After a long cold winter, Michiganders are looking forward to spring. To help get your home ready for the warmer weater ahead, Superior Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has put together a list of household task that will help ensure your home's plumbing and air conditioning systems are in good shape this spring.
Air Conditioner Maintenance
- Before the warm weather arrives call Superior to schedule your annual AC tune-up. Annual air conditioner maintenance will ensure that your system is operating a maximum efficiency and that small problems don't turn into breakdowns during the hottest days of summer.
- Outside your home, check that the air conditioner is not obstructed by tree branches or bushes. Hose off the outside of the unit to clear away dirt and debris. Use a garden hose and not a power washer, which can damage the cooling fins and other parts.
- Replace the furnace air filter once a month, or as recommended by the filter manufacturer. A dirty filter reduces efficiency and can leave excess dirt inside your air ducts.
- Reverse the direciton of your ceiling fans. The fan should turn counter-clockwise in the summer and clockwise during the winter.
- Check faucets for drips or leaks and repair when needed to conserve water.
- Clean mineral deposits from faucets and shower heads. Unscrew them and soak them in vinegar overnight.
- Cycle water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.
- Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent debris from clogging your drain lines.
- Pour about a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
- Test your sump pump for proper operation. Pour a few gallons of water into the basin of your sump pump. Pour slowly until the sump pump turns on and begins to pump out the water. Do not add water than the basin will hold. The sump pump should begin pumping out water when the water level reaches approximately 8 to 12 inches below the surface of the basement floor. If it fails to turn on, check the power supply and circuit breaker. If it fails to turn on, call Superior for service.
- Outside the home check the faucets for drips and leaks. Ensure that downspouts are clear and directing water away from the house.
- Washing machine hoses should be inspected for leaks or bulges. If the hoses show signs of wear they should be replaces. Consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses.
- Check your toilets for cracks or leaks. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, it has a leak that should be repaired.
- If the toilet handle has to be held down in order to flush properly, or jiggled to stop from running, call Superior to inspect the toilet.
- Are drains emptying slowly or making noises? Call Superior to have your sewer and drain lines inspected.
Water Heater Maintenance
- Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
- If you have a tank water heater, drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
- Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance directions, or call Superior for service.
- Ensure there are no flammable materials stored near the water heater or furnace.