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Extreme, eh? Canada’s Hot and Cold Relationship with the Weather

Flushed man feeling hot in front of a fan

 

Canada may be the only country on earth where +30 C in Windsor and -30 C in Iqaluit – on the same day – are simply par for the thermometer. Which might explain why weather isn’t just something we Canadians talk about in the elevator, it’s a topic many of us are obsessed with nearly as much as hockey. After all, who else but Canucks speak with such passion about wind chill factors in winter and humidex temperatures in summer?

 

And we have pretty good reason to. After all, there’s Snag, Yukon’s -63 C coldest day record that still stands from 1947. There’s also the fact that Canada has the world’s lowest average daily temperature (-5.6 C) and, get this, Ottawa is the world’s coldest national capital – except for Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

 

Then there’s the heat. Yellowgrass, Saskatchewan’s hottest day record of 45 C is even older than our cold record – 80 years and counting. And back in 1936, 44-degree temperatures in Manitoba and Ontario killed nearly 1,200 people. Even when it’s not that extreme, high temperatures can take their toll, especially on the old and young, in the form of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and all-around sweaty discomfort.

 

Not to mention the blizzards, ice storms, wildfires, and so on, all of which are becoming more frequent and unpredictable as climate change and extreme weather become nearly as common in Canada as the cold.

 

But Canadians are nothing if  not resilient. And after 150 years, we’ve learned different ways to deal with it. After all, who else gets excited over a garage heater to warm up your car or the rooms above your garage in winter? (Hint: No one.) And there are probably not a lot of places where “all-season home comfort” actually means comfort for all seasons in the form of air conditioning and heating as well as protection plans that take care of your equipment even if it’s -10 C one week and 25 C the next.

 

Finally, here are a few tips to remember if and when extreme weather hits your area:

 

  • Unless you need the heat, during a severe blizzard or storm, consider temporarily turning off your heating or cooling system to avoid damage from a power surge.
  • In the event of very strong winds, you may want to use a heavy-duty cover for your air conditioning unit or heat pump to prevent debris or objects like tree branches from damaging it. Remember to uncover it as soon as the storm is over – and don’t cover your AC or pump if it’s simply raining or snowing – your systems should be able to withstand regular weather.
  • Also consider putting away outdoor furniture like lawn chairs and tables, which can get swept up by heavy winds, land on your outdoor system and cause damage.
  • A sump pump is an effective tool for keeping water out of your home in the event of heavy rain. It’s a good idea to check the sump pump periodically to make sure it’s in good working order – monthly if it disposes of water from a washing machine, and once a season otherwise. In both cases, the pump screen or inlet opening should be cleaned.

 

If you have any questions about protecting your air conditioner, furnace or other appliances during extreme weather, contact  Reliance Home Comfort™ today.

 

 

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