Archive for August, 2013

Upgrade Your Appliances this Summer

In the typical American home there are more than a handful of appliances of various designs.Each room in your house is very likely to have something other than a lamp that runs on electricity. These machines tend to be fairly intricate and complicated, with many different parts. For that reason it can be extremely frustrating or upsetting when these otherwise helpful machines break down at the worst possible time. It’s true that the added headache of another debt could easily ruin anyone’s week, but many of these machines are necessary to maintain our way of life. Where would you store food without a refrigerator, for example? On the bright side, not every electronics department is looking to break your bank! With a little research and hard work, you could get that lawn mower, air conditioner, or washing machine replaced with very little upfront cost.

Now that summer has begun, your appliances have an even greater chance of malfunctioning or breaking down. While it might not seem like a good idea to replace the product when it dies, there are a few bits of information that might change your opinion. First of all, expert repair services aren’t always an effective method of saving money. Research by Consumer Reports has proven that most mechanics overcharge for the jobs they are asked to do. Paying hundreds of dollars to protect your previous purchase seems like a safe investment, but the best case scenario is that the product will last a few more months before breaking again. In this specific case, you’ve already wasted money. Why not buy what you need when you need it instead?

Purchasing a new piece of equipment may reduce your stressand prevent you from accruing debt from a repair shop, but what if you don’t know exactlywhich unit to get? You can always seek out professional help, but there are plenty of “how-to” guides online that will carefully walk you through the process. Trying to findthe best refrigerators for sale online may turn into a more personally rewarding experience than you would have ever expected!

Don’t get stuck with a broken appliance this summer season. Keeping yourself and your food cool is just as important as keeping your wallet full, however. You can find just what you need online, and have it delivered directly to your door. The best part is, once you know how to shop for electronics as a savvy consumer, you can save yourself and your family money and time in the future.

Beating the Heat and Keeping Your Health

There are a wide variety of illnesses that can be worsened by excessive heat. Ane even though we’re in a mild spell here in New York, summer always poses a risk to people with chronic illnesses including multiple sclerosis, lupus, heart disease, hypertension, emphysema, and ALS. Other risk factors include medications that impede with thermoregulation, including diuretics, beta blockets, certain antipsychotics, and antihistamines. So with that in mind, it’s important to keep in mind a few basic tips to make sure you’re staying cool and staying healthy.

  • Consider purchasing an air conditioner. The cost of an air conditioner is tax-deductable with a document from your physician. Sufferers from multiple sclerosis can gt more information by calling 1-800-FIGHT-MS.
  • Consume more water, and avoid caffeine. Your body always needs more water in the heat, and it’s a bad idea to wait until you feel thirsty, as that may be miscommunicating how low on body water you are.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and breathable clothing in light materials like cotton. Light colors can help, too.
  • Cool baths or showers, with temperatures at around 75 degrees, can provide quick and effective relief as much as twenty-five times faster than simply sitting in a cool room. 
  • Pre-Cooling! Soak in a tub of cool water for a half-hour or so before heading out into the blistering heat.
  • Consume cool products such as smoothies, popsicles, and ice cream for temporary relief. 
  • Watch what you eat and limit your salt intake. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals, and eat fresh salads and cold sandwiches instead. 
  • Seriously, avoid alcohol. It hurts your body’s ability to fight against heat stress. Knock that off.

Symptoms of heat stroke can include:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Cold, moist skin or hot, dry skin
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Headache
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Impaired judgment
  • Bizarre behavior due to hallucinations or altered mental states
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Body temperatures in excess of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius)

Keep all this in mind, and you’ll be sure to have a safe, comfortable, healthy summer!

Making Space in your Place

Summer is just about halfway over and many people are already preparing for the upcoming autumn season. Though it may feel as if you just got done Spring Cleaning your home or apartment, it is likely already filled with various knickknacks and souvenirs from all the recent warm weather excursions. It might be too soon to break out the cardboard boxes and pack stuff into the attic, but how else will you manage to make space in what feels like an increasingly shrinking home? Thankfully there are several tips and tricks on getting more room out of your house without needing to build an annex!

One of the easiest tricks to attempt is finding multiple purposes for each of the rooms in your home. Can a portion of the kitchen be used as a dining room? Is your basement finished enough to be used as a bedroom? There are several examples online of people combining the purposes of rooms to use space to its fullest. While you’re at it, consider what furniture you have in each room. If it’s possible, can you exchange any of those bulky chairs for build-ins? Why not invest in a washer dryer combo and reduce the wasted space in your utility room? Any little bit can help you find the extra space you need!

The real trick to making more space for yourself is to use the area you have creatively. Since you can’t add another room, what can the stuff that you already have do instead? Perhaps pieces of furniture can perform two purposes? Many shops sell tables that can be converted into sofas, or sofas that can be converted into beds for such purposes. Is there anything in your home that serves multiple purposes? If so, how has the added room helped in making your home feel more spacious?

Brighten your Home Without Lightening your Wallet

Summer is right around the corner, and what better time is there to start working on home improvement? Although the weather may be perfect, sometimes the cost that goes with seasonal projects isn’t always as sunny. If you still want to accomplish your goals on a small budget, there are still plenty of options for the “Do It Yourself” aficionado. So, before you shell out big bucks for a second-rate job or appliance, check out these brilliant alternatives!

Make Your Home Shine

Is your house a little less than new? Maybe the exterior is getting a little dirt? No problem! For half the price of what a professional would charge, you can easily rent a power washer and give your home an external scrub. A power washer generates much more force than a hose, so you can’t use it to cool off. However, as long as you stay in the shade as you wash the project can be a breeze.

Replace That Ugly Door

A beautiful home can be ruined if the first thing people notice is a hideous door. What sort of message are you sending when the most welcoming part of your home is chipped or broken? Installing a door is actually relatively easy when compared to everything else that goes into constructing a house, and they can be well within your budget. Not paying for labor will free up more funds for other projects, after all!

Fix Up That Bedroom

Are you still using the same shabby bedroom set from nearly a decade ago? Summer is the perfect time to change up the place where you sleep and give it an all new appeal! If you’re afraid of the expenses, there are plenty of places to pick up cheap bedroom furniture. You can even use the old furniture to make a guest room or activity room! If you can’t find something in a pattern that you like, put your ingenuity to the task and redesign an old piece you found!

Bring Mother Nature to Your Backyard

So, what should you do with all the money you’ve saved this summer? Taking a nice, relaxing break sounds like a great idea! Why should the most ambitious “Do It Yourself”-er be content with needing to go out for vacation? Wouldn’t it be perfect if the local lake or pond were right in your backyard? Well, for a few hundred dollars and a couple days of your time it could be! If the natural appeal doesn’t work for you, the same strategy can be used to install a swimming pool instead. These jobs would run for thousands of dollars if you contracted someone, but you can find everything you need to know online.

Transform that Basement into Something Fun!

Some people don’t use their basement for much aside from an exaggerated storage space. However, it’s possible that the house in which you live may not have a grand amount of space room. If this is the case, one creative way to use this area is to turn it into a game room. Depending on who would be most likely to use it, you can include such things as a billiards table, a television, and a collection of board games. Why not transform that dark and unpleasant area into something fun for the whole family?

Safety is a primary reason to have a game room in your own home. Parents always want their children to have a safe place to play, and what’s better than knowing your kids are enjoying themselves in a completely protected area? A group of parents could rotate the duty of watching the kids, allowing the others some free time for dates or just a break. It’s the perfect room for fun and frivolity, as basements tend to be soundproof and out of the way. It is always a great way for friends to come over and to not disturb the whole neighborhood.

With some excess carpet, some cheap sofas, and small cabinets the basement could even be turned into a place for older teens! They can set up their own place to hang out and watch movies without needing to be out on the road late at night. The expenses will be much less than heading to the theater every weekend, as well! You won’t need to worry if your sons or daughters are somewhere dangerous because they’ll be only a staircase away, giving parents the peace of mind they desperately need.

Have you converted your basement into anything useful? If so, how did you go about doing it?

Don’t Forget to Outfit the Kitchen

Have you recently moved out of an old home into a brand new living space? As you are probably already aware, moving from house to house can be an extremely time consuming and laborious task. One of the most common fears that come with transferring your possessions is the threat of losing something, or not having quite enough to fill out your new home. No room feels this issue as powerfully as the kitchen, however, as it is often the place in the house that has the greatest number of different tools, appliances, and furniture. If your new kitchen feels like it’s missing something, consider some of the following popular devices!

Blender

Why go out to the local diner for a milkshake when you can make your own at home! You’ll even have access to your favorite tastes, in case you are fond of an unusual flavor. This purchase is great for the health nut as well, since it can be used to blend fresh smoothies and protein drinks Cocktails, vegetable soup, chopped ice… there is almost no limit to the number of things a blender could do for your kitchen!

Water Filters

Water is used by everyone at some point in the day, whether it’s as a beverage or to boil vegetables. Dirty water can cause illness, but a water filter can easily remedy that problem. Filters come in different shapes and sizes, meaning there is one out there that is perfect for your home.

Toaster Oven

If you have a toaster, odds are that it could be upgraded to a toaster oven for an even greater range of uses. Grilling sandwiches, cooking up frozen food, and baking small snacks are much easier and cost effective when you don’t need to run the main oven in order to cook. A toaster oven is only slightly bigger than a toaster, so it won’t take up too much space. Plus, it can still make a great piece of toast!

Double Wall Oven

If you’re looking for the best oven to put into your kitchen, look no further than this! Double Wall Ovens save space, produce top quality food, and offer a level of convenience that other ovens fail to attain. These electrical cooking devices are so precise they will save you from any jokes about burning the roast!

Summer Smart: Use your Oven without Cooking your Kitchen

ImageIn case you missed the memo: it’s hot. We’re in the midst of summer, our air conditioners are working overtime and it even when we’ve got them blaring – it still feels warm inside! Then you get to the kitchen – which, if you didn’t know, is usually the warmest room in the house due to all the heavy-duty appliances – and it’s ten times worse. Most days we forgo using our ovens in favor of lighting up the grill in order to avoid cancelling out all the hard work the A/C has done, but some days, it’s just not possible. For those days were you don’t have much of a choice but to fire up the oven for dinner, the least you could do is try to be efficient.

For example, one of the best things you can do is multi-task when cooking. Plan out your meal, find out which foods can be cooked at the same temperature (or within 25 degrees of a certain temperature) and batch them together. This way, you’re not using your oven for quite as long and your kitchen has more of a chance to cool down. Don’t forget to stagger out the pans to maximize air flow and promote efficient cooking!

Another thing you can do is get a good oven light so you can step away from that door! Opening your oven door means you’ll lose about 25 degrees in internal temperature, which could mean you need to cook that food longer – not to mention, that heat gets released right into your kitchen, combating the work of the air conditioning unit. Very counter-productive! Get an oven light so you can peek in regularly to see how the food is doing.

Make sure your oven is always clean – both the inside and the door. You want to make sure that all the heat energy is making it to your food, not whatever’s stuck to the bottom of the oven. Additionally, a clean oven door forms a better seal and releases less heat.

Did you know that you can reduce your necessary cooking temperature by up to 25 degrees when you cook in glass or ceramic bakeware instead of metal? These materials are way more efficient, and being able to turn down your oven by 25 degrees makes a huge difference.

If it starts getting warm in the room, you can always turn your oven off a few minutes early. The food will still cook in the residual heat, but the rest of the house can start to cool off.

And most importantly, make sure your oven temperature is calibrated. If your gauge is off, you could be wasting energy and money, and needlessly making your home much, much hotter. Check the oven temps with a cheap thermometer to make sure this isn’t the case!

Of course, it’s always a good idea to go for the grill rather than the oven whenever possible to give your air conditioner a break, but sometimes, we just have to use our ovens. On these days, use these tips to be as cost- and energy-efficient as possible.


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