Water Heater Tips & Tricks: Vacation Mode

If you are planning to be out of town for any extended period of time this summer, then Castle Doctor in Plano, Texas encourages you to put your water heater in vacation mode.


Why Should I Use My Water Heater’s Vacation Mode?


·      Energy Efficiency: If your home is equipped with a typical water storage-type water heater, then energy efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to using your vacation mode. A typical water heater already heats and then stores the water in the drum at around 60 degrees, mainly because it’s easier to heat 60 degree water to hot than it is to heat cold tap water. When going out of town for a vacation, you do not need your water heater to keep the water at 60 degrees – and waste energy in the process!

·      Cost Savings: If your water heater is not heating water you don’t need, then you are going to see a reduction in your energy costs.

·      Reduced Wear and Tear: Any appliance is subject to wear and tear, and with a water heater, with extended use comes possible corrosion and the build-up of minerals inside the pipes. Take advantage of opportunities of non-usage to reduce the need to call a Plano handyman.


How Do I Set My Water Heater’s Vacation Mode?

The method for setting vacation mode varies based on what type of water heater you have. It is always best to consult your water heater’s instruction manual, but as a general rule of thumb, use these guidelines:

·    Electric Water Heater: Use the temperature dial to turn the temperature all the way down to its lowest setting. Another option: turn it off completely at the circuit panel.

·    Natural Gas Water Heater: Locate the temperature dial and turn it to “vacation mode,” if that setting is available. If not, moving the dial to its lowest setting will provide efficiency while you are gone.

If you suspect a water heater issue or need other home maintenance in Plano, give Castle Doctor a call today for a free home consultation.

Pre-Vacation Checklist: What to Do Before Leaving on Vacation

Summer is a time for relaxing and vacationing with family and friends. But in the days leading up to vacation, there is so much to do that it’s easy to leave something undone, a mistake that could be costly and lead to headaches upon your return. 


Before you jet set off to your summertime paradise, remember these tips from Castle Doctor on what to do at your Plano home before leaving on vacation:


·      Raise your Refrigerator Temperature: Take a peek at your refrigerator’s thermostat. Is it on the supercool setting? Consider bumping your refrigerator temperature up a few degrees to prevent the refrigerator from overheating and blowing a circuit while you are away. Not to mention, the harder your refrigerator works, the higher the energy bills.

·      Raise your Air Conditioner Temperature: While on vacation, you don’t need your Plano home as cool as you do when home for obvious reasons. Do not turn it off (that can promote mildew and mold in the home!), but rather, set it to be 10 degrees cooler than the average exterior temperature.

·      Turn off Water Valves: It’s smart to turn these off at the source, just to be sure a leak doesn’t wreck havoc while you are away. Manually turn off the water to the washing machine, dishwasher, and exterior hose bibs. Put your water heater in "vacation mode" or shut it off completely as well.

·      Unplug Small Appliances: Anything with a little “red” power light on it needs to be unplugged while you are gone. Not only will this give you piece of mind, but it will conserve energy as well.

·      Clean out the Refrigerator: There is nothing like coming home to a refrigerator full of unwanted, old food. Use up all perishables before your trip, or if you can, put leftovers in the freezer to eat a later date.


If you come home from vacation and discover a home maintenance issue of any kind, call your friends at Castle Doctor immediately! Our Plano handyman service is here to tackle your problems in no time at all. Proudly serving Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, and the greater Dallas area.

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Quit Worrying - Let Castle Doctor Handle It!

As a homeowner, it is easy to get overwhelmed with home maintenance.

As you look around, you see little things here and there that just need to be done. A leaky faucet. Old trim board that needs to be replaced. Air filters that need to be changed out. And what about the things you don’t see? There are plenty of home maintenance projects that a homeowner may not even realize need to get done! These unknowns can end up costing you thousands of dollars if left unchecked.


Instead of worrying about the “what ifs” of home maintenance, call Castle Doctor, your friendly neighborhood handyman in Plano, Texas. In one simple phone call, the home maintenance woes are off your shoulders and onto ours. Don’t you feel better already?!


We Do It All


Whether it’s routine maintenance or more isolated home projects, rest assured that Castle Doctor can handle it. Castle Doctor can change out all of your filters, light bulbs, smoke detector batteries, etc on a routine basis, so you don’t have to remember to do it. And plumbing, carpentry, and electrical issues are no match for our expert technicians. In fact, we are closely aligned with leading Plano remodeling company, Pedigo Construction, so you can feel confident that each project is done right from start to finish.


Membership that Matters


Ready to quit worrying about home maintenance projects? Become a member of Castle Doctor’s premium home maintenance plan today! We offer a full range of packages to meet your needs, and each one comes complete with upgrades and additional services that help you sleep well at night. Here are a few highlights of our Gold Plus and Platinum packages that our members rave about:


·       Monthly Walkthrough Service: Never miss an issue. Our team will walk through your home once a month to inspect and resolve any budding issues before they cost you.

·       Home Health Reports: Bi-annual home health reports let you know what issues have been resolved – and where your home could still use improvement.

·       Free Preventative Maintenance: When you’re a Castle Doctor member, labor is free for any preventative maintenance projects like changing bulbs, filters, etc.


Imagine what you can do with your time when all of your Plano home maintenance needs are met by Castle Doctor! Give us a call today for a free in-home consultation.

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10 Essentials for a Basic Toolbox

As a homeowner, maintenance and projects are inevitable. You can hire a Plano handyman – like Castle Doctor – or you may choose to tackle these projects on your own. Even if you don’t intend to handle all large maintenance projects, be prepared for any project big or small with these 10 toolbox essentials:


·       Hammer: Probably the most used tool there is, the hammer can assist you with anything from handing a picture on the wall to nailing down loose trim. Be sure to get a claw hammer so that you can use one side to pry up old nails and hammer new ones with one simple tool.

·       Tape Measure: Another tool you will find yourself using all the time is a tape measure. Be sure to get one that is 25 feet long and retractable.

·       Screwdrivers: Start by purchasing 2 of the most common screwdrivers: a Phillips-head screwdriver (with the cross-shaped tip) and a flat head screwdriver. These will serve you well in the majority of home repair projects.

·       Drill: So many tasks around the home are that much simpler with a drill. Opt for a cordless one with a rechargeable battery for maximum convenience.

·       Utility Knife: When working with thick, rough surfaces, you’ll need an extra strength tool to cut through. A utility knife – also known as a box cutter or razor knife – is essential for cutting through insulation, old carpet, drywall, and more.

·       Basic Level: Skip the fancy options, and get a basic bubble level to add to your toolbox. A 4-foot model will do, and make sure it can show you when things are flush (straight up and down) or level (perfectly flat).

·       Flashlight: You likely already have one of these in your home, but add an extra to your toolbox. You never know when you need to rummage around for wires in the attic or inspect the breaker box in the dark.

·       Carpenter’s Square: Choose both a large framing square and a speed square to add to your toolbox to assist with creating square edges, testing right angles, and measuring short spaces.

·       Pliers: Add a set of needle-nose pliers with a pointy tip, adjustable flat-nose pliers, and side-cutting scissor-like pliers to your collection.

·       Stud Finder: The perfect tool to help with hanging pictures or decorations on the wall, a stud finder makes it simple to know where the studs are in your walls for secure hanging.  

Feel like you have a home maintenance project in Plano that you cannot handle yourself? Give your Plano handyman a call at Castle Doctor! 

Get Your Home's Exterior Ready for Summer - Castle Doctor Plano

If you are anything like most North Texans, chances are you will be spending a good deal of time outdoors this summer. Swimming in the pool, lounging on your patio in the evening, grilling with friends and family, and more.


But what condition is the exterior of your home in?


During the winter months, most homeowners stay indoors and pay little attention to what is happening on the exterior of the home. Take advantage of this time before the heat of summer hits to inspect the exterior of your home for any issues that need to be addressed:


·       General Inspection: Take a good look at all sides of your home. You may notice different issues on different sides, given the material and the weather. Sun, heat, wind, rain, and other natural elements are known to wreck havoc on your home in different ways.

·       Fascia & Soffits: Fascia boards are the boards that run vertically facing down from the overhang and soffits run horizontal underneath the overhang. Inspect these boards for cracks, loose sections, or general deterioration.

·       Gutters & Downspouts: Now that the leaves have come in on the trees, clear the gutters and downpouts of any remaining debris or pollen that may be clogging the lines. It’s also important to check the condition of the gutters and whether or not they can hold the necessary amount of water to deflect water from the home.

·       Siding: Inspect siding for deterioration or loose parts that are no longer secure.

·       Brick: Look for cracks in the mortar that are there from age or from water/bug issues.

·       Windows: Inspect each window to see if new caulk is needed. Do any necessary repairs as soon as possible to prevent further damage and lower your energy bills.

·       Foundation: Walk around the home and look for any cracks in the foundation or signs of termites.

·       Outdoor spaces: Inspect all pergolas, arbors, and decks to make sure the wood is still in excellent condition. Re-stain the wood if necessary. Also, power wash patio spaces, blow off debris, etc.


Need help inspecting your home’s exterior or in search of a Plano repairman to make these repairs for you? Look no further than Castle Doctor: your one stop shop for handling all of your home’s maintenance needs – so that you don’t have to! 

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