Lewis Maclean - March 2020

MARCH 2020

Say Goodbye to Your Worries in Spring

Water can cause a lot of headaches. If left unchecked and undrained, it can get everywhere and cause significant damage to your property. Last month, we talked about drainage issues and things to watch out for when it rains (and keeps raining). This month, I want to turn your attention to water one more time. In the spring, many people turn on their outside taps for the first time in months. As you do this, keep a close eye out for leaks at the base of the tap, in hoses, or in pipes leading under your home. You should also do a walk-around and spend a few minutes watching them run. The problem is that leaks might not be obvious at first. Cracked pipes, hoses, and taps may take a while to start showing the signs of leakage. More often than not, it’s little more than a drip. However, a simple drip can easily turn into a big problem. Over the next few months, monitor crawl spaces and window wells. You should also do a visual inspection of walls and ceilings. Look for moisture, water beading, and blistered paint. Leaking water can slowly accumulate behind paint creating blisters, or bubbles, in the wall. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Just like we recommend HVAC inspections, spring is the perfect time for a plumbing inspection. Our plumbing techs can make sure everything is good to go with your pipes and taps or identify anything that needs repair. That way, the worst-case scenario — flooding or damage to your home — never takes place, giving you peace of mind.

your air conditioner is ready for summer. March, April, and May are generally mild months in the Lower Mainland. We get cool, rainy days, mixed with mildly warm days, so many people don’t turn on their air conditioners until that first hot day of summer. However, when you wait for the first hot day of the year to turn on your air conditioning, you run the risk of something going wrong. I’m not saying something will go wrong, but if it does, you may be left without air conditioning until you can repair or replace your unit. And when it’s hot out, you could be in for a long wait. Why the long wait? Every year, on that first hot day of summer, we get an influx of calls from people who’ve turned on their air conditioning for the first time in many months to find it’s not flowing properly. Maybe their unit isn’t powering on correctly or isn’t blowing cool air, or maybe there’s a rattling sound that wasn’t there before. When you schedule a routine inspection and maintenance in the spring, you can catch any issues before you need your air conditioning. Plus, you can easily schedule an appointment without stress and worry. We’ll make sure everything gets taken care of, and come summer, you’ll be ready to go!

Now, I want to talk about air conditioning for a moment. Spring is a good time to make sure

–Tyler Dillon

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CLEANING THE HEART OF YOUR HOME Don’t Forget About the Utility Closet!

It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of

As you dust, vacuum, organize, and declutter, don’t forget about the one room that often gets neglected: the utility closet. This advice is applicable year-round, not just in the spring as we talk about spring-cleaning. The utility closet is often home to your furnace, boiler, water heater, AC junction, and other similar large appliances. The utility closet, and to a lesser extent, the pantry, are easy to forget about because they are often behind closed doors. However, forgetting to clean the room that houses the various parts of your HVAC system can cost you in the long run. Settling dust, for instance, can be hard on HVAC systems. Over time, dust accumulates in the HVAC intake system and clogs the air filter, reducing its effectiveness and efficiency. This results in a shortened lifespan for your system, higher power bills, and a poorly heated or cooled home. • Homes with light foot traffic (single or double occupancy) and no pets or allergies: 6–12 months • Family homes (three or more occupants) with no pets or allergies: 3–6 months • Family homes with at least one pet or minor allergies: 2–3 months • Family homes with multiple pets or allergies: 1–2 months In addition to changing the air filter, it’s important to schedule a routine inspection of your home’s HVAC system to identify potential How Often Should You Replace Your Air Filter?

scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring- cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think

of what you’re doing as spring- greening , and make some eco- friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1. Swap your plastic spray bottles for bulk or DIY cleaning products. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit UnderATinRoof. com and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. Explore alternative laundry detergents. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on 1MillionWomen.com, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters.com/English-Ivy-Laundry-Detergent. 3. Say goodbye to paper towels. Paper towels are a mainstay in many homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick. If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.

problems. On top of that, you can get these systems professionally cleaned and maintained.

These simple steps will keep your home’s air systems running smoothly for years to come. Plus, you’ll be prepared for the summer months ahead! If you’re ready to get started, we’re only a phone call away at 604-532-9625.

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2 Tips to Make the Most of Spring-Cleaning In March, people tend to have a lot on their minds, including spring- cleaning. It’s a yearly tradition most of us don’t get excited about, but it’s important to declutter Speaking of central air, this is a great month to schedule routine maintenance to make sure everything is working A-okay ahead of summer. Early spring is generally the off-season for HVAC businesses, which makes this the perfect time to get everything running at peak efficiency.

Take inventory ! As you clean and organize, take an inventory of what you own and sort out old or unused items to donate to charity or sell at a garage sale. It’s not just about knowing what you have; it can also help you prepare for the future.

and organize, even though that can be a lot of work. Here are a couple of tips to make spring-cleaning a little bit easier!

Taking inventory can seem like a lot of work, but when you organize and track what you own, you will undoubtedly come across items you want to keep in the family and pass along to the next generation. These might include heirlooms you’ve received from your parents or grandparents or things you acquired throughout your life. As an added bonus, taking inventory can be hugely beneficial when it comes to insurance should you need to file a claim following a flood or fire. Hopefully this never happens, but it’s always good to be prepared!

Clear the air! During the winter months, homes accumulate more dust. Air circulation isn’t always the best, and a lot of people use wood-burning or pellet stoves to heat their homes in addition to central air, which produces a lot of dust. Breathing this in is not healthy. If you have central air, start by cleaning the utility closet (or wherever the heart of your central air system is located). Clearing out dust in this room can go a long way toward removing it from your entire home, and cleaning your ductwork can help. Don’t forget to change the air filter in your system, as well!


Keep dinner light, simple, and easy with this paleo-friendly recipe.


• 2 salmon fillets (10 oz total) • 1 tsp salt • 2 tbsp ghee • 1 tbsp garlic, minced • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

• Zest from 1 orange • 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice • 1 tsp tapioca starch


1. Heat oven to 425 F, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 2. Salt each fillet with 1/2 tsp salt. Bake for 6–8 minutes. 3. In a saucepan, combine ghee and garlic and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. 4. Add rosemary, zest, and juice. Cook for another 3 minutes. 5. Stir in tapioca starch until lumps disappear and mixture thickens. 6. Plate salmon and top with orange sauce.

Inspired by RealFoodWithJessica.com

3 604-532-9625 •

23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com


Inside 1


Be More Prepared for Summer Than Ever! 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning Don’t Forget to Clean the Heart of Your Home What You Can Do to Make the Most of Spring-Cleaning Orange Glazed Salmon Would You Like Some Pi?





Break out your calculators and grab your aprons because it’s almost Pi Day! This holiday has gained popularity among mathematicians and bakers alike — two groups that rarely overlap. Pi Day is March 14, which, when written numerically, is 3/14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi. Pi is special because it’s used to calculate the circumference of a circle. This might not sound like a big deal, but pi is used in engineering, construction, GPS, motors, power generation, and even television! If we hadn’t calculated pi, none of these achievements would be possible. Pi is pretty important, and it’s definitely worth celebrating! Here are two ways you can get in on the fun. Learn to Recite Pi Pi has fascinated mathematicians for centuries because it’s an irrational number, meaning the digits go on forever. If you want to try your hand at memorizing some of the numbers, here are the first 50 decimal digits of pi (with spaces, so they’re easier to remember!). 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510

To make things simple, we often round pi up to 3.14, but many

people have challenged themselves to memorize and recite as many digits as possible. In the Guinness Book of World Records, the record is

currently held by Rajveer Meena, who recited pi to the 70,000th digit on March 21, 2015. And he did it all while blindfolded! Eat Some Pie Another popular way to enjoy Pi Day is to bake and eat pie. This dessert is perfect because it’s both a homophone (same pronunciation as “pi” but with a different spelling and meaning) and a circle. Challenge your friends to a pie-baking contest, or buy your favourite pie from the store and have a pie-eating contest. And, while this may be a controversial stance, we believe pizza pie deserves a place in Pi Day celebrations, too. Here’s to Pi Day: the tastiest, nerdiest holiday of the year!

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