Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter? SEPTEMBER 2017
There’s a phrase used by a few people in the plumbing and HVAC industry: “It’s an oldie but a goodie.” You may have heard the phrase used a time or two. It’s used to describe appliances that are outdated but miraculously still work. The problem is, when it comes to your heating system — or just about any system in your home — it couldn’t be further from the truth. Your furnace may be 20 or 30 years old, but just because it still works doesn’t mean it’s any good. As your furnace ages, its efficiency declines. A couple of decades ago, it may have been running at 80 percent efficiency, but today, if it’s still the same furnace, it’s probably not reaching 50 percent efficiency, even on its best days. The truth is, while it’s tempting to keep major appliances until they simply stop working, that long-term cost is much higher than it would be if you had replaced the appliance sooner. For instance, it’s cheaper to replace an old furnace now than it will be five years from now. Consider the associated costs. The price of parts will be higher, the price of labour will be higher, and the price of natural gas will be higher. The prices on parts and labour may only go up incrementally, but when you factor in efficiency, that’s when costs really go up. The challenge of the “oldie but a goodie” line of thinking is that you have no real way of knowing when an oldie is going to fail. When you are constantly using an old furnace in the winter months, you’re asking a lot of the system. It could be Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing
Day — you name it. It’s when you have people over and you want a warm home. It happens. I know because I’ve gotten the call for help. As we head into the cold months, one of the most important pieces of advice I can give anyone with a furnace is this: If you have an older furnace, take care of it now. Take care of it before you have a problem so it won’t leave you in the lurch when you need it most. Costs will be more manageable — and you may even be able to take advantage of a few rebates.
Now, I also have advice for anyone with a newer
furnace. When you bought your new furnace, this year or in the last few years, you got a much more efficient piece of equipment. Naturally, you want to keep it in good shape. All you need to do is make sure it’s getting checked out once year. A yearly inspection means problems are found early and your system maintains a higher level of efficiency for much longer. I don’t want you to get caught off guard this winter. If history tells us anything, you’re going to need your furnace this year. Over the past 20 years, if we had a hot summer here in the Lower Mainland, a cold winter followed. When we had a mediocre summer, a mediocre winter followed. Well, if this summer is any indication, we’re in store for one cold winter. Are you ready?
EXTRACURRICULAR OVERLOAD HOW TO DEMYSTIFY YOUR KIDS’ JAM- PACKED SCHEDULES
We’ve all been there. When the heating system fails, it doesn’t fail on a mild fall day. Instead, it “decides” to fail on the coldest day of the year. It’s no accident. When you run your heating system during the chilliest days, it tends to run for longer hours with higher output. This strain can lead to system failure. There is one easy thing every homeowner can do to ensure their heating system hums along during those frigid fall and winter days: annual inspections. Consider this. When the cold sets in, your heating system has been sitting idle for months. Countless things can go wrong during those months and you would never know. On top of that, more manufacturers are opting to not cover the warranties of heating systems that have been neglected or not serviced regularly. Why risk it? Our patented, annual inspection will diagnose any problems looming in your heating horizon, while ensuring your furnace is operating at peak efficiency. Our heating inspection checklist includes: How to Prepare for the Coming Months ARE YOU READY FOR THE WINDS OF WINTER?
As school starts up again, so do sports, and your kids’ extracurricular ambitions pile up like the falling autumn leaves. Managing their schedules can seem impossible, but don’t let yourself get burned out. Here are some tips to stay sane in the midst of the extracurricular whirlwind.
Consolidate all your scheduling, jotting, and activity-tracking strategies into one system. You can’t afford to be scrawling “Abby piano lesson rescheduled 9/21” on the first scrap of paper you come across. That doesn’t mean you have to be hyper-organized, but it does mean that you need to keep your entire calendar in one place, whether that place is Google Calendar, a fridge whiteboard, or the old-fashioned standby: a calendar with a lighthouse on every page. Whichever system you choose, keep it updated. Its word is law. Form parent alliances. It’s vital that you and your partner coordinate availability and who’s driving who when, but you should go further than that. Those soccer practices Jacob’s going to? There are other teammates there, and those teammates have parents shuttling them around, just like you are. Set up carpools to manage scheduling conflicts between your kids and drastically reduce the time you spend as a chauffeur. Maintain balance. This might come as a surprise, but you will have to say no to your child every now and then. Sure, simultaneous baseball, football, and soccer seasons might seem healthy and fun for your kid, but you need to consider your own needs, as well. Many parents give their children free rein over what to choose, but limit activities to one or two per season. Make sure you weigh each child’s needs equally, and keep the rules the same for each of them.
Check for gas leaks. Inspect fan and air filter assembly. Check proper operation of motors. Inspect pilot light or electronic ignition. Inspect burners. Clean and vacuum burner area.
Check proper operation and clearances of venting system. Check condensate line pump and secondary heat exchanger.
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.
Don’t wait until the chill sets in. Ask us about our annual inspection, and let us make sure you have a warm, cozy winter.
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3 Signs It’s Time for a Furnace Tuneup
Increasing noise. While furnaces aren’t known as the quietest operators, they should not wake up everyone in the house when they kick on. If you notice unusual or excessive noise coming from your furnace or ducts, it may be a sign that a fan, motor, belt, or any number of other components have gone bad. Increasing chill. Say you have your home set to a warm 22 C, and yet, it doesn’t feel like it. So, you up your thermostat by another degree or two, but nothing changes. This can be a sign of a few different things. If the furnace
As the cold weather begins knocking on our doors, a lot of us will be firing up the furnace for the first time in several months. When that happens, many homeowners in the area are going to notice things about their heating system that aren’t quite “right.” While a yearly inspection of your heating system, along with the rest of your HVAC system, is highly recommended by heating professionals and furnace manufacturers, there are homeowners who decide against it for any number of reasons.
seems to be operating, you may simply have blocked ducts. It’s also possible that the furnace is unable to produce heat like it used
In the coming months, if you notice any of the following issues with your heating system, it’s a sure sign it’s time to call in the pros.
Increasing bills. Sure, energy bills can vary from year to year, but if you notice a discrepancy from the last heating season — or over the previous month — there is a good chance the efficiency of your system has plummeted. A small bump in your heating bill generally indicates increased usage, but a big bump can spell trouble.
to. It may be an issue with a component or the unit may be on its last legs.
Harvest Pasta ONE-PAN
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 cup dried whole grain elbow macaroni 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups) 1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped (2 cups) 2 tomatoes or 4 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 cup) 1/3 cup chopped red onion 1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained 2 cloves garlic, minced
Ground black pepper (optional) Snipped fresh basil
• • •
Grated Parmesan cheese
APPLES GRANDPARENTS DAY SCHOOL
YOM KIPPUR FAIRS LEAVES FALL MIGRATE GOURD RAKE
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 7–10 minutes more or until vegetables and pasta are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper; top with basil and Parmesan cheese and serve.
1. In a very large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add eggplant,
APPLE PIE HARVEST WORKERS AUTUMN LABOR DAY
zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and garlic. Cook, uncovered, 7–10 minutes
or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. 2. Add beans, broth, pasta, and crushed red pepper.
23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter?
The Best Way to Prep for Winter
3 Signs It’s Time for a Furnace Tuneup One-Pan Harvest Pasta
The Museum of What?
The Museum of What? THE WORLD’S STRANGEST MUSEUMS
will leave you smiling, laughing, and feeling a little better about the fact that you’re not Picasso.
Museums are a staple of vacations no matter where you travel. Everyone has heard of the Louvre and the Smithsonian, but you might be surprised to learn about some of the stranger museums around the world. For nearly every passion, there is a building somewhere dedicated to it. Take a look at some of the weirdest.
Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum Osaka, Japan
It’s not just college students and video gamers who love ramen. Since the invention of the instant noodles by Momofuku Ando in 1958, ramen has evolved into a beloved dietary staple from Japan to Jamaica. The museum named after its creator offers you the chance to look at some of the strangest versions from around the world. As an added bonus, you can even design your own packaging. Bring along some chopsticks, as there are plenty of samples to slurp up.
Sulabh International Museum of Toilets Delhi, India
A functioning toilet is something everyone takes for granted until they don’t have access to one. In India’s capital, you can explore the fascinating history of commodes. From primitive examples you would never use today to gold-plated bathroom thrones from palaces across the world, the variety of toilets on display is staggering. Divided into three sections — ancient, medieval, and modern — you’ll be shocked at how much you can learn about history and culture through an examination of the ways a society flushes (or doesn’t).
The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum Rush County, Kansas
Plenty of museums are hands-off, but that’s usually to protect the precious objects held within. At the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, not touching the exhibits is just sound advice. The development of barbed wire was instrumental in settling the American West, and this museum pays tribute to the ingenuity of those farmers who wanted to make sure their cattle stayed on their property and thieves stayed out.
The Museum of Bad Art Dedham, Massachusetts
There are plenty of museums dedicated to exceptional artwork from history, but only one dedicated to less-than-successful artistic endeavors. The Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA, promotes itself as the home of “art too bad to be ignored.” A trip to MOBA
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