IT’S HOT! This last week or so temperatures have been over 100. I am a fan of the heat, but once it breaks 100 it’s not fun anymore. Hopefully you have been able to stay cool during these hot days. While sheltered in place here is a list of five maintenance items to check out this summer.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
When the temperature starts rising during the summer we want to feel a cool breeze blowing on us. We start seeing all those $1 personal fans pop up when in line waiting to buy things at the store. Unfortunately those don’t do us much good. The same can be said for our ceiling fan rotation. In the summer we want to feel the air being blown on us by the fan. If you leave the switch in the winter setting the air will be pulled up against the ceiling and then come down. It is important to change your fan rotation so that it spins counterclockwise and pushes the air towards you. The switch may be hiding behind the glass bowl in some cases. Grab a latter and take 10 minutes to go through your home making this quick change.
This is a topic that will receive its own blog post in the future. This item is one of my featured services. Sprinkler maintenance keeps me pretty busy throughout the summer months. Most folks don’t think about checking their sprinklers until their lawn starts turning brown or plants start dying. This is mostly due to the fact that sprinklers reside dormant for about half of the year. I recommend that you test your complete system at the start of summer. Make sure your timer is still programmed correctly and that it turns on all your valves. Make a list of the areas irrigated by each valve and keep it next to your timer. Once sprinklers are running go around and check that they are rotated correctly. Nothing drives me crazy like sprinklers wasting water out on the street! Probably has something to do with my farming background. Check to see that the spray patterns are consistent and that there are no broken pipes. If you are manually turning water on I recommend upgrading to a timer and simplifying your life!
Hot Water Heater Drain
This is one maintenance item that should be done yearly but no one remembers doing it. I have only had one customer in four years ask me to do this. Draining your hot water heater is a way to give your heater a good chance at a long life. Over time sediment from your water builds up at the bottom of heater. This sediment can then lead to rusting of the inside liner of the heater requiring a heater replacement. Depending on your water source and quality you may be able to stretch the time between drains. This job is as easy as running a hose from the bottom of the heater to your nearest outdoor exit. Be patient, this process could take a while. There is no need to drain the entire tank; just enough so clear water is running out.
Air Filter Replacement
In the winter most folks are using their HVAC system to heat their homes. In the summer it’s just the opposite. We are trying to turn those 105 days into 78 inside our homes. The HVAC system works extremely hard during the summer months. To make it work as efficient as possible it is important to change out your air filter. As mentioned before, it is recommended to be changed monthly but even I forget to do that. Every 6 months, before winter and summer is a good system to have in place. Your local hardware store will have a variety of filters able to trap different pollens. I try to choose one in the middle of the road for quality and pricing.
What is it? An aerator is the small fitting at the end of your kitchen or bath faucet. It helps filter and improve water flow coming from the supply system. This small fitting should be cleaned out at least yearly to prevent plugging. If you live in an older home like me, where your water supply lines are steel pipes these tend to plug up more often. Typically these units screw on to the end of the faucet. A set of pliers may be needed to remove them. However, if you feel you are applying too much force to remove it, leave it as is. It may have frozen in place and could damage the faucet. Some newer faucets are coming with a small plastic wrench used to remove these items. As the picture below illustrates, the debris in the water covers the small holes in the aerator and eventually will completely stop water flow. If you have noticed your water faucet pressure drop check out this small maintenance item.
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