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Winter Storms

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

When a snow or ice storm strikes your area, be sure to clean the snow and ice from your outside condensing unit of a heat pump system. See these before and after pictures. If you fail to allow air to flow freely in and around this unit it could burn out the motor and leave you cold.

 

I just had a brand new heat pump system installed in December and when I went outside to clear my unit it had ice and snow around 2 sides and you could hear the motor was running but the fan was not spinning. This was not good! After I cleared the snow and scraped the ice off, the fan started spinning again.

 

Please clear off your outside HVAC condensing units to ensure proper functioning.

Blocked by Snow HVAC Condensing Unit

This is an example of a condensing unit that is too covered with snow to run because it is starving for air.

 

Clean HVAC Condensing Unit

This is an after photo of the same condensing unit.

Pictures Say 1,000 Words

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

If you are in the market to sell or lease your home, make sure your real estate agent works hard to take the BEST quality photos of your property before it is ever listed on the market.

 

I see too many houses on the market today with dark photos that showcase the owner’s dirty dishes in the sink, shoes in the middle of the floor, or paint cans off to the side of the room. Do yourself and your agent a favor by decluttering rooms in your house prior to the photo shoot day.

 

Houses listed with poor quality photos tend to stay on the market 15-21 days longer and/or receive less than asking price. People are technology savvy and have probably already seen what the inside of your home looks like before even stepping inside, and the photos posted on the internet could cost you a sale or rental in a matter of seconds.

 

Staging your home and taking photos at the best time of day for each room of your house is so important. Add pops of color with accent rugs or wall decor in rooms that are darker or have limited natural light. Ask your agent to use a high quality digital camera or DSLR with a wide angle lens to photograph your home.

 

At Hatch Property Management, we have the experience and the tools to photograph your property professionally to attain the maximum value in addition to reducing vacancy days.

 

sarahhatch

Electrical Repairs Can Be Shocking!

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

Have you ever noticed a light switch stop working all of a sudden? Its a common problem in old and new houses, especially when renovation work has recently been done. Sometimes contractors work quickly and forget to tighten down all the screws to light switches or electrical outlets which results in a short circuit and could lead to a fire in your home. When both ends (including the grounding wire) are not screwed down tight enough the circuit is not complete and causes electrical arcing.

The best thing to do when you find that a switch is not working any more is to go to your circuit breaker panel and flip the circuit breaker for that switch (if it hasn’t been flipped already) and leave it off until a licensed electrician or skilled handyman comes to repair it. If you don’t turn off the circuit breakerĀ and the light switch is flipped up (or in the “on” position), you could continue to have electrical arcing and possibly cause a fire.

I found this situation at a rental property recently and I was able to successfully replace the switch with a new one.

The top screw in this photo was the one that was loose, but the bottom screw was the one that you can see the electrical wire was burned.

The top screw in this photo was the one that was loose, but the bottom screw was the one that you can see the electrical wire was burned.

 

You can see the burned electrical insulation in the bottom of the blue electrical box when the switch was pulled out.

You can see the burned electrical insulation in the bottom of the blue electrical box when the switch was pulled out.

 

Closer look at the bottom screw and wire.

Closer look at the bottom screw and wire.

Smoke Detectors Expire

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

Did you know that smoke detectors have an expiration date just like food?

Smoke detectors lose sensitivity over time and the average detector is only built to last 8-10 years. As a rule of thumb, you should press the test button on all detectors in your home each month, and change the batteries every year (even if it’s not beeping). When you install a new detector ALWAYS write the date you installed it in permanent marker on the back side (facing the ceiling) so you can remember to replace it at least every 10 years.

Check your smoke detectors today to ensure you don’t have the problem I found in a property I recently started to manage where two detectors showed expiration dates of 2001 and 2002 and wouldn’t stop beeping even after new batteries were installed.

Hatch Property Management performs annual and semi-annual inspections of their rental properties and smoke detectors are always checked for proper performance.

Test button should be pressed monthly to emit a loud beep. This ensures your batteries are still good and the smoke detector is working properly.

Test button should be pressed monthly to emit a loud beep. This ensures your batteries are still good and the smoke detector is working properly.

Each smoke detector has an expiration date. This one expired back on July 22, 2002!

Each smoke detector has an expiration date. This one expired back on July 22, 2002!

This smoke detector expired June 7, 2001!

This smoke detector expired June 7, 2001!