Changing the furnace filter is an easy task that is often overlooked. Change your furnace filters every three months to prolong the life of your furnace and provide peak airflow (and heated air) to your house.
Most furnaces have an easily accessible access panel on the front of the plenum (air chamber). Slide open the panel and you should see the filters sitting inside the furnace. Carefully remove the filters and note the orientation of the airflow. It is important to place the new filters with the arrow pointing in the direction of the airflow for proper operation.
The filter on the left has been in the furnace for about three months. Lots of dirt, dust and debris on the filter medium. It has been doing it's job, but is starting to get clogged. You can see a clean and dirty filter side by side in the middle picture. The filter on the right is brand new and ready to be put in the furnace.
Buy the correct filter or filters and put them back in place. There will be an arrow on the filter indicating the direction the air needs to flow through the filter for it to work. Orient the filter in the correct direction and then close the access panel.
Make it easy for yourself the next time - put some reminders on the front of the furnace or plenum. I use a piece of blue tape to note the date that I changed the filter. Every time I change them, a new piece of tape goes up with the most current info. I also wrote the specs for the filters right on the front of the plenum, much easier to have that to reference when I'm ordering new filters.
It seems like an easy solution. Put this zinc strip on your roof one time and you never have to worry about moss accumulation again. Do these zinc strips actually work? If you read the marketing the answer is yes, but reality is a bit different.
Zinc strips do help prevent some moss, but they aren't totally effective. The theory is that you attach the zinc strip to the peak of the roof and use rainwater running over the strip carry particles of zinc down the roof to kill existing moss and prevent future growth.
The picture below shows a zinc strip in real life. It's been in place for a few years and rain run off has been carrying zinc down the roof. As you can see, the top of the roof is fairly clear of moss growth but only for a few feet of roof surface. The zinc can't get all the way down the roof and moss is still growing on the bottom 2/3 of the shingles.
So are they worth it? Probably not if you only put them at the peak of the roof. They only control moss for a short distance down the roof and don't prevent the need to clean the lower portion.
You could put a strip at the peak, a second strip about 1/3 down the roof and a third strip 2/3 down. This would probably do a better job of moss control but it is a bit unsightly and putting nails through the shingles to attach the strip can lead to other water damage.
I wouldn't recommend using zinc strips for moss control. The better option is a yearly cleaning of the roof with a broom and applying a moss control agent to the entire roof surface.
The picture above shows a common problem in the Northwest; moss growth and piles of pine needles on the roof. Our frequent rains and lack of sunny days lead to a lot of water on our roofs . If the roof is not kept clean of pine needles and other organic debris, water will stick around on top of the roof and eventually be a prime area for moss growth.
Moss loves these wet areas and likes to grow on top of and in between the roof shingles. The shingles are raised up by the moss which allows water to get underneath which will lead to damage of the roof sheathing. If you trap enough water next to the roof you will eventually get a leak.
The pictures above are the same area before and after cleaning. This corner of the roof had heavy moss growth from a few years of neglect. The tree branches that hang above this corner aren't helping. They provide shade and an extra source of water from dripping branches.
It just takes a few minutes of work with a push broom to get all the moss off the shingles. You do have to be a bit careful to avoid taking all the granules off the shingles. Moderate pressure with the broom is all that is needed. Too heavy of a push and you can damage the shingles.
DON'T USE A PRESSURE WASHER. Seems like it would be a lot easier but if you use a pressure washer you are guaranteed to damage the shingles and shorten the life of your roof.
You can't see it in the pictures but the last step is to sprinkle a moss preventer on the clean shingles. I like to use the shaker bottle of Moss Out. A 6 pound container will take care of most roofs. This should be repeated every year to maintain a moss free roof.
Water pressure between 40 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch) is considered normal in a residential setting. A home inspector will typically measure water pressure by screwing a pressure gauge to an outdoor hose bib (faucet) and opening the valve. The pressure reading in the picture below comes in at about 62 psi, right in the middle of the desired range.
This is a good reading to see - not too high and not too low. Goldilocks would like this house.
Water pressure above 80 psi can lead to problems. Some washing machine and water heater warranties may be voided if hooked up to a house with high pressure. Flexible supply lines for washers can actually burst with high enough pressure.
Water pressure below 40 psi can be a problem if multiple plumbing fixtures are operating at the same time. Lower pressure means lower water flow and potential inconvenience to someone taking a shower while someone else flushes a toilet.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.