Spending a little to save a lot is hardly a new concept for homeowners, and Wi-Fi detectors fall squarely into that category. With any luck, they’ll sit idle forever, but when they sound an alarm, they could prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage and inconvenience.
Water leak and freeze detectors have been around for decades, but only recently have they been equipped with Wi-Fi signaling devices. Should a leak occur or a freeze be imminent, they’ll alert you on your phone, whether you’re at home or elsewhere.
Left unchecked, water leaks and frozen pipes cause major damage to floors, walls, ceilings and structural components. Water causes wood to swell, mold and mildew to grow and textile damage. You may or not hear anything when a pipe breaks or freezes or an appliance fails.
Where to Place Them The most vulnerable appliance in homes is the water heater. It’s usually placed in an out-of-the way location and it operates quietly. Storage water heaters can suddenly spring leaks, or the pipes leading to or away from it may fail. Clothes washers also hold a good deal of water, and if their hoses aren’t replaced periodically or if …
In today’s tech-savvy world, there’s an app for everything, and this includes virtually every aspect of owning and maintaining your Peachtree City home. Here are five mobile apps that can make your life as a homeowner more organized and a little less hectic:
Energy Consumption Analyzer
The Energy Consumption Analyzer app allows you to monitor your household energy usage so you can get it under control. You simply set up a separate meter for your gas, water and electrical services, then input your meter readings. The app graphs your energy usage and displays an up-to-date rate of consumption.
Would you like a foolproof way to document everything you own in case your home is broken in to and you have to file a police report or insurance claim? The Encircle app is designed to let you take and store photos of every item in your home, so you have peace of mind that everything is catalogued in case of theft.
Do you have trouble keeping track and taking care of home maintenance tasks? If so, the free HomeSavvy iOS app can help you organize all those necessary chores. The app can also send you timely alerts so you …
You may have been told never to block your home’s air conditioning and heating vents, but do you know why?
It helps to understand that some of those vents — the ones you can feel warm or cool air emitting from — are for the supply air, while the other vents are for return air, or where the air in the home is pulled into the HVAC system for heating and cooling. Read on for some information on cold air returns and why blocking them is not a good idea.
What Cold Air Returns Do
Think of your HVAC system as the lungs of your home. The supply vents are where the air is exhaled, while the cold air returns are where the air is inhaled for conditioning. Most returns are located in the floor or near the bottom of the wall so they can capture the cool air that has sunk to the floor.
Many homes are designed with minimal cold air returns, resulting in an imbalance between supply and return air, which creates inefficient and uneven heating and cooling. But whether your home only has one return vent or several, you certainly don’t want to impede …
Your air conditioner is like any other kind of mechanical equipment – it makes some noise when it’s running. You’re no doubt used to the sounds it normally makes, so you notice any unusual, extremely loud or alarming new noises.
Some sounds – like hissing, loud banging or shrill shrieking or squealing – should be checked out by an experienced HVAC professional because they can indicate serious problems that need prompt attention.
Quieting the A/C when it starts making annoying but not serious sounds is fairly easy if you follow these tips:
Clean & Tighten a Noisy Blower Fan
If you’re hearing murmuring or rattling sounds from the air handler cabinet, the fan may be loose or dirty or have a bent blade. You can lessen the noise by wiping any debris from the blades and tightening the center hub with a screwdriver or Allen wrench if the fan is a bit loose and vibrating. If there’s a bent blade, use your hands to gently straighten it.
Lubricate a Loud Fan Motor
Your HVAC system air filter is responsible for trapping dirt, dust, pet dander, hair, pollen and other airborne particles so they don’t accumulate on sensitive system components. Given the filter’s important role, it’s vital to use the most efficient type available for your system and keep it clean.
If you’ve always used disposable filters but you’ve heard about washable air filters and you’re wondering if you should switch, here’s a look at how the two compare in some key areas.
Washable and disposable mechanical filters have different minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings, which tells you their filtering capabilities:
Washable HVAC air filters typically have MERV ratings from 1-4, so they’re only effective at capturing particles 10 microns and larger, which can include hair, lint, pollen and dust mites. Basic, throw-away flat-panel fiberglass filters have the same low 1-4 MERV ratings. Disposable pleated media filters offer MERV ratings from 5-13, so they can trap particles as small as one micron, such as mold spores, dust mite droppings and pet dander. Maintenance Requirements