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How To Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Smoothly

how to keep your

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.

Sell Your Home with Landscaping Tips and Tricks

ROADRUNNER

Spring is here and it’s time to start revamping your yard, especially if you plan to sell your house this summer. First impressions make a big difference on a buyer, and the first time your buyer forms an opinion of your house is from it’s curb appeal. Although yardwork and landscaping can often be neglected while selling a home, as much as 10% extra value can be added to your home through beautifying your yard.

Give yourself time to start working on your yard – at least a month before you plan to list – to get your yard looking just right, instead of looking haphazardly thrown together. Here is a guideline with a few tips you can follow to get your yard in ship-shape for selling.

 

Fix Up Outdoor Containers

Quite a lot of interest can be added to green spaces, patios, doorways, walkways, and difficult spaces in your yard through container gardens. A container garden can be anything from simple succulents to flowers and vegetables, to large tropicals, adding different levels of greenery. These touches can also show how endless the possibilities are when designing and landscaping a yard, especially with a more difficult space.

 

Layer On Some Mulch

Probably one of the easiest and cheapest steps to take, yet will add some invaluable tidiness to your garden bed, is adding a new layer of mulch. New mulch will make your foliage stand out and add some contrast and new colour to your beds.

 

Add In Colour

Greenery is especially treasured here in Alberta, but colourful plants will add even more beauty to all that greenery, and will break up monotone yards. Add in layers or splashes of colour, or opt for a garden with a monochromatic theme – whatever style will suit your home best.

 

Get Pruning

Another inexpensive way to clean up your yard is to spend time shaping overgrown foliage. It might be easy to overlook this chore throughout the seasons, but gardens will show signs of neglect quickly if they are not taken care of – and that is not something you want to present to a potential buyer.

 

Spend Time With Your Perennials

It is a good idea to spend time replacing or tidying up your perennials that might not be looking as nice as they should. If you don’t want to replace the plant, you can always put an ornamental pot or container garden in its place. This is also a good time to think about what plants you will be taking with you when you move, and to possibly dig those up – or be sure to let potential buyers know which plants will still be in the yard after you sell.

 

Tidy Up Water Accents

Neglected features containing water, such as fountains, bird baths, and small pools in your landscape can easily collect algae or leaves. It’s important to keep these clean and updated, as a nasty looking water feature can turn off buyers instantly.

 

Fix Up Irrigation Concerns

Potential buyers can also be turned off by expensive updates and repairs, so make them before you list your house. Irrigation issues fall under this, as they can be time consuming and costly, so be sure to fix it right away. It’s also a good idea to provide information about irrigation in your yard – the schedule, system, and any instructions.

 

Take Care of Faucet Leaks

Faucet leaks might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes they can point to other issues on the property with plumbing. As you can imagine, a potential buyer might stray away from this. If you are able to repair these leaks, it’s best to do them right away. It’s a good idea to quickly water your yard and greenery before a showing happens at your home, as it shows buyers that your space is well managed.

 

Power-Wash Your Space

Rent or purchase a power-washer to clean hard surfaces, such as driveways or cement pads in your yard. This step can make rundown areas look all shiny and new. A power washer can also help clean other surfaces, such as brick, vinyl, and fences.

 

Label Your Plants

Lastly, providing potential buyers with garden and plant information is a great extra bonus for showings. Leaving a garden plan behind, or even labels in the garden, will eliminate a lot of work for your home’s new owner, and they will greatly appreciate your effort. This is also perfect for showings as some long term plants, or ones that may be difficult to grow can add extra value to your home.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
http://landscapingservicessandiego.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/landscaping-services-in-san-diego-header-1.jpg
http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/landscaping-tips-that-can-help-sell-your-home