Archive for June, 2013

Making your Dining Room Look Bigger

ImageSmaller houses, townhomes, and apartments are often designed to reduce square footage by way of a small kitchen, small dining room, or no dining room at all. This space shortage isn’t a huge issue, but one of the mistakes that homeowners make when decorating is wasting what little space they do have. Just because your dining room isn’t as grand as one might be in a Victorian home, it’s still designed to be workable – you just have to know how to make it look bigger!

Paints and Wallpapers

The first thing you want to do is choose a wall color that will open up the room. Some interior designers say that it helps to paint the walls a darker color while leaving the ceiling white in order to create the illusion of more space. However, in a very enclosed dining room, rather than just a dining area, this can feel very encapsulated. In a room with no windows and/or small doorways, try sticking with lighter colors all around or using striped wallpaper. Both have been known to lengthen up a room.

Hanging mirrors is another trick of the trade. Ideally, in a small room, you’d hang a mirror that is the same size as, or almost the same size as, one of the walls. However, you can also play around with shaped decorative mirrors, such as hanging several circular or geometric mirrors across the wall. Play around and work with what you’ve got – any reflective piece will surely open up the room.

Dining Room Furniture

If you’re trying to use a dining room for its intended purpose, you’re going to start shopping dining room sets – and obviously, they’re pretty space-consuming. Luckily, there are a few ways to make yours work well in your small space.

Be sure to aim for sets with armless chairs. Arms on chairs make it difficult to push them all the way under the table, and therefore, they take up more space. Choosing generally lighter profile chairs rather than bulky designs – whether it be in color or style – will reduce visual barriers and allow for more “air” in the room. This same sentiment can be applied to the table – try one with a glass top!

Round tables work well in smaller areas since there is more seating access in a smaller surface area. In other words, there’s less “wasted” table space. For extra points, try a pedestal-style table that eliminates the multiple legs and creates the illusion of more floor space.

It’s easy to use nice, attractive dining room sets in a small dining room, you just have to decorate smart! Using these tips, you’ll have no problem throwing dinner parties.


Top 5 Popular Grill

weber_grillMost people believe that everything taste better on a grill. With the warmer weather already here, most people will be barbecuing outdoors because it is fun and easy.  However, if you are in the market for a new grill, it can be confusing and frustrating with such a large variety of grills available and it can be hard to know where to begin.  You may ask yourself, “should I choose a gas grill or a smoker?” While there are many brands and features to choose from, keep in mind that when buying a grill, you should start with your cooking style.Ask yourself if you’re a seasoned grill master or only an occasional burger flipper.

Listed below are a few popular grills that are sure to help in making your decision.

1.)    If you love the taste of smoked meats, use a charcoal grill.

While charcoal grills are perfect for outdoor barbecues, they do require a lot of time and patience, including 15 to 30 minutes prep time. Most online appliance stores offer many different sizes of charcoal grills, from the smaller models that are perfect for camping to larger models that can be used for a tailgating party.

2.)    Do you like barbecuing your food fast and hot? Then purchase a gas grill.

Gas grills ignite quickly with a push of a button and after a few minutes of preheating you are ready to cook.  While most gas grills offer many quick and easy benefits, they also protect our environment by burning cleaner air. A few gas grills also come with a side burner, such as the Weber gas grill. With a side burner, you will not have to run back and forth because you can cook the side dish all at the same time.

3.)    If you live in an apartment, then consider an electric grill. 

Electric grills are perfect for people who still want to barbecue but can’t store a charcoal grill. All you need for the electric grill is an outlet.

4.)    Purchase a smoker if you want a low and slow barbecue.

Smokers come in a wide-selection of models, including charcoal and electric.  With most smokers, you have the ability to cook a thirty pound turkey.

5.)    If you are looking to boil stews or seafood then try an outdoor stove.

An outdoor stove will provide you with a home cooking experience outdoors.  Most of the time, outdoor stoves are overlooked because of gas and electric grills but they are a smart choice for outdoor cooking. Most online appliance stores sell individual burner units, which will provide cookers with a kitchen stovetop in the open-air.

Before buying a new grill, you should start by identifying your grilling style and follow these five tips to help you make a smart choice.  If you are in the market for a new grill, be sure to contact Appliances Connection for even more help in making a decision.

How to Maintain a Grill


Combat High Heat with a Light Wallet

ImageIn many parts of the United States, June came in swinging, boasting temperatures well into the 90-degree range in many regions before we could even call it summer. It’s a dream come true for the beachgoer, but for homeowners? Not so much. The summer swelter for many folks is cause for moaning and groaning when they’re forced to shell out the monthly cash for the expensive luxury that is air conditioning.

According to a study, over $22 billion per year is what Americans spend on the electricity to cool their homes alone. On a tight budget, it’s difficult to swing, and what with the constant concerns about the environment it’s even more problematic. Depending on the climate, the energy used to cool your home could be anywhere from 15 to 70 percent of your entire energy usage.

Luckily, there are ways to cut back on the energy you use and the money you spend. If you want your savings to be as cool as your home, try taking these precautions this summer.

Let a New AC be the Energy Star of your Home

It does sound kind of counter-intuitive to recommend replacing your air conditioner in order to save money, but rest assured, it’s an investment that could pay for itself. Air conditioner units that are more than ten years old are nothing but energy guzzlers. Getting a new window unit with a high Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) will reduce your cooling costs significantly. Always buy units with an Energy Star and Energy Guide label, and before you know it, you’ll have saved more than the cost of the unit itself.

Don’t Waste your Energy on Too Many BTU’s

You’re probably already aware that units with more BTU’s have more cooling power, and you absolutely should not be taking a shot in the dark when deciding how many your unit needs to have. A unit that’s too small will have to work overtime and may burn out more quickly, while a unit that’s too large is just adding onto your bill without necessity. Check out the Energy Star chart for more information on what size unit to buy.

Be a Fan of your Ceiling Fan

Did you know that ceiling fans tack on less than one cent per hour to your electricity bill? It’s so much more energy efficient than an A/C unit, and it can make your home feel up to 8 degrees cooler. On less humid days, give our A/C a break in favor of the ceiling fan, or use the two combined when you have your air conditioner on a lower setting. Alternating between the two is a great way to cut back on the amount of energy you use and the cost of your electricity bill.

5 Tips to Keep Your Air Unit Running

ImageWith the summer in full swing, most people will be running their air conditioners.  To keep your house nice and cool, your air unit requires regular maintenance.  Did you know that an air conditioner’s filters need to be replaced at the start of the spring? Whether you have a wall air conditioner or window air unit, you will gradually decline your air conditioner’s performance if you neglect the necessary repairs.  To help you stay cool and save your energy bill this summer, listed below are five helpful tips that will extend the life of your air unit.

1.)    Keep your air filter, coil, and fins clean.

The job of your air conditioner is to keep your home cool.  But, if your filters, coils and fins do not receive regular maintenance your air conditioner will not run effectively.   If your air unit’s filter is clogged and dirty, it could be blocking air flow, which will reduce a system’s efficiency.  Also, by keeping your air conditioning system clean you may lower your energy bill.

2.)    Clean out any drains.

At the start of the summer pass a stiff cord through the air unit’s drain channels.  Unfortunately a clogged drain will thwart a unit from cooling the house, which may result in excess moisture, while leaving your carpets with a mildew smell.

3.)    Check your windows.

If you have a window air unit, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame to make sure it connects with the unit.  Also, look for any leaks that could possibly damage the seal and allow cool air to escape from your house.  The best time to inspect would be at the start of the summer. 

4.)    Protect your air conditioner from the winter weather.

At the end of the summer season, cover your unit with a plastic bag, or remove and store it away. If you cover your central air unit, you will protect it from any damage caused by snow storms and flying debris.

5.)    Employ a professional repairman.

Keep in mind that if your air conditioner needs more than regular repairs, it’s important to hire a professional service that will be able fix any complications that your unit may require. 

By following these tips you will keep you house nice and cool for the hot summer days that lay ahead. But, if your air conditioner continues to give you issues after following these tips, you may need to buy a new air unit.

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