Are You Ready to Beat the Heat?
BE COOL BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE
It’s coming, and it will be here before you know it. I’m talking, of course, about summer! Right now, the weather experts are calling for a hot, dry summer for much of the Lower Mainland. If you’ve been thinking about installing an air conditioner, now is the perfect time to do so. Once the temperatures rise, our phone here at Lewis MacLean starts ringing. People want cool air, and they want it fast. not get that cool, crisp relief as quickly as you would like. But you can beat the summer rush! That’s why I’ve been talking about air conditioning for the past couple of months. I want to do everything I can to make sure your air conditioning system is running optimally this summer. During the spring, you can get your new A/C unit installed without having to wait. Unfortunately, most people won’t call us until July, and they will wait. That’s just human nature. It’s not hot yet, so getting the A/C serviced isn’t on people’s minds. They won’t start thinking about the heat until July and August, by which time you’ll be lounging in the lap of breezy luxury. As I shared last month, if you already have an A/C or heat pump, don’t forget to schedule a tuneup before you turn on the air. Even if nothing is wrong with your A/C today, a maintenance check will make sure you have a trouble-free summer. Remember, tuneups don’t just help to keep your system running efficiently; our technicians can identify potential issues that may emerge later in the season.
Here’s another little tidbit to keep in mind: The Canadian Federal Government is going to mandate that all A/C equipment get checked out for refrigerant leaks on an annual basis. This is a service we’ve provided for customers for years. When you get a tuneup, we check for leaks. It just makes sense. After all, we don’t need a new hole in the ozone layer! You may remember all the talk about ozone in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Certain refrigerants played a role in the depletion of the ozone layer. Many of these refrigerants
“Even if nothing is wrong with your A/C today, a maintenance check will make sure you have a trouble- free summer.”
and chemicals are no longer in production, but they’re still present in older units. When we’re proactive about preventing leaks, we help protect the environment — both Earth’s environment and the environment in your own home. I hope you’re having a wonderful spring and staying comfortable. As always, if you need anything from us, we’re here for all your plumbing, heating, drainage, and air conditioning needs! We’re standing right next to the phone 24/7 ready to take your call.
After spending a winter cooped up inside with your family, there might be a little tension between everyone. Fortunately, it’s spring, and the warm weather, melting snow, and blooming flowers offer a good way to ease restlessness. This season, why not bring your family closer together by starting a family garden? A Learning Experience Nearly every step in the gardening process can be a learning experience for kids and parents alike. Begin by discussing where you should start and why, what supplies you’ll need, and the types of plants you want to grow. BRINGING FAMILY TOGETHER Gardening:
Talk about out of sight, out of mind. When you have a septic system buried in the yard away from your house, it’s easy to forget. Eventually, though, the system will remind you that it’s very much present and a part of your home. Like all the systems in your house, your septic system needs love and attention. Here are a few steps you can take — and a few things to avoid — when caring for your septic system: Do ... • Obtain the necessary permits before doing any construction or repairs (such as digging a large hole in your yard or near a neighbor’s yard).
• Call on professional, certified installers when needed.
• Keep your septic tank and distribution box accessible for pumping and adjustment.
• Install risers, if necessary.
• Keep covers locked or heavy enough to keep children out.
• Have the tank pumped and inspected by a professional contractor every year. • Keep a detailed record of repairs, pump-outs, inspections, permits, and any other maintenance. • Conserve water to avoid overloading the system. This includes repairing dripping faucets and leaking toilets, taking shorter showers, running dishwashers and washing machines only when full, and using water-saving appliances. • Talk to us about our easy-to-use Bio-organism to dissolve the fats, oils, and grease in your septic system to keep it working properly. Don’t ... • Go into the septic tank for any reason, as toxic gases in the tank are dangerous. • Drive or park over any part of the system. • Cover the absorption field with a hard surface. Grass is the best choice to prevent erosion and to allow access. • Plant a garden, trees, or shrubbery over or near the absorption field. Tilling may cut absorption trenches, and roots can clog or damage drain lines. • Pour grease, cooking fats, chemical drain cleaners, paint, varnishes, solvents, fuels, waste oil, photographic solutions, pesticides, or other organic chemicals down your home’s drains. This upsets the helpful bacteria in the system and causes pollution. • Add enzymes or yeast additives to the septic tank, intending to improve bacterial action. This has not been proven beneficial and may cause harm to the soil and surrounding vegetation. • Divert other sources of water away from the septic system.
Gardening also offers opportunities to learn about science, ecology, and nutrition. Collaboration Gardening gives your family a chance to collaborate. When you’re stuck inside for
long periods, you may be spending time together, but it’s usually not quality time. Working in
a group to create and maintain a garden is a hands- on experience for everyone. It’s a chance to get the whole family involved with a single project, and you can literally share the fruits of your labor. Deciding on Plants When it comes to deciding which plants you want in your garden, there are many variables to consider. Do you want to grow edible plants, ones that have magnificent blossoms, or ones that are easy to care for? Flowers are a good start if you want a plant that grows a little faster; plus, they lend a pop of color to your garden. Growing vegetables is also rewarding, as the kids will take great pleasure in eating what they’ve grown. Other possibilities include sunflowers, blackberries, peas, and lettuce. You might be surprised at how willingly children eat their greens when they’ve had a hand in growing them. Family gardens can bring something new and fresh to your home. So, get outside, enjoy the sun, and discover the joys of plants and gardening.
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Remove Water Stains From Wood We all know at least one person who makes a fuss about water rings on wood furniture — it may even be you! We also know at least one person who never bothers to use conveniently placed coasters. Now you no longer have to worry! With a little toothpaste, you can get rid of water rings any time they make an untimely appearance. Before you begin, make sure you use a paste toothpaste with a slight grit. Gel won’t work. Dab a small amount on the stain. It doesn’t require much — just enough to finely cover the ring. Then gently scrub the stain until it fades. Don’t apply too much pressure or work the stain for too long. Once it’s cleared, wipe the paste away with a clean cloth. Clean Mineral Buildup From a Shower Head When your shower head becomes covered in mineral buildup, you lose water pressure. It takes longer to shower, and you 3 QUICK TIPS TO MAKE CLEANING EASIER HOME HACKS 101
end up using more water than you otherwise would. To get rid of the buildup and restore your shower head, start by pouring distilled white vinegar into a sandwich bag. Add enough vinegar to completely submerge the shower head. Tie the bag off with a rubber band, and let it sit for at least one hour. Remove the bag, and give the shower head a quick scrub with a brush or abrasive cloth to clean off any leftover buildup, and rinse. Easily Remove Labels, Stickers, and Residue All too often, when you buy glassware, there’s a pesky sticker stuck to the bottom that refuses to come off. Or when it does finally peel off, it leaves behind a sticky residue. No more! Fill a sink, basin, or bucket with warm water, then gently mix in a scoop of OxiClean. Add your labeled or stickered items, and let them soak for 30–60 minutes. The labels or stickers will peel off with ease, if they haven’t already oated to the surface. This method can be easily scaled to fit the size of your job. This is great when you’re cleaning multiple items at once. For one-off jobs or to clean items that do not mix well with water, a product like Goo Gone is great, as well!
Pea Soup MINT
Adapted from mynewroots.org
With the beautiful spring weather, peas will soon be ripe enough to slip out of their pods. In honor of the season, this recipe pairs peas and pearl onions with mint to make a refreshing soup.
• • • •
3 pearl onions, diced 3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup fresh mint, plus more for garnish 1 tablespoon agave nectar
6 cups fresh or frozen peas 5 cups vegetable stock
• • • •
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Pistachios for garnish
1. Place pot on stove over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. 2. Add peas and stock. Cook until peas are just tender and
3. Put the mixture in a blender. As you blend, add mint, agave, lemon juice, and salt. 4. Once blended, pour into a bowl, garnish with mint and pistachios, and serve!
BASEBALL GARDENING PUDDLES SPRING
BEES GREEN RAINBOWS TULIPS
BLOSSOMS KITES RAINDROPS UMBRELLA
still bright green. Remove from stove and cool for 5 minutes.
This soup can be served hot or chilled.
23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
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Get Cool Before Everyone Else
Gardening: Bringing Family Together
Give Your Septic System Some TLC
3 Quick Household Cleaning Tips
Spring Greens Soup
3 Places to View Natural Wonders
If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you might see rare magical sights — baby turtles scuttling toward
at Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica, where dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms in the water, lend their glow to the lagoon. These tiny organisms thrive in areas where salt water and fresh water meet, making the lagoon in springtime an ideal place to see them. Eco tip: To ensure this magical sight will remain for years to come, always go with a “pack it in, pack it out” mentality. Take all of your belongings with you when you leave and be respectful of the beautiful environment that is yours to enjoy. Northern Lights in Scandinavia One of the most elusive natural wonders, the aurora borealis, can only be seen on dark nights in the most northern parts of the world. That makes Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbors a great place to see the phenomenon. From December through April, you’ll have your best chance of seeing the northern lights. Sightings are dependent on solar activity, so it’s impossible to predict the exact timing and location, but they’re easier to see during the longer, darker nights of winter and early spring. Eco tip: Book your trip through a responsible travel company, such as those that practice a fair-trade policy.
water, glowing lagoons, or a shimmering sky. But when and where do you need to be to catch these natural wonders? Sea Turtles Hatching in Hawaii
On Oahu’s North Shore, head to Turtle Beach, which gets its name from the many turtles that nest along its shores. During late spring and summer, the waves subside, allowing turtles to crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs. Baby turtles hatch at night and make their way to the water by the light of the moon. If you do head to the beach at night to see this spectacle, don’t use white light, as it can disrupt the turtles’ progress (that means no flash photography). Eco tip: Look, but don’t touch! It’s illegal to touch a sea turtle in Hawaii. Bioluminescent Plankton in Jamaica Imagine looking out at the water as the sky gets dark and seeing it turn a bright, glowing blue. That’s the sight you might be treated to
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