Category: Major Systems

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Solved! How Often to Change a Furnace Filter

Solved! How Often to Change a Furnace Filter

Several factors should be considered when deciding how often to change a furnace filter. Start with this guide for replacements.

9 Furnace Troubleshooting Tips from the Pros

9 Furnace Troubleshooting Tips from the Pros

The next time your gas furnace stops pumping out heat, use this handy checklist to do some furnace troubleshooting on your own-before calling in the pros.

The Right Way to Light a Fireplace

The Right Way to Light a Fireplace

Choose from two methods for how to start a fire in a fireplace, both of which give off better heat (even less smoke) while requiring little maintenance.

How to Know If You're Dealing with Lead Pipes-and What to Do About Them

How to Know If You're Dealing with Lead Pipes-and What to Do About Them

Most homes built before 1986 have lead pipes or lead solder in the plumbing, and millions still have lead service lines. Here's what homeowners should know.

Solved! How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater and Prevent Future Woes

Solved! How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater and Prevent Future Woes

Q: Help! My hot water heater is leaking. After mopping up, I see more water starting to puddle but I can't tell where it's coming from. Do I need to call a plumber, or is it possible for me to fix the leaking water heater myself? A: Water heaters can leak due to a number of problems,…

Solved! Why Is My Electric Bill So High?

Solved! Why Is My Electric Bill So High?

Learn the estimated costs of running various appliances and find out what could be going on in your home that's causing your electric bill to jump so high.

5 Fireplace Maintenance Tasks to Complete Every Fall

5 Fireplace Maintenance Tasks to Complete Every Fall

Use our fireplace maintenance tips to diagnose hearth and chimney problems before they get big, expensive, and potentially dangerous.

Change Filters Frequently to Optimize Furnace Efficiency

Change Filters Frequently to Optimize Furnace Efficiency

Changing a furnace filter is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to maximize the efficiency of your heating system-and to help purify your home's air.

5 Important Reasons to Schedule a Chimney Inspection ASAP

5 Important Reasons to Schedule a Chimney Inspection ASAP

Learn how a chimney inspection with a certified professional can help avert serious problems, keep your venting system operating efficiently, and more.

Solved! How to Tell If You Have Hard Water

Solved! How to Tell If You Have Hard Water

Have you seen the signs of hard water at home? Learn when you should take a hard water test and what steps you can take to alleviate the problem.

The Best Electric Fireplaces for an Instantly Cozy Room

The Best Electric Fireplaces for an Instantly Cozy Room

Bring the warmth and beauty of crackling flames to your home the easy way with one of the best electric fireplace options on the market.

Solved! What Causes Power Outages

Solved! What Causes Power Outages

Q: Last night, the power went out and, luckily, came back on only an hour later-soon enough for the food in the fridge to stay fresh. What causes power outages like this one? Is there anything we should do to ensure it doesn't happen again? A: An outage, or “blackout,” occurs when something interrupts the flow of…

5 Types of Plumbing Pipes You'll Find in Homes

5 Types of Plumbing Pipes You'll Find in Homes

An expert identifies the typical uses for each type of plumbing pipes and explains why some are better suited than others for specific plumbing projects.

Solved! The Recommended Humidity Level at Home

Solved! The Recommended Humidity Level at Home

Learn how to maintain the ideal humidity level at home to protect your family's health and comfort, as well as the structural integrity of your house.

Can a Whole-House Fan Keep Your Whole Family Cool?

Can a Whole-House Fan Keep Your Whole Family Cool?

Summer tests your ability to keep your cool-both literally as you cope with the heat and figuratively as you fume over the spike in your energy bills. With energy costs rising, running an AC unit around the clock can be a pricey proposition. This makes some folks wonder whether installing an energy-efficient whole-house fan could…

The Speediest Way to Cut Your Summer Energy Bills

The Speediest Way to Cut Your Summer Energy Bills

When you're trying to maintain a comfortably cool indoor temperature in the summer, your energy bills tend to rise with the mercury. Indeed, a small seasonal spike is inevitable when you're using a system that runs only when it's hot out. But you may unintentionally be driving up your energy costs. Uninsulated areas, such as bonus rooms, basements, and crawl…

PEX vs. Copper: Which Pipes are Right for My Home?

PEX vs. Copper: Which Pipes are Right for My Home?

This cheat sheet on PEX vs. copper outlines the 6 big differences between the two materials so you can make an educated decision for your plumbing project.

The Best Portable Air Conditioners for Any Small Window

The Best Portable Air Conditioners for Any Small Window

Though they're bulky and less efficient than window AC units, the best portable air conditioner can still get the job done. Here's how to choose wisely.

Amp Up Your Home Security with This (Affordable) No-Frills Device

Amp Up Your Home Security with This (Affordable) No-Frills Device

I absolutely love tech gadgets for our home. Most recently, I set up a super simple security/notification system, the Guardline Wireless Driveway Alarm to watch over several areas around the house and to let us know if someone was on the property. In case you're unfamiliar, driveway alarms are notification devices designed to detect people or…

The Best Ceiling Fans for Every Space

The Best Ceiling Fans for Every Space

Learn how to choose the best ceiling fans for any room in the house, and find out why we recommend five top-rated fans for the most common scenarios.