Know How Your Home Systems Work

  • January 2014
  • Posted By JohnnyG

Remember the fire drill days in school? Most of us considered those a welcomed break to the mundane hours spent over a book or exercise sheet. Yet, there was indeed a very real reason for practicing the escape routes and the proper behaviors. While most people are familiar with the fire drills at schools or even work places, not very many of us think about implementing a similar habit into our own homes. And I do not only mean practicing fire drill per se, although that is definitely a worthwhile idea, especially if you have young children in the house.

While fire may be the most feared and obvious danger inside our homes, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that there aren’t any other serious emergencies that can spoil a good day or evening. It used to be common that before acquiring a driver’s license, a person had to master at least the basics in auto maintenance. This ensured a certain level of self-sufficiency on the road. The same was true for home-owners. The man of the house used to be typically quite handy around the basic home operations, such as stoves, electric wiring, or the yard work, etc.

As a society, we are moving more and more away from self-sufficiency, as we are able to afford more professional services to help us out with our maintenance needs. This is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but it is still wise for any home owner to acquaintance themselves with their home systems’ ins and outs. Especially considering even the fact that a lot of people don’t know how furnace or ac work.

Here are a few steps to get you started:

1. Get organized

How many times have you bumped into a simple tool – such a screwdriver – wondering what is it doing in your way again, only to be madly searching for it everywhere when you actually needed it? It happens all the time. The first step into more manageable and safer home is getting organized. Designate a specific area for tools and stick with the plan. Label drawers and organize your tools based on the kind of work they assist you with or the frequency of use.

Keep a “directions drawer” in the house. That is the place where you will put all the manuals for all the electronic and other equipment in your home. Alphabetical filing is a great idea, especially if your stack of manuals seems to be growing ever so wildly.

Finally, create a laminated list of emergency numbers to professional services for all your home equipment. Of course, the chances are you will never need most of them, but it is definitely a handy thing to have, when at 11 pm the lights go out in your house, while the rest of the neighborhood remains happily lit up.

2. Have an emergency plan

Knowing exactly what to do, when an emergency or break-down occur in the house is one of the great home-owners virtues, yet there are so many of us that lack in that aspect. The honorary members of this “clueless group” may be the ones, who make the news by calling 911 when their chicken nuggets aren’t hot enough. But joking aside, many of us may find ourselves equally oblivious, when the spark goes out in our furnaces.

Have the most technically savvy person in the household, or even a friend, create a few simple step-by-step guides of what to do and how to do it, when… Think how many times a water tap breaks off and the man of the house is scrambling to minimize the damage in the kitchen with buckets and towels instead of immediately heading for the main water line shut-off valve.

Remember, to use your local professionals to their best potential as well. While most of us only call the “fix-it squad” when something is actually inconveniently broken; it is a better idea to use the help of your local handymen with periodically maintenance as well. Also, a good and honest professional team, such as the Upper Marlboro Hvac, will always be willing to show you how things work and train you to use them properly.


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