Chimney on fire

Getting the Chimney Ready for Fall and Preventing a Fire

Learn How to Keep Your Chimney Safe This Fall

Chimney on fireNow that the weather is beginning to cool, chimneys are ready to be lit. Warm and cozy evenings are bliss to everyone when you’re in the comfort of your own home but making sure your key comfort is safe for fire prevention will allow you to enjoy the fireplace when the time comes. From minimizing creosote build-up to scheduling inspections, chimney preparation is a key component to getting your home prepped for the cozy fireplace memories.

Preparing the Fireplace (regular and gas)

It’s not everyone’s favorite task to clean a fireplace, but it’s the first and most important step of getting your fireplace ready for the fall. Make sure to go outside of your home and take a look at the outside of your chimney to ensure that there isn’t any damage to the bricks, no cracks, loose bricks or gaping holes.

After that, make your way inside to clean the interior with a water and vinegar mixture or any fireplace-specific cleaning solution. Go ahead and grab a mask and use a vacuum afterwards to help you remove build up around your fireplace.

Hire a Professional for Inspection

Once you’ve prepared your fireplace for the fall, it’s better to be safe than sorry and hire a professional to come give your fireplace the final “OK” to fire it up. Some things that a professional may be able to catch that a homeowner may miss includes structural damage, broken or soon-to-break flues, and flues that aren’t quite closing all the way.

If you have a gas-burning fireplace, make sure to get an inspection at least every other year to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned. Having a professional find and prevent these issues can be the difference between a pumpkin-spiced sweet holiday or a visit from a team of firefighters.

Choosing the Right Wood

While it’s true that most wood will burn in a fireplace, choosing the right wood is important, not only for enjoyment, but for the health of your fire place.

  • Oak – Is considered the best wood to burn, for lasting longer as well as burns more evenly and hotter. However, to burn well, oak needs to be seasoned well and properly for at least a year after cutting.
  • Maple – Like oak, it is a great choice since it burns evenly and and slowly, creating less buildup and mess. You can use Red Maple, Sugar, or Hard Maple for great results.
  • Birch – Birch gives off a beautiful flame, but it burns very quickly and can cause a larger buildup in your chimney in a shorter timeframe.

Remember, regardless of the type of wood you’re using, schedule to have your chimney cleaned before it gets too cold out so it is ready to go before the first fire of the season.

In Conclusion

In the event that you suffer a fire in your local family home or community, give us a call.

Fall Homeowner Tips and Tricks

Resolutions Every Homeowner Should Have For Fall

With the kids back to school and fall in full swing, now is a great time to start thinking about catching up with things at home. During the summer, you were probably wrapped up in activities and the hustle-and-bustle, and tasks you were thinking of completing may have gotten put off. In fact, you probably don’t give much thought into being a homeowner on a daily basis. It’s second nature to pay the bills, fold the laundry, and put dinner on the table; however, we all know there’s much more to homeownership than that. The longer you’ve owned a home, the longer the to-do list becomes. Don’t let the small tasks like washing dishes and going to the grocery store distract you from tackling home improvements and projects you have put off, especially because as those small tasks are put off, small repairs can become big damage.

Now is a great time to get your goals in place! Here are three resolutions you can prioritize as a homeowner this fall.

Start those home improvement projects

If you’ve lived in your house for a while or if you live in an older home, you’ve probably accumulated and put off a laundry list of home updates either because you haven’t had the money to fund them or you simply didn’t have the time. You’re not alone — the average U.S. household has about nine home improvement projects waiting to be completed. And the longer you wait, the more costly they can become down the road.

This year, take on the projects that you’ve been procrastinating. Research experienced contractors, get quotes, or see what you could save money on by doing it yourself. While these projects might be daunting, some of the improvements you’re avoiding can actually be unsafe if not repaired. Therefore, it’s essential to get them done sooner than later. If money is scarce, you can find comfort in knowing that homeowners can use equity they’ve built in their home to acquire cash to put toward home repairs.

Cut back monthly expenses

Now is the prime time for you to reevaluate your spending habits. Homeowners have a running list of monthly payments from your Wi-fi, phone bills, utilities, to your mortgage payment. Add to that groceries, childcare, transportation, and any other home expenses, you might find that there’s not a lot of money left over to enjoy with your family or even store into your personal savings.

Look into ways that you can minimize your monthly expenses. For minor adjustments in your spending, search for more budget friendly products. For larger adjustments, you can also explore lower-cost options for major services you’re using like your wireless network or cable provider that could significantly decrease your overall spending. You can even consider going green, and investing in eco-friendly light bulbs, appliances, or even solar to not only improve your home but also save money on electricity. Any changes in spending, big or small, can successfully expand your freedom to spend or save with fewer concerns. The money you save can be put into some great low cost remodeling projects or help you redesign your kitchen and bathroom to get the space you have always wanted.

Get organized

Did you know that the typical American household contains approximately 300,000 items? That said, it’s no wonder that our homes get a bit messy every once in a while. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait until spring to do your spring cleaning – you can do it way more often and with much less stress!

When you have free time (it could even be just 10 minutes a day), start decluttering by going through one area in your room and setting aside a few items like clothes or household items that are old, worn, or unused.

Some of the things that are easy to part with (they don’t hold much sentimental value) can be resold, recycled, or even donated to a good cause. If there are items that you have a strong emotional connection to, you can store it in a separate location from your main living space, perhaps in the garage (off of the floor and preferably on a rack or shelf to prevent mold growth) or in the attic in a plastic bin for safe keeping. Make sure to keep it tightly closed to protect from bugs or rodents just in case! Remove items you can live comfortably without and look into new and creative storage techniques if you’re short on space. Either way, decluttering is great for keeping your home spic and span and a great way to keep you feeling refreshed in your own home.

In Conclusion

Home ownership is never a walk in the park. With everything on your plate, it’s no surprise that some projects get pushed to the back burner. Take the fall time as an opportunity for a fresh start. Be proactive, get motivated, and find ways to balance life so you can live happily and stress-free in your home now and transitioning into the holidays. If you need help with updates and repairs to your home, call Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc, for fill out our contact form for a quote!

Stud-framed wall with double header

What To Expect When Removing An Interior Wall

The great news is that nearly any wall can be removed – the question is going to be what can be expected during the removal process and exactly how much funds will it take? The basics of a wall removal process can be rumored as easy to do yourself but this is never the case. When considering removing a wall, you should always call a professional to appropriately assist in checking wiring, plumbing, and other elements that could potentially cause major damage to your special home. At Classic, we want to make the process an easy one for you so we’ve broken down what you can expect during the interior wall removal process.

What Steps Are Involved?

Stud-framed wall with double headerAssessing the wall to be removed is going to be the single most important step in the removal process. Depending on your plans for the space, you may need to completely reroute any electrical lines, gas lines, plumbing and possibly adjust air ducts. Although you might be able to get a good idea of what lies behind your walls based on the current fixtures (cover plates or pipes, for example), you won’t be 100% certain about the structure of that wall until the drywall is completely removed.
It’s definitely best to have an experience contractor assess the wall so that you can get a better idea of the next steps, which may involve additional steps beyond simply rerouting lines – you may need a new beam installed and adjustments to your foundation made to prevent damage to your home.

Load Bearing vs. Non-Load Bearing

So you’ve got the steps now what? Well now it’s time to find out if that wall is load bearing or not. This will determine if you’re ready to grab your hand-dandy sledge hammer and bang away like they do on HGTV or if you should make other arrangements to take that wall down. Non-load bearing walls are simply there to define the spaces in your home or building and do not support the structure at all. Looking at the beams in your attic or basement is the best way to find these walls, if they run parallel (or the same way as the wall) then you’re good to go! Knock that wall down! 
However if the beams run directly into the concrete foundation then woah, stop right there, this is likely a load bearing wall! At this point it’s best to call a pro as there is a lot more to this than just knocking some holes, tearing down sheetrock, and removing the beams. You’re looking at major structural changes, the need of an architect, and more. Your next thought is probably what is this going to cost me? 

How Much Does it Cost?

The simple answer is… it depends. You could be looking at anywhere from $300 to upwards of $10,000. In general, non-load bearing walls will be cheaper to remove than load bearing walls. Whether your home is single or has multiple stories will also affect cost. The removal of a wall may seem like a simple thing, but you also have to consider that the wall may contain electrical, plumbing, or other service lines. Your best bet is to call professionals such as Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc to get a free estimate and let them handle the project from start to finish.

Conclusion

Replacing an internal wall can seem like an easy project – on TV, it takes about 10 minutes! In reality, the surprises uncovered in the structure of the wall and sometimes even in the stability of the home itself can make what seems like a simple project a complete DIY nightmare. Our team of experts at Classic Construction have seen it all and will make every effort to make your space the place of your dreams without the headache or the surprises.
Contact us today for a quote!
Remodeled Restaurant

Tips for Restaurant Renovations

Building integrity, roofing, foundation, flooring, walls

Damaged Roof Shingles on a business roofPurchasing a building will require inspection and most likely renovations. This is a great time to knock out major renovations as well as cosmetic updates. Building integrity is a major component not only in making sure you do not experience leaks, electrical issues, or cracks in the walls and ceilings, which can be costly to fix later, but they will give your customers pause. If the outside looks bad… what does the kitchen look like?

Roofing inspections can find leaks and weak spots. Foundation inspections can find small cracks before they get bigger. And major plumbing and electrical upgrades can be less costly when bundled in with a full renovation. Classic Construction has expertise in renovating and restoring commercial buildings for restaurants, or any industry, so your customers feel confident they’re patronizing a clean and safe business. As major renovations are being done, consider updating walls and outdated, crack, or dirty flooring for something clean and new.

Maximize seating areas

In today’s world, it’s important to not only make your restaurant space accommodating, but also flexible. Our team stresses 3 things: 1) Optimization 2) Productivity 3) Profit

Remodeled RestaurantOptimizing your restaurant space can include many different elements that create the space that your customers will overlook but enjoy while ensuring that the floor plan is efficiently managed. It’s important to understand that different types of restaurants (Fine Dining, Fast Food) will have different guidelines and require different layouts based on the type of dining itself. The space between customers during COVID and room for the furniture and staff to move around easily must now also be flexible enough to change at a moment’s notice and with long-term planning when dining areas are fully open and customers are comfortable sitting closer together. Our team can help partner with experts with professional space planning expertise that creates the perfect space based on the type of restaurant you own.

Productivity is important for your business – allowing your staff to move freely without running into each other in the kitchen and in the dining room with a well-laid out floor plan in both areas are the key to ensuring that your staff’s efficiency is top-notch. Even small things like making it clear where the restroom is located can save your staff from being bothered while they need to work on something else – this is one of the small yet highly impactful adjustments that really reduce inefficiencies over time. From the more apparent productivity floor planning and down to the strategic pieces, our team can help brainstorm and create the space that truly maximizes productivity and reduces overall costs.

At the end of the day, profit is highly impacted by the layout of your restaurant. During every step of the way of planning a restaurant’s space, our goal isn’t just to create a beautiful building for your restaurant, but to create the strategically beautiful and creative plan for your restaurant that maximizes your profit and facilitates its growth and success.

Give your staff room to work/keep work areas hidden from guests

When remodeling, you should also consider ample employee work space and keeping it hidden/separate from the guest areas. Not only will this make work more efficient and smooth for your employees, but it also enhances the dining experience of your guests. Things such as custom half-walls so your servers can still see the guests, but the patrons won’t be distracted by the inner workings of the restaurant.

Conclusion

When considering the affordability of starting a new restaurant, remodeling and making sure you are building a safe and comfortable environment for future patrons must be taken into consideration alongside maximizing seating area in the restaurant. At Classic Construction, we can’t purchase a new restaurant for you but we can do help you build integrity by making sure all of your buildings needs are met. Contact us for a free estimate and walk through today!

Kitchen with floral backsplash

Choosing the Right Tile for Your Home or Business

Tiling your floors is never an easy job. It requires patience and can sometimes be very time-consuming depending on the type of tile you choose, the shape of the space in which you’re installing tile, if you’re doing it yourself, and how much experience you have.

Tiles can be a great way to reflect your style and personality. Many who live in small apartment rooms or have small space might feel that tiling won’t work in smaller areas, but that isn’t always the case. By choosing the right size and style of tiles, you can create interesting, yet cohesive designs in your home, or even small business.

Tiled Walls and Floors
Tiles can tell your style story, evoke memories, and even add warmth to a space.

How Do Tiles Bring Out The Beauty Out of Your Home?
Have you ever wondered why celebrities invest so much money on tiles? – The reason is that suitable tiles elevate the beauty of your home to a whole new level. Tiled flooring, and even walls and backsplashes, can enhance architecture, draw the eye upward, or even direct the eye away, making a space seem larger than it is.

Tiles can be neutral to blend in with a space, so that the pops of color can be more easily traded out with fixtures and accessories. Whites and creams are great for making a space seem more open and bright and will often blend in with lighter walls to give the illusion of having a larger space.  Darker colors are often chosen for flooring to hide dirt and to make a room feel grounded. Either way, choose a grout to match to help the tiles blend in to the design seamlessly.

On the other hand, you may want your tile to be an art piece or a focal point in your space. Colors can evoke warmth, coolness, or harken back to a different era. The wonderful thing about tiles is that they can help tell the story of your style, for example, bringing in the blues that remind you of your favorite Greek vacation, or a modern avocado green that points to your mid-century modern style.

Love hardwood floors but dislike the maintenance? Did you know that tiles come in a wide array styles that mimic the look of hardwood? Add the upscale natural look of wood without the upkeep it requires.

There are tons of ideas and examples out there!

Measure and Select Your Tiles Carefully
There are many handy tile measurement tools online to help you determine how much to purchase. You can multiply the room’s length by its width to get the total square footage, but depending on the style you choose and the layout of your space, you may need to purchase extra tiling to make the pattern flow correctly.

Tiling is often sold in batch numbers, not unlike yarn and fabric. This is important to note because if you are purchasing the tile, you’ll want to make sure they’re all from the same batch so you can be certain they’ll wear the same over the years and so that the colors will match where the tiling meets. You may need to purchase extra tile up front to compensate for errors, broken tiles, and saving some back for future repair.

Choose the Right Size Tiles for Your Project

Kitchen with floral backsplash
These floral-patterned tiles in a bright white kitchen add a pop of color and visual interest.

In general, smaller tiles look better in smaller spaces, and larger tiles will fill a large space better, though there can be exceptions if the look is designed well. Larger tiles will require less grout and will look cleaner and more contemporary. Smaller tiles will look busier, which is not necessarily a bad thing! Ideally, you want to choose tile that will flow well with the layout of your space.

Smaller tiles can be fussier to work with, but larger tiles may require more complicated cuts to fit around fixtures such as toilets, plumbing, and cabinetry.

Tile Installation
There are heaps of tutorials and DIY instructional videos on installing tile yourself. You’ll want to make sure you are learning the correct method for the type of tile you’ve chosen, the location of the tile (Will it be on a floor or a wall?), and how the tile will be used (Will water be running over the tile? Will it be in a high-foot traffic location?). You’ll also want to be sure you are following the correct steps for specific products, ie purchasing the correct brand and size spacers.

When to Hire a Professional
Tiling a space can be frustrating, but very rewarding. Always take your time to review designs, learn about materials, and follow best practices. If the process of choosing and installing tiles for your home, restaurant, office, or other space seems daunting, you can always call in a professional. Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is staffed by experts in remodeling and restoration! Let the pros talk you through design and do the hard work for you– quickly and correctly! Learn more about bathroom remodeling, or see our client work!

Call (972) 437-0909 today or contact us through our site to learn how Classic Construction can help you with your tiling needs for residential, commercial, or multifamily buildings.

 

Inspect your home inside and out

Your Home Maintenance Checklist For 2021

Inspect your home inside and out
Inspect your home inside and out, including the roof and foundation.

With the new year, and more time spent at home, it’s time to give your property a little TLC and put a maintenance checklist in place. To get started and ensure your home is in good shape, start by looking at these key areas.

Check Up On The Condition of Your Roof

It is important to assess the condition of your roof, and look for any signs of damage and wear and tear. Roofs can take a beating due to the elements, even if your roof is not that old. Look to see if there are any shingles out of place, discoloration, mold, or moss. These can be signs that it is time to get an inspection by a roofing expert to determine if anything needs to be replaced.

Determine If Your Exterior Needs Some Touching Up

 If you are thinking about practical, as well as aesthetic, upkeep on your home, then look no further than the exterior. The appearance of your siding or paint can change the entire look of your house. If your siding is in need of repair or if your paint is fading, then it is time to freshen it up. You can check out exterior home trends for 2021, and then pick out a new or sophisticated material to boost curb appeal.

Clean Out Your Gutters

Sometimes simple maintenance tasks can be forgotten until they start to have negative impacts on your property. For instance, cleaning out your gutters should be something you build into your regular outdoor maintenance schedule. Leaves and other debris can quickly pile up, clog your gutters, and defeat the purpose of having them in the first place. Clogged gutters cause water to dump against the exterior of your home, making it soggy, and water can potentially seep in and cause damage. Most major issues can be prevented if you keep up on your gutters and ensure that they are clean.

Ensure Your Foundation Is Water Tight

Make sure you are taking steps to make your home water tight so you don’t have to deal with water damage down the line. This could involve repairing your retaining wall, fixing cracks in your foundation, caulking around windows and doors, keeping your gutters cleaned out, and reinforcing and repairing drywall can all help make your home impermeable.

Tune Up Inefficient Appliances

It is important to keep your appliances on a regular maintenance schedule. There are many moving pieces to each of your appliances that need to be kept in pristine condition. When something is off or goes wrong with one part it can affect the entire performance of the appliance. You can check into your home warranty options to service your appliances to help them run more efficiently. 

Inspect Your Electrical System

Keeping close tabs on your electrical system is essential for safety and for ensuring your entire home system can function properly. Faulty wires, burned-out sockets, and outdated electrical panels must be addressed immediately to prevent fires. Ensure that your electrical system is up to date so that it can meet demand. Especially now, smart home systems are increasingly popular, and it is critical to ensure your electrical is top notch and can handle automation.

Take Proper Care of Special Materials

If your home has unique or has specialty materials it is important that you take care of them properly. If you have concrete driveways, walkways, stone or tile, ensure that they are not cracking. To keep such materials looking their best, be sure to clean them with the proper solutions on a regular basis.

Inspect and Test Home Safety Devices

To keep you and your family safe, you must perform routine safety inspections of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It can be easy to forget to check your detectors. Take time to check the indicator lights frequently and change the batteries. Also, check that there are enough and that they are installed in the proper locations.

Don’t wait and put off maintenance tasks. As a responsible homeowner, it is essential to keep up on your property not only for safety reasons, but to be able to enjoy your property to its fullest potential. Of course, Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc is here to inspect areas such as roofs and foundations, where damage can be hard to spot, but also expensive to repair if problems aren’t caught quickly. Call us at (469) 290-8980 to schedule your inspection today!

 

Kitchen island affected by water damage is being dried using a strong powered fan.

How to Deal With Water Damage

If you are dealing with water damage, make sure you take care of it immediately with water restoration! Waiting can be devastating to your home and can cause additional damage that will end up costing you more. Water restoration is a specialized service that removes water and helps restore your home after water damage. Find out what you can do before a water restoration team goes out, what you can expect and ways that our team can help keep your home safe.

A house in Houston suburb flooded from Hurricane Harvey 2017What You Can Do

The first thing you need to do is to get in touch with an emergency service contact. Many companies will provide customers with emergency services which are available 24/7. Water damage is considered an emergency service because of the damage it can cause if ignored. 

The next thing that you can do is to provide our team or the team you may be working with all of your information such as your contact information, address, insurance information, information regarding the flood (when it started and what caused it). After all of the information is provided it is important that you let the team take care of the rest. 

What You Can Expect: If You Ignore

If you ignore water damage you can expect the moisture to create bacteria and mold growth. Certain materials can be severely damaged due to the bacteria or growth which will cause additional repairs or replacement. Something that is more concerning is that many times, people begin to experience allergic reactions or illnesses because of water damage exposure. 

What You Can Expect: Water Restoration

By being proactive and scheduling water restoration services you can expect the following to be done 

  1. Inspection Assessment 
  2. Water Removal
  3. Drying and Dehumidification 
  4. Cleaning and Sanitizing 
  5. Restoration and Repair

We understand that every water damage situation is different and some situations seem like they can be dealt with by yourself, it is best to trust professionals and schedule a water restoration service or quote before attempting anything yourself. If you have more questions and would like to speak to a specialist, contact us today!

stylish white living room area with fireplace

Winter Checklist for Your Home

stylish white living room area with fireplace 

As the weather continues to drop, it is important to prepare your home. We have created an easy to follow checklist below to help you check off all the items.

Clean the gutters

Keeping your gutters clean by consistently cleaning them out can help aid in preventing damage. If you are in an area that will experience ice or where icicles are common, make sure your gutters are kept clean so they do not weigh down your gutters and potentially damage them. 

stylish white living room area with fireplace

Weatherproof your doors

Weatherproofing your doors not only helps keep your electricity bill low, but it also aids in keeping your house warm. One service you should consider in preparation for the colder weather is weatherstripping. With weatherstripping, any openings such as doors and windows are sealed and help prevent cold air from entering and keep your warm air from exiting your home. If you are unsure if this is a service you need, contact our team, and we will help you decide if this is a service you could benefit from.  

Fireplace Inspection

Inspecting your fireplace is extremely important not only to ensure it is clean and working but ultimately for your health. A clogged fireplace can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the Chimney Safety Institution of America, around 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide-related “injuries” are reported each year. Having an annual chimney inspection is one way to help prevent incidents. Make sure you prioritize you and your family’s health this year and book your chimney/fireplace inspection as soon as possible. 

Aluminum dryer vent hose Clean your dryer hose

Cleaning your dryer hose is something many families overlook, but it is necessary to make sure lint isn’t clogged in the hose. Lint is highly flammable, and with the heater being on, your house may become warmer and more apt for incidents. To prevent fires related to your dryer hose, make sure you are cleaning the lint filter after each load, emptying your dryer hose, and checking your vent and exhaust. The National Fire Protection Association also provides consumers tips that can help prevent fires. 

Get your roof inspected

If you have not had your roof inspected for the year, we highly recommend getting a professional out on your roof to check for any damage. Expert roofers can spot any damage that you might miss. If you choose to go with our GAF Elite Certified Roofers, we will make sure to check for any damaged shingles that could allow for leaks caused by storms. Our team at Classic Construction offers free quotes that could save you from future repairs that a damaged roof can cause. 

Test your heating system

Perhaps one of the most critical items on our list is testing your heating system. You want to check that your system is running efficiently before the temperature goes down. One service that you can choose to purchase is a heating system inspection. A technician will test your heating system, make sure it is working to its fullest potential, and ensure no carbon monoxide leaks. 

By taking care of these items sooner rather than later, you can fix the items and minimize the chances of waiting hours or days for these services during peak wintertime. Lastly, when you’ve completed your checklist, make sure you get out your cozy blanket and rest up. Know that our team has you covered, and you can contact us with any questions. 

Summer home maintenance on a home with the sun shining down on home roof.

Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your North Texas Home for Summer

summer home maintenance, sun shining down on home roof Summer is here! As exciting as warmer weather is, it’s essential that we make sure our home is ready for the change. Below are some of Classic Construction’s top tips to help you prepare your home for Summer.

Inspect your roof

For your safety, you should perform this inspection from the ground to the best of your ability, possibly with binoculars. Check for dents, loose or torn off shingles, and obvious nails sticking out.

Change all your filters

This includes your water, range hood and air vent filters. Summer brings with it all the allergens, so this will help keep your family safe from these annoying particles.

Additionally, you should make sure to clean out your dryer vent. This is massively important to do because it can help you prevent a fire from destroying part or all of your home. Fire restoration services are expensive and time consuming but cleaning your dryer vent is free and takes about an hour.

Check all window and door seals

Summer is a dry season; checking your caulking will help you catch any areas for potential leaks before they cause damage to your home. Consider looking into weather-stripping.

Clean out your gutters

If you didn’t do this between autumn and winter, chances are your gutters are chock full of leaves and debris. When the spring showers hit, your gutters could overflow and cause damage to your home. They could also detach completely from your home from the weight filling them up.

Inspect your foundation

If you have a crawlspace, make sure to clear out and repair your foundation vents as these will prevent mold and critters from taking up residence beneath your home. Look for any visible cracks or shifting.

Inspect any brick or concrete surrounding your home

Moisture is the enemy of brick and concrete. If it seeps beneath your driveway, it can cause cracks and splitting. If water sneaks its way into the mortar between your brick walls, they could crumble and fall apart as well. Check for any signs of moisture seepage in these areas around your home and shop around for an estimate for repairs if you think it’s necessary.

Service your HVAC unit

Despite the costs, we all know our HVAC units are the real MVPs of our homes. They’ve kept us warm all winter and we’ll be expecting them to keep us cool during the summer. Therefore it’s essential to have them serviced by a licensed HVAC professional. You don’t want to wait until the heat of summer to find out you have an AC problem.

Inspect your wood siding, decking, and railing

Winter is harsh on wood. Look for any signs of wood damage or deterioration. If any of your wood is rotted, it needs to be replaced. Also be on the lookout for any signs of termites or other critters. It’s better to have these removed or exterminated before acquiring further damage.

Prepare your pool

If you have a pool, you’re probably already looking forward to using it again. I’m sure you know about the usual cleaning, brushing, chlorinating and debris removal; these are what you usually handle yourself. Make sure you also clean the filter, check the conditioner levels, test your pool equipment, run the pump during the warmest part of the day, and clean your salt cell (if you have a saltwater pool).

HVAC Air Conditioner system next to a home, modern clean with bushes and brick wall during the summer

Taking care of your MVP: Why you should get an HVAC system inspection during early summer

 

Air Conditioner system next to a home, modern clean with bushes and brick wallWhether we know it or not, the HVAC systems in our homes are the heroes we neglect day after day. They keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, all at the touch of a button. And they do it without complaining. We don’t think about how much we need them to work until they break in the heat of a North Texas summer. In order to prevent a summer break down, we have to take care of them.

The best way to do this is to make sure you schedule your yearly HVAC maintenance appointment during early summer.

You might be thinking an HVAC maintenance appointment is a luxury you can’t afford. Let me say this: an HVAC maintenance appointment might run you anywhere from $50 to $100 for the tune up, but a brand new unit will cost you 20 times this or more.

If you’re wondering if you can perform a DIY HVAC tune up, the answer is a
conditional “yes.” There are a few items on the tune up checklist that you can do
yourself.

These include:

 Changing the furnace filter – According to the Department of Energy, this one step can reduce your energy usage by between 5% and 15%, saving you lots of money on energy bills

 Drying out your dehumidifier – the dehumidifier can play a huge role in the efficiency of your HVAC system depending on the time of year. To dry it out, take the outer casing off and let it air out. Once dry, vacuum the entire unit to remove excess dirt and debris.

 Removing obstructions and landscaping around your exterior system-vegetation shouldn’t be allowed to grow within two feet of your exterior air conditioning unit. This is because the unit needs space around it to pull in the air it needs to control the temperature in your home. Make sure to cut back or trim any plants growing around the unit.

 Cleaning the bathroom fans – to make sure these fans run as efficiently as possible, turn the power to the fans off and remove the covers. Wash these in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Using an old toothbrush, clean the fan blades before reattaching the covers.

 Upgrading to a smart thermostat – A smart thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home to be warmer while you’re away and more comfortable while you are home. It might feel like technology is taking over your home, but you might not mind it so much when you get the energy bill.

In order to get your HVAC system in the best, most energy efficient shape of its life, you should have licensed, professional HVAC technician come out and perform a tune-up service.

During this service, the technician will:

 Test refrigerant levels
 Water wash condenser coil for efficiency
 Inspect contractor for proper electrical connectivity
 Inspect capacitor for leakage and wear
 Inspect/lubricate condenser fan motor
 Record amperage draw of compressor
 Inspect and tighten electrical connections
 Inspect service valve for leakage
 Inspect indoor evaporator coil
 Inspect blower assembly
 Calibrate thermostat
 Flush condensate drain
 Evaluate air filters

Handyman adjusting HVAC ceiling air vent. Air flow adjustment for overhead home heat and air conditioning ventilation duct.All of these actions will maintain your AC unit to improve its performance and save you money. And remember, you want to schedule your appointment soon because summer is an HVAC technician’s busiest time of year!