Skip to main content

Have you checked these lately?



Homeowners know the need to periodically check certain things around the home to ensure that things operate properly and efficiently.  If maintenance is required, it may be less expensive to take care of it early rather than waiting until it is not working at all.

Checklists are helpful because it requires little effort to know what must be done.  They are usually concise and provide enough information to complete the task.  These items apply to most homeowners but in no way offer a comprehensive list.

  1. Vacuum dryer exhaust ... not only does it affect the efficiency of your dryer itself, the accumulation of lint along with the hot air can ignite and create a fire hazard.
  2. Replace HVAC filters 4 to 6 times a year ... This is one DIY project that almost everyone should feel confident in handling.  Locate the filter, make a note of the size, and keep replacements available.  Turn off the unit, open the door or housing, remove the dirty filter, and replace it with the new one.  Pay attention to the direction of the air flow; filters are marked to indicate the correct direction.
  3. Test all GFCI breakers. - GFCI breakers, as well as outlets, have a test button on them.  Pressing the test button should cause the breaker to trip which shuts off all power to the entire circuit.  To reset the breaker, push it completely to off and then, back to on.
  4. Vacuum refrigerator coils ... Coils on refrigerators can be in different places depending on the model and manufacturer.  Locate the coils and clean the dirt and dust from them using a soft bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush.
  5. Replace batteries in smoke detectors ... smoke detectors should be tested monthly by pushing the test button.  Annually, the batteries should be replaced, even if they appear to still have life in them.  After replacing the batteries, test the smoke detector to see if it is functioning properly.
  6. Check windows and doors for leaks ... There are several ways to check for leaks.  One method used on a cold day would be to hold your hand a few inches from the window or door frame to feel for drafts.  Another method would be to light a candle and trace the outline of the window or door to see if the flame or smoke pull in one direction, indicating an air leak.
  7. Inspect all sprinkler system stations to see if heads are leaking or need adjusting. ... Manually, turn on each of the stations and look at each sprinkler that is running to see if it is leaking or if it is properly covering the area intended. 
  8. Check garage door opener to see that safety features engage properly ... Place a cardboard box in line of one of the sensors before trying to close the door.  The door should reverse itself after sensing the obstruction.
  9. Check and clean fireplace(s) annually, if used ... this may be a job that you want to have someone else do but you may be able to recognize indicators that the chimney needs cleaning.  These things include evidence of birds or animals; fireplace smells like a campfire; smoke fills the room; difficulty starting or keeping a fire going; the fireplace walls have oily marks; the damper is black with soot and creosote. The frequency of use on wood burning fireplaces will impact the need for cleaning.

If you need a recommendation of a service provider for repairs, contact me jen@jenniechapin.com with what you are looking for.  I'll get back to you quickly.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paying Points to Lower the Rate

Two commonly known ways to lower your mortgage payments are to make a larger down payment especially if it eliminates private mortgage insurance and improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage. Another way to lower your payment would be to buy down the interest rate for the life of the mortgage with discount points.   A discount point is one percent of the mortgage borrowed.   Lenders collect this fee up-front to increase the yield on the note in exchange for a lower interest rate. A permanent buy down on a fixed-rate mortgage is available to borrowers who are willing to pay discount points at the time of closing. Let's look at two options on a $315,000 mortgage for 30 years at 4% interest with no points compared to a 3.75% interest rate with one-point.   The principal and interest payment on the 4% loan would be $1,503.86 compared to $1,458.81 on the 3.75% loan.   The $45.04 savings is available because the buyer is willing to pay $3,150 in points.   By dividi

Will Soft Inquiries Hurt Your Credit Score?

Soft inquiries, sometimes known as a soft credit check or a soft credit pull, do not impact your credit scores because they are not attached to a specific application for credit.   They can occur when a credit card issuer or mortgage lender checks a person's credit for preapproval purposes. Examples of soft inquiries are when you check your own credit or one of your current creditors checks your credit.   If you are concerned about the negative impact on your score, specify to the lender that you want a "soft pull" to see if you qualify for preapproval. Soft inquiries may appear on your credit report but should not adversely affect your credit score. Consumers are entitled to one free copy from each major credit bureau, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, once every twelve months available at AnnualCreditReport.com .   Hard inquiries occur when a borrower makes a new application for credit.   These will impact your credit score and will remain on your credit report

Why a Home Should Be Your First Investment

Real estate has been described as the basis of all wealth.   Without considering income or investment property, buying a home to live in is an incredibly powerful way to build wealth or financial net worth. A home is an asset measured by the size of the equity.   Equity is simply the difference between the value of the home and the amount owed.   There are two powerful dynamics at work to increase the equity which include appreciation and amortization. Appreciation occurs when the fair market of the home increases.   The shortage of available inventory coupled with high demand has contributed to an 18% increase in value in the past year on average for homeowners in the U.S. Most mortgage loans are amortized with monthly payments that include the interest that is owed for the previous month and an increasing amount that is paid toward the principal loan amount so that if all the payments are made, the loan would be repaid by the end of the term. A 30-year mortgage at 3.5% intere