Does your heating system have a humidifier installed? Is it functioning properly? Or perhaps you use a room humidifier. Is it working well enough to keep your home comfortable? Do you know what level of humidity in your home is, or how to measure it?
So many questions…how about a few answers?
Let’s start with the basics – why should you consider a humidifier, and what are the benefits?
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), one of the most common causes of clothes dryer fires in the US is failure to clean the dryer and exhaust vent. The NFPA has published a great one page clothes dryer safety guide – you can download the guide by clicking HERE.
Typically, the dryer itself and the lint screen are easy to access and clean. However, the exhaust vent and the flexible connector that most dryers have between the dryer and the wall can be a real challenge to reach.
I would guess that most of us – after we fight the initial battle of getting the dryer vent connected, and then the pushing the dryer back into place, would prefer to NEVER move the dryer again. However – to properly clean the dryer exhaust, you simply must move the dryer out and take a look. Sorry – but it’s worth it!
The two most likely spots for lint to accumulate in the dryer exhaust system are where the flex line terminates at the wall, and then outside the home, at the damper/wall termination. Please – check both areas!
Unfortunately, some dryer exhausts make a number of twists and turns before reaching the outside. … Read more...
Being comfortable in our homes is so important. Who wants to spend time in a room, or an entire level of a home, that is less inviting than the rest?
When the really cold temps take hold and single digits are the high, a few colder spots in a home are somewhat unavoidable. Unfortunately, if you have a two-story home, you may be dealing with an entire level that is less than comfortable.
We happen to live in a 1970’s era two-story home, and the basement can be a bit chilly. However, we have found that making a few minor adjustments to the furnace output in the cold winter months can make a significant difference in our comfort level.
Simply closing down a few registers on the upper level of our home, and making sure that the lower level registers are wide open, makes a big difference! The hot air is going to rise throughout the home, so why not make that work for us?
Such a simple thing. But simple does not mean unimportant. Comfort in our homes is important!
A word of caution though: don’t close down too many registers – the increased pressure on the furnace can cause the fan to work harder, and burnout sooner.… Read more...
Such a simple thing – change your furnace filter when needed. Most everyone knows you’re supposed to check and change your filter regularly.
But what is “regularly”? Everyone knows you change the oil in your car every 3 months or 3 thousand miles. BTW – great marketing job oil industry :). But what about the filter on your furnace/air conditioning? A cheap filter might need changed every month. A high-quality filter might last 2-3 months. Some filters can be cleaned. Others you just throw away. If you open your windows often, change the filter more often. If you keep ‘em shut, the filter stays clean longer. What’s a person to do?
My suggestion – check at least every other month, and replace when dirty. That’s pretty simple, right?
But – let’s dig a little deeper, just for fun. I can think of 4 excellent reasons to check & change the filter at least every 2 months:
1: SAVE MONEY – a dirty filter makes the HVAC system run longer and harder. Your energy bill goes up.
2: BREATH EASIER – a clean filter, and thus a clean HVAC system means less dust in the air, and fewer allergens in your home. … Read more...
A number of readers have asked me, “Why in the world did you start blogging about home maintenance?” Believe it or not, seeing a hose left on a home’s exterior faucet all winter long started it all. Seeing that hose, week after week, knowing that it may lead to a burst pipe in the spring, prompted my very first blog post: How to save $1k or more this winter. That post was all about the damage a frozen faucet can do to your home. Many homeowners aren’t aware that leaving a hose on a faucet over the winter months greatly increases the risk of damage. Such a simple thing – remembering to store a garden hose inside for the winter – but so often overlooked.
Although it hasn’t turned terribly cold yet here in Kansas, winter weather can’t be far away. So I thought the timing was right to cover this topic again as this week’s Free Tip Friday. Please, take a few moments to check your exterior faucets this weekend. Remove, drain and store the hoses if they were still attached. This one simple step today might just prevent a flooded basement or crawlspace in the spring!
Thanks for reading,
Darren… Read more...
A quick check of your A/C unit might just save you some serious money this summer!
The outside portion of your A/C system (called the condenser unit) works a lot like your car’s radiator: it grabs the heat from inside your home and dissipates it into the air outside. Any dirt, debris, or grass caught in the coils can reduce the system’s ability to work efficiently.
Make sure spring growth around the unit is not interfering with the system. Keep all grass, flowers, shrubs (and weeds) at least 3 feet away, on all sides!
Take a closer look at the coils – they may be dirty or clogged. If so – you might want to call an HVAC tech, or do some cleaning yourself. Caution: be very gentle with the coils of the unit, they are easily damaged. And… make sure the power is off before you work on the system, because YOU are easily damaged!
Check out “10 tips to help keep you cool AND save money on your air-conditioning system this summer!” to learn more.
Thanks for reading!