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Home Maintenance Checklist

The fact that you’re reading this means you care about protecting one of the biggest investments you’ve made: your house. Smart homeowners know that proactive and regular home maintenance is essential to preserving the value of your home — without it your home can lose 10% of its potential value!

We certainly believe in regular home maintenance on your air conditioning unit, but there is a lot of other jobs to keep up with as well. We’ve included a good list below that we found here in order to help you stay current with all of the jobs you should be current on. We hope it helps!

Home Maintenance

As you go through this home maintenance list, don’t be afraid to reach out to our service partners or ourselves if we could be of assistance!

Annual Home Maintenance Checklist

January

  • Organize your home improvement files. Review warranties and product manuals to check on recommended maintenance for furnaces, equipment, appliances and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.
  • Inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary. Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil. Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.
  • Fix squeaks in floors and stairs by applying weight to the area (having a partner stand on it works) and driving an 8d or 12d galvanized finish nail through the flooring into a floor joist or stringer. If you have access to the floor from underneath, glue and screw backs to the floor or treads and to the joist or stringer.
  • Look for bargains on discontinued appliances and tools. Before buying, make sure that warranties are valid.
  • Make a room-by-room inventory of everything in your house. In the event of fire, flood or other disaster, it will be important in filing an insurance claim. Photographs or video of your possessions can also be helpful.
  • Don’t close vents to crawl spaces. If you live where pipes can freeze and the floor becomes very cold, insulate pipes and under the floor. Vents play an important role in controlling condensation beneath a house.
  • Double-check insulation around exterior pipes that are exposed to freezing weather to be certain that water cannot seep under the insulation.

February

  • Remove drain traps under sinks and clean them thoroughly. Clean pop-up drain plugs.
  • Inspect the linkage for pop-up drains to make sure they are set properly. To adjust the linkage, squeeze the finger-operated pressure lock to release it and slide it up or down as necessary.
  • Inspect grout and caulk around tubs, sinks and showers. Chip out cracked grout and replace missing grout. Stained, discolored and mildewed caulk should be cleaned with trisodium phosphate or other household cleaner. If the caulk remains discolored, remove it and replace it with fresh, mildew-resistant caulk.
  • Refinish furniture in a heated garage or workspace equipped with ventilation fans.
  • Otherwise, use water-based strippers, paints, stains and varnishes that are especially formulated for low odors.
  • Musty closet odors can be reduced or eliminated by removing the closet’s contents and washing walls with a diluted solution of chlorine bleach. In addition, try replacing solid doors with louvered doors. Note: If the mustiness is the result of moisture, find the source and correct it. Otherwise the problem will come back.
  • To keep valves from sticking and check for leaks, turn all water valves off and on. This includes outdoor faucets and valves to toilets, bathroom and kitchen sinks, laundry, bar, etc.

March

  • Review the contents of your medicine cabinets and throw away dated prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Be sure all medicines are out of the reach of children or contained in a cabinet equipped with childproof locks.
  • Celebrate spring by cleaning the garage. Hold a yard sale, or organize a community yard sale with neighbors. Dispose of paint thinners, household cleaners and pesticides properly. Contact your city’s department of public works to find out the next scheduled collection of hazardous materials.
  • Clean the refrigerator, inside and out, with mild detergent. Remove all trays and shelves, wash, and allow to dry thoroughly before replacing them. Remove old ice from ice-making tray.
  • After heavy rains, inspect your basement walls for signs of moisture. If you detect wetness, run a portable dehumidifier. If condition persists, consult a waterproofing contractor. Check to make sure your sump pump works properly by pouring water into the pump silo to raise the float and activate the motor.
  • Test the pressure and temperature relief valve on your water heater by opening it and allowing some water to flow out. If little or no water flows out or it doesn’t shut off, replace it. Bad valves can cause explosions.
  • Spring is a good time to build a doghouse. Make sure to provide adequate roof ventilation to allow hot air to escape. And don’t use pressure-treated wood in any area where your dog might chew it.
  • Daylight Savings Time begins. Honor the occasion by replacing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

April

  • Inspect screens (both house and vent screens to attic or crawl space) for tears and bent frames.
  • Check screens (both house and vent screens to attic or crawl space) for tears and bent frames. Clean window screens. Lay them flat on a picnic table or a pair of sawhorses and scrub them with a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Inspect outdoor structures for deterioration – especially signs of rot. Use a small awl to probe posts, railings and window sills for soft spots. If you find any, plan to replace or repair them when the weather turns fair.
  • Prepare for the outdoor cooking season by inspecting gas grills. Remove cooking grills and thoroughly clean them with soapy water and a brush with brass bristles. Remove accumulated grease from lava rocks and ceramic briquettes by turning them over and igniting the burners. Allow 10 minutes on high heat to clean the briquettes.
  • Inspect garden hoses for leaks. Make temporary repairs with electrical tape. Pry out old washers and replace them. Don’t leave hoses connected to outdoor spigots until the danger of frost is completely over.
  • Caulk open joints, particularly around windows and doors.
  • Inspect the crawl space or basement after rains for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Look for signs of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry. Find and fix leaks now or pay the price later.
  • Shut off the water to the washing machine, remove the water supply hoses and examine them and the washers. Replace worn and damaged ones.
  • Check fire extinguishers to make sure they are not outdated, have lost pressure or are damaged.
  • Check all weather stripping around doors and windows for wear, damage or loss of flexibility. Replace material that is no longer blocking air.
  • Clean your garbage disposal. Grind two trays of ice cubes made from a mixture of one cup white vinegar to one gallon of water.

May

  • Clean gutters. Inspect gutters to ensure all spikes, straps and clips are tightly fastened. Use a garden hose to flush debris from downspouts. Make sure downspouts or splashbacks direct water at least three feet away from the foundation.
  • Wash windows, inside and out, using a solution made from three tablespoons of nonsudsy ammonia to 1 gallon of water. Don’t work in the direct sun – the solution will dry too fast and streak. To clean windows with real (not removable) grills, use a hacksaw to cut a squeegee so it fits the windowpanes exactly.
  • Have central air-conditioning unit checked according to the recommendations of the unit’s manufacturer. Replace the filter in the forced-air system. Clean debris from condenser or heat pump located outside.
  • Remove mineral deposits from faucet aerators and shower heads by soaking parts in white vinegar and scrubbing with an old toothbrush.
  • Have swimming pools cleaned. Inspect and service pool liners and filters.
  • Shop for seasonal sales on air-conditioning units and window fans.
  • Dust ceiling fan blades.
  • Set thermostats and automatic sprinkler system to adjust for weather changes
  • Before placing metal patio furniture outdoors, coat it with auto polish.

June

  • Clean and seal decks. Ideally, you’ll need three consecutive warm, sunny days. On day one, dry out the deck. Apply deck cleaner and scrub the deck on the second day and let it dry 24 hours. On the third day, apply deck sealer.
  • Wash the exterior of your house, using ordinary garden hose pressure and a mild detergent. Beware of the pressure washers – they are powerful enough to force water under the siding where it may encourage mildew and rot.
  • Caulk exterior joints around window and doors.
  • Clean lint from the entire clothes dryer vent system, from the dryer to the exterior vent cap.
  • Inspect and repair or repaint all patio and deck furniture.
  • Check operation of attic fans and roof-mounted turbine vents.

July

  • Check all exterior walls for peeling or cracked paint. If you decide to repaint your house yourself, you can cut this job down to size by painting just one or two walls per year. Typically, paint on south and west-facing walls deteriorates faster and requires more frequent recoating than paint on north or east-facing walls.
  • Carefully inspect brick or masonry siding for cracks or missing mortar. Repair with fresh mortar or concrete caulk.
  • Inspect roofing material for cracks and loose or missing shingles and repair as necessary. If you have access to attic spaces, check underneath the roof for stains that indicate leaks, especially from “flashed” areas in roof valleys and around chimneys and vent stacks.
  • Inspect the operation of automatic light timers and motion-detector systems, especially if you plan a vacation.
  • Prune trees and shrubs so that branches do not come in contact with exterior siding.
  • Clean and repair cracks in concrete driveways using epoxy patching material. Repair asphalt driveways using asphalt patching material. Seal asphalt driveways every other year.
  • Inspect foundation walls for signs of termites –- tunnels or dirt bridges. If you suspect termites, contact a professional exterminator.

August

  • Use a vacuum with a narrow nozzle to clean condenser coils on the back or underneath your refrigerator.
  • Check faucets for leaks and replace washers or repair the faucet as necessary.
  • Clean underneath range hood. Remove and clean or replace range hood filters.
  • Fix “water hammer” noises by draining the plumbing system. Open the uppermost faucet (or the one furthest from the water meter) and the lowest (or closest to the meter) and allow the water to flow to a lower-level sink or floor drain. Draining the system restores air to air chambers. Close the lowest faucet and refill the system.
  • Plan interior remodeling projects and get estimates. Plan for the work to be done in early fall.

September

  • Paint interior rooms while it’s still warm enough to leave windows open. Ditto for shampooing or replacing carpets.
  • Check heating system including filters, pilot lights, and burners, and have the system serviced by a qualified professional.
  • Clean and vacuum dust from vents, baseboard heaters and cold-air returns.
  • Remove window air-conditioning units and store them. If they are not removable, cover them with plastic to protect them over the winter.
  • Tour the outside of your house to make sure that soils around the foundation are properly graded. Soil should slope four to six inches for a distance of three feet out from the foundation walls.
  • Watch for year-end close-out sales on lawn and garden equipment.
  • Inspect storm windows for any signs of deterioration and make necessary repairs.

October

  • Detach hoses in case of freezing temperatures. Remove all paints, caulks and liquid materials from garage or garden sheds.
  • Inspect weather-stripping around doors and windows and repair or replace if necessary.
  • Set thermostats and automatic sprinklers for winter.
  • Clean gutters after leaves have fallen. Make sure downspouts are in good repair.
  • Check gauges on home fire extinguishers to ensure a full charge. Replace if necessary.

November

  • When setting clocks back to Standard Time, change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Inspect automatic garage door opener and lubricate according to the manufacturer’s directions. Make sure all bolts and screws are properly tightened and secured.
  • Check for leaks around washing machine. A prime suspect for leaks are the water supply hose washers. Inspect hoses and replace if necessary.
  • Clean dishwasher, trash compactor and countertop appliances.

December

  • Check the operation of all ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets by pushing the “test” button. The “reset” button should pop out, indicating the receptacle is operating properly. Press in the reset button.
  • Check inside bathroom vanities and kitchen sink cabinets for moisture and other signs of leaks. Carefully inspect pipes for condensation or slow drips. Repair the plumbing system if necessary.
  • Review the family fire escape plan with every household member.
  • Unpack and test all electrical holiday decorations. Repair or discard any that do not function properly.
  • Watch for sales on tools before and after the holiday season.

We hope this detailed guide to home maintenance was helpful!

Do you have questions? We can help! Fill out the form below:


What To Do Before You Turn On Your Heat This Winter

We’re entering into the cooler season. Soon it will be time to turn on the heat. In many parts of the country people think we have enough of that in Florida! After sitting unused for more of the year, you shouldn’t just turn your heater on and expect to be able to use it right away. Systems malfunction, parts fail and trying to use a heater for the first time during a cold snap might lead to a costly breakdown.

heat

Don’t be stranded in the cold, follow these 5 steps before the first big cold front of the year comes through.

1. Order a complete preventive maintenance.

No matter what sort of heating system your home uses, its best to have it checked annually by a licensed air conditioning company. This will make sure that your unit starts with no issues. However, be careful which company you trust to perform a maintenance on your unit. While there are many trustworthy Air Conditioning companies, some companies use cheap and unhelpful AC maintenance appointments to scam customers. For a quality maintenance from a respectable AC company, one should expect to pay anywhere from $70-$100.

2. Check your air filter.

Make sure your air filter is new and clean before you try to start your heat. One of the most common questions we get asked by customers is how often they should change them. The easiest, but frustrating answer is “whenever it’s dirty”. What we mean by that is that every home is different and has different factors to consider (pets, children and percentage of time the home is occupied just to name a few). We suggest monitoring your AC filter closely for about a month to find out what works best for you system. For more on which filter you should use check out this post.

3. Remove any obstructions near the unit.

This is one of the more obvious examples of what needs to be taken care of before using any air conditioning unit, but its an easy thing to forget. Many heaters are located in garages or attics and need to share their space with many other items. Be extra careful with how close your heater is to chemicals or flammable materials. This is an incredibly dangerous situation if left unattended. Give your unit a good amount of room on all sides from any clutter to avoid any issues.

4. Check your return and supply vents.

Take a look at the registers in each of the rooms in your home and put them into the open positions…even if your not using that room. Many people will close registers in unused rooms to save money. Unfortunately, your air conditioning unit will actually be less efficient. Also make sure no dust or debris is clinging to the metal grates. If so you can wipe them down relatively easily.

5. Once you’ve completed these steps, test your thermostat.

Once these steps have been completed you’re now ready to test your system. Turn your unit on and set it to heat mode at your thermostat. This will allow you to see if your system is ready to work properly in heat mode. If you don’t have any issues, than you’re prepared for the cold weather, or you can at the very least, you can be confident that you’ll be warm inside!

More questions? Make sure to sound off in the comments or leave us a Voicemail. If you do, you might end up on our Podcast!

You may also fill out the form below and we will get back to you soon:


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HVAC Permits in Windermere

It’s wonderful to live in pristine and beautiful Windermere, FL, but we all know that around here it gets HOT! If you need to have your air conditioner replaced, you’ve got to be informed on the proper local process for HVAC permits for air conditioning installation in Windermere. We’ve written a guide to help you get through this time and make sure that you can keep your home and sanity protected.

KiddyCity

 

General Permitting in the State of Florida

The pulling permit process varies by each jurisdiction, but usually both a contractor and a homeowner may pull permits. As a contractor, we here at Kalos Services have established a strong relationship with most of the permitting offices in Central Florida. Your Windermere air conditioning contractor will need the following documents on file and annually updated with each local permitting office:

  • Certificate of liability insurance, sent to permitting directly from the insurance agency specifically for that municipality
  • Workers Compensation, also registered in multiple municipalities
  • Business tax receipt, Issued by the county or town the business is located in
  • State license, which only requires renewal every two years

Many counties have online permitting services available; it commonly takes between two and five business days for a mechanical permit. If you are in a time crunch, it may be best to do it the old-fashioned way and visit the City Hall. All permitting fees vary on job cost. In Florida, if job cost exceeds $7500, a Notice of Commencement must be recorded.

Pulling HVAC Permits in the Town of Windermere

Permitting for air conditioning in Windermere is fairly straightforward. Unlike most municipalities the town of Windermere does not keep contractor information on file and requires that we submit a state license, etc., at the time of each application. All HVAC permits need the equipment-sizing calculations, duct sealing certification and tie-down engineering for any exterior equipment.

After gathering the documents and completing the mechanical application form, (which can be found at town.windermere.fl.us), you can either

Fax the documents to 407-581-0313 or
Personally deliver them to 3532 Maggie Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32811.

If the paperwork is faxed it is required that you complete a Credit Card Payment Authorization Form to make the payment. If you personally deliver them and you’re not the business license holder, it is mandatory that you have a Limited Power of Attorney. After receiving the permit it’s always a good idea to ask a building representative which documents need to be left on the job site for the inspector, since these requirements are constantly changing.

Windermere Air Conditioning Inspections

When replacing an air conditioner in Windermere, one must obtain a mechanical permit. All work on the new A/C unit must be completed before the inspection occurs. This inspection is mandatory by law and must be completed within six months of the installation date. Inspectors need access to the following in order to confirm everything was done correctly and is up to mechanical code.

  • Condenser (outdoor unit)
  • Air handler (indoor unit),
  • Circuit breaker

Each municipality is slightly different, but typically one must schedule the inspection on the business day prior to the desired inspection date. All inspections are done on weekdays, and no exact time of arrival is given. This can be very challenging for homeowners who have full-time jobs and very busy schedules.

As a company we understand this dilemma and try to work with you as best as we can by contacting the building department and trying to get an a.m. time slot or a thirty minute call ahead. However, there are never any guarantees, and if you aren’t present to receive the inspector the county charges a re-inspection fee. It is usually between thirty and fifty dollars.

We hope this has been helpful to you or your business. Remember, when you’re looking to hire a Windermere air conditioning company, always choose someone who offers “Simply Great Service.”

More questions? Make sure to sound off in the comments or leave us a Voicemail. If you do, you might end up on our Podcast!

You may also fill out the form below and we will contact you back soon:


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Things I’ve Learned as an HVAC Tech

The 3 Most Surprising Things I’ve Learned as an HVAC Tech

Over the past six months, I’ve been training to become an HVAC tech. Along the way I’ve learned so much, but today I’m pleased to share with you the three most surprising things I’ve learned.

hvac tech

How a small issue can cause big problems.

It was surprising for me to learn that a small issue, if ignored, can cause a much larger problem later on with your air conditioning unit. It’s easy to take for granted something as simple as cleaning your drain line or regularly changing your air filters, yet it is surprising how much it matters. Taking care of these two simple items can make a huge difference in prolonging the life of your system. Before being in this industry, I wouldn’t pay attention to these small details. I learned the hard way, though, and water flooded right into my garage from my AC unit’s overflowing drain! This leak caused damage to the platform that the unit sat on and even made it all the way to the bedroom closet. I have learned that it pays to keep up with these small items and that almost anyone can do it themselves.

How helpful Preventive Maintenance is.

Air conditioning maintenance is a great way to give your system a check-up to ensure things are working properly before you hit the heat of the summer or cold of the winter. While we wish that our units would just run forever, we all know there are things that we can’t plan for. During a maintenance, the entire system is checked, inside and out. This is done to ensure that your system is running to factory specifications (or as close to them as possible). If any issues are found during this process, we take the time to discuss these with you and give you options on any next steps you can take. This program is a wonderful service an HVAC tech can provide, and it’s surprised me how valuable it can be for a customer.

How much HVAC techs care about their jobs and the customers.

Of course, each tech is different and we all have different styles of work. I’ve noticed, though, that there’s one consistent attribute across the board: how much every Kalos Services HVAC tech cares about their job and the customer that it affects. They all realize that they are here to assist you in any way necessary and will spend that extra time to ensure that your system is working properly. A good HVAC tech will work hard to find any issues and repair them as quickly as possible. They all realize that you, the customer, are the reason they are here each day, and they’ll always strive to provide you with Simply Great Service!

I have had a great six months learning this industry, and I have enjoyed meeting and talking with each customer I have come across. This business is not only about fixing air conditioners, but also about making relationships with each person we get to come into contact with. I hope to see you out in the field sometime!

Britton Bingham
Service Specialist

More questions about my first 6 months? Make sure to sound off in the comments or leave us a Voicemail. If you do, you might end up on our Podcast!

You may also fill out the form below and we will contact you back soon:


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