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Know Where Your Shut Off Valves are Located & How to Operate Them

Know Where Your Shut Off Valves are Located & How to Operate Them

It is important as a homeowner to know where your all the shut off valves for your home are located and how to operate them.

Water:

For your water supply lines it is important to locate your main shut off valve.  Simply turn your shut off valve till it is perpendicular to the pipe. This will stop the flow of water to the entire house. You should be familiar with the individual shut off valves in your home as well. They are known as isolating valves and they are at your washing machine, sinks and toilets. You will want to know how to shut off these valves in case of a leak or if water starts shooting out of a pipe. The sooner you stop the water the less damage may occur. Exterior faucets may also have isolating valves but because of their exterior nature these valves may not be located by the valve itself. Instead they can be located near an interior sink or by the main shut off valve.

Gas:

You should also know the location of your gas shut off valve. However if you notice a gas leak you should leave your house immediately and call your utility company. In many homes the shut off valve for your gas is located at the meter. A wrench is needed to turn the gas off and on. Some homes have a second gas shut off valve that is similar to water shut off valve. Isolated gas shut off valves have a lever that rotates ninety degrees. When the lever is in line with the pipe the gas is flowing. When it is perpendicular to the pipe the gas is shut off.  There may also be smaller levers that will feed to individual appliances in your home.

Appliances:

Some of your appliances may also have shut off valves at the units themselves. If you shut off the gas supply on appliances keep in mind that the pilot light will go out. This includes furnaces, gas fireplaces and hot water heaters. Once you turn the gas back on you will need to relight the pilot light on each appliance.

Changing a Furnace Air Filter

air filter

Regularly changing the air filter in your furnace can improve the air quality in your home and improve your HVAC system efficiency.  It is recommended that you change your air filter every three month.  However, if you have pets, smoke or have allergies you should change your filter more frequently.

Location of filter:

Before you purchase your replacement filter you need to determine the location of your filter. You then need to determine what type of filter and the size of the filter you need. The most common location of the filter is between the furnace air handler and the return air vent. Some furnaces have filters inside the air handler and the least common location is in the return air vents. The size measurements of the filter should be on the side of the existing filter. If they are not then you will have to use a tape measure and measure it.  You will need to measure the length, width and depth of the existing filter. Be sure to write the measurements down.

Type of filter:

There are several different types of filter available. Either the light weight or the high efficiency filters. For even better quality there are filters with the HEPA filtration and allergy reduction technology. These filters come in one inch as well as thicker two to four inch versions.  Less common types are electrostatic and re-useable washable filters.

When to change filter:

When you are ready to change your furnace filter turn your furnace thermostat to the off setting. Remove the old filter being careful to not knock the old dust off of the filter. Before you install the new filter write the date on it for a quick reference in the future. Insert the new filter and make sure the arrows are pointing in the direction the airflow flows through the system. Make sure your filter is secure and then turn your furnace thermostat back on.

 

Attic Renovations That Give You a Big Return on Investment

attic-bedroom

Whether you are selling your home now, planning to in the future, or are just looking to increase the value of your home, you can do so with relatively simple attic renovations.

One of the most recommended upgrades for attics is finishing the space so that it can be an additional useable and livable area in your home. Doing so can increase the value of your home, giving you an excellent return on investment.

  1. Finished Attic

There are many things you can do with a finished attic. Depending on the size and shape of the room you have to work with, a finished attic could act as an additional office, playroom, man cave, sitting area, or living room.

  • Attic Bedroom

Renovating your attic into another bedroom is an excellent way to use the space and get a big return on your investment. Another finished bedroom is always a perk when it comes to the value of your home, and a creative use of attic space as another bedroom is a great seller.

  • Efficiency Apartment

If you really want a huge return on your investment, go the extra mile when renovating your attic and add a bathroom and even a kitchenette to the space. In doing so, you are creating a second complete living space that can be used as an efficiency apartment. The extra bathroom and kitchen area will add extra value to your home and is extremely useful as well.

 

  1. Smaller Projects with Big Payback

If you’re wanting to make some changes to your attic but are not wanting to complete a project as big as finishing the space and making it another living space, or if your attic is not large enough for another room, there are other options.

  • Attic Insulation

Redoing the insulation in your attic and using Energy Star rated insulation products can increase the efficiency of your home, which can save you a lot of money in heating and cooling costs. The more energy efficient your home is, the more money you save.

Approximately 40% of home energy loss occurs through the roof of your home. You can cut this down exponentially by properly insulating unused attic space. Make sure to add insulation not only along the attic ceiling and walls, but also along the floor to seal off the attic from the living areas of your home.

  • Attic Fans

Another way to save a lot of money with a small renovation is to add an attic fan for home cooling. These fans circulate and disperse cooled air throughout your home, and in most climates can reduce the need to run your air conditioning systems.

All of these attic renovations can provide you with a large return on your investment. Finishing your attic and converting it into a usable living space can greatly increase the value of your home, and energy saving smaller renovations can save you a lot of money on heating and cooling.

Another helpful tip from Choice Home Inspection Services; call us for all of your home inspection needs (770) 490-6911.

 

Solar Energy

solar energy

Solar energy in its simplest term refers to the energy generated by the sun.  That energy can be harnessed and used to perform different tasks.  It is not harmful and the equipment it uses is very environmentally friendly.  If we compare solar energy with electrical energy, then solar energy is very cost effective and beneficial for home use.  You can easily reduce your electric bill by using solar energy in your home.

Solar Energy Bulbs

There are special types of solar-energy bulbs available.  The bulbs have special sensors that sense darkness and will turn on automatically.  There is no need to turn on the solar-energy bulbs manually.  If the sensor detects light the bulbs will turn off automatically.  The use of solar-energy bulbs is easy.  Just purchase them from the local store, install them, and they are ready to use.

A Clean Energy Source

Solar energy will not pollute the environment.  It is a clean energy source and is environmentally friendly.

Comparing solar-energy systems versus electrically-generated energy systems, the solar-energy systems are very easy to maintain.  As we all know, solar energy is energy generated from the sun; so, there is no need to buy fuel for refilling the system.  There is some maintenance required but not as much as an electrical system requires.

A solar-energy system works autonomously.  No foreign energy sources are required for running the system.  If the electric-energy power outsource is damaged, then your house system will not be affected due to damaging weather because of the independent solar system.

If we can be of service or if you would like more information or have any questions, please contact Choice Home Inspection Services at 770-490-6911.  Or email or text us:  http://chisvc.com/contact-us