If you’re a follower of my blog, you know how often I “soap box” it up about home maintenance. It’s kind of a big deal, so I try to emphasize it to my readers. Today, let’s talk about your appliances. I know. You’re thinking, “Edie, stop! That’s too sexy for a home inspector blog!” And you’d be right, but we’re all adults here, so let’s dive in!
When I use the word “appliances” I’m not just referring to your kitchen and laundry room. Your heater, water heater and AC condenser are appliances, too. They’re just not the kind that are, well, there it is again… sexy. No one cares what the heater, water heater and condenser look like. No flashy colors. No front loaders or sleek designs. They are utilitarian and all anyone cares about is buying one that will last the longest, run the cheapest and require the least care and maintenance.
But, maintain them you should and the fact is, most people only look at these items when they quit working. Not a good plan. I know it’s not in the forefront of everyone’s minds, what with living life and all, but, you should physically look at these items several times each year. A good way to remember to do this is to plan to look at them with the changing of each season.
Here’s a good example of the importance of seeing these appliances with your own eyes. My father-in-law recently went into the hospital for back surgery. We thought he would be home in a few days. That was, however, the beginning of a stay in the hospital that lasted for months. When they finally got back home, I was taking out the trash for them and passed the closet that held their water heater and the pressure tank for their well.
I can’t tell you how many times I have opened the water heater closet door in a home that was still occupied by the owners and found a leaking water heater and an emergency drain pan full of water. So, when I walked back into the garage, I opened the closet doors. Thankfully, the water heater was fine, but the pressure tank for the well had developed a slight leak that my in-laws were not aware of, what with all they had been through.
It was a small leak, but if it had gotten worse, there would have been damage that would’ve had to be repaired along with the leaking plumbing connection. Believe me, it can happen in ANY home. We do final inspections for some local home building companies and in one house Rob climbed into the attic and found the heater’s emergency drain pan was minutes away from overflowing and ruining ceilings, flooring and the planned closing date!
So, with every changing season, make it a point to look at your appliances to see if you can maybe spot trouble coming and head it off. While you’re at it, check those water supply lines and cutoffs under your sinks, at your toilets and at the washing machine. If you see green or white corrosion, have it checked out and replaced, if needed.
Another item that regularly gets ignored is the filter for your heater/AC. Believe it or not, regularly changing the filter (normally located at the base of the heating unit, but can also be found in the return air ducts in the ceilings in your home) can actually keep your utility bills more reasonable. The more efficient your system works, the lower your bills. If the system has to try to work through clogged air filters, then get ready for those bills to head north!
Thanks again for stopping by my blog! Please feel free to comment or send me your feedback and/or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org . I wish you all a Happy New Year and, as always, I wish you a safe and happy home!