Evaporative coolers, commonly called “swamp coolers,” can cool homes in dry climates. Evaporative coolers have a low first cost, use a lot less electricity than conventional air conditioners, and do not use refrigerants, such as CFCs and HCFCs, that can harm the ozone layer.

Unlike air-conditioned rooms, windows or ceiling vents need to be open when an evaporative cooling system is operating. The large volume of fresh air added to the home replaces a significant amount of air that exits from the home. Every 2-4 minutes you are changing out the air in the room(s) you wish to cool.

Evaporative coolers can run on about one-third of the electricity of a refrigerated cooling system.

Mastercool and Ultracool models have a single thick pad to run the air through. Four side coolers are less desirable because of the damage that can be caused to the ductwork. Water can splash into the squirrel cage and rust out metal ductwork. The single pad models have water only in the are below the pad and less splash occurs, thus saving you money down the road. Pads for single units can run as long as five years with proper cleaning. Saving you more money each year.

Properly drain your cooler and blow out the supply line of any water to prevent freezing and splitting of the waterline.


To help show the importance of removing wrought iron bars over windows. As a home inspector, the last thing I ever want to see or hear about is a death or serious injury in their home. A fire in a home can develop quickly. Anything you can do to speed up the exit of the occupants is good. Padlocks or non-releasing bars should be removed from the home. Many times this is a lender requirement.



<pCarbon Monoxide:

This odorless, colorless gas is toxic and may even kill you. And you may not even realize it’s in your home! We recommend fossil fuel burning appliances be inspected annually by professionals of that field.

Typically, the danger comes from fuel-burning appliances such as; furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, and space heaters, as well as automobile exhaust from attached garages.

During home inspections, I frequently find the door to the garage from the living area with a pet door or a window in it. This door should be fire-rated and have no openings in it.

Water heater and furnace flues are also frequently not connected safely.

Low levels of Carbon Monoxide gas may cause headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, and fatigue, according to the EPA. Hallways adjacent bedrooms should have CO detectors installed.

Higher levels can lead to impaired vision and coordination, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, unconsciousness and, at very high concentrations, death.

If you have gas logs in your fireplace and it is rated for wood burning as well, make sure you have a “C-clamp” or damper clamp at the damper to allow combustion products out of the home. With gas logs, no smoke is usually seen even if the damper is closed.

If you need your home inspected in the El Paso area or have a question, call us to take a look.


Safety features of gas hot water heaters include temperature, pressure relief valves, and discharge pipes. The purpose of this valve is to relieve excessive temperature or pressure build up inside the tank if it approaches the limits of the tank’s safe design range. If this is not operated twice a year in this area the valve may stick and cause the tank to explode if it malfunctions. The valve is to be located within six inches of the top of the tank and often is threaded directly into the tank itself. To test the valve lift up on the handle slightly and hot water should discharge out of the overflow pipe. The label that comes with a new water heater states to operate “at least once per year”. The reason for twice a year is that the hard water we have will gum up or make the valve stick. Home inspectors in some areas will not operate the TPR Valve but you should be aware of the potential danger to you and your home and have it inspected or operated.

In my opinion, a water heater is one of the most dangerous items in a home. Most people won’t even look at it until they see a water leak or cannot get hot water. Check out this video of an exploding water heater.

Call us if you need a home inspection in or near El Paso.


The Number One hazard for children under the age of 19 are falls, which are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the U.S. for this age group. Thousands of youngsters wind up in emergency rooms every day for injuries related to falling. What can be done to prevent such injuries in the home? We watch our children as best we can, but we all know they can get into trouble quick. In trying to fathom how so many children can be injured on a daily basis from something as simple as slipping and falling, we need to consider an important factor, which is height. Oftentimes, when observing small children at play, we are amazed at their dexterity and ability to take what looks like a fairly serious tumble and hop right back up. Imagine a small child falling a distance equivalent to the average height of an adult, and we begin to see where the danger lies. With this to consider, let’s closer look at one of the most important areas to childproof in a home: staircases.


The first thing that probably comes to mind when examining child safety in relation to stairways and staircases is a safety gate, and with good reason: falling downstairs can be a serious hazard for an infant or toddler who is just learning to navigate his or her surroundings. When kids get a little older they like to climb. When properly installed, high-quality safety gates can help eliminate this possibility. A home inspector should inspect the stair railings and balusters to make sure they are not climbable. (See our NEW HOME ISSUES GALLERY) New El Paso homes are being sold with “Climbable Railings”.

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