Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service
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Vol. 4, No. 8

From the desk of ...
Arthur S. Lazerow

To All Sellers and Listing Agents
(Part 3 of 3)

This newsletter and the last two focus on how sellers and listing agents can improve a home's salability. Now for the INTERIOR MAINTENANCE and APPEARANCE... Since buyers typically buy at the top of their economic means, replacements or repairs immediately after settlement are unwelcome. Apply these suggestions to the next sale:

1. Replace any aged water heater, furnace, condensing unit or kitchen appliance, especially if they are over fifteen years old.

2. Insure all equipment is accessible and operating.

3. Have all windows and doors in operating condition. Replace double-paneled windows that contain fog.

4. Correct plumbing leaks and the cause of moisture problems in the basement. More sales head south due to basement water problems than any other condition.

5. Clean or replace air filters. Have all light fixtures operable with no burned-out bulbs. Test smoke alarms.

6. Caulk all bath tub and showers joints, including joints along walls and floors.

This three-part series has been based on my observations of mistakes sellers make not improving their property. Sellers and their Realtors have one goal: quick sale and maximum price. I hope my suggestions will help sell your next listing.

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573 Lancaster Place
Frederick, Maryland 21702
Metro 1-800-822-7200

Full Fee Refund

How To Improve     
A Home's Indoor Air Quality
Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can he enclosed or removed; others, like gas ranges, can be used with an exhaust fan to decrease the amount of emissions. In most cases, source control is the best approach to protecting indoor air quality because increasing ventilation can also increase energy costs.
Ventilation Improvements
One approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in a home is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming in. While fresh air supplies are required in school and hospital heating and cooling systems, most home systems do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Improve indoor air quality by opening windows and doors, operating window or attic  Vol4No8img1.gif (14158 bytes)
fans when the weather permits, and running window air conditioners with the vent control open. Bathroom and kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the rooms where they are located and also increase the ventilation rate.

It is very important to take as many of these steps as possible while involved in short-term activities that generate high levels of pollutants (for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene, cooking, welding, soldering, and sanding).

Advanced designs of new homes are starting to feature mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into the home. Some of these designs include energy-efficient heat-recovery ventilators (also known as air-to-air heat exchangers).

Air Cleaners

There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, ranging from relatively economical tabletop models to sophisticated and expensive whole-house systems. Some air cleaners are highly effective at particle removal while others, including most tabletop models, are much less so. Air cleaners are generally not designed to remove gaseous pollutants and bacteria.

The efficiency of an air cleaner depends on how well it collects pollutants from indoor air (expressed as a percentage efficiency rate) and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element (expressed in cubic feet per minute). A unit that's good at collecting but has a low air-circulation rate will not be effective, nor will a cleaner with a high air-circulation rate but a less efficient collector.

Another important factor in determining the effectiveness of an air cleaner is the strength of the pollutant source. Tabletop air cleaners in particular may not remove satisfactory amounts of pollutants or particles from strong nearby sources. People with a sensitivity to specific sources may find that air cleaners are helpful only in conjunction with concerted efforts to remove the source. As with most products, the long-term performance of any air cleaner depends on maintaining it according to the manufacturer's requirements.

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