Vital Home Maintenance "To Do" Tips for Fall
Whether you live in Ocean City or Vineland, New Jersey - these vital home maintenance tips for Fall will help you protect your most valuable asset.
- Check the Insulation in Your Attic - and Install More if Needed. Proper installation keeps your home warmer in winter and cooler in the summer!
- Automate Your Thermostat & HVAC System. A smart thermostat sets a comfortable temperature when you are home adjusts the temperature accordingly when you are not home.
- Check Outlets and Power Cords. Don't be a statistic from the 4th leading cause of home fires. Take a walk around your home and inspect your cords, outlets, and surge protectors. Replace anything that is frayed. See burn marks around an outlet?
- Use Coca-Cola to Clear Clogged Drains. If you don't have the necessary chemicals to unclog a drain, you might be successful with Coke! Open a 2-liter bottle of Coke. Pour steadily into drain. Allow foam to subside and continue pouring until empty. Let sit overnight. In the morning, run hot water for 5 to 10 minutes to rinse. Repeat the process if necessary. It's the phosphoric acid in the Coke that will eat through the clog (imagine what it's doing to your teeth)!
- Change Your Air Filters. Replace the air filters in your HVAC system so it runs more efficiently. A $10 filter can not only save wear and tear on parts like fans and blowers, but can save you thousands on repair costs!
- Clean Your Refrigerator Coils! Often overlooked, cleaning your refrigerator coils can eliminate about 70% of service calls! Do you really want to hand your utility company up to $10 monthly because dirty coils are causing your fridge not to run efficiently? Invest in a cleaning coil brush and use it to clean your dehumidifier and air conditioner coils, too!
- Check for Air Leaks Around Windows. Here's a way to save some real money on your energy bill! Run a simple candle test - wherever two different materials meet (windows, doors, etc.) - hold a lit candle and slowly move it around the frame to see if it follows a draft. Simply caulking around these leaks could save you up to 15% on heating and cooling costs. In a pinch, use weather sealing tape instead of caulk.
- Gutter Cleaning is So Important! Leaky and clogged gutters could cost you thousands of dollars and become a nightmare. Clogged gutters can cause water leaks in your roof or water damage to your home. Let's not forget how much pests, rodents, mold, and honeycombs love your clogged gutters! Cleaning gutters is easy but dangerous work - so don't be afraid to invest in a professional, as your savings will be worth that cost.
- Clean Out Your Dryer Lint Vent. Corral those lint bunnies! They look harmless, but they love to snuggle down in your dryer vents and lint traps. They multiply like rabbits and before you know it, they are built up in your vents and possibly cause a fire hazard as well as limit your dryer's efficiency.
- Maintain Your Sump Pump. Most sump pumps have water level or flood alarms, usually battery powered, that alert you if the pump is not working properly. Although they are quite reliable, regular maintenance is a good idea. Spend a few minutes every couple of months when heavy rains are in the forecast to ensure your sump pump is operating reliably.
- Water Heater Flushing. Regularly flushing out your water heater is an important task. Depending on your model, aim to flush your water heater every one to three years. If your heater is old and has never been flushed, it may be a good idea to hire a professional. If not: 1) Turn the thermostat to OFF. 2) Turn off gas line or electricity to the unit. 3) Turn off cold water supply. 4) Turn ON hot water tap in a sink or tub. This prevents a vacuum from forming in the system while draining the tank. 5) Connect a garden hose to drainage spigot. Turn on spigot and drain entire tank. 6) Once drained, turn cold water supply on to flush tank. Look for water coming out of hose to be clear and free of sediment. Simple right? When done, follow the steps in reverse order to get your system back up and running!
- Use LED Light Bulbs. LED light bulbs are about four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and last for many years.
We hope these tips help you to plan easy and efficient options for protecting your most valuable asset - your home!