Saturday, October 27, 2012

Canada's Winter 2013 Sneak Peak Forecast


A few selected winter forecast highlights:

1. In general, December looks fairly mild across the country relative to normal, then more typical winter conditions for January and February.
2. The winter looks stormier, but warmer than normal for most of Atlantic Canada.
3. A drier winter for most of BC.
4. The winter as a whole should be much colder compared to last winter (record warmth) across the Prairies, but still averaging near to slightly colder than normal overall. Latest computer model trends over the past month have been going in the colder direction across this region.
5. Ski season off to good start in the west. In the East, the season might start out a little slow but should recover nicely in January and February. I promised my daughter I would take her skiing more often this winter, so there is a lot riding on this!
6. Pretty confident in going with above-normal temperatures and snowfall for far northern Canada once again.

You can follow the writer of this Article on twitter @BrettAWX

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How often should I change the furnace filter?


 The answer is a lot more complex than you might imagine.

filters remove up to 90 percent of mold spores and pet dander, which are in the range of 3 to 10 microns.  Filters works like a magnet to grab even smaller particles, such as bacteria, the particles that carry viruses, and the soot in smoke and smog.

Manufacturers typically recommend that the high-efficiency filters be changed every three months. The Health House program adds a suggestion to look at the filters monthly. If filters are obviously dark and clogged, go ahead and replace them. Not everyone's house and habits are the same. If you have three or four cats, or if someone in your house smokes, you should change the filter more often.

With the old-style filters, if you forget to change the filter after a month, it's really no big deal. The dirt trapped on the fibers actually increases the filter's ability to block small particles, and plenty of air still gets through for the furnace to run relatively efficiently. The newer filters, however, significantly restrict air flow once they become somewhat clogged. This prevents your furnace from moving as much air as it was designed to do, which causes it to run longer to heat your house, which in turn adds to your gas or electric bill.

Our advice? Focus on reducing the amount of dust that is stirred up inside your house by encouraging everyone to leave their shoes at the door; keeping pets and smokers out of the house; vacuuming regularly and thoroughly with a central vacuum system or a portable vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter; and "using as effective a furnace filter as the homeowner's budget allows, changing or cleaning the filter as often as the manufacturer recommends.
Or ...use the washable filter that came with the furnace. "It's just mesh, not very fine, vacuum it off every month and put it back in..