- The electrical panel is mounted near the garage service door. There is a main power shutoff breaker toward the bottom of the enclosure in the event you need to shut down power to the entire home. Should you experience a power failure in a localized area look at the smaller breakers inside the panel for any that are in the trip position (handle would be more to the center). Flip that breaker off and then on again. It is recommended that all the breakers be shut down and repowered in this manner every few months to reset them.
- Ice and snow should be kept clear of the garage door area. If allowed to accumulate the garage door could potentially freeze shut. If attempts are made to operate the opener, the motor on the garage door opener could be damaged.
- The electric meter is on the exterior garage wall in the sidewalk area. Snow, ice, leaves, debris should be kept away from its base.
- The filter in a furnace with a 4” filter should be changed every 6 months. If your furnace has a 1” filter is should be changed every month. If dust and dirt are allowed to accumulate on the filter this decreases the efficiency of the furnace. Find the filter behind the sheet metal cover near the center of the furnace close to the floor. Pull on the sheet metal tab to open.
- There is also a sewer shut off valve housed in the 6” pvc piping protruding from the floor next to the furnace. Should water back up in the sewer lines this will close automatically. There is a manual plunger/shut off as well. If this closes do not use the household plumbing in the lower level. Upper level plumbing remains operational.
- The dryer vents to the exterior of the building. In order to maintain dryer efficiency and reduce the risk of dryer fires, the machine’s lint trap should be cleaned between every load. The exterior vent opening should also be checked periodically to determine if lint is restricting optimal air flow.
- The sump pump is located under the stairwell. When the pump activates make sure you have attached a hose to the exterior discharge opening, located just behind the outside concrete steps. Use an oversized non collapsible hose in the winter to direct any discharge away from the foundation, and a smaller flex tubing in the spring/ summer/ fall. During times when there is a considerable discharge, move this tubing to alternating areas to avoid lawn damage.
- The main water shut off to the home is also found under the stairwell. The blue (sometimes yellow) valve handle should be parallel to the pipe to open the water flow. To turn water off, turn the valve handle perpendicular to the pipe.
- Inspect the water heater occasionally for any leakage.
- The garbage disposal has a reset button on the base of the unit. If your disposal appears to not have any power, try pushing this button. If your disposal makes noise but does not grind, there is likely an obstruction in the rotors. A hex shaped disposal wrench (usually found in the drawer next to the refrigerator) can be used to work the hex nut on the bottom of the disposal back and forth until the rotors turn free. To avoid a clog from forming never stuff the disposal before turning on. Instead feed it smaller amounts of scrap while water is running and the disposal is operating.
- Humidity is the #1 enemy in an energy efficient building. It is recommended that you monitor the levels and keep them under 50% in the summer and in the 30-35% range in the winter. Condensation forming on the windows is a telltale sign your humidity level is too high. High humidity levels may contribute to mold growth in areas where air flow is restricted, deterioration or discoloration of woodwork, excess expansion/contraction of sheetrock, lower level musty odors, etc. Check out the sidebar for tips to keeping your humidity levels down:
- Never use any kind of de-ice on the concrete steps, walks, drives. Concrete continues to cure for several years. Premature use of these products can cause the concrete to flake and pock.
- Remove all attachments, including hoses, from the outdoor spigot during winter. If allowed to freeze while on, pipes can be damaged within the walls. A real mess.
- Remove flex sump hoses. If you find it necessary in the late fall or early spring to extend the sump discharge, consider using a larger rigid (PVC) piping.
Thank you for choosing a J&L Property. As a homeowner I am sure you will be diligent in your care of the property. However, if you do encounter a question or concern, please feel free to contact me.