Friday, 16 May 2014

7-Step HRV Maintenance Schedule

With routine preventative maintenance, you can avoid unnecessary problems, ensure the effectiveness of your HRV, and prolong its life.

For additional specific instructions, refer to your HRV operating manual or ask the contractor who installed or services the HRV to demonstrate the proper maintenance procedures.

1. Clean or replace air filters. Filters, which are located within the HRV should be cleaned every two to three months. Washable filters should be vacuumed first, then washed with a mild soap and water. Most washable filters will last several years before needing to be replaced.

2. Clear the exterior intake and exhaust vents of obstructions. Check the outside vents regularly to ensure that the screen openings are not obstructed by grass, bushes, leaves, snow or other debris.

3. Clean the heat-exchange core. Inspect the heat-exchange core twice a year and clean it as required (consult your owner’s manual for instructions on inspecting and cleaning the core). A build-up of dust and dirt can restrict airflow and reduce the efficiency of your HRV. After inspection and cleaning, make sure the core is replaced right-side-up.

4. Clean the condensate drain and pan. Twice a year, check the condensate drain (and tubing to ensure that they are open and free-flowing. The tubing can be disconnected for cleaning. The condensate drain must have a “trap” in the tubing that traps a quantity of water – to prevent air from entering the HRV via this tubing.

Monday, 5 May 2014

An Investment in Lifestyle

Written by Mike Moore of the Manitoba Home Builders Association (MHBA)

When we say in this column that a new home is a good investment, it often only gets taken one way. Unfortunately, some people see the word investment and only think of it in terms of money. We invest in stocks, bonds or precious metals to make money, so naturally, many people think that an investment in a new home has a goal of making money.

Recent years in our local market has proven that to be true, but also limited in scope. Real estate reports indicate that in eight of the last ten years, values in the resale home market have increased by double digits. That is to say that house prices have increased by 10% per year or more. Couple that with the fact that Winnipeg has less than half the listings per capita than either Calgary or Saskatoon and again one could not be faulted for buying a new home for the expressed purpose of seeing it appreciate in value before selling it in a local market that has tremendous demand.

However, most of us are also investors in lifestyle and our own personal well-being. A new home is more than just money; it’s where we want to live; where we want to develop life-long friendships with our neighbours; where we want our children to go to school; where we want to shop; and where we want to raise our family.

A new home can be a new beginning.