It’s Time to Chill
THE SPRINGTIME A/C BASICS
There’s nothing quite like a blast cool of air on a hot summer day. But many people will be sorely disappointed this summer when they try to fire up their air conditioner for the first time. That blast of air may just not be as cool as they hoped. All too often, people forget about their air conditioner. They haven’t used it in months, and it’s another case of something being out of sight and out of mind. We’re still several months from peak A/C season, but March is the perfect time to make sure everything is working — and working well. Here’s the bottom line: Tuning up your A/C and heat pump will help keep your system working the way it was intended. Maintenance keeps efficiency up to proper levels and ensures you’ll feel that crisp, cool blast of air when you need it most. The other part of the HVAC system people forget about is the air filter. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the air filter when it comes to your furnace and other heating systems, but the filter is just as important during the warmer months. One of the best ways to remember this important step of maintenance is to have the filter changed during your system’s next tuneup. For instance, a technician can take care of it for you in the spring when you have your A/C checked out. Then, in the fall, a tech can do it for you again when your heating system undergoes a routine inspection. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Of course, you can always change the filter yourself, before you fire up your A/C for the first time this year. Usually, changing the filter is a
breeze. At most, you may need a screwdriver to undo any screws holding the vent panel in place. That’s it. You’re never going to break your HVAC system by changing the filter too often. If anything, you’re boosting the efficiency of the system. Another thing to keep in mind before you start your A/C this year: Make sure all debris is cleared out from around the unit. If you have a ground-level outdoor unit, it can be a trap for dirt and yard debris. Everything from dust to grass clippings and branches can hinder the A/C’s functionality. We’ve even encountered weeds growing inside the condenser unit. For most debris, the easiest way to clean the condenser is to spray it down with a hose. Clear away any large debris, then wash down the unit. Avoid using any brushes or brooms, as these can potentially damage the unit or the connected components. There you have it — the A/C springtime basics! Next month, we’ll be taking a deeper look at air conditioning, giving you all the insight you need for your coolest and most efficient summer yet.
Don’t forget, if you need anything from us, we’re here to handle all your plumbing, heating, and drainage needs. We’re available 24/7, ready to take your call!
March is the month of springtime and rejuvenation. It’s also the time when most people have forgotten about the resolutions and goals they set earlier in the year. Have you neglected or given up your goals? If you have, you are far from alone. Most people let their goals fall to the wayside at least by March, if not long before. It comes down to four simple reasons: New Year’s Resolutions KEEPING UP WITH YOUR
Homes trap unpleasant smells. It can be an odour from the garbage disposal, the garbage bin, the litter box, or the spoiled pasta you forgot about weeks ago — don’t open that Tupperware! For the most part, these smells are easy to get rid of, but what about the odours that are harder to find? One of the most common sources of odd odours is mold. It’s not food gone bad, but it’s mold in the bathroom, around your home’s windows and doors, and in crawl spaces. It can hide virtually anywhere with a hint of moisture or with inadequate ventilation, including around leaky pipes or roof leaks, and in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. You can identify the smell of common nontoxic mold by its musty or wet-cardboard odour. When you find it, you can easily clean it with a mixture of soap and water or vinegar and water. The real key to getting rid of mold and eliminating odour is to ensure the space can adequately dry. If you can’t get to the mold, or if there is a lot of it, you may need to call in the professionals. Odours can also come from your dishwasher. It often gets skipped over during regular kitchen cleaning because we assume it cleans itself as it cleans our dishes. While that’s partly true, food particles and moisture can come together to stick around and make some pesky odours. The easiest way to get rid of dishwasher odour is to use vinegar. Instead of detergent, add a cup of vinegar to your empty dishwasher and cycle it. And when you clean your dishwasher, don’t forget to clean the filter! It’s generally found under the sprayer and is a great place for food particles to accumulate. Carpets represent another source of unpleasant and hard-to-find odours. Carpet odours can be more subtle and spread over a larger area. Think about everything that has been tracked into your home over the years. Even with regular vacuuming and quick cleaning of spills, your carpet serves as your home’s historical record. If your carpet smells, you don’t need to replace it unless it’s been about 15 years. All you need is baking soda. Scatter baking soda over the affected area and wait a few hours, then vacuum. If the odour lingers, re- apply the baking soda and try again. If that still doesn’t work, your carpet may need a deep steam clean. Sources of Hidden Household Odours and What You Can Do About Them
They set goals that were out of reach or unrealistic.
They had zero
They set abstract goals.
They didn’t track progress.
Setting goals is the easy part. A lot of people say they want to lose weight, eat better, learn a new skill, or try a new hobby, but they don’t define their goals any
further. Vague goals aren’t really
goals at all.
The best way to stay on track is to be as specific as possible. Understand what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Make sure you have access to the appropriate resources that will help you make progress. Resources come in all forms. Look to the people around you for accountability — your family, friends, neighbours, or colleagues. If you don’t want to involve anyone else, keep a notebook or diary to track progress. Or if you are learning a new skill, such as a foreign language for a trip next year, the resource you need may be an app on your phone. When you bring specific goals together with the necessary resources, achieving your dreams becomes more possible than ever before. You just have to take steps to avoid falling into the mistakes listed above. Set attainable concrete goals, track your progress, and check in with someone to keep you accountable. Since it’s been a few months, take a moment to review how far you’ve come since January. What do you need to do to make 2018 your best year yet?
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DRAIN AWAY YOUR TROUBLES
The simplest way to dispose of it is placing it in the garbage after it has solidified.
Prevention is the best first step. Be careful about what goes down your drain. Grease, stringy food scraps, and starchy foods are among the worst clog culprits. Make sure every drain has a strainer. You can even purchase hair strainers for your shower or bathtub. For drain maintenance, we have the safest solution for your family and pets. Our Lewis MacLean One-Bio was developed and patented as a safe and effective alternative to those store-bought corrosive chemical cleaners that can destroy your pipes. Just call us at 310-9625 and we’ll get a bottle over to you! Even with strainers and cleaners, sometimes you still get a clog — it happens to all of us. That’s when you need to call in the pros. Our 24-hour residential plumbing experts diagnose the blockage and go to work to fix the problem. They can also diagnose potential future clogs, so you never have to stand in a pool of water in the shower again!
One of the fastest ways you can ruin your morning is to take a shower, look down, and see water pooling at your feet. The drain is clogged, but all you want to do is finish your shower, get dressed, and get on with your day. So, you decide to tolerate the ever-growing puddle. But you don’t have to! From clogs in the shower to clogs in the kitchen sink, there are steps you can take to prevent them and the subsequent accumulation of disgusting water.
These examples represent the two most used drains in the home. The shower drain accumulates hair and soap solids. The kitchen sink accumulates fibrous food particles and — all too often — bacon grease, which should never be poured down any drain, household or otherwise.
Zesty Zucchini ENCHILADA
Adapted from delish.com.
For a lighter take on enchiladas, go carb-free by swapping tortillas for zucchini!
4 large zucchini
• • •
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken 2 cups shredded cheese 1 can enchilada sauce slices, slightly overlapping, and spoon chicken mixture on top. Roll the zucchini “tortilla” and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used. with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, and enjoy!
1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili
BLOOM CLOUD DANCE FLOWER
LAMB LEPRECHAUN LION LUCK MADNESS MARCH
RAINBOW RAINCLOUD SHAMROCK
powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Sauté chicken for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup of the enchilada sauce.
3. Cover the enchiladas
2. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini
lengthwise. Lay out three
23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
Inside 1 2
The Springtime A/C Basics
Are You Keeping Up With Your Goals?
Hidden Household Smells
Eliminate That Clog!
Go Carb-Free for Dinner
The 3 Best Places to See Beautiful Flowers
EARTH’S MOST BEAUTIFUL
Flower Displays WASHINGTON, D.C. Besides the monuments and historic buildings, one of the biggest attractions in Washington, D.C. is the cherry tree blossoms. Travellers who visit the Tidal Basin during the spring can witness 3,000 trees, which were a gift from Tokyo in 1912, flaunt their beautiful pink blossoms. The best time to see the spectacle is from the end of March through the end of April. ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK Desert lavender, flowering cacti, pygmy poppies, and rock daisies are just a few of the many wildflowers decorating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The various native species are often seen weaved together to form a colourful carpet over any barren patch in the park, which is located just two hours from San Diego. In addition to flowers, visitors often spot bighorn sheep. Wildflower blossoms vary in intensity each year, but they typically begin to bloom in late February or early March.
Spring is here, which means flora will soon be in full bloom. Flowers can be an easy pick-me-up or a great way to add colour to your home, but some
people take their flower obsession to the next level by planning botanical-themed vacations. Here are some of the most impressive gardens and flower displays in the world. THE NETHERLANDS Holland, most famous for its tulips, always draws visitors at the first sign of spring. One of its most famous destinations, Keukenhof, located in Lisse, is among the world’s largest flower gardens. The park is 79 acres and boasts approximately 7 million flowers each year. This colourful garden is open annually from mid-March to mid-May, but mid-April is the ideal time to see the tulips.
Next time you’re planning a spring trip, consider visiting one of the world’s most beautiful flower displays. No green thumb required.
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