Easy And Safe Gas Furnace Repairs That You Can Do

A lot of people consider the furnace as one of their home’s most important piece of equipment, which is very much true most especially during cold winter months, when getting some heat intake is very important. Additionally this is the very reason why knowing how to fix your furnace in case some problems arise can be very invaluable. Below are some easy and safe gas furnace repairs that you can do.

If your furnace keeps on turning on and off, this is usually just a simple problem with the unit’s heat anticipator. To start repairing, simply locate your thermostat and open it. When you open the box, you will see inside a small disk that is located in the middle. Take a good look at the disc. You will see that it has a number of calibration notches. Take a closer look and you will find the word “LONGER” on it. Then, try to find a small handle that touches a wire. Once you locate that small handle, turn it towards the word “LONGER”.

After completing the steps, turn on your furnace and let it run for a few hours. If it runs without turning off, then you’re done. However, if the furnace is still turning on and off, just repeat the steps given above. Continue doing so until the problem stops.

Shutdown Problems

This problem is also an easy one, which is similar to the first problem. All you have to do is remove your unit’s thermostat cover, then follow the said steps in the first problem. But, in this case, what you have to do is turn the clockwise to “SHORTER”, instead of moving it toward “LONGER”. This should fix your problem. If it doesn’t just repeat the steps until you get it working.

No Heat Generation

If your unit is not generating heat, then the problem is most probably the pilot
light. Try checking out your pilot light and see if it is turned on or if it is out. If you find it to be out, then you would have to relight it. In case you do not know how to relight it, simply consult your unit’s manual or contact your manufacturer. This is a relatively easy task that you can do by simply following some simple instructions.

No Air

If your unit is running but doesn’t blow any air, it is probably a belt that needs to be replaced. First, you should turn off the power of your unit. Also, you should turn off the gas from the gas valve which is serving your furnace. Then, remove the door of your furnace cabinet so you can have access to your blower. When you have full access, check out the number that is stamped on the belt of your furnace. Then, go to your local shop and get an exact replacement of the belt. Once you’ve got the replacement belt, then go back to your furnace cabinet and install the new belt. Generally, you can just slip it on your motor’s smaller pulley then put it on your motor’s blower pulley.

Try rotating the blower pulley using your hand, while you hold the belt in place. Be careful from having your fingers caught though. If you get this right, you should be able to get the belt right in place. If it looks a little too tight, then you may need to adjust the motor mount so there can be more slack in the fixture. After adjusting, try to retighten the tension again, once you have the belt in the right place. It would be better to check your manufacturer’s specifications regarding the proper tension needed for your unit. Generally, your belt should deflect at least about an inch whenever you press it down.

If you have any problems or questions please contact Choice Home Inspections at (770) 490-6911.


How to Unclog a Sink Drain

How to unclog a slow sink drain

If your bathroom sink is slow to drain you may need to unclog the U shaped drain under your sink called a pea trap as well as remove the plunger to clean out the drain. The tools you will need are a small bucket and a large sized bucket as well as an old toothbrush. You should remove everything from under your sink to ensure you have enough room to work.

The first thing you will need to do is to place the small bucket under the pea trap to catch any water that may still be in the drain. You will want to remove the pea trap that is the U shaped pipe under the sink. There will be two nuts that you should be able to unscrew by hand unless there is a lot of buildup on the nuts. It there is build up you will also need an adjustable wrench. Loosen the nuts and slowly remove the pea trap from the drain. Be careful because any water remaining in the drain will start dripping into the bucket. Clear away any visible debris from the drain. Then take the pea trap to a different sink and clear out any remaining debris. Then scrub the pea trap with the old toothbrush and rinse it out well.

Now remove the plunger from the sink by unscrewing the rod attachment from the back of the drain under the sink. Pull the rod out of the attachment. The plunger should be able to be removed from the sink basin now. Look down through the drain even if you can see all the way through the drain may still have hair and other particles in it. With the large bucket under the drain run a small stream of water and gently scrub the drain with a tooth brush. Do this at the basin entrance and from the bottom of the drain. Put the plunger back into the basin carefully aligning the notched opening to the back of the sink. Then insert the rod back through the opening in the drain and then tighten the nut. Place the cleaned pea trap back onto the drain and tighten the nuts.

Once the hardware is reassembled your sink should not have any problems draining.

If you have any questions about home repair and home inspection call Choice Home Inspection Services 770-490-6911.

Upstairs Laundry Room – Tips to Avoid Flooding

Upstairs laundry roomAn upstairs laundry room can create a lot of water damage if there is ever a problem with flooding.

Four Tips to Protect Your Home from Damage

Follow these four simple steps and you can help prevent flood damage to an upstairs laundry room in the event of a washing machine malfunction.

  1. Install a Washing Machine Outlet Box:  These washing machine outlet boxes provide quick, safe, water supply shut-off access.  Complete with knockouts for waste or water lines, the box provides a recessed space for your supply valves.  These boxes are designed to install in panel, drywall or plastered surfaces, and provide a finished look to your installations.  These are available at most local home supply/hardware stores.
  2. Install a Washer Pan or Tray:  This is a pan with a purpose.   A washer pan or tray is typically a rectangular piece of plastic that is placed beneath the washing machine so that it can catch water from any spills or leaks.   Pans are often equipped with a hose that can be connected to the drain pipe so that the water is easy to remove.   Washer pans are made of plastic and not metal to resist rust and other forms of damage.  While these trays are also thin, homeowners can be assured that the quality of the material is unbreakable and does not easily crack even under the weight of the washer.
  3. Check Water Supply Hoses:   Check older hoses for cracks and replace when necessary.  A burst hose can spell big, costly trouble.  If you’re buying new hoses, consider purchasing “no-burst” hoses.  These type of rubber hoses are sheathed with braided stainless steel.  Replacing the hoses can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
  4. Turn off the Water to Supply Hoses:   For additional peace of mind, turn off the water supply to the washing machine.  This is easy to do with a single-lever shut off valve.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Choice Home Inspections Services at 770-490-6911, or click here to contact us by email.

Home Inspector Helps You

home inspector

If you’re thinking of buying a home, then you’re probably aware that you should get a qualified home inspector to examine it.  In fact, most offers will include a condition that the property be inspected before the sale becomes final.

A good home inspector will go over the property from top to bottom, inside and out.  The home inspector will look for things like cracks in the foundation, out-dated wiring, repairs that need to be made, and any aging components, such as the roof and furnace.  The inspector will also provide a timeline for replacement of any major components including HVAC, windows, roof, etc.

Basically, a home inspector helps the potential homeowner understand the condition of the home and the related costs expected.  This valuable service is also very beneficial for the seller as well.  By having your current home inspected before you list it for sale can help sell your property faster and for the best price.

For instance:  Say you put your home on the market and you get an offer.  The offer is conditional on the home inspection.  The inspector may uncover a major issue that you weren’t aware of, and the buyer could potentially walk away from the deal.  If, however, you hired a home inspector first, you would know about those issues in advance and could deal with them appropriately.

A good home inspector can be more valuable than you think!  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

Preventing Home Flood Damage

FloodingFlooding is one of the most disastrous and unfortunate common phenomena that affects people today.  There are many regions and countries in the world that are prone to floods, due to their climate or their geographical characteristics.  Floods can be quite hazardous and cause serious damage.  If you are living in an area like this, you should be well prepared in order to avoid serious situations. Preventing flood damage in homes is not difficult if owners take all necessary measures.

Your house should be elevated and reinforced in order to avoid possible flooding.  You should also take care of particular elements, such as the electric panel and heaters, water pumps and any administration panel related to water and heat supply. You should also take some measures to prevent blockage of drains, install sewer taps and make sure that they are connected to valves that control water if needed.  Sewers and drains are the prime source of flooding and can allow water to enter houses if not closed when necessary.

If you have a basement, sealing the walls with waterproof elements and compounds, you will not only prevent water from coming in, but you will also make sure the walls do not absorb moisture.

If you are warned about a coming flood, you should prepare both you and your house for a possible disastrous situation.

Tips to Ensure The Least Amount of Flood Damage

  • Turn off all utilities, such as water and power supply, gas or anything else of that kind.
  • Make sure that you turn off their main source and disconnect all the appliances from plugs.
  • If your washing machine or dryer are in the basement, try to build a small deck and elevate them as much as possible.
  • Cover cords and cables with waterproofing materials to avoid serious electrical problems.
  • Keep in mind that appliances are not be turned on right away after the flood is over. If you cannot have an electrician check them before use, try to make sure that everything is as dry as possible, and open them gradually, one by one.

Be prepared and prevent home flood damage with these simple tips, especially if you live in a flood prone area even if flooding is not expected or is controllable.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Choice Home Inspections Services at 770-490-6911, or click here to contact us by email.


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

Lower Home Electric Bills

Lower Home Electric BillsMost people are interested in conserving energy to lower home electric bills.

 Six Tips to Lower Home Electric Bills

  1. A good roof coating will help to deflect heat. This ensures that your home maintains a set inside temperature.
  1. A well-insulated attic will help keep your entire house cool. An attic can only perform efficiently if it is properly insulated.  Seal the attic door with weather stripping to maintain a seal to ensure air flow from the house is not going through the attic.
  1. Seal any leaks around windows and doors as these contribute to the high cost of electric bills. This also results in increased workload of your home’s heating/cooling system. Sealing leaks reduces the workload of the heating/cooling system, which cuts down on the electric bill.
  1. Reduce the temperature on the thermostat. 1°C equates to a 5% savings on your electric bill. 68°F is an ideal thermostat temperature during winter season and within a degree or two of 75°F in the summer.
  1. Water heaters utilize a large amount of energy. It is the second largest energy consumer after cooling/heating system in your house. Avoid using hot water to wash your clothes.  This helps save as much as 90% of energy that would be consumed by the washing machine.
  1. Use of energy efficient materials and appliances around your home is another way to save money on energy bills. These are commercially available items that effectively reduce home energy bills. One of these items is power efficient windows, which deflect the outside temperature from in-flowing into your home.

Choice Home Inspection Services is here to help you with your home buying or selling needs call us at any time 406-698-2875.


The Top 10 Areas Commonly Checked by Your Home Inspector

home inspectionsBelow is a list of common areas that are missed by a home inspector during a home inspection. This list is intended to inform homeowners about the need to have these areas checked for possible problems, as well as the need for upgrades or repairs, if any.

  • Smoke detectors sometimes are missed during the inspection process.
  • Electrical fixtures and wirings, which are often embedded in between double walls or embedded in concrete.
  • Backflow prevention devices should also be carefully considered, since this helps prevent any untoward flooding in the event of plumbing and waterline leakage.
  • Basement bathrooms and laundry tubs are sometimes also missed in the process because not all homes have these areas and fixtures in their basements.
  • Venting for the dryer should also be considered.
  • Electrical grounding is very important. Improper grounding could cause major problems from accidental electric shocks and could also cause house fires.
  • Flexible gas connectors, valves and uncapped gas lines, should be of paramount concern since the slightest indications of gas leakages can be tragic and disastrous.
  • Indoor furnaces should also be checked. If not functioning properly problems could range from gas leakage to defective firing systems that could also cause a house fire.
  • Water heaters need to be checked to make sure that they are installed properly. Pressure release valves must be in proper working order along with the important copper run-off device that should always be checked.
  • Garage door openers or extension cord wiring being used as permanent wiring for fixtures.

These are the top 10 commonly checked areas by your Home Inspector for your home safety, security and peace of mind.

Easy DIY Paint Repairs for Your Home

Easy DIY Paint Repairs

Paint is considered to be the clothes of your house.  Although paint problems may look ugly and major, you can actually be saved from the obligation of calling a professional painter and spending huge amounts of money.  You, yourself, can be your very own Picasso when it comes to painting retouches in your home.

Break Down
All kinds of paint, whatever brand it may be, will only last for a specified number of years before the break-down process begins to show. When you experience paint break down, it basically means that the first or primary layer on the surface is weakening.  This problem is commonly experienced in old houses that have several paint layers.  When the break down process begins, paint will start cracking and peeling from your wall or your wood surface exposing the wood or drywall.

To fix this, try scraping or pressure washing the surface.  After that, fill in any holes using putty if it is wood or spackle if it is a wall surface.  After filling in, get sand paper and fine sand the surface.  Then, wipe away the dust and let it completely dry.  If pressure washing the exterior of your house or if it rains you will need to wait 24 hours for the surface to completely dry. Once it is dry, you can start painting.

Moisture Build-Up
Another cause of paint break down is due to moisture build-up, leak or excessive condensation.  Most probably, you can find mildew and mold along with this problem.  This kind of problem is often experienced in the bathroom.  However, it can also occur in other parts of the house because of leaky roofs and close outdoor shrubs.  Your paint can sag down due to the moisture.  But in this case, you won’t see any chipping debris.

If moisture build-up is the cause of paint breakdown, there is another remedy for that.  You will most likely be targeting mildew.  If it is an interior surface, a solution consisting of three parts water and one part bleach can be used to kill the mildew.  If it is an exterior surface, you can wash it off using an exterior solution intended for pressure washers.  Both of these can be bought at your local home improvement store.  If you don’t have a pressure washer, they usually can be rented at the big box home improvement store.

Fading Color
The last paint break-down problem is fading color. This is usually experienced with surfaces on the exterior of the house. However, it can also occur indoors when specific colors were used for the walls. Basically, paint color fades when exposed to too much sun.  To avoid this kind of problem, most people try not to use bright and bold colors such as deep red.  If you have an affinity for deep colors, try to look for hues that have a ruddy or golden tone to them. You can try consulting a paint associate about this. Try to find out how much red oxide or yellow oxide colorant was mixed for the specific color that you want. Basically, if the paint associate says that each colorant has about 1 ounce or so in the tint base to create the color, then you have spotted a color that can resist fading for a very long period of time.

Affordable Lighting Upgrades You Can Do Yourself

kitchen lighting

Inside or outside your home, simple lighting upgrades can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home.  A change in lighting fixtures or bulbs might seem like an almost-too-simple answer to small home renovations, but it can really change the entire mood and atmosphere of your home.


  1. Outdoor Lighting

The outside appearance of your home is what you choose to display to the outside world.  People who drive by, who come to visit, and your neighbors see the outside display first.  Simple and affordable lighting upgrades can make a huge difference.  Certain fixtures can dress up and enhance what might otherwise be a simple décor.


  • Fixtures

Depending on the décor of your home, there are many styles of lighting fixtures for outdoor lighting.  For a more updated and modern look, chrome or metal colored spotlights and track lighting can brighten up your outdoor areas.  If you’re looking for a more traditional or rustic style of lighting, there are lamps and sconces for literally every décor theme.


  • Motion Sensors

For security as well as convenience, motion sensors are an excellent lighting upgrade that every home should have.  Motion sensors can be placed at every entrance to the home as well as fence gates and other dark or shadowy areas of your home and yard.  Whenever you or someone else walks by or opens the door, the lights automatically come on.  This is not only convenient to you, but also adds another level of security to discourage intruders.


  • Path Lighting

For sidewalks, driveways, or other paths, lighting can be added along the sides for both safety and aesthetics.  Simple lighting along both sides of your driveway not only guides vehicles safely to your home, but also creates a beautiful atmosphere and adds character to your home.


  1. Indoor Lighting

In every room of your house, the lighting makes the biggest difference to the atmosphere and décor.  Lighting that is too bright or too dim can change the outcome of your color scheme and decorative additions that you have spent time and money working on.


  • Kitchen and Bathrooms

In most homes, kitchen and bathroom lighting is meant to be bright and inviting.  In the kitchen especially, the light needs to be bright enough to see everything you need to without coming across as too clinical. Track lighting is one example of a simple and affordable upgrade for kitchen and bathroom lighting that not only lights up a space well, but can also highlight your décor scheme and add a modern or traditional look depending on your choice of fixtures.


  • Living Areas

Consider using a dimmer for the lighting in your living areas. A dimmer can allow you to set just enough light, and change the mood of the room as needed. Decorative lighting should also not be overlooked. Adding small lamps and spotlights around your house, especially near art or decorative pieces, can really update your home.


Simple and affordable lighting upgrades can change the overall look of your home, inside or outside.

If you have problems or questions, please contact us at Choice Home Inspection Services at 1.770.490.6911.