Spring Cleaning Tips | Inspect Your Major Appliances
Spring Cleaning: Increase The Efficiency of Your Appliances
With the arrival of spring and all the new beginnings it offers, we think it’s the perfect time to inspect your major household appliances and ensure they’re working properly and efficiently. Homeowners often dread the thought of spring cleaning, but because of the potential savings that come with efficient appliances, not to mention the added peace of mind, this may become your new favorite task!
Heating and cooling account for nearly half your utility costs, so it’s in your best interest to use equipment that operates at optimal efficiency. While there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to keep your system in tip-top shape, like changing the filter every 30 to 90 days and keeping out debris, we recommend having a licensed HVAC professional perform routine maintenance.
The last thing you want is to be without cool air on a particularly hot day in the summer. Schedule maintenance in the early spring to prevent minor issues from getting worse, costing you more in repairs down the road.
If your home is equipped with a gas range, it’s important to periodically inspect it for leaks, but not without turning the gas off first. There are two primary methods for determining the presence of a leak: the bubble test and an electronic detector. The bubble test requires a commercially prepared solution that adheres to the pipes, which can be purchased at any local appliance store. Should you opt to go the electronic detector route, all you have to do is push the button and the alarm will sound if gas is present. This, too, can be purchased at your local appliance store for around $40.
Where to Inspect for Leaks:
Locate the flex pipe that connects your gas range and the cut-off valve on the black pipe. It’s common for flex pipes to lose their integrity as they age; therefore, be sure to coat the entire pipe with the fluid or thoroughly run the detector over your pipe. Don’t forget to also check the cut-off valve! Even a small gas leak can pose a risk to your family and home, so don’t rush through this process.
During your inspection, inspect these additional locations:
- Each control valve for the top burners, oven and broiler.
- Thermostatically-controlled valve in your oven/broiler and the internal pipe connections.
- Internal connections if you have an older range with a pilot light system.
If You Detect a Leak:
Don’t put off repairing a gas leak. A small leak can threaten the safety of your family, not to mention your peace of mind. We recommend calling a licensed professional right away to repair the problem, especially if you don’t feel comfortable performing the repair yourself.
To learn more about gas stoves, check out a recent article of ours: “Gas Stoves Vs Electric Stoves.”
On average, water heating accounts for nearly 17 percent of a home’s energy usage, but if you have an inefficient water heater, that number can quickly rise, costing you even more. Cut costs and increase efficiency by flushing your water heater once a year. When you flush your water heater, you get rid of the build-up of sediment and minerals, like calcium and lime, which decrease efficiency.
Before you flush your water heater, it’s a good idea to also complete a visual inspection of the tank itself for any signs of a leak. Look at the floor underneath the water as well as under and around the valve.
How to Flush Your Water Heater:
Watch this short video on how to flush your water heater like pro!
Clothes Washer & Dryer
Nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires are reported each year, causing $35 million in properly loss. Thirty-four percent of these fires occur due to lack of maintenance. To ensure that both your washer and dryer operate efficiently, follow these safety tips from HouseLogic:
- Inspect the dryer exhaust duct for crimps, obstructions, and unnecessary bends.
- Inspect washing machine hoses for tight fittings, bulges, cracks, and leaks. Burst washing machine hoses could spill hundreds of gallons of water an hour, flooding your home. Tighten loose fittings. Replace hoses every five years; replace immediately if damaged.
- Clean rubber gaskets and drums on washers and dryers with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
- Check and clean drain pump filter on front-loading washers. Consult your owner’s manual for location.
Every Three Months
- Wash dryer lint filter with detergent to remove invisible chemical residues that can restrict airflow.
- Remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line from dryer to exterior. Clogged ducts cause thousands of house fires every year, with an average of about $10,000 worth of damages per fire.
If you run into any electrical malfunctions while inspecting your major appliances, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’re available to troubleshoot your toughest problems.
Hickerson Electrical is your source for all home electrical services. We’re ready and willing to deliver top-quality service to your home at a moment’s notice. So call today at (703) 594-3913.