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How To Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Smoothly

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I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Referring my clients to a house inspector who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important. Brad Hanson from Hanson Inspections has proven himself to be one of the best home inspectors I have had to privilege to work with over the years. Here is Brad letting giving us a few tips on how to maintain and upgrade a few specific rooms in our homes.

The warmer days of summer are upon us again. Some days may be too warm, and that’s when you can really appreciate a good central air conditioning system. Here are some tips and suggestions to help keep yours running smoothly.

A building’s central air-conditioning system must be periodically inspected and maintained in order to function properly. While an annual inspection performed by a trained professional is recommended, homeowners can do a lot of the work themselves by following the tips offered here.

 

Clean the Exterior Condenser Unit and Components

The exterior condenser unit is the large box located on the side of the house that’s designed to push heat from the indoors to the outdoors. Inside of the box are coils of pipe that are surrounded by thousands of thin metal “fins” that allow the coils more surface area to exchange heat.

Follow these tips when cleaning the exterior condenser unit and its inner components – after turning off power to the unit, of course.

  • Remove any leaves, spider webs and other debris from the unit’s exterior. Trim foliage back several feet from the unit to ensure proper airflow.
  • Remove the cover grille to clean any debris from the unit’s interior. A garden hose can be helpful for this task.
  • Straighten any bent fins with a tool called a fin comb.
  • Add lubricating oil to the motor. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
  • Clean the evaporator coil and condenser coil at least once a year. When they collect dirt, they may not function properly.
  • Inspect the Condensate Drain Line

Condensate drain lines collect condensed water and drain it away from the unit. They’re located on the side of the inside fan unit. Sometimes there are two drain lines—a primary drain line that’s built into the unit, and a secondary drain line that can drain if the first line becomes blocked.

Homeowners can inspect the drain line by using the following tips, which take very little time and require no specialized tools:

  • Inspect the drain line for obstructions, such as algae and debris. If the line becomes blocked, water will back up into the drain pan and overflow, potentially causing a safety hazard or water damage to your home.
  • Make sure the hoses are secured and fit properly.
  • Clean the Air Filter

Air filters remove pollen, dust and other particles that would otherwise circulate indoors. Most filters are typically rectangular in shape and about 20 x 16 inches, and about 1 inch thick. They slide into the main ductwork near the inside fan unit. The filter should be periodically washed or replaced, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. A dirty air filter will not only degrade the quality of the home’s indoor, but it will also strain the motor to work harder to move air through it, increasing energy costs and reducing energy efficiency. The filter should be replaced monthly during heavy use during the cooling seasons. You may need to change the filter more often if the air conditioner is in constant use, if any family members have respiratory problems, if you have pets with fur, or if it’s particularly dusty indoors.

 

Cover the Exterior Unit

When the cooling season is over, you should cover the exterior condenser unit in preparation for winter. If it isn’t being used, why expose it to the elements? This measure will prevent ice, leaves and dirt from entering the unit, which can harm components and require additional maintenance in the spring. A cover can be purchased, or you can make one yourself by taping together plastic trash bags. Be sure to turn the unit off before covering it.

 

Have a few more questions about home inspections? Connect with Brad through his website.

How to Stage Your Home Like A Pro Part Two

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Last week, we released part one of this post. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here! Read on below to get the best tips for staging your space to sell your home fast. 

Bathroom

  • It’s time to get out your cleaning equipment and scrub away all the built up grime on every surface of your bathroom, such as water stains, and soap scum.
  • Consider completing tasks such as re-caulking around the tub, painting the tile (this is much less expensive than replacing the tile, and can turn out to be a very beautiful upgrade), replace old towels with new and clean towels, un-clogging and cleaning drains, and fixing a leaky toilet.
  • Put away all your personal toiletries, from medicine to razors, and add in some spa-inspired items, such as nice soap dispensers, candles, and plants.


Walls, Windows & More

  • Brighten up dark rooms and hallways with a fresh coat of light neutral coloured paint, or add in a mirror to create a larger space.
  • Even out the nicks in your walls by filling them and touch up these spots with some paint.
  • To keep your home modern, paint over any wood panelling – if you want to you can fill in the panel lines with wood filler and paint over the whole thing, or keep the panelling as an interesting texture.
  • It’s also important to ensure that all your switch plates and outlet covers match and look new. Replace them if necessary.
  • De-personalize the space by removing your family photos and replace with interesting, modern art.
  • Lastly, wash all the walls and windows, you’d be surprised at how grimy they get from day-to-day life.


Throughout the House

  • Think about every possible way you can de-clutter, whether that’s getting ruthless and getting rid of things, or boxing them away for later assessment.
  • Keep any storage space as empty as possible so buyers can see how large the space really is.
  • Make your unused space functional – add in a desk or reading nook so buyers can see how to utilize your space.
  • Lastly, keep your floors updated by replacing any broken boards and deep cleaning your carpets.


Exterior

  • Freshen up the outside of your house by re-staining your porch and deck, and re-painting your door.
  • Keep your colour neutral or to red, black, or something that compliments the trim and won’t blend in too much. Before painting, it might be a good idea to power-wash everything.
  • It’s also important to make sure all your lights, doorbells, doorknobs, and locks are working, and if they aren’t it’s time to replace that.
  • Take a good look at your landscape, and see what upgrades you can do. We have published a great post on landscaping to sell your home here.


For Pet Owners

  • Deep clean all carpet and textile areas, and use a specialized carpet or textile cleaner made specifically for removing pet odours.
  • Stash away any pet toys, and check the yard for those special “presents” your animal may leave behind.
  • For showings and open houses, find a place where you can take your furry friend for the time, as pets can be very distracting to potential buyers.

 


Day of Showing

  • Add something special with a seasonal accent, such as a bouquet of flowers in the warmer weather, or simmering cinnamon sticks in the cold months.
  • Try not to do any cooking, as it might leave behind an unpleasant scent. Instead, you might want to bake cookies to leave a nice smell in your home.
  • Clean and tidy up everything as best as you can.

Now you can stage your home like a pro! Have questions about selling your home? Let’s chat!

 

 

 

Source: https://www.houselogic.com/sell/preparing-your-home-to-sell/home-staging-checklist/