Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter

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Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter

Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter

Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance. And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses. One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system. It’s simple and inexpensive, and taking care of it at least every three months can mean the difference between optimum comfort and avoidable repairs.

What Can Go Wrong

Most homes have some sort of furnace or heat pump, and manA-C System Home Inspectiony of those homes (especially newer ones) have combined heating, ventilation and air-conditioning or HVAC systems. Each type uses some type of air filter or screen to prevent larger airborne particles (up to 40 microns) from entering the system and clogging sensitive machinery. A system that has a dirty filter can suffer from pressure drop, which can lead to reduced air flow, or “blow-out,” resulting in no air infiltration at all. Any of these conditions can cause the system to work harder to keep the home warm or cool (depending on the season and the setting). And any mechanical component that has to work harder to run efficiently puts undue stress on the whole system, which can lead to premature failure, resulting in repair or replacement.

Also, a dirty filter that’s exposed to condensation can become damp, which can lead to mold growth that can be spread throughout the home by the HVAC system. This can lead to serious health consequences, not to mention a compromised unit that will likely require servicing and may require replacement, depending on the severity of the moisture problem.

Types of Filters

Most HVAC and furnace filters are disposable, made of biodegradable paper or similar media, and shaped in cells, screens or fins designed to trap as much airborne debris as possible. Filters can typically be purchased in economical multi-packs, and there are many types that will fit different models of furnace/HVAC units. It’s important to use the appropriate filter for your unit; using the wrong filter that doesn’t fit the unit properly can create the same types of problems as having a dirty filter. Your HVAC installer can show you where the filter goes and how to remove the old one and install a new one. Your unit may also have an affixed label with directions for easy filter replacement.

How Often?

Your HVAC or furnace technician should service your unit once a year. Because a furnace/HVAC unit contains moving parts, it’s important that belts are not cracked and dry, ventilation ductwork is not gapped, cracked or rusted, and components, such as coils and fans, are clog-free and adequately lubricated for unimpeded operation. This sort of evaluation is best left to the professional, unless the homeowner has had the appropriate training.
The filter of the unit, especially if it’s an HVAC unit that will tend to get nearly year-round use, should be changed by the homeowner at least every three months, but possibly more often.
Check your filter’s condition and change it once a month if:
You run your unit six months a year to year-round.
You have pets. Pet dander can become airborne and circulate through the home’s ventilation system just as typical household dust does.
You have a large family. More activity means more household dust, dirt and debris.
You smoke indoors.
You or someone in your household suffers from allergies or a respiratory condition.
You live in a particularly windy area or experience high winds for extended periods, especially if there are no nearby shrubs or trees to provide a natural windbreak.
You live in an area prone to or having recently experienced any wildfires. Airborne ash outdoors will eventually find its way indoors.
You have a fireplace that you occasionally use.
You live on a working farm or ranch. Dust and dirt that gets kicked up by outdoor work activity and/or large animals can be pulled into the home’s ventilation system, especially through open windows.
You have a large garden. Depending on its size and how often you work it, tilling soil, planting, pulling weeds, using herbicides and pesticides, and even watering mean that dirt, chemicals and condensation can be pulled into your home’s ventilation system.
There is construction taking place around or near the home. You may be installing a new roof or a pool, or perhaps a neighbor is building a home or addition. Even if the activity is only temporary, dust and debris from worksites adjacent to or near the home can be sucked into the home’s ventilation system, and this increased activity can tax your HVAC system.

Change the filter immediately if:

The filter is damaged. Whether it happened inside the packaging or while being installed, a damaged filter that has bent fins, collapsed cells or holes will not work as well as an undamaged filter, especially if it allows system air to bypass the filter at any point.
The filter is damp. A filter affected by moisture intrusion, system condensation, or even high indoor humidity can quickly become moldy and spread airborne mold spores throughout the home via the ventilation system.
There is evidence of microbial growth or mold on the filter. Mold spores already infiltrating the home via the HVAC system are not only bad for the unit itself, but they can pose a health hazard for the family, ranging from an irritated respiratory system to a serious allergic reaction. The musty smell produced by a moldy HVAC filter is also unpleasant and may take a while to completely eradicate from inside the home. If you discover that you have moldy air filter, it’s important to have the cause investigated further. An InterNACHI certified Cris Home inspector can help determine the problem so that it doesn’t recur.

Tips on Changing the Filter

Turn off the unit before replacing the filter.
Use the right filter for your unit and make sure it’s not damaged out of the package.
Follow the directions for your unit to make sure you’re installing the filter properly. For example, many filters use different colors for the front and back (or upstream and downstream flow) so that they’re not installed backwards.
Make sure there aren’t any gaps around the filter frame. If this is the case, you may have the wrong size filter, or the filter itself may be defective or damaged.
Use a rag to clean up any residual dust before and after you replace the filter.
Securely replace any levers, gaskets and/or seals.
Turn the unit on and observe it while it’s operating to make sure the filter stays in place.
Note the date of filter replacement in a convenient location for the next time you inspect it. A filter that becomes dirty enough to change within a short period of time may indicate a problem with the unit or ventilation system, so monitoring how often the filter requires changing is important information for your technician to have.

Call a technician for servicing if:

Your unit fails to turn back on.
The fan is slow or makes excessive noise, or the fins are bent.
The coils are excessively dusty or clogged.
You notice moisture intrusion from an unknown source anywhere in the system.
Homeowners who take care of the easy task of changing their HVAC filter can help prevent system downtime and avoidable expenses, as well as keep their families living and breathing comfortably. Cris home inspections Cris Home inspector can provide more useful tips and reminders during your annual home maintenance inspection.


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Home Inspections

When you are considering purchasing a home, you don’t want to buy something that will cost more to repair than the original price. Storm damage, water damage and a variety of other factors can lower the overall worth of a home drastically, but without having a home inspection before you buy, you may never know. Don’t waste your money and sink your hard earned cash into a home that is only going to end up as a money pit. Instead, allow us to help you out by performing our proven home inspection techniques, in order to ensure that you are getting the absolute most out of your money. Upon first glance, a home may seem perfect, but such is not always the case.

Home Inspection

Home Inspection

Our home inspection service is called Cris Home Inspection, and we provide a variety of services for your home, both before a storm hits your residence, and afterward to ensure that you are able to get the money that you deserve in order to repair the damages that are caused. We are located in West Palm Beach, FL and have been helping people all over the area that are just like you. Our professional, friendly staff are able to conduct a variety of different services for you, including 4 Point Inspections, Windstorm Mitigation, Citizen’s Roof Certificate, and Home Inspections. This allows you to have one source for your home inspection needs. Our friendly staff will be more than willing to answer any questions that you may have about the service.

A homeowner will usually try to sell his or her home for the absolute top dollar that he or she can possibly get. Many times, the home is not worth the money that the originally owner is asking. Instead of over-paying on your next home, allow us to help you save money by performing a home inspection and ensuring that not only is the home you are considering safe but the entire structure is secure. We are open to talk with you at any point, and you can set up an appointment to have us come to your home.


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10 Important questions to ask the Home Inspector

1.  Do you participate in Continuing Education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

Yes, Florida Home Inspectors are required to have 14 CEU’S yearly. Some must be on certain topics such as: Roof Covering, HVAC.

2.  Do you maintain a membership in a Professional Home Inspection Association? If so, which one?

We are Internachi Certified, Internachi is the most well  known but There are several different home inspection association’s out there.

3. When will I get my report from my Home Inspector?

The Inspector will fill out a form and it will be emailed to you and your agent. We try to do this within 24 hours of the Inspection.  

4. What does the Inspection cover?

Depends on the Inspection. Check out OUR Inspections page and it will tell you about what the Inspection you need covers.

5. How long have you been doing  Home Inspections?

We have been doing Home Inspections for 15 years in South Florida.

6. Do you work for me, my agent or the Insurance Company?

 You. You hire us to come and do the Inspection. We work for our client’s ONLY. We do follow all rules and regulations by the Insurance Company’s.

7. Are you Licensed, bonded and Insured?

Yes, I would never recommend using a Business who is not licensed, bonded or insured.

8. Do you preform the repairs?

No, we DO NOT preform any repairs. We may be able to help recommend a Business.

9. Will your Inspection meet recognized standards?

Yes, our Inspection goes above and beyond regular standards and even exceeds recognized standards.

10. Will I be able to attend the Inspection?

Yes, we encourage you to be there. Sometimes, if something needs to be fixed or replaced it is easier to show you then try to explain it over the phone.

 


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Things to know about a Broward Home Inspection and the benefits.

home inspection

Home Inspection

Important things to know about a Home Inspection and the benefits. Home Inspections are an important process that plays a pivotal role in the buying or selling of property. It is done by a professional Home Inspector trained for this specific purpose. A house will probably be one of the largest investments you make, you do not want to lose any time while forking out where you are not required to.

Generally, the procedure is beneficial to both the seller who gets to know the real value of the property in context, and the buyer who gets an in-depth understanding of the home’s condition. What does a comprehensive Home Inspection process entail? The procedure may slightly vary from one Home Inspector to the next simply owed to the varying personalities of each

While one may be thorough and detailed, he/she may not be as experienced as the next hence, losing an edge in that perspective.  However, there are three common components that every good Inspector should cover and include in the final report. A comprehensive Home Inspection should basically elaborate and categorize each problem as a safety issue, minor defect or major defect.

Secondly, the Inspector should also list down all items that need to be replaced, repaired or needs servicing. Lastly, the Inspector should explain the items that are suitable for now and those that require close monitoring.

Benefits of a Home Inspection for Broward County Residents:

To a home owner, contrary to common perception, Home Inspection shouldn’t be carried out only when buying or selling. It is equally beneficial to all home owners and in fact, those that do it on a regular basis enhance the longevity of their property.

A comprehensive Home Inspection will not only document the condition of your home, but also identify minor defects before they turn into expensive repairs. The procedure will go a long way in helping you find solutions to problems in a professional and timely manner.
To Buyers technically, this is the lot that stands to gain the most from Home Inspections. Qualified Inspectors are trained to detect as many defects as possible with the help of acquired techniques, specialized tools and extensive experience. This basically means that the buyer will be made aware of any problems and hazardous conditions within the property hence avoiding over-paying.

This gives the buyer peace of mind as he/she makes an informed decision on whether or not to purchase the house or to keep looking. Not only will the buyer get valuable, in-depth knowledge about the new home, he/she will also avoid future surprises.
To Sellers it is common to find home owners seeking to sell and not identifying problems on the property while showing it to a prospective buyer. A seller can avoid losing out on sweet deals by procuring a Home Inspection. This will enable the Seller to replace or repair any defects to increase the property’s value. This also eliminates the rush and costs that come with last minute repairs that are known to cause delays.

The bottom line is that regardless of whether you are a buyer, seller or home owner, Home Inspections are a highly beneficial procedure that you will be glad about in the future. It is certainly worth every penny offering great value for your money.


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Why hire a Internachi certified Inspector?

Certified Internachi Inspector
Certified Internachi Inspector

 Hiring a Internachi Home Inspectors

Buying a dream home is certainly the biggest investment that an individual can ever make and the significance of this investment doesn’t just lie in the size of its investment but also in the emotional value attached with it. Certainly, one doesn’t buy a home every day, thus one must leave no stone unturned to ensure complete well-being of his/her investment in the coming years.

The best way of securing and protecting your home and the money spent on it is by, getting it insured with Home Insurance. However, before getting in touch with a great insurance agent, a home owner must get its Home Inspected by a certified and trained Home Inspector.

Home Inspection is one of the most widely used tools to make your home/property a safe insurable entity and no one does this job better than our team of Inspectors at  Cris Insurance Inspections. Our company is solely dedicated to the task of conducting Home Inspections ranging from 4 Point Inspections, Citizens Roof Certificate Inspections and Windstorm Mitigation Inspections.

We have been serving thousands of households in West Palm Beach, Broward and Miami/Dade Florida for 15 years.

Our Inspector - Jeff
Our Inspector – Jeff
Internachi certified
Internachi certified
Call us today...
Call us today…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 At Cris Insurance Inspections, we provide our esteemed clients with the facility of hiring Internachi Home Inspectors that have a certain edge over other Inspectors. Internachi Home Inspectors are basically trained professionals that are certified by the reputed International Institute of Certified Home Inspectors, the largest non-profit organization for commercial and residential Inspectors.

Most of the people shun the idea of hiring an Internachi Home Inspector fearing the high costs of their services which is nothing but a misconception. Yes, the cost of hiring an Internachi Inspector is a little more than hiring an ordinary one but is totally worth it, after all no ordinary Inspector has such wide knowledge and expertise as an Internachi Inspector which makes them worth every penny you spend hiring on them.

It is a world renowned fact that nearly 60% of certified Home Inspectors fail to make it to the Internachi Association certification due to its high standards and qualification requirements. Such stringent rules of certification make Internachi Inspectors far more superior than their ordinary Inspectors An Internachi Inspector hired from a reputed Home Inspection company like ours, ensures standardized Inspection of every nook and cranny of your property, followed by a recommendation report that highlights the repairs and maintenance work that can be undertaken by the owner, thereby ensuring complete satisfaction of the home owner and the concerned Insurance Company.

No matter if you are a home buyer, seller or a real estate agent, hiring an Internachi Inspector is bound to serve you with numerous benefits ranging from apt future predictions, repairing estimates and replacement tasks that have the capability of transforming even your ordinary property investment into a highly lucrative one. Hiring the services of an expert Home Inspector just like the ones certified by Internachi lets you take a sigh of relief and gives every owner a sense of contentment.

Whether or not you are investing a big or a small amount in your dream home, don’t forget to hire the best professionals in the field of Home Inspections.

Hire Internachi Home Inspectors from Cris Insurance Inspections the most trusted and reliable names in the field of all different kinds of Home Inspections.

jheffler_certificate (1)


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10 Important questions to ask the Palm Beach Home Inspector

Certified Internachi Inspector

Certified Internachi Inspector

 

 

1. Do you participate in Continuing Education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

 Yes, Florida Home Inspectors are required to have 14 CEU’S yearly. Some must be on certain topics such as: Roof Covering, HVAC.

 

2. Do you maintain a membership in a Professional Home Inspection Association? If so, which one?

There are several different association’s out there. 

 

3. When will I get my report from my Palm Beach Home Inspector?

The Inspector will fill out an Electronic form and it will be emailed to you and your agent. We try to do this within hours of the Inspection.  

 

4. What does the Inspection cover?

Depends on the Inspection. Check out OUR Inspections page and it will tell you about what the Inspection you need covers.

 

5. How long have you been doing  Home Inspections?

We have been doing Home Inspections for 16 years in South Florida.

 

6. Do you work for me, my agent or the Insurance Company?

You. You hire us to come and do the Inspection. We work for our client’s ONLY. We do follow all rules and regulations by the Insurance Company’s.

 

7. Are you Licensed, bonded and Insured?

Yes, I would never recommend using a Business who is not licensed, bonded and insured.

 

8. Do you preform the repairs?

No, we DO NOT preform any repairs. We may be able to help recommend a Business.

 

9. Will your Inspection meet recognized standards?

Yes, our Inspection goes above and beyond regular standards and even exceeds recognized standards.

 

10. Will I be able to attend the  Inspection?

Yes, we encourage you to be there. Sometimes, if something needs to be fixed or replaced it is easier to show you then try to explain it over the phone.

 

 

 

 

10 Important questions to ask the Palm Beach Home Inspector.


Recommended Links

Eaton Insurance
Phone (561) 966-1848
www.eatoninsurance.net

Furman Insurance
Phone (954) 943-5050
www.furmaninsurance.com

Real Estate Agent
Mark Baker
Phone 561-336-6333
www.buyingpalmbeachhomes.com