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        How Long Does an  Air Conditioner Last in Florida?

        air conditioner

        air conditioner

        How Long Does an  Air Conditioner Last?

        When working out how long your air conditioner will last,  remember that averages are just that – averages.

        I have seen air conditioners still running at 27 years old and I have seem them fail at  less than 2 years.  Of course, these are the exceptions and you can generally expect an air conditioner to last anywhere from 10 – 17 years.  There are a number of factors that determine how long a unit will last and the 2 main factors are how hard it works and how well it is looked after.  If you set your thermostat at 68 degrees, your a.c. will obviously wear out sooner than if you keep your thermostat at 75 degrees.  A timer can be helpful so that the temperature is turned up to 78 while you are at work.

        The most important part of looking after an air conditioner is to change the filter regularly so that the coils stay clean, helping the a.c. work at maximum efficiency. Check your filter every month and change it when it is dirty.  You should also have it serviced at least once a year.

        What is a GFCI Outlet and Do I Need to Install Them?

        GFCI outlet

        GFCI  outlets and breakers save lives by limiting the duration of electrical shocks. How is it different from a circuit breaker? Circuit breakers  and GFCI outlets both interrupt the circuit current but a GFCI is more sensitive and smarter as a circuit breaker will work only when the current is over its capacity  (due to an overload or short circuit).  Some key dates:

        1971: First introduced and required to be used within 15 feet of a swimming pool and on portable pool equipment.

        1973: Outdoor receptacles must be GFCI protected.

        1975: Bathrooms & 120-volt pool lights required to have GFCI protection.

        1978: Garages and spa tubs required to have GFCI protection.

        1984: Distance from swimming pools extended to 20 feet.

        1987: Required on kitchen countertops within 6 feet of the sink.

        1996: Required on ALL kitchen countertops.

        Q. Does every home need to be brought up to current code?
        The electrical code is not applied retroactively, however, if you change the receptacles than you must bring them up to the current code. For safety it is recommended that you update to GFCI outlets anyway.  Sometimes a GFCI circuit breaker is installed instead.  Consult a licensed electrician.

        Often an outlet in a bathroom or outside is GFCI protected but the outlet does not have a button.    There may be one GFCI outlet that protects all the bathrooms.  This could be in one bathroom or on the wall of the garage.  An older homes it may be a GFCI breaker in the electrical panel.  Newer homes often have a GFCI breaker in the panel as well as a GFCI outlet.

        Manufacturers recommend that you test your outlets  once a month. Simply push the button marked “test” to open the circuit. If the reset button pops out with a click, then the circuit works. Simply push the reset button and you’re back to functional. If it does not reset, call a licensed electrician to have it replaced.

        More information about GFCI outlets and how they work.

        How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

        The cost of a home inspection should not be your primary concern.  It should be how good a job will the inspector do and what is included in the inspection.  Many times during a real estate transaction, one of the biggest things on our mind is MONEY. But rightfully so. When you are buying a home you are searching for mortgage rates, looking at contractor fees, pricing out new counter tops, and just anything else that has dollar signs.

        That is why often times the first thing a potential client asks us is how much we charge for a home inspection. When it comes down to it though, it is not a straight forward question to answer.

        There are a lot of factors that go into pricing a home inspection. Size, age, and location of the home to just name a few. It can be related to asking someone how much a vehicle costs. Well, is it a used car? What kind of condition is it in? Is it a tractor-trailer or a a two door sedan? Remember, not all home inspections are the same. A cheap home inspection could end up costing you many times more if major problems are missed.  To see what we include with a home inspection go to our home page.

        So that may still leave you with the same question. To help you understand how much a home inspection costs, watch the brief video below:

         

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