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Improve Your Home's Air Quality

by Claire Franceschetti


It might surprise you to hear that the air inside your home is often dirtier than the air outside. That’s because indoor air is made up of outdoor air plus all the pollutants and allergens generated from cleaning products, pets, dust, smoke, and so on. Fortunately, you can improve indoor air quality in ways that do not cost a small fortune.

 



Get the Dust Out


Dust – a major irritant – includes lint, bacteria, pollen, plant and mold spores, pet dander, etc. You can reduce dust particles in the air in a number of ways. Here are three:

1. Clean or replace the furnace filter every three months.  Most homeowners do not keep up with this task. Thick-media filters, such as the five- and six-inch pleated type, last longer than regular filters and filter better too. Of course they are more expensive.

2. We all create an invisible dust cloud just walking through our homes. While a high quality furnace filter will reduce dust, frequent cleaning and vacuuming is also necessary, but only if your vacuum cleaner is up to the task.

3. A poor-quality vacuum cleaner can also create dust clouds. Before you give up on vacuuming, however, two solutions can address this problem: either install a central vacuum system with the canister-air discharge piped outside the house, or purchase a high-quality, portable vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filtration system. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air filter. Whichever solution you choose, both will effectively decrease the amount of dust that spews into the air when you vacuum.

Control of Humidity


High humidity levels in your home can significantly contribute to mold and dust mite growth. Dust mites, however, are a fact of life; you cannot eliminate them entirely. But you can decrease their numbers. Dust mites thrive in humidity levels above 50%. Ensuring the humidity in your home is not higher than 50% will diminish dust mite growth. Here are a few ways to address humidity.

1. Buy an inexpensive hygrometer to measure the indoor humidity

2. Ensure that your clothes dryer vents to the outside

3. Bathroom and kitchen fans should direct shower, bath and cooking moisture outside

4. Fix basement leaks and deal with condensation issues

5. Air conditioning systems and dehumidifiers can also remove moisture from the air. Keep in mind that dehumidifiers use a great deal of electricity and don’t provide any cooling. Make sure you deal with obvious sources of moisture first.

More Efficient Air Exchange


Some homes just need more ventilation. Heat-recovery ventilators, or energy-recovery ventilators are both effective ventilation devices. Some do-it-yourself systems exist out there but we strongly suggest an expert consultation. Choosing the right system involves careful consideration of your home and your specific situation. Lifebreath has a good website that can provide more information on a variety of systems: http://www.lifebreath.com/category.php?category_id=5

Improving air quality in the home is a goal that is easily attainable. Start with the little fixes and then undertake the more complex remedies as needed. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to improve the air you breathe.

Re/Max Supports Sick Kids:Video

by Claire Franceschetti

I have been touched personally by the amazing work done by the men and women of the Sick Kids Hospital Network. I am forever grateful to Sick Kids for helping my son through a terrible sickness when he was only 3 weeks old. It was a miracle that he made it.

When I joined Re/Max, I was thrilled about the opportunity to support Sick Kids: I have supported this organization on every home sale since I began at Re/Max, and I continue to contribute a portion of every home commission.

Together, Re/Max has just reached the $10 Million mark. I'll continue to support this Sick Kids charity for as long as I'm selling homes!

Painting Canada: Free Open House to Kleinburg Residents

by Claire Franceschetti

It doesn't get any better than this: Free Open House to see Painting Canada at the McMichael Gallery on Tuesday Dec 4, 2012 from 7-9:30 pm.  Painting Canada is a world famous show featuring the works of the Group of Seven. Many of the pieces in this collection have never been on public display, and once the show ends, they will go back into private collections:  

http://mcmichael.com/exhibitions/#paintingcanada

This opportunity has never happened in the Gallery's history! It's time to come and see what's happening at the McMichael. I'll be there, and I hope you will come out too!

Winter is coming to Vaughan. Is your home ready?

by Claire Franceschetti

One of the great joys of living in Canada is the change of seasons. Autumn's colors and crispness will soon give way to winter's first snowfall. While people react differently to seasonal changes, all homes react much the same way: climate change is hard on homes and the freeze/thaw cycles can cause damage.
 
I believe prevention is the key to a safe and comfortable season. Here are the top areas of focus and suggestions to get you through the winter months:


 
Roof - Just like your car, an annual roof tune-ups is really important. Fall is the perfect time for your roofer to address any small issues before they become big ones. The roof suffers the brunt of winter weather abuse. Correcting damaged shingles, loose flashings and torn valleys can prevent water damage from leaks and avoid expensive repairs. Tree limbs overhanging and touching the roof should be cut back, and missing mortar or loose bricks on chimneys should be repaired.

One of my favorite roofers is Boston Roofing: http://www.bostonroofing.ca/

 

 
 

Eavestroughs - Free-flowing, leak-free gutters and downspouts help to get roof water away from the house and keep it out of the basement. If eavestroughs can't control the rain or melting snow, or if downspouts don't carry water at least six feet away from the home, the ground next to your home will get soaked. Saturated ground usually means a leaky basement.
 

 

 

Catch Basins - I had water in my basement about a year ago because of this very issue. The catch basin at the bottom of my basement walk out was clogged, and we had a heavy rain that couldn't drain away. Since that "swimming pool in the basement issue" I make sure that the catch basin is clear. If you have them, keep the catch basins clear on your driveway, garage and yard. If you want to go the extra mile, it's also a great idea to clear any storm grates in the street in front of your house so all that rain and melting snow can get into the storm sewers.

Windows, Doors and Walls - Check your windows and doors for any wood in need of paint, and any joints that need re-caulking. The corners of sills are a common weak point. Check the caulking at pipes, vents and other wall penetrations as part of regular maintenance.
 
Furnace- One of the most over-looked and taken for granted systems in our homes is the furnace. But just one episode of a furnace break-down in winter will emphasize the importance of taking care of your furnace, especially in the winter. I would suggest an annual  If you haven't yet, schedule a heating system maintenance call, even if your system is relatively new.

Kleinburg Home Invasion is a Shock to Community

by Claire Franceschetti

I can't tell you how many emails and calls I got on Monday about the early morning home invasion on Kleinburg's sleepy Treelawn Blvd. As police released information, it became clear that one of our own community members was violently attacked in his home. While the details remain confidential, this crime as shaken the the neighborhood's feeling of security. A Kleinburg family has lost a sense of safety in their own home.

As I do most Monday mornings, I was enjoying my coffee with some of my local girlfriends, when two York Regional Police Officers strolled into Starbucks. Call it a quiet community, but the cops don't frequent our local coffee shop very often. While they picked up their coffee, they told us that they were helping out in the investigation. 

 

Here are a few things that they mentioned we can do to help keep our community a safe place to live and raise a family:

  • Observe the unusual. If it looks out of place, take notice. Jot down license plates of out of place vehicles and note their comings and goings.
  • If someone looks like they are lingering in a car for an usual length of time, call and report it. The police will often drop by and ask what the "lingerer" is doing around our neighborhood.
  • Get to know your neighbors so that we can keep each other safe.
  • Consider a home alarm system that incorporates video footage.

 

The police have asked for us to review our home camera systems for any exterior footage that might have captured images of the assailants. I hope, more than anything, that they are able to find our neighbors attackers and bring them to justice.

More than ever, people are asking me about the market, and when I speak with my colleagues the general feeling is that sales are slowing down, and we might be heading into a period of balance.

Welcome news to those of you who are looking to buy property without the pressures of multiple offers and buyer frenzy. Sellers are also having to adjust their expectations, as there are more properties on the market, and they are sitting for longer periods of time.

Here's Toronto Real Estate Board's economist Jason Mercer with a recap of the housing market in the GTA for October. Enjoy!

 

Emily Carr SS in Vaughan is Home to Rezonance! Check 'Em Out!!!

by Claire Franceschetti

 

If you haven't already seen my other post about Rezonance, you have to check it out! This local acapella group at Emily Carr Secondary School in Woodbridge is amazing! Here's another one of their clips that makes me think they have huge potential! They will be performing it live in the near future...Stay tuned!

Enjoy!

 

Sleep Tips for the Time Change This weekend!

by Claire Franceschetti

My friends at Prep n Sell shared this info with me, so I wanted to pass it along...A few good ideas here (although I like the odd night cap, so personally, I'm skipping Fix #4....Your thoughts?)

 

Tips  to Get a Good Night's Sleep
 
Sleep Fix #1
 
Establish a regular routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. People who frequently switch their sleep times experience something akin to jet lag. "Sunday night insomnia," is where weekend warriors stay up late on Friday and Saturday and then have trouble falling asleep on Sunday.  Just that 24-48 hours can shift your circadian rhythm and cause poor sleep.
 
 
 
Sleep Fix #2

 
Put away your gadgets. It's tempting to watch TV or surf the web from bed, but those activities usually make it harder to wind down. The latest research suggests that artificial light coming from laptop screens, TVs, etc. suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. So give yourself a technology curfew and turn off those screens at least an hour before bedtime.
 
 
 
Sleep Fix #3
 
Give your bedroom a makeover. Make your sleeping area conducive to rest by keeping it dark and quiet. If you live in a city, consider using a white-noise machine to block out loud noises. Keep in mind that your body temperature drops at night, so you want to keep your room environment at a cool, comfortable level.
 
 
 

 

Sleep Fix #4

 
Avoid alcohol before bed. Contrary to popular opinion, drinking alcohol before bedtime is not a good idea since it disrupts sleep and causes nighttime awakenings. "Chronic use of alcohol also takes away slow-wave sleep," says Basner. "It wears off quickly, and then you're left with nightmares and sleep fragmentation." Caffeine before bedtime is also a no-no.

 

 

 

Sleep Fix #5

 
Get up instead of tossing and turning. If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, don't lie in bed just staring into space. Get out of bed, do something that is relaxing, and come back to bed when you feel drowsy. "Keep the bedroom associated with sleeping rather than being awake," says Collop. If you're a worrywart, try to make a list of things you need to do the next day an hour before bed. That way you can get your worrying done before you get into bed, she says.

 

Here's wishing you a great night sleep!

Time Change is Coming This Weekend!

by Claire Franceschetti

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Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Contact Information

Photo of Claire Franceschetti Real Estate
Claire Franceschetti
Right At Home Realty Inc.
190 Marycroft Ave.
Vaughan ON L4L5Y2
Direct: 416-918-6325
Office: 416-391-3232
Fax: Fax: 416-987-8001