Jay Myhand – Realtor® | Monthly News Letter | July 2017
Buy or Sell First?
The classic dilemma for many homeowners is whether to buy or sell first. There is no “right” answer. It depends on your specific circumstances as well as current market conditions.
“It depends on your specific circumstances as well as current market conditions.”
Most homeowners believe that it’s more prudent and less stressful if you sell your existing home before you buy a new one. You can often get top dollar for your home if you are not under pressure to sell. And you’re in a better position to negotiate when buying a home. If you have to make an offer contingent on the sale of your home, you often lose negotiating leverage.
The risk of selling first is that you’ll be under pressure to buy a new home before closing. In a competitive real estate market, the period between going under contract and closing may not be a realistic time frame for you to find your dream home.
If you currently own a home, we should talk as soon as possible on what will be best for you in today’s market place. Give me a call today.
Safety Tips for the Summertime Grill Master
Summer is the season for grilling. However, an average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis, or barbecues occur each year in the United States. In 2014, 16,600 patients went to emergency rooms due to injuries involving grills, and 1,600 children under age five suffered thermal burns, caused by touching a hot surface. Safety aside, grilling-related fires cause about $118 million in property damage each year.
Clearly, it’s important to keep safety in the forefront when enjoying all that your grill has to offer.
Here are a few common sense reminders on keeping your family and your home safe:
- Keep the grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Remove grease or fat buildup from the grill and in trays below the grill.
- Never leave your grill unattended, and keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill at all times.
- Always make sure the lid of a gas grill is open before lighting.
- If using starter fluid for a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid, and never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
- If your charcoal grill has an electric starter, use an extension cord.
- When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely, then dispose in a metal container.
Tips compliments of www.insurance.pa.gov and the National Fire Protection Association.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
Summertime can be the best time of the year – vacations, more time with family and friends, longer days and warmer temperatures. But along with those warmer temperatures comes the problem of how to keep comfortable and cool when the mercury rises. Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions of the last century, but unless proper maintenance is performed, it can cause more headaches (and expense) than cool afternoons.
What follows is a list of maintenance procedures to follow to ensure a steady flow of refreshing air this summer.
- Have a professional come out and check out your system periodically. Ask for tips on how to troubleshoot between visits. Become familiar with your operating manual.
- If your central air unit is equipped with a sight glass, check the refrigerant level and make sure there are no bubbles. If there is no sight glass, inspect the low-pressure refrigerant line for frost. If the refrigerant is low, there may be a leak which will need to be sealed.
- Cleanse the condensing unit pan of bugs, leaves and dirt with a hose. See the operating manual to locate it.
- Oil the blower motor and fan on both the condensing and the evaporation units annually. Again, your operating manual will describe how to do this and what type of oil to use.
- Check the tension on the condensing and evaporation unit blower fan belts each spring. If the belts have more than an inch of give, they will need to be adjusted. Consult your installation manual.
- Inspect the blower ducts and joints for leaks and insulation slippage annually. Rejoin leaking ducts with duct tape and reposition insulation.
- Clean or replace air filters in both window (monthly) and central units (quarterly).
- Clean window units, particularly the evaporation coil and fan blades. Oil the blower motor and the fan. Consult the installation manual. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding winter storage.
- Check the joint between the window frame and the unit to be sure it is properly caulked and weather-stripped annually.
- Inspect the blower motor fan blade for mold and/or mildew. If heavy buildup is present call your A/C contractor for treatment and removal. If it’s only moderate to light buildup, there are safe and effective chemical disinfectants that kill existing organisms and control new growth by spraying them into the filter intake.
- If the coil has mold or mildew it also should be treated. Make sure that the face of the coil is clean so that air can pass through freely. The coil can easily become clogged when the filter is not changed regularly. To clean the coil, spray with “Blast-A-Coil” cleaner (available at hardware stores). Clean with a wire brush in the direction of the coil fins, then remove loosened debris with a vacuum hose.
- In addition to mold and mildew, algae can build up in the condensation drain pan and drain line, causing sometimes substantial water spills which can cause damage to the system’s controls and to the house’s structure. To kill and control algae, mildew and mold in your condensation drain pan and drain line you can place “Algae Strips” (also available at hardware stores) in the condensation pan.
- Monitor your system by installing a thermometer in the supply duct and checking the temperature every two weeks. The supply duct temperature should be 17 to 22 degrees cooler than the inside air.
Help your air conditioning to work at its maximum efficiency by utilizing the following tips:
- Set your a/c fan speed on high except in when it’s humid. In humid weather, set it on low, which maximizes cooling, and the slower air movement through the cooling equipment allows it to remove more moisture from the air.
- Whole-house attic fans cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and expelling warm air out through the attic. These are most effective when operated at night and when the outside air is cooler than the inside.
- Don’t crank your thermostat as low as it can go when you turn on your air conditioner. It won’t cool your house any faster and the result is higher cooling bills.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Don’t place lamps, TVs or other electronic equipment near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Use an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to distribute cooled air more effectively through your home without a substantial increase in your power use.
- Use plants to shade air-conditioning units but make sure the airflow isn’t blocked. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10 percent less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
June 2017 Newsletter Topics: Homeownership Rates, 4 things burglars don’t want you to know, Home Warranties, Home Inspections
Better Homes and Gardens® is a trademark mark owned by Meredith Corporation and licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.