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How to Move a Portable AC Unit

Being in a milder climate zone, it’s not often those of us who grew up in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley needed centralized air conditioners in our homes. But it sure is nice to have that air conditioning on hot summer days, nonetheless. So, you may have a portable air conditioner. And in some cases, maybe a window AC unit installed. In this article, we’ll explain how to move a portable AC unit, so you can take those cool summer days with you, and not have to settle for a trusty ol’ fan alone.

When you read the steps below, keep in mind that “portable” doesn’t necessarily mean you can move the unit from room to room that easily. It just means it’s not centralized in the home’s systems, but it can be installed and uninstalled for easy moving of homes.

Step 1:to move a portable AC unit, unplug and drain

This is an obvious step, but an important one. Especially the draining part. Not all portable AC units will collect water in the same way. Some might dispose-as-they-go. And others may have a dish to collect it. Somewhere though, condensation is likely collecting. And you’ll need to know where that is so you don’t make up a mess. This article has more info.

The other thing to know here is that when you find the water drainage point, you may also feel like giving your AC unit a good clean.

Step 2: Detach your portable AC unit, very carefully, and place on a dolly

When moving portable air conditioners, remember that they are heavy! And, if you are removing one that is sitting on your window sill, you’ll need to be extra careful not to drop it as you unscrew it from it’s mounting points. In fact, one writer recommends being so careful, you should warn people around you before trying to move the AC unit, such as people in stairways or outside your window.

For this step you’ll need:

• Screwdrivers and grip gloves
• Towels for soaking up water that leaks from the unit
• An extra pair of helping hands, if you can find them
• A plastic bag to store removable parts
• A dolly to roll the AC unit out of the room and into your moving truck

When you detach an AC unit to move it, you also need to find where the hose connects to the window, or where the hot air escapes (this will be obvious). This is usually going to involve a tube, if your unit is not the window type. You’ll want to disconnect the hose, of course. But don’t lose all your little parts. Keep them in a plastic bag or box, and label it.

Have a dolly handy because you’re probably not going to want to carry the unit to the moving truck. Some portable air conditioners might have small wheels you can use to roll them around, though.

Step 3: find a way to seal up your window again

When you install a portable AC, your window might have a gap left behind. Some AC units have plastic pieces that are designed to hold up your window where the air needs to escape, while not letting warm outside air in. Depending on how yours was set up, you’ll need to remove it and also make sure your window can shut closed again. Take that adaptor piece with you.

If you don’t have one of those manufactured ‘window openers’ (not their official name), yours could be a makeshift one. They could be made of custom-cut plastic, plywood, styrofoam or even cardboard. Keep those pieces handy, but keep in mind you’ll need something new that fits the size of your window after you’ve moved in to your new home. This is likely why the makeshift one was there in the first place (the manufactured kit didn’t come with one that fit the window).

The same goes for an AC unit that is installed through a sliding door. Though, hopefully at your new home you’ll find a better place for it. And in that case, you’ll surely need some sort of window opener or adaptor for the appliance to work.

If your portable AC tubing leads through a wall, or to your sealing or attic, follow the same principles, but keep in mind it may have been installed by a professional. So in case it’s not obvious how to uninstall it, you’ll need to call a professional again. For example, there may be caulk holding parts in place that you’ll need to remove, and holes that you’ll need to re-seal. Hopefully you won’t run into any troublesome or scary wiring either.

Step 4: pack the portable AC unit in the moving truck

Use your typical cautions when loading the portable AC unit into your moving truck. This would another great time to mention how important it is to drain and dry out the unit before moving it! You wouldn’t want to get your other belongings wet with goop water.

If you can get the AC unit in a box with styrofoam or padding, that would be best. If there are wheels, secure them in place so they don’t role (such as with tape). And if there are detachable parts or weak parts, like mounting plates, tape them to the machine, or find a way to contain them.

Step 5: reinstall your portable air conditioner after moving

Reinstalling your portable air conditioner after moving into your new home is like going through all the above steps, only backwards. The ‘big’ considerations will be:

• Which window you can sacrifice to get the appliance working again.
• How you’ll keep the window open, and sealed properly for the right temperature effect.
• Whether you can install the tube through a ceiling, attic, wall, air vent or otherwise (and if you need a professional for help to do that).

When you’ve solved the above, the first thing we recommend is looking up the model name of your air conditioner on the web. That way, you can find manufacturer instructions, if you didn’t keep them when you bought the unit (or if you bought it used). Those instructions will be your safest bet when figuring out how to install it.

Otherwise, here is a good guide on how to install a portable air conditioner. Though we’re sure you can find plenty of YouTube videos to solve this piece of the puzzle!

See more on our moving blog:

Coquitlam movers explore portable appliances for downsizing or small-space living
Coquitlam Movers on Setting Heat Sources After Move
Home improvement investments you can take with you when you move

How To Utilize Municipal Junk Removal Services In Metro Vancouver If You’re Moving

When you’re moving, you’re probably also purging. There may be junk you need to get rid of. You could pay a junk removal company to come and take it all away – and that may be your best bet for various types of junk and a big load.


But did you know that many Metro Vancouver cities offer free pick up or junk clear out? They are limited though, so don’t think you’ve hit the jackpot! There is a reason junk removal companies in Vancouver are so abundant.


In this article, we’ll let you know a few ways you can have your junk removed by city services, which you may already pay taxes for.

Corporation of Delta yearly spring clean up


If you are moving within or out of Delta, and if moving day is in the spring, you could plan to get rid of a lot of your junk for free. While there are limits to what the corporation will take, you can use this opportunity to throw out broken furniture, useless toys, old couches, BBQs and stuff that can be bundled up, as long as it doesn’t violate the ‘not accepted’ terms. Mattresses are not accepted – keep that in mind!


See more info below:

Burnaby large item and appliance pick up program


If you are a Burnaby resident, you can ask the city to come to your curb to pick up the ‘big things’ that you need to throw away. Mattresses are eligible, unlike Delta’s spring clean up rules. But, they do require you call them beforehand to make sure they will take your item. If you live in an apartment, you may have to make arrangements to move your large item to a special area, which can involve some heavy lifting.


See more info below:—Recycling/Large-Item—Appliance-Pick-Up.html


New Westminster fee-based disposal pick up service


Ok, this one is not free. And there may be some restrictions on what the city could pick up for you. But if you live in New Westminster, this may be worth looking into, especially if you only have one big thing you need to get rid of. Then, compare that fee with the price of having a local junk removal company come to get it.


See more info below:

City of Richmond large item pick up


Like in Burnaby, residents of Richmond can take advantage of the city’s large item pick up service. However, this is clearly limited to only “four large household items per year.” And there are restrictions. But for the most part, your furniture junk should be ok. They do make a note that mattresses have to be kept dry and wrapped in plastic, so keep that in mind. They also have an online form to fill out if you don’t want to call in, so that may be a convenience to try.


See more info below:

City of Surrey large item pick up


Similar to Richmond’s program, the City of Surrey offers residents – seemingly only from Newton – to dispose of up to 4 large items per year. And mattresses are accepted. You do have to call in to schedule a pick up. Also, only some apart buildings are eligible for this service:


See more info below:

City of Coquitlam large item pick up


Again, this one is limited to 4 large items per year, and the restrictions are similar to the above programs. They don’t mention anything about apartment dwellers, but their phone number is on their site to find out more.


See more info below:


City of Vancouver bin upgrades


While the City of Vancouver doesn’t advertise large item pick up, they do allow you to upgrade your bin size to accept more garbage on the regular schedule. This could be a way to accommodate your junk needs all year round, if they accumulate for you. That said, be aware of the restrictions!


See more info below:

Some things to keep in mind about municipal junk removal before moving


  • City junk removal services are not ‘full service’! You will have to sort your waste, and bring it to your curbside. If you can’t do that, it’s best you hire a junk removal company to help you out.
  • These services are also not likely going to work on your timeline. If you are trying to have junk removed last minute – especially if it’s actually on moving day – you may be in a rut. So this is something you need to plan for.
  • There may be items that are banned from city waste pick up services. You’ll need to handle these yourself by taking them to the appropriate dumping or recycling facilities.
  • Most of the time, as you’ll see in your investigations, ‘commercial’ waste is not accepted. So if you’re hoping to use these services for getting rid of your car parts or renovation junk, chances are it won’t work. They’re meant to be residential.
  • There are fines for illegal dumping, so don’t try it!


If you didn’t see your municipality listed above, you can google its name with “large item pick up” to see what comes up. And also, keep in mind bylaws can change all the time. So by the time you read this – especially if it is years from the date of publishing – the rules may have changed. Be sure to call your city services to find out more!


See related posts on our blog:


Advice from a cross-country Canadian moving company on Quebec moving day

Advice from a crosscountry Canadian moving company on business promotion during Quebec’s moving day

If you haven’t heard, thousands of Quebecois residents had to move on July 1, while the rest of the country was celebrating Canada Day. As a crosscountry Canadian moving company, we couldn’t help but notice, and get excited, about the efforts of 3M to help people out on a mass-moving day like that in Quebec.

Here are a couple links to read more about the story:

While we applaud 3M for their efforts to pay-it-forward for Quebec movers, we thought it would also be valuable to give some tips to other companies who want to do some promotional work on moving days.

If you are outside Quebec, keep in mind that in other provinces, people will most likely move at the beginning and end of months, so you can apply these principles to your own location too.

Keep safety in mind: don’t try to help Canadian movers if you’re not trained to do so

You will notice in the articles linked to above, when 3M jumped in to help Canadian movers, it wasn’t by heavy lifting (that we know of). It was more on the side of offering refreshments, and being a friendly face on that day.

Moving can be dangerous business: not just for humans, but also for the artifacts being moved.

The last thing you want as a company is to have an employee injured on the job, or injuring others while moving.

And also, you don’t want your company ruining people’s furniture or houses while moving.

Our advice is to keep a safe distance from doing the moving yourself, and make sure you have insurance to cover yourself and your employees on moving day.

Idea: partner with a local moving company for your promotion

A great idea would be to partner up with a local moving company that can help you carry out a cross-promotional effort. Not only can the professional movers handle the work that takes training to do safely, they can also co-share the effort of promotion with you.

Any company can help on moving day for exposure and promotion

You’ll also notice that 3M isn’t a moving company, and may not have a vested interest in attracting the likes of regular ol’ movers. Or that’s what you’d think. But think again – they were reaching out to local Canadians. 3M sells a myriad of products, and sure, some of that may be tape (including the Scotch brand), which you could probably relate to moving (forpacking boxes). But that’s not the point. The point is, they got out in their community and offered a lending hand. That’s a surer way of staying on people’s minds than by just offering tape (which we didn’t see reported as something they did, by the way).

So think of it this way:

  • If you have a restaurant or catering company, you could get into your community by offering snacks on moving day.
  • If you have a sports equipment or work wear company, you can remind people that you offer gear for strenuous activity by bringing along some gloves, bungee cords or knee pads, or whatever can help a mover.
  • If you have a specialty soap company, you can offer small care packages for the first night in a new home. What a great way to get people to smell your delicious products and get hooked on them.
  • If you have a recycling company, come by with a large canister to take away people’s recyclables, and remind them that you care about the environment, and they should too!
  • If you are a charity that sells or gives away used items, moving day is a great day to stop by people’s homes to pick up their donations. You’ll do them, and yourself a favour.
  • If you have a local daycare, show up in your neighbourhood with kid-friendly entertainment, like clowns, balloons, etc. so parents know you are right around the corner should they need your services. Be sure not to take the kids away though, which will add more stress to parents on moving day. Instead, bring the fun to them.

And the list goes on.

When you have altruistic motives, and are there to help tired and frustrated people first and foremost, you will leave an impression on them. They can remember you by the kindness of your brand. As a business, you want people to think fondly of your brand. Helping on moving day is a great way to do that.

Now, of course you are a business, and if promotion is your goal, don’t forget to send our press releases in advance of moving day so the media knows to come out and cover your efforts. Tweet it, and post it on Facebook (making sure to get permission from people for taking photographs or videos).

That brings us to our next point..

Branding, branding, branding on moving day!

Keep in mind that if this effort is going to help you promote your business while you help Canadian movers, you need to make sure you’re taking good advantage of your opportunity to brand your company.

Try to make sure that your employees are wearing your company uniform, or at least wearing your company’s brand colours. This will be a visual reminder for people that X companycame to help, and not just random people who work at a mysterious office somewhere.

If possible, slap your logo on the items you’re giving away too. Even if it’s just the bag or container holding the things you’re giving.

Try to arrive in branded vehicles. Post signs if doable (though we realize this is the type of promotion that will keep you on the move, and not stationed in one place).

To conclude: moving day is a great day for company promotion, and company morale

While you will need to consider safety and logistics for your moving day promotional activity, it can be worth the effort. You’ll not only be branding and promoting your business. You’ll be allowing your employees to feel a sense of community spirit, so they know they’re working for a great company. You’ll also have fun along the way. Moving is only stressful if you let it be!

Winter Moving in Vancouver, Dealing with Rats & Mice

Dealing with rats and mice after moving into your house in the winter

Winter is just around the corner, and the colder temperatures may force some pests to seek refuge in your home. Mice and rats may be some of the unwanted house guests that invite themselves over. We’ve briefly touched in this blog about how to spot rats and mice before you move in, so check that out if you haven’t yet. With that being said, sometimes it can be hard or even impossible to perfectly screen a new home for pests. So we’re going to take a quick look at how to deal with rats and mice in your new Vancouver home once you’ve finished moving in.

Dealing with mice and rats — how and when do rodents move in?

According to the New York Times, mice may start moving into your house to avoid colder temperatures as winter starts. Since the common house mouse is pretty small — something like an ounce in weight and two inches long — they can often find a way into your home. One common way is through piping. Many mice and some rats are often just small enough to make the journey through pipes and into your house.

The solution? Plug it up! Most pipes can often be blocked off by stuffing them with materials such as sponges or steel wool. If that doesn’t work, try stretching wire mesh over openings that are too big to be plugged up.

Garage doors can sometimes be a point of entry that homeowners overlook. The weatherstripping on garage doors is sometimes worn and not replaced. This can make it quite easy for a mouse to enter. The same applies for any doors that lead outside. Make sure you inspect and replace weatherstripping as needed.

What to do when mice and rats are inside the house

Once rodent pests enter the house, it can be a bit of a challenge to get them out. Trapping and poisoning are the two most common methods to dealing with rats and mice.

If you decide to go the trapping route, it would be best to examine the places mice and rats tend to frequent. One way to do this is to find where rodent droppings gather and place traps there. Luring mice to your traps is the next step, and this can be done with a variety of different baits. Personally, we’ve heard peanut butter works great, but the above article suggests other items such as hot dogs, maple syrup and even chocolate! Try rotating the baits to see which one works best at attracting your rodent roommates.

Poisoning rats and mice is another alternative, but can lead to some undesired consequences. If rats and mice get poisoned and die in hard-to-reach places in your home, they can decompose and create some unpleasant smells. Poison can also affect humans and other pets inside the house, so we’d advise consulting with professionals before using any.

Make your move ‘pest resistant’

When you’re just moving into your new home, the arrangement of items such as furniture can be a factor in determining if pests move into your house during the winter. For example, let’s say you move your stove in such a way that it makes a kitchen corner hard to reach and clean. Chances are, that area can become a hotspot for pests because food may start to gather there.

Vancouver Movers Guide, by Ferguson Moving & Storage

We at Ferguson have a lot of experience in the moving business, and whether you’re moving within Vancouver or relocating from abroad, we’d be happy to plan a pest-resistant move.

Give us a call at 604-922-2212 and we’d love to help you! While we’re best known for Moving & Storage in the Vancouver area, we’re also a great resource for all sorts of wisdom gained over our last 99 years in the Vancouver moving business.

For all your moving and storage needs, contact Ferguson Moving and Storage at 604-922-22 and find out more about us online!


Moving Tips, Metro Vancouver’s Landfill & Large Trash Options

Options for taking large trash items to a landfill before moving in Metro Vancouver

So let’s say you’re about to move within Metro Vancouver and you’ve finished cleaning out your old house. It’s clear that not everything is worth moving, and in many cases not even worth giving away. And to top it off, many Metro Vancouver city garbage services will not pick up large items such as mattresses, large appliances and furniture. What do you do then? You need to taketrash to a landfill.

Where can you throw large items away in Vancouver before moving into a new house?

Assuming you live in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, you can check with Metro Vancouver, which is the organization responsible for waste disposal in Lower Mainland cities like Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and Richmond. Their site lists several landfill locations around Vancouver where you can bring large unwanted items that are too big for garbage services to pick up.

You’d probably do well to check where your closest transfer station or landfill is. Transfer stations are facilities where municipal waste is unloaded and taken by long-distance transports to landfills or disposal facilities like the Metro Vancouver waste-to-energy facility.

One thing to keep in mind is that dumping is not free. Each station has different fees and stipulations for depositing garbage.

There is often a $5 transaction fee for each load of garbage, plus additional fees based on the size of each load. There are also usually time-based fees. For example, some stations charge minimum fees when unloading garbage during peak hours, which are often between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

There are also different charges and regulations for disposing materials such as food scraps, mattresses and asbestos. Check the Metro Vancouver site that we linked above to figure out the details. Also take note that there are some materials that are banned. Make sure you familiarize yourself with this list to avoid penalties.

It’s also good to keep in mind that some transfer stations such as North Vancouver waive fees for residents who are recycling certain materials, up to a limit. This includes plastic bottles, newsprint, metal cans, lead acid batteries and small metal appliances.

What to do if you don’t have time to bring stuff to a landfill before moving into a new house

Sometimes your schedule will just be too crazy — getting ready to move into a new home is time-consuming business! If you can’t afford to take a lengthy trip to a landfill or transfer station, don’t fear! There are still options available for you.

You can always enlist the help of a liquidation service in Vancouver. These companies typically stick to buying overstock inventory, but some have been known to take stuff from just about anyone, provided the items can sell — every liquidator is different. Call them and ask if they will accept old items from you.

There are also junk removal services in Metro Vancouver such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK, which will pick up items for a fee. You can take a look at their website to figure out if their services work for you.

If these services don’t suit your needs, no fear — there’s also Craigslist. Craigslist Vancouver has a free section that allows people to literally just give away items. This can be a perfect solution if you can’t find a junk removal company who is willing to take your stuff. And one of the perks of listing items here is that pickup is free! Of course there are other classified and barter sites in Vancouver you can use – Craigslist is just one of them.

Explore the possibilities before making a big move in Vancouver

Try to figure out what service or method works for you! Everyone has a different needs to take care of when they are moving, so be creative! Contact each service and try to get a feel for what they offer. At Ferguson Moving, we have plenty of experience helping people get rid of excess stuff that they don’t want when moving to a new Vancouver home. Call us at 604-922-2212! If we can’t help directly, our staff can at least give you a good suggestion.

For all your moving & storage needs, whether you’re moving within Vancouver or moving abroad, contact Ferguson Moving and Storage at 604-922-2212 and find out more about us online!


What to do if you’ve moved into a house with asbestos

So you moved into a greater Vancouver house with asbestos

The Metro Vancouver area is filled with many houses that have long, intriguing histories. It’s no wonder many people jump at the chance to move into an older house! But there are sometimes a few challenges that can arise. Probably one of the biggest issues is that building regulations were different decades ago. That meant it was okay for houses to be constructed with materials that we now know are harmful. Asbestos is one example of this. In this article, we’ll discuss what you should do if youve moved into a house with asbestos.

Why you should be concerned if youve moved into a house with asbestos

According to, asbestos was once prized as a building material because it is a durable, fire-resistant material that also happens to be a great insulator. Asbestos is also good at stifling sound, allowing people in separate rooms to enjoy privacy and quiet. These qualities made it one of the prime choices for building homes up until the 1970s. However, in more recent years, it has been discovered asbestos can create lung problems. Prolonged exposure can result in lung diseases such as cancer. The problem lies in the fact that tiny asbestos fibers can be inhaled, damaging lung tissue.

Locate asbestos in your home

If youve moved into a house with asbestos, locating the material is often the first step to removing it. However, before we go any further we should mention the province says in removal is not always the answer. Sometimes disturbing asbestos — especially if it’s behind a wall — will only exacerbate the problem. Do not disturb asbestos if you find any in your home. Instead, call a trained a professional to handle it.

Asbestos was a popular building material, so it may be found in many places. Vinyl floor tiles, glue, linoleum, window caulking, roofing material, insulation, cement…the list goes on and on. We’d recommend checking up sites to help you determine where asbestos might be located. The Environmental Protection Agency also has a great site for this as well. And the City of Vancouver offers services that allow you to find your house’s history. This can give valuable insight if and where asbestos was used to build your home.

Make smart choices when hiring an asbestos professional

Before hiring asbestos professionals, it’s best to learn a little bit about the professions — particularly the difference between an inspector and a remover.

Asbestos inspectors are qualified to examine and test material to see if it contains asbestos.

Asbestos removers are qualified to handle, remove and dispose of asbestos.

The difference between these two jobs is important. Removers should not be called in to inspect and vice versa because different qualifications may be needed for each job. This rule is not set in stone and can vary depending on where you live. But to play it safe, use the following information as a guideline. Generally speaking, removers may not be qualified to identify hazardous asbestos — lab training is often needed to do this. Likewise, inspectors may not be qualified to remove harmful materials such as asbestos.

However, some businesses may be qualified to inspect and remove asbestos. But you might want to avoid those companies because of conflict of interest. Inspectors who work with a removal company will have plenty of incentive to prescribe an expensive asbestos removal which may not be necessary.

As a starting point, the B.C. government has provided a list of companies who are experienced in dealing with asbestos.

Keep cool!

If you have just moved in and discovered asbestos in your home, stay calm — it is not always harmful. If undisturbed (e.g. not chipped, peeling, etc.), asbestos is not hazardous because it will not be airborne, according to B.C. government website Also take note the province says that whether or not asbestos is a problem depends on the length of your exposure, your health history and the type of asbestos. If you suspect an area in yourhouse has asbestos, stay away from it. Contact an inspector who can help you make an informed decision.

Moving Company in Vancouver

As Vancouver’s oldest moving company, we’re proud to help share our wisdom on all things moving. We’re here to help keep you informed to ensure your move is as smooth as possible!

For all your moving & storage needs, whether you’re moving within Vancouver or  moving abroad, contact Ferguson Moving and Storage at 604-922-2212 and find out more about us online!