GARDENING: BRINGING FAMILY TOGETHER WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER INVESTING IN A FAMILY GARDEN
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.
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. 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.
SUMMER IS COMING KEEP YOUR COOL WITH REGULAR A/C MAINTENANCE
Is it time for a tuneup? For many of us, our air conditioner has been sitting unused for the past several months. This means that when you turn it on for the first time in spring or summer, it likely won’t run as efficiently as last year. When you turn on your A/C, you expect it to effectively and efficiently deliver clean, cool air. Efficiency is paramount when it comes to your A/C. You don’t want to be stuck with a bigger-than-expected electric bill for the next few months because your A/C isn’t running at peak performance. No A/C unit will be as efficient as it was on the day it was installed or during its first summer. But with annual tuneups and regular maintenance, you can keep it running efficiently while prolonging the life of the system.
working just about as hard as your A/C in the coming months. That’s why it’s so important to schedule maintenance in the spring. Get your A/C ready before the heat arrives and it has to work overtime. You don’t want to turn on your A/C only to discover it isn’t working as expected. There’s nothing cool about a lack of cool air.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to boost the efficiency of your A/C unit:
• Have an outdoor unit? Clear away vegetation and debris. Give the unit about two feet of clear space. Use a hose to wash away dust, dirt, and other debris from the condenser coils and exterior grilles. • In the home, check registers and grilles for blockages. Check and replace air filters as necessary (once every 2–3 months, or more frequently for homes with occupants with allergies or pets).
When you schedule A/C maintenance in the spring, you save yourself a major hassle later in the season. You can be sure our technicians will be
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