After the odd winter we just had, investing a little time on preventative measures throughout your home can save you money long term. The tasks are both indoors and outdoors. In this edition we'll go over the indoor portion.
First, check all of your electrical. Throughout the year, we tend to get new devices which need to be plugged in. Since we need more than two outlets in a particular spot, we end up with electrical strips. While this is ok, you should inspect all of these cords and plugs every three months. Frayed cords and loose outlets pose a fire hazard. Having too many things pulling amperage from one outlet can pose the same hazard. Be sure to check your fuse box as well. Make sure there are no scorch marks near any of them. If you do see these marks, call your electrician immediately. There is a long list of things that can cause this and all of them are dangerous.
Next, visually inspect your water heater. Do you notice any corrosion or leaks? It only gets worse from there so, go ahead and call a plumber before the bottom of your water heater falls out and floods your basement. To ensure that this doesn't happen to you, be careful what you store around your water heater. Avoid storing items such as bleach, ammonia and other corrosive products near the water heater. Your water heater pulls air in for combustion. If your water heater is sucking in corrosive air, your water heater may fail prematurely. A closed in space is just as bad. If your water heater must be in a closet, make sure the door to it is louvered. Not doing so is like sticking your head in a plastic bag and expecting to be able to breathe well.
The third step is the easiest for you. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call 770-672-6963. From there, schedule a technician to come out and perform a tuneup on your air conditioner. When he arrives, he will check your air conditioner for safety, proper operation, refrigerant levels, proper amperage, blower operation and change your air filter. This will help to prevent any breakdowns that may have surfaced during the upcoming summer. If you do this every year you will extend the life of your air conditioner by many years. For safety reasons, you may add on dryer vent service. A build up in the vent can lead to fire.
Next, check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Replace any that a getting low. This is a good time to check your fire extinguishers for proper operation too. The pressure gauge should be in the "green" range. If these aren't located in convenient areas such as your kitchen, go ahead and place them there. The last thing you want is a kitchen fire when your fire extinguisher is in the basement.
Check your windows and doors for leaks if you haven't done so in the last year. The easiest way to do this is to light an incense stick and slowly trace windows and doors. Watch the smoke. If there's a lot of movement in specific spots, you likely have a leak. You can seal the frame with caulk. In the event that the actual window has become detached from the muntin, reseal with putty glaze. Add weatherstripping where worn or missing. It's common for leaks to occur underneath doors. To rectify this, add a door sweep.
Stay tuned for the exterior edition!