An ounce of prevention will go a long way toward keeping
your home’s plumbing in top working order – and you’ll avoid costly repairs! Keeping your heating and cooling
systems in good working order means your utility bills will be lower, your home will be more comfortable, and you’ll
need to call for repairs less often.
Faucets and Sinks
- Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water, as much as 150 gallons a day! Be sure to
check under sinks for moisture or small leaks. And always repair leaky faucets right away to avoid paying for wasted water,
and also to avoid water damage to your fixtures and pipes.
- Remove and clean your faucet aerators annually to ensure an even flow of water.
- Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanity are clear and open to prevent water damage to floors
- Before doing any maintenance on your water
heater yourself, be sure to shut off the power, and read your owner's manual.
- At least once every three months, drain water from the tank. Over time sediment builds at the bottom
of the heater, which can hamper performance, and draining a gallon or so helps remove the sediment.
- You should also periodically inspect your water heater burner. The flame under the heater should
appear blue with yellow tips. If it’s mostly yellow, or if it’s sooty under there, your flue may be clogged,
which is a dangerous situation. Contact a professional to check it out.
- At least once every two years, have your water heater inspected by a service technician. He or she
will also check the drain valve for signs of leakage, and the anode rods for corrosion
leaks can be wasteful and expensive. At least once a year, check your toilet for leaks by adding a small amount of red
food coloring to the tank, and then check the toilet bowl later. If the toilet bowl water is colored red, water is seeping
through from the tank. If it is leaking, you should replace the tank ball.
help prevent clogs, fit all your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer
- Do not rinse fats or cooking oils
down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs.
- Avoid using caustic liquid drain openers (like Drano or Liquid Plumber) on a drain that is completely
clogged. The caustic ingredients are trapped in your pipes, and it can severely damage them. If you can’t snake
the drain yourself, contact a professional to do so.
can extend the life of your garbage disposal by:
plenty of cold water when running it
sure you avoid overloading it
- Never disposing
of things like bones or corn husks
- Never using
a caustic drain opener.
Schedule a maintenance service call before the heating season starts. If there are any problems
with your system, it’s better to find out before it’s freezing outside! Do the same for your cooling system before
sweltering season begins.
Replace your heating and cooling air filters every month
that they’re in use. Operating your system with old, dirty filters means energy is wasted and your system may even be
damaged. While you’re at it, check and clean the filters in your home’s air cleaners and humidifiers.
If you have a forced air heating system check your furnace’s blower compartment
and blower coils. Vacuum them if you see dirt and dust there. You should also check fan belt tension, and lubricate fan and
If you have a steam system, check the shut-off valve for leaks.
Bleed hot water system
radiators at least once a year.
Don’t keep clutter near your furnace. It’s a fire hazard, and may keep
your system from operating efficiently.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating system,
keep the heating registers and vents throughout the house free of dust, dirt, and pet hair by vacuuming them at least once
Listen for odd sounds when your heating or cooling system kicks in. If you hear anything unusual, get in
touch with your service professional so you can head off problems before they become serious.
In winter months,
set your ceiling fan at its slowest speed and reverse it in order to gently push warm air down from the ceiling without generating