Everybody is going about their spring cleaning and home maintenance chores. Be sure you don’t forget your plumbing and heating systems as part of your to-do list! The Maine winter takes a toll on these critical systems, and taking care of them and catching problems before they become major issues is important and will keep things operating efficiently.
While there are some tasks that should be saved for a professional service company, there are several tasks that you can easily perform on your own to prolong the life of your systems.
Take a look at all your plumbing fixtures, faucets, pipes and connections for any leaks. Check your toilets for any leaks in the bowl and tank, and around the base. A tiny leak can cause major building damage over time, so catching and fixing small leaks early can save on a big repair in the future.
If you didn’t winterize your outdoor plumbing, your outdoor pipes and hose bibs can get damaged or cracked. When you first turn on your outdoor spigots, check for puddles and dripping water. Also, a sudden increase in your water bill could be a telltale sign of this (or some other) plumbing issue.
If you find you have a damaged outdoor pipe, be sure to shut off the water supply to that pipe immediately. Call a professional plumber as soon as possible to repair the leak.
After winter there tends to be debris and dirt around outside HVAC units. Never let debris and leaves clump around exterior equipment as they can clog the unit and even damage it. The coils need to be kept clear and cleaned, and all debris should be removed from around any units. Also trim any shrubs that may have grown too close to outdoor HVAC units. You want plenty of air to flow freely around this equipment for efficiency and safety.
Also be sure to keep an eye out for any rodents that may have decided to build a nest in or around condenser units.
You can clean around the outside of your units by yourself, but don’t open them up on your own. Any cleaning or maintenance of the inside of your unit should only be completed by a professional.
When a water heater goes, it can be disastrous! Very quickly, hundreds of gallons of water will be pumped into your home. Make sure your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees. For safety reasons, keep any items stored around the water heater at least 3’ away from the unit. If your water heater is more than 12 years old, it’s a good idea to have it professionally inspected to make sure it is in good operating order. This would also be the time to start planning for its replacement.
Air filters in heating systems should be changed monthly through the heating months. Head into the spring and summer with a fresh filter. Even over the spring and summer, they become clogged up, reducing airflow and efficiency. Maintaining clean air filters saves your unit from working harder than it needs to, thus extending its lifespan. When filters are replaced, you will save money on energy costs and your indoor air quality will improve. The spring is a perfect time to replace all the various air filters in your home so that you start a new season off with clean, fresh air inside!
If you aren’t sure how to replace your air filters, ask your professional technician to show you how during a maintenance or tune-up appointment.
Just think about all the dust, pet hair, and other debris that flies around our houses while they are all closed up over the winter. Add wiping down your heating vents and registers to your spring cleaning routine to improve indoor air quality, and improve the efficiency of your system.
During warmer months, switch the direction of your ceiling fan blades so that they turn counterclockwise. In this direction, it will push air down and create a cool breeze. This will also help distribute air conditioning more evenly. This simple change can help keep the temperature consistent throughout the day, cooling a room by as much as 10-degrees.
While you’re up there, be sure to wipe down the blades on your ceiling fans.
207 Plumbing & Heating is committed to providing high-quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We can help with any springtime repairs for virtually all kinds of plumbing and heating problems you may have.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a service, please give us a call at 207-653-0979!