Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Round Rock Home Inspector Discusses How To Save On Energy

Ways to Help Beat The Heat This Summer

As the summer has quickly over taken us and the temperatures already in the mid 100 degree range in Williamson County Texas. We are all looking for ways to help lower our energy costs.

As a licensed home inspector for over twenty years, I always look for ideas and ways to lower monthly bills to help keep the energy bills affordable. I found this information by the U.S. Department of Energy and thought I would pass this along.

The U.S. Department of Energy provided some easy, low-cost and no-cost ways to help save energy this summer:

  • Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems and your computer.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use—TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
  • Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Air dry clothes.
  • Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
  • Drive sensibly; aggressive driving such as speeding, and rapid acceleration and braking, wastes fuel.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

These are all good ways to help beat the heat this summer. If I may as a home inspector I would like to offer other way to keep things cool.

That is by changing out you’re a/c filter. Keeping the filter clean will maximize the air flow to your HVAC system and help with the efficiency of the unit.

Keep all bushes and items away from the outside compressor unit at least 2 feet and above by 6 feet, this will keep the air flowing around the unit to cool the coils. Air flow is most important to help keep your utility bills low.

For more information about home maintenance and home inspections please go to my website at:

Charles Schiller

Gateway Inspections Inc.

Professional Inspector #2717

Round Rock Home Inspector Discusses Home Safety With GFCI’s

Home Safety and GFCI Protected Outlets

As a licensed professional home inspector, I test electrical outlets every day during home inspections. Ground fault circuit interrupters or GFCI is an inexpensive electrical device that can either be installed in your electrical system or built into a power cord.


These devices are used to protect you from severe electrical shocks, burns and injuries by detecting ground faults.

GFCI Outlet


A ground fault is an unintentional electrical path between a power source and a

grounded surface.  Ground faults most often occur when equipment is damaged

or defective, such that live electrical parts are no longer adequately protected

from unintended contact. If your body provides a path to the ground for this

current, you could be burned, severely shocked or electrocuted.


Areas that GFCI protection should be in or around all wet areas such as:

Pools, hot tubs, and receptacles that are located:

  • Outdoors
  • Bathrooms
  • Garages
  • Kitchens and island cabinets
  • Wet bars
  • Laundry rooms/utility sinks
  • Crawl spaces/basements


Consider using a GFCI protected cord if you are using power equipment outdoors.


GFCI receptacles should be tested often. It takes no special equipment or device to test, just simply push the test button. It should trip, and then push the reset button to power up the outlet. If it does not trip you should have the receptacle replaced.


Many home injuries can be avoided each year by using and testing these devices.


Charles Schiller is a licensed professional home inspector in the Texas                 TREC #2717 for over twenty years. For additional inspection articles and videos go to:

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Cranberry Tea – Holiday Drink – Beverage

Cranberry's For Holiday Tea

Cranberry Tea is a family holiday favor and the recipe is simple and easy to make.

INGREDIENTS: simple syrup: 2 cups of water 2 cups sugar
1 (1 lb.)bag cranberries, 2 qt. water, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 cup orange juice, 2 tbsp. real lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS: Boil water and sugar 7 minutes. Wash berries. Boil berries with cinnamon sticks – Boil until berries pop. Boil a little longer. Drain off juice into container. Save cinnamon sticks. Mix berry juice, simple syrup, orange juice, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. Serve hot. We make this before Thanksgiving. Keep refrigerated. Warm and serve through Christmas holidays. Keeps well and nice to have. ENJOY

Compliments of: Gateway Inspections Inc