Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Home Care
by Scott Sauer
Advanced Structural Inspections

Upkeep and Prevention
Smoke detectors are one of the things we take for granted. The only time we think about them is when they go off or start chirping to let us know the batteries are getting low. Change out all of the batteries either annually or when one of the smoke detectors starts to beep. Also, when your home heater first starts up for the winter, this sometimes causes smoke detectors to beep. Try blowing air around the smoke detectors to clear out dust and keep them clean.

There are 2 basic types of detectors: Photoelectric and Ionization. Photoelectric detectors are better at sensing smoky fires, such as a smoldering mattress. Ionization smoke detectors use an ionization chamber and a source of ionizing radiation to detect smoke. This type of smoke detector is more common because it is inexpensive and better at detecting the smaller amounts of smoke produced by flaming fires. Either type of smoke detector is a must to help ensure the safety of your family in case of a fire.

Air system filters are overlooked quite a bit because they are usually high on the ceiling and hard to reach. You should change these air filters out at least every six months or sooner if needed. There are all kinds of air filters to choose from, such as pleated, activated carbon, electrostatic and several more. Some air filters are disposable and are cheap to buy, and others are cleanable but are higher in cost.

When replacing the air filters remember to ensure that the air flow is going the correct way. The air flows from the house and then into the return air duct. Most air filters have an arrow to show the correct way to install them. When cleaning reusable air filters, follow the instructions on how to clean them. Below is a chart to show the MERV ratings. The higher the number, the better the filter protection:

Throw-Away Fiberglass - MERV 1 - 4
Pleated 30% ASHRAE - MERV 10 - 11
Pleated 65% ASHRAE - MERV 13 (65% ASHRAE is about 20% effective on less than 1 micron particles)
Pleated 95% ASHRAE - MERV 14

For more information, contact Scott at

Boulder City Magazine®
688 Wells Rd #A
Boulder City, Nevada 89005
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