Now that Spring has arrived, it’s time to start checking off those routine home maintenance items, that if left unattended, could lead to added expenses down the road.
AC Tune-up for Spring
If you have an air conditioner, don’t wait until the summer heat is on before you decide to test it out. If you haven’t had a tune-up in a while, you may find you don’t have cool air when you want it, and chances are, you aren’t the only one. Many home service companies like Bell Plumbing and Heating are booked solid, dealing with “no-cool emergencies” by late Spring. Clean coils and a new filter will allow your system to operate more efficiently. A well-maintained air conditioner allows you to not only save money on energy but also extend its lifespan. The best practice is to have your AC tune-up annually, on a day and time when the temperatures reach 68 degrees or higher, to not damage the equipment and to accurately test the refrigerant charge.
Evaporative Cooler Start-up
Maybe you have an evaporative cooler instead of an air conditioner. Because evaporative, or swamp coolers, use water to distribute cool air, it is recommended you wait to turn it on until the risk of freeze is over. Like planting a garden in Colorado, after Mother’s Day is a good target date. Scheduling maintenance for your evaporative cooler is recommended in Spring and Fall, for start-up and winterization.
Inspect Outside Faucets for Freeze Damage
After disconnecting hoses for the winter, now is the time to check for any damage from winter freezing temperatures. Before reconnecting the garden hoses, check for leaks. If water froze behind your outdoor faucet and caused damage to a pipe, it might result in a slow leak that wouldn’t be noticeable right away. When you do turn the water back on, look for signs of a leak around the pipe, along your basement ceiling, along the interior walls of your basement, and along the wall beneath the hose bibb.
Replace Furnace Filters
OK, this is really a monthly chore for most standard 1” filters. Replacing furnace filters regularly is the most inexpensive preventative maintenance you can do. All the air that circulates through your HVAC system to heat and cool your home passes through the air filter. Dirty, clogged filters can reduce airflow through the system, making fans work harder and wear out faster while also increasing energy usage and shortening the life of your equipment. Dirty air filters can also negatively impact indoor air quality. They let contaminants enter your HVAC system and infiltrate your home. Let us know if you want to order a monthly subscription of filters delivered to your door.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You should test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly, ideally every month. Hold the test button down for a few seconds until you hear a piercing alarm. If you don’t hear an alarm, if the alarm is not loud enough, or if other alarms in your home don’t also sound, you should replace the detectors. Spring is also a good time to routinely replace the batteries. If your CO/Smoke Detector is older than 7-10 years, it is likely expired and should be replaced. A best practice is to have hardwired detectors with battery backup. Let us know if you need one of our licensed Bell electricians to help you with the installation.
Adjust Your Thermostat for Warmer Weather
During warm weather, it is generally recommended that you set your home’s cooling system to 78 degrees when you are home. Set it higher when you are asleep, or away. This is a best practice for saving energy. A smart thermostat will make this easy. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 Degrees for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Install or Adjust Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are very effective at improving home comfort year-round. In the summer, operate the ceiling fan in a counterclockwise direction to pull cooler air up. If you use air conditioning to cool your home, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort. Ceiling fans that are Energy Star certified are up to 40% more efficient, on average than conventional models.
Check Your Sump Pump
With melting snow and spring rain, groundwater can get into your basement or crawl space. A sump pump moves excess groundwater away from your foundation. If the pump stops working, water could get into basement and foundation walls. This could cause mold, mildew, and potentially flooding. Fill your sump pit with enough water to raise the float until the pump kicks on. If you’re filling the pit and the water level gets near the top of the pit, but the pump doesn’t activate, you may have a bad switch. If the pump does activate, it should lower the water level in the pit, removing almost all the water.
Maintain your Water Heater
With good maintenance, a water heater can last between eight and twelve years. Flushing sediment from the water heater tank improves the efficiency and longevity of your water heater. This is recommended annually to extend the life of the equipment. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, leaks around the base of the tank, or if it works erratically, it’s probably time for a replacement.
Consider a Maintenance Agreement
A home services maintenance plan can save you money, and make many of the tasks listed above easier. Check out our options for Bell Membership Plans at bellplumbing.com/bell-service-membership/.
Bell Plumbing and Heating has been providing home services for Denver-area families since 1926. For questions on plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, or remodel best practices, you can reach the experts at Bell Plumbing and Heating at 303.731.3284
We’re ready to answer your questions or schedule your appointment, call now or book online!