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Latest news, sports, business, entertainment, comments and reviews from the Winnipeg Free Press, your local newspaper.
Actived: Sunday Dec 1, 2019
No need to run HVAC, furnace fans continuously - Winnipeg
This is the proper operation for switches in bathrooms that to remove excess moisture, but not at the main control. The main control should have an option for continuous use, but there should also be a functional humidistat which will operate when the continuous switch is off or on a low setting.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Furnace new, but outside-air intake
The first is to bring in sufficient combustion air for natural gas-burning appliances such as furnaces and water heaters. This is a more critical item if the units are enclosed in a small area with limited air available. Often, these appliances can be cut off from sufficient combustion air by the walls and doors in finished basements.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Don't use HRV unit during summer months
Shutting off the HRV and running the A/C on hot summer days will combine to alleviate your moisture issues, and setting the humidistat at levels below 50 per cent RH over the heating season is the proper methodology for our climate.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Lots of options for leaving cottage in
Turning off the heat completely should cool then entire building, and the soil beneath it, preventing this issue. The main thing to remember when shutting off the heat and water for the winter is to completely drain the water supply to prevent freezing and damage to the fixtures or pipes.
Must I heat the cottage over the winter? - Winnipeg Free
Since you may be planning on only using your cabin only once during the long winter, shutting off the heat may be a wise decision, but there are items that will need addressing with that choice. When "winterizing" a summer residence, the primary concern is what to do with a plumbing system that would surely freeze during sub-zero temperatures.
Sealing unused chimney need not be a complicated task
Answer: It is true that myself and others have recommended capping off an older, unused chimney to prevent moisture and air-leakage issues, but we have been vague about specific methods. I will try to highlight the key considerations when doing this task, whether by yourself or with professional help.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Flakey basement walls sign of costly
For the reason stated above, applying any interior sealers or repairs may be futile. If you try to seal the interior surface of the concrete, and it still remains wet and the sealer will either flake off or cause even more damage to the wall. The real solution is to stop the water from getting into the concrete in the first place.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Cap that sump pit to combat humidity, radon
QUESTION: I have an interesting question for you about our house, which is in the country and about eight years old. Should a sump pit in a basement, next to a forced-air electric furnace, be capped to vent outside?
Removing outside sump pump hose in winter critical
If your solid discharge pipe extends a short distance outside your house or foundation wall, it should have a fitting on the end that accepts a standard corrugated sump hose. A pipe clamp is often used to secure the pipe to the fitting and simply loosening this clamp with a screwdriver, twisting and sliding the hose off is all that is required.
Discarding chimney a common dilemma - Winnipeg Free Press
To reduce air flow around the chimney stack and improve heating efficiency, should I consider removing as much of the metal chimney stack as possible, and closing off the chimney openings on the roof and in the ceiling/attic cavity?
Stains in attic not always cause for concern - Winnipeg
Seeing some stains on the underside of the roof sheathing, or framing, may not be a cause for serious concern. Cleaning them off manually will not be worth the effort, but further improvements to insulation and ventilation may prevent the problem from getting out of hand.
Seal unused chimney top and bottom - Winnipeg Free Press Homes
The easiest option to seal this old vent would be to climb on the roof, remove the metal rain cap and install a properly sized flat metal cap in its place. This cap should be screwed in place and sealed with caulking to prevent blowing off or leaking.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Why you should never unplug your sump
The reason that you should never unplug your sump pump is that water can drain into the sump pit at any time, even in the dead of winter. Even if the ground is snow covered and is frozen a metre of so below the surface, it may not be near the footing or bottom part of the foundation.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Proper removal of moss on cedar
If you are cleaning your roof with a hose or pressure washer, you always want the spray to be aimed downward to prevent forcing water underneath the shingles. Once you have cleared the roof of leaves and twigs, small amounts of moss should come off fairly easily with a very stiff broom, wire brush or water from a hose.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: Ridge vents may not add much benefit
If the bottom of each rafter cavity is not properly vented with a similar-sized opening as the top, condensation is almost a certainty. What also happens in that situation is that snow melts off the upper part of the roof and the water runs underneath the snow pack to the cooler eaves where it freezes, creating ice dams.
HRV settings key to homeowner's woes - Winnipeg Free Press
And the advice you received to turn the unit off when it is really cold outside leads me to believe that even some professionals are unsure about the proper functioning of these devices, or they're taking the easy way out.
Vent blockage a common cold-climate problem - Winnipeg
QUESTION: I enjoy reading your column and hope you can make a suggestion that will eliminate a problem I am having. I have two roof vent pipes installed on the north side of my home and they face the prevailing northeast winter winds.
Take steps before turning down thermostat in empty house
To further eliminate the possibility of frozen water pipes, shutting off the water and draining the pipes may be your best defence. Shutting off the water supply is something that should be done anytime you leave your home for an extended period of time. This is critical, since the water supply is a pressurized system.
ASK THE INSPECTOR: How to quiet sump-pump drain-pipe racket
The sump pit is in the middle of the house, and when the water is pumped out, it passes over a frequently used guest room, waking guests in the night with what we think may be the water backing down the pipe once the pump shuts off. The pipes vibrate a lot and make a racket when this happens.