Maintenance & Safety Products

The following products represent my daily maintenance and safety home inspection recommendations to home buyers. The furnace filter and humidifier evaporator pad replacement are maintenance DYI home owner responsibilities. The leak sensors and water shut off systems are good ideas to reduce the risk of property damage. Changing old or worn washer hoses is a must to reduce the risk of catastrophic washer hose leaks. Some are DYI and some would require a contractor. These good idea products are listed here for your convenience and are available for purchase from Amazon. If you have any specific questions you can contact me of course. Cheers! Rusty Layton

Furnace Filters

Heating and cooling consumes a big part of your utility bill. But it’s a small thing, the air filter, that keeps the entire system humming along. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, preventing the system from working like it’s supposed to and that can eventually lead to a breakdown. If you're getting low airflow, check the air filter—a clogged filter can cut airflow to a trickle. When allergen reduction is the primary goal, a high MERV is generally desirable. Filtrete Furnace Filters have impressive MERV ratings: The Ultra Allergen Reduction filters all have a MERV rating of 11. This is generally better than average and represents a bit below HEPA filtration. The AllergyZone Furnace Filter has a MERV of 12, which is effectively the last rung before HEPA grade filtration. When allergen reduction is the primary goal, a high MERV is generally desirable. Filtrete Furnace Filters have impressive MERV ratings: The Ultra Allergen Reduction filters all have a MERV rating of 11. This is generally better than average and represents a bit below HEPA filtration. The AllergyZone Furnace Filter has a MERV of 12, which is effectively the last rung before HEPA grade filtration.

HEPA Furnace Filters

A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is the top of the line in air filtration and removes more than 99% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger in size.

Smoke and CO Alarms

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends placement of at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home (including basements) and in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. A combination Smoke/CO Alarm makes it easy to provide both types of protection throughout the home. Industry experts recommend a CO alarm be installed on each level of the home - ideally on any level with fuel burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas. Therefore, a combination alarm can satisfy one of your smoke alarm location requirements as well as a carbon monoxide location.

Fire Extinguishers

An all-purpose extinguisher (one that combats both grease and electrical fires) should always be kept in the kitchen. You should also keep one in the garage, near your furnace, and anywhere else where something combustible could start a fire.

Reinforced Washer Hoses

The hoses that deliver hot and cold water to your clothes washer may not be something you think about very often, but failing washing machine hoses are responsible for $150 million yearly in flood damage. Most pros recommend replacing rubber hoses with stainless-steel braided hose. These cost between $10 and $20 and are reinforced with a twisted, flexible steel mesh.

Water Leak Alarms

The D-Link DCH-S160 Wi-Fi Water Sensor can deliver those alerts using just your existing Wi-Fi network and a nearby electrical outlet. It even includes an audible alarm and an extension cord to let you monitor some of those hard-to-reach places. The Fibaro Flood Sensor is a strong performer that works with Z-Wave and a smart-home hub. It’s small, with a built-in audible alarm, a temperature sensor, and a tamper alarm.

Humidifier Evaporator Pads

A humidifier works to maintain humidity levels of air moisture. Proper humidity levels are important for comfort as well as protecting wood furniture and flooring. It also helps to reduce skin problems and breathing related problems. A humidifier pad (also known as a water panel) is the medium through which your home's air picks up moisture in order to increase indoor humidity levels during the heating season and should be changed annually.

Washing Machine Leak Shut Off

Shutoff valves can save you from the nightmare of repairs due to water damage, and will save you money by preventing that water damage. The Watts IntelliFlow™ Automatic Washing Machine Water Shutoff Valves with Leak Sensor are used in residential applications to protect against potentially catastrophic water damage due to a burst inlet hose connected to a washing machine - whether in use or unattended.

Flood Stop Systems

FloodStop™ point-of-use water detection devices are an innovative and inexpensive way to help protect you and your home against costly water damage caused by a renegade appliance or exhausted pipe. Install one on your washing machine, water heater, refrigerator, icemaker or other common household water fixture.