as their hair can collect dust or even aggravate allergies on their own. Consider washing your bedding in hot water at least every two weeks, as well, to minimize dust and dander.

 

  1. Seasonal Plants

 

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without Christmas trees and wreaths – but did you know that live foliage collects mold and mildew spores? If your allergies are bad enough, you should consider purchasing artificial trees and wreaths. Just make sure you wipe them down before and after each season and store in a dry area to prevent dust and mold buildup.

 

For some, having a real tree is a deal-breaker. Luckily, there are still ways you can minimize the effects it can have on your allergies. Before bringing any foliage inside your house, hose it down to wash off mold spores. Keep the area around it clean of fallen leaves and dust, and keep an eye out on the water in the Christmas tree stands to make sure no mold is forming.

 

  1. Deep Clean

 

If you’ve taken the proper precautions but still feel sneezy, consider doing a deep clean of your entire house. Carpets and rugs need to be shampooed and vacuumed, any areas that attract moisture should be carefully cleaned, and hard-to-reach areas need to be dusted. You may even want to hire professionals, a professional carpet cleaning service has the necessary tools and time during a busy holiday season. 

 

Even if you don’t have allergies, you should take these tips into consideration if you plan on inviting guests over. Taking a little extra time out of your schedule now to prepare for the winter will allow you and your guests to enjoy a clean, allergy-free environment this holiday season.

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Why You Should Have Your Roof Cleaned Regularly

 

Your home is a source of security and pride. You’ve made sure your yard and paint or siding look great. After looking upward, you wonder if you need to clean your roof as well. 

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If your roof has collected moss, mold, algae, or debris, then you have a few good reasons to clean those shingles

 

First, a clean roof is just more attractive. Algae, mold, moss, and fallen debris from trees all detract from the beauty of your home and even your neighborhood. If you’re selling your house, an adequately maintained roof can increase market value. 

 

Moss and debris can build up and form a dam, keeping water from flowing into the gutter. This can result in a pool of water on the roof. That standing water could attract insects such as mosquitoes. If debris gets under a damaged shingle, water can get in and allow mold to grow inside. 

 

Some cities have fairly strict ordinances about roof maintenance. By taking care of your roof, you could avoid fines and other inconveniences. 

 

Many companies specialize in roof cleaning, but you can also do the job yourself with a simple roof cleaning mixture. Once any large items, such as tree limbs, are removed, you can apply a homemade cleaner fairly easily. 

 

A common formula is to use 1-part water to 1-part bleach. If you like, you can add a small amount of ammonia-free detergent. Mixing ammonia and bleach will create toxic gas, so do not combine the two. 

 

Next, protect any shrubs or other plants from bleach damage. Cover any plants near the house or just spray them down with water. The water will further dilute the cleaning solution if it drips. 

 

Even if the roof stains are very unsightly, resist the urge to power wash. This harsh treatment will damage your shingles and lead to leaks. It will also void any warranty you may have on your roof. A simple low-pressure sprayer should work just fine. Make sure to spray anywhere that is usually shaded by trees or chimney since algae, moss, and mold are more likely to build up in the shade. 

 

Leave the cleaner on the roof for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with clear water. You can repeat the process if necessary. Just be sure to spray your plants with clear water each time you spray the roof. 

 

Tackling this job on a regular basis will help to prevent buildup which makes the process take longer. Once you’re done, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the improved look of your home!

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