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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!
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Build The Perfect Weekend! | Mount Forest Fireworks Festival 2014 #myfireworksweekend

The fireworks festival for 2014 is simply days away! As a Top 100 Festival for over 5 years, this is one you do not want to miss!!!

Bring out your family and friends, capture great memories, explore what our festival and town have to offer!!!

Be sure to use the hastag #myfireworksweekend and you could WIN some great (local) prizes!

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Air Conditioning Mini Split Options | Home or Business

A commercial customer was looking for the comfort of central air with the duct less option for a newly renovated office. The best of both worlds is a Mini Split Air Conditioning System.

A mini split system is much like central air as there is an outdoor and indoor unit. The difference is the indoor unit is in the room you would like it to cool.

Our customer chose to go with the Fujitsu Mini Split System. This particular unit includes this outdoor unit, which was safely mounted to the roof and indoor ceiling cassette’s. The difference between the Fujitsu units and the Lennox units is with the cassette’s Fujisu offer’s. Businesses or homes with t-bar ceiling can simply “drop” these cassette’s in where a ceiling tile would have been.

Some of the features of this Fujitsu System are:

  • Inverter Technology – now more economical to operate and quieter to run, handle greater extremes in temperature, are smoother and more stable in operation and can reach the desired temperature faster than conventional air conditioners.
  • Swing Louvers – the air flow direction is set automatically to match the operating mode.
  • Slender Fit – this design allows for the cassette’s to be installed with very limited ceiling space.
  • 4 Way Air Flow – Airflow in all directions maintains an even temperature throughout a space – perfect for in a corner or long hallways.
  • Simple Maintenance – There is a detachable and washable air intake grille and filter.
  • Humidity Control – this system features Dry Mode, which helps to control humidity levels even when cooling may not be needed.

Features of the Fujitsu Mini Split with Cassette System courtesy of the Fujitsu website.

Below is a photo of the outdoor unit for the Fujitsu system we installed.

Mini Split Outdoor Fujitsu with indoor cassette  IMG_20140705_135838_edit

The Lennox Mini Split System is an excellent addition for a home or business without forced air heating (and cooling) and offers a more affordable cost than ceiling cassette’s. If your home, business or shop has infloor heating this would be a great cooling option if you didn’t want to run ducts throughout the house. Also keeping in mind if you do have infloor heating and go with a mini split system for your cooling, we do still recommend having an HRV in your home (which is less ducts than forced air) to ensure you are able to bring fresh air in and remove stale air from the home.

Below is the Lennox Mini Split Air Conditioner System.

 

2014 Mini Split Lennox_MS8C-MS8H_Mini-Split_Systems-4

The Lennox unit is recognized by AHRI Certified, HRAI and is Energy Star Approved.

Features and Benefits – MS8C Mini Split Air Conditioner – Lennox

Energy Efficiency

  • Efficiency rating of up to 22 SEER
  • ENERGY STAR® qualified meets or exceeds EPA guidelines for energy efficiency
  • Inverter technology slowly ramps up system to full speed, delivering only the air that is needed
  • Unique design makes system safer and more efficient than traditional window units

Quiet Operation

  • Indoor sound levels as low as 26 dB
  • Outdoor sounds levels as low as 50 dB
  • Inverter technology slowly ramps up system to full speed, delivering ultra-quiet comfort

Home Comfort

  • Secure installation leave you less vulnerable to problems associated with window units, such as insects, weather elements and theft
  • Easy-to-use wireless remote control allows you to change the temperature to fit your comfort needs

Flexibility

  • Ductless design eliminates complicated installation or expensive modifications
  • Small, compact design blends into any room

Features and Benefits courtesy of the Lennox Residential Website. .

Please remember with all HVAC Equipment, regular maintenance is very important for not only the life and proper operating efficiency of the system but also for your health as well to ensure you are breathing clean air!

Its Time For Your Annual Check Up | Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Mount Forest

Now is the time to have your Heating, Cooling and Ventilation equipment checked before the rush of back to school and the cool evenings of the fall!

Read the information below provided by HRAI of the importance of annual cleaning and servicing of your HVAC Equipment including your furnace, boiler, water heater, air conditioner, and hrv.

Did you know that many home insurance companies have annual inspections as part of your home insurance clause

Any questions feel free to give us a call. We service Mount Forest, Conn, Arthur, Alma, Drayton, Moorefield, Palmerston, Teviotdale, Rothsay, Harriston, Clifford, Ayton, Holstein, Varney and Durham.

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Cleaning and Servicing Benefits | HVAC System Mount Forest

Did you know regular maintenance of your HVAC System is beneficial to the life and operation of your equipment!

A few other tips for year round is to make sure your heating/cooling vents and return air grilles are clear of furniture so that the air can flow smoothly around. Its a good idea to remove the grilles and vacuum them front and back to remove dirt, dust and dander. Also while the grilles are off vacuum down into the heating duct or return air to remove any cob webs (you may be surprised!) and dirt caught in them.

 

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Your Air Conditioning Options!

Enjoying the heat? Of course we are, its been a long winter!!!

There will come that day where the words we all said we would never say this summer are going to fall out of our mouth… ITS SO HOT!!!

If your home does not have forced air heating – did you know your Air Conditioning Options include more than just the cheap little window shakers?

That’s right… you can enjoy complete home comfort with a multi unit ductless Mini Split System!

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WIN A Regency Fireplace! | Enter by May 14!

That’s right… you can WIN a Regency Fireplace!!!

Click on the image below to be directed to the Regency Website to enter!!!

WIN A FREE FIREPLACE FFC-2012-13-Sign2

Contest only valid in the USA and Canada. One entry per customer, per draw. Duplicate entries will be discarded. Contest closes May 15, 2014. Click here for full Contest Rules.

Perfect Weather To Clear Snow | The Calm After The Storm

What a gorgeous winter morning to wake up to, at least in our part of Ontario! The temperature a cool yet refreshing -7 with light snow flakes falling.

Please take advantage of this “warmer” winter weather to get outside and ensure the snow is properly cleared around all your vents for your home. This includes dryer vents as well as your heating appliances (furnace, boiler, fireplace) and hot water heater.

The picture below is a photo of the intake and exhaust vents for a forced air furnace. The exhaust is straight out, intake points down. If your vents are blocked they can cause the equipment to not function properly or not work altogether.

Furnace Vents Cleared 20140107_124106_resized

Please also check your filters. A blocked filter will cause your furnace and HRV to work much harder than it is designed to do and possibly over heat. This can cause premature break down of the appliance and reduced life. It is recommended to have your system maintained and cleaned at least once every 2 years while changing your filters every 2-4 months, more often in the heating season.

Don’t forget your plumbing system! Is your basement currently heated? If you have forced air heating in your home having a duct run off the furnace and into your basement – even if its unfinished, will help your mechanical room stay warm and prevent pipes from freezing. Ensure all outside taps are shut off from the inside and the taps are open outside.

Remember to be safe while out driving on the roads! Ensure your windshield is cleared properly, you have a snow brush in your car, your gas tank is full or at least over half full and you are dressed for the weather! Also very helpful if you have a blanket – just in case and a cell phone (fully charged or with a charger in your vehicle).

Enjoy… a photo from yesterday morning!

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With this cold weather comes frozen pipes… Some tips to keep your water flowing!

JJ McLellan

JJ McLellan – Broken Pipe – Froze and burst!

When water freezes it expands, this is why if your pipes freeze they can and will burst – such as in the photo!

Open your cupboard doors – If you are worried about your pipes freezing and the potential of bursting… If you have pipes/taps on outside walls, open your cupboard doors to allow heat from your home in.

Heat from a lamp – If that doesn’t help plug a lamp in and put it under the sink (safely… not near anything flammable!) the heat from the bulb will help.

Run water – If you are really concerned, turn on the tap and let it run, a small consistent stream will help prevent freezing.

Insulate – If your home is very old and does not have a lot of insulation in the walls you could add some foam board insulation to the back of your kitchen cabinet to help prevent freezing.

What if I dont have a basement? If you live in a mobile home or a home with a crawl space, ensure you have heat tape for your pipes and that the underneath of the home is properly insulated and sealed! If your home was built on a slab on grade most likely you will have in floor heating, ensure the heating system is kept at a consistent temperature and have your system maintained regularly.

Getting away from the cold – If you are going away ensure you have someone checking on your home at least once a day – twice in cold weather like this.

Consistency – When the weather turns cold it is very important to keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature even during the night. Set your thermostat at a comfortable level and leave it.

Its too late… what should you do?

If your pipes have froze you can try to thaw them yourself. First open your taps, second use a heat source such as a hair dryer or a small portable heater. Be very careful to ensure you remove anything flammable prior to applying heat – especially in the kitchen if there are cleaners in the cabinets.

If you are not able to get your pipes thawed its time to call the professionals. Our plumbers have dealt with many frozen pipes! Either way once you get your problem solved – ensure you will be ok for the next deep freeze with proper insulation such as wall insulation, floor insulation, pipe insulation and heat tape.

Do not wait until you have issues to take preventative action. Ensure you have proper wall insulation, ensure the underside of your home (this includes basements) is insulated properly. If you are already planning a renovation pipes can be re-routed to lessen the chance of freezing. Unless you are considering gutting an older home back to the studs to completely re-insulate the home, sometimes in an older home re-routing the plumbing is the best option to get the pipes off of an outside wall. The costs for preventative maintenance will be well worth the costs you could face if your pipes freeze and burst!

Unsure of what you should do? Feel free to give Mike our Comfort Advisor a call he would be happy to recommend some options for you to ensure your home is safe!

Stay Warm!!!

Home & Garden Show | Mount Forest ENTER TO WIN A WATER SOFTENER!

Come out and see Mike this weekend at the Mount Forest Home and Garden Show at the Mount Forest sports complex this Sat & Sun 9 am-4 pm! Be sure to enter your name and phone number in our draw to WIN a FREE Greenway Water Softener! 

Why should you enter? See the benefits of having a water softener below (courtesy of the Greenway website!)

How does a Water Softener work?

Hard water is found in various regions globally. In North America, hard water is prevalent Calcium, magnesium and other ions are found in “hard” water. These hard water ions can interfere with your plumbing and potentially decrease the efficacy of water heaters and other water appliances because of the build-up of lime scale. Soap and cleaning products’ effectiveness are also affected and therefore are not as efficient.

Water Softeners usually work on the principle of replacing the hardness ions (calcium and magnesium) with sodium ions through the use of ion exchange resin. The hard water to be treated is passed through a bed of the resin. Negatively-charged resins absorb the hardness ions, which are positively charged (Ca++, Mg++). The ion exchange resins most commonly contain Sodium (but can be found in potassium and hydrogen form also). Calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water replace these sodium ions on the resin, therefore decreasing the calcium and magnesium in the water, making soft water with no formation of lime scale

When all of the resin is “full” of the calcium and magnesium hardness ions, the softener regenerates by allowing high concentrations of sodium chloride (salt) to be reintroduced onto the resin, taking the place of the calcium and magnesium ions and discarding them into the discharge drain water. The water softener is then ready to be used once again.

How are Greenway® Water Softeners different than other water softeners?

At Greenway Water Technologies, we take your water treatment seriously. We have collaborated, researched and designed water softening systems with our customers in mind.

There are four categories of Greenway® water softeners, each with its’ own unique features and characteristics based on your level of hard water and water flow requirements.

Our Greenway® Standard Series water softener line includes two options; either an easy to use Clack 3 over 2 valve with bypass, resin tank, and salt tank OR a metered Fleck Valve including bypass, resin tank and salt tank.

The Greenway® Advance series water softener line additionally includes our unique Greenway®  valve head with bypass and added collar, resin tank and salt tank.

The Greenway® Pro Series water softeners are our NSF certified units come in a variety of sizes. These will be available later this year (2011).

Our Greenway® Cabinet water softeners are designed to be compact and are used when space is minimal. Some customers prefer this style of water softener as the resin tank and salt tank are built into one cabinet. Our customers can program in their own water hardness based on desired salt usage (low, medium or high salt settings) for effective results.

Above information from http://www.greenwaywt.com/products/water_softeners