December 18, 2012

Get Your Greater Vancouver Home into Energy Efficient Shape before the New Year

A custom Vancouver HomeWinter is coming and you know that you need to get your home ready for the cruel Vancouver weather right around the corner, but you don’t know where to start. That’s where we come in, we have compiled a list of some Vancouver home and Vancouver laneway home maintenance tips that will turn your home into a lean green energy saving machine. Who says that you have to wait until the new years to get in to shape?

Furnace – Much like a Car, no matter where you live; from a new Vancouver home to a heritage home in the hills, consistent maintenance is a must and the furnace is no exception.  Most heating and furnace providers require an annual service check to ensure that it continues to run at optimal performance. This is  a requirement by most furnace companies to ensure the warranty stays valid.  If your unsure of how often you need to service your furnace check the manual or give the company a call.

Clean The Ducts – Cleaning the ducts and vents of your home regularly will help keep them safe and running efficiently. Dust and debris can build up making it harder for your appliances to clear the air. The less work that your appliances have to do to move the air through you house the better and longer they work.  This will also help to improve the air quality of your home by circulating the more stale air from inside with the fresh Greater Vancouver air.

Concrete Care During the Winter –  A common practice, THAT MUST BE AVOIDED, is to use salt to melt ice on walkways. This can be very detrimental to the integrity of the concrete weakening it and causing it to crack. Salt can be very corrosive to concrete and by itself can cause some damage, however, when mixed with water it can get into the pours of the concrete, causing more damage due to an increased freeze cycle. This happens if the salt used to melt the ice mixes with the water and gets into the pours of the concrete. Then the temperature drops to below what the salt is rated for and the water freezes again. This can occur frequently if the temperature continues to fluctuate around where the salt freezes. The continued expansion and pressure from the salted ice will cause the concrete to crack over time.
A safe option to using salt is to try sand or gravel. These won’t cause the ice to melt, but it will give traction making it safe to walk on. If you must deice the walk way use an environmentally safe synthetic material, these aren't corrosive to concrete, will usually have a better temperature rating, and won’t cause pets to get sick from walking on it.

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Gutters – One downside about living near all this lush nature in or around Vancouver is  gutters need to be cleaned out regularly throughout the year, mostly in the fall and winter months. Leaves and other debris can get blown into the gutters causing them to back up or plug. During a rainfall water will flow into the gutters and won’t be able to drain. This will cause the water to over flow and start pouring out; causing a flood in areas  not deigned to receive a heavy flow of water. Another issue that can occur is fairly common during the winter months, where water freezes on the roof or in the gutters and causes an ice-dam. This dam prevents water from draining and will back the flow up in to the home by going underneath shingles and between gaps.

As a premier Vancouver home builder we are working on even more tips to help you keep your home running problem free. In the mean time feel free to start on these while you're waiting, or if you have any that you want to share or any questions about these, come join the conversation on our  Facebook page.

Part 2 of "Get Your Greater Vancouver Home into Energy Efficient Shape Before Winter" is here.