Cleaning up your home for spring is an excellent way to get together with family members to make your home a more hygienic, allergy–friendly, and clean place to live. Aside from polishing the furniture, organizing closets, dusting those hard–to–reach places, your heating and cooling systems also require your attention. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the summer months. For further information, get in touch with a professional.
- Replace your batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The first step to home safety is ensuring that your safety devices are in working order and that they are there to help you if and when you need them. Batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide should be replaced every six months. Inspect them at the end of winter.
- Change your AC filter. Air filtration is an important part of your cooling system. It prevents dust, pollen, dander and other allergenic particles from entering your home. It also protects the components of your central air system by preventing the build–up of dust and other materials on motors, compressors, coils and fans. Don’t know how? Give your local air conditioning expert a call.
- Schedule a heating and cooling maintenance plan. Ensuring the comfort level of your home is often as simple as scheduling routine maintenance with a heating and cooling professional. Not only will it help you to avoid any air conditioner breakdowns during the peak heat of the summer, but it will also give you some peace of mind, knowing that your indoor air is being handled by a team of professionals.
- Wash all of your windows. This is a chore, of course, but it makes all the difference when that first warm sun hits your home. Not only will the outdoors appear to be crystal clear, but you may also be able to look closely at any parts of your home that may be leaking air. Your heating and cooling systems are only as good as your home’s ability to keep its temperature. Washing the windows will not only make your home more attractive, but it will also give you a sense of your home’s energy–efficiency.
- Dust vents and fans. If there’s a thin layer of dust on the grilles of your home ductwork, it’s probably time to do something about it. Dust not only irritates the respiratory system, it can also create problems for your heating and cooling system. If you think dust is becoming a problem for your home, call a heating and cooling professional today.
An unlicensed contractor is someone who performs work without state certification. It can be dangerous and costly. Choosing a licensed contractor can keep give you the peace of mind that the work will be performed with quality in mind. After all, the licensed contractor seeks to further his good reputation. Happy customers means good business.
Every state has a different set of requirements for contractor eligibility, but they all share a few key components. Reviewing these will give you a sense of the legal process that licensed contractors must undergo to perform state–certified home improvement services.
- At least 18 years old with a high school diploma or equivalent education
- U.S. citizen or legal resident
- Other occupational license documentations must be shared
- Explanation of citations, violations or liens resulting from construction work
Additionally, many states require that applicants take a written examination in their field of practice. Applicants may have to prove that they are financially viable to properly operate a business, they have on–the–job experience, and may also be asked to supply letters of reference from previous employers, customers, and bankers.
If you’re unsure about your contractor, take heed of the following signs:
- Door–to–door solicitation with lofty claims of service.
- Feeling rushed: if you sense that your contractor is being aggressive or pushy.
- Some states make it a requirement that all certified contractors need to publish their license number on their vehicles, estimates and advertising. If your state requires this and you don’t see it, that may be a sign of evasion.
- If your contractor asks for the total fee upfront or a large percentage in advance.
If you suspect that your contractor is not exactly telling you the truth about his licensing, ask to see a physical copy, and feel free to contact your state licensing board to look up any available background information. The board is not only there to provide reference, but also to help you resolve disputes and conflicts between you and your contractor—if you negotiate with an unlicensed contractor, you are on your own.