House Hacking Project: Semi-Yearly Maintenance
The dreaded daylight savings time change will be upon us, and it is that time of year to get caught up on a few easy chores around the house. First on our list is replacing all of the batteries in our smoke detectors. We neglected this for a few years, thinking the detectors would warn us with a low power chirp. They didn’t. At 1 Am on a weeknight, all 8 alarms sounded off. It took getting dressed, hauling a ladder around the house, and removing the detectors one by one from the ceiling. Not fun!
This task gets overlooked. We know because we have been there. The only bugger about this is having enough 9volt batteries on hand. Once that part is handled, it is time to get the ladder out of the garage and start going around the house.
A quick turn releases the detector. Ours are hardwired and interconnected as well, so you have to disconnect the harness to service the battery.
You can pop the cover open, and release the battery with the handy strap. Make sure when you put the new battery in, the tamper lever and polarity are in the correct orientation. Close the cover, reconnect the harness and move on to the next one.
While you have the ladder out, it wouldn’t hurt to check your air filters if they are overhead. Some of the more efficient types say they are only effective for 90 days. We change them at least twice a year, more in smoky conditions. Make sure to buy the appropriate size and filter quality for your application.
Hard to get a good shot of the intake, but it is completely dust free! The neat thing about having the filter at the intake of the system is that virtually all dust is prevented from entering the HVAC system. Even after seven years of use, we wont need any duct cleaning any time soon.
Old versus new: they do get dirty. The new filter is put in place and vent cover is secured. If your filter has any metal bracing in the media, be careful. It is razor sharp, one thing I learned while opening the packaging one year 🙁