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Home Maintenance Tips

Save money on utility bills this summer

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If you are from Texas, you know a thing or two about high utility bills in the summer. A/C units work overtime and  lawns need extra hydration. Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, there are plenty of tools and hacks to save money during these hot summer months in Texas.

When it comes to air conditioning, our home inspector Randy Barfield recommends adjusting the thermostat to around 78 – 80 degrees when no one is home to help save money on your electric bill. Another way to make sure your A/C unit is working as efficiently as possible is to perform regular maintenance, which includes changing filters and cleaning the A/C condenser and evaporator coils.

As you bump up the temperature before you leave each day, also remember to turn off lights and unplug appliances that are not being used.

Austin Energy is a great resource for finding ways to use energy efficiently. Here are a few of their summer saving tips:

  • Install LED light bulbs. LEDs use 90% less electricity, generate less heat, and last 10-25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs, and five times longer than Compact Florescent Lightbulbs (CFLs).
  • Close shades/curtains on windows hit by direct sunlight. This helps to prevent heat from getting indoors.
  • Provide shade for outside AC units. AC units shaded by trees or structures work more efficiently and use up to 10% less electricity.
  • Avoid turning on the oven during the hottest time of the day. Using a microwave or a slow cooker produces less heat.
  • Let someone else pay the energy bills. Go to a library, shopping center or community center and take advantage of climate-controlled activities away from home.

When it comes to water bills, not only is it vital to conserve water this time of year in Texas, it also helps you save. We can all make an effort to take shorter showers, turn off the sink when brushing our teeth, run the dishwasher less, and water our lawns less. Beyond these simple daily adjustments, make sure to:

  • Replace shower heads (so they work more efficiently)
  • Check for leaks and fix leaking faucets
  • Check the city website for designated watering days: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/water-conservation
  • Perform regular maintenance on your irrigation system
  • Replace old appliances

Incorporating these simple changes into your daily or weekly routine is an easy way to cut spending and save more money each month. Fall weather is just around the corner, but in the meantime use these tips make it through this blazing summer!

Keeping Your AC in Shape for Summer

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During these hot summer months, it is important to keep up with your air conditioning (AC) unit maintenance. In addition to changing the return air filter in your HVAC system, try cleaning the AC condensate drain line to make sure your AC unit is running at its best. By simply pouring a cup of bleach or white vinegar down the line, you can prevent algae and dirt from blocking the drain line and interfering with air quality. In most cases, this is a relatively easy process. However, some AC units may be more difficult than others and require a professional. Check out the video below from Today’s Homeowner for a quick tutorial on how to do it yourself!

Home maintenance tasks such as this are always a good investment. Regular home maintenance can save you money, prevent things from breaking, add value to your home, and overall keep your home running efficiently.

Tuning up your irrigation system is a must-do this summer

By | Home Maintenance Tips, Seasonal Home Maintenance | 2 Comments

Summer in Texas means water restrictions, which is why it’s important to make sure your irrigation system is working efficiently. A regular checkup can help conserve water and save money on your water bill. There are many things to consider when inspecting a sprinkler system, so it is best to hire a professional. However, here are a few simple tips to maintain your system between seasonal checkups:

  • Make sure sprinklers are placed effectively for even watering across your yard.
  • Set a proper watering schedule depending on the season and keep an eye on it. Make sure the system is running as scheduled and remember to change the clock during daylight saving time.
  • Install a rain sensor to make sure your sprinklers aren’t interfering with mother nature.
  • Keep an eye out for missing, broken, plugged or sunken sprinkler heads.
  • Check for plants or objects blocking the sprinkler’s path.
  • Schedule seasonal check-ups and adjust sprinklers each month.

Lastly, check the austintexas.gov website for up-to-date water restrictions and assigned watering days and times.

Most importantly, don’t forget to water yourself! It’s hot out there, so stay hydrated and lather on that sunscreen.

Talking Foundations with Randy: What to Expect

By | Home Inspection Reality Show, Home Maintenance Tips, Seasonal Home Maintenance | No Comments

Watch as Randy Barfield, founder and owner of Barfield Home Inspection, takes on this house’s foundation. In this video, you will learn how a home inspector looks at foundation and how he makes sure your house is level. You will also gain tips on how to keep up maintenance of your foundation so that it stays healthy.

When you need home tips, look no further than Texas’ own Randy Barfield–telling it like it is since 2003.

Thanks for watching!