Regular maintenance is one of the best ways for homeowners to safeguard their investment after purchasing a home. A well-planned and executed maintenance is also a way to increase your home value while keeping it in good shape.
Unfortunately, some homeowners mostly concentrate on only the curb appeal of their property during maintenance. They seem to pay less attention to critical systems like Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and plumbing works.
However, these systems should always be on every homeowner’s maintenance checklist for efficient and smooth operations. Luckily, a home warranty takes care of the maintenance or replacement of some home equipment including the HVAC system. You may want to read more about who pays for a home warranty, between the seller and the buyer. For now, here are some maintenance tips for HVAC and plumbing systems.
HVAC Maintenance Tips
Like any other equipment, the HVAC system requires regular maintenance to make it run smoothly and energy efficient. For this, you need a specialist who will check for potential faults, repair it if necessary and test run it. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules. This prevents the system from total breakdown, which may result in expensive repairs or replacement. The HVAC specialist will among other things:
Regular change of filters
Changing air filters is one of the basic maintenance routines of the HVAC system. The filters clean the air to ensure quality air circulation in your home. In doing so, it traps lots of dirt and if not changed will impede the free airflow through the system. This decreases the efficiency of the system, yet increases energy use and cost.
The specialist may also conduct the following maintenance routines:
- Check the thermostat
- Inspect the condensers
- Lubricate the moving parts
- Check the refrigerant
- Check the moving parts are running smoothly
- Check the condenser and coils
As a homeowner, you also have a part to play in ensuring that your HVAC system gives optimal performance. You will have to do the following
Keep the environment clean
The HVAC external unit filters and circulates the air around it. In a clean environment, it will circulate fresh and quality air without straining the filters. The opposite applies to a filthy environment. It is therefore advisable to keep the environment clean from debris and anything that can be trapped in the external unit. Also, clean the exterior components frequently to make is dust free.
Keep it in a spacious environment
Your HVAC unit should be in a spacious environment with free airflow. Nothing should impede the airway, be it furniture, block work, tree, etc. as they can cause the unit to overheat and decrease efficiency. This can also result in high energy use and subsequent cost.
Seal all air escape routes in your home
To reduce the energy cost related to your HVAC system use, prevent air escape when your unit is on. Caulk your windows, cracks on the wall, spaces under your doors, and any space that allows warm or cold air to escape to the external environment. This ensures you enjoy warm air in the winter and cold air in the summer without adding up to your energy cost.
Plumbing system maintenance tips
The plumbing system is another critical installation in every home. Surprisingly, most homeowners hardly pay attention to it unless something major impeding the free flow of water occurs. However, the slightest leak or clog in any part of the system (pipes or fittings) can cause havoc. Here are some plumbing system maintenance tips.
Unclog the drains
Food residues, waste, and other particles trapped in drain pipes will build up with time and prevent the free flow of water into the septic tank or gutter. This blockage can later develop into a complex situation if not dealt with on time. Avoid this by not dumping fatty waste, leftover food, and other waste materials into your drains. Also, check and clean your drains frequently.
If it happens, a solution of vinegar and baking soda can clean the sink, bath drain, etc. off all clogging materials. Just pour the mixture into the clogged drains and later flush it with hot water. Consult a plumber if the situation doesn’t improve.
Check and fix for possible leaks
Prolonged use and a strong external impact can cause pipes and other plumbing fittings can leak at any time. The leaking water can cause several problems including molds on your wall and even weaken your foundation. Stop this from happening with frequent checks on your plumbing work for suspected leakage and damages. Inspect for possible water stains and damages on the walls, mold, and moisture under the sinks and water closet.
Your water metering system can also give you a clue about a possible leakage in your home. For this, write down the meter readings immediately after using the tap. After a few hours, recheck the readings to see if it has increased or remained the same. An increase means there is a leakage somewhere you need to fix. Your plumber can help fix that problem.
Change weak plumbing fixtures
Plumbing fixtures like faucets, bathtubs, etc. grow weaker with prolonged use and can cause water leaks. It is advisable to check them frequently and replace weak ones. Some plumbing fixtures are repairable, so you can save costs with DIY plumbing projects.
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