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Maria Mahohvlic

Your vehicle is part of your livelihood, but it can also be detrimental to the environment. When you forgo routine maintenance or auto repairs that your vehicle needs, you might be burning damaging fuel that pollutes the atmosphere. Burning cleaner fuel from your car is quite easy to do; even if you drive a diesel vehicle.

In Canada, greenhouse gas emissions are a grave concern. Luckily, between 2005 and 2012, the country saw a decrease by 5.1 per cent in emissions despite the economic development. Now it is time to do your part by burning cleaner fuel and reducing your vehicle’s impact on the environment.

Useful Green Tips for Burning Cleaner Fuel

There are numerous ways you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. One way is to keep up with your vehicle maintenance. Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres offers auto repair in Vancouver and its surrounding cities that can help improve your vehicle’s performance and “green” quotient.

Here are just a few ways you can make your vehicle more eco-friendly in 2017:

1.       Adjust Your Driving Technique – Do you find that you are going through a full tank of gas too quickly? Then your driving technique might need an adjustment. Avoid the sudden stops and starts, and always follow the speed limit. It will improve your mileage per litre, and reduce emissions.

2.       Tune Your Vehicle - Tune-ups and maintenance keep your car clean. You will burn less gas, reduce emissions, and save yourself the hassles of vehicle breakdowns later.  Therefore, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

3.       Carpool - If you cannot afford an upgrade to a hybrid or eco-friendly car, consider carpooling with friends to school or co-workers to the office. Try just one shared trip per week, and then see if you can increase it to every time you need to travel to work.

4.       Keep the AC Down - During the summer, you might want to turn up your AC, but using your air conditioner forces heavier emissions. Try cracking the windows open or using a windshield shade when you park your car to keep it cool.

Benefits of a Well-Tuned Vehicle: Book Your Auto Repair in Vancouver and Surrounding Cities

Did you know that with regular auto maintenance, such as oil changes, air filter changes, and tune-ups, you can increase your mileage per litre by 25 percent? At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we want to help you make a positive impact.  That is why we offer a variety of services that help you maintain your vehicle’s eco-friendliness, but save you money too. When your car is well maintained, you get better gas mileage and reduce the likelihood of a costly repair later.

Find a location near you and book your appointment for a repair or maintenance with the expert technicians at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre. Have questions? Talk to our auto repair experts by calling a location near you.

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Maria Mahohvlic

Hot weather puts extreme demands on your vehicle, especially the air conditioning system. Instead of having to drive across town with no air conditioning and wait in line for repairs, you can have your system checked and adjusted so that you can prevent a breakdown altogether. In fact, regular maintenance can reduce the risk of a premature compressor failure.

What Happens at an Air Conditioner Check Appointment?

When you bring your vehicle in to Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres for auto repair in Vancouver, you will receive a full-system check. A certified team member will inspect your car’s air conditioner unit by:

·         Testing for refrigerant leaks and checking to verify the interior cabin temperature

·         Restoring refrigerant levels and recharging systems

·         Checking and restoring lubricant levels

·         Inspection of hoses, components, valves and thermostats

·         Adjustment of drive belts and pulleys

·         Replacement or inspection of filter

·         Restoring cooling ability - if needed

Why Maintain Your Car’s Air Conditioning System?

Your air conditioning system can lose several ounces of refrigerant each year. That is why it is a good idea to have it checked annually, and especially during the summer when it is in high demand. If at any time you notice your air conditioning is not working as optimally as it should or the cooling ability has declined, you should bring your car in for auto repair in Langley right away.

Key reasons why it is important to maintain your air conditioning include:

·         Proper Levels - By bringing your car in for routine maintenance, you can ensure that your system’s refrigerant and lubricant levels are never too low. Keep in mind that low levels can lead to decreased cooling efficiency, friction and a premature failure of your air conditioner’s components.

·         Saves on Costly Repairs - By maintaining your system, you avoid premature failure of expensive components, especially the compressor. This saves you money.

·         Efficiency - You use your vehicle’s air conditioner to keep you cool in the summer. By maintaining your air conditioning system, you can ensure that the desired interior cabin temperature is always achieved.

Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres can help you maintain your car’s air conditioner regardless of how hot it is outside. Bring in your vehicle for AC service or schedule your auto repair in Vancouver or another convenient Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre location.

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Maria Mahohvlic

Climate change, deforestation, air pollution. You hear about these things when you turn on the news, pick up the morning paper, and in conversation with friends. The environment and the impact you have on it is an important issue, and you do your best to use sustainable living practices to lighten your carbon footprint.

However, when it comes to your roof, you may not know which options will help with that goal. In this blog, we will discuss a few ways to make your roof as eco-friendly as possible.

Choose the Right Materials

The most important decision you need to make before you can construct your “green” roof is its material. This element will influence any roof’s sustainability, so take time and care before settling on one.

Metal Panels

The first thing to consider is how long each material will last. For example, metal roofs use more energy than most materials during the manufacturing process, but they last for decades. Their longevity offsets the initial energy use. Once you have these metal shingles, they reflect heat so your air conditioning does not have to work as hard, saving both energy and money.

If you live in the city, you may have heard about the “heat island effect.” In cities of one million people (or more), temperatures tend to be higher than surrounding rural areas because developments such as roads and buildings reflect and intensify heat. You can feel this increase on the surface and even into the atmosphere.

Unfinished metal roofs contribute to this heat intensity because of their reflective qualities. Avoid contributing to the heat island effect by requesting factory-painted panels in lighter colours.

Reclaimed Wood for Shingles and Shakes

Wood shingles and shakes have that classic, rustic look that many homeowners adore. Unlike metal roofing materials, conventional wood takes little energy to produce. However, it is still not a sustainable harvest because old-growth cedar tree populations do not always have time to recover before manufactures harvest them again.

If you love their look but prioritize sustainability, choose reclaimed lumber. Roofers can recycle wood from previous roofs, bridges, and buildings. Use this for the entire roof or just parts of it.

Clay and Concrete Tile Shingles

As one of the top environmental choices for homeowners, tile roofs last for decades. However, the clay or concrete may weight too much for some houses, so ask a professional roofer to evaluate your home before you choose this material. When he or she visits your home, ask about lighter-weight options that contain recycled content.

Living Plants

The “greenest” roofing option may literally be green. Living roofs are gardens that cover parts or entire roofs. They support mosses, shrubs, herbs, bushes, and grass that sit in soil on top of a waterproof membrane to protect your home’s interior.

This roofing option lowers cooling costs, reduces carbon usage, and lessens rainwater runoff. However, it comes with an initially high price tag, and you have to maintain it more often than other roofing materials. You must treat this like your lawn since its plants have a similar growth rate. Only choose this option is you have a flat or slightly angled roof and can maintain the plants.

Install a Cool Roof

In the “Metal Panels” section, we mentioned that you should ask request shingles in lighter colours, but we didn’t explain why. Well, think about it in the context of clothing. If it’s hot and sunny outside while you wear a black shirt, you will likely feel the heat more intensely than your friend who wears a white shirt. This is because lighter colours reflect heat while dark colours absorb it.

When you place dark materials on your roof, the colour absorbs heat and transfers it into your home. On the other hand, a cool roof creates a barrier that deters direct sunrays and ambient heat.

You can use nearly any roofing material you prefer and still create a cool roof by:

  • Coating roof with reflective paint

  • Installing a sheet covering

  • Replacing the current roof with reflective tiles or shingles

Insulate Your Attic

You must insulate your cool roof to reap its benefits. Proper insulation protects your home from extreme outdoor temperatures and helps air conditioning or heating systems work at maximum efficiency.

Insulation materials should vary depending on the type of house and the climate. Consult with a roofing contractor to see which you should select, including:

  • Open or closed cell

  • Cellulose

  • Wood fibre

  • Gypsum board

  • Perlite

  • Cellular glass

Prioritize your attic insulation, particularly where it meets your roof, to create the most energy-efficient home possible.

Seek Professional Installers

Proper installation is a critical step in any eco-friendly roof. Therefore, choose a professional roofing company team that has experience in sustainable roof construction. Don’t forget to ask questions about which material you should choose, how to make your roof cooler, and what insulation would work best for your home and climate.

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Maria Mahohvlic

Amidst skyscrapers and bustling cities, gardening seems almost a thing of the past. Not anymore. A new trend is hitting cities throughout North America, and it just might be what your business needs. Rooftop gardens are interesting, environmentally-friendly, and even a little edgy.

Even if you don’t own a restaurant, your business could benefit from your own rooftop garden.

Rooftop Garden Benefits

When you think of a successful business, a rooftop garden probably isn’t the first quality that comes to mind. So why are businesses choosing to incorporate them? There are several reasons.

Uses unused space

In an urban setting, there’s little room to enjoy a garden—and purchasing land for gardening is expensive. Yet your roof is just sitting in the sky, teeming with possibilities. Why not put that space to use?

Reduces pollution

Rooftop gardens aren’t just great for your business; they’re great for residential roofs. The National Research Council of Canada estimates that a large number of rooftop gardens in an area could decrease smog and heat stress and lower energy consumption. Not only will this help the city where you live or work, but it could also increase your business. Many customers love companies that strive to be environmentally conscious.

Lowers utility bills

Plants provide a natural form of roof insulation, meaning they help lower your heating and cooling costs.

Provides entertainment and relaxation

The best part about a rooftop garden? Human interest. Customers will flock to your garden—and your business—as a place to relax and enjoy themselves. In a busy, polluted city, a rooftop garden offers a sigh of relief.

How to Start a Rooftop Garden

If you’re thinking seriously about a rooftop garden, first consider your business’s roof. It needs to be flat so the plants can sit comfortably, and customers can safely walk on it. It also needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the plants. You’ll want to check with a roofing contractor to determine whether your roof can support a garden.

There are three different types of rooftop gardens:

  • Extensive Green Roof: supports mosses, herbs, grass and other plants requiring inexpensive, shallow soil.

  • Semi-intensive Green Roof: supports shrubs, bushes, and herbaceous plants, with a deeper soil layer.

  • Intensive Green Roof: supports a wide variety of plants and trees with a deep soil layer.

If you know your roof is safe for any of these types, you’ll next need to know where to put your plants. Containers are the most obvious choice, but some rooftop gardens grow their plants in rows of soil, just as typical gardens do.

If you use containers, keep in mind that clay, cement, and terra cotta pots are all very heavy and will add to the weight on your roof. On the other hand, plastic and synthetic containers can’t support tall plants and may get knocked over in the wind. Your choice depends on which plants you keep, and how windy conditions are on top of your roof.

Once you have sturdy containers, it’s time to choose your plants. You’ll need plants that can withstand heat, since rooftops are closer to the sun. You’ll also want plants that don’t require much soil. Herbs and vegetables are always great choices.

Now, get your hands on high quality soil and fertilizer. You’ll need to fertilize your plants about every 2 to 3 weeks and water them regularly. Depending on the types of plants, you may need to prune them and eliminate pests.

Rooftop Garden Wonders

Are rooftop gardens successful? Just ask the dozens of businesses that are trying it. Many people are finding that rooftop gardens are a great addition.

Make sure you’ve evaluated all the costs before you plow forward. To see if your business’s roof can handle a rooftop garden, speak with the roofing contractors at Century Roofing Limited.

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