The Open Door Blog
Whether you own a new home or condo, are considering buying one, or just love to dream about it, the Open Door blog is here to share stories that can help you protect what is likely the biggest investment of your life.
The Open Door blog is published by Tarion, a non-profit corporation that administers Ontario’s New Home Warranty Plan and registers all new home builders in Ontario. Click here to learn more about us.
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Do you know furnace filters have performance ratings? Are you puzzled by your sump pump? As you settle into your new home and establish a regular maintenance schedule, there is a lot to learn about the systems that heat, cool and otherwise maintain your home and how to keep them working properly. Regular maintenance helps you keep your home healthy and comfortable and protects your new home warranty coverage. Key terms and tips to know:
Furnace Air Filters and MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value)
When it comes to buying replacement filters, you may want to consider upgrading your furnace filter to improve your indoor air quality.
There’s a rating system called MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) and filters with higher ratings trap more particles like dust, hair, and pollen. MERV ratings of between 8 and 11 are suitable for most homes. You should check if your furnace manufacturer has a maximum MERV rating for your furnace.
Air Conditioners and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) Ratings
SEER is a measure of cooling efficiency for air conditioners. The SEER rating formula is designed to measure an air conditioner’s total cooling output (in BTUs or British Thermal Units) divided by its total energy input (in watts per hour) over a typical warm weather season of usage. Generally, the SEER rating can be found on your unit’s Energy Guide label and will appear as “13AC.” A 13AC or 14AC is currently the minimum SEER rating required for new air conditioners. If your rating is lower, you should check with your builder or the unit’s manufacturer.
Sump pumps are pumps located in your basement or crawlspace, and are designed to prevent excess rain or ground water from entering the house. Most residential sump pumps are installed in pits, called sump pits, and help to keep your basement dry by pumping the water out of the pit away from your house through a discharge pipe. Make sure you know where the discharge pipe is and ensure you keep the vent hole clear, especially in early spring. You’ll also want to learn about your sump pump’s backup system, which is important if you lose electrical power, especially in a severe rain storm. Also find out what kind of alert you will get if the pump stops working. Maintaining your home is a year-round responsibility and our seasonal maintenance checklists can help with what to do at what time of year. You can also find helpful advice in our Home Maintenance video on YouTube.
The goal of this blog is to provide you with general information about the warranty process by sharing real experiences from new homeowners. The blog should not be relied upon as legal advice. For privacy reasons, we will not address or resolve current cases in a public forum, so any comments or questions that are posted on this site that describe individual cases cannot be discussed. If you have a question about your warranty or Tarion generally, we would be pleased to discuss your issue, in the context of your particular circumstances and in confidence. We exercise reasonable care to avoid offensive, illegal or defamatory content from being posted, as well as comments that are intended solely for self-promotion or considered to be spam.