Consider hiring a plumbing company to do annual service on all of your water systems, including your hot water heater. Generally the things a certified plumber will do to maintain your water heater will include:
- Cleaning out your dirty burner chamber because it can cause a fire and can make burning less efficient
- Flushing your tank to rid it of any sediment that may have collected at the bottom and is impeding heating efficiency
- Testing the thermostat and pressure release valves to make sure they are operating correctly
Scheduling a licensed HVAC contractor every spring for a thorough inspection & maintenance of your A/C system is a wise idea. A poorly maintained or inefficient A/C unit could be costing you huge amounts of money.
Start by trimming any plants, shrubs, or trees around the exterior A/C unit(s) if they are near or coming in contact with it. Then have a certified HVAC or other cooling specialist check the mechanical components of the system. Some of the things they should do in this annual service include, but are not limited to:
- Inspecting condensation drains & thermostats
- Checking the air temperature splits
- Inspecting the compressor, motors, etc and lubricating where necessary
- Checking all operations of your system are working at the highest efficiency
- Checking and/or topping off refrigerant level(s)
- Checking and/or replacing your air filter(s)
Clogged gutters can wreak havoc on your roof, siding, and foundation. It is usually recommended to clean them out twice a year, but if you’re doing this yourself be sure you have a good ladder and a spotter to help out.
You may also want to consider a professional who will generally get up on a ladder to check and clear the gutters & downspouts of debris. This work can often be challenging due to baked on foliage (spring) or frozen leaves (winter) attached to the insides of the channels. Once complete, water is generally run through the system after the channels are cleared.
In addition you should check that all your downspouts are extended away from the foundation at the ground level. It may also be necessary to regrade your soil in some spots so that all water is directed away from your home.
Dryers require regular simple maintenance to keep working safely & efficiently. Regular drier maintenance also helps you avoid potential fire hazards and having to do costly repairs to your appliances.
What to do
Clean your lint screen after every load of laundry. Keeping the filter clear will shorten the drying cycle, save you money, and prevent any potential fire hazards. Also, remove the lint that accumulates at the bottom of the housing that holds your lint screen approximately twice a year. This can generally be done using a vacuum cleaner’s flat attachment to reach down in the housing to suck out anything that has accumulated in there. At the same time you’re doing that, clean out your dryer’s exhaust duct using a dryer duct cleaning brush (it’s a stiff bristled circular brush with a flexible handle that you can buy at most hardware stores). The exhaust duct vents your dryer’s exhaust to the outside of your house and can become a fire hazard if not kept clear. Consider doing this more often (say monthly) if you do heavy amounts of laundry on a consistent basis.
Refrigerator maintenance can be a simple DIY project that will keep your fridge running like new and can greatly extend the life and efficiency of your unit.
- Clean your cooling coils by vacuuming or dusting them. This will most likely require you to remove a grill grate or cover. Refer to your user manual if you need help finding them.
- Replace or clean the water filter if your fridge has an automatic ice maker or water dispenser
- Clean door gaskets with a wet cloth to make sure that the refrigerator is sealing properly. A solid seal will save you money and protect your food from spoilage.