As summer turns to fall, so begins the Goldilocks Season for home improvement. It’s not too hot and not too cold — it’s just right, so September is the time to get lots of home improvement projects done around the house!
Weekend #1: Water Heater Spruce Up
Maintenance to your hot water heater this September weekend will have you enjoying hot showers all winter long. Regardless of whether you have a gas or electric water heater, they develop a build up of sediment at the bottom of the tank. The buildup can cause your water heater to operate inefficiently and shorten the life span of the water heater. To keep the water heater working properly you should drain two gallons of water from the tank twice a year. It is very important that when you are doing this maintenance that you make sure the water heater is turned off and that you protect yourself from a potential burn. Wear thick gloves, long sleeves, and safety goggles. Do not touch the water draining out of the tank. Turn the water heater off for one hour before you begin to reduce the temperature of the water in the tank.
There are two valves on your water heater. The one near the top is a safety valve that releases pressure — DON’T TOUCH IT. The one near the bottom is for draining and the only one that should be opened for this purpose. Connect a hose to the water heater drain valve and set it to drain into a sink, or outside where the hot water can not hurt anyone. Once the hose is safely in place, turn counter clockwise to open the drain. Remember, the water is going to be very hot! In a few gallons, the water will become clear as the sediment washes out. Close the valve by turning clockwise and make sure you close it completely so there are no drips. Turn the water heater back on and continue enjoying your hot water.
Weekend #2: Get Fresh Furnace Filters
We are about to enter the heating season, and changing your furnace filters is one of those September projects that will help to keep your family healthy all winter long. Once the cold winter weather rolls around, nothing is nicer than enjoying your family indoors while playing games and hanging out. That is, all great except the more time you spend indoors the more susceptible you are to indoor allergens. To breathe easy and sneeze less, it is very important to change your furnace filter regularly.
The furnace filter will be located in the main return grill near the furnace or inside the furnace near the blower. Remove the old filter and replace it with the most efficient model you can find for your system. The more efficient the furnace filter is, the more particulates it will remove from the air. Install the new filter by making sure the arrow, which indicates air flow, points toward the blower. The furnace filter should be changed every month; or for a more long term solution, install a whole house air cleaner.