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Home Tips

Tips and FAQs on building and maintaining your new home

House Tips
Clean or replace your furnace filter every one or two months.
A dirty or clogged furnace filter reduces air flow, which causes the furnace to run longer to reach the desired house temperature.
An ENERGY STAR qualified furnace with a variable speed DC motor saves more energy.
With this type of furnace can save you over 15% on your heating costs. The DC furnace motor also reduces the cost of running your central air conditioning in the summer. Streetscape includes an ENERGY STAR qualified furnace in all 2009 houses.
Lower your thermostat by 4-5 degrees at night or when you are away from home.
You can save approximately 2% on your heating bill for every one degree Celsius that you turn down your thermostat. Streetscape includes a programmable thermostat in all new houses.
Use water-conserving shower heads.
Low-flow shower heads use up to 70% less water than traditional shower heads. More Canadian households are taking advantage of water-saving devices such as low-flow shower heads and high-efficiency toilets. Streetscape's Kohler showerheads use less water while maintaining optimal performance and a thoroughly enjoyable showering experience.
Maintaining the ground sloping away from your foundation will protect your home.
Keeping the spring run-off and rain water flowing away from your house is your best protection against basement flooding. It is good practice to walk around and inspect the ground around your foundation at least twice a year. Every spring and fall, make sure that there is positive drainage away from your house. Low spots in the grade are an invitation to water during spring thaw and heavy rains. Even the best foundation waterproofing will not protect your home if your grade is not properly maintained. Use a heavy clay based material to fill these low spots; topsoil and sandy soils are not recommended as they do not help shed water.
Install high-efficiency toilets and save water.
More that 50% of the toilets in use today consume over 13L.per flush. Streetscape has been installing 6L. flush toilets since 2001. For 2009 we are now installing Kohler dual flush toilets or toilets that use 4.8L or less. This is part of our commitment to building all of our homes ENERGY STAR qualified in Saskatoon and area.
CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) save your money and the environment.
The more you invest in energy-efficient lighting, the more you will save in the long term. This is true whether you are replacing incandescent bulbs a few at a time, designing a new lighting system, or building a new home. A typical house has 26 light bulbs that use about $200 worth of electricity each year. Replacing just five incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs in high-use fixtures (lights that are on more than three hours a day) saves approximately $30 a year. Replacing incandescent bulbs throughout your home with ENERGY STAR qualified CLFs and fixtures could save as much as $125 a year. *Information taken from Resource Efficient Housing Inc
How do I protect my home from the spring melt
Here are a few tips to help make sure your home stays dry during the spring melt season. Make sure that any surface water is draining away from the foundation of your home. Ensure downspouts extensions are in the downwardly sloped position so water drains away from your home. Inspect the perimeter of your home regularly for signs of backfill settling Fill settled area with clay as needed to maintain positive drainage. Pay special attention to the grading under your deck (if you have one) to make sure that water drains away from your home as this area is often overlooked. Ensure to remove snow away from your foundation.  You may want to keep it clear up to 4 feet from the foundation. Remove any snow from around basement windows and inside window wells. Check to make sure the sump pump is working properly by putting water into the sump pit.  You can do this by using a garden hose and running water into the pit until it starts to run.  Check that the water is being pumped outside and away from your foundations out to the street storm sewer. The City of Saskatoon also has some great information you can check out here, and have even produced a short and informative video found on YouTube here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNMPUO0PE6o
 

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