May 162011

Air Conditioning (A/C) Efficiency Tips for Home Owners by Jim Bodnarchuk

Now that you have you’re A/C unit up and running for the first time this year, you may have noticed
the unit is not functioning well. It may be making a strange noise or not emitting the cool air it did
last year. Consider the age of the unit before calling for a technician. It may cost more to repair a unit
than to purchase a new, more energy efficient one. It may be in your best interest to upgrade, as per
government regulations.

Most units built before 2006 are not energy efficient and have a rating of 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy
Efficient Rate). Government regulations mandate manufactures to produce a more efficient unit due
to the high cost and consumption of electricity. If your unit is rating 10 SEER or lower you really should
consider a new one. As of January 2011, and up until December 2011, Ontario is offering rebates up to
$650.00 as incentive to install an energy efficient – Energy Star A/C unit.

The next generation of A/C units is 13 – 17 SEER. If your unit meets these standards and you are still
not satisfied with the performance of your unit, then definitely call the heating/cooling company.
Whether buying new or calling for repair and maintenance make sure to:

  • Call 3 to 4 different companies to compare unit as well as pricing
  • Ask which manufactures model they supply and the pricing of each. Sometimes the cheaper price is not always the best price.
  • Consider the noise level of the unit asking for the report on the noise output. The higher the dBA (decibel) rating the louder it will be. The higher the RPM (revolutions per minute) rating the higher the pitch will be.
  • Ask if the same coil in your furnace and supply lines can be reused. This depends on the manufacture specification.
  • Ask the various companies if they have a maintenance or warranty program. This will help prolong the life of your A/C Unit. Most companies will back up the purchase with their warranty to service and protect your unit and make sure it is running at optimum efficiency.

Remember to Be cool this summer.

You can also do some more research at:

~Be as informed as you can be~

May 162011

Air Conditioning (A/C) Tips for Home Owners by Jim Bodnarchuk

Now that you have you’re A/C unit up and running for the first time this year, you may have noticed
the unit is not functioning well. It may be making a strange noise or not emitting the cool air it did
last year. Consider the age of the unit before calling for a technician. It may cost more to repair a unit
than to purchase a new, more energy efficient one. It may be in your best interest to upgrade, as per
government regulations.

Most units built before 2006 are not energy efficient and have a rating of 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy
Efficient Rate). Government regulations mandate manufactures to produce a more efficient unit due
to the high cost and consumption of electricity. If your unit is rating 10 SEER or lower you really should
consider a new one. As of January 2011, and up until December 2011, Ontario is offering rebates up to
$650.00 as incentive to install an energy efficient – Energy Star A/C unit.

The next generation of A/C units is 13 – 17 SEER. If your unit meets these standards and you are still
not satisfied with the performance of your unit, then definitely call the heating/cooling company.
Whether buying new or calling for repair and maintenance make sure to:

  • Call 3 to 4 different companies to compare unit as well as pricing
  • Ask which manufactures model they supply and the pricing of each. Sometimes the cheaper price is not always the best price.
  • Consider the noise level of the unit asking for the report on the noise output. The higher the dBA (decibel) rating the louder it will be. The higher the RPM (revolutions per minute) rating the higher the pitch will be.
  • Ask if the same coil in your furnace and supply lines can be reused. This depends on the manufacture specification.
  • Ask the various companies if they have a maintenance or warranty program. This will help prolong the life of your A/C Unit. Most companies will back up the purchase with their warranty to service and protect your unit and make sure it is running at optimum efficiency.

Remember to Be cool this summer.
~Be as informed as you can be~

You can also do some more research at:

May 112011

Air Conditioning (A/C) Tips for Home Owners by Jim Bodnarchuk

It’s that time of year again. Time to take a look at starting your A/C Unit. After this year’s long winter in the GTA, the summer season is finally here. You need to be ready to cool down during the hot, humid months ahead when the breezes won’t be so cool and a fan just won’t do.

Clean or Change Your Filter: First thing you should do is check your filter on the furnace. You may need to replace the filter. If it is re-usable wash it with dish liquid and water. Make sure to rinse well.  If the fan is constantly in use, you may need to clean the filter once or twice a month.Air Conditioner

Inspect the Power Supply: Before you power up the unit check the power supply to be sure that the source has been on for more than 12 hours. This will allow the compressor oil to warm allowing an easier start up. If you do not allow this time period the compressor could burn out and be very costly to repair or replace.

Timing is everything: Be sure that the temperature outside is at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius) or higher otherwise the unit may burn out from being overworked. Your best setting indoors is at 1 degree lower than comfortable room temperature which is usually 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid Mold: Make sure all drainage from your unit is moving away from the building or into a waste pipe to eliminate unwanted humidity that can cause water damage or mold problems.

Be cool this summer and keep your A/C in good condition.

Jim from Iron View Inspections

Mar 292011

Warmer temperatures, a little rain, balmy breezes during the day and a few evening winds to dry it all up. Crocus and Hyacinth graced us some bloom. First signs of spring are all but buried now a few weeks later, colder temperatures, blizzard conditions that left the GTA wondering if we should have called another snow day shut down. Let’s hope it is the last and not a prequel to Ice storms.

While we have that light blanket of snow, take advantage. The upside of this weather phenomenon is that we will have one last chance to observe what is happening on the exterior of our homes and buildings. Get your maintenance list ready. CMHC provides a great check list of things to do for seasonal maintenance of your home. Check out the CMHC Home Maintenance Schedule now.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the things that you can do for the exterior of your home:

  • Look for those places where melting snow is dripping through eves trough seams that need sealing or replacing
  • Check those shingles for wet spots where snow has melted, indicating heat loss
  • Look for areas around the foundation where melting snow or rain is pooling and make a note to fill and grade soil slopping away from the foundation
  • Watch for those plantings that are sprouting and spreading too close to the foundations and make accommodation to trim them or transplant them at least two feet away from the foundation to allow for proper air flow and reduce humidity and moisture build up which can lead to mildew growth  compromising concrete
  • Watch for pavement that has lifted due to frost and make a note to reset and level walking paths.

Inside make it a point to check:

  • The attic for ventilation leaks or ice dams
  • Dryer vents should be cleaned from lint build up
  • If it is taking longer to dry your laundry that is evidence of lint build up in your venting tubes, lint build up can cause combustion fires
  • Your furnace filters and hot water tank valves should be checked too

Regular maintenance will improve the Air quality in your home. Consider the non-chemical way to freshen your space from odours trapped in fabrics and venting systems before summer arrives, the windows are closed tight for optimum A/C. You will be too busy enjoying the outdoors come mid-April if this year is anything like last. Once you are spending your days outside, consider Ozone Shock treatments to purify the air and dissipate odour build up in your living environment. It only takes a leisurely day away to perform this service for improved Air Quality.

HAPPY SPRING TIME

From the team at Iron View Inspections

Mar 142011

An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain.

More and more property and home investors are being counseled to find an Inspector prior to hiring the realtor. That is because researching an inspector takes time. It used to be the norm to call for an inspector within the 3 to 5 days following an offer on a home or commercial property. An inspection was recommended by a realtor as a condition prior to purchase of a home or building. A good realtor will always recommend and inspection. Three to five days offers little time to learn whether an inspector will do the job you want them to do.

Some inspectors advise that you learn how long an inspector has been in the inspection business. However, the media daily exposes inspectors who have been around for up to 20 years who are not performing thorough inspections. Some of those inspectors claim to have engineering accreditation but do they have hands on building experience affording them reliable, skilled, judgment? Iron View Inspections believes that it isn’t how long you have been in the inspections business that tells the quality of the service. Rather it is more important to learn the following, when researching an inspector. Use the following questions as a checklist to help you select the inspector that’s right for you when you’re building your team of real estate professionals.

  • How much experience does the inspector have in the construction industry?
  • How much experience has been spent over seeing and inspecting the work of building trades?
  • Is the inspector a certified member of an accredited inspections association?
  • Can the inspector provide reference for past inspections and proof of registration?

Iron View Inspections has been performing home and commercial building inspections for a few years in the GTA. We are building a reputation for excellence and satisfaction with 28 years of experience in the construction industry, from demo to foundation to finishing work, supervising and inspecting the trades through every aspect of building and maintenance. We adhere to provincial building codes. We are certified and we continue to expand our knowledge through education and technology. We are reliable, skilled, judges concerning all facets in the inspections domain.
Call us today to ask for our references.

Dec 302010

Have you ever heard a Realty agent ranting about the problems caused by an inspectors report which lead to stressed negotiations about repair agreements? We have more than once.

There are some Inspectors that go to the extreme, just as there are relators and home buyers who support extremes. There are home inspectors with engineering designation who miss visible issues that can be detrimental to your financial investment. It is safe to say that no one position offers a guarantee that a home will be worry free.

Good inspectors don’t make or break the deal. They don’t even get involved in the deal. They simply report, inform what they do see and what they do not see and why they cannot see?

We recently encountered a situation where one inspector told a prospective buyer that there might be mould in the attic but a mould inspection was not necessary.  This inspector may have been a little extreme in his caution. The prospective buyer and his realtor suggested that the sellers put on a new roof with new insulation then they would finalize the deal at the seller’s price. Of course you can imagine that the sellers would not consider the offer even if they were getting their asking price.  They had lived in the home for half a decade without issue. For their peace of mind, they instead called for a mould inspection from Iron View Inspections who sent the test samples to an independent lab. They learned there was not a moisture problem in the attic which would promote mould growth. They also learned that the mould spore count that might be present on materials and in the air was no more harmful than the mould we breathe daily indoors at work or carry into our home on our shoes and pet hair from outdoors. Their home sold to another buyer at their asking price a week later. They moved on with peace in the knowledge from that minimal cost to have a Pre-sale and mould inspection, that they were not living in a home with mould issues or selling a home with issues that might come back to haunt them after selling.

Another situation that we encountered not long ago was an agent representing the prospective buyer during the inspection. The agent, not even a third of the way through reading the report, anxiously accused our inspector of being too thorough and therefore heading toward killing the deal he had worked so hard to put together. Our inspector took extra time to meet with the prospective buyer to explain the reasons for listing all maintenance issues, explaining the minimal cost to get his maximum return on the investment. The prospective buyer was very grateful and became an owner, for the first time, of an investment property and has called our inspector back to report on his next investment.

A reasonable buying agent will inform a prospective buyer that a good inspector will include on inspection reports advisories at specific points of reference so that monitoring of given systems or the possibility of a future issue can be dealt with successfully and at minimal cost. All buildings have systems with their own unique issues that will need maintenance down the road. A good inspector will report such items on his report.

It is very crucial to remember that clients make a decision to buy a home or property because they like it. Once the offer is made they want to take a cautionary attitude and be sure that their investment is worthy. An inspector is hired to find issues the client or the realtor may not be able to discover on their own.Many sellers are now considering Pre-sale inspections to inform themselves of issues that may be present in their homes that might deter quick sale.

~Be As Informed As You Can Be~

Let us know what you think.

Aug 172010

The GTA is one of those areas were moisture can and at some point will become a problem in
living environments if not kept under control. Our city and surrounding area radiates above the
lake and is inundated by rivers and creeks and surrounded by farmland, orchards and vineyard
of the Green Belt. All these environments create for a lot of moisture in the air. Our exceptionally
hot, humid summers where a continual flow of air-conditioned interiors pitted against the heated
exteriors lend to a saturation of moisture in interior air, in homes and places of business.

Older homes built in these regions without proper vapour barriers, thermal insulation and newer
air exchange systems and may have earthen floors and crawl spaces, will find sweating of the
envelope to be a problem. More often than not however, moisture issues develop from within
the home than from the exterior. Newer built homes may find they have even more moisture
problems due to moisture evaporation of the newer building materials including the everyday
use of convenience appliances. If moisture is not controlled, insulation may become damp and
effectiveness will be compromised. If you find wooden floors buckling, gypsum clammy to the
touch, paint peeling, you probably have too much moisture in your environment.

Having your home inspected on a regular basis and budgeting in maintenance checks on HVAC
and air quality is the best way to protect your biggest investment from moisture problems. A
knowledgeable Inspector can offer solutions to your particular living and working environment,
eliminating headaches that may creep up during winter months. A time of year you do not want to
be dealing with messy repairs.

www.home-smart.org/how_your_house_works

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Aug 122010

Don’t panic if your house or the house you are planning to buy has aluminum wiring. Aluminum
wiring began to be used residentially in the early 1970’s. It has been implicated in a number of
house fires. Even though most jurisdictions no longer permit it in new installations, it has never
been banned. However, it received so much bad press, that aluminum wiring stopped going into
houses by the late 1970’s.

Aluminum wiring has a higher resistance than copper and builds up heat, expanding when used,
then contracts when cooling and at times oxidizes. All of this activity stretches the wires and may
cause loose connections. It is usually a thicker wire than copper wiring. Aluminum wiring is used
today to bring power into the house from the street.

Aluminum wire in your home is not a problem but other factors about its connections and
condition are. You may see “ALUMINUM” or “AL” printed on the cable, if it is still legible. To be
sure have an inspector check the wiring to be safe. If your inspector detects issues he should
make written recommendation for you to have a licensed electrician check the wiring, on his
report. A home inspector is not licensed to tighten, change or perform work on the wiring.

View the following sites for more important details:

www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wiring/part2/section-16

www.media.reliancenetwork.com/media/downloads/RemaxIL/200614473328.pdf

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminum_wire

Mar 182010

This is our 1st testimonial from a very happy customer, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in the same level of great service from our staff.

“I had never heard of the ozonation process and it’s benefits so I thought I’d try it inside my car. What a difference it made! It was fast and left my car smelling much better having the musty smell removed. I’d recommend anyone who struggles with asthma and allergies like myself to try this out – you’ll be amazed with the difference”. SK – Kitchener, ON

Feb 182010

Here it is folks. The 3rd in the series of The Do’s and The Dont’s, requirements of a property inspector.  Structure = the bones of the building. If the Iron View Inspections Inc. inspector thinks  the structure is compromised and an engineer or architect is required to  investigate further, the inspector will note such on his report.

~Be As Full Informed As You Can Be~

Reporting structural observations is part of a home inspector’s job.  Offering a definitive determination as to the cause of any defects or anomalies is NOT.  So, remember:  Home inspectors are barred from providing engineering services.  The job of the home inspector is to OBSERVE and REPORT.

An inspector is required to: *Observe and Report (O&R)

  • Visible foundation walls *(O&R)
  • Floors, columns, walls, roofs, attics *(O&R)
  • Report any general indications of foundation movement observed by the inspector, such as but not limited to drywall cracks, brick cracks, out-of-square door frames or floor slopes and concrete wall cracks *(O&R)
  • Report on cutting, notching and boring of framing members which may present a structural or safety concern *(O&R)
  • Chimneys *(O&R)
  • Wood in contact or near soil *(O&R)
  • Crawl spaces, basements *(O&R)
  • Observe and report any evidence of deterioration from insects, rot or fire *(O&R)

An inspector is not required to: *Observe and Report (O&R)

  • Inspect areas that are not reasonably accessible or visible *(O&R
  • Enter any crawl spaces that are not readily accessible or where entry could cause damage or pose a hazard to the inspector *(O&R)
  • Move stored items or debris *(O&R)
  • Identify size, spacing, span, location or determine adequacy of foundation bolting, bracing, joists, joist-span or support systems *(O&R)
  • Provide any engineering or architectural service *(O&R)
  • Report on the adequacy of any structural system or component *(O&R)

Performing the structural portion of a home inspection on a finished and occupied dwelling is a daunting task.  Time limitations are a reality during any home inspection.  Furniture, insulation, clutter, stored items–all present potential limitations on view and access.  Lighting, painted surfaces and edges can play tricks on the inspector’s eyes.  Distractions, fatigue and stress can all take their toll.

Throughout the home inspection, try to keep conscious of the fact that almost everything you observe provides information about the home’s structural integrity.  A holistic approach to performing home inspections is always best.

Sources: Inspect4U & InterNACHI

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