Top 5 Tasks for January

We hope you enjoyed happy and safe holidays.

To help you get the year off to a good start, here are the top five home care tasks that we recommend you do during January that will help you avoid unscheduled repairs, save energy, and keep your family safe.

Treat Your Drains

Over time, the drains in your sinks begin to build up with gunk. If you wait for them to plug up, then you have to clear them using aggressive chemicals. Instead, we recommend that during January you treat your drains with baking soda. Just run the water in the tap until it’s very hot, then sprinkle baking soda down the drain and continue to flush with very hot water. This will remove the gunk that builds up in your drainpipes, and will keep them clear and smelling nice.

Inspect And Clean Your Refrigerator

Your refrigerator works hard and consumes a lot of energy, so it is important to conduct routine maintenance on it. At least once a year you should clean and inspect the door gasket on your refrigerator to make sure that it seals tightly. If your door gasket leaks, your refrigerator has to work harder to keep the contents cold, which will cost you more in energy. You also want to check the inside temperature of your refrigerator to make sure that it is operating properly. You can purchase a special refrigerator thermometer, or you can place a glass of water inside and put a regular thermometer in it. If the temperature is too high, then you will not be keeping your food cold enough for it to be safe, and if the temperature is too low, then you could be using too much energy.

Other routine maintenance items for your refrigerator include vacuuming around coils, clearing the drain hole and drip pans, cleaning and defrosting, changing the water filter, and checking and adjusting the levelness of your refrigerator by adjusting its feet. For more information on refrigerator maintenance, you can see the refrigerator section of our online How-To Guide: Refrigerator-Freezer

Inspect And Clean Your Microwave

It is easy to take your microwave for granted, since it is an appliance that most of us use every day, and it typically does not require much maintenance. However, during the month of January, we suggest that you take a moment to inspect and clean your microwave. In particular, we suggest that you thoroughly inspect and clean the door seal. If your microwave’s door does not seal properly, then it could be allowing dangerous levels of microwave radiation to be escaping during operation. If your door seal is damaged or the door is not closing properly, then this should be immediately repaired or replaced.

Throw Out Expired Medicines

As you may have noticed, both prescription and non-over-the-counter medications all have expiration dates written on them. During the month of January, we suggest that you look in your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of all medications that have expired. Expired medicines can become dangerous because they become chemically unstable and less potent (helpful accessory: medicine disposal system). In addition, they are risky to leave around your home if you have small children or visitors with small children. You can contact your pharmacist to find the proper method for disposing of your medications. For additional information: Why & How To Get Rid of Old Medicines

Replace Furnace Air Filters

If you have a forced-air heating system in your home and haven't changed its air filter yet this season, then you will want to replace its air filter during January. A dirty air filter makes your furnace blower work harder, and routinely replacing your filters with new ones can help you save up to $50 per year in energy. Also, a clogged air filter prevents the filter from removing particulates from your air, which can be particularly troublesome if you have people in your family with allergies or asthma. To learn more about replacing your furnace's air filter: Guide to Choosing & Changing Your HVAC Air Filters


We wish you the very best for the New Year, and hope that we have helped you get your home off to a good start with these suggestions for the top 5 routine maintenance tasks for January.

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Refrigerator Tips for Saving Energy & Food Safety
Your refrigerator is the fourth largest consumer of energy in most homes. This article and video gives you tips for reducing your refrigerator's energy use, and will also help you ensure food safety. more 
Microwave Safety Tips
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2014 trend towards increased sales and steady pricing continues

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,136 sales on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in November, an increase of 15 per cent compared to the 986 sales during the same month last year and 22 per cent lower than the 1,448 sales processed in October.

New listings in the Fraser Valley decreased by 2 per cent in November, going from 1,774 last year to 1,748 last month taking the number of active listings to 8,302, a decrease of 4 per cent compared to the 8,641 active listings in November of 2013.

“This is the time of year when families are settling in for winter and the holidays, so we expect to see a decrease in activity,” explains the Board’s president, REALTOR® Ray Werger. “After a busy fall with volumes reaching 5-year highs, we’re winding down the year with sales on par with the ten-year average, but about 8 per cent fewer new listings therefore home buyers will notice a shortage of inventory in certain price ranges.”

Pricing continues along the same trends as seen for most of 2014, with single family detached prices continuing to rise; townhouse prices remaining steady, and apartment prices decreasing. The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in November was $575,400 an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to November 2013, when it was $550,300.

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of townhouses increased 2.2 per cent from $292,400 in November 2013 to $298,900 last month. The benchmark price of apartments decreased year-over-year by 3.5 per cent, going from $196,200 in November of last year to $189,400 in November 2014.

“Prices are a function of supply and demand - which your REALTOR® will explain varies considerably from area to area and within the different property types - as well as local amenities, transportation options and future community development, underscoring the importance of expert guidance when you’re looking to list or buy,” says Werger.

“Overall, 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for Fraser Valley real estate,” continues Werger. “We hit a bit of a trough during the summer of last year, but since then sales have recovered and we’re tracking towards a 15 percent increase in year-to-date sales for 2014 compared to 2013 with prices remaining relatively stable.”

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.