Archive | Heating-Cooling

Costly Contamination: When Rusty Pipes and Oil Tanks Leak

On a recent home inspection, we smelled oil in the home. Inhabited by an elderly person who spent most of her time alone, she didn’t know where the smell came from. We investigated. Then, when we went around outdoors, and saw the oil pipe. It looked almost like a tree trunk! This pipe, which supplied oil to the […]

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Posted in Exterior, Heating-Cooling, Specialized Inspections508 Comments

Water-Cooled Air Conditioner: Illegal in Montreal as of 2018

(Plus a Montreal water usage primer!) Watering your lawn at 7am? First offence: $200 to $500, and up to $1000 for a second offence. -And as of January 2018, running an air-conditioner connected to the aqueduct that does not have a water recycling system will be prohibited and fined, according to  Montreal By-law 13-023. The […]

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Posted in Heating-Cooling, Seasonal685 Comments

Effective Ventilation System Maintenance Stops Ice Damming

Without a working ventilation system on your roof, your home could thaw out snow and ice on the roof, turning it to water. The water pools, then freezes and melts again causing roof damage and leaks. – And for home owners who haven’t done regular maintenance on their roof, that means water damage from ice damming! After […]

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Posted in Chimney and vent, Heating-Cooling, Insulation-Ventilation, Roofing516 Comments

Crack, Snap, Boom! House Noises in the Night

Snap Crackle Boom! Why is my house making cracking sounds in the night? We got a call a couple of weeks ago from a man in a panic because he’d heard his home making a huge boom sound in the night. “My house made a huge big bang sound in the middle of the night! Something must have […]

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Posted in Heating-Cooling, Structure697 Comments

Removing Ice from your Roof

Deep freeze at -26 celcius. Next day, a balmy 2 degrees and everthing melts. Then it rains. Then freeze again. What’s a homeowner to do? Be prepared. Freezing and melting water can be your home’s biggest enemy. Ice, especially, can cause a lot of damage. Fact is, removing thick ice from a roof is difficult – […]

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Posted in Insulation and Ventilation, Insulation-Ventilation, Roofing671 Comments

Winter Preparation: it’s not nuts!

All the squirrels and chipmunks are running around, busy collecting nuts, making sure their homes are well stocked… and you? What exactly are you doing to get ready for winter? Before settling into hibernation mode, it’s a good idea to do a thorough walk around your home and see what may benefit from a little […]

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Posted in Heating-Cooling, Seasonal483 Comments

How NOT to install your water heater

Mose inspectors recently came across this water heater installed in the worst way imaginable! Do NOT try this at home: For the record: a couple of angle brackets held on with screws are not sufficient to hold up a large, heavy tank full of hot water! Don’t be afraid to consult a professional.

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Posted in Heating-Cooling699 Comments

The Insulating Value of Snow

How much snow do you need to keep your heating bill down? Quite a lot. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have your house surrounded by snow. The average insulating R-value of snow is R-1. To compare, the R-value of wood is R-0.75 and brick is (R-0.2). And snow is not just good at insulating heat. […]

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Posted in Heating-Cooling, Insulation-Ventilation, Seasonal665 Comments

Turning up the heat? Or changing it?

Are you worried about soaring energy costs? Frustrated by the feeble excuses from the government and the oil companies? If you heat your home with oil, your burning question is probably “Should we get rid of our oil furnace?” The answer is yes, and no. Sometimes, an upgrade is the better solution to increase your […]

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Posted in Furnace, Heating-Cooling483 Comments

Roasting chestnuts on an open fire…

It’s that time for roasting chestnuts, and for some of us, that means lighting up the fireplace. But make sure you do it safely. –We recently did an inspection of a 1940’s home in TMR and found a charred joist in the basement that looked like it had been exposed to fire. Upon further investigation, […]

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Posted in Chimney and vent, Seasonal463 Comments

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