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Barbeque season is in full swing, and I thought it might be timely to do a quick Maintenance Monday for the grilling kings and queens out there! 


Most of the barbeque maintenance required comes down to keeping your grilling machine clean, and luckily it's not that hard to do! 


1) Burn baby Burn! Turn your burners on full force for about 10-15 minutes prior to cooking to incinerate any leftover food residue


2) Keep the exterior of your barbeque clean by wiping down the surfaces with an appropriate cleaner (Stainless steel cleaner, glass cleaner etc) Full dummy disclosure - make sure the unit is not HOT before doing this.. Any plastic side trays, handles etc can be wiped down with mild dish detergent in water. 


3) Grilling Grates should be removed (again... not when they're HOT people!) and scrubbed down with a hard bristle brush and soapy water. Towel dry to avoid any chance of rust build up. 


4) At the end of every grilling season, clean the tubes and burners with a damp cloth and soapy water. To do this, remove the grates and briquettes, and detach the tubes and burners. 


Now.... make sure the propane tanks are in good condition and full and you're good to grill! 



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Heat pumps are great options for homes on Vancouver Island as they are most efficient in moderate climates where the cold temperatures don't drop below freezing on a regular basis. Heat pumps operate in both cooling and warming modes, making them an excellent choice for year round comfort. 


Already a heat pump owner? Awesome! Here's some tricks to keep it running in tip-top shape: 


- Like any HVAC system.... filters need to be changed regularly! 

- Regularly check the outside unit for debris - think leaves in the fall, snow and ice (Brrrr!) in the winter.

- Keep vegetation from growing within 18 inches of the outside unit.

- Keep indoor registers and vents clear and dust free.

- Try to keep the thermostat set to a steady temperature during the season



Best practice is to research and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for maintenance and upkeep to ensure efficient operation and a long healthy heat pump life. Stay cool! 



PC: WarrenRECC 

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We've been grateful to be living a block away from the beach during these hot Spring days, and we head to the ocean when we need to cool down. With summer just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to share some maintenance tips and tricks for your cool down tools around the house!


Air Conditioning Units - Clean your filters... and do it often! Your filter should be cleaned or replaced every 3-4 weeks in the cooling months. Also clean the evaporator coil once a year. 


Fans - If you have ceiling fans, make sure to switch them to rotate counter clockwise in the summer! The wind chill effect of using a ceiling fan can make the room feel 6-8 degrees cooler. If you have a covered outdoor space, there are options for exterior ceiling fans as well! 


Windows & Window Screens - Prior to the summer season, check your window screens for any damage, tears, etc that may allow bugs in with the cool breeze! If you're relying on open windows to help keep you cool consider keeping everything closed up when the sun is shining (including curtains) and then as soon as the sun goes down, open all windows to get a cross breeze going through your home. 


Paint Colour - did you know that painting the exterior of your home a lighter colour can also impact the temperature of your home? Dark colours have a tendency to absorb more heat! 


Now get out there and enjoy the sun, responsibly! 

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This #MaintenanceMonday let's talk about Garage Doors.. To avoid having yours look like the one in the photo... take a look at the DIY maintenance tips below! 
 
1) Don't drive into it... sounds silly, but I know at least one person who did not wait until it was fully open before they started backing into it!

2) Look and Listen - does it run rough? Make a ton of noise when opening and closing? This means it is starting to fail and should be maintained ASAP.

3) Tighten up the Hardware - think of how many times that door opens and closes in a year - nuts and bolts and whogits and whatgits are bound to be loosening off throughout the year.

4) Inspect the Door - check out the door itself, major dents or damage that may be causing it to not align properly? Water damage can also cause wooden doors to swell and warp! 

5) Clean The Tracks - clear the tracks and the floor where the door stops of any debris

6) Replace the Weather Stripping - check the weatherstripping and replace if it is brittle, missing, etc. Keep the elements, and the critters out! 

7) Lubricate - grease up all the moving parts to ensure smoooooooth operation! Ask your local hardware store for product recommendations. 

Dont forget to test the safety reverse features - you can check the mechanical one by placing a piece of wood under the door and attempting to close. It should automatically reverse as soon as it comes into contact with the wood. The photo sensor can easily be tested just by running your leg under the doors path as it is closing. If either are malfunctioning, have a technician look at them right away. 
 
Anything that you aren't comfortable with, and anything that has to do the main cable system should be left to the experts - but these few tips can easily be done at home and can save you some money in repair or replacement bills! 
 
PC: TG Door Service, Edmonton
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If you haven't claimed your Speculation Tax exemption yet, you need to do it now! Put down your coffee and grab your laptop - it is easy to do online! 


I say this, but I had a few struggles and thought I would highlight some potential pitfalls to hopefully avoid you some pain in the months and years down the road! 


1) You didn't get a letter? Well neither did I! At our primary residence, the home that we live in, I did not receive a letter. I checked with my neighbour - he got his, I checked with my mom (who conveniently (?) lives down the street - she got hers! So what do you do if you didn't receive the letter? Call 1 (833) 554-2323 to enter your claim online. They will ask you a few questions to confirm your identity and then you can claim your exemption online. Be warned - you will wait on hold for some time before you speak to a human! 


2) More than one person owns the home? You ALL need to claim the exemption - even if the other owner is your spouse. But as long as you have the form, you can do it very easily online - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax and hit Declare Now. 


3) You own rental properties and haven't received your letter? Well guess what, they mail it to the property, not to the owner so you will need to contact your tenant and make arrangements to pick up the letter, in order to get the Declaration Code and Letter ID. 


If you're a Last Minute Larry, time to pick up the phone or get on the laptop because if you don't claim your exemption by tomorrow you will be taxed the full amount. The government has advised they will refund those who are taxed in error, but in no specific time frame! 


Get it done now, and then enjoy this beautiful Saturday!! 

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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.