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Free Tip Friday – December 22, 2017

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...

Save Money this summer!

I know – it’s still winter, and spring is almost a month away.

But around here (Kansas), we seem to have just skipped right over winter weather, with temps in the 50s and 60s more often than below freezing!  This makes me wonder, how early is the warmer weather to arrive this year? Are we in for an overly warm summer?  

With warmer temperatures in mind… here’s this month’s simple step to help you save money on home repairs:

Tip #2: Schedule a spring A/C service appointment now!

In a previous blog post I went into quite a bit of detail on how to maintain, clean and service your air conditioning unit.  However,  there are a few steps I feel should be left to a professional.  Even though it does cost a bit to have your unit professionally serviced, ultimately this is money well spent.  Consider it an investment, one that pays you back in dividends of lower utility bills and a longer lifespan of your air conditioner.  

There are two main reasons I suggest you contact a professional HVAC contractor to schedule your spring A/C clean-and-check now, while it’s still cold:

1 – Avoid the busy summer rush:  late winter is typically is a fairly slow time of year for HVAC professionals, and if you contact them now (before the rest of the customers in your area start calling for service) you may just get a lower rate!Read more...

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Save Money on Home Repair With This One Simple Step

 

One of my goals for 2017 is to share at least one simple, action-oriented tip with readers of this blog every month – steps that can make maintaining your home easier, and save you money, by helping you avoid repairs.

The following is something I’ve been doing for years. While I can’t PROVE that it’s saved me money or headaches, I’m pretty sure it has!

 

Tip #1:  Every time you clean your toilet, turn the water valve off.  

 

At first glance, this tip may seem odd.  It certainly received a rather odd look from my wife, Tracy, when I shared this idea with her.

Before I dive into the details…please allow me to share a brief story.  It relates to the topic at hand, and it will explain why I share this tip:

Over the years, I’ve dealt with many clogged toilets.  Who hasn’t?  Many years ago,  I found myself having to deal with a toilet that was just about to run over, and as I reached down to shut the water off to stop the water fill and prevent the mess, I found that the valve was stuck.  It would not budge, no matter how hard I tried to turn the valve.  Read more...

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10 tips to help keep you cool AND save money on your air-conditioning system this summer!

 

Summer has not officially arrived, but it is HOT here in Kansas. If you have air-conditioning, there may not be a more important home maintenance step to take than this: make sure your A/C is in top condition and ready for the stress of a long and hot summer.

This is especially important, if you value comfort or appreciate avoiding big repair bills due to an overworked, over-stressed, broken-down A/C!

An air-conditioning system is one of the most expensive systems to run in our homes. Therefore, making sure it is running at top efficiency is so very important. A little bit of work now, can save you big-time on your electric bill as the summer goes on, AND, can potentially extend the life of your system by months, if not years.

So – what can you do to keep your A/C system running at its best? Here are my top 10 tips regarding A/C maintenance:


HelpTip #1:  GET SOME HELP
! There are many home maintenance items you should tackle on your own. In my opinion, however, this is not one of them. The proper care and feeding of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system is something I feel warrants calling in some professional help.Read more...

Effective rainwater control can help you avoid costly home repairs.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE:  

In my experience, water is one of the most damage-inducing substances around your home (second only to fire), and is often the most preventable cause of damage.  You simply MUST make sure water is controlled on and around your home.  From roof to curb – GET THE WATER AWAY FROM YOUR HOME!

Note: this post includes numerous details that need to be covered about how to create and manage a properly operating Rainwater Control System (R.C.S.).  To help navigate a bit, and to allow you to read only the parts that really interest you, I’ve divided today’s post into three parts:  THE BOTTOM LINE, THE WHY,  and THE HOW.  If you’d like to get right to work – download a copy of this week’s  CHECK THIS!  list, and get to work!

 

THE WHY:

I’ve been in a lot of homes over the years (30+ years as an inspector, over 10,000 inspections).  I’ve witnessed the same story, far too often:  thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars of foundation repair – totally avoidable, with less than $100 worth of supplies, a bit of attention, and perhaps a bit of elbow grease.

This siding damage can be fairly simple to repair, if caught early.

This siding damage can be fairly simple to repair, if caught early.

Read more...

Save Money this Summer – Part 2!

 

Last week we talked about (well, I wrote & hopefully you read – but in this digital world we live in, that’s talking, right?) how a spring walk around your home can save you money. If you didn’t catch last week’s post ,and the story of a very confused Woody Woodpecker, click HERE. This week, I’d like to dive into some of the details, talk a bit about what kind of maintenance items to look for, and what you might find. I’ve identified seven of the most important items to check (not in any specific order). At the end of this post, you’ll find a link to a printable checklist to help with you with the process.

BTW – You’ll likely notice that I spend a great deal of time focusing on what to look for, but not a ton of time on what to do, or how to make repairs.  That’s intentional. (see what I did there?) 🙂   There are a practically limitless number of experts that can walk you through most repairs (have you searched YouTube recently?).  However, very few talk about being proactive and doing the maintenance to AVOID those repairs. That’s our niche here at Home Intentional.Read more...