We made it! It’s the new year! The calendar pages of the very…um…challenging 2020 have all been torn off to unveil the excitement, promise and new opportunities of 2021! Brighter things are indeed ahead!
Not So Fast.
The New Year ball may have dropped, but that doesn’t give anyone an excuse to drop the ball on taking care of their home’s A/C, plumbing, appliances and electrical systems to keep them operating as they should. If 2020 taught us anything, it was to prepare for the worst and to plan for the unexpected. By staying on top of these few simple tasks, you can save yourself both money and headaches down the road.
Here’s a helpful system-by-system breakdown of some easy things you can do to keep everything running great – and keep unwelcome surprises from popping up.
A/C – Keep Your Cool Throughout the Year
Change the Air Filter
We say it all the time, but it is that important. Change your A/C filter on a regular basis, especially during those months of heavy usage. Why? Because it keeps your HVAC system running efficiently and it keeps your home’s air cleaner.
BONUS: Want extra-clean air and need a new A/C? You’re in luck! While supplies last, you can get a FREE virus-killing, bacteria-zapping, air-purifying REME HALO® system with the purchase and installation of a 16-seer or higher A/C with Badger Bob’s. That’s a savings of $1500!
Keep the Condenser Unit Clear
Your condenser is likely to accumulate debris such as leaves and dirt throughout the year. You’ll want to make sure to remove this debris or it could otherwise clog the cooling fins and lead to a dirty blower fan filter. Failure to do this can lead to the decreased efficiency of your air conditioning system and expensive repairs.
Check Your Vents
To maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home, you’ll want to occasionally check and clean your vents to make sure that you’re getting good air flow. If vents are blocked, it could drive up air pressure, which ultimately could cause leaks to form.
Plumbing – No Time for Clog Dancing
It’s tempting when one of your sinks or your tub is running slow, but it’s not a good idea to use chemical drain cleaners. For one, most of these chemicals are not effective. Also, they can be both dangerous for you and your plumbing, as they are extremely corrosive. Snaking is a more effective, safer way to clear those clogs.
Know What To Do.
Do you know where your shutoff valves are? If something overflows or springs a leak, shut off the water. These valves are sometimes hidden in the backs of cabinets or even outside near your meter. Know where they are and how to turn them off, so you can stop a leak before it becomes a flood.
Inspect To Protect.
While you might want to have a professional come out occasionally to look at your system, you can probably look for, find and inspect small problems on your own – even inside your own walls, based on discoloration and mold. Look for moisture stains, drips, condensation, and discoloration. These can all indicate a small leak that needs immediate attention.
Appliances – Keep Them Working Longer.
Clean Refrigerator Coils
Dirty coils can be an issue. In fact, our service pros find this problem on many of their refrigerator calls. Taking a vacuum to the coils can make a difference. Bonus: The clean coils will cool more efficiently and save you money on your utility bill!
Recalibrate Your Oven Temperature Setting
If the temperature in your oven seems off, you can recalibrate the temperature setting. Use the instructions in your manual or go online and search for a downloadable version using your oven’s model number. Place a good-quality oven thermometer on the center shelf and wait for the oven to maintain a constant temperature.
Keep It Clean
When your dishwasher no longer gets your dishes clean, a food-filled filter is most often to blame. If it’s clogged, water can’t make it to the spray arms to clean the dishes in the top rack. Simply pull out the lower rack and remove the filter cover inside the dishwasher. (Check your owner’s manual if you can’t spot the filter.) Then use a wet/dry vacuum to clean off the screen.
Electrical – No Shocking Surprises
Your electric should run without fail. If you have breakers tripping and fuses blowing on a regular basis, it’s time to bring in a professional to inspect your home. We know just the people to help.
If you have children or grandchildren, put protectors in all your outlets or replace them with tamper-resistant outlets. These are now required by code in all new homes.
Never plug a generator directly into your home’s electrical system, as this can unintentionally damage appliances or even put you at risk. Hire an electrician to get it done safety.
The Badger Bottom Line
Welcome to 2021! The year may be new, but these tried and true tips have been saving homeowners from costly repairs and dangerous situations for ages. If you have more questions or want to learn about additional ways to proactively care for your air conditioning, plumbing, appliances or electrical systems, give us a call or schedule a routine maintenance appointment.