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VIDEO: Fall Home Maintenance Reminders

Josh Tagg Edmonton Mortgage Broker

With the fall time change, and winter starting, let’s talk about some of those regular maintenance things you should be doing with your home to make sure everything continues to work properly for years to come!

Transcript Below:

Jay Lewis: So, here we are in November. You know, we finished all the trick-or-treating candy. Hopefully, most of it’s gone in your household. I know most of it’s gone in mine, so that’s good. Yeah, anything to update us on the mortgage, any news or anything you can share with us?

Josh Tagg: Well, we did see some rising interest rates through the fall and into October of course, but what we have seen in the last week or so, especially since the Bank of Canada’s announcement a week ago and then the US Fed also announced yesterday, on November 1st, that they were also not increasing their interest rate. Both Canada and the US Fed did leave open opportunity for future increases should it be necessary, but neither did increase in the last month.

So that’s good and we’ve seen some downward movement on the bond pricing for five-year bonds  in the last month, almost half of a percent, 0.4 or so percent downward movement. So I’m thinking that we might see some leveling out of interest rates, possibly a little bit of downward movement on those fixed.

And then the question is, when is the Bank of Canada gonna start lowering its rate next year or so, so that those variable rates become more attractive. We’re still seeing it busy in the market and the concern over rising interest rates seems to be going away.

Jay Lewis: Right, yeah, so we’re gonna probably see buyers maybe thinking about staying on the sidelines and seeing if they can get a better rate maybe possibly coming up, is that, are you feeling that yet?

Josh Tagg: I don’t think that the lowering rates over the next several months are gonna be enough that it would actually cause that. But I do like to remind anybody I’m working with that if we get them a rate locked in now, and rates are lower by the time they find their home or by the time that they move into their home, then we’re gonna get them that lower rate, right? So locking in rates really matters, of course, if there’s threat of rates increasing, but locking in and then rates decreasing doesn’t mean that you have to take that higher rate. You get the lower one that’s available. But you know, if rates go down too much, we’re going to see prices in the homes go up. And these rate differences are smaller than likely increases in home prices.

Jay Lewis: Yeah, that makes sense. And we’ve certainly seen that before and I guess history repeats itself. So we’ll just keep our eye on that. So yeah, so thanks for that update. I always like to remind all of our past clients and even the ones that are just closed on their houses now that we’ve got a time change coming. So at this time of the year, with our clocks being falling back, there’s some maintenance tips. And so recently, I did a video with one of our good friends, Travis from Alquin Homes, about some of the warranty issues, or sorry, some of the homeowner issues that we need to do to make sure that we don’t have any sort of winter problems coming up from freezing lines and whatnot. So maybe we’ll just start that clip here now. And then we’ll follow you as soon as we’re done that video.

Travis – Alquin Homes: Before doing any maintenance on your furnace system, you should have a furnace on off switch. Be sure to turn that off just to prevent any damage while working on your furnace system.

First of all, I’d like to start off with your furnace filter. These come in various sizes depending on your furnace. This one is 1625 by four. Another notable thing is the air flow direction arrow. This is important because they are reinforced on the back side so they don’t get sucked into the furnace. A simple way to put this in, most furnaces have a removable cover, just remove that cover, pull out your old furnace filter and insert the new filter. Again, be aware of the direction of the arrow and put it back in, seal tight, that is all.

The next item I’d like to show you is the HRV system if your home is equipped with one. First and foremost, open up at the bottom, there’s typically two hatch releases here and most hatches come right off. Inside there is detailed instructions on both three-month and six-month maintenance which I’m going to show you now.

First and foremost, the two pre filters, simply pull out. These are brand new and clean. Usually after a year, six months, three months worth of use, this one will be very dirty on the outside air side. So all you need to do, like the instructions say, is vacuum these off, give them a rinse of water, shake them dry, make sure they’re dry before reinstalling, and simply just reinstall.

The large filter here, this is also removable. It’s a matter of pulling the entire unit out. And once again, just vacuum off the fins inside here, and then find a big tub or a bathtub sometimes. Soak it in there for three hours, remove it, let it dry, and reinstall. Very important that you leave this dry during winter times, as this air coming in is freezing from outside, and could cause this system to freeze up if it is wet.

Alright, next up we have your humidifier, if equipped on your house. Most humidifiers have a summer and winter setting, with a damper within that turns on and off. Simply remove your front cover here to access the filter, and inside you’ll also see the damper, winter being open, summer being closed. The filter itself, you can just pull right out and this is the maintenance part of it where you remove the inside filter and this filter you can either wash using a product such as CLR or replace, which you can get at most box stores.

Very important to do this on the beginning of winter as over the winter this will be used the most, therefore needing to be clean and ready to use. It is important when reinstalling to line up the drainage port here, just to make sure the water goes down into the drainage tube. Set back the filter itself, make sure it’s open for the winter, and reinstall the front cover.

Also with your humidifier, typically the humidistat is located right above the humidifier. For the winter, with our extreme temperatures, you want to have it set to around the 15 to 20 percent. As the weather gets colder, you’ll need to dial that down, or if your windows are icing, fogging up, keep it low. And in warmer winter weather, you can turn it up. Most people leave it around the 15 percent, and they should be good for the most of the winter.

Also, if your house is equipped with an external water shutoff, in this case located here, have that turned on. Your house typically has frost-free hose bibs. This is a secondary shutoff sometimes installed to help prevent freeze-up.

Now that we’re done our furnace maintenance, be sure to turn your furnace back on.

Our number one service call has to do with the venting of your furnace or hot water tank. This being the exhaust is warm humid air and in the winter causes an icicle buildup here. Simply remove the icicle by kicking it over and keep this area clear of any obstacles to prevent the shutdown of the furnace.

Jay Lewis: Thanks Travis. So after you’ve done all the things that he’s just mentioned, make sure we check the smoke and the carbon monoxide detectors. Every year around this time, check them. If the batteries need to be replaced, replace them. The other thing that you need to make sure is that if you have a programmable thermostat, that the batteries are still good as well. We don’t want you to be left out in the cold.

So hopefully that was informative for you and you’ve learned something. There is, you know, some of our clients have had issue finding different types of filters or maybe even remember how to clean their HRV. Hopefully that helped and if it didn’t, reach out to me, call me. Someone from our team can certainly help you. And if we can’t, we definitely know the people that can help you. Make sure that you protect your home this winter.



Josh Tagg has been the owner of Mortgages For Less since 2006. During that time Josh has developed a reputation for being an industry leader and advocate for client education.


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