Residential Air-Conditioning System Inspection

by Nick Gromicko, CMI® from InterNACHI A building’s central air-conditioning system must be periodically inspected and maintained in order to function properly. While an annual inspection performed by a trained professional is recommended, homeowners can do a lot of the work themselves by following the tips offered in this guide. Clean the Exterior Condenser Unit and […]

Polarity? What’s That?

Polarity? What’s That? You just had your new home inspected, and the inspector found “reversed polarity” at several electrical outlets some amateur had added. You know you need to fix this, but what is that reversed polarity stuff? Electricity flows through wires like water through a hose. Pressure pushes water through a hose; energy pushes […]

What’s Your Outlet IQ?

What’s Your Electrical Outlet IQ? Remember that home inspection you arranged before purchasing your home? The inspector tested electrical outlets and talked about correcting problems. You purchased the home but not have gotten around to correcting the outlet problems. You can perform some basic testing with a simple outlet tester as pictured here. Most have […]

Can Lights? Make Them Green

Can Lights – Make Them Green & Energy Efficient Can lights or recessed ceiling lights are a standard design feature in modern residential construction. They are also common in older custom-built homes. They provide a unique lighting pattern without the glare of a fixture, but they may also waste energy. You have several options when […]

Power Out? How To Free Your Car from the Garage

An automatic garage door operator is great. But when the power goes out, and the overhead door is down, your car is trapped inside. How do you get it out? Take a look at the garage door operator on the ceiling. It connects to the top of the garage door via a metal bar. On […]

Tricks for Replacing a Broken Light Bulb

Light bulbs in exterior fixtures and damp locations like bathrooms are notorious for sticking in the socket. Turning the dead bulb to replace it, you hear the crunch of breaking glass – yuck! A new and messy fix-it job. To prevent a bulb from sticking in the first place, lubricate its round metal threads with […]

What’s Your Home’s Largest Energy-Waster?

We all work hard at tightening up our homes to save energy and money. In fact, most energy improvements are good for the environment and also make our homes more comfortable. One of the biggest energy-wasters is the trap door to the attic. In many cases there is no weatherstripping or insulation around it. Warm […]

Use the Right Plug…or Else

Electrical plugs and outlets are designed to keep you safe from electrical shock and to protect the device you’re using. Take advantage of this by making sure you match the plug with the correct electrical outlet. Once upon a time, you could insert a two-prong plug the wrong way into a wall outlet, resulting in […]

Compact Fluorescents

OK, for many years compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) were a bit of a pain. They provided an eerie color, took a long time to reach full brightness, never worked outdoors in cold weather, and failed early. Most of those problems have been solved in the last 20 years. Now it’s hard to resist these lamps, […]

GFCI? What? Why?

You may not know what a GFCI is, but chances are it’s making your home safer. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) measures the current flowing through a circuit. It looks simple, but it’s a complex electronic device. Electricity flows like water through a circuit. The GFCI measures this flow; if the device is operating […]