A recent facebook post by one of Tuscany's residents in our community group reminded me this morning to take a walk to the side of my house.



Most of the newer homes in the area (and many other areas of Calgary) have high efficiency furnaces that vent to the side of the house. With the amount of snow that we are experiencing and the help of wind, shovelled snow and other obstacles, snow and ice can accumulate and block your exhuast pipes.


Please take the time to check your exhaust pipes to ensure they remain clear of snow.

If they are blocked your furnace may not run property and worse, you may have carbon monoxide enter your home rather than be vented out.


Installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home (house, townhouse, apartment) can save your life. They are readily available at your local hardware store with installing for some being just plugging it into an outlet. 



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1. This has been an unusual year in Calgary with many days of smoke from the BC and Alberta fires. Inspect and potentially change your furnace filters earlier than normal to keep your furnace running efficiently. This is especially true if you run your furnace fan or an air conditioner in the summer. My own filters (only 1 1/2 months old) were clogged with ash from the smoke.
2. Request an inspection and service for your furnace and other gas appliances. ATCO provides an annual furnace inspection service which is free of charge. For cleaning or repair please contact your preferred qualified contractor. (If you are a senior please contact Alberta Senior and Housing for potential financing assistance before making any needed renovations.​)
3. Smoke detectors only work for approximately 10 years. After this time they will been and test green on a battery check but they may no longer be effective at detecting smoke. Check and replace any smoke detectors older than 10 years.
4. Drain your outside water lines and sprinkler lines and turn off the water lines to the outside taps inside your home. The lines to your outside taps are most susceptible to freezing in colder temperatures.
5. Should you be leaving your home unattended contact your insurance company to determine requirements. For example, many insurers require a property check every set number of days or require the water be shut off at the residence. 
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Waking up to the thick layer of frost outside this morning, it is the sign it's time to winterize for the winter.


1. Get your furnace serviced if you haven't had an annual maintenance check recently. If you've done major renovations this year or added a basement development you might want to have the ducts cleaned too. If you have a gas fireplace, add that to the service list if you haven't had it checked in a couple of years.


2. Clean and inspect any wood burning fireplaces.


3. Test your smoke detectors and change the batteries. If your smoke detector is more than 8-10 years old, it needs replacement. The test may beep but it may no longer be as effective at detecting smoke and fire so check your model and replace if needed.


4. Check your windows and doors and repair any seals needed.


5. Blowout and winterize sprinkler systems and shut off water to outside taps.


As you take a walk around your property secure anything that might be blown away or damaged during a winter storm and put up the fall decorations.


Oh, and pull out the sleds, skates, skiis and other winter gear. There is an upside to coming snow.

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