For most cottage owners, saying hello to fall means saying goodbye to weekend retreats up north. Time for cottage owners to start thinking about closing up their summer cottage, or readying their winter getaway for extreme cold. We at AC Electrical want to ensure you are ready to prepare your cottage for colder months and fewer stays in the Great North.
When getting your cottage ready for the winter, we want you to keep the following things in mind:
- Turn off your water: Don’t let your pipes damage because of water remaining inside and left to expand and freeze
- Turn down your furnace: Avoid rot and mildew by keeping your furnace on and in a low setting, rather than off completely
- Protect your valuables:A sitting cottage is a prime target for thieving, draw the blinds, hide valuables and check in from time to time!
Want to be extra safe? Here are our favourite tips!
Install exterior lighting
When it comes to exterior lighting, keep it bright enough to see, but not so bright that you disturb the peace of nature. There are many ways to ensure that your lights only go on when needed. Take into consideration light switches which are remotely controlled from inside your car, or even light switches controlled via wifi and a smartphone such as the ones from the Lutron Caseta line!
When choosing your exterior lights, keep these general guidelines in mind:
- Use down-lighting to avoid light pollution and to avoid disturbing nature and wildlife. Use a low wattage that will not contribute to “light-trespassing” into your neighbour’s yard
- Choose plastic or resin light fixtures to avoid corrosion or the need for too much maintenance.
There are some areas you should always consider adding lighting to:
- Whatever shows the location must be well-lit. This can make a big difference in case of an emergency.
- void the risk of a twisted ankle or unexpected bumps. Install low-wattage LED landscape lighting along the path and stairs to the deck.
- Wherever you’ll be working after it’s dark, you’ll need some easy access lighting. We recommend motion-sensitive switches so the moment you enter a space, you are greeted with hands-free light!
Animal-proof your cottage
With so much beautiful nature up north, small animals getting into your cottage are an obvious concern. To keep these critters away, make sure any food has been taken home. Small holes or cracks should also be fixed to avoid any small animal from creeping in. This also means covering the chimney.
Make winter arrangements
With the amount of snowfall we Canadians get up north, you’ll want to ensure the roof is stable to hold it up and not cause leaks. There are a few ways to keep your cottage from getting damaged from the snow. Our personal favourite is installing snow melting cables to the roof and gutter! This helps automatically melt the snow to ease the effect of freeze-thaw cycles on your roof. Also consider adding similar heat cables traced along your water pipes to keep them from freezing! Alternatively, you should be prepared for a few trips over the winter to remove the snow or hire a company to do that, and plowing, for you!
Are you planning to make a few trips up this winter? Tell us what your favourite activities are!
Summer is in full gear and families around the city are making the most of the long warm days and the cool relaxing nights. With so many people in the city having access to shared patios in condos, private backyard decks and balconies, we want to make sure your quality time outdoors is enjoyable and safe!
We at AC Electrical are all for enjoying a fun-filled evening with friends, which is why we want to share some tips to get the most of your summer:
1. Always have some great snacks on hand. Everyone wants to have a relaxing time once they hit up the patio or deck so keep some drinks in a cooler nearby and easy-to-grab snacks like pretzels, baked goodies, candies and nuts on hand for when your friends pop in. They’ll love to relax and have a good time once they know their stomachs will be full!
2. Create a fun space outside with a relaxing vibe. Have comfortable patio furniture, an umbrella for entertaining in the daytime and some lights for entertaining during the evening. Make sure you always use outdoor rated lighting. There are many options you can go for including installed sensor lights, hanging lanterns or fun string lights. Speak with #YourHomeElectricians about installing lights to your patio or using a plug in option.
Be cautious of your surroundings. With everyone so close to neighbors within the city, you want to be sure you are not bothering your friends next door by blasting a radio or having a loud group of friends over past midnight on a weeknight. If you know your friends get loud, invite your neighbors over or give them a heads up so they know you care about their peace of mind. If you are using a plug-in radio outside, or have plug in decor like string lights, make sure your outdoor receptacles have bubble covers to protect the receptacle and keep anything plugged into it safe and untouched by rain or other natural elements.
Lastly, have fun! Summer is here now and will be gone before you know it. Taking caution ahead of time will save you a head ache later and will only make your summer more enjoyable!
What are your favourite summer past times? We’d love to know! Share with us on Twitter /write on our Facebook page if you have any questions about installations or types of lights to use.
There are two main types of surge protection: point of use or whole house surge protection. Both of them help regulate the voltage supplied to an electric device by blocking or shorting dangerously high voltage levels.
A point of use device protects important electronics and appliances at their individual electric source. These surge suppressors typically plug straight into the wall and can manage up to 6,000-volt surges.
A whole house surge protection device, which is installed at the main electrical panel itself, protects the entire home against passing surges coming through the home’s main electricity supply.
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