Most people equate home with a feeling of safety and comfort. Home is where we gather with our family and make memories. For this reason, it is important to take the time to check on your home systems monthly and as the seasons change. Our expert technicians have seen it all over the years. Below they reveal five vital, but simple, maintenance tasks you can do on your own to improve the lifespan, efficiency and safety of your family’s home systems. By completing vital maintenance tasks on a regular basis, the safety of those in your home and the value of the house itself can be protected.
Are you doing enough to keep your home safe? Review the check-list below to see if you are completing these 5 important home safety tips that are often overlooked.
Each time your dryer is operated, you are adding lint to the dryer vent. You have probably seen this before, but did you know this means that over time, your dryer will take longer to dry your clothes and be less efficient in cooling down? As lint builds up, it can also become a fire hazard. In fact, every year almost 3,000 home fires are started from dryer vent clogs! To prevent this danger, be sure to remove all lint from the filter each time you run your machine. It is also critical to remove the vent at the back of your dryer and vacuum out any remaining lint every few months. There are several types of lint cleaning kits that you can purchase from local home improvement stores to help with this process.
‘Expert Tech’ Pro Tip- If you are noticing that your clothes are not dry after one cycle, you detect a burning smell when the dryer is running, or your dryer is physically hot to the touch when running- you probably have a clogged vent. Take care of the issue immediately. Proper maintenance will prevent clogs as well as the risk of a home fire.
Your home’s air filters are a key factor in the quality of the air you and your family are breathing. When an air filter is not changed, contaminated air, like outside dirt and pollution is more likely to infiltrate your family’s living spaces. There are many things that come into play when it comes to how often you need to change them- such as the type of air filter you are using, the number of people and pets who live in your home, and the environment in which you live. Most manufacturers recommend changing air filters every 30-60 days. However, if you live alone and do not have any pets, and do not suffer from allergies- that recommendation moves up to every 90 days. Clogged air filters can result in an increase in allergy symptoms- such as headaches and breathing issues. Keeping your family safe means providing them with clean air.
‘Expert Tech’ Pro Tip- We all understand that a clean filter leads to cleaner air inside our homes. But did you know that it can also save you money? By simply replacing a clogged air filter with a new one, you can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.
Have you noticed that your smoke alarm only seems to need a new battery in the middle of the night? Don’t worry, it’s not just you! If you are the type of person who only changes the batteries when you are awoken from a deep sleep by that incessant chirping- then consider this. Three out of five home fires that result in death are from homes without working smoke alarms. But you can cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half by simply checking that your smoke alarms work. So, don’t wait until you hear the chirping. The alkaline battery in most smoke detectors lasts up to one year. Check it each month by simply pressing the “test” button on the outside of the alarm. You can prevent dangerous house fires and get better sleep knowing that the battery is working.
When it’s time to change the battery, be sure to check the manufacturer date on your smoke alarm too. The actual smoke detector is only good for 10 years, then it needs to be replaced.
‘Expert Tech’ Pro Tip- All homes need a smoke detector in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may need more alarms. For the best protection, make sure all smoke alarms are interconnected – when one sounds, they all sound. If needed, a Milestone electrical technician can ensure this for you.
Most people have heard horror stories from neighbors or friends about water heaters that have leaked due to corrosion and caused costly damage to the home. But how do you know that your water heater is in trouble? Take a look at the heater, if you notice any water pooling near the base or leaking, it needs attention. Other warning signs include inconsistent water temperature, poor water quality, or if takes a long time for your water to heat. Strange sounds such as creaking or bumping may also be a sign that your water heater needs attention. The typical water heater last 10-15 years. As your system approaches that age, you might begin shopping for a new one. New water heaters run more efficiently, which can save you money in the future. And old water heaters bring about the risk of flood/water damage. Play it safe by checking your water heater regularly.
We all tend to take our A/C and heating systems for granted. They keep us cool in the hot summer months and warm all winter long. But when either one of these suddenly stops performing correctly, it can be a big inconvenience to your family. No matter what kind of heating and cooling system you have, it should be inspected, cleaned, and serviced at least once a year. Trust us! Every year your home’s unit skips an A/C tune up, its’ deficiency decreases by 5%. A simple way to remember is to have the heating system checked in the fall and the air conditioning checked in the spring. Benefits of this service include preventing little issues from becoming big problems. Heating and cooling systems that are operating properly have a reduced environmental impact. So, regular service appointments can save you money by improving the efficiency of your unit.
‘Expert Tech’ Pro Tip- Interested in learning more on why tune-ups are critical to the lifespan of your entire home A/C unit? Give us a call! We guarantee unmatched levels of support and service, from the very first phone call to the completed end of a project.
Let us ensure you’re A/C unit is set up for success for the rest of summer and your heating system is well prepared for the fall. Learn more about A/C tune ups here.
By following these 5 simple tips, you can help to keep your family safe and your home well-running for day-to-day life. Our expert technicians have seen it all. From preventing water heater flooding to drastically improving your home’s air quality, these 5 steps are easy and substantially recommended by the professionals!