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Home Maintenance Guide

Buying a new home is an exciting and we want to help you keep your home running as efficiently as the day you bought it. We have compiled a list of items that you may find useful. The below guide outlines how to maintain key elements in your home.

Furnace Maintenance

It is important to properly maintain your home’s furnace for optimal efficiency, longer life and warranty protection. Clean filters allow your HVAC system to function correctly.  Avoid paying higher energy bills for an ineffective heating and cooling unit By making it easy for air to circulate through your home.

  • Furnace filters should be changed every 4-6 months. During the winter, when you rely on your heating system more, you should consider increasing the frequency.

    Furnace filters should be checked regularly as there are many things that could shorten the life of your furnace filter. Some examples would be if there is a lot of construction in the area, landscaping work being completed and animal hair.

  • The best way to tell if your furnace filter needs replacing is to check it regularly.

    Significantly discoloured, dusty or covered with hair or damaged – Particles covering a filter are likely getting spread through your home’s air. Look for dirt, dust, and debris buildup along the edges and interior of the filter. You should also check for any physical damage, such as rips or tears.

    Higher energy bills or a spike in your monthly costs – a dirty filter restricts airflow and this forces the HVAC system to work harder to circulate air through the home.

    Decreased air flow – a clogged filter will restrict air from passing through. If you notice a musty smell or lower air flow when using your furnace, your filter may need replacing.

    Fatigue, allergies, headaches and other respiratory ailments –  If your filter has not been changed it may result in physical issues.

    Checking/replacing your furnace filter regularly helps your furnace run as efficient as possible and leads to longer life of the furnace as well.

  • We use 4” and 5” filters (Merv 10 and Merv 11) and can be purchased at most hardware stores, through your HVAC installer (WeissJohnson/Legacy Heating) or online.

  • To replace your furnace filter, first, remove the metal cover plate and remove the old filter.

    When installing new filter, you will notice that the filter has an arrow indicating the direction of air flow. The air runs from your return air ducts into your filter rack that holds your furnace filter, then into the furnace blower cabinet. This air then gets distributed throughout the rest of your house.

  • 1. Improved Air Quality: Changing your furnace filter regularly can help improve the air quality in your home. A clean furnace filter will trap airborne particles and pollutants, reducing air contamination in your living space.

    2. Increased Efficiency: A clogged or dirty filter can cause your furnace to work harder than necessary to push air through the system. This can result in an increase in energy costs and decreased system efficiency.

    3. Extended Furnace Life: Replacing your furnace filter regularly can help protect the motors and other components from damage. This can help extend the life of your furnace and prevent the need for expensive repairs.

gas hot water tank

Regularly checking your hot water tank can help you identify problems early on and help prevent any major repairs or replacement that could arise from neglect. Additionally, it’s important to monitor the temperature of your hot water tank to ensure proper energy efficiency and safety. Monitoring could also help you detect any potential gas leaks, which should be addressed quickly for safety.

  • Your Cantiro home has a 50 gallon hot water tank.

  • It is recommended to drain/flush your hot water tank and check all water valves every 2 years. To flush your hot water tank, you will need to do the following:

    1. Turn off main supply to hot water tank.
    2. Hook up hose and open drain supply at bottom of hot water tank, this hose can be directed to a floor drain and allow tank to drain completely.
    3. After hot water tank is completely drained, turn on your supply line for 20-30 seconds to flush any settlement that might be in your tank.
    4. Once all water has drained from that flush, you can close your drain supply and repressure the tank by turning your supply line on completely.
  • You can reach out to RipRap Plumbing 780-968-6956 for builder pricing on this service.

  • Your hot water tank has a pressure release valve located on the side of your hot water tank, there will never be a need to test this valve. If you ever see water at or coming out of this pressure release valve, call your builder or plumber immediately.

Sump Pump

A well-maintained sump pump will ensure that the pump is functioning correctly, preventing flooding and other water damage. Keeping your sump pump clean and clear of debris will also help to ensure it works properly when needed.

  • Image sourced from www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-install-a-sump-pump/

    The sump pump collects water that has seeped into the sump basin, and pumps it out, away from the house and onto an area where it can safely drain away, such as the lawn, or a nearby storm sewer. Sump pumps can also be used to remove water from storm drains or pools and are completely automatic, activating when the water level in the sump basin rises too high and then turning off when the water level is back down to a certain level. Sump pumps help keep basements and foundations free of water and prevent flooding and costly repairs.

  • Your sump pump should be opened and checked yearly to ensure both pump and float mechanism are free from dirt/debris to ensure they function when required.

    It is also good practice to make sure your sump pump is working when the snow starts to melt in the early spring as well as through the rainy season (typically March through May).

  • To check the sump pail:

    1. Remove the four screws holding the lid in place, a flashlight will help with taking a look as a normal sump pale is 3 feet deep and on a walkout basement is 6 to 8 feet deep.
    2. Upon inspection, if there is a large amount of mud/sand you will have to remove that by hand or in most cases a wet dry shop vac.
    3. Once that sump pail is all cleaned, you can go ahead and resecure the lid that was initially removed by reinstalling the four screws.

    Note: Sump pails on walk out basements are a lot deeper and the excess electrical cord will be inside the sump pail. On a normal 3 foot sump pail, it is extremely important that the excess electrical cord is coiled up outside of the sump pail as this could get tangled within the float, not allowing the system to work properly.

HRV

All Cantiro homes are equipped with an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator). The purpose of an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) is to improve air quality in the home by exchanging stale, inside air with pre-treated/filtered, fresh outside air. The HRV is able to pre-treat the outside air while also recovering the heat from the exiting, stale air, thus maintaining the desired room temperature. The HRV uses an air-to-air heat exchanger, filters and fans to move the air exchange process. Every Cantiro bathroom has a wet pick-up that removes both odours and moisture created from baths and showers.

  • Running a Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system ensures a comfortable and healthy indoor environment. HRV systems help reduce energy costs, while simultaneously improving air quality by circulating fresh air throughout the building. These systems also aid reducing humidity levels, and the occurrence of airborne contaminants. HRV systems provide continual fresh air while recirculating warm air to reduce energy costs. In addition, the installation of an HRV system helps to reduce the potential spread of airborne illness and viruses, reduces the risk of mold, and provides improved air quality indoors.

  • We recommend the maintenance on your HRV is completed twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

  • You will need to open the front of your unit. There are two latches located at the top of your HRV, this unit will turn off on its own, no need to look for a shut-off switch.

    Now the HRV is open, you will have two green-ish coloured pre-filters located on the top sides of your HRV core, these will need to be vacuumed off and rinsed under water.  These filters should last the lifetime of your HRV.

    Your HRV core slides straight out. This core will need to be cleaned by vacuuming all surfaces and than soaking it in warm soapy water for 20-30 min. After that, you will need to rinse and rotate to remove soapy water.

    Before putting everything back into the HRV unit you will need to vacuum and wipe out all bugs and dust.

    Please note, when sliding the HRV core back in, it does not sit straight, it will sit on an angle.

    Once all filters and interior of HRV box is cleaned and reinstalled you can close and lock the door on your HRV, this unit will turn back on by itself once the door is closed.

    Please ensure to grab your HRV core from the front and back as the side are made of soft aluminum and will bend very easy.

Hose Bibs

Hose bibs are valves that are installed outdoors for the purpose of connecting a garden hose or sprinkler system. They are used to control the flow of water to the various garden fixtures and to shut off the water supply when it is not in use. The biggest advantage of hose bibs is that they provide an accessible shut-off point for the water supply, allowing you to easily control the water supply to your garden fixtures or areas.

Your Cantiro home is equipped with frost-free hose bibs.