Fall Indoor Maintenance Tip #4
1. Vacuum the condenser coils at the back of your fridge at least annually.
2. Clean or Self-clean the oven ( in preparation for seasonal cooking /baking).
3. Clean your coffee maker – regularly.
4. Clean your kitchen exhaust hood fan & ensure it is exhausting fully outside. Clean or replace the filter if dirty.
5. Check your water heater for signs of leakage or rust. Replace right away, if so.
6. Look for worn extension cords. Replace them immediately; best to not use them “permanently”.
7. Check your emergency flashlight. Do the batteries work? If not, replace them, or consider upgrading to a non-battery powered, wind-up model.
8. Reverse Ceiling Fan Change the direction of the ceiling fan to create an upward draft that re-distributes warm air from the ceiling.
9. Clean your humidifiers regularly during the heating season. Bacteria and spores can develop in a dirty water tank resulting in unclean moisture misting out into your room.
9.Check your attic for proper insulation levels and damage by workers and rodents. It is quite common for contractors and cable-installers & others to move (and not replace) insulation during their work. This can leave large openings in the thermal blanket inside your attic. Inspect the attic access hatch cover or stairway for proper insulation and weather stripping to minimize energy loss to the attic and the introduction of damaging moisture.
10. Pick any ground fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI) and test it. Push the Test button, check that this has popped out the Reset button and that anything hooked up to the outlet will no longer power on. Push Reset and you’re good to go. Test a different GFCI outlet next time, etc.
Don’t forget the fireplace. Have it professionally cleaned and inspected to prepare for those cozy fires on the frosty nights to come. Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor. Heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer and have fewer problems if properly serviced. Get your wood stove and /or fireplace in working order, including examining your wood stove or fireplace insert’s door gasket for a tight seal. Wood burning metal fireplaces with metal chimneys could present a hidden fire hazard and the local fire department is urging residents to take notice.
Be mindful of the risks of wood-burning fireplaces.
Fire chiefs have cautioned against the use of special so-called ‘chimney cleaning logs’ in metal chimneys. This type of log is designed to burn hot enough to clean the chimney flue of creosote build-up. The worry is this could raise the temperature high enough to start a fire inside an adjacent wall cavity.
If people want to clean their chimney, hire a chimney sweep, they say. Retrofitting a metal chimney can be expensive, but installing a gas fireplace, which still outputs a lot of heat but subjects the chimney to lower temperatures, is an option.
If you have a wood-burning metal fireplace and chimney and have been using it without problems for years, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a problem in the future,
“To guarantee 100 per cent safety, if you don’t want to have a fire in your home, don’t have a fire in your fireplace.”
- from your Vancouver Home Inspection Company…