Due Diligence PROTECT YOUR HOME AND YOUR WALLET
At Lewis MacLean, we’ve prided ourselves on the exceptional quality of our work since day one. We take our work seriously because we know what it’s like to wake up to a cold house in the middle of winter. It’s a headache and a half. Having been in the industry a long time, we’ve seen it all, and we’ve also come in to clean up the work left behind by other “professionals.” There’s a reason why the saying, “A good tradesman isn’t cheap, and a cheap tradesman isn’t good,” has so much staying power. There’s a lot of truth behind it. No matter who you call, whether they’re listed in the phone book or online, you’ll be able to find a lower quote for the work you need done. There is always someone willing to undercut anyone else. When you find yourself in a bidding war to the bottom, you have to ask yourself, “Who is really worth it?” It comes down to this: You get what you pay for. When you go with the cheap option, the results are going to be subpar. But it’s hard to fight the urge to save money. No one likes to pay for a furnace repair or replacement. You already have enough to worry about, let alone another bill. As always, our advice is not to be penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes to matters of your home. You live here. This is your own personal castle, and you’ve dedicated yourself to it. When you go for the least-expensive option — whether it’s a repair service or the appliance itself — you’ll find you aren’t going to be pleased with the results down the road.
When it comes to hiring a tradesman to come into your home for a repair or to work on an installation, price can be a major deciding factor, but don’t forget about credentials. Always ask for credentials before committing to a company or an individual. Are they insured, bonded, and certified? Can they verify that for you?
If the answer is no, it’s time to move on. Would you
let a technician into your home without knowing whether or not they are trained to inspect and repair your furnace? Or let someone in who lacks insurance? If anything went wrong, you might be out of luck and out of even more money. It hurts, and it happens. How can you avoid this headache? The next time you’re looking for quotes for a repair or replacement to your HVAC or plumbing system, put the numbers to the test. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look for red flags like major price discrepancies, limited warranties, or technicians who don’t want to confirm their insurance and certification. Of course, you can always count on us. If you have a question or concern about your home’s heating system — or any part of your home’s HVAC or plumbing system — you can rest assured we’re one phone call away. We like to say we’re standing next to our phone, ready to take your call, because it’s true! And from all of us at Lewis MacLean, here’s to a bright new year!
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3 Wives’ Tales Proven True Mom Really Does Know Best
No one actually wants to call the heating pros to their house in the dead of winter. We all want our HVAC systems to work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Unfortunately, there are times when you need to pick up the phone, like when you wake up in the middle of the night and your home is freezing. Your heating system has failed, and you aren’t sure what to do. At Lewis MacLean, we understand this kind of situation. When it’s cold outside, all you want to do is keep your home warm and cozy, but home heating systems don’t last forever. This is why we offer annual inspections — and why we talk about them all the time. We want to make sure you aren’t waking up in the middle of the night to a freezing house! When you schedule an inspection of your heating system, our pros rely on our patented approach to diagnose potential problems with your system all while making sure you’re getting the most out of it. Here’s how our heating inspection checklist looks. THE HEATING INSPECTION CHECKLIST The Professional Approach • Check for gas leaks. • Inspect fan and air-filter assembly. • Check for proper operation of motors. • Inspect pilot light or electronic ignition. • Inspect burners. • Clean and vacuum burner area. • Visually inspect heat exchanger. • Perform carbon monoxide test. • Test gas pilot safety system. • Test safety-limit controls. • Check electric controls and wiring. • Check combustion and ventilation air supply. • Check fan belt. • Check hot-water tank. • Check for proper operation and clearances of venting system. • Check condensate line pump and secondary heat exchanger.
“Make a face like that, and it’ll stay that way forever.” You may have heard something like this from Mom’s book of wisdom. Maybe you never disputed the idea that mother knows best. But
as you grew up, it slowly became clear that hair doesn’t grow back faster and thicker if you shave it, cracking your knuckles
doesn’t cause arthritis, and gum doesn’t stay in your stomach for months after you swallow it. After a whirlwind of wives’ tales over the years, many common claims have been put under scrutiny. Wives tales have been known
as pseudoscience and blind intuition, but even as many were disproved, some surprisingly proved to hold weight. Here are three wives’ tales that have proven to be true. Garlic Cures Colds For decades, moms have professed the healing properties of garlic, suggesting it can cure colds and help the body fight sickness. It turns out they were absolutely right. Garlic has antiviral properties that strengthen the immune system and nutrients that help combat illnesses. The effects of garlic can actually be more effective than over-the-counter flu medications. Some studies show that regular consumption of raw garlic lessens the likelihood of getting a cold, so if you feel a tickle in your throat, try a clove before you open the medicine cabinet. Heartburn Means a Hairy Baby It’s hard to list wives’ tales without bringing up one about pregnancy. Many are solely based on intuition, but a few that sound odd have proven to be true. In 2007, a study done by Johns Hopkins attempted to debunk the myth that heartburn during pregnancy would mean a hairy baby at birth. Instead of proving it wrong, they found that 82 percent of women with severe heartburn during pregnancy gave birth to hairy babies. Turns out the hormones that cause heartburn in pregnant women also affect fetal hair growth. Joint Pain Predicts the Weather Did you ever look at your mom with skepticism when she would predict rain because her knees hurt? If so, you might owe your mom an apology, because there is a scientific connection. The drop in barometric pressure that’s common during storm weather causes pain in arthritic joints.
If you’re worried about your heating system or you’ve noticed a drop in efficiency and your home just isn’t being warmed like it used to, give us a call. We’ll take a look, diagnose the problem, and get you back to feeling cozy this winter!
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Better Than a Bar of Soap
Is Stainless Steel an Odour Eliminator?
You’re in the kitchen mincing garlic for a wonderful tomato sauce to top your pasta dish. You toss the freshly minced garlic into the pot with the other ingredients then wash your hands with soap and water. Yet, the odour of garlic lingers. It’s still on your hands, so you wash for a second time. Still, that garlic smell clings.
How does it work? The research into why stainless steel helps alleviate certain scents is limited, but there are many theories. One theory suggests that certain compounds, such as the sulphur-based ones found in garlic, bond with molecules found in stainless steel — namely chromium oxide, which forms the outermost layer of a stainless-steel bar. In this theory, the sulphur compounds are “pulled” from our hands. This reaction occurs when the compounds bond to the metals in stainless steel, which then neutralizes the smell. This is currently the most well-known theory as to why stainless steel works. Another theory suggests that it has everything to do with friction. The act of washing your hands with a bar of steel under warm water simply rubs away the scent. Either way, you can count on stainless steel to help get rid of that pesky garlic and onion odour.
Then you remember that stainless-steel bar you received as a gift a few years ago. It’s a piece of stainless steel shaped exactly like a bar of soap. You pull it out of the drawer and take it to the sink. Will it work? Will it really remove the smell of garlic from your hands? The answer, oddly enough, is yes. Stainless steel does help remove garlic and onion odours from hands. It turns out that stainless steel is remarkably effective at removing common kitchen odours from skin, from garlic and onion to fish.
VEGAN ROASTED RED CABBAGE
While this recipe calls for the Middle Eastern spice blend called Baharat, you can easily substitute your favourite spices. As a bonus, this recipe isn’t just vegan; it’s also gluten-free.
1 medium red cabbage, loose outer leaves removed 1 1/2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon Baharat or other spice blend
2 tablespoons lemon juice Roasted almonds, to garnish 2 scallions, chopped, to garnish
Salt, to taste
1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. Cut cabbage into 8 wedges, leaving core intact. 3. On a lightly oiled baking sheet, evenly space wedges. Season with salt and spice blend.
4. Roast cabbage until softened and slightly browned, about 20 minutes. 5. Garnish with almonds
AQUARIUS CHAMPAGNE JANUARY
CAPRICORN FIREWORKS MIDNIGHT PIG TOAST
CELEBRATE FREEZING NEW YEAR RESOLUTION WINTER
and scallions, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and serve.
3 604-532-9625 •
23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
The Best Things to Do for Your Home 3 Wives’ Tales That Are True The Heating Inspection Checklist Is Stainless Steel an Odour Eliminator? Vegan Roasted Red Cabbage The Best Skiing Destinations in the World
Who’s Ready for Some Powder? 3 OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST WINTER SPORT DESTINATIONS
The sound of the first carve through fresh powder is the anthem of all winter sports enthusiasts. Here are three of the world’s best places to experience that powder you’ve been craving all year. Breckenridge, Colorado John Denver’s anthem “Rocky
location’s beauty is only part of your stimulating experience, because every curve of fresh powder makes your pupils dilate. Once you’re done flying down the hill where Alexandre Bilodeau took the gold, head over to the winter wonderland of the old Olympic Village for a cozy night in a picturesque town. St. Anton, Austria If you want a great location for next year’s
Mountain High” is about the freedom he felt here. Where there are great mountains, there’s even better snow. The ski resort boasts five peaks, 187 trails, 34 lifts, four terrain parks, and a renowned cross-country trail. After a day on
Christmas card photo, there’s no better place than the Tyrolean Alps. Nestled in a valley between perfectly moulded mountains, the Austrian
the slopes, head into the town of Breckenridge for dining and activities that ditch the glitz and glamour of Vail or Aspen and take you straight to the heart of fun. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada A destination that looks like a cross between Nordic paradise and Olympic-level runs, Whistler is filled with true magic, winter activities, and a town that captivates the senses. When you see the mountains of British Columbia, you’ll understand why they hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. The
landscape provides a beautiful backdrop for your winter excursions. The densely wooded areas and the bright reflection of the snow frame the vibrant town that’s just waiting to be explored. When you’re ready for world- class runs, hop in one of the 11 gondolas and zip down the hills that hosted the 2001 Alpine World Ski Championships.
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