Is Your HVAC Ready For Winter?

Again, winter is on its way – and getting ready sooner rather than later is always a good idea. In fact, the change of seasons is a perennial trigger for doing things that should be done on a regular basis any way to help maintain the value of the investment you make in your home. For example, is your heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system ready for the cold weather that’s surely on the way?

Among the things to do to get ready: replace or clean all the filters in your HVAC system (this really should be done monthly). Dirty filters aren’t all that effective and they restrict free flow.

Adjust the registers on your HVAC system, recognizing that hot air rises and cool air falls; open some supply registers on the first floor and close some on the second floor. Also adjust your thermostat and humidistat for winter, and maybe even change the times of day for different temperatures if you have that option. (Don’t ever set your thermostat temperature higher than you really want just to heat up space faster on occasion; that just doesn’t happen and your furnace will simply pump out excess heat.)

Ideally, your HVAC system should be checked twice a year by professionals to ensure efficient, reliable and safe operation. They can check filters; inspect working parts such as belts, motors, and electrical switches and contacts; make sure that thermostats and humidistats are set and working properly; check gas pressures and replace or add refrigerants in accordance with EPA guidelines.
So take advantage of a routine maintenance agreement we offer to be sure that your seasonal checkups are done on schedule.

Pools and Electrical Safety

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, electrical hazards in and around swimming pools were to blame for 60 deaths and nearly 50 serious shocks over the past 13 years. The CPSC, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, has compiled the following electrical safety tips for preventing backyard fires, or any other potentially dangerous or life-threatening electrical situations that may occur.
Inspections

Before the warm weather arrives, have an electrician inspect the pool, spa or hot tub. Make sure all the equipment is in accordance with both the local codes and the National Electrical Code. Follow up with any necessary upgrades or repairs.

Locations

According to the NEC, all electrical wires and junction boxes need to be at least five feet away from the water. It is also important to know where all electrical switches and circuit breakers are located in case of an emergency.

Battery-operated devices

Having electronics around the pool can be dangerous. The CPSC recommends you use battery-operated devices around water instead of cord-connected devices.

Emergency plan

Have a detailed emergency plan posted around the pool, spa or hot tub area. This plan should outline the necessary course of action you should take if someone is suffering from an electric shock.

Weather ready

Do not swim or hang out near the water before, during or after a thunderstorm. Water and lightning are a dangerous combination.