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Its Back To School Time! | For The Parents

As a mom myself, this time of year can be quite hectic with two busy kids in school! Every year I promise myself Im going to be more organized. So far we are off to a great start 😉

I found some of these links on Facebook and Pinterest that I thought were well worth a blog post to share some of these hints or tips to help parents, like me, with making the transition back to school a little bit easier!

If you haven’t already this year, or did in the early spring, take a walk around your house with two bags or boxes. One is garbage the other is donate. You will be shocked at how many things you will find! Especially as the kids grow!

There is a great store in town (Stumbled Upon) that takes pre-loved clothing and kids things! We are also lucky to have the Cancer Patient Services Thrift Store in Mount Forest. You can donate anything here (as long as its still in good condition) and they will sell it with the profits going to the local Cancer Patient Services. Win – Win!

STORAGE! With back to school literally around the corner… many parents may find this quite useful from HGTV for extra storage!

9 ways to stretch your storage–> http://hg.tv/1lzk7

Having designated storage spaces for children for their hats, mitts, coats, snow pants, back packs, shoes, lunch pails is essential to ensure the next morning will run smooth! Plus it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to be functional! Another biggie… having a place for school papers! I am SO very thankful our school sends electronic school letters home – thank you for that! We have enough paper enter our home 🙂

SLEEP! For our kids it is SO important! Being in a routine is crucial for most kids – their parents too! Did you know most school age kids (5-10) should be getting a minimum of 10-11 hours a night. For children younger or older you can check out this Today’s Parent article!

SCHOOL TEACHERS! Get to know your kids teachers. Not only get to know them be open with them. Be willing to do what you need to, to help your children be successful. I truly love that my children are in a small school.

SCHOOL LUNCHES! I know I am not the only parent who by the end of the school year was SO happy to not pack lunches anymore… yup I know I am not alone! By the time June came around I was having lunch block. Could not think of anything fun or interesting to send with them. Even they were sick of packed lunches. Much like a meal plan … have a rotating lunch menu! Heck Ive always commented on how awesome it is the daycares have their weeks planned out in advance… smart thinking!

A few other great kids lunch ideas…

Simple and Healthy
Pack Ahead Lunches
How To Pack Your Lunch

BREAKFAST! Super duper important for everyone, but especially for growing kids!
Some fav’s of my kids are granola, oatmeal, wraps with ham or peanut butter or eggs, fruit, cereal, toast with peanut butter or cheese and of course a glass of milk!

MEAL PLANNING! For the parents… something I need to get in order myself. Our household operates so much more efficient when we meal plan – saves money too on the groceries!

SHOES, UMBRELLA’S ETC! Its always the miscellaneous things that get me. So far we are doing well, shoes were all accounted for last week, boots are on order to be picked up, umbrellas are ready… we just purchased the Mabel’s Labels so we are just about ready!!!

In just a few days… the little ones will be off to school again!

Be Prepared Before Snow| Farmers’ Almanac Predicts Nasty Winter

We are back to enjoying the heat of the summer with warnings of a very nasty, cold and snow covered winter.

Are you going to be ready?

As a Plumbing and Heating company, this past winter was slightly crazy and kept our guys on their toes. There are a few things you can do before the snow flies to be proactive in preparation of the winter that is predicted to arrive!

  • When is the last time you had your septic pumped out?
    This is especially important if your lines run under a road, driveway or parking lot. Cars will push the frost down and with last winter we had a few plugged septic lines because they froze!
  • Check all your taps
    Inside and out for any leaks. Especially your outside taps.
  • Have you turned on your heating system to test it?
  • When is the last time you had your heating system cleaned and serviced?
  • Do you have furnace filters
    Changing your filters is extremely important, especially when your system is heating or cooling. Ensure you have at least a few on hand so when you think about it, you are able to change the filter!
  • Is your home properly sealed
    Check your doors and window seals, especially if the wind blows right against them.

The Canadian Winter Forecast from The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting “below-normal temperatures for about three-quarters of the country…” and “The coldest outbreak of the season will come during the final week of January into the beginning of February when frigid arctic air drops temperatures across the Prairies to perhaps 40 below zero. As the frigid air blows across the Great Lakes, snow showers and squalls will drop heavy amounts of snow to the lee of the Lakes for such localities as Houghton, Goderich, Owen Sound, and Sault Ste Marie.”
Information from the FarmersAlmanac.Com

Don’t get caught in the cold.

  • Have you considered a back up heat for if the power goes out?
    A gas fireplace provides heat even if the power is out, the fan will not operate, however the fireplace will heat. This can be especially important for a basement in a home to keep the pipes from freezing and would be appreciated on the main level of a home to provide a heat source should the power go out.
  • Do you have your outer wear ready?
    Especially important for kids – have you gone through their things to ensure they fit or purchased what they need new.

The HEAT is back! But… your A/C could still freeze up!

The heat of the summer is back and in full force!

The hydro grid will be feeling the force today with all the air conditioners being turned back on to cool the homes after the fall-like weather we have had.

Even with this hot humid weather, your air conditioner can still freeze up!


If you only turn on your air conditioner when its very hot out or if your system is dirty. Both can cause the system to run continuous or cycle on and off too quickly and could over work the system which would eventually freeze up or a part could burn out within the furnace.


When the air moves over the A-Coil, which is located above the furnace, the A-Coil cools the air with the freon from the condenser. When the system does not get a chance to rest and is continuously running the A-Coil will eventually ice up causing the system to not work properly.

This is an A-Coil. The freon runs through the copper tubes. It really does have an A shape!

Looking down on the case A-Coil.

What Should I Do?

To avoid the air conditioner system freezing up there are a few suggestions.
1. Keep the temperature in your home set at a consistent temperature all the time. If the home requires cooling, the air conditioner will turn on.
2. If you only use your air conditioner when it gets very hot – begin by setting the thermostat just 2-3 degress less than what the current temperature is in the room. Once the house reaches that temperature, let it sit for 30 min and then lower it again by 2 degrees. By allowing your home to slowly be brought down to a comfortable temperature your equipment has a chance to rest and will avoid freezing up that constant operation can cause.
3. Set a realistic cooling temperature. On very hot humid days, your system will have a very hard time cooling your entire home or business after not being on for a day or more.
4. Ensure your filter is clean! A dirty filter will block air flow causing the system to over work.Filters are not expensive. Buy a few at a time and have them on hand ready to change!
5. Is your heating system clean? If your furnace and air conditioner are dirty this can cause your system to over work.

If you are doing all the correct things and its still not working properly, it could be low on freon or there could be a more serious issue. In which case you should call a professional!

Stay cool 🙂

A Visual.
An A-Coil and Furnace ready for installation in a customer’s home. The A-Coil is cased so it comes like this with the coil inside. The front of the case comes off to check or clean. A-Coils which do not come in a case have duct work built around them.

Preventative maintenance – Why do I need it?… Update My System – But I dont have any problems with it!?

We get asked the question quite a bit

“Why does my furnace need preventative maintenance if nothing is wrong with it?..”


“Its almost 15/20 years old and nothing has gone wrong…”

Preventative maintenance on a HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) will lengthen the life of your appliance and cut down on your energy bills.

Just like going to the doctor for yourself to ensure you are in tip top condition, or the dentist to have your teeth cleaned and even for your vehicle when you take it in for regular oil changes annually or every 6 months. Your HVAC system has moving parts which need to be cleaned and serviced to be properly maintained.

More importantly, within your HVAC system is a filter, all the air in your home goes through this filter. The cleaner it is, the more efficient your system runs and the cleaner your air in the home is!

Even if your system has been working “fine” for the length of its life of 15 or 20 years – that doesn’t mean its been running as efficient as it could be – which in turn could be costing you each month on your utilities.

Have you noticed your utilities costs creeping up?

I certainly have… that’s why our 25 yr old Water Furnace Geothermal System (after 3 yrs of annual service since we’ve lived there) is getting the boot. Its technically “running alright” however knowing our hydro bills are increasing each year with the heating season and knowing what we could be saving with a new gas furnace… Im excited to get our new system in and running!

If you are on the fence whether to get your system cleaned and serviced OR replace it, review the following: Age of your system, Repairs over the last 5-10 years, Monthly energy bills (gas, hydro, propane, oil). Many of the “old” systems are extremely inefficient in comparison to the new models.Or simply give a call and Mike our Comfort Advisor will come out to your home and provide you with a free no obligation quote.

PLUS you can receive a rebate from OPA and if you choose a new Lennox Home Comfort System you can also qualify for Lennox rebates… thats on top of the energy savings in $’s spent each month too!

Make sure your home’s energy, heating and cooling does not go to waste!