Take your pictures now!
You may not be thinking of selling your home right now, but you might be surprised how quickly things can change with life plans. That’s why I am advising anyone and everyone I meet to take outdoor pictures of their home NOW. This way, should you decide over the fall or winter that you want to list your house for sale next spring, you will be ahead of the game with beautiful outdoor pictures of your home – without snow!
Sure you can list your house for sale next March, just before the crazy selling season begins, and you can prepare your marketing material with those lovely winter wonderland photos, but they will very quickly date themselves while you wait for Mother Nature to green things up and provide lovely outdoor photo potential again. With a little careful planning (even if you are NOT thinking of selling) you can be prepared for next year’s real estate market.
Take LOTS of photos. In this digital age it no longer costs money to develop your photos, so take LOTS of pictures. You can delete the ones you don’t like and it’s much better to have too many rather than too few to choose from. Take pictures from all angles as well. Centre front, angled from the right, angled from the left, side views, and the backyard as well. Remove the car from the driveway – and make sure the garage door is closed.
NOW is the perfect time to do a photo shoot – if you wait for a few more weeks the leaves will have started to change colours and that too will “date” your photos – get out there as soon as possible and snap away, and then file them away on your computer.
Trade Tips from Tom
It might feel like an early end to winter but we can count on more cold weather to come. If your furnace stops you might be faced with an Emergency No Heat Call. Here’s a simple way to help prevent this from happening.
“How often should I change my air filter?” A question we get asked a lot and plugged filters are still a common reason for a no heat call. The short answer is to replace your air filter every 90 days, but not every home is going to be the same.
Some of the factors that will affect the frequency you need to replace your air filter:
⁃ age of home
⁃ wood burning appliances
⁃ occupant allergies
⁃ time since last duct cleaning
⁃ unit operation
⁃ cold air return location
⁃ type of air filter
⁃ system efficiency
The best way to ensure you and your family are breathing the healthiest of air is to create your own schedule. Install a new filter and check it after 30 days. If after the 30 days your filter looks clean then put it back in and set a reminder for another 30 days. Repeat this process until you notice a light grey build up on the air filter, you now have a schedule for your home.
TIP: Have a clean filter and flashlight to compare the old filter.
If you any further questions visit out website for a complete detailed article about this topic. www.comfortpro.ca/howoftenshouldIreplacemyairfilter
Give us a call and mention this article to save $25.00 off your next service.
Owner and HVAC enthusiast
Comfort Pro Ltd.
84 Mill Street – Unit 2
Carleton Place, ON
‘To Clean or Not To Clean’
Wouldn’t it be great if it were that simple. The real question is ‘do I clean myself or do I hire a cleaning company’. I will ask a few questions and offer my solutions.
1) Do you LOVE housework and does it helps you unwind from a busy day?
2) Do you DETEST housework and try to avoid it at all costs?
3) Are you somewhere in the middle? Most of us are in the middle.
When I hear women, say that they don’t have time for activities they enjoy, I say hire a cleaning company and ‘try it you might like it’. Get about 3 cleanings done before deciding if it is right for you or not because you go through a few different emotions over that time. At first it is a little hard because they don’t clean exactly like you do, but stick with it for a couple of more and 1) you will love it and wonder why you waited so long or 2) you hate it and want to keep the job for yourself. At least then you are making a decision based on your experience. Imagine having more time for family and friends.
When hiring a cleaning company always ask for and check references. Also ask if they are Bonded & Insured so that if they break or damage your ‘Ming Vase’ it is covered. Require that they be covered by W.S.I.B., in the event of an accident in your home they are covered and it is not your homeowner’s policy at risk. The other item of importance would be a valid police check.
Communicate with the company and you are more likely to get the service you want. With all this in place you will feel more secure.
Cleaning Tip: Cleaning or refreshing your microwave- place a wet sponge or wet dish cloth into the microwave and run it on high for 2 minutes, leave it inside for about 5 to 10 minutes, this creates a sauna like condition and when you open the door it is a breeze to clean.
I am the owner of Green Clean Plus in Almonte. Call me to see how I can be of service.
Maria Murphy is the Owner of a local cleaning company – Green Clean Plus. She has a team of cleaners that she manages – and can be reached at 613- 461-0093 OR firstname.lastname@example.org. She is very entrepreneurial, personable and trustworthy!
Putting bows on things….
So, I may be a little silly (some people say crazy) about needing to tie up loose ends at the end of a year, and starting fresh in the new year, but that’s how I roll. With the early arrival of snow, I feel the year end is close by, so I have been busy finishing things.
My bookkeeping is current (finally); we met with our lawyer this week to finalize our Will; we have the income taxes sorted out; Christmas cards are ready, Christmas shopping lists are started and underway, got a good start on my business plan for next year, so on a personal note I am feeling organized.
Now is the time to focus on the house and put some systems in place to make sure that we are keeping the maintenance up and being proactive. I am going to schedule these maintenance items in my calendar – so I’ll get a pop-up message reminding me to do them… but there is one item, that although I remind all my clients to do, we haven’t done yet ourselves – and that’s the maintenance of our Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) system.
My promise to you, that before you receive this ezine, I’ll have a bow put around this item too. And here is what you need to know so you can do the same. I want to do this without asking Ken for help, so I googled the CMHC Home Maintenance website and learned the following 7 steps:
- Turn off the HRV system by unplugging it.
- Clean (or replace) the air filter. We have 2 foam filters in ours – so they need to be removed, vacuumed and then washed with mild soap water and dried before putting them back in place. Our unit is only 2 years old, but some older units will have replaceable filters/
- Check the outside vents of the system and remove any debris. Make sure to keep snow and frost buildup away from the exterior.
- Inspect and clean the condensate drain. Our system has a plastic tube draining from the system to the floor drain. CMCH advised to pour 2 litres of clean, warm water into the drain pan and through the tubing, to ensure the drain is clear.
- Check your HRV owner’s manual for instructions on cleaning the heat exchange core. Vacuuming the core and washing it with soap and water will reduce dust that can build up inside the core.
- Once a year, check the ductwork leading to and from your HRV. Remove and inspect the grilles covering the duct ends, then vacuum inside the ducts. If a more thorough cleaning is required, call your service technician.
- Remove the dirt that has been accumulated on the blades by gently brushing them. Most new HRVs are designed to run continuously without lubrication, but older models require a few drops of proper motor lubricating oil in a designated oil intake. Check your manual for complete instructions.
Don’t forget to plug the HRV system back in! So, that’s all there is to keeping your HRV system in good working order. If you aren’t comfortable to do this yourself, you can always hire your favourite Heating and Cooling Company to do this for you. Call me if you need a local recommendation!