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Your November Home Maintenance Checklist

 
Your November Home Maintenance Checklist

Posted: November 05 2021

Is Your Home Ready For The Cold?

Here’s your pro list of items from our friends at Alberta New Home Warranty suggest you check off your to-do list this month! It’s important to maintain clean filters and properly manage humidity levels to ensure smooth sailing when the freezing temperatures hit!


Clean humidifier

Over time, the repeated evaporation of water will leave mineral deposits in the humidifier, along with dust and other debris. Clean these deposits and debris out with anti-scale products. Due to our dry winter weather, we use humidifiers to maintain our health and the appearance of hardwood floors. Most homes have a drum-type or drip-type humidifier mounted on the side of the furnace. It usually has an automatic water feed from a small line connected to a nearby water line. Over time, the repeated evaporation of water will leave mineral deposits in the humidifier. Dust circulating through the furnace will also deposit in the humidifier. This debris can create a breeding ground for various types of mould and bacteria so it’s important to clean the humidifier on a monthly basis. A number of anti-scale products can simplify the cleaning process. If the unit has a float valve, make sure it opens and shuts down the flow of water to maintain the desired water level.


Set Humidifier

During the spring and fall, relative humidity levels can be set around 40 per cent but should be adjusted to 20 per cent during the coldest winter days. If ice or excessive condensation appears on your windows, reduce the humidity even more.


Clean Range Hood Filters

Clean and replace filters in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Kitchen range hoods are an important part of your home’s ventilation system. They remove odours and improve indoor air quality. Cooking also generates significant airborne moisture which can cause window condensation and mould. A range hood helps draw this moisture out of the home. Filters in the throat of the hood must be kept clean to keep your fan running efficiently and quietly. Some range hood fans are interconnected with the operation of the furnace fan. To ensure this feature continues to work, you must keep the sensor located in the throat of the hood clean. Maintenance or replacement of filters should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Most kitchen exhaust fans have sealed bearings and do not require lubrication.


Check for Condensation and Humidity

If ice or excessive condensation appears on your windows, reduce the humidity in your home.

Ventilation in the home serves three purposes. The first purpose is to ensure fresh air enters the home. The second purpose is to remove odours, excess humidity, and pollutants from the air in the home. The third purpose is to balance air being exhausted out of the home by drawing an equal amount of clean air into the home. This balance ensures moisture generated in the home is not forced into the walls or that gases moving out of exhaust vents or chimneys are not pulled back into the home. Attic ventilation is separate from home ventilation. Windows are the simplest ventilation system in a home. For example, windows near a source of moisture, such as a bathroom, can open to vent out excess moisture and odours. This, however, does not work well in the winter as windows tend to ice over. With a forced-air heating system (furnace with ducting), fresh air is brought into the home from an intake vent (located near the ground at one side of the home) every time the furnace fan runs. Kitchen and bath fans draw humidity and odours from cooking and bathing out of the home before the vapour can circulate. In some cases, the furnace fan and one or more of the exhaust fans are interconnected. This is an attempt to balance air coming into the home with air being exhausted out of the home. Remember, exhaust fans are only effective when they are switched on. 


Check and Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector Batteries

Make sure you read the owner’s manual for both your CO and smoke detectors. Experts recommend having both battery-powered and wired-in models for an added level of protection.



Resources:

2, NIKUL November, and Plaxedes November 2. “November Maintenance Checklist.” Alberta New Home Warranty Program, 1 Nov. 2021, https://anhwp.com/2021/11/01/november-maintenance-checklist

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