Try these room warming tips before turning on the central heat!

 

1.       Check for drafts.

If your windows have gaps or leaks, your warm air will leak to the outside, wasting your money and leaving you cold! It’s good practice to check all your windows and doors that open to the outside. You can use a draft detector or simply burn a stick of incense to check for unwanted air movement. 

Fix the gaps and your room will stay warmer! Doesn’t take long to plug the leaks around the windows and/or doors!

 

2.       Use Warmer Bedding.

It might be obvious, but definitely worth mentioning. When it gets colder, add more layers and swap out the sateen sheets for flannel. Top them off with a warm blanket or a down-filled comforter. 

You can also try an electric blanket or even an electric mattress pad. But be sure to follow the directions and never use them in a child’s room.

 

3.       Reverse the Ceiling fan.

In the summer, fans going counterclockwise create a cool breeze on hot, muggy nights. But once the winter months begin, it’s time to reverse the fan’s rotation to clockwise. Most fans have a switch on the fan base that sets the rotational direction. The fan’s blades will pull warmer air from the ceiling and push it lower into the room.

 

4.       Try a space heater.

Although sleep experts say that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for sound sleep – the bedroom might dip below that. Try using a space heater. Find one that is suitably sized for your room and place it far enough away from the bed so there’s no chance the bedding will come in contact with the device.

This is another no-no for your children’s bedroom.

 

5.       Wear socks and a hat.

If your significant other likes your room on the cool side, but you’re cold at night. Warm yourself up by slipping on thick socks before climbing between the sheets. You can even add a knit cap to keep your head warm. See? There was a reason behind all those old-time illustrations that show people wearing long pointed caps!

 

6.       Move your bed.

Although it’s not the case in every bedroom, try moving your bed away from the window. If you bed is normally positioned right under a window and your windows aren’t multi-paned (or even if they are, in the coldest weather) the glass will cool down during the night. This will cool down the air near the window as well.

 

7.       Get a thick area rug.

Hard flooring such as wood or laminate have tons of benefits – but warmth is not one of them. Buy yourself a thick, warm area rug to use during the cold months to help insulate your room. A faux sheepskin not only adds a hefty dose of style, it's the ultimate in warm coziness on your feet.

 

8.       Cover the windows!

As we discussed, the outside temperatures transfer through the glass. You can insulate your bedroom a bit by switching to heavier window coverings during the wintertime. Cover your blinds or use heavy, lined drapes.

 

9.       Use a hot water bottle.

Yes, it’s old school – but if you slip a hot-water bottle under the sheets when it’s time for bed, your feet will appreciate the warmth. If you’re more high-tech, you can get a heated mattress pad that will do the same thing.

Moving can be stressful... But there are some ways to make the entire process a bit easier.

1.       Make a list.

Write everything down. Before you start packing – create a simple record keeping system so you can find things easier as you unpack.

2.       Have lots of supplies.

Packing tape, boxes, and packing paper… You won’t want to run out half way through your packing.

3.       Keep things together.

Insist on keeping things together – bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps, etc. Any small, loose parts can be attached to the item they belong to with tape or placed in small envelopes.

4.       Pack ahead of time.

Don’t leave things for the last minute – make sure things are packed before moving day. Pack up off-season clothing. Live on bare essentials.

5.       Cleaning…

If you need to clean your old place after moving out – put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. Clean things ahead of time if at all possible.

6.       Use your luggage.

Fill your luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, etc. You will likely be able to spot your clothes in a suitcase instead of attempting to find the right box.

7.       Keep important papers with you.

Have your list of important papers (birth certificates, school records, new job contracts, utility company numbers, bills, etc.) with you. Don’t leave them with the mover.

8.       Everyone gets their own boxes.

Use brightly coloured storage tote boxes -  a different colour for each person. Let them fill their box with things they will need immediately after the move.

9.       Heavier = Smaller

The heavier the item, the smaller the box. It’s easier to carry heavy items when they are in small boxes. Never over-pack a box.

10.   Prep your furniture.

Remove all heavy and breakable items from dressers and desks so they are easier to lift. Disassemble bedroom sets to save time on moving day.

11.   Declutter.

The more unused and unnecessary items you eliminate, the less you have to pack up, move, unload and organize.

12.   Schedule donation pick-up.

Do you have things that you’d like to donate? Call your local Goodwill or another donation facility. If you have a large amount of items, many will come pick up your donations for no cost.

13.   Schedule disconnect times.

Call your cable, internet, electricity and gas providers at least a week ahead of your move to find out what you need to do to shut everything off.

14.   Change your address before the move.

Change your address ahead of time so your bills, credit card statements, and packages can arrive on time.

15.   Defrost your fridge at least one day before you move.

Take the time to clean your fridge and wipe away any moisture before you haul it to your new home so you don’t have to deal with mildew or mould when you arrive at your new home.

 

 

It’s fall! Take a few minutes this weekend to prepare for the weather change to prevent flooding and other property damage.

Outside your home

Downspouts

Disconnect downspouts from drainpipes and extensions to draw water away from your home’s foundation so they won’t freeze and back up. But don’t forget to reconnect them in the spring!

Roof

Did you know that icicles and ice dams are created by the heat escaping from your home, melting the snow on your roof, causing the water to run to the edge of the roof where it freezes?

When the ice builds up, it prevents water from draining off the room and soon water has been drawn up under the shingles, causing major damage to your home.

To prevents this from happening, install a leaf/ice guard to prevent debris from blocking the gutters and downspouts. This will allow the water in your gutters to flow freely.

Check the insulation under the room and add more where there isn’t enough or where it’s too compressed.

Also, check the air circulation… The air intakes in the soffits have to be clear for the roof ventilators to draw air through the soffits. A well-ventilated roof will prevent snow from melting.

Lastly, check the singles regularly and replace them as soon as they show signs of wear or if there are poorly drained areas on a flat roof.

Foundation

Check your foundation for cracks and fractures. Patch any cracks in the foundation walls or brick facing.

Water lines

Do you have a frost-free (4 seasons) outdoor faucet? If not, you need to shut off the water from the inside and drain the outdoor faucet to get all excess water out. By leaving water in the faucet, it can freeze as the weather gets cold and cause the pipes to burst.

Additionally, if you have water pipes that pass through your cellar, crawl space or exterior wall, it can cause the pipe to freeze and create enough pressure to burst.

Best practice - Place an insulated case over any water pipes that are exposed to cold.

Exterior basement entrance

Check the drain in the basement entrances for grass, leaves, dirt, or other blockages.

If this drain is blocked, it can increase the risk of water seeping in through the edges of the basement door.

 

INSIDE YOUR HOME

Air Exchanger

Clean your air exchanger filters.

Air exchangers mainly operate in the winter, and it is very important to clean the filters every two or three months. The heat or energy recovery core made of polypropylene (plastic) or aluminum should be cleaned once a year, preferably in the fall, before the heating season.

Windows and window wells

It is better to remove screens during the winter and store them in a dry, temperature-controlled environment as the screen will lock in heat in front of the window, causing condensation and mould.

Replace any damaged caulking along the edges of basement doors and windows.

 

Halloween is coming up – que the jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts, hay bales and dried cornstalks. All these things are your classic Halloween decorations but they are also some of your classic fire risks!

Today we’re going to talk about four ways to prevent fire damage this halloween.

1.       Costumes.

When you’re picking a costume for yourself or your child, stay away from flowing and long trailing fabric. If possible, use a material that won’t easily catch fire if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Look for costumes, beards and wigs that are labelled “Flame-Resistant”. Keep in mind though… “Flame Resistant” does not mean “Fire Proof.”

2.       Candles.

It is safest to use flashlights or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you decide to use an actual candle, be sure to use extreme caution. Tea lights are a safer option and should be outdoors only. Be sure to keep the decorations out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps and walkways to prevent tripping. Monitor children at all times when the candles are lit.  

3.       Decorations.

Ensure that all combustible Halloween decorations (such as crepe paper, dried flowers and cornstalks) are kept away from flames and sources of heat. Keep all your exits clear.

4.       Educate.

Talk to your children. Talk about the importance of walking carefully when around candles and fire. Ensure that they know what to do in the event of a fire – where to go, who to call and how to dial 9-1-1. Make sure they know to stop, drop and roll in the event that they catch on fire.

This week is fire prevention week so we want to discuss fire safety and prevention. Here’s what you need to do.

Fire Safety:

1.       Install Smoke Alarms.

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

2.       Test The Alarms.

Test your smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

3.       Prepare Your Family.

Teach the children what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear one. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year. Ensure all family members know at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and discuss a family meeting spot outside your home.

4.       Practice.

Create a fire drill at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “FIRE” to alert everyone that they must get out.

5.       Create A Communications Plan.

Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all family members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.

6.       STOP, DROP & ROLL.

Teach this to all family members in the event that their clothes should catch on fire. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

7.       If A Fire Occurs…

Get out, stay out, and call for help. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

 

Fire Prevention Tips:

·         Keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.

·         Smoking materials are one of the leading cause of residential fire deaths. If you smoke, take precautions such as smoking outside, use fire-safe cigarettes, never smoke in bed, if someone in the home is using oxygen or when drowsy or medicated.

·         Use deep and sturdy ashtrays and wet cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.

·         Talk to children frequently about the dangers of fire, matches, and lighters. Keep them out of reach.

·         Turn off portable heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.

·         Never leave a burning candle unattended.