Are You Listening to Your Furnace?
Summer is all but over. Temperatures are lowering and the days are getting shorter. It’s a season of change, and that means it’s time to start thinking about your heating system: furnaces, boilers, and other types of heaters. For many folks, their heating systems have been off for several months. On the first day you need it, you don’t want to turn on your furnace only to learn it’s not working correctly — or not at all! Every company that manufactures furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and just about every kind of gas appliance recommends you have those appliances inspected on an annual basis. It’s good advice, and it helps you get the most out of these appliances year after year. An annual inspection ensures that each appliance is working correctly. Plus, our technicians can identify issues you may run into in the future. For instance, your furnace may work when you fire it up for the first time this fall, but certain components may be wearing out or damaged due to normal wear and tear. One of the biggest factors that can cause a furnace (or any other HVAC appliance) to fail is simply age. We use these appliances on a semi-regular basis, and over time components degrade, especially any moving parts like fan belts and motors. Regular inspections and maintenance will increase the life of your heating system, ensuring these components last longer. Other sources of trouble can include the pilot light (for gas furnaces) or igniter (for electric furnaces). When the ignition system isn’t working properly,
the furnace won’t be able to generate heat. The fan may be pushing air through your home, but without ignition, you’ll be left with little more than a cool breeze. And speaking of fans, the blower motor is another component that can fail. The igniter may be working perfectly, and the furnace may be able to generate heat, but without the blower motor, that heat isn’t going anywhere. There are many components on the motor itself that may need to be replaced, such as a belt or bearings, depending on the model. A good way to tell something is wrong is simply by listening to your HVAC system. If something sounds out of the ordinary, chances are it isn’t working correctly. And if you notice your electricity or heating bill has gone up by an unusual amount, that’s another sign that something may be wrong.
“Every company that manufactures furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and just about every kind of gas appliance recommends you have those appliances inspected on an annual basis.”
Just like we remind you to have your air conditioner inspected and
serviced ahead of peak usage season, it’s always a good idea to get your heating system inspected before the rush. Every year, as the temperature drops, the number of calls we get for heating inspections and service goes up. Don’t wait — call before the rush so you’re not left in the cold. As always, we’re standing by the phone, ready to take your call 24/7, no matter what you need when it comes to plumbing, drainage, air conditioning, water filtration, and of course, heating!
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Summer is over, and when there’s a chill in the air, it’s tempting to stay inside all day. Don’t let your family hibernate in front of a screen for the next six months. Get active with these fun crafts, using the most abundant resource of the season: leaves! A Craft for Kids: Leaf Critters With this fun project, the leaves in your backyard transform into works of art featuring your kids’ favourite animals. THE BEST FALL-THEMED LEAF CRAFTS Make Like a Tree Directions 1. This project works best with leaves of different shapes and sizes. Does that big, round leaf look like a squirrel tail? Is there a long, skinny leaf that would be perfect for a butterfly’s body? Let your kids go through the leaves and think of what masterpiece they can create. 2. It helps to arrange all the leaves on a piece of paper first, then glue them down once your child knows how they want to piece their creation together. Cover the whole side of each leaf with glue and press it firmly onto the paper so that it lies flat. Repeat until all the leaves are glued down. Place the critter somewhere safe to dry before hanging it up for all to see. A Craft for Grown-Ups: Clay Leaf Bowls These simple little bowls bring an elegant touch of fall to the indoors and can be used to hold candles, keys — or pretty much anything! Directions 1. Roll your clay out to a 1/4-inch thickness and place each leaf, vein side down, onto the clay. Run your roller over the leaf, pressing it into the clay and making your clay thinner at the same time. 2. Cut the excess clay from around the leaf to produce the desired shape. 3. Create a small bowl out of aluminum foil to cradle the clay leaf while it dries into a bowl shape. Remove the tree leaf and let the clay dry overnight. Be sure to flip the clay over at some point so the underside dries too. 4. Once the clay is dry, you can paint your bowls or coat them in a clear varnish to enjoy a minimalist look. Who says the fun has to end with summer? With a little imagination and a whole lot of leaves, your family can create amazing works of art together! Materials • Paper • Glue • Lots of leaves Materials • Air-dry clay • Leaves • Clay roller • Clay scissors or craft scalpel • Aluminum foil
Myth #1: You’ll save money by keeping the house at a constant temperature. 3 Myths About Home Heating Truth: While this may make for a comfortable return if you’ve been out all day in the cold of winter, it won’t save you money. Running your furnace constantly to keep it at your ideal temperature will use energy to keep it that way. When you leave the house, set the thermostat a few degrees lower. Setting your furnace to 10 degrees lower when no one is home, or even at night, can save you at least 10 percent on your bills. Myth #2: Dialling up the heat will heat the house faster. Truth: Setting your thermostat to 85 degrees won’t heat the house any faster than if it were set to 75 degrees. Instead, you’re using more energy as the furnace heats all the rooms in your home to a higher-than-desired level. This also causes problems because it can be forgotten — someone who wants to heat the house quickly may turn the thermostat up high and forget about it until someone notices it’s unusually warm. At that point, the furnace could have been running for a long time and therefore used much more energy than you want.
Myth #3: A fireplace will save you money.
Truth: Ultimately, this isn’t entirely true because it requires a few factors to make it cheaper. Having to buy the wood to keep your fireplace going all through the winter won’t necessarily save you money unless you have ample amounts of free firewood at your disposal. Also, a fireplace won’t necessarily heat an entire house like a furnace can. Unless you’re willing to turn the heat down in the rest of the house, settle with heating one room, and have a fireplace with a sealed glass door, your savings will be slim.
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How can you make a hearty meal that tastes amazing, but without the guilt? When you want to improve the way you eat but don’t want to give up your favourite foods, a few simple changes to the way you cook and the ingredients you use can make a big difference. Start with herbs and spices. While practically every recipe calls for salt, using less salt (but not cutting it completely!) with more herbs or spices can be much healthier. Adding a dash of oregano, basil, or cumin, depending on the dish, will more than make up for it. Why should you use less salt? Flavour! By regularly consuming high-sodium foods, you lower your ability to taste more nuanced flavours. Your taste buds become accustomed to flavour YOUR FAVOURITE FOODS … HEALTHIER!
flavour we really want. Cheese is a prime example. It’s a high-calorie, high-fat food that you can easily use less of. For example, instead of using mild cheddar, use sharp cheddar. The flavour of sharp cheddar is stronger, and when you use a smaller amount, you still get the wonderful flavour of cheddar with fewer calories. Another simple switch that makes a difference is using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. When you replace sour cream with Greek yogurt in a recipe, you get the same creamy consistency and a similar tangy flavour, but fewer calories. Plus, Greek yogurt is lower in fat and has five times as much protein as sour cream. Out of the frying pan and into the oven. Cooking oils are some of the most calorie-dense ingredients out there. Thankfully, these are easy to cut down on or cut out completely. For instance, oven “frying” can be as effective and delicious as pan frying. All you need is a wire rack.
profiles enhanced by salt. When you reduce your salt intake, your ability to taste improves. When your taste buds work effectively, you are more inclined to eat healthier foods because they taste less bland.
If you’re in the mood for some fish and chips, batter the fish just like you normally would, but instead of dropping the fish into a pan or fryer, place them on the wire rack and stick them in the oven, with foil or a cooking sheet below. Bake 12–15 minutes at 230 degrees C, or until golden brown.
Substitutions make the difference. Sometimes we use too much of an ingredient because it doesn’t have the full
Lewis Maclean Word search September
Inspired by Saveur magazine This recipe from chef Mehmet Gürs of Mikla Restaurant in Istanbul combines hearty greens with the bright flavour of tomatoes to delicious effect. You can substitute bok choy or kale if you can’t find Swiss chard. BRAISED SWISS CHARD
M J V U V C P S A P N K E Z E L O O H C S A U P A D J C X L H A R V E S T Y E H Y Z E E P R L S F I U E L E W J Q N W P J E C T M E C L K U X M E G A K N B N U A S R P O H X T N O X L K M M D E R O A X H K I H F C E R E I E G Q A M I I B L R I T A T T T N Y R J M Q M I L K T L E M P L T C P G R U E O B L H A F X E Z U F O E L F K A B R C X Y A S M O A S P S F J N U H D K J J C M P O H Z J U D A E N T K C A M U O A Q B S X E R L E A F G A R B F L
1 1/4 pound (2 bunches) Swiss chard, trimmed and halved crosswise 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes 2 teaspoons sugar Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
APPLE AUTUMN FALL HARVEST LEAF MACLEAN MAPLE PLUMBING SCHOOL SEPTEMBER STUDENT TEACHER
1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium. 2. Once heated, add Swiss
3. Add 1/2 cup water, bring to a simmer. 4. Partially cover skillet and cook until liquid is nearly evaporated, about 15–20 minutes. 5. Transfer to a large platter and serve.
LEAF MACLEAN MAPLE PLUMBING
APPLE AUTUMN FALL HARVEST
chard and sprinkle with carrots and shallots. Put canned tomatoes over chard, add sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
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23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
Are You Listening to Your Furnace? Fall Fun for the Whole Family Myths to Make You Hot Under the Collar Make Your Favourite Foods Healthier! Braised Swiss Chard Get a Head Start on Next Spring’s Garden
Prepare Your Garden AUTUMN STEPS FOR A BETTER SPRING GARDEN
Keep Your Garden Tidy Once you’ve
With fall just ahead, it’s a good time to think about your spring garden. For a beautiful garden next year, begin preparing this fall. Here are a few ways to get a head start! Planting Bulbs If you want beautiful flowers in April, you should start planting bulbs now. Many flower bulbs need to be in the ground before winter settles in; this helps activate the bulbs’ biochemical process that allows them to bloom. Getting the bulbs into the ground before it freezes allows their roots to grow deep enough to protect them from the biting winter weather. Among the flower bulbs you should plant soon are tulips, daffodils, irises, and hyacinths. Chicken Wire After you’ve planted your bulbs, there’s a risk that uninvited guests will dig them up. There are a few ways you can ensure that your bulbs remain undisturbed throughout the fall. One way is to place chicken wire over your bulbs after they’ve been planted. This keeps rodents from digging them up and allows the plants to grow through the gaps in the wire.
harvested your best fruits and vegetables, go back through and harvest the rest, even if you don’t plan to eat them. Make sure your garden is clear of
old vegetables, fallen leaves, and weeds. Leaving decaying plants in or on top of the ground can spread diseases into the soil and attract unwanted pests to your garden. Healthy Soil Pulling up weeds and all of your vegetables can help keep the earth free from rotting plants, but there are other steps you can take to ensure that your soil stays full of nutrients. Pick up a kit to test the pH levels of your soil. Most gardens thrive in soil with a pH of 6.5. Add compost to your soil supply now to give it time to break down during the winter months.
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