This blog goes in accordance with last weeks blog about dirty air vents. The main reason I decided to do a 2 part blog is because of the time of the season. Even in Florida we use the heat occasionally this time of the year. But we some how forget about the vents, filter and outside units. While some of us in different parts of the country are in full heat mode, I am sitting here with shorts and tank at 80 degrees. (Rough Life) So lets begin about Air Quality.
When we talk about air quality in the home or office a lot of things will come to mind. First, we have the air we breathe. This could be at your desk at work, the hobby shop in the backyard shed, or just areas around the home. When we go from different closed environments our senses and possible allergies will be affected. For instance, lets say you are in an office setting and they just turn the chiller on to heat mode due to the chill outside, or you turn your heat on at home. That time they maybe dust in the vents that could cause the allergy affect. So, as we go from season to season there is a few things to think of.
For instance, a lot of us forget about the ducts. It is a good habit to have your ducts cleaned about every 2 years. Yes, the filter gets replaced every 1-3 months and we vacuum the dust around the vents to help. But, the actual dirt still gets in the ducts. And this is true as well with pet dander from the hair. Perfect example, if you the person who lived before you had pets and you turn the ac or heat on you will smell the pet odor that has been absorbed in the home, especially when people are allergic to dogs. (Like me) This will affect the you with the allergies and sneezing. This is a small area of air quality.
Other areas may include having mold in the ducts, dirt, debris and other elements. When there is mold in the insulation it is due to some type of moisture. Moisture will be drying in the ducts and can cause mold. A lot of us could be allergic to some type of mold. When we do air quality testing this is a common test as well as just dust. The samples are taking to the lab and the laboratory technician will diagnose the sample. From there a plan of action needs to be placed for removing any mold in the ducts. Alot of times duct cleaning companies will be able to handle this. It is very important that when people clean ducts they are actually cleaning the duct work and not just spraying an air freshener to the ducts.
So in closing, the ducts need to be on a maintenance schedule as well. If you are experiencing sneezing for example at home or the office but it clears up once you are out of that environment then there is some kind of element affecting your allergies. To learn more about this, feel free to call us at 352-322-2700 or look us up at www.emeraldinspectionservice.com. As we close this year, we will have 2 blog announcements for Season Greetings. This will be our last technical blog of the year. We want to wish all our followers a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
This weeks blog is about appliances. A lot of us are thinking wow, Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays are near. Some of us will travel to friends and family and some will cook for those who visit. (I am cooking). So this weeks blog is about checking the appliances, making sure they are working properly, performing the routine maintenance and if needed scheduling the technician to service. So lets begin.
When we have appliances we take for grant it that we just turn them on and they operate the way they should. We may clean the oven or change the exhaust filter occasionally. But there is a bit more. Below is some items to think about and maybe some preventive maintenance items.
In the kitchen area, for the range/stove top. If you have gas you want to make sure the burners are working properly and all ignited. A lot of times food products and liquids will spill on to them and cause them not to be fully ignited. This could slow cooking time down. Additionally, before cooking that turkey or ham, clean the oven and use a thermometer to check to make sure the cooking temperature is the same as the thermostat. (Keep in mind an allowance of +/- 10 degrees is acceptable) Range hood fans absorb a lot of grease. Clean the range hood including the fan and housing area. Change the filter with a good charcoal filter and not one that is at the dollar store. The dishwasher is also a biggy. Its a good practice to run the dishwasher on a full load cycle with heat dry. Don’t place any dishes in there. And see how the operation is. This also will flush a lot of small items out in the drain. The garbage disposal, is one that once a week, I place old fruit like lemons or oranges in to clean the disposal out. It also makes the sink smell cleaner too.
Now you may think ok, the kitchen I need to attend too. And above is just a few ideas to make sure the appliances are working properly. But now lets think about the other appliances. In home inspection an appliance can be the hot water tank, the washer and dryer or garage door openers. These items need attention too. Depending on the type of item listed above there are some simple maintenance items to help prolong the life of that appliances.
So lets take the hot water heater. The hot water heater if its electric or gas should be cleaned out once a year. In the tank you get calcium deposits from the water source. And they attached to the anode rod or dip tube. (see picture below) Some tanks you may not be able to clean. But you can always drain the tank and flush out the tank with the water supply for a few minutes. (Now if you not comfortable with this, please call a plumber) When doing this, think about the aerators on the faucet. Change them. They are few dollars and it will remove any of those calcium deposits. If you have any type of purification systems check the manufacture for maintenance and changing filters. For example I change the filter on the ice maker on the refrigerator every November.
And lastly the washer and dryer is one that nobody likes to worry about. But did you know that simple monthly maintenance can make the operation life extended into many years. A lot of washer tubs should be wiped out as this is to remove the residue on the tub. Also, occasionally use bleach on a large load selection and just run. This cleans out the filters and pumps. Your dryer will always hold lint. Lint will hold moisture from your clothes. Cleaning the lint filter is one thing. However, cleaning the dryer is another. I recommend at least 2 times a year cleaning the vent out with a vacuum. As this will help with the operation.
So in closing, as you can see this could be an appliance inspection. It is. There are more appliances in your home as well that should be inspected and maintained. We go could go on forever about this but we wanted to give you an idea of a few. A lot of maintenance items are easy for the home owner. However, we perform these all the time especially for warranty companies and rental properties. We perform these type of inspections in Lutz, Winter Haven, Ocala and Zephyrhills for example. Of course always around the Greater Tampa Florida area. For more information about appliance inspections, call us at 352-322-2700 or look us up at; www.emeraldinspectionservice.com
This weeks blog is about the plumbing inspection process during the general inspection. When we are inspecting the plumbing we always look for leaky or corroded pipes on the sinks, tubs, and water heater. But, alot of the times we also look at the dishwasher and the drain. The drain hose for the dishwasher is never looped. This should be looped because of a back up in the sink. You don’t want to have dirty water going into the dishwasher or backup into the motor. So, check to see if your kitchen sink has an air gap or a dishwasher drain loop.
Secondly, on this process we check the hose bibs. The hose bibs should have an anti-siphon device. This device protects the water service. For example, if you are washing the car and placing a hose back in the bucket with soapy water the device will allow the water to filtrate out at the handle and not allow the water to back feed into the house.
And lastly, we always check the vents on the roof and in the attic. We make sure they are connected properly and that they do not terminate in the attic. We provide this and many more elements during the inspection. Also, we can provide a plumbing inspection to any home owner. This can be done in Orlando, Sarasota, Dade City, or Clermont. The area and the home does not matter. The inspection is critiqued toward a general standard for all homes.