Kamloops Home Inspections: Reduce Your Home Energy Bills

Todd Hrycenko Kamloops Home InspectionsSpend a little bit of money on your Kamloops home and save a lot on your home energy bills. Here are some tips on cutting your energy costs year round.

A lit fireplace sucks furnace-heated air up the chimney, which is replaced by cold air that comes in the opposite direction through the same opening. Turn the thermostat down and close your damper when it’s not in use.

Soot buildup, dusty fans and loose fan belts can add hundreds of dollars to your heating costs each year. Have your furnace tuned up regularly by a heating contractor, this can save up to 10 percent on heating bills.

Heating water makes up about 11 percent of our utility bills. Switching your unit for a more efficient storage model could save you 10 to 20 percent on heating bills.

Small changes can make a big difference.

Maintenance Matters

Air filters, included on all forced air furnaces, remove dirt and lint from heated air. This keeps the fan, heat exchanger and air conditioning coil clean. It also helps clean the air of your home as air circulates through the system.   The air in houses in Kamloops and area can be very dusty due to the low humidity, and filter maintenance is essential to keeping your home healthy.

Maintenance is based on the type of filter, how often the unit is running and how you use your home. The three basic types of filters are media, electronic and electrostatic.

The standard filter on most furnaces is a 1-inch thick media filter, usually made of fiberglass. This filter should be changed when visibly dirty – usually every month or two, depending on the quality of the filter and the amount of dirt in your home’s air. Children, pets, plants and activity tend to produce more dirt that finds its way into the heating system.

Filters are designed to be installed with one particular side facing the air stream. Most filters have directions or an arrow telling you which side should be installed toward the furnace.

Todd Hrycenko, Global Property Inspections
Phone: 250-371-2787 ac.cbipgnull@ddot

Kamloops Home Inspections: Ladder Safety & Getting Your Garden Ready For The Fall

Todd Hrycenko Home InspectorLadder Safety

As a home inspector in Kamloops I spend a lot of time using a variety of ladders to do my job.  Ladders are dangerous pieces of equipment, if not handled correctly or you are unfamiliar with them. Homeowners in Kamloops should think about a few things before you climb the ladder to perform fall maintenance tasks, and take these safety precautions.

• There should only be one person on the ladder at one time.

• Never leave a raised ladder unattended.

• Be sure all locks on extension ladders are properly engaged.

• All metal ladders should have slip-resistant feet.

• The ground under the ladder should be level and firm.

• Don’t carry objects in yours hands while on a ladder.

• Keep your body centered between the rails of the ladder at all times.

* Inspect your ladder every time before you use it for broken or excessively warn out parts.  As someone who has taken the fast ride to the ground from roof height, believe me you don’t want to realize your ladder has a defect too late.

Maintenance Matters

Fall is the time of year to prepare your garden for the fall months ahead. I know with the temperatures still hovering around 30 degrees in Kamloops nobody wants to think about winter or even fall, but your plants and garden already are.  Here are some tips to help you with your fall garden prep.

• Bring tropical and other plants inside for the fall.

• Dig and store summer and fall-flowering bulbs.

• Avoid heavy pruning of trees and shrubs going into the fall months.

• Apply a layer of mulch about 2 to 4 inches deep to the floor of the garden.

• Apply mulch or a wrap around the base of bushes and trees to protect them from the cold temperatures.

• Rake up any leaves that may have already fallen.

• Turn off the water supply to your hose tap and irrigation systems.

• Fallize garden furniture if necessary.

• Fertilize to give your garden one last nutrition boost before fall.

• Empty out and bring in any pots that could break in cold temperatures.

• Plant spring-flowering bulbs with their roots down.

Todd Hrycenko, Global Property Inspections
Phone: 250-371-2787 ac.cbipgnull@ddot

Kamloops Home Inspections: Pool Safety and Air Conditioner Maintenance

Todd Hrycenko Home InspectorPool Safety

Pools are a very popular feature for homes in Kamloops due to our warm weather.  Mid summer is the most popular season for swimming pools in Kamloops. Routine maintenance is important for any swimming pool equipment. Here are some must know/must do items regarding swimming pools.
•  Hire a service contractor to routinely check equipment.
•  Establish a maintenance routine based on your pool equipment.
•  Maintain chemical balance, treatment and water chemistry.
•  Keep records on maintenance and water chemistry.
•  Routinely check for leaks at piping and other systems.
•  Regularly change or clean filters and screens.
•  Never allow children to use the pool without adult supervision.
•  Install an electronic or automated safety monitoring system to detect water movement when the pool is not in use.
•  Secure the pool with a proper enclosure such as a 5′ or higher locking fence when not in use.

Keeping Cool with Air Conditioning

Homes in Kamloops often have air conditioners because of our sometimes blisteringly hot summers but very few people know what what to look for if the air conditioner doesn’t seem to be keeping your home cool.  If your home’s inside temperature is feeling more like the warm outside temperature, it could be a problem with the air conditioning system. What should you do to inspect it if the air conditioning is not working in your home?
•  Check the thermostat. Is it set to “cooling” or “AC?” Is it set lower than the room temperature? If it’s a digital thermostat, is the battery dead?
•  Check the on/off switch on the side of the furnace or near the furnace. The furnace fan distributes air for the air conditioner and must be on.
•  Check if the disconnect switch outside at the AC unit is switched off, disconnect pulled or the fuse blown.
•  Check if the main breaker fuse for the air conditioner is off. Reset the breaker or replace the fuse.
•  Check for a broken belt or clogged air filter on the furnace.  This is a VERY common cause of AC not cooling the entire house properly.
•  Check if the coil above the furnace iced up.
•  Check if the exterior coil is dirty or blocked by plants.  Fallen leaves and cut grass in the air conditioner can greatly reduce your A/Cs effectiveness, efficiency, and life span.
•  It is always important to call a qualified service technician when you have questions or concerns and don’t feel comfortable performing the above checks yourself.
Remember to NEVER put your hands or any other part of your body anywhere where you could be injured.  Guards and covers are there for a reason, don’t remove them to look unless you have disconnected all the power to the system in question.  When in doubt, call a professional.

Todd Hrycenko, Global Property Inspections
Phone: 250-371-2787 ac.cbipgnull@ddot

Kamloops Home Inspections: Fire Escape Emergency Plan And Your Family’s Safety

Introducing a new contributor to the blog, Parker Bennett of Rest Assured Home Inspections. Feel free to post any questions here for Parker.

Parker Bennett Home Inspector Many Kamloops parents probably wouldn’t think of pulling out of the driveway with the kids unbuckled or letting their four year old take a bike ride without a helmet. As a parent you want to prepare your kids to be as safe as possible, but have you planned to get them out alive in the event of an emergency?

The truth is last year Firefighters in Canada were called to over 50,000 residential fires and a recent study revealed that 70% of Canadians have not yet put together a fire escape plan. Are we really giving our kids a chance in the event of a fire without some basic information about what to do in the case of an emergency?

In addition to properly working smoke alarms, the best defense against a fire is a well-rehearsed, escape plan. Having your family ready for a fire can save precious seconds in the event of a real emergency.

Practice Makes Perfect
A fire escape plan should be designed and practiced twice a year. Make the drill fun for the family by practicing with time trials, there’s nothing like a little competitive spirit to drive the efficiency of your escape plan.
The Canada Safety Council recommends these steps to prepare for a family fire drill:
Kamloops Home Fire Plan Escape •    Draw a floor plan of your house.
•    Mark two ways out of each room.
•    Establish a meeting place outside the house.
•    Be sure each family member has the plan and knows the escape route.
•    Post your fire escape plan on the fridge or family bulletin board.
•    Hold a fire drill for your family once or twice a year. Vary the drills, to      practice escaping from different fire sources.
•    Make sure your baby-sitter understands your fire escape plan.
•    Everyone should know NOT to re-enter the home.

All Kamloops homeowners should take the time to check all smoke detectors and design an escape plan to get out alive. Test your kids from time to time with an emergency fire drill and keep everyone up to date with the plan to get out alive.

Parker Bennett, Rest Assured Home Inspections
P. 250-372-7375 E. ac.oohaynull@snoitcepsniemohderussatser
1 2 3