Back in the 80’s, as newlyweds, we rented a house from my father-in-law. The house Hali grew up in. Like any house, this one needed periodic maintenance. I’m not talking about changing light bulbs, cleaning the dryer vent, greasing the garage door springs, things like that. No, I’m talking about installing toilets, water heaters, flooring, u-traps under the sink, things like that.
When something like that needed to be done, because he was in Chicago, Karl challenged me. His best advice for getting those bigger projects done was, “Practice your handyman, journeyman skills on my house”. And it paid off.
Over the years, as I became the go-to guy, I’ve replaced several water heaters, dozens of toilets, light fixtures, u-traps, doorknobs, light bulbs, and furnace filters.
Replacing your furnace filter on a regular basis is a simple chore every homeowner (and renter) should learn to do. Today, I’m showing Carli the simple DIY quarterly furnace service.
Recently, I was lucky enough to follow our home inspector around while he did his thing. I always learn something from home inspectors and this time it was about our heat pump which serves two purposes here in Florida. Unlike the furnaces I’ve had in the past, this unit heats AND cools our townhouse. It’s compact, efficient, fairly simple to service, and referred to as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning)
The HVAC is one one of the most expensive systems to replace in your house. The life of a furnace/AC unit is 15-20 years. You should treat it like you would treat your new car. Like a car, with proper maintenance you can extend its life and worry about replacement to the latter end of its lifespan or even longer.
The filter should be replaced, at a minimum, twice a year. If there are pets, if you suffer allergies, and if you live in Florida, I recommend changing it with the changing seasons: summer, tourist season, mosquito season, and summer. Get the multi-pack, they’ll run less than five bucks each. That’s money well spent. Write with a marker the date you changed it. Store them, right there, next to the furnace.
The next step, which should be done twice a year, is to clean the condensation line. Algae can build up and clog the line and vinegar will kill it. So, you simply remove this cap and pour about a half cup of white vinegar into the line, replace the cap, and the vinegar will kill any algae in the line.
This SIMPLE, five dollar, ten minute DIY service could have saved Carli her $350 security deposit back in her last rental house. AND that COULD have been money well spent.
AND today I gave Carli the same
lecture advise Karl gave me back when I was a renter, Practice your handyman skills on my house, it WILL pay off.