plastic guttering

The Drawbacks of Plastic Guttering

It is fair to say we are yet to see the worst of winter this season with more bad weather on its way in early 2017. As the saying goes, most people ‘batter down the hatches’ in preparation for the cold spell. Tidying up the garden, putting outdoor furniture away, cleaning out the gutters and sweeping up all the leaves. It is at this time of year that you’ll typically be up close to the plastic guttering on your home. Granted you can see them every day but never really looked at the close up. They probably once looked pristine white but they’ve now faded to a dully off white almost brown colour. Several years of leaves, moss and rain water from the roof have taken their toll on the guttering system and the clumps of leaves are trapped in the down pipe causing a blockage, effectively rendering the gutters as useless.

Plastic Guttering When Your House Was First Built

These plastic gutters were the gutters of choice back when the house was built and are typically installed by builders and not so much designers. Standard PVC/PVCU guttering was the chosen guttering system due to being the cheapest and essentially still did the job.

From the research and through time, it can be concluded that PVC gutters are not a sound choice when it comes to considering the lifespan. When the house was first built, it is likely that the ongoing maintenance and cleaning weren’t a consideration, or even how long they would last as ultimately, when the house was sold, the maintenance including the gutters wouldn’t be their problem.

A few years later, the plastic gutters will have probably started to leak at joints or ends. Blockages likely to form at critical parts and usually significant discolouration on this visible side of the gutters.

Discolouration granted isn’t a major problem, unless appearance and design is something that concerns you, however, that being said, once it is pointed out it ends up being something you notice day in day out. You will be wanting to get those gutters replaced with something better, that doesn’t fade and bring regular maintenance along with it.

Modern gutters are usually made with heavy duty materials to ensure that the gutters have a longer lifespan than plastic and are often more efficient too. Materials commonly used nowadays tend to be aluminium, cast iron, stainless steel, zinc and copper. These materials have been developed to ensure that the appearance looks the same even after several years and often decades. These materials will not bring the general appearance of your house down, over time, they will adept with the environment and become part of the house. For a full range of gutters, especially aluminium gutters, visit

How to avoid having your HVAC system shutting down

Simple maintenance can save you thousands of dollars

Heating and Cooling systems account for one of the more expensive appliances in a home. Ranging in the thousands of dollars, it is ideal to keep the system up and running at peak levels in order to keep from costly repairs. However, many people simply buy the HVAC system and are content with doing nothing until there is a problem. Yet, if you follow these simple maintenance practices you are far less apt to have your system shut down.

Preventive Tip One: Change the filter every month

Think of the filter to your HVAC system as the mouth to your appliance. If the filter is cluttered with dust and debris, it is not going to be able to breath properly. This will in turn cause the unit to work harder and hotter than it is intended to run. As a result, you can quickly burn up the coils, run out your coolant, and in some cases actually melt wires within the unit. Given the choice of a $10 filter pack to a thousand-dollar fix, I choose the filter. To change the filter on the HVAC system:

  • Locate the furnace of your system
  • The front of the furnace typically has a simple lift vent door
  • On the door you will find the filter
  • Remove the old filter and replace with a new filter

Do not attempt to wash the old filter of debris as the water is not good for the furnace system (this is why it is always located indoors).

Preventive Tip Two: Set your thermostat to a higher cooling temperature

There is a general rule that you should set your HVAC system to a certain temperature during the summer and to another during the winter. And where these temperatures are a good guide, it is recommended that you keep an eye and ear out on how often the system kicks on. If you find that your HVAC system is continuously turning on and off, this is not a good thing. It could cause the breaker to wear out, ruin the compressor, blow a fuse, or damage the thermostat wiring. Set your thermostat to a comfortable level but ensure that the air does not cut off and on. Remember to adjust one degree at a time.

Preventive Tip Three: Clean out your air vents

Just like the filter, air vents should be cleaned regularly. Debris that falls into the vents can work their way back into the system causing a number of problems. To prevent debris accumulation in the vents you can use either a simple vacuumed to remove dust from the openings, a vent filtration device (which come in scented and unscented sheets), or have them professionally cleaned. It is important to note that when you are cleaning out the vents that close attention should be paid to the duct work. You do not want to puncture this, so take your time and be careful in your cleaning.

Preventive Tip Four: Cover when you cut

A commonly overlooked hazard to your HVAC system is found in your grass maintenance. If you have a yard with grass and that grass is anywhere in the proximity of the HVAC system, then there is a high chance that the grass is getting slung at the unit. Where the unit typically will not shut down from minimal exterior debris, an accumulation of grass and other external debris can cause the system to shut down. To prevent this from happening, turn off the HVAC unit. Then using a tarp or a large bag, cover the HVAC unit. Cut your grass as you normally would and then remove the cover. However, before you turn on the unit check around the unit for any clusters of debris, weeds, and such which may get sucked into the unit.

Preventive Tip Five: Have your HVAC tuned up yearly

Just like any major appliance, you will want to have it up kept professionally throughout its life. It is recommended that you have your unit professionally tuned up every year. Generally, these tune-ups will include a cleaning of the duct work, a cleaning of the coils, a replacement of the fuses, and a testing/releveling of the coolant in the Unit. Ensure that you always have a licensed technician perform your yearly maintenance. Get in contact with the experts at appliance repair phoenix.

Preventive Tip Six: Do not ignore weird noises

Loud running noises, grinding, rattling, and such are not natural to any system. If you hear a weird noise, have your unit checked out. Typically, your problem is minimal. However, if you leave (for example) a loose bolt unattended, it could snap and bust up your system. Do not ignore weird sounds. Where you may have to spend a bit to get the noise fixed it beats having to dish out thousands for a new system.

How to Repair A TV

The problem: My LG TV acts as if it is turning on but just doesn’t, until several minutes later. Instead it makes a clicking noise over and over again until it eventually stops and then the TV will turn on with both picture and sound. This happened for some time and then eventually just stopped coming on completely. The TV appears to be ‘dead’. This is a fairly common problem amongst flat screen TVs and it is a common problem that has plagued several different brands. This is just one of my interests as an avid DIYer and repairing, why not check out what I do for a living as an environmental consultant.