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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Make sure to change that air filter


Photo By: courtesy of Donna McCord
Photo Courtesy Of Donna Mccord

A dirty air filter can reduce the efficiency of a car’s heating and air-conditioning systems.

Q: Now that the days are getting warmer, I want to use my air conditioner. But when I first turned it on last week, it didn’t seem to do a good job cooling my car down. Also, every time I turn on either the heater or the air conditioner, there is a foul smell. I went to a nearby auto repair shop and was told that nothing was wrong with the air conditioner – I just need a new cabin air filter. I am skeptical about that and wonder what a cabin air filter is and how that could fix my problems.

A: Despite the fact that most vehicles today have filters that clean the air entering the vehicle passenger compartment, the cabin air filter is one of the most overlooked service items.

It is important to understand that failure to change this filter periodically will adversely affect the health and safety of the vehicle occupants, reduce the efficiency of the vehicle’s heating and air-conditioning systems, and even hasten the demise of certain vehicle parts.

This filter is located in the air intake for the passenger compartment and filters dust, pollen, dirt and other allergens from the incoming air. At the same time, it prevents leaves, bugs and corrosive debris from filtering into the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, which could affect performance. The buildup of leaves and debris is usually the cause of the foul smell you are experiencing.

Different types of cabin filters fit most vehicles. The standard filter traps most particles larger than 3 microns in size. A better filter is electrostatically charged so that it can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. The best of the cabin air filters contain activated charcoal, which helps remove odors, fumes and gases.

The easiest way to determine whether a vehicle has a cabin air filter is to check the owners manual or ask a service technician. These filters are usually located behind the glove box or under the hood near the base of the windshield, and are reasonably easy to change.

The result of not changing the filter is a gradual buildup of contaminants that will prevent it from properly filtering the incoming air, allowing foul smells, bacteria and allergens to enter the passenger compartment.

Additionally, when less air is able to pass through a clogged filter, it negatively affects the performance of the air-conditioning and heating systems and makes the components work harder, leading to a shorter useful life.

The technician who looked at your vehicle is most likely correct. Make sure that your cabin air filter is checked and changed regularly, based on the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Warren McCord is an ASE Certified Master Technician and owner of Dean’s Automotive Inc., 2037 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. For more information, call 961-0302 or email McCord at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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