Home ownership is a big investment for all of us.  Because it can be expensive, many of us put off repairs.  Some repairs, however, should not be ignored or delayed because they can lead to even more costly troubles in the future.

Below is a list of repairs you don’t want to ignore:

  • Dirty or missing a/c filter.  A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system.  The build-up of dust and dirt leads to expensive maintenance and/or premature system failure.
     
  • High utility bills.  High utility bills can result from a variety of reasons.  A major reason, however, is if you have not had your heating and/or cooling system serviced in a while.  Without regular maintenance your system will run inefficiently, resulting in higher bills.  Regular maintenance will help prevent expensive repairs and helps insure that your system is running at its most efficient.
     
  • Water Leaks.  Slow drips can add up quickly and can cause extensive damage to your home before it’s even noticed.  The EPA estimates that more than more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from homes nationwide each year.  That’s over 3,000 gallons for every person in the U.S. every year!  Fix leaks as soon as you can.
     
  • Flickering Lights.  The flickering lights in your house are your home's way of saying that you’ve got an electrical problem.  Consider yourself lucky that you're getting such a heads up.  Always hire a licensed electrician to evaluate your home and never try to solve the problem yourself. Electricity can be very dangerous.
     
  • Dryer vents.  Excess lint in your dryer and dryer venting builds up slowly and gradually – you don’t even realize its happening. A full load of wet clothes contains about a half gallon of water. Lint is created from the clothes as the water is removed during the drying process. This lint will build up in the crevices deep down inside the lint filter trap, and all along the dryer vent hose. When your lint filter becomes plugged, it restricts the outflow of heated air, which can cause your dryer to become overheated. As a result of this build up, your dryer is the # 1 source of fire in your home. Cleaning the lint filter after each load should be part of the regular maintenance on your dryer.
     
  • Flexible gas connectors.  If you detect any kind of gas leak in your home, immediately evacuate everyone, call 911 from cell phone or neighbor’s phone and then contact the gas company.   Think safety first and then call to get the problem fixed.
     
  • Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).  A GFCI is an outlet is designed to protect you from electrical shock.  If an appliance is working properly, all electricity that the appliance uses will flow from hot to neutral. A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral. If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. It is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one-thirtieth of a second.  You should periodically test and reset your GFCIs.  If they are not working correctly don’t wait to replace them.  This is a safety feature you can’t afford to ignore!

Sources:     www.energystar.gov
                   www.epa.gov
                   www.howstuffworks.com