This section of our website is designed to act as a resource to help inform you and save you money. We hope you find it beneficial.
Is there anything I can do to prevent or catch a plumbing problem before it is out of control?
Occasionally check for signs of leaking/moisture around Bathroom and Kitchen fixtures and visible drain pipes. Drain strainers can be used for tub and shower drains to help prevent clogs and build up. Be aware of what goes down the garbage disposal and kitchen sink. Avoid disposing of solids like bones or corn husks and never rinse fats or cooking oils down the sink as they can potentially solidify and create a blockage. Manually clear drains using a pipe snake as directed. Be familiar with where water shut off valves are located.
More from Preventive Maintenance
Replacing a Faucet Fixture?
Kitchen sinks, Bathroom sinks, tubs and showers are among the most frequently used and hardest working areas of your home. These venues can also be major selling points of a house. With this in mind, keeping them in great working order or upgrading their fixtures means ensuring and even boosting your home’s market value. A couple things to consider when replacing them include: finding an appropriately measured replacement to ensure fit and ensuring your fixture’s efficiency. Water Sense® fixtures are EPA certified, efficient fixtures that will help you reduce water use in your home and save you money on water bills. Additionally, these water savings reduce demands on your water heater.
Click here to find Water Sense® products
BC Water Sense® shower head or toilet rebate
How can I be sure to hire the right contractor?
Assess your needs. Whether considering renovation or unit replacement, do some research on fixtures and units. Study up on costs and efficiency. Make sure the contractor you are considering holds valid licensure and insurance as required by the state (is the license valid? find out). Does the contractor make a significant effort to understand your needs? Be sure they do a thorough evaluation. Get a sense of reference for the contractor: get referrals from friends, ask the contractor for references and call those references. Do they have your investment/value in mind? Do they inform you about efficiency and rebates? Is their price and quality more than reasonable? Make sure they inform you of qualified products in terms of durability, efficiency and savings. Obtain a written estimate and compare. Pass the information on to others with the same concerns.
10 Tips from Energy Star®
Ensure that your A/C is NOT blowing hot air this summer!
There are various types of Air Conditioning units out there, however, many residential units utilize similar components to cool the air in your home (ie. Condensers, Evaporators, Refrigerant, etc.). To learn more about different units click here.
Whatever type you have, it is advisable to do a general cleaning and inspection of the unit in preparation for the warmer months. Before beginning, be sure to consult the service manual that came with your unit in order to take proper care of it. The manual will provide you with provisions and techniques to accurately clean your cooling unit as well as directing you how to avoid causing damage to the A/C device. Most importantly, refer to the manual to be informed about safety when working with the device’s components.
As mentioned, the condenser is one of the main components that produces the cool air inside your home. Be sure to read recommendations for the routine cleaning of condenser vents. Additionally, if an A/C is not producing cool air, it is possible that the refrigerant may need to be recharged. This is something best left to a professional.
Need more efficiency out of your cooling/heating system?
How can I reduce my heating bill and stay comfortable?
It is no surprise that heating and cooling costs are typically the largest energy expense of a home. There are, however, effective ways to reduce the energy required to heat a home. Here are some possible signs that your home heating system might be inefficient: high energy bills, continuous need for repairs, high humidity, increased dust, noisy units, rooms that heat up too much or too little.
Replacing outdated/aging equipment is not only a valuable investment, but also one of the most effective ways to improve the efficiency of your home heating. As heating pumps, furnaces and boilers age, they expend more energy during operation. Equipment more than 10-15 years old can often become inefficient. Know when it is time to replace it.
In addition to routine maintenance of existing equipment, there are a few other things you can do to improve your home heating energy efficiency. For instance, installing a programmable thermostat allows you to manage heat settings by pre-programming temperatures at different times of the day. This will help to keep the heat low when no one is home. Also, sealing air ducts with foil tape and then insulating them will prevent warm air from escaping. Finally, an annual tune-up and monthly changes of air filters will help the unit to function at it’s best.
Simple practices can help you save $ and help conserve water:
Heating & Cooling Quick Tips