Home improvement

Big Savings for Little Effort

When caring for your home we usually treat it like a 100 yard dash, and not the marathon it should be, where in it never ends. When we fix up our homes we usually wait until the total failure of an appliance, system, or structure and it ends up costing you way more to over haul an entire project to address it rather than the vigil low cost maintenance repairs that we should all do out of respect for our living space and more importantly our investment. 

Trying to tackle the myriad repairs can be an over whelming task, and many times we do not know where to begin or look. Or on the other hand we go all out on a project we don’t know that much about and end up doing a poor job at a much high cost than is necessary. You should take tasks you are not totally comfortable with some times just as long as you have someone who is more senior than you give you advice so you can build your skills and save money in the long run. However, you should always know where to count your losses and get the pros involved. At the end of the day, they are going to save you more time than you could imagine and do a much better job, thus increasing the value of your home. Time is money and if you do something wrong, or poorly you’re going to be loosing a lot of it.

Thanks to the following quick and clever solutions you’ll gain they eye of the pros and will be feeling the savings the second you begin to incorporate this time tested solutions into your daily lives. Maintenance is love, and if you love yourself and your home you will live the maintenance life, or parish by way of the home owning dingus. 

The thing about maintenance is that it doesn’t have to be scary and hard, and it also doesn’t have to be big things at all. For instance anyone who looks at a wobbly or out of wack chair can probably diagnosis the problem in a matter of seconds, there isn’t much going on there in terms of design or difficulty. More over the chair itself is probably wearing down your floors if you are not careful and protect the feet. This can be done with felt stickers. In terms of the chairs themselves, an investment in some wood glue, screw driver, and a few clamps could easily double and even triple the life span of your chairs. Its this way of looking at your things that sees them as objects that come from materials that are finite that is the starting point for developing a respectful working relationship with your stuff. By seeing things as not in the ikea throw away paradigm you are going to save yourself a lot of money, but you will also help be a change in the world in how we need to start treating our objects with car and respect.

Is Your Power Bill Accurate?

Power bills can constitute a substantial portion of your house finances, so it’s worth your while to ensure that you’re being charged an appropriate amount. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for people’s power bills to not reflect the actual amount of electricity used by the consumer. Luckily, those with electric power meters installed at their homes can consult the instrument and compare their use to the price they were charged. Here’s how.

home-electric-power-meter-12149216 (2)Electric power meters are very sensitive and very accurate. To read them, you must peer through the glass enclosure until you can make out a rotating metal disc. This disc rotates in proportion to the amount of electricity that’s being used at the time that you’re reading it. If you’re using a lot of energy during that time (by doing things like heating or air conditioning your house or charging your electric vehicle), the disc will rotate faster.

Each rotation of the disc implies a specific amount of electricity. The disc’s rotation causes gears to rotate, which turn moves pointers on a dial that show how much electricity has been used all together. Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours, and one kilowatt hour of electricity can supply enough energy to keep ten 100 watt bulbs burning for one hour. A representative from your electric company reads your meter at regular intervals, ultimately billing you for the kilowatt hours that you have used. If the meter reader for some reason cannot access your meter, you will be billed based on an estimate.

But what if you want to read your power meter to check up on the accuracy of the meter reader? This isn’t too difficult, but you do need to understand which parts of the meter refer to what.

The first dial on the right measures units and rotates clockwise. The dial on its left measures tens and rotates counter-clockwise. The middle dial measures hundreds and rotates clockwise, and so on until the final dial, which measures ten thousands. You can read your meter from right to left and write down the numbers that each arrow points to.

powerIf the arrow on the dial is in between two numbers, record the lower number. The exception to this rule is when the dial is between 0 and 9. Because 0 represents the next revolution of the dial, 9 is actually lower than 0 and that’s the one you would record. If the dial is exactly on that number, then you can record that number accordingly.

Once you have recorded how much power you have used, check your power bill for the dates of when your meter was read and how much power you supposedly used. You can double check your power company’s meter maid’s work by either figuring out how much time they let pass (probably around a month) between readings and waiting that amount of time and then reading your meter again and seeing if you get a similar number (be sure to note if your electricity use has changed in that month, as it will show up in the amount of power you use) or you can time it so that you read your meter on the same day as the meter maid and directly make sure that the bill has the right difference recorded.

There is Festool, Then There’s Everyone Else

I am often asked when prospective tools buyers are in the market for something new whether or not they can justify any Festool products given their on average much higher pricing. For any carpenter you are going to need to decide what the needs of your shop are and what you are willing to spend; that said when it comes to finish carpentry it really comes down to Festool and everyone else. fasFrom their precision longevity and revolutionary dust collection system that works with all of their products there is no one that comes close. To understand this leap in performance consider using a Ryobi or Porter Cable Product and the difference in performance when you begin using a tool on par with Makita DeWalt; The leap from those brands to Festool is as significant if not more significant.Unless you are a profession carpenter, or a very serious hobbiest it may not be practical for you to spend the kind of money you need to have an entire Festool shop. However, if you are in the market for a table saw as a hobbiest the Festool TS plunge track saw may actually be a practical purchase for you. This is their jack of all trades saw and delivers the capabilities of a table saw, a miter saw, a radial arm saw, and even a panel saw.  All this with an unmatched precision and compact portable means that will not eat up your shop space. god sawThe reason being that the actual machine is no larger than ant standard circular saw, the tracks they run can be stacked nicely and neatly into any wall storage. The freedom this allows is that you can clamp the track into place and know exactly how your cut is going to end up before you begin saving a lot of the hassle of making sure your material runs along the fence precisely and evenly. Another major perk of the Festool TS is the safety, you are never going to have a kick back or binding of the material as you cut, if at any point you want to stop you merely raise the blade from the material and adjust your cut accordingly. They Can also be hooked up to a larger air vac system to ensure total dust efficiency.

The Festool dust collection system is incredible in terms of its effectiveness in  doing just that, keeping the dust out of your shop and more importantly out of your lungs and eyes. That said, they are somewhat lacking in how it is implemented onto the tool itself, it is often the case that they will bind and tug as you are doing a long cross cut, which is an inconvenience but is not going to affect the cut quality, its just kind of a pain. A pain that you are more than happy to deal with with when it comes time to clean up the shop after a long day of cutting and there is nothing to sweep.

If you are a professional Carpenter and you want to separate yourself from the competition then implementing the Festool system into your shop will pay for itself with the higher quality you will produce.

CaloriCool Leads the Way in Replacing Conventional Refrigerators

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory recently announced that it was working on a design for a new generation refrigerator.

The conventional refrigeration process has gone basically unrevised for almost a century; that means it takes a whole lot of energy and creates a whole lot of heat to keep  things cool.

Nowadays, there’s a call for energy efficient appliances that’s more urgent than ever before; climate change is no longer a subject of debate, nor is our need to drastically revise our lifestyles in order to meet the environmental needs of our warming planet.

PrintAccordingly, a research group called CaloriCool will be investigating caloric cooling technology as a way to improve on the conventional refrigeration process.

“There is a technical revolution right now as breakthroughs ind at a science and materials science combine to provide breakthroughs in applied research,” explained Director the Advanced Manufacturing Office for EERE Mark Johnson. “As Ames is a globally recognized leader in the basic discoveries for caloric materials, which if developed could be an important technology for our energy future, we are pleased to see them engaging with industry to accelerate these discoveries towards potential applications.”

According to some studies, 20-30 percent of the energy in the United States is used for cooling alone.

In general, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory in Iowa will become the home of a wide research consortium for the discovery and development of more environmentally friendly and energy-effieicient refrigeration technologies.

CaloriCool’s research will be conducted in collaboration with the private appliance sector and universities. The EMN will facilitate industry access to whatever unique and technical resources become available as a result of the consortium’s findings and will enable manufacturers to bring cutting edge materials to market as quickly as possible.

caloric coolingThe CaloriCool method involves creating compounds that generate cooling when cyclically acted upon by magnetic, electric, or mechanical forces. These forces are called magnetocaloric, electrocaloric, and elastocaloric matierlas. These materials can be more effective and cheaper to use than those known today, which would enable huge energy savings in the form of resources and money for owners and the environment.

“Following our discovery of the giant magnetocaloric effect, it took everyone almost 20 years to realize that what really holds the technology back from commercialization is the lack of a viable material with a strong enough caloric cooling effect,” Explained Ames Lab scientist Vitalij Pecharsky. “Once we develop the materials that are suitable and cost-effective, the technology can make the leap forward on its own.”

“If you consider all the ways in which humans are using cooling technology globally, the societal impact and energy savings are enormous,” comments Duane Johnson, chief research officer for Ames Laboratory. “In the U.S. it represents a 20 to 30 percent drop in energy needs for cooling.”

Cooling seems to be just another example of a need done by antiquated methods that can and will be done in a better way, if we can only attribute enough value to doing so as a society. I find the direction of this movement relieving, and hope that there will continue to be a way to outsmart environmentally unfriendly practices.

Can You Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger?

Just moved into your new spot and finished wondering if you forgot to buy any important bathroom appliances, only to clog the toilet and realize you don’t have a toilet plunger yet? To make matters worse, is the date of your dreams on his or her way over to sweep you off your feet, but you don’t want them to see this sort of disgusting mess you’ve created and you don’t have time to go to the store before they get to your house because they already texted to tell you that they’re on their way? Feel like you’re screwed to live alone for the rest of your life because you can’t stop scaring away potential lovers with your awkward toilet-related mistakes?

hot watDon’t worry. You can unclog your toilet without a plunger, and if this first way doesn’t work, there’s a second way you can try out too.

The first way is to get a bucket and fill it with hot water. Squirt a whole lot of dishwashing liquid into your toilet, or chop up an entire bar of soap and pour all the little pieces into the bowl instead. Either way, you’re going to need a whole lot of soap.

Then carefully pour the hot water into the toilet bowl so that it dissolves the liquid or the bar of soap. You want it to be hot enough water that it will kick the sudsy chemicals in your soap right into gear. If it’s activated, the soap should begin to unclog the toilet drain by helping the clogged paper and waste to begin to slide down the pipes. Repeat the process if necessary until the water in the toilet bowl goes down the drain, implying that the blockage has been dislodged. Then you’r going to need to flush the toilet a few more times in order to remove any residue from the soap. You don’t want anyone to come around asking questions after all.

dawnDidn’t work? Here’s Plan B:

Pick a container that you’re never going to use again and put on some rubber gloves. Remove as much water from the toilet bowl as possible by filling the container repeatedly and pouring its contents out into a bucket. Now fill a large plastic bottle with warm water. Keep your thumb over the top so you can fit the top of it into the outlet at the bottom of the toilet. Then remove your thumb quickly and squeeze the bottle so that water shoots into the toilet drain. The pressure will likely dislodge the clog. You’re going to want to wear a mask and some eye protection in this case, as water might splash feces into your eyes and give you pink eye. Then Add more hot was water to the toilet bowl and see if goes down the drain; if it does, you’re in the clear. If it doesn’t, repeat the bottle squirting steps until it does.

Finally, pour about three quarts of boiled water into the toilet bowl to clean out the residue. Let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes until it cools down, then flush it for a sparkling finish.

What Are Air Tubs and How do They Work?

People have enjoyed the healing and soothing effects of bubbling bath waters for thousands of years. Nowadays, those seeking calming soaks don’t have to make the trek to the nearest hot springs; there are a variety of tub and jacuzzi options that offer the relaxing massage you need to feel fully invigorated.

Air tubs are a lot like jacuzzis or jet baths, but tailored to the needs of those who prefer a softer touch. They unleash a gentle stream of bubbles just slightly gentler than a whirlpool bath.

air tub2What’s the difference? Whirlpool baths tend to launch a mixture of water and compressed air through pipes and into the backrests of their seating areas, allowing the firm current to be directed at sore muscles. Air baths simply release millions of small bubbles throughout the water in the tub which surround the body and create a more effervescent massaging sensation.

Air tubs tend to be easier to clean and maintain due to their construction; they have air tubes that don’t allow excess water to build up, an engineering detail that prevents mold and mildew from building up in and around the tub’s piping and pump.

Another important difference: air tubs do tend to me more expensive than water-jetted tubs in terms of entry-level price. Water-jetted tubs cost as little as $500, while air tubs will usually set you back about $1200. Once you get to the nicer end of both types, you end up in the same $3000-$4000 arena. You can even get combo tubs, which are by far the most expensive option and cost around $5,000.

So how do air pumps work? They utilize four major pieces of equipment: the air pump, the air manifold, the tub, and the  controls.

As you would assume, without the air pump, your air tub would just be a tub. The pump’s fan sucks air into a housing unit and pushed the air into the air manifold. The air manifold constitutes all the piping that surrounds the tub not he bottom, the sides, or both. It’s usually hidden by a decorative frame of some kind. When the air pump pumps air into the manifold, the air is then forced through very small holes and into the body of the tub.

outdoor air tubThe tub you are likely familiar with. Its holes allow for tiny bubbles to enter the water from the manifold. These bubbles then rise to the surface of the water, creating a light massaging effect. This process can occur with a few variations as dictated by the tub’s controls. Controls may allow users to modify air pressure, water temperature, and even scent and lighting.

If you’re ready to opt into an air tub, you should know the pros and cons of having it in your bathroom vs. having it in your backyard. The outdoor tub may require you to build some kind of privacy structure, access steps, a tub cover, a surrounding deck and other complementary structures that may add to your costs. Indoor tubs may need to be designed to fit into the space you choose, so you may have to get it shaped to your personal optimum dimensions, which can cost extra.

Pick the Right Stove for You

Few people truly understand the difference between a gas and electric stove, yet every home owner has to decide between one or the other at some point. Here’s everything you need to know to figure out which choice works best for you.

gas stoveWhen you initiate the flame of a gas stove, your house’s main natural gas supply releases gas into your stove, after which its combined with air inside a mixer tube. That mixture is then sent through the holes in your stove’s burner, mixing with even more air right before the ignition system lights it on fire and creates the blue flame you’re so used to stir frying over. When you turn the burner knob to make a larger flame, you’re making the mixture more gas-heavy.

Gas stoves can either use a pilot light or an electric ignition system. Stoves with pilot light systems constantly burn a blue flame near the burner. This wastes a lot of gas if you don’t use your stove very often, but makes more sense in industrial kitchens. The electric ignition system is what you’ve more likely seen in people’s homes. It creates a spark (the clicking noise) only when you turn the burner on.

electric stoveWhat about electric stoves? The heat given off by electric stoves is emitted from an internal coil that sits underneath the cooking surface. A turn of the stove’s dial allows for a current of electricity to flow through the coil. Some of that electricity is lost during its journey through the coil and instead converts to heat. The more you turn the dial, the more electricity flows to the burner and the hotter it gets.

So which one’s right for you?

If you’re interested in cooking difficult recipes that require a lot of accuracy, you’re going to want to go stove. The dial turn of a stove has a much more consistent affect on the increase in heat on the burner, plus the flame itself is visible to the user. Electric currents aren’t quite as easy to monitor, so you’re less likely to know how much your stove is heating up.

Gas also wins in terms of energy efficiency. It takes about three times as much energy to produce and deliver electricity to your stove than it takes to run gas to your burner. Provided you have electronic ignition (as opposed to a pilot light), your gas stove will yield less than half the utilities bill damage done by an electric stove.

Finally, when you turn off a gas stove, it cools down much faster than an electric stove does. The electric coil design tends to create a heat that dissipates a lot slower than that of a snuffed-out flame. That means if you turn the stove off but leave a pan on the burner, your food may transform from well done to over done behind your back.

So why do people like electric stoves? Hard to say. Besides heating up faster, they have little to offer.

High quality fridge repair service by Viking

The Viking fridge repair service is the most famous for providing services of the electronic home appliances in a professional way. They are specialized in the repairing services of fridge, gas oven, steam oven, induction cook tops, wine cellars, French door refrigerators, and wall ovens and so on.

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The services provided by Viking are very excellent to the customers and rectify the problems on the appliances in a safer way. They are handling all types of effects on the fridges such as leaking water, inconsistent freezing, dim lighting, faulty doors, over freezing or any other broken or cracking shelves and trays. The greater advantage of using this service is to offers a great deal to the customers to mention the defects as well as rectify it as much as possible.

The Viking technicians are well experienced and talented professionals for servicing the Viking appliance products so they can handle any types of defects in the easiest way. The Viking fridge repair service is providing excellent first class services to the customers and making a faulty fridge to become a new refrigerator. They are providing 24×7 supports to the customers if they have any queries or issues in their appliances and they will rectify the problem with its technical team. Therefore the Viking service helps the customers to save money and time by providing its amazing services to them. Let you make a call to the Viking home appliance repair services and rectify your faults within few minutes by the professional service man.