10 Home Maintenance Tips to Save Money Around the House

It’s no secret that a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. Budget-conscious homeowners are always on the lookout for ways to cut costs, whether it’s cutting back on their energy bills, extending the life of equipment in their home or shopping for deals online.

In our most recent blog, the professionals at B&W Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Drains discuss some simple home maintenance tips you can perform to save money. Regular maintenance on your appliances, drains and plumbing fixtures will help them meet and even surpass their expected lifespan, saving you money on expensive repairs and early replacement.

For all of your heating, cooling, and plumbing questions, or to request a service, don’t hesitate to reach out to B&W today!

Home Maintenance Tips to Save Money

1. Check if your air conditioner is level

HVAC systems must be installed correctly in order for them to operate properly. Your air conditioner’s compressor is no different. Making sure the outside unit is level is paramount to ensuring the oil inside the system stays level and doesn’t run into the refrigeration lines. The unit’s motor needs the proper amount of oil to operate smoothly or it could lead to damage such as grinding or cause the compressor to overheat. An unlevel air conditioner will shorten the life of your system.

2. Put food coloring in your toilet tanks

This may seem like an odd task, but it’s a great tip to ensure your toilet isn’t leaking. A leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day! For this tip, simply put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait about 15 minutes. If you return to find colored water in the bowl, it’s a sign you have a leak between the tank and toilet flapper.

3. Check your sump pump operation

Sump pumps are imperative in homes with basements and crawl spaces, as they remove excess water around your home’s foundation to prevent flooding. Flooded basements, aside from destroying your home, can lead to higher insurance rates. To ensure it’s operating properly and will be there when you need it most, it’s a good idea to check the sump pump regularly. Here’s what to do to ensure your sump pump is working properly:

  • Make sure nothing else is plugged in with your sump pump.
  • Know where your sump pump discharge line ends, and make sure the line is clear and working.
  • Is the sump pump pit clear of debris? Make sure the float can move freely.
  • Do you have a battery-powered backup sump pump? They are essential in the event of an unexpected power outage. We recommend the PHCC 2400. It is both AC and battery-powered.

4. If you have an older thermostat, check the batteries

This is a pretty straightforward tip. If you have an older thermostat that runs on batteries, you’ll need to replace them periodically. We typically recommend replacing the batteries in your thermostat about every six months. This ensures your HVAC system won’t stop running on a frigid winter’s night. We love our customers, but we don’t want you to pay for a service call to change your batteries.

5. Install a water alarm or a Wi-Fi leak detector

We wish more homeowners installed water alarms or leak detectors in their homes. The installation of a water alarm or leak detector alerts you to a water leak in your home, which will help you avoid extensive damage and a skyrocketing water bill. The leak detector will allow you to turn off the water to your home. When the water alarm detects a leak, it’ll sound an alarm.

6. Pour water down the floor drain by your furnace or water heater

Pouring a bucket of water down the floor drain in your basement periodically or a bio-enzyme drain cleaner every three months ensures there are no clogs. This task will also prevent the drain from drying out and sewer gas from entering the space.

7. Check the salt level in the water softener

Checking the salt level in your water softener is an easy task that can be performed in just a couple of minutes. Remove the lid to your tank; if you see water then you definitely need to add more salt. We recommend always having the tank at least one-third filled. Avoid filling the tank up more than halfway, as too much salt can lead to “bridging,” which is caused when a hard crust forms in the brine tank. This creates an empty space between the water and salt and can prevent the salt from dissolving to make brine.

8. Dump ice and citrus peels in garbage disposer

Garbage disposals are hard-working appliances that need to be cleaned periodically. Just think about all the stuff you put down your kitchen sink! Cleaning a garbage disposal is an easy task that involves dumping a large bowl of ice cubes and a cup of citrus peels in the garbage disposal, turning on the cold water, and running the disposal for up to three minutes. This will keep your unit clean and running efficiently so you’ll avoid any untimely repairs or clogs.

9. Run water in rarely used bathrooms

If you have bathrooms in your home that are rarely used, a little maintenance can go a long way in protecting your fixtures. We recommend running the water in the shower and sink and flushing the toilet once a week. This will keep the traps full and prevent sewer gas from entering your living areas. This is also good preventive maintenance for the toilet’s flush assembly, which will prevent repairs.

10. Change water filters in the refrigerator

If you have an ice maker and water dispenser in your refrigerator, there’s a filter to remove contaminants and small particles. The filter will need to be replaced periodically, typically about twice a year. Follow your owner’s manual for the right replacement interval. This will help keep your ice maker working at peak performance. The sediment in water causes repairs to ice makers. If you don’t use a lot of ice, then dump the hopper/bin once a week. This will activate the ice maker and keep all of the parts moving.

Contact B&W for Plumbing and HVAC Repair and Maintenance

Following these tips will keep your appliances and plumbing fixtures in tip-top shape and help you avoid the hassle and expense of repairs and early replacement. If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment for plumbing or heating and cooling maintenance, repair, or installation services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.