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5 Home Improvements to Make This Season

This season, while the weather is still warm and severe winter weather is still months away, consider making a few adjustments to your home that will not only increase the resale value of your house, but create a more comfortable environment—both indoors and out. Check out these five seasonal home improvements you can make starting today.

1. Gutter Cleaning

There is no better time to get a jump start on cleaning your gutters. At the end of summer, leaves begin to drop and winds tend to kick up debris that gets caught in your gutter system. Before it gets out of hand during Autumn, give your gutters a good once over. This job will be simple to accomplish and will make the dreaded post-Autumn gutter cleaning so much easier.

To clean your gutters, you can either DIY, or hire a professional to take care of it for you. Either way, having clean gutters at the end of summer is a smart way to ensure better gutter functioning during the fall and winter seasons.

2. Roof Repair or Replacement

Roof problems are best dealt with BEFORE the extreme weather of winter sets in. It’s also more likely that you can get “end-of-summer” specials with roofing companies to save you on repair or replacement costs. If your roof is rather new, chances are likely that you won’t need much work done to get it back into tip-top shape; and, tackling small issues with our roof sooner rather than later can prevent big problems down the road.

3. New Entry Door

A new entry door is a simple and relatively affordable improvement that is wise to make before cooler weather sets in. Not only will a new door protect you and insulate your home from outside elements, such as wind, rain, and snow, it can also help increase your home’s resale value. Steel doors, which are a touch more expensive than wood or fiberglass doors, usually gain a return on investment over 100%…and last quite a long time, which is a great reason to replace yours this season. Check for end of summer sales on entry way doors at home improvement stores and online!

4. New Windows

If your windows are old and worn, you’re not doing yourself any favors in regards to energy efficiency and comfort. If you are having issues with your windows, or notice that they have cracks or condensation, consider replacing the windows as you can, or even all at once if it is within your budget.

5. New Siding

If your home has old siding, the end of the summer is a great time to have it replaced. Damaged siding can be ineffective at protecting against winter weather, and this could cause major problems for the structure of your home. Consult with a professional siding or home exterior expert to understand the very best options available for you and your budget.

Find Peace of Mind with a Maintenance Plan

One very easy, and very affordable improvement you can make this season is to change your HVAC system’s air filter. These filters can be purchased at practically any home improvement or handyman store; just be sure to check the dimensions on your current filter so you purchase the correct size.

If it’s been awhile since you have had your HVAC system serviced, and you live in the Manassas area you’ll want to have that done as well. If you’re looking for expert technicians you can trust to do the job, call Fire and Ice! We offer preventative maintenance plans to make keeping up with HVAC maintenance simple and stress free.

Read This Before You Try an HVAC Hack

There are a lot of videos out there explaining how to do “simple” DIY hacks to your home’s HVAC system, including how-to fix furnaces and air conditioning units. However, you may want to hold off on any home improvement projects and read this first.

Why HVAC Hacks Might Not Be Worth It

There are several reasons why you should avoid trying an HVAC hack, and these three are probably the most important:

You could break what you’re trying to fix.

This is very significant reason to avoid DIY HVAC hacks. You may go into a project thinking you’ll save a couple hundred dollars, only to realize that your handiwork has cost you thousands. If you are not a trained HVAC repair professional, we recommend staying away from fixes that go beyond changing your air filter. You could cause damage to your HVAC system inadvertently, or worse: break the entire unit. The cost of a full HVAC system replacement is just not worth the small amount of savings that the DIY promises.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that all HVAC units aren’t the same. Many videos online explain how to repair a specific type of unit. Variations in brands, year made, and unit sizes mean there are a plethora of HVAC systems out there and they all require their own unique repair and maintenance. Instead of leaving it to chance, leave it to a pro.

It’s dangerous.

You know how your HVAC system is powered by high voltage electricity? Yep, you don’t want to mess with that. Electrical safety is really important: switches, fixed wiring, outlets, and receptacles are responsible for approximately half of all fires caused by electrical equipment—and the cause of most fire related deaths and injuries in the United States.

Unless you’re very well experienced with electricity, you should steer clear of messing with any appliances that require high voltage electricity. Even if your unit is unplugged, a charge can remain in the unit’s capacitor, which could cause quite a shock. When working with high voltage electricity, one wrong decision or accidental move could cause serious injury or death… and that’s simply not worth the small savings of DIY.

You’re probably not equipped for the task.

Not only do HVAC professionals have appropriate training and experience fixing HVAC systems, they also have the proper tools. This is a pretty noteworthy thing to keep in mind if you’re considering taking on an HVAC hack of your own. For proper HVAC diagnostics and repair, you’ll need several specific types of tools and gauges. These types of tools can be quite pricey, and may cost more than a simple service call would. Unless you plan to go into HVAC repair yourself, purchasing these tools may not be the wisest investment. Instead, save yourself the trouble and opt for a professional when your HVAC system needs repair.

As a homeowner, you know that HVAC systems don’t come cheap. So, protect your investment, and call in a professional when your system needs repair. We’re here to help! Call us at 703-496-5527

DIY Is Great for Crafts, But Not Your HVAC System

Some DIY projects are perfectly handled by homeowners with various levels of experience, but repairs are best left to professionals. Repairs to air conditioners and furnaces are some projects best left to the experts. Attempting to fix problems with such complicated equipment may result in further expensive damages to the machinery

Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Furnace Repairs

While furnaces are not as complicated as air conditioning units, they are more dangerous. Leaving the repair of these pieces of HVAC equipment to professionals is highly recommended because:

  • Repairs will take less time. A broken furnace in the middle of winter can be a serious hazard. Fixing a furnace should be done as quickly as possible, and an expert technician can finish repairs much more efficiently than a DIY homeowner.
  • The HVAC system will be better protected. If a homeowner makes a simple mistake while trying to fix his or her furnace, it may end up being damaged beyond what any repairs can fix. Repair attempts made by a homeowner will also normally void any warranty on the furnace, whereas repairs by a technician will not.
  • Your home will be safer. A furnace is one device in your home which puts out carbon monoxide: an odorless, colorless, potentially dangerous gas. When properly maintained by a professional, furnaces only emit low levels of this gas and most of that is properly vented outside the home, keeping the people inside safe. If homeowners make improper changes to the furnace, however, they may result in a buildup of the dangerous gas that can cause numerous health issues and even death.

Why Homeowners Should Trust Air Conditioner Repair to a Technician

While air conditioners are not as hazardous to work on, they can still be dangerous to repair and are very complicated. Homeowners can tackle some aspects of A/C maintenance, such as replacing air filters, but other tasks need to be left to HVAC professionals. Benefits of leaving A/C repairs and complicated maintenance tasks to technicians include:

  • Access to the best equipment. If a part is broken in an air conditioner, technicians have access to a wider range of replacement parts and will know better which part is a proper choice for the system.
  • More thorough diagnoses. A technician can not only solve one problem in an air conditioning unit but can also find others. Their diagnosis will consist of things a homeowner might not think of or is unable to do, such as checking the charge on the refrigerants.
  • Increased safety of repairs. One of the most common injuries related to A/C units is electrical shock. A professional will know better how to keep themselves safe from this and other dangers than a homeowner.

Although homeowners can easily do some DIY projects involving HVAC systems, there are problems that require a professional’s skills and should never be attempted by anyone else. For the safety of themselves and their families, homeowners should call a technician to repair their furnace or A/C unit.

If you are experiencing issues with your HVAC system or need to schedule routine maintenance, you can trust the HVAC experts at Fire and Ice to help keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. Contact us today for more information.