It's easy to just turn up the dial on the thermometer in the living room and forget about what's powering the heat.....Until it all goes wrong! When it gets really cold out, furnaces are put through their paces, working overtime to keep homes warm. You should clean out the furnace filter — once a year for larger ones and once a month for smaller filters during the winter months. Another tip is to make sure snow is cleared away from vents and pipes on the exterior of your house. Those pipes connect to the furnace. If snow or ice gets inside, the furnace is going to shut down! Most furnace parts require a professional experienced repair person, but basic regular maintenance can keep the heat on.
Stay warm during the freeze.
1. WINTER TIRES
When the temperature drops below 7⁰C, winter tires perform the best. Although, all season tires marked as M+S (Mud & Snow) can legally be used in winter in most provinces, winter tires are specifically made for harsh winter conditions, have more traction, and will stop quicker in an emergency. In addition, ensure the air pressure is at recommended levels. Check air pressure on a monthly basis and adjust as required.
2. OIL CHANGE
If you have not had an oil change done, now is the time to do so! There are specific oil types recommended for winter conditions because they have less viscosity (thinner) and will help the engine work more efficiently.
3. BATTERY CHECK
Have your battery tested and ensure it has enough power to start your engine on a frigid -35⁰C morning.
Additionally, check the cable connections, remove corrosion, and tighten to ensure good contact.
4. WINDSHIELD WIPER BLADES
Wiper blades break down over time and should be regularly examined for wear and tear. There are also wiper blades specifically designed for handling snow, ice, and other stresses of the winter months.
5. WASHER FLUID
If you are in the habit of using water as your windshield washer during the summer months, beware! For winter, you need a washer fluid that can withstand extreme cold conditions, ideally down to -40⁰C.
6. BLOCK HEATER
Check that your car’s block heater is working before winter comes. If you park within a well-insulated or heated garage, plugging in your car may not be required. However, outside parking in temperatures below -15⁰C for extended periods require that you warm up your car engine for a few hours. This will ensure the engine starts up and warms up faster. Plug in the car for about 4 hours before starting up. A block heater timer can help you save on the amount of electricity used.
7. COOLANT CHECK
Ensure the coolant in your car is at appropriate levels and in good condition.
8. CAR FLOOR MATS
Rubber mats designed for your car’s make and model can help to hold the snow that you transfer into your car and which melts when the car is in use. They are easy to clean up and should be cleaned/drained often.
9. GENERAL TUNE-UP
Fall is a good time to tune-up your car in general. Check the brakes, belts, filters, ignition system, heater/defrosting systems, lights, etc.
10. EMERGENCY KIT
Emergencies happen! Always be prepared for getting stuck in a snow storm or your car breaking down when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Carry an emergency kit stocked with first aid supplies, flash light, thick blanket, booster cables, ice scraper, small shovel, snow brush, emergency reflectors, candles, matches/lighter, etc. & a fully charged cell phone of course...
Thank you so much guys.....Being voted Best In Foothills GOLD is awesome and means so much to us. That is SIX YEARS in a row...We are so honored...Thank you!
Julie & Eddie.
Vote for your favourite in the Foothills. It only takes a moment and it certainly means a lot to the recipients. We really do appreciate your vote! (Julie has won Best In Foothills Gold for the past 5 years which we are thrilled about)
Just copy & paste the link below and vote for your Best In Foothills (Best Local Real Estate Agent is #34). After you have done your voting just fill in your details, submit and you will be put in the draw to win a $300 gift certificate.
Thank you so much for your time.
Eddie & Julie.
Well it's that time of year again (my how time flies!) to vote for your favourite in the Foothills.
Julie wins numerous awards for her hard work (#1 in her office this year), but by far the most important is Best In Foothills as it is voted for by YOU!
Julie has won Best In Foothills Gold (Best Local Real Estate Agent) for the past 5 years thanks to you guys. We really do appreciate your vote!
Just copy the website below and vote for your Best In Foothills (Best Local Real Estate Agent is #34). After you have done your voting just fill in your details, submit and you will be put in the draw to win a $300 gift certificate. The recipients of the awards really do appreciate your votes....
Thank you so much for your time.
Eddie & Julie.
So with the forecasted Chinook on its way (Yippee!!!) It is a really good idea to read this advice from the City of Calgary to avoid any unwanted water in your home
-Shovel snow away from the foundation and window wells to prevent seepage into your basement.
-If you are moving or piling snow, make sure it doesn’t block furnace and exhaust vents, which could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide.
-Make sure your downspouts are clear and pointed away from your house.
-Once the melt begins, clear snow away from the storm drain.
-If the storm drain is iced over, do not try to remove it yourself. Call 311 and a crew will clear the ice for you. Don’t chip away at ice on storm drains as you may damage it or injure yourself.
If water pools by the storm drain, give it 90 minutes to drain. The City of Calgary has special devices in the storm drains that allow the water to drain slowly and not overload the stormwater system.
-If you see pooled water on a roadway, be careful – don’t drive through deep water as you can’t see potential risks.
-Check the function of your sump pump.
-Clean out your back flow prevention valve (it should be cleaned every six months anyway).
As always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Hi, with all the snow we have had recently it is really important to check your furnace air inlet and outlet at the side of your home to make sure they are clear of ice and snow. It is also important to make sure basement window wells have not got snow sitting against the window as it could leak into the basement when it melts
Clean your eavestroughs and downspots
Anyone who watches Mike Holmes knows that water is your home’s worst enemy. As leaves begin to fall they will undoubtedly fill your eavestroughs and downspouts, blocking water from making it off your roof and away from your house. While time-consuming, cleaning them out regularly until all the trees in your area are leaf-free is a good idea to help stop water from finding a way inside.Full gutters and downspouts are also an invitation for critters, who will nest in them before eventually attempting to get into your attic and potentially causing a lot of damage. If you’re not comfortable cleaning them yourself, check with contractors in your area, as many offer services to do this for you. There’s also many products on the market that can be installed on your eavestroughs to keep leaves and critters out while still letting water through. Check with your local home improvement store or a local contractor for recommendations on what works best on homes in your area.
Caulk around windows and doors
Caulking around windows and doors prevents cold air from getting in and your conditioned inside air from getting out. Even if you did this in the spring, it’s a good idea to do a perimeter check to see if you need to add more caulking in spots. Having a good seal around these openings will not only make your home more comfortable, but will also help you waste less energy and save you money. Besides windows and doors, caulking around vents (such as your dryer and bathroom exhaust fan) and cables and pipes that run outside of your house is also a good idea.
Check/replace weather stripping
Weather stripping loses its effectiveness with age and needs to be replaced every few years. Do a visual check of the stripping around exterior doors and windows (including your garage door) and replace if it appears worn or cracked. If the stripping appears fine but you can feel air moving when your doors and windows are closed, check that the stripping has been installed properly or that you’re using the correct stripping (there is a difference between door and window stripping, and a difference between foam and rubber stripping).
Inspect your roof and chimney
You’ll be very thankful if you catch a problem with your roof now before water starts dripping on your head in the middle of a November downpour. The average lifespan of an asphalt shingled roof (the most common in North America) is between 15 and 20 years if installed properly. Factors such as critters, severe weather and whether you’re in a highly populated tree area will speed up the deterioration process. From the outside look for signs of worn, loose or missing shingles and shingles with mold or rot on them. Check eavestroughs for granules from the shingles (a sign of heavy wear) and ensure that your eavestroughs and flashing (the metal lip between your shingles and eavestroughs) are securely attached. If you have a metal, tiled or roof with solar panels it’s best to have a professional do an inspection. You should also inspect around vents for missing caulking and broken seals and do a visual check of your chimney to ensure there are no crumbling bricks or bird or squirrel nests inside. From inside your attic check the underside of your roof for water damage and holes. Also make sure there are no nests in your attic insulation and that vents in your soffits are not blocked. (Soffits connect the overhang of your roof to the top of your exterior walls and help vent unconditioned attics. Keeping these vents clear is important in having a healthy home). If you are not comfortable going onto your roof or into your attic you should hire a professional to inspect it. If you do find signs of an infestation call animal control or an exterminator immediately.
Put your air conditioner unit to rest
Removable A/C window units should be removed and properly stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions before winter in order to protect the unit and help keep cooler outside air from getting inside.
Whole home A/C units should be powered down from the breaker in your main electrical panel. If you have a safety shut-off switch located outside by the A/C unit that should be turned off as well.
Shut off and drain utside taps
The faucets you use outside in the summer to wash your car, soak your garden and hose down your kids are susceptible to freezing. If proper care is not taken to shut-off and drain these lines before winter, it can lead to pipes and faucets bursting or cracking and can create a huge, potentially expensive, disaster. All faucets that exit your home should have a shut-off valve located inside. These shut-offs are usually located close to where the faucet exits the basement to the outside, but can also be located further back in the home closer to where the pipe for the faucet branches off from the main water source. If you don’t have shut-off valves or can’t find them, contact a licensed plumber to have them installed. Once the water is turned off inside, open the outside faucet to let it completely drain. If the inside shut-off valve has a drain plug — a small cap on the side of the shut-off — open it while the outside faucet is still turned to the on position (make sure to have a bucket under it when you open it as water will come out). Once all the water has completely drained from the line, close the drain plug on the shut-off valve and turn the outside faucet back to the off position.
Clean and inspect your furnace
Even if it was pumping out air conditioning to keep you cool, most people neglect their furnace during the summer months. Now that you’re about to turn the heat back on and spend most of your time breathing the air it pushes around, it’s recommended you do some general maintenance to keep it running in top form.
The first thing you should do before kicking on the heat is to clean or replace your furnace filter. This not only helps the quality of your inside air, but also keeps your furnace running more efficient (and the more efficient your furnace runs the less money you waste heating your home). If you have a permanent filter, follow the directions on how to clean it and only use the recommended cleaning solutions (you breathe the air that passes through the filter so cleaning it with harsh chemicals will only contaminate the air and could be potentially dangerous, especially if the cleaning solution is flammable). Replaceable filters come in all different sizes and ratings. Ensure you’re getting one that is the correct size to fit your furnace and then choose the level of filter protection you want.
Filters are rated using the MERV system, or “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”. The higher the MERV rating the more particles the filter will remove from the air. If you have allergies or pets, a filter with a higher MERV rating will help keep your air cleaner. Of course, it’s not that simple as a higher MERV rating also means less airflow, which in turn could end up doing more harm to your furnace than good. Check with your furnace manufacturer to see what the highest level of filter you can use is before going for maximum protection. Filters should also be replaced every 90 days. Doing a good vacuuming around your furnace and inside your floor and air intake vents also helps keeps air moving better so your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard. If you have pets (or have just moved into a newly built house) having your ducts professionally cleaned is highly recommended.
If your furnace is over 15-years-old you should have it inspected by an HVAC professional to make sure everything is still in proper working order before firing it up (HVAC stands for heating, ventilating and air conditioning). A good HVAC professional will be able to detect potential problems and will also be able to give you advice on running your furnace more efficient. If your home is heated with baseboard or radiator heating, they should be cleaned and inspected for potential hazards as well.
Julie has been the recipient of Best In Foothills Gold (Best Real Estate Agent) again this year (that is 5 years in a row). It is so important to us as it is voted on by you! We do really appreciate your votes and Julie is thrilled to bits!
Thank you so much :)
Eddie and Julie.
Immaculate upgraded 4 bedroom home with a fully finished basement & a double detached garage. This gorgeous home is better than new as everything is completed, you can just move in & relax! As you walk in you are wowed by how bright the home is, the spacious living room has laminate flooring, a beautiful fireplace with dark stained mantle & plantation shutters. The kitchen has extended height, dark stained maple cabinets, granite counters, large central island with eating area, upgraded appliances including a gas stove & refrigerator with ice/water & a corner pantry. The dining area has tiled floor & patio doors leading onto the deck with covered BBQ area. There is also space for a workstation too! Upstairs are 3 good sized bedrooms, the master has a large walk in closet and a 3 piece ensuite with 5ft shower. There is an upstairs laundry & 4 piece bath too. In the bright & airy basement is a huge family room & a large bedroom with ensuite. VIEW 3D TOUR!
Spend This Summer At The Lake
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Absolutely Immaculate 2 bed 2 bath condo in Okotoks
Gorgeous west facing 3rd floor condo with 2 underground parking spaces. This awesome condo has lake access too and is a great complex which includes a fitness centre, indoor putting green and is just steps away from the golf course! This beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit features 9 ft ceilings, gorgeous kitchen with large island with eating bar & corner pantry. Spacious living room & dining area with a west facing balcony - great for those gorgeous sunsets! The large master bedroom features a walkthrough closet and a 3 piece ensuite with a spacious shower. The 2nd bedroom is also a good size and again has a walkthrough closet to the 4 piece ensuite. There is lots of storage and a stackable frontloading washer and dryer. The courtyard of this complex features a gazebo and lovely greenspace. The titled parking spaces are together on an end so no one else is parking next to you. Come see this beautifully cared for condo and check out the 3D VIRTUAL TOUR!