Home Safety

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Holiday House Safety Tips

Holiday House Safety Tips

The time we look forward to all year has finally arrived. The holidays are wonderful for many different reasons, but it certainly can be a busy time of year. Between wrapping presents and preparing a holiday feast it’s easy to let your guard down. They are a few precautionary steps you can take to ensure you and your family’s safety so you can make sure nothing interferes with spending quality time together:

1. Reposition the tree

Think about the position of your Christmas tree and make sure it is kept away from all power and heat sources. Keeping it hydrated is another important step in making it less flammable, or you could opt for an artificial tree to reduce the maintenance.

2. Use the fireplace with care

Make sure your fireplace is in good working condition and clean before sparking it up for the holiday season. Invest in a guard to keep children and pets safe from the flames.

Another important reminder is to not burn wrapping paper. Many types of wrapping paper give off toxic fumes when burned. Paper also burns very quickly so there is the danger that the flames may enter the chimney and ignite creosote deposits.

3. Keep pets away from plants

It’s always a good rule of thumb to check if your house plants can be toxic to animals, especially around the holidays when it’s tradition to hang plants such as mistletoe and holly. Here’s a handy list of toxic plants to be mindful of.

4. Cook with caution

Holiday cooking can be overwhelming, but it’s important to be present when food is cooking. Do not leave anything unattended and make sure to double check that all devices are turned off.

5. Inspect christmas lights

Christmas lights can endure a lot of damage being stowed away in boxes all year and it’s best you check their state before hanging. Replace any bulbs that have burnt out and consider putting them on a timer to reduce your hydro bill.

6. Test smoke alarm

Testing your smoke alarm is one of the most important things you can do this holiday season. With all the cooking and lights we can expect this time of year, it is top priority that your fire alarm is in working condition.

7. Climb safely

If you’re using a ladder this year to hang lights or dress the tree then make sure you have the right one for the job. Double check for a certification mark to ensure your ladder complies with applicable standards. It also never hurts to have someone nearby when climbing a ladder, especially when working outside in cold and wet weather conditions.

Start the holiday festivities knowing your home – and your family – is protected with these holiday house safety tips. It may be another thing to add to the growing to-do list, but it could save you from some serious mishaps.

Wishing you a safe and happy holidays!


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Important Sensors for Your Home

As a homeowner, you probably understand how much maintenance is required just to keep everything up and running, but sometimes it can seem overwhelming – especially when it comes to utility bills and unexpected repairs. Luckily, with technology today, there are a number sensors you can invest in to make life just a little bit easier. Here are a few important sensors for your home that will allow you to keep tabs on everything:

Temperature Sensors & Smart Thermostats

Temperature sensors are ideal for saving on energy and ensuring every room is kept at a comfortable level. Investing in this type of sensor is also great for while you’re away from your home. You can set the settings to turn off the AC – or the heat – while you’re out for the day, and have them come back on before you arrive. It’s easy to see how this would be a huge energy-saver.

Light Sensors

We’re all guilty of forgetting to turn off lights when we leave the house, but with light sensors that no longer has to be a concern. Smart light sensors can turn off lights, and they can allow you to set lighting schedules. Devices that sync with a smart phone allow you to have total control over these settings no matter where you are.

Motion, Window & Door Sensors

If the security of your home is your primary concern then motion sensors are something worth investing in. You can set up motion sensors to monitor points of entry, such as doors and window, and send a signal to other devices like an alarm or cell phone.

Water Sensors

Water sensors are important when it comes to saving on bills and avoiding costly water damage. Place sensors where water leaks are a possibility and they will alert you when things are in need of repair. This is must for flood-prevention, especially if you are away from your home for long periods of time.

Smoke & CO Sensors

Another sensor to consider would be a smart smoke sensor, which will not only keep your home safe from potential fires, but ensure your air quality is top-notch as well. These sensors monitor the air quality for pollen, dust, and other particles that might be of concern.

If you’re hesitant to invest in sensors, don’t be. Many of them can save you money in the long run and give you peace of mind, which is priceless. Determine which ones you have the most need for and start there. If you have no problem turning lights off when you leave a room, but your pipes are prone to leaking, then perhaps you can pass on the light sensor but invest in a water one instead. A lot of these sensors can lighten your energy bill, but if you’re looking for more energy-saving tips visit our blog:  ‘Cheap Trick to Reduce Your Energy Bill This Winter’

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HVAC Safety Tips for Kids

HVAC Safety Tips for Kids

With back to school just around the corner it’s time we start thinking about our children’s safety. This can mean a number of things to parents, but have you ever considered including HVAC as part of your safety procedures? One area of safety that is often overlooked is the heating and cooling equipment in our homes. These HVAC safety tips for kids will clear up any questions you have and ensure your kids are safe all year round.

Secure Vent Covers

Vents are designed to keep things out while allowing for air circulation, but like everything else, they endure wear and tear. Screws holding it in place can become loose overtime and create a hazard for children, especially small children whose curiosity will have them wanting to crawl inside.

It’s worth it to double-check your vent very so often to make sure it is secure. Also take this time to check if anything has put into the vent, or invest in a vent cover to prevent this from happening all together.

Restrict Access to HVAC Units

Any piece of HVAC equipment can be hazardous to children since they are made of metal and often have sharp corners. With kids playing and running around (especially outside) accidents are bound to happen. There are also hot surfaces and electrical wires that a child can come in contact with.

The best method of prevention is to install a protective cage around the unit or some kind of barrier. This will also prevent children from dropping anything in the unit, which could have a costly effect in repairs.

Keep Thermostats out of Reach

Too much tampering with your thermostat can not only impact your energy bill, but it can also damage your HVAC system overtime.

Try and keep the thermostat out of reach, or install a protective barrier – such as a lockbox – around it so kids are unable to access it.

These are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your child’s safety around HVAC equipment. A little bit of prevention can go along way, and as your kids get older you can always explain the dangers to them directly.

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Reduce Home Heat Loss

As the temperatures start warm, you probably aren’t worried about heat loss in your home but, do you remember the long winter that is finally ending? Do you remember the heating bills? Timmins is famous for its winters, which is why it’s no surprise that efficient home heating can be a major concern. But how do you make sure that you’re only paying what you should, not extra from heat loss? Finding out the causes of heat loss in your home is the best way to start stopping heat loss and save money in the long term. Plus, when spring arrives, these issues can be easily fixed.

Heat is Escaping from Your Chimney

Older homes may still have old-fashioned, wood burning fireplaces built in, with chimneys to expel the smoke. While fireplaces and chimneys make for a great winter experience, they are also a major source of heat loss.

You can reduce heating costs by sealing up a chimney if you no longer use your fireplace. However, if you do still enjoy building a fire from time to time, a “chimney balloon” acts as a seal to keep the heat in when not in use. Just deflate it when you’re ready to light things up again.

Pay Attention to Your Windows

Draw your curtains or blinds to reduce heat loss in the winter

A window is essentially a hole in your home with a transparent cover so you can see through it. It can admit light, which also carries heat, but can even radiate that same heat out. A window is always a “point of vulnerability” in a home for heat loss and gain. In the winter, you should use heat gain to your advantage while mitigating heat loss. Any windows with a southern exposure should have curtains or drapes open up to allow sunlight to stream in, for “free heating” during the day.

At night, however, you should use those same curtains or blinds to seal in the heat and slow down heat loss. If you really committed to reducing heating costs, invest in new, energy-efficient windows with innovations like an insulating layer of argon gas between the panes.

Your Insulation Might Need an Upgrade

One of the most common reasons for heat loss is poor insulation in a home. If your roof and walls are not properly insulated, cold air is constantly seeping in. Modern insulation like cellulose, fibreglass, and polystyrene make a huge difference in retaining heat inside your home. If reducing heating costs is one of your goals, evaluate your insulation situation, and upgrade to modern materials and techniques.

Your Floors Are Also Vulnerabilities

Yes, you can even experience heat loss through your floor! Wooden floorboards, for example, having gaps and seams through which cold air can leak in. You can insulate your floor with large area rugs to block those leaks.

 You might even consider in-floor heating as an alternative. Floor heating systems not only mean you’ll have a toasty warm floor in the winter, but it’s a less invasive way to heat, avoiding the stuffy air of turning up the furnace. It’s a unique, foot-friendly way to reduce heating costs and get rid of those socks and slippers while at home during the winter.


Stopping heat loss in your home starts with noticing the causes and can end with some of these practical solutions!


Contact Us for a Free Heat Loss Assessment, we’re sure it’ll reduce your heating bills next winter.

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How & Why to Test and Maintain Your CO2 Detector?

It’s sad to say, each year, in Canada, more than 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, hundreds more are hospitalized and may end up permanently disabled. There is no question that carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious issue, especially since almost 90% of Canadian homes have at least one thing that can pose the threat of CO2 poisoning.

The biggest danger about carbon monoxide is that it can’t be detected until damage has been done. It is a gas that is odourless, colourless, and tasteless and enters your body through normal respiration, replacing oxygen and preventing it from reaching vital areas of your body.

For these reasons, carbon monoxide detectors are mandatory and should be tested and maintained properly to ensure everyone in your home remains safe.

What Causes CO2?

CO2 is a by-product of the incomplete combustion of a variety of fuel sources and can occur in any device or piece of equipment that relies on burning a type of fuel for heat or energy.

The most common fuels that produce CO2 include natural gas, heating oil, kerosene, propane, wood, gasoline, coal, and charcoal. The most common fuel burning devices and appliance in and around the house include your home furnace, wood stoves, space heaters, automobiles, kitchen stoves, water heaters, gas or charcoal barbecues, lawnmowers, and fireplaces.

Health Symptoms to Notice

If you are exposed to CO2, you can experience a range of symptoms. Some of the most common include dizziness, nausea, headaches, drowsiness, confusion, and burning eyes. In high concentrations, it can poison you quickly and lead to unconsciousness, brain damage, or death. That is why so many people who die from CO2 exposure are sleeping when it happens. If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect carbon monoxide, move outside to clean air right away and call for help.

How CO2 Detectors Work?

CO2 detectors are crucial for your home safety, monitoring airborne concentration levels of carbon monoxide in parts per million. The alarms are designed to sense higher levels over shorter timeframes and lower concentrations over longer timeframes, sounding an alarm when harmful levels are detected. CO2 detectors emit a different sound than standard smoke alarms, and it’s a good idea to educate everyone in your home on the difference between the two, so they always know.

CO2 Detector Testing Procedure and Frequency

Your carbon monoxide detector should be tested at least once per year or after the battery has been replaced. In rental places, it is the landlord’s responsibility to test the CO2 alarm, but as a tenant, you can also check it to make sure it is working the way it should.


Every carbon monoxide detector will have a test feature on it, and there will be detailed instructions in the manual provided by the manufacturer. Make sure to read through them and find out how to activate the test feature before assuming everything is fine.


Home safety is a serious topic for any homeowner, and having a functioning CO2 detector plays a considerable role in your ultimate peace of mind. If you have any questions about how to test your carbon monoxide detector or any other HVAC-related questions, contact us at RHMH Heating & Air Conditioning today.  



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Cheap Tricks to Reduce Your Energy Bill This Winter

If you’re like most homeowners, you’d love to be able to reduce your energy bills in the winter without having to spend a lot of money. As the temperatures drop and that furnace kicks into high gear for several months, your energy bills can become uncomfortable. Having an energy-efficient home will give you peace of mind and help your bank account, and there are a handful of cheap tricks you can try to help make this a reality.

Lower the Thermostat

Over-programming your smart thermostat can end up wasting money unnecessarily. If you want to save money on your energy bills, try decreasing the temperature by three degrees during the days when no one is home and at night while everyone is asleep. With modern thermostats, you can schedule it to come on shortly before you get home or wake up, making the settings convenient and the bills affordable.  

Use Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls contribute to an energy-efficient home because they dry your clothes more efficiently and allow you to reduce the time you use the dryer. Clothes dryers use a lot of energy, but this inexpensive hack can help you reduce the output.

Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

Dryer balls help you save energy when drying, but you can also save during the wash cycle by only using cold water to wash your clothes. Naturally, your water heater will need to kick into gear if you wash clothes in hot water, so keeping it cold will save energy.

Hang Your Clothes to Dry

Not a lot of people consider hanging their clothes out to dry in the winter, but it is possible most of the time. Heat, humidity and time are major factors when it comes to drying clothes, and even though there isn’t a ton of heat in the winter, humidity levels are usually lower, and you can leave them out all day. Make sure not to crowd the line with clothes, and if it is cold and humid out or really windy, try an indoor drying rack for the same energy-saving effect.

Unplug Small Appliances That Aren’t Being Used

Small appliances like vacuums, computers, cameras, entertainment systems, and kitchen appliances that aren’t being used still consume energy if they are plugged in. This concept is often called phantom or vampire electricity, and it is adding to your electricity bill for no reason. Take a few moments to unplug small appliances that you aren’t using and save money.

Keep an Eye on Your Furnace Filter

A dirty furnace filter will make the entire system work harder and will reduce the air quality in your home. If you want to have an efficient furnace and improve air quality at the same time, take the time to clean or replace your furnace filter each month. Purchase a pack of three or more and have them handy so there is never an excuse.

Annual Furnace Maintenance

Every energy-efficient home has a furnace that is effective and gets the job done when it’s needed. Make sure you call a heating contractor in Timmins to have your furnace serviced at least once per year, preferably before the winter, and you will be able to reduce your energy bills while keeping your family safe and comfortable.  


If you’d like to learn more about saving on your energy bills and want to get ready for winter, get in touch with us at RHMH Heating & Air Conditioning today for a full furnace servicing.