Spring Is Here — Are You Ready?
Temperatures are on their way back up! It really felt like a short winter throughout the Lower Mainland this year. It’s great news for summer- minded folks — not so great for anyone who wanted more time on the slopes. Of course, as spring rapidly approaches, you know summer won’t be far behind. That means it’s time to start thinking about air conditioning! It’s one of our favourite subjects here at Lewis MacLean. I’ll be the first to admit that we do talk about it a lot. But we talk about air conditioning for good reason. As we get closer to summer (and as peak summer temperatures arrive), we get calls from a lot of folks who are having trouble with their air conditioning unit. Sometimes they turn it on only to be greeted by a blast of warm air. Other times, the A/C doesn’t turn on at all! We know how frustrating it is to be in these situations. You wonder if you’ll be able to keep your house cool. You wonder about the bill — will you have to get a new unit? Or will it be a quick fix? I can tell you, we’re here to ease your mind. It’s easy to forget about the A/C during the cooler months. It sits unused and you don’t really need to think about it. This is why we offer inspections and tuneups. We’re here to make sure your A/C doesn’t let you down. While peak summer is still several months away, right now is the perfect time to start thinking about your A/C. If anything is wrong, you can take care of it here and now. Then, when you really need it, it’ll be there for you.
When it comes down to it, the quickest and simplest way to make sure everything is in working order is to turn it on. Test it out and monitor the output. At the same time, check the air filter. If it hasn’t been changed in a while, it might be time. Here’s a tip: Every time you change the air filter, write the install date on the edge of the filter in permanent marker. Here are a few other quick tips to help get your A/C ready for warmer weather.
• Clean all debris away from your home’s A/C unit (dirt, grass, leaves, weeds, and other yard waste). • Give your A/C a quick wash with the garden hose to clear away any remaining dirt and debris.
• For central air systems, make sure ducts and registers are clear of dust and debris.
• Clean and dust the room where your central air system is located (make sure all vents are clear).
Lastly, give us a call to schedule an inspection and tuneup! Our tuneups ensure your system will work properly. It’s all about keeping your HVAC system working efficiently and effectively. That said, if there’s anything you need — whether it’s to schedule an A/C tuneup or a plumbing, heating, and drainage issue — we’re standing by the phone, 24/7, ready to take your call!
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The Right Way to Donate After Spring-Cleaning Donate With Care Attack of the Clogs
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR DRAINS GET BACKED UP
Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring-cleaning. Banish
the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away.
Most drain cleaners are made up of harsh chemicals you want nowhere near your skin or eyes. Some of these drain cleaners can even eat their way right through clothing. And yet, many homeowners rely on these harsh cleaners to clear their sink, shower, and bathtub drains. There’s no denying that many of these cleaners work well. They are a modern solution for an age-old problem. After all, no one wants to take a shower in a lukewarm puddle. Between the sinks in your home and the shower, there is a lot of potential for clogging. You have food particles that get washed down the kitchen sink and hair that gets trapped in the shower drain. But a clogged drain can be prevented. It’s all about being proactive. Ideally, you never want to wash food down the drain, even if you have a garburator. Despite the convenience of the garburator, it should be used on a limited basis and not as an alternative to throwing food into the trash or compost. In the shower, it’s always a good idea to clear away any excess hair that has accumulated on the drain as soon as you get out of the shower. This especially applies to anyone with longer hair, as longer hair is a bigger contributor to the everyday shower clog than anything else. Of course, even with preventative measures, you may still end up with a clog. We know how harsh traditional drain cleaners can be, which is why we offer Lewis MacLean BioSmart. It’s safe, effective, and will make quick work of your average drain clog.
Charities have a big problem with well- meaning citizens dropping off items that are
better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include:
• Expired medications • Old TVs • Cribs
• Mattresses • Carpets • Tangled cords or phone chargers • Any broken, damaged, or dirty items
• Loose remote controls • Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup
These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway. This process can be expensive for organizations with already-strained resources. Some local charities spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations. While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring-cleaning eco-friendly, even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can’t take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out Call2Recycle.org to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste.
Not all clogs are created equal; sometimes you need to call in the pros when the drain cleaner fails. You can count on your 24-hour residential plumbing experts to find the blockage and eliminate it, restoring your home’s plumbing back to normal.
Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.
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Buff It Out With Toothpaste
Clean More than Just Your Teeth!
Our homes are filled with unitaskers — items designed with one primary function in mind. But in reality, many items designed to be unitaskers (such as the salad spinner) have much more potential. One of those items? Toothpaste! Toothpaste doesn’t have to be relegated to just cleaning your teeth twice a day. It’s a cleaning agent capable of much more. Toothpaste comes in two primary types: gel and paste. Pastes have a slight grit to them, and some contain baking soda. It’s this variety that is ideal for scrubbing a number of household surfaces and is an excellent spot cleaner. Metals Use toothpaste to clean nearly any metal surface, including chrome faucets, door knobs, cabinet hardware, and certain kinds of jewellery. Use a small amount of paste on a slightly damp microfibre cloth, and you’ll bring back luster to dull metals. This method isn’t recommended for more delicate jewellery made with softer metals. Shoes Sometimes shoes get scuffed, creased, or just simply worn. Dab the toothpaste on a moist microfibre cloth and apply a
little pressure on the scuffed or worn area. Be sure to use a clean cloth to wipe any leftover residue. Toothpaste can be used on virtually any type of shoe and material, with the exception of suede. Headlights When vehicle headlights are exposed to the elements for an extended period of time, they start to look dull. And
not only do they look worn and dirty, but the cloudy film reduces the amount of light hitting the road. Before you apply the toothpaste, wash off any excess grime. Once each headlight has been prepped, place a large dollop of toothpaste on a terry cloth towel, and buff in a circular motion. Depending on how clouded the headlights are, the process may take up to 10 minutes per light, but the results will be worth it. Toothpaste with baking soda is recommended for this job.
SOBA NOODLES WITH GARLIC AND ZUCCHINI
• 4 ounces soba noodles • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2–3 cloves garlic, grated • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
• 1/4 cup soy sauce • 2 tablespoons water • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced • 1 small zucchini, julienned into noodle strands sauce and water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. 3. Add onions, simmering for
1. Bring a pot of water to a
boil. Add soba noodles and cook until tender, about 4–5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside. warm olive oil until barely shimmering. Add grated garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in soy
ASH BIRDS DAY FAT
LAMB LEPRECHAUN LION MARCH MARDI PARADE PATRICKS
RAINBOW SHAMROCK SPRING TUESDAY WEDNESDAY
3 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook for an additional 90 seconds.
2. In a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat,
FLOWERS FORWARD GRAS
4. Add soba noodles and toss to fully coat. Serve immediately, or cool and serve as a cold dish. Inspired by NaturallyElla.com
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23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
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Spring Has Arrived! Why Charities Hate Spring-Cleaning Say Goodbye to Clogs! Toothpaste Is for More Than Just Your Teeth Soba Noodles With Garlic and Zucchini How to Make Your Sailing Dreams Come True
Set Sail for Vacation
TAKE YOUR NEXT TRIP OFFSHORE
If you’re lucky enough to have been aboard a ship under full sail, chances are you know the thrill and serenity sailing can give you. If you’ve never been but have always wanted to know what it’s like to get out on the wind and waves, there are many great options available for beginners. Here are some ideas to inspire your next waterside vacation. Start Small For those who dream of becoming a skipper one day, a great way to start is by sailing dinghies. These one-sail, beach-launch boats fit 1–2 people and can be rented at most water sports shops. If you want to make it a family experience, shops usually have 16-foot catamarans for rent as well. Catamarans have two hulls rather than one, making for a smoother, more spacious ride. If you’ve never sailed before, inquire about lessons. Most rental operations have instructors on hand who can show you the ropes. The great thing about sailing is that whether you’re in a 12-foot dinghy or a 60-foot sloop, the same basic principles, rules, and skills apply.
Take a Day Sail
Many day-sail charters exist for those who want to go out a little farther than a dinghy would permit. If you’ve captained a boat and are familiar with the waters, you can apply for a bareboat charter. However, if you are inexperienced or simply don’t want a local guide at the helm, signing up for a day trip with a skipper and crew is a great option.
Do a Full Charter Short of owning your own vessel, chartering a boat for multiple nights is the closest you can get to living out your nautical dreams. Some of the most beautiful destinations on earth — from the Caribbean Sea to the Mediterranean — are best experienced from the deck of a sailboat. Letting the sea guide you to amazing snorkeling destinations, remote cays, and bustling harbours is the stuff of real adventure.
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