Archive for June, 2015

Getting Ready for Summer Grilling

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Outdoor grilling is a time-honored tradition enjoyed by families across America. However, grilling can cause damage to your home if your grill is not properly maintained or placed. An estimated 8,800 home fires are caused by outdoor grills each year, with the majority of incidents occurring between May and August. Knowing how to prepare your grill for a summer of safe, delicious meals can help you prevent a home fire that could cause injuries or result in fire damage to your property.

Placing Your Grill

The placement of your grill plays an important role in its safe use. Never use an outdoor grill inside your home, your garage, or inside a trailer or tent, regardless of whether the grill is gas-, wood-, or charcoal-burning. When choosing the perfect place for your grill, select an area that is well ventilated and stable—all of your grill’s legs or wheels should be firmly on the ground or deck to prevent tipping. Avoid placing your grill beneath areas with overhangs, as these can accumulate smoke and soot damage and trap hot smoke and cinders near your home. If you’ll be grilling on your deck or in your yard, consider using a grill mat to catch grease, cinders, and other debris; grill mats are flame resistant and can withstand high heat, preventing the ground or decking underneath your grill from catching on fire. Even if you’ll be grilling on a patio or paved walkway, a grill mat can still protect this area from unsightly stains. (more…)

Keeping Your Air Conditioner’s Drain Line Clear

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Air conditioning systems create moisture runoff as they remove heat and humidity from the air. In the case of central air conditioning, this runoff is funneled through a drain line to the exterior of your home. However, like any plumbing drain, this line is vulnerable to clogs. When clogs form, excess moisture can accumulate inside your air conditioner or in the area surrounding it, causing water damage to the appliance and your home. Standing water caused by moisture accumulation can also lead to mold growth, especially during the warm, humid months of the summer. Keeping your air conditioner’s drain line clear of dirt, debris, and mold will prevent water damage and the need for water restoration due to drain line clogs.

Change Your Furnace Filter Regularly

Your furnace filter screens out airborne particles, such as dust, pollen, and animal dander, every time air is drawn into your HVAC system. By screening out these particles, your filter prevents them from reaching the interior of your air conditioner, which also includes its drain and drain line. If you don’t use a furnace filter or leave your old filter in place long past its functional lifetime, your air conditioner becomes susceptible to greater dirt and dust buildup, which can in turn lead to clogs in its drain line. You should always use a furnace filter, regardless of the season, and replace your filter with a new one every 30-90 days. (more…)

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