On Oct. 18, Albertans were asked two provincial referendum questions during our municipal elections, one of which ended up with a very close finish. The final tally on whether or not the province should stay on permanent daylight savings time (DST) – eliminating the need to “fall back” and “spring forward” – was a very close 50.2% in favour of continuing to change our clocks, and 49.8% hoping to move to DST (also known as summer hours) for good. As a result, on Nov. 7 at 2 a.m. the clocks will roll back an hour as usual, which not only affords everyone an extra hour of sleep, but is also a good reminder to perform some important tasks around the house to get ready for the colder, darker months.
We at Mirage Landscaping are proud to care for your outdoor property during the winter with our fast and professional snow removal services, which help ensure homes and businesses are safe to visit and free from slip-and-fall hazards. We want everyone to get the most value and longevity out of their properties as possible. Take advantage of that extra hour this weekend to get a few things done. Winter-proof your home so you can nestle indoors comfortably while we take care of the outdoors.
Check your smoke and CO2 detectors
One of the most important things you can do for your peace of mind is to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. A winter-proof home is one in which we safely enjoy our fireplaces, candles, and more indoor cooking.
Test your smoke detectors according to the instructions, and change the batteries even if they seem to be working properly. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends changing the batteries in your smoke alarm every six months, which makes DST the perfect reminder. If your smoke detectors are wired in, test them anyway to be sure the battery back-up is also working. Smoke detectors should be placed on the ceiling at the bottom of each staircase, near the kitchen, near living areas, and in hallways leading to bedrooms.
In the winter we have our houses tightened up snugly, which means far less air flow. Carbon monoxide is odourless, tasteless, and can be deadly. Some signs that there may be carbon monoxide building up in your home are a headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Too much carbon monoxide can cause people to pass out, which is extremely dangerous.
Read the instructions thoroughly to properly check your carbon monoxide detector. They all have “Test” buttons, similar to smoke detectors. Have someone stand in an area of your home far away from the detector let you know when they hear the alert so you know it is loud enough. Change the batteries or inspect the wiring for a strong connection to your system.
Dust both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors thoroughly, and never paint them. Painting can damage inner-workings.
Other ways to winter-proof your home
Once you know you will be properly alerted should smoke or carbon monoxide start to fill your home, these additional tasks can keep you and your family warm and snug.
- Check your storm and interior doors to ensure they are sealing properly. You should not be able to feel any cold drafts coming in. Use weather-stripping to plug any leaks.
- Feel around each of your windows for any cold drafts, and get out the caulking gun or purchase a window insulation kit to fill in any gaps.
- Change your furnace filter and perform a furnace check as according to its instructions. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature at night and when people aren’t home. This can save you a lot of money on your power bill.
- Inspect the insulation in your attic and add more if needed. Warm air rises, so you could be losing a lot of heat through your ceiling.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans to spin clockwise, which will bring more warm air into rooms.
- Take an inventory of your emergency kit and replace any items that have expired.
- Check your fire extinguishers. Their usability can expire.
Book your snow removal services
If you haven’t already booked your snow removal services for the winter, there’s still plenty of time to sign up. Here are five reasons why professional snow removal services are so valuable. After three generations of running a snow removal and landscaping business in Calgary, we can honestly say we have seen it all.
We specialize in serving the southeast area of the city, including the communities of Auburn Bay, Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Copperfield, Cranston, Douglasdale, Heritage Pointe, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, McKenzie Lake, Mackenzie Towne, Maple Ridge, New Brighton, Odgen/Lynwood/Millican, Parkland, Riverbend, Sundance, Walden, and Willow Park.
Contact us for a free quote today.