Owning, or even sometimes renting, a home in Birmingham, AL, requires general maintenance to keep your investment in working order. It’s really all about being prepared. Per Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Maintaining your home’s systems and appliances wards off emergency situations and costly repairs while extending your equipment’s life. Take the time and money to perform general maintenance on a regular basis. Many of the maintenance services require the knowledge, skills, and tools of a professional. During the maintenance or service call, our technician will make any necessary repairs and/or alert you of a possible situation. Call Western Sales and Services to assist you in maintaining any of the following or to answer any questions you may have:
Furnace and Boiler Maintenance
For furnaces and boilers, an annual service tune-up and cleaning is recommended, usually performed in the fall. The purpose is to keep your system running at top efficiency throughout the season, i.e., to keep you having heat when you need it. Our technician will check and clean (depending on whether you have a furnace or boiler) all the connections, controls, sensors, drains, ignitor, ducts, pipes, burners, valves, motors, thermostat(s), and smoke/carbon-monoxide detectors, and instruct you on anything you could do between our service visits. As a rule of thumb, furnace filters need to be changed every three months or as needed, which is something you can do yourself with the correct filters.
Air Conditioner Maintenance
For air conditioners, an annual service tune-up and cleaning is recommended, usually performed in the spring. Our professional technician will check and clean the connections, coils, blower components, lines, refrigerant, drain, fuses, and thermostat(s), as well as lubricate all working parts. Maintenance you can do yourself between service visits is to remove any yard debris or vegetation from the top and sides of your outdoor air conditioner unit, as well as to keep it covered with an air conditioner cover or tarp in the winter.
Heat Pump Maintenance
For heat pumps, an annual service tune-up and cleaning is recommended, usually performed in the fall, same as furnaces and boilers. Our professional technician will check and clean ducts, filters, blower, indoor coil, ducts, refrigerant, electric terminals, connections, motors, and belts, as well as lubricate all working parts. Be sure to change or clean the filter every three months or as needed. You can also clean the outdoor coils whenever they seem dirty, and keep yard debris and vegetation away from the unit.
Whole-House Humidifier Maintenance
For whole-house humidifiers, an annual service tune-up and cleaning is recommended, usually performed at the same time as your furnace tune-up and cleaning. Our professionals include this maintenance along with the furnace appointment. Typically there isn’t much in the way of maintenance; however, our technician will change your humidifier pad and clean any mineral buildup you may have (in the case of hard water). Ask our technician to show you how to dissolve the buildup on your own every few months to keep your humidifier working at top efficiency.
Air-Filtration System Maintenance
For air-filtration systems, regular maintenance is something your can perform on your own. Maintenance on an air-filtration system usually just means changing or cleaning the filter every three to nine months. But you should check with the manufacturer’s specific recommendations. Changing or cleaning your filter on a regular basis will ensure the best filtration for your home as well as extend the life of the system. If you need any assistance or would like to install an air-filtration system, feel free to talk with one of our professionals at Western Sales and Services.
General Plumbing Maintenance
For the plumbing in your home, an annual plumbing inspection is recommended. Our professional plumber will check the plumbing and equipment in your home, letting you know if there’s anything to repair or replace, and to alert you about possible impending issues. A plumbing inspection typically will include the inspection of your water heater, water softener, inside/outside faucets, sinks, pipes, garbage disposal, toilets, sump pump and its discharge line (backup pump, if you have one), well tank or city water supply and meter, shut-off valves, and waste stacks. This inspection will usually ward off any plumbing emergencies during the year by giving you an accurate assessment of the plumbing’s condition in your home.
Water Heater Maintenance
For water heaters, an annual inspection and service is recommended, usually included in your annual plumbing inspection (any required service would be separate). Either have one of our professional plumbers perform the required maintenance, especially if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, or do it yourself. To keep your water heater running efficiently, you want to check the pressure valve, check the anode rod, flush the tank (due to sediment buildup), adjust the temperature (if needed), and insulate the pipes and tank (if needed). Once again, one of our professional plumbers can easily do this service for you to help in extending the life of your water heater.
Water Softener Maintenance
For water softeners, an annual inspection is recommended, usually included in your annual plumbing inspection (any required service would be separate). Typically, water softeners require minimal maintenance; however, if you notice a change in your water quality, your softener could require service sooner. Most water softeners just require the addition of the right kind of salt as maintenance, usually on a quarterly basis, by you or a professional. If you notice a change in your water, ask one of our plumbers to inspect your unit and take a water sample.
Sump Pump Maintenance
For sump pumps, an annual inspection is recommended (start of spring is best), usually included in your annual plumbing inspection. Our professional plumber will check the sump pump pit for debris that could interfere with its operation. The plumber will also unplug the pump and take a look at its intake, impeller, and air bleed or weep hole. The float valve will be checked by dumping about five gallons of water into the pit. If you’re in an especially flood-prone area of Birmingham, AL, our plumber may recommend a backup sump pump, which can save your home from flooding during power outages.
Whole-House Generator Maintenance
For generators, different aspects of the generator require monthly, biannual, or annual inspection and service, but service is typically contingent on engine hours and/or time periods used. The more hours your unit is used, the more frequently it should be serviced. Our certified professionals are happy to perform these services for you. When inspected and serviced properly, your generator could conceivably last 20 to 30 years.
Monthly it’s recommended for you to visually inspect your unit, clean the unit in a general sense, and check the oil and coolant levels and battery charger.
Biannually it’s recommended to have our professional technician inspect and service your generator’s enclosure, belts, cables, connections, oil, hoses, exhaust system, muffler, battery and accessories, air clean units, piping, wiring, control panel, and accessories.
Annually it’s recommended to have our professional technician inspect and service oil (change), filters (change), spark plugs, coolant, crankcase breather, cooling system, and for diesel-fueled units only, fuel (test) and reconditioning.
Gas Fireplace Maintenance
For gas fireplaces, an annual inspection and service is recommended, usually performed in the fall. Dust, dirt, and insects can clog and infect your orifices and burner ports, affecting your unit’s ability to burn. Also, parts wear out allowing dangerous carbon monoxide to leak into your home. Having your fireplace inspected and cleaned on an annual basis will ensure years of beautiful and warm fires when you want them.
During the inspection and service, our professional technician will check and clean the inside combustion chamber, pilot, burners, logs, safety switches, glass doors or lens, wiring, and gas valve. On a monthly basis, you could inspect and service your fireplace by cleaning the glass doors and checking their bolts for door stability, check the glass-door or exterior gasket for cracks or missing pieces, and check the outside vent for debris/dirt and for tears or damage to the vent kit.
At Western Sales and Services, we’re here to to assist you in maintaining your home’s systems or to answer any of your questions about maintenance. Keeping your equipment in good working order allows you peace of mind to know they’ll be there when you need them. It also makes good financial sense to keep equipment serviced to help extend their life spans. Here in Birmingham, AL, call us at 205-787-8674 to make an appointment now.