I just noticed I don’t have hot water in my home. What should I do?
There are a few steps you can take to see what the problem may be with your hot water supply.
Electric Water Heater
Check the Circuit Breaker or Fuse – If there is no visible damage to the water heater or electric panel, try to reset the breaker or replace the fuse.
Gas Water Heaters
Check to see if the pilot light is on – If you find that the pilot light is out, you can re-light it by following the instructions on the water heater. If you smell gas, turn off the gas supply to the water heater and call for service.
Check the gas supply to make sure it is on – Take a look at other gas appliances to see if they are functional. If they are not, ask neighbors if their gas supply is working.
Electricity and natural gas can be potentially dangerous. Make sure to call a professional if you are unsure about the situation.
With recent home construction, there has been a new focus on energy efficient building. The result is homes that don’t breathe as well as older structures. They have the potential to retain more moisture which could lead to mold and mildew problems. Here are a few ways to minimize the presence of these contaminants in your home:
- Make sure duct work is maintained. Mold sometimes forms by spores settling within the duct work of the home. It then settles in poorly ventilated areas, such as a bathroom or basement. It is important to keep these areas well maintained and opened up to other areas of the home so air can circulate.
- Use dehumidifiers and fans. Mold can form on any surface where moisture is present. The use of dehumidifiers and fans in basements or kitchens can greatly help lower mold formation in these areas.
- Check for any leaks. Things to watch for are peeling paint, odors, dampness, and discoloration of the surface walls.
If you do have rampant mold issues in an area of the home, or you are extremely sensitive to mold, it may be necessary to contact a professional to assess the severity of your mold problems.
Washer or dryer problems can mean big messes and cleanups. A leak in a washing machine hose can leak dozens of gallons of water, while a dryer fire can be dangerous. Here are a few maintenance tips to take care of these machines.
Replace Hoses once every 5 years – To do this, turn off the hot and cold water valves and unplug the washer. Replace the existing lines with braided hosing and tag them with the date they were replaced.
Clean the Filter Screens – A clogged filter screen slows water from entering the washing machine. Use a soft bristled paint brush to clean them before replacing the hoses.
Watch for Leaks – Install a drip pan for your washing machine to see if you have any leaks after you run a load. You will need someone to help you place the pan under the machine (using a dolly might be helpful).
Clean Out Lint Traps – Use a long wire brush to clean out dryer lint traps. You can use a flashlight to make sure it is completely cleaned out.
Clean the Outside Duct – Use a wire brush to clean the duct from the outside. Make sure not to jam any material farther into the duct.
Summer Cooling Costs
Energy costs can become a burden during the long summer months. The increased use of air conditioners can be a drain on resources and your pocketbook. Here are a few tips to lower the cost of cooling your home during the summer.
Program Your Central Air – If you have central air, don’t keep it turned all the way down when you are away at work. Don’t turn it off though, because that means the unit will have to work extra hard to cool your house down in the evening. Try and program it to kick on 30 to 45 minutes before you get home so it can reach a comfortable temperature.
Try Portable Air Conditioners – If you have window units, try to use portable air conditioning units as an alternative. They are generally more energy efficient than window units because of the use of adjustable thermostats and countdown timers. The fact that you can move them from room to room is also a benefit.
Give Fans a Try – If it isn’t that hot out, or you are trying to save some money, fans have big benefits. They are extremely portable and use much less energy than air conditioners. A combination of ceiling and portable fans can circulate air and keep energy costs down.
By following these steps, you can greatly decrease your energy use during the summer and save big when your energy bill arrives.
Did You Know?
The average Canadian produces 7.5 pounds of waste a day according to the National Recycling Coalition. Everyone can greatly reduce this waste output by getting to know local recycling regulations and making recycling a habit.