Your home is an investment that may last your entire lifetime. It is a haven for you and your family, and a place of comfort and security. You take a lot of pride in your home, and you should! It is a reflection of your family’s life together. Whether your home is old or new, well-used or freshly renovated, it is important to take care of your investment. Simple home maintenance can help prevent damage, save money, and most importantly, protect you and your home.
Paul Trimble from Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical is a journeyman plumber who has been fixing and maintaining homes for over fifteen years. He is a home expert and loves helping people. One of Paul’s best qualities as a technician is carefully explaining home systems to homeowners and making sure they understand how to care for their home and keep it safe. “There are many things that a homeowner can do to prevent their equipment from breaking down, starting with a basic furnace tune-up,” says Paul.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
Furnace tune-ups should be completed annually to have the equipment checked and cleaned. This not only helps prevent breakdowns but also ensures your equipment is running at peak efficiency, saving you money on gas and electrical bills. Air conditioners should also be tuned-up annually to increase their lifespan and improve efficiency. “Homeowners should also check to ensure any fresh air or combustion air intakes going into the house from the outside are free from debris. These are usually found on the back of the house or on the side. These intakes have hoods with rodent screens that need to be cleaned as well,” Paul explains.
Replace Your Furnace Filter
Along with tune-ups, furnaces also need their filters replaced on a regular basis. The frequency of replacement is dependent on the home, however. Most home require a new furnace filter every two to three months, but if you have pets, are going through a renovation, or have a lot of activity in your home, you may need to replace it monthly. “You should set a schedule for filter replacement, or we can do that for you at Centennial,” says Paul. Centennial offers a filter delivery program to receive a new filter at your doorstep monthly or quarterly to help remind you to make the change.
Replace Your Water Heater Filter
In addition to furnaces, some water heaters also have a filter that requires maintenance. “Most new water heaters have a filter on the bottom of the tank where all the combustion air comes through, so that needs to be cleaned properly,” Paul explains. This can be done during an annual water heater tune-up. Newer homes, or any home that has had a plumbing permit pulled on it within the last fifteen years, have a dual check valve and expansion tank as part of their plumbing system.
“It is VERY important to check the pressure of your expansion tank once a year. This can save you from destroying your water heater,” says Paul. You can check your expansion tank by shutting off the water to your home, turning on a faucet to drain off water pressure, removing the cap off the tank, and using your tire pressure gauge to check pressure. It should read between 40 and 60 psi. If a homeowner needs to pump up their pressure, I recommend checking it in a couple of weeks. If it has lost air again, they need to replace the expansion tank,” says Paul. If an expansion tank does fail along with the water heater pressure relief valve, it will ruin the water heater creating a much more costly repair.
If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, you can simply ask your technician to check it during your annual water heater or furnace tune-up. “Expansion tanks are a newer product. Until fifteen years ago this was not a requirement in Saskatoon so a lot of people simply don’t know about it,” Paul adds.
Change Laundry Hoses
Another maintenance item many homeowners are unaware of is changing laundry hoses. “Laundry hoses should be changed every five years. They are a rubber hose and they do wear out. All other water lines in your house are either copper or PEX. Here you have rubber hoses that are under the same pressure so they are not as reliable as a regular water line,” Paul explains. Of course turning off shutoff valves to outside taps in the fall will protect your other water lines from bursting as well.
Check Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps are also a main player in you plumbing system, and should be checked regularly as well. “If you have a sump pit, it should be tested annually. This can be done by putting water in the pit to make sure it runs. If there is a bunch of sediment or dirt in there, it should be cleaned out,” says Paul. You can also book an annual sump maintenance check with you service provider for peace of mind. If a sump pump is not working, you home risks flooding during a heavy rainfall or if there is excess ground water around your home.
We hope you find these tips helpful in ensuring that all of your home's systems run smoothly. If you need assistance with any of your plumbing, heating, or electrical needs, make your first call to Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical. We can be reached online or at (306) 500-7392.
About the Author:
Michael Shaw is the Vice President and Leader of Vision at Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical in Saskatoon. Mr. Shaw is committed to ensuring that Centennial provides only the best services to the local community.