Archive for the ‘Home’ Category
If you’ve ever shopped around for a major appliance you’ve probably come across Electrolux products. Like many folks out there, you may have never heard of this brand and assumed that because of that it was no good. Well, you would be mistaken! Electrolux is no Johnny-come-lately cheap knock-off. This brand has been around for years and can hang with the big dogs in the appliance market. Let’s take a look at where they came from and how they got to where they are today.
It all began back in 1918 when Swedish companies Svenska Elektron AB (a sales company) and Lux AB (a kerosene lamp maker) signed a cooperative agreement. It was not until a year later, however, that Elektromekaniska (a subsidiary of Svenska Elektron AB) changed its name to Elektrolux (then Electrolux decades later). It began by selling Lux vacuum cleaners across Europe.
The company did well in the following decades, mostly by selling quality vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, washing machines, food service equipment, and dishwashers in post-war Europe during a time of prosperity and technological ingenuity. The company continued to expand and during the 1960s alone acquired:
- Norwegian Elektra
- Danish Atlas
- Finnish Slev
Such mergers and acquisitions continued in the decades hence, and Electrolux even owned Husqvarna for a time. Much of the growth during this time can be attributed to the vision of President and then Chairman of the Board Hans Werthen.
These days, in fact, there are a lot of products out there that you may not even realize come from Electrolux because they bear the name of one of the company’s subsidiaries. Names like Westinghouse, White-Westinghouse, Tappan, Frigidaire, Eurreka, Atlas, Beam, Gibson, and Kelvinator all fall under the Electrolux banner. With so many different names under their Umbrella (and that is an incomplete list), it’s no wonder that many people get confused with the Electrolux name. On the other hand, this vast number of companies producing great products is what has led to Electrolux’s success.
But it is when you are shopping for some of the brand new Electrolux front-loading washing machines and dryers on the market these days that you will come across the Electrolux name. A lot of people want to simply gravitate to the GE and LG washers and dryers, and those names are great too, but Electrolux is just as good. The brand doesn’t have quite the same recognition in the US as it does in Europe, but it hasn’t gotten to where it is for so long by making shoddy products. Electrolux’s washers and dryers are some of the best on the market and have all the new features that you are looking for in a modern appliance, like Internet connectivity and memory functions.
So if you are in the market for a new washer/dryer set, take the time to look into Electrolux. Don’t pass them by whatever you do, as you may be making a great mistake. Their appliances are just as good or better than the next brand, so it behooves you to give them a chance.
About The Author: Gary Carraghan worked as the Marketing Manager for a major appliance manufacturer and knows that there’s a lot more that goes into these machines than just soap and water. That’s the reason Gary built his site; so that you’ll have access to all the information you need to make an informed decision on what washer and dryer makes the best fit for your requirements.
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In the early part of the 1900’s, the only way to get ice was to have it delivered to your home in a big block. It would be placed in the ice box (which is where the term for a refrigerator comes form) to keep your food cold. When the ice melted, you had to have another block delivered. When the refrigerator became available to consumers, they all had a small freezer at the top. To get ice you had to fill trays full of water and put them in the freezer until they froze. Woe be to the person who used up all the ice but didn’t fill up the trays again.
So you can see just how convenient modern day ice makers are. You no longer have to keep filling up trays or cracking the ice cubes yourself. You don’t have to pay for an expensive block to be delivered once a week. Ice makers are simple, easy, and do all the work for you. But how do ice makers work? How do they get water? What causes the water to freeze? If you ever wanted to know the basics of ice makers, here is how they work.
How Does It Get Water
When your refrigerator is installed in your kitchen, there is a water line that is hooked directly to the back of it. The line, which is either copper or plastic tubing, may go under the kitchen sink or directly into the wall. Water travels through the line and into the ice maker. The water line connects to the water inlet valve, which controls the flow of water into the ice maker. When the ice maker needs more water, the inlet valve on the unit receives an electrical current. This triggers the solenoid on the valve and allows water to flow through the outbound water line, into the freezer, and into the ice maker.
How Does It Freeze
Inside the ice maker is an ice mold similar to the flexible plastic ice trays you put in the freezer. Once the mold is full of water, the freezing process begins. The ice maker does not actually freeze the water into ice. The refrigerator’s coolant system does that. There is a thermostat built into the ice maker which monitors the temperature of the ice. Once the ice reaches a certain level in temperature (approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit) the thermostat closes a switch in the electrical circuit which triggers a heating element.
How Icemakers Make Ice Cubes
There is a small electrical heating coil under the ice mold. After the water has frozen into ice, the heating element starts up. The heating element melts the ice at the bottom of the tray enough to loosen up the separate cubes from the mold. Next, an electrical circuit activates the icemaker’s motor. The motor spins and rotates a gear which is attached to a long plastic shaft. This shaft has several ejector blades sticking out from it. When the shaft spins, the ejector blades revolve and scoop the block of ice cubes up and out of the mold. The cubes get pushed to the front fo the ice maker in one unit because they are still connected to each other. There are nothces that line up with the ice cubes to break them apart into individual cubes. From there the cubes fall into the collection pan at the bottom of the ice maker. That’s how icemakers make ice cubes.
Once the ice in the mold has been ejected and pushed intot he collection pan, an electrical switch is triggered and the inlet valve opens up to fill up the ice mold again and the cycle starts over. If the collection pan is full, it prevents the switch from being triggered as it interrupts the cycle. That way your ice maker doesn’t overflow with too much ice. When you are ready for some ice, all you do is press the button on the front of the refrigerator and individual ice cubes fall out of the dispensor.
Clutter around the house is a problem most people I know face. People tend to be pack rats. They don’t like throwing away the items they collect. People fear they might need old bills or pay stubs later and don’t want to throw away something important. For various reasons, people allow clutter to build up in their home and office. But when you eliminate some of the clutter around your house, you not only make yourself more efficient, but you create an all-around better home environment.
Ways You Can Eliminate Clutter
So here are some ways you can eliminate clutter without throwing away personal items you need. Toss out what you don’t need (which is most of what you have) and keep what’s essential.
- Start With the Bills – We tend to keep old bills and financial records much longer than we need them. Remember, if your creditors decided you need to pay bills, they’ll send you more of them. Keep bills in one location and don’t keep them for more than 3-6 months at a time. Don’t keep your tax records beyond three years, because unless you’re a big time tax evader, the IRS is unlikely to go back more than three years to have you pay taxes. Get rid of everything else. This will eliminate a lot of clutter from your home office.
- Get Rid of Catalogs – Old catalogs and magazines are just taking up space. After a while, they start to get dog-eared and become a real eyesore. There really is no reason to keep old catalogs in your home. Collect everything that’s beyond a few months old and get rid of it. Be honest with yourself if you haven’t read some of your old magazines. Are you ever going to read them? If not, throw them away.
- Clean Out the Refrigerator – Before you go to shopping for more groceries, throw out the old ones that are cluttering your refrigerator. I bet you’ll find a lot of old food and condiments that you’ll never eat. If they are old and unused, throw them out. Not only does this give you a survey of what you really need, but removing clutter every week or two keeps your fridge clutter from getting out of hand.
- Wash Clothes Regularly – Have one day of the week you wash clothes. If you really want to be fastidious, wash one load of clothes per day. Either way, don’t let dirty clothes pile up on you. Unwashed clothes encourage mold and mildew and creates unseemly clutter. Nothing looks worse than having dirty clothes laying around your house when a guest arrives. Wash regularly, so clothing clutter doesn’t dominate your house. Speaking of clothes, let’s discuss the old clothes in your closet.
How Can I Eliminate Some of The Clutter Around My House By Giving Away My Clothes?
You’ll inevitably build up a wardrobe of clothing that needs to be culled every once in a while, perhaps every year. You have perfectly good clothing that you’ll never need, because a shirt or parts are either a little too small or a little too big or just not our color once we get them out of the light of the department store. For whatever reason, you have clothes that sit on the bottom of the drawer or hang at the end of your closet rack. If you don’t wear them and aren’t going to wear them anytime soon, it’s time to pack up your old clothes and give them away to charity. Giving cloths away to charity is another great way to eliminate clutter around your house.
- Collect Storage Boxes – Collect storage boxes from the attic or a local business. If you don’t have any storage boxes, you can buy cardboard boxes from local moving companies. Get enough boxes to comfortably fit your excess clothing, so you can handily pack them up and take them to Goodwill or some local charity.
- Cull Your Wardrobe – Either wear your clothes or get rid of them, because they’re clutter otherwise. If the appropriate season passes without you wearing an item of clothing, you need to get rid of it. Collect everything you aren’t wearing and box it up. Take these boxes to a clothing charity. There are plenty of shirts and pants that you’ll never use, but someone else will make good use of.
- Select Clothes That Aren’t Right For You – When getting rid of clothes, consider getting rid of high maintenance clothes that you don’t wear because they are too much trouble. Get rid of clothes that don’t appear to be your style, your fit or your color. If a shirt hangs off of you in an unattractive fashion, it might not do the same for the next person who owns the shirt. Everyone has different body types and clothes aren’t made to fit everyone.
Preventing Clutter Around The House
The simplest method of preventing clutter around the house is this. Once you have your home free of clutter, make certain it doesn’t build up next time. Throw away one bad purchase per day. Set up your bills online for automatic payment, which will cut down on some of the paperwork that builds up. Clean up clutter as you go and you won’t have to go through the process of eliminating clutter around your house ever again.
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Have you ever wondered where that mold in your bathroom comes from or why the paint near the ceilings is starting to peel? The answer is moisture. Bathrooms are just designed to accommodate running water so naturally there is a build-up of moisture in the air. This build-up, if allowed to linger in the bathroom, is enough to eventually create a great habitat for all kinds of molds and mildews. Besides the paint peeling, moisture can cause the bathroom door to warp in its frame, floor molding to pull away from the walls, and any exposed metals to start to corrode. So what do you do to get rid of the moisture? You install a ventilation fan in the bathroom.
Ventilation fans come in several different brands. You can pick one up at any hardware store or building supply center. Ventilation fans come in different sizes and some even have lights and heaters. If your bathroom doesn’t have a ventilation fan, you need to ask yourself “How do I buy a ventilation fan?” It is easy but there are some things you need to do first before you begin remodeling your bathroom with a ventilation fan.
How Big Is The Bathroom
The first thing you need to do before you run out and buy an expensive ventilation fan is you need to know how big your bathroom is. This means you need to figure out the square footage. To do this, you need a tape measure. Take the tape measure and measure one of the walls from corner to corner. Then take the tape measure and measure a wall that is a different length (probably a perpendicular wall) from corner to corner. Take both of the measurements and multiply them together. The result will be the square footage.
If there are any weird corners or if your bathroom is not square or rectangle, then section the bathroom off into separate areas using imaginary lines. Measure two walls in each section, figure the square footage for each section, and then add them together for the total square footage. If in doubt, always estimate higher.
Manufacturers of Ventilation Fans
There are many manufacturers of ventilation fans for baths. They each carry a line of diverse fans that have slightly different functions and features.
- Broan makes several utility fans for the bathroom that are energy efficient and HVI (Home Ventilating Institute) certified. They have ultra-silent fans, in-line ventilation fans, fire and radiation fans, ceiling and wall-mount fans, and duct-free fans. The basic utility fan will cost you around $40 depending on where you shop.
- NuTone is another manufacturer that specializes in ventilation fans. They have everything from ductless fans, lighting fans, radiation dampeners, upgrade kits, and fans that are Energy Star certified for energy conservation. A simple ventilation fan from Nutone runs around $50 but quickly goes up to around $80 or $100 for additional features.
- Panasonic is a brand that has always been associated with quality. Their ventilation fans are no exception. Their quiet fans start out at $90 and go all the way up to around $200.
- Progress Lighting is a good manufacturer of quality fans for the bath. They have a lot of different features such as fans with lighting and heaters. A basic utility fan for the bath will cost you around $35 while a fan with a heater and lights runs about $250.
Where Do I Buy A Ventilation Fan
Once you know how big your bathroom is, you can go down to the local hardware store and see if they have a fan that fits your needs. Ventilation fans can handle different cubic feet of air so you want to make sure you get a fan big enough for your bathroom. If the fan is too small, it won’t expel enough of the moisture in the air. Talk to a store employee and give them the specs on your bathroom’s dimensions. If they don’t have anything in stock, they can always order it for you. Also be sure to check out the fan’s sone rating. This rating measures the noise level of the fan and will be printed on the package.
Another place to check out is online hardware stores and suppliers. There are several out there on the Internet. Do a search for bathroom ventilation fans and go through the sites that come up to see who has the best prices. Don’t forget to check out shipping costs, too.
Installing a Ventilation Fan
Unless you are an experienced handyman/electrician/ductwork installer, then you may want to hire someone that is knowledgeable in install a ventilation fan. Most fans go on the wall or ceiling above the sink and are connected to exhaust ductwork so that moisture can be pumped out. The fan will need to be wired directly to a switch on the wall so that you can turn it off and on. If it is a light and/or heater combination, then you will need to be careful to wire it correctly. Instructions come with the fan but again, if you are not familiar or comfortable doing it, hire a professional.
It is truly frustrating when you are in the bathroom and in need of something but you don’t have it. A comfortable bathroom should have all of the necessary features and more. You need things such as towels, hairdryer, shower curtain, shampoos, mirror, and so much more. People who have a new bathroom or recently remodeled bathrooms might be at a loss for what bath accessories they need. The right bath accessory can make an ordinary bathroom really unique. With so many different styles to choose from, you can literally make your bath look like anything from different environments to different cultures. A bath can be simple or extravagant. It is entirely up to you.
No matter how your bathroom is decorated, there are going to be some things you will need. So you need to ask yourself, “What bath accessories should I have?” Here is a list of some things that you just can’t do without.
When it comes to bathroom necessities, let’s over look the obvious such as a bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet. If you don’t have these things in there, it is not a bathroom. So let’s move on.
One of the most important items you need for any bathroom are towels and wash clothes. You need more than just a couple, especially if there are several people in the home. If not, be prepared to do a lot of laundry. Towels come in every conceivable color and quality and price vary. But towels that are nice and thick are so warm and comfortable.
Hairdryers are another necessity, especially if you have long hair. There are even some professional brands with lots of different settings that you can buy. Besides hairdryers, you may also need a curling iron, flat iron, or other instruments for your hair.
Most baths have some type of flooring such as tile or linoleum that can get very slick when wet. If you want to keep from slipping and putting a hole in your noggin, you need a bath mat, particularly something that has a thick carpet and can keep you feet warm when you step out of the tub.
Many people get dressed while in the bathroom. It is very hard to see how you look without the aid of a mirror. Mirrors are a good way to create style in your bathroom. They come in all sizes, shapes, and styles. You need to make sure that the mirror is big enough to see at least your upper body.
If you only take baths, then, won’t need anything extra. But if you like the occasional shower, you will need a shower curtain. Without it, you are likely to get the floor and everything else wet.
There are other bathroom comforts that you can get for your bath that may not be necessary but make the bath more practical.
The right décor will really make your bath unique. You can decorate with wallpaper, paint, and different fixtures such as faucets and hardware. You can even add some other decorations such as plants, ornaments, and lights.
If you have a large enough bathroom and you spend a lot of time in there, you could always put a bathroom vanity in there. A vanity is handy because it gives you more room for things such as brushes, cosmetics, hair accessories, and other such stuff. You can use the vanity to get dressed without taking up all the space around the sink.
Most homes these days have central heat and air-conditioning. But in case you want a bathroom to be really warm and comforting, you can always add a heater to it. There are several styles of bathroom heaters. Some are installed in the ceiling and some are placed on the wall. They are wired directly into the wall and operated by a switch.
If you want to create a romantic mood or ambiance, you can always get candles to accessorize your bath. Candles are great for atmosphere. They can turn a normal bath into a dimly-lit spa for relaxing or for a romantic time with your special someone.
No bath would be complete without a luxuriously soft robe. Nothing feels better than wrapping a warm robe around you after a relaxing bath or shower. Sure, it is practical if someone comes knocking on the door but you can’t ignore the comfort level it brings.
Besides things to use in your bath, you need some kind of bathroom storage to hold these things.
Many baths have a linen cabinet or shelves for towels and wash clothes. If your bath does not have anything like this built into it, you can buy anything from a set of shelves to an actual exterior cabinet such as a wardrobe to hold everything.
A bath needs to have someplace to put the used towels and dirty clothes that tend to pile up on the floor. A hamper is the perfect item for this. Most stores with sell bath accessories have several different hampers to choose from. A simple style is a woven hamper that can hold several towels and a change of clothes. Once it is full, you can just pick it up and carry it to the laudry room.
A lot of people store their medicine and hygiene items such as shaving creams and deodorants in a medicine cabinet. Medicine cabinets are often behind mirrors above the sink but there are others that you can hang anywhere.
The refrigerator is a standard appliance seen in just about every kitchen in the United States. They are a great invention that prevents food from spoiling, thus allowing us to keep food longer, saving us money, and without the waste of any leftovers. Before refrigerators, food expired far more rapidly and the only way to preserve anything was to either can it in a jar or salt it. When refrigerators became available they changed people’s lifestyles completely.
There are many different styles and brands of refrigerators on the market today. The technology has changed slightly from those early models but the basic principles are still the same. It’s all basic physics, really. Refrigerators use the evaporation of liquid to provide cooling. It sounds simple. But how do refrigerators work?
Old Refrigerators vs New Refrigerators
How do old refrigerators vs new refrigerators compare? First, old refrigerators used a chemical gas called Freon. An electric pump sent the Freon through a series of coil tubes. Freon was used to cool the refrigerator but the gas is harmful to the environment. Freon is a brand name for the gas which is actually cholo-floro-carbon (or CFC). Old refrigerators tended to leak CFC which created several problems such as air pollution and health issues in people.
In the old refrigeration system, CFC started out as a liquid. The refrigerator’s pump pushed the CFC through a series of coils at the top of the freezer. The liquid turned into a vapor which then soaked up some of the heat in the freezer. As it did this, the coils got colder, thus causing the freezer to get colder. Down in the larger refrigerator space, there are smaller coils so the area did not get as cold. Once it cooled things down, the CFC got pumped through smaller tubes on the outside of the refrigerator and got turned back into a liquid. Once it turned back into a liquid, the process started all over again.
Once it was discovered that CFC is harmful to the atmosphere and people, refrigerators gradually changed to a new gas called tetraflouroethane, which changes from a gas into a liquid when cooled. It is much safer on the environment as it does not cause ozone depletion.
Parts of a Refrigerator
There several different parts of a refrigerator required for its operation, all of which perform individual functions. The basic parts of a refrigerator are the compressor, heat-transfer pipes, thermal expansion valve, and the refrigerant.
- Compressor – The compressor is a unit inside your refrigerator that is powered by an electric motor. The compressor acts to compress the refrigerant gas to a much higher pressure by forcing it into a smaller space, such as tubes. When gas compresses, heat is released. Having a refrigerator with an energy efficient compressor will you lower your electric bill.
- Heat-transfer pipers – These are a series of pipes behidn the refrigerator that the refrigerant gas is pumped through.
- Thermal expansion valave – A valve with a small opening that allows the refrigerant to expand, thus cooling off drastically.
- Refrigerant – This is the chemical gas that refrigerators use. Also known as tetrafluoroethane, this is a common refrigerant that turns into a liquid as it cools.
How All The Parts Work Together
Refrigerators work because of physics. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that if a cold object is placed next to a hot object, the cold object will become warmer and the hot object will become cooler. How this applies to refrigerators is that the food items original temperature is not lowered. Instead, the evaporating gas draw heat away which leaves the space around the items colder. It is the same methods as an air conditioner.
A refrigerator is divided into two separate spaces; one for freezing (which sometimes includes an ice maker)and the other for refrigeration at a slightly higher temperature. The heat-exchange pipes surround these separate spaces. The compressor, located at the bottom of the refrigerator, pumps the refrigerant gas through the series of heat-exchange pipes. Smaller refrigerators use tetrafluoroethane while larger, commercial refrigerators use pure ammonia. This refrigeration system is completely enclosed so all of the gas gets recycles and used repeatedly.
The refrigerant gets compressed until it becomes very hot from the increased pressure. The heated gas flows through the coils that are behind the refrigerator. This lets the excess heat to be released into the outside air. This is why your refrigerator feels warm underneath and behind. When the refrigerant cools down it turns into a liquid. The refrigerant is then forced through the small opening on the expansion valve. It works much like a spray nozzle on a hose. By closing the opening, you create pressure. This causes the refrigerant to move quickly and turn very cold as it gets pumped through the rest of the coils. As the refrigerant moves to the coils surrounding the larger compartment inside a refrigerator, the Second Law of Thermodynamics takes effect. That law states that cold materials tend to take heat from warmer materials. Since the coils around the lower compartment are not as dense as the freezer section, they take on more heat. This is why the lower compartment is not as cold as the freezer. As the refrigerant passes through the system of coils, it finally gets drawn back into the compressor and the cycle starts all over.
A yard is a great place for family fun. It’s a place for kids to play, for outdoor barbeques, and just a place to relax. But unless you like your neighbors staring at you and watching your every move, you will need to build a fence. A wooden fence is a means of keeping some privacy. It is also a means of keeping your children protected and preventing the dog from running all across the neighborhood. A wooden fence is also handy for keeping out unwanted pests such as stray animals.
How do you build or install a wooden fence? Do you need a crew of workers and a detailed set of diagrams? A wooden fence is not necessarily difficult to build. Anyone with the right tools can do it. You don’t even need to be an accomplished carpenter. All you need is the materials and a little do-it-yourself knowledge. If you have never built one before it may seem daunting but don’t worry. We’ll take you through all the steps to help you through it.
How Big Is The Yard
The first thing you need to know is how big your yard is. You can do this one of two ways. You can calculate the square footage by measuring two sides and multiplying them together. But the problem with this is that a wooden fence usually only has three sides because it connects with the corners of your house (in most cases). Probably the best way to measure the size of fence you need is to get a tape measure and measure the distance of each side of the yard where the fence is going to go. Add up all the measurements and that will be the total length of your wooden fence. Now your are ready to get your materials.
Wooden Fence Materials
There are many styles of wooden fences that you can build. For this article we are going to go with a standard wooden fence where all of the boards are on the same side. You can get everything you need at the local lumber yard or home improvement store. Take the measurement for your yard down to the store and have the salesman calculate for you the quantity of materials that you will need. You want to make sure that you get treated wooden boards so that they can stand up to the weather and not rot. Here is a list of the basic wooden fence materials.
- Treated Wooden Fence Posts
- 1×4 or 1×6 Treated Boards for the Fence Slats
- 2×4 Treated Boards for the Nailers
- Box of Nails or Screws
- Post Digger or Auger
- Bags of Cement
- Wooden Stakes
- Heavy String
Steps To Building A Wooden Fence
Once you get your materials back home, it is time to start construction. Here are some simple steps to building a wooden fence.
- The first step is to mark off where the fence posts will go. Start at one corner of your house and place a wooden stake where the first fence post will go. From there place fence posts at each corner of the fence. Next take the string and run it from each stake, tying it about a foot off the ground. Make sure the string is tight and isn’t slack or dragging the ground. The string will help you to keep the fence posts in alignment. Otherwise your fence may look like a curvy caterpillar. After you have the string stretched, set a stake next to the string every six to eight feet. Make sure that all of the posts are spaced evenly (although you may have to fudge a little bit on the corners next to the house).
- Next thing to do is start digging the holes for your fence post. There are two tools you can use. You can use a post hole digger which is a tool with two long handles that you dig into the ground to create a hole. Its simple and easy but take a lot of work. The other alternative is to use a hand-held auger. This device has a motor and a large screw-like digger that rotates into the ground to create a hole. If you don’t want to buy one, you can usually rent them from construction rental centers that have things like paint sprayers and such. Dig the post holes where the stakes are located. You want the hole to be anywhere from three to four feet deep, depending on how high you want your fence. You can use a shovel or the post digger to clean out the loose dirt form the holes.
- Once all of the holes are dug, it is time to set the posts. One at a time, place each post in the hole and use the level to make sure the fence post is straight and not leaning. Kick some dirt into the hole to hold the post and tamp it down using a pole. This will temporarily hold the post straight while you pour either gravel, dirt, or wet concrete into the hole. If you use concrete, you will need to wait for it to dry before you continue. It is important to make sure that each post is the same length in height. You don’t want the fence to resemble a rolling hill. An easy way to do this is to get a stick that is the same height that you want the posts to be and measure each posts. You may need to add more dirt into the hole before you set your post to make sure that it is level.
- After all of your fence posts are set into the ground, it is time to add the 2×4 nailers. A nailer is a board that stretches between each post and gives you something to nail the fence slats to. Depending on what kind of fence you are building will determine how many nailers you need to use. For a standard eight foot wooden fence, you need three nailers; one at the bottom about six inches from the ground, one in the middle, and one about six inches from the top. You can use nails or screws to attach the nailers to the posts.
- Now comes the easy part; adding the 1×4 (or 1×6) fence slats. For this step, you take each wooden slat and nail or screw it to each nailer. Use the level to make sure the slat is straight. Repeat this process for each wooden slat. It is a good idea to add two nails or screws in each spot where the nailer is located. Since wood expands when it is wet, do not butt each slat tightly against each other. You are not laying a floor. It is okay if there is a breadth of space between the slats. Some styles of fences have as much as a half an inch between each board so it is entirely up to you.
- Once you have your fence completed, you can even stain it or paint it. Staining is easy. Make sure you get an all-weather stain from the hardware store. All you do is use a brush to apply the stain and then use a rag to wipe it off. You can get stains in a variety of shades and colors.
If you decide to paint your fence, make sure that the paint is for outdoor use. If you try to use indoor paint, it will quickly peel off after being exposed to the elements. You will need to prime the fence first before you add the coat of paint. Once all of these steps are completed, you will have a nice privacy fence that you and your family can ejoy.
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Very few assests in a person’s life is more important than their home which is why we created a “Home Questions & Answers” section. We hope to provide you with great home advice and home tips.
Have a question about home repair? Need advice on your everyday household chores? Write us at questions [at] askdeb.com.
By following our home tips and home advice we hope to make tackling your future house project easier and more convenient. Below is a list of home questions & answers sent in by our readers.
These situations generally have tensions, even when the step-parents and step-children are all reasonable people. When one person is trying to make life difficult for the family, that person usually succeeds – at least as long as that person is allowed near the family.
An ionic air cleaner or air ioniser is a device using high voltage electrical charges to ionise air molecules. Ionization converts an atom or molecule into an ion (an atom or molecule which is either missing or has extra electrons).
Solar yard lights fascinate me. Solar lighting is something you’ve probably heard about over the years, but probably figured solar-powered lights were for so-called “tree-huggers” and people living in the western deserts.
Everyone who lives in a northern climate knows the hazards of driving on icy roads. No matter how experienced you are at navigating them, you can still end up in the ditch.
Doesn’t it seem like a regular light bulb just doesn’t last very long. As soon as you put one in, another one is going out. Replacing light bulbs all the time can get expensive and is not very good for the environment.
Want some great 4th of July Party Ideas? Here is a little something for everyone. You can plan a classic 4th of July cocktail party, a family picnic or a romantic red, white and blue getaway for two.
To make the place you live inviting and pleasant to be in, you need to know how to decorate your home. Whether it is a tiny studio apartment or a mansion, you will want to reflect your personal style and tastes on the walls, flooring and in the furniture you choose.
How to install an air conditioner will depend on the type you have or the type you decide to buy. This year, instead of waiting until it gets so hot you can’t stand it, install an air conditioner while the weather is still mild.
Mice may be cute little critters and may make interesting pets but they can also cause quite a bit of havoc in your home. Mice can get into your walls and chew on electrical cords, they can get into your cabinets.
There is hardly a kitchen utensil or appliance that can stand up to the cast iron skillet. And how can it? Iron skillets and Dutch ovens have been around forever.
With summer lurking around the corner it is now time to get excited about doing some grilling. You can grill just about anything from vegetables, hot dogs, burgers, steak, and chicken.
Clutter around the house is a problem most people I know face. People tend to be pack rats. They don’t like throwing away the items they collect.
When you’re moving into a new home, you are going to be in an agitated state already. You are ending your old life and beginning a new home. The comfort zone you had is no longer there.
Curtains and window treatments are a beautiful and elegant way to provide decoration as well as practical function to your windows. Window treatments can include curtains, blinds, and shades. Any of these come in a variety of styles for a different look.
We’ve all seen those old cartoons where the mad inventor is asleep in his bed and when his alarm clock goes off, the giant robot hands pull him out of bed, brush his teeth, fix his breakfast, and send him out the door.
While growing up, if I ever wanted to watch any kind of movie with decent sound and on a screen that I could see from more than three feet away, I had to go to the movie theatre.
There are few things that add just the right decorative touch to a room as wallpaper. There are also few things as frustrating if you don’t follow the right procedures.
Ceiling fans are a great way to help cool down a room. Sure, they won’t do the job all by themselves if it’s the middle of July but they can circulate the air, spinning the warm air up and keeping the cooler air down at your level.
When your attic gets hot, it can really affect your electric bill. The same goes for the winter months if your attic won’t hold the heat.
A yard is a great place for family fun. It’s a place for kids to play, for outdoor barbeques, and just a place to relax. But unless you like your neighbors staring at you and watching your every move, you will need to build a fence.
It seems that your utilities keep going up, especially your electric bill. As the economy changes and prices go up, it is reflected in the cost of power.
Finding the best way to ventilate an attic in your home can become a real thermal nightmare. Attics can be the site for excessive heat build-up which can lead to many problems.
No matter how hard you try, you can never keep a glass shower door clean. It’s just like a magnet for all the soap, scum, and calcium deposits that get thrown around in a shower.
There is a lot of traffic that goes through a bathroom. It is, hands down, the most widely used room in the house. So with so much use, it is no wonder that things get bent, beat up, or just plain broken. It is the nature of homes.
To walk into a bathroom and see a sparkling white bathtub is truly a magnificent sight. This is probably because the things are so hard to keep clean. Bathtubs just seem to attract all sorts of stains and blemishes.
Your bathroom can be many things. It can be a place of refuge for some relaxation. It can be a reflection of personal style. It can also be a place for bacteria and mold to get together and have a party.
Having a clean bathroom is important for many reasons, the first being that a clean bathroom is much healthier. Due to the nature of a bathroom, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria, molds, mildew, and other nasty microorganisms.
Bathrooms are often the most common room in the house to get remodeled. They are definitely the most used so why not turn an ordinary room into something special where you can rest and relax?
Your bathroom is more than just a place to take care of business. It can be a sacred retreat that reflects your own sense of style. Bathrooms can be decorated in a variety of ways, each as unique and different as the next.
Have you ever wondered where that mold in your bathroom comes from or why the paint near the ceilings is starting to peel? The answer is moisture.
It is truly frustrating when you are in the bathroom and in need of something but you don’t have it. A comfortable bathroom should have all of the necessary features and more.
The refrigerator is a standard appliance seen in just about every kitchen in the United States. They are a great invention that prevents food from spoiling.
In the early part of the 1900’s, the only way to get ice was to have it delivered to your home in a big block. It would be placed in the ice box (which is where the term for a refrigerator comes form) to keep your food cold.
Garbage disposal machines are a very handy appliance to have in any modern day kitchen. For anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen and who likes to cook, this tool helps make clean-ups quicker and easier.
The winter months can be difficult on a person’s sinuses. Indoor heating tends to lower humidity people need in order to be comfortable, especially when they sleep. Low humidity can cause your skin to dry out as well as the mucous membranes in your nose.
Dishwashers are just about the handiest home appliance ever invented. Back in the college days I slaved over the sink washing dish after dish by hand because we did not have a dishwasher.
People who suffer from allergies and asthma know how important it is to have clean air. This can be tricky with today’s environmental issues.
Summers can be brutally hot months. If it wasn’t for Willis Haviland Carrier, we would all be sweating indoors to this day. Who is Willis Haviland Carrier? He is the engineering genius who invented and patented the first working conventional air conditioner.
How long do mattresses last and how often should they be replaced?
Generally speaking, you should replace your mattress with a new one every ten to fifteen years, but if there there is sagging or excess wear and tear you should consider getting a new one. It is not worth waking up feeling stiff and sore due to sleeping on a mattress that needs to be replaced.
How should I measure my windows for horizontal blinds to be flush mounted?
Use a steel measuring tape for accuracy. Make sure you measure the window and not your existing blinds. Double check all measurements. Here’s the right way to measure:
- Window Width – Measure the EXACT distance across the window from the inside edge of the frame to the opposite inside edge in three places. Use the narrowest dimension.
- Window Height – Measure the EXACT distance from the top inside edge of the frame to the bottom inside edge of the frame in three places. Use the longest dimension for horizontal coverings, and the shortest for vertical coverings.
- Window Depth – The amount of space from the back of the window or obstruction to the windows outer edge (see below).
- See the Sill Depth Chart below for the minimum sill depth needed for installation and the minimum needed for the product to be flush with the front.
Do you know where I can find ideas on how to decorate with candles?
Great Decorating tips (for holidays too) and Free Shipping on orders over $75.
How do you clean an automatic drip coffee maker?
Mix one part white vinegar to ten parts water and run a pot through your coffeemaker. Then run at least two pots of clear water through your coffeemaker to fully rinse it.
Curtains and window treatments are a beautiful and elegant way to provide decoration as well as practical function to your windows. Window treatments can include curtains, blinds, and shades. Any of these come in a variety of styles for a different look. You can buy window treatments or even make them yourself. Buy how do you hang window treatments? What are some of the tools that you might need?
You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional to hang window treatments. Even if you have never done it before, it is pretty easy. There are some basic instructions that you need to follow depending on what types of window treatments you want to use. Here is a guide to help you hang the right window treatments for your home to give it that special look.
Choosing the Right Window Treatment
It is important to choose the right kind of window treatment for your room. Do you go with curtains and drapes or do you install blinds? It really depends all on your personal style and tastes. Curtains can add a lot of refinement and decoration to a room. Blinds are more utilitarian and have a clean look. If you are going for a really elegant and sophisticated look, you should definitely go with curtains. You can hang them in the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and anywhere that you want to add that extra touch. Blinds are good for garages, the mud room and utility rooms but they can also be used in bedrooms and living rooms. So there is really no wrong choice.
How To Hang Curtains
You can either make or buy curtains and drapes but before you do, you need to know what size they need to be. Get a tape measure and measure the height and the width of your window. For a proper curtain, you want it to overlap the window on each side and possibly the bottom. Depending on how much you want your curtain to be gathered, you may want to add more width to the measurement.
Once you have figured out the size of your curtains, you can go out a buy them. There are many manufacturers who make curtains of all sizes and styles and the prices vary. Or if you prefer (and are handy with a sewing machine) you can make your own curtains. You will also need a rod that is a few inches longer than your window is wide and a couple of brackets.
Start out by screwing the brackets in above the window. If your wall is drywall, you will need to use what is called toggle bolts to hold the screws in. You will want to set the bracket outside the width of the window where you want the curtain to end. Make sure the brackets are set in the same position on each side of the window. If the curtains are split, you will probably want to add a bracket in the middle. To make sure the brackets, and thus the rod, will be level, use a carpenter’s level.
After the brackets are secure, put the curtain on the rod and hang the rod on the bracket. If you want to use tie-backs to pull the curtain back from the window, you can screw small decorative hooks into the wall to attach the tie-back to. There are a lot of different types of curtains so not all will be exactly the same. Some curtains use tassles to hold them back from a window while other curtains may have additional drapery such as ruffles at the top.
How To Hang Blinds
Blinds are just as easy to hang as curtains. All you need to do is know the height and width of your window. Blinds come in several different colors and sizes. The most common are plastic but you can also get blinds that are made from bamboo, that are woven, or have decorative images printed on them.
First thing to do is get the measurement of your window and go out and find a set of blinds that are the right size. The blinds will come with a long bracket and the screws you need. Using either a screwdriver or a screwgun, screw the long bracket into the inside top of the window. Make sure it is secure and not wobbly because you will be pulling on the blinds a lot.
After the bracket is secure, you take the top of the blinds and slide it right into the bracket. From there you will do one of two things depending on the manufacturer. Some models you can screw the blind directly into the bracket. With other models, there will be two small pieces that slide into the ends of the bracket to hold the blind in place. Once that is done, the blinds will be ready for use.
There are few things that add just the right decorative touch to a room as wallpaper. There are also few things as frustrating if you don’t follow the right procedures. If you don’t know what you are doing, hanging wallpaper can be a nightmare that will swear you off from printed designs for the rest of your life. I have friends who have taken an oath never to use the stuff again. As if hanging it isn’t bad enough, removing it can be just as frustrating. So how do you hang or remove wallpaper without losing your sanity?
In all seriousness, dealing with wallpaper is not that difficult if you do it right the first time. Like most home improvement jobs, you need the right tools. You also need to know the right steps and follow then carefully.
Tools For Hanging Wallpaper
In order to hang wallpaper, you will need the following basic tools:
- Wallpaper Paste
- Roller or brush
- Measuring Tape
- Seam Roller
- Brushes for smoothing
- Drop Cloth
- Razor Knife
- Smoothing tool
- Water Tray
- Step Ladder
- Wallpaper (either prepasted or unpasted)
How To Hang Wallpaper
Step 1: The first thing to do before you hang wallpaper is to inspect the wall. It needs to be as smooth as possible. You will need to sand over any rough spots and cover any holes or cracks with spackling. Use a brush or air hose to clean off any excess dust from your wall. If needed, you can use warm water and a mild detergent to wash the walls. Dirt and grease will repel wallpaper paste. Also, if the wall is newly plastered, you will need to use a primer sealant on it and allow it to dry for about 24 hours before applying any wallpaper to it. And don’t forget to shut off the electricity and remove any electrical outlet plates. Shutting the power off is important so water doesn’t drip into the outlets and spark a fire.
Step 2: Start in a corner and measure the width of the wallpaper. Use a pencil and a measuring tape to mark on the wall the width of the paper minus a half an inch. Take the level and draw a vertical line on the wall where the edge of the paper will go. This is your plumb line and will make sure that your paper stays level. You can mark every width line on the wall now or you can mark each one as you hang the wallpaper.
Step3: Measure the height of the wall. Cut your first strip of wallpaper that same length but add two inches to both the top and bottom of the paper. This will be the overhang that you can trim after the paper is hung. If there is a definite pattern on the paper, figure out beforehand where you want the pattern to start on the wall.
Step 4: If you are using an unpasted wallpaper, you want to lay the paper down on a long flat surface, preferably with the drop cloth underneath it to prevent any mess. Make sure the unpasted side is face up and the printed side is face down. Take either a roller or brush and apply the wallpaper paste to the unpasted side. Use a thin coat. Any lumps will show through the paper.
If you are using a prepasted wallpaper, then you will need to soak the paper using the water tray. The best method of doing this is to roll the wallpaper up with the prepasted side showing. Next gently submerge the roll in the water for the amount of time indicated in the wallpaper instructions. Once it is thoroughly soaked, gently unroll it from the try and make sure the prepaste side is saturated.
Step 5: This next part is something that many do-it-yourselfers don’t know. You need to ‘book’ your wallpaper. How this works is you take your strip of wallpaper and you fold one end towards the middle, paste side towards the paste side. You then take the other end and fold it to the middle as well, also with paste facing paste. Don’t crease the wallpaper, though. After that, gently roll the strip in a loose tube. By doing this, it helps for the paste to become active and gives the paper a chance to return to its original width.
Step 6: After the booked paper has had a chance to set for a few minutes, take the roll and unfold the top. While leaving about two inches of overhang at the top, line the paper on the wall along the plumb line. Use a smoothing tool to gently press the wallpaper to the wall. Next unfold the bottom half and make sure it lines up with the plumb line. Smooth it to the wall as well. There should be about two inches of overlap at the bottom, too. By using the smoothing tool, smooth the wallpaper diagonally and then across, making sure you get all of the air bubbles out of the paper. Then take some warm water and a sponge and wash any excess paste off the paper. Once the paper has been smoothed out, take your razor knife and carefully trim the excess from the top and bottom.
Step 7: Repeat this process with each strip but be sure not to overlap each strip. You want the individual strips to touch without covering anything up. If there is a distinctive pattern to the wallpaper, pay close attention to make sure the pattern lines up properly on each strip. You can use a seam roller to roll out the seams where the strips line up with each other. Try not to leave any raised edges as these can let in moisture. If there are any electrical outlets on a wall, just cover them up. You can go back later with your razor knife and carefully cut out around the outlet.
Tools For Removing Wallpaper
Now you have mastered the fine art if hanging wallpaper. But sooner or later, you will want to remove it. Then you will be angry that you did such a good job of pasting it to the wall. But don’t worry. Removing wallpaper is actually easier than hanging it. Again, you just need the right tools. And patience. Here is what you will need.
- Sponges or brushes
- HOT water!
- A commercial stripping solution or vinegar
- A perforator
How To Remove Wallpaper
Step 1: Some people like to perforate the wallpaper so the stripping solution can get in behind the paper better and go to work on the paste. You don’t have to do this but if you come across some really tough wallpaper, it might be a good idea.
Step 2: Take the bucket and fill it with really hot water, about as hot as you can stand it. The warm water is important for dissolving the paste. You can mix the commercial stripping solution in the water according to the directions on the bottle. Another good alternative (and a cheaper one) is to use vinegar. Mix the bucket with about 80% water to 20% vinegar.
Step 3: Take everything off the walls such as electrical outlets plates. Take all of the furniture out of the room and shut off the electricity to the room. Put your drop cloth down on the floor because this is going to get messy.
Step 4: If you are really lucky, you used some of the new kind of wallpaper that is dry-strippable. This means that the wallpaper can be peeled off without using any water or solution. You will still need a scraper to remove any tough pieces. But most likely, you have used the regular wallpaper and that means you have to get it wet. To do this, take a roller, dip it in the bucket of hot water solution, and roll the wallpaper as if you were painting it. You want to make sure you get every bit of the surface good and wet. Only do a section at a time or else the paper will dry out before you can get to all of it.
Step 5: Once the wallpaper has been saturated with the hot water solution, take the scraper and start scraping. Hopefully, the wallpaper will peel off in long strips. If not, you may have to take it off in small bits and strips. Start at a seam and work at an angle to the paper. Use a wide scraper to get under the paper and try to peel it of with your fingers. If the wallpaper has been up for a long time, it may be tough to remove. You may have to wet a section multiple times to get all of the paper off. If your bucket starts to cool off, mix up a new hot solution.
Step 6: Once you have all of the wallpaper off, let them dry. Then come back with the water solution and wash down the walls to remove all traces of glue. Don’t get them too wet or you may weaken the drywall underneath. If you plan on painting the walls or re-wallpapering them, you may have to sand down any trace remains of glue and apply a sealant to the walls for the wallpaper.
While growing up, if I ever wanted to watch any kind of movie with decent sound and on a screen that I could see from more than three feet away, I had to go to the movie theatre. There was no competition between seeing and hearing a movie in a place built for optimal entertainment and seeing and hearing it on a small screen television with one speaker. It was with more than a little joy when I finally discovered affordable systems for setting up a home theatre right in my own living room.
What is a home theatre, you ask? There are a lot of different systems and a lot of different ways you can set it up in your home but simply put, a home theatre is an entertainment system installed in your home in order to recreate the experience of watching a movie in a theatre. Some of these systems are fairly affordable, costing a few hundred dollars for some speakers and wiring. Other home owners with deeper pockets have been known to have a separate room with seats, a large screen, and a rear projector. However you set up your home theatre, there are some common items that you are going to need.
Equipment And Components for Home Theatres
One important element of home theatres is the sound. You have to have the right sound or the experience just isn’t the same. A movie theatre has three main speakers behind the screen. There is a speaker to the right, to the left, and in the middle. Then you have speakers spread out around and behind the audience. This gives you that great surround sound so that you can hear different elements of a movie coming from different locations. You can replicate this same system in your home but to do it you need three main components: a home theatre receiver, surround sound speakers, and a subwoofer.
A home theatre receiver is the heart of any home system. This controls the audio signals that are sent to all of the individual speakers. All of the components are connected to the receiver and it can amplify any parts of the sound.
Surround sound speakers is a general definition for a set of speakers for your home theatre. A surround sound system is a set of speakers that perform different functions. There are the front speakers which are placed in front of and to the left and right of the television screen. The set also includes a center channel speaker. This speaker usually sits underneath the screen. The center channel speaker is the key for dialogue because it keeps the dialogue centered on the screen where the actors are. The last part of the system is the rear channel speakers. These are normally placed behind the viewer and create a 3D effect with sound that draws you more into the movie. When an airplane flies overhead in a movie, the sound will start in the rear channel speakers and move forward with the image of the plane.
The last element of a surround sound system is the subwoofer. The subwoofer handles all of the low bass sounds that add depth to a movie’s soundtrack, making it more realistic. Low rumblings heard in movie thunderstorms and explosions come from the subwoofer. A high quality one can really make the floor shake in the right setting.
Besides sound, home theatres need a good picture. The most common solution is to get a high-definition television with a large wide-screen. The image ratio for high definition tv is the same as a movie theatre. You can also use LCD and Plasma-screen televisions but since television signals in the U.S. went digital, high definition tv is probably your best option. Also, to add to your television, you need the right movie player. VCR’s have long since left he market so DVD’s are pretty much the staple movie-watching system of choice. However, if you have a high definition television, you can get a sharper, clearer picture if you have a Blu Ray player.
All Of The Elements Put Together
Most people set up their home theatre systems in their living rooms. Why not? You already have a television in there along with comfortable seating. That big screen television can go right in front of the couch and you can set up the speakers around the room. If you want to invest more money, you can have speakers installed in the walls so you don’t have wires running all over the room. You can even mount your television on the wall so that you are slightly looking up at it like in a real movie theatre.
Since we are talking about quality home entertainment, I should mention the importance about proper seating. I know, it is not actually a technical part of a home theatre system but it still plays a part in the overall enjoyment. Nothing is sadder than seeing someone who has shelled out a lot of money for all of the equipment for a good home theatre but all they have to sit on is one simple chair. For good seating, especially if you are going to show your system off to your friends, you need a couch and several chairs, maybe even a beanbag or two. You can never go wrong with a good recliner. Remember, a good home theatre is about having a quality system set up in the most comfortable environment in your home.
Solar yard lights fascinate me. Solar lighting is something you’ve probably heard about over the years, but probably figured solar-powered lights were for so-called “tree-huggers” and people living in the western deserts. Actually, solar yard lighting allows you to be environmentally friendly and cost effective without solar yard lighting installation becoming a huge hassle. In fact, you don’t have to know how solar yard lighting works to install solar lights in your yard in under 15 minutes.
Note that when you buy solar yard lights, they will be expensive compared to the standard yard lights you’re used to purchasing. But given that you’ll save on electricity bills for the life of each solar yard light, the high front-end cost is well worth the price of solar yard lighting. These devices work on the solar principle. As long as you place these yard lights where they are directly in the Sun, they will be able to store up solar light throughout the day. At night, the lights will turn on and shine brightly without the need of electrical cords or running up electric bills.
How Does Solar Yard Lighting Work?
Solar yard lighting consists of a few basic components. There are five major components: a solar cell, a tiny controller board, a photoresistor, an LED light source and a Nicad battery (usually AA).
“LED” is short for “light emitting diode”. A light emitting diodes are extremely small light bulbs that fit into electronic circuitry. Light emitting diodes are different than normal light bulbs, though. First, they don’t get very hot in comparison to a light bulb. Just as important, light emitting diodes don’t burn out. Electrons in the diode’s semiconductor material are what causes the diode to radiate light. LED light sources are what make the solar yard lights radiate at night.
The solar cell is what collects light during the day, when the Sun is shining on the solar yard lights. This solar cell conducts light to the AA Nicad battery, which is made to store up solar energy. When it gets night time, the battery is able to power the LED light source all night.
Meanwhile, the controller board is simply a tiny electronic device that tells the solar yard lights when to turn on and shut off. More accurately, the controller board tells the battery when to send energy to the LED light source. The photoresistor is a tiny device made to detect darkness. It’s like the photoresistors you’ll see in road lights, that shut on when it turns dark. The photoresistor sends a signal to the controller board, the controller board sends a signal to the battery, the battery sends juice to the light emitting diode and the solar yard lights turn on for the night. In the morning, they shut off automatically.
Finally, these five components are placed in a plastic solar yard light case, which houses and protects these essential five mechanisms from the elements. All put together, the solar yard lights are placed in the yard in the pattern you want them in, keeping in mind that the lights need to be exposed to the sunlight all day, and you have solar yard lighting in your yard. It’s really simple.
There is hardly a kitchen utensil or appliance that can stand up to the cast iron skillet. And how can it? Iron skillets and Dutch ovens have been around forever. They heat evenly and are versatile. You can use them anywhere such as on the stove top, camp fire, your kitchen oven, and grill. Anywhere you can get heat you can use a skillet. There is not a need for special cooking utensils as you do not have to worry about scratching the bottom. Cast iron skillets are a great tool in the kitchen yet are overlooked. Why?
Most people feel that cast iron skillets leave a bad taste in your food or that everything sticks when you cook. What they fail to realize is that a properly seasoned cast iron skillet is way more effective than a chemically coated skillet. But it is not there fault, they just did not know how to season it properly. And to do it properly, it may take up to several attempts to get the desired seasoning. The object of seasoning is to bake oil into the pores of the skillet and eventually have a black coat or non stick surface on the bottom of our pan. This not only helps as far as keeping foods from sticking, but also adds flavor to your food.
The Process of Seasoning an Iron Skillet
With any new or refurbished skillet, the first thing you will want to do is give it a quick rinse to clean any surface dirt. After drying with a paper towel then it is time to find some oil or animal fat. At this time you will also want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. This is just a starting temp and others have been known to go much higher. Once you have located the oil source and turned on the oven you then need to apply a very generous amount of oil to the inside of the pan. Obviously there is not a need for a lake of oil inside the pan, but just short of that is the goal.
The next step is to place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven. Yes, oil will run out and yes, something needs to be there to catch it. A cookie sheet will work and even better if it is wrapped in aluminum foil. You will want to leave the pan in the oven for at least an hour if not a little bit longer. It will smoke a little bit, but that is normal as the oil is baking into the skillet. After the minimal time has elapsed you can pull the skillet out to cool. Opinions vary but many people repeat this process a few times even before using it for the first time. That is up to you but it will only get better the more times you season your skillet. A few things may still stick a bit, like maybe eggs. But after a while that should not be a problem.
Using Your Iron Skillet
Although a cast iron skillet is the way to go, there is a few words of caution. The most important one is safety. They get very hot, especially the handle. Please exercise common sense when using your iron skillet. Some will say to not wash your skillet, but a quick wash of soap and water will not hurt. You just do not want to soak your skillet in soapy water and ruin all the hard work you did. It is also important not to put cold water into a hot pan as it will crack right there on the spot. You will not want to store any food, especially acidic food, in your skillet as it will pull iron out leaving a metallic taste. But aside from those few minimal things, a cast iron skillet is prime tool in any real cooks kitchen and you should not be without one.
No matter how hard you try, you can never keep a glass shower door clean. It’s just like a magnet for all the soap, scum, and calcium deposits that get thrown around in a shower. A glass shower door should look like it is permanently fogged over. Even if the door is frosted glass, you should be able to see partially through it.
So how do you clean a glass shower door? What are some tips you can use to keep it clean? What is the best cleaner? If you are one of those lucky people with the tenacity, you clean your shower door regularly. If you are like most people and maybe clean your shower door once a year, then you need to read this article.
Shower Door Soap Scum
Before you can clean your glass shower door, you need to understand what that stuff is on the door and how it gets there. Yeah, no one really wants to know what it is but you need to know in order to use the proper cleaners.
The majority of the stuff on the glass is shower door soap scum. This is what causes your glass to look like it is constantly fogged. This is not hard to keep clean if you do it regularly but if you only clean every once in awhile, then that scum will really build up and your job becomes that much harder.
Mold and mildew can also collect and grow on a glass shower door. It is just part of a moist environment. You will mostly find the mold growing around the edges, the rubber seals, and the bottom of the doors.
And lastly if you have hard water with a lot of minerals, your glass shower door will eventually accumulate lime and calcium deposits. These are a lot harder to get rid of than any other debris but with the right cleaner, it’s not impossible.
Bathroom Shower Door Cleaners
If you already have a build up of scum and deposits on your glass shower door, you will need to use a bathroom shower door cleaner to remove it. One of the best products for cleaning glass shower doors is Comet Bathroom Cleaner. This is a soft, non-abrasive cleaner that is suitable for metal, vinyl, and glass. You can use this without fear of scratching the glass or removing the finish from the metal. Comet Bathroom Cleaner comes in a spray that you apply to the entire door. The key for it working is to leave it on the glass for fifteen to thirty minutes. This will give it plenty of time to really work its magic. After the product has had time to set in then scrub the glass door with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. It should be mentioned that soap scum comes from the talc in bar soap. If you switch to a liquid soap, then you can minimize the amount of scum build up.
There are some other types of bathroom shower door cleaners you can use but all of them work to some degree or another. Like Comet, you have to let them set on the glass for several minutes to give them enough time to clean. If your door has mold and mildew or lime deposits you will have to get separate cleaners for that. Be careful of lime cleaners because some of them are more abrasive than others and can take off the finish from the metal on the door. Check out the labels and see which ones are suitable for metal.
Once the glass shower door is clean, you need to use the shower to thoroughly rinse off all of the cleaning solutions. Next, take some Windex or other appropriate glass cleaner and spray and wipe down the shower doors. If you want to add some extra protection, you can apply some Turtle Wax to the glass. This will make the water slide off easier and thus make it harder for any residue to stick.
In order to keep your glass shower doors clean, there are some things that you can do help that out. First, mix up in a spray bottle a half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of water. After you take a shower, spray the vinegar solution on the glass doors and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then take a squeegee and wipe down the entire door. This will help to reduce any soap scum as well as mold. A plastic squeegee is best because metal could damage a shower. You should clean your shower door once a week to maintain the maximum state of cleanliness and the best shine. It will definitely help save your fingers from all that scrubbing.
When you’re moving into a new home, you are going to be in an agitated state already. You are ending your old life and beginning a new home. The comfort zone you had is no longer there. Most of the time, you’re working on a time schedule that isn’t your own. All of these things create stress, even in the best of home-moving situations.
Plan To Move Into Your New Home
But you can plan to move into your new home without a lot of added stress if you follow the steps spelled out below.
- Get Organized For Your Move – Get organized and make plans when you’re moving, and it will save you a lot of extra work and stress as the moving process gets going. “Getting organized” means setting up a time table, a plan, a backup plan and getting the things you’re moving in some kind of organized arrangement. These won’t take long to do, but they will make your move less stressful.
- Give Yourself Plenty of Time – Give yourself extra time to complete the move. A solid time frame for moving is somewhere in the 8 to 10 week range. This doesn’t mean you’ll be moving items every day, but this is the time span from the day you start preparations until you’re in the new house. A ton of little things will come up, from signing last-minute papers to getting utilities turned on and off, so give yourself time to work through each in their own time. This time also lets you adjust to the idea of a new house.
- Clear Out Excess Clutter – Use the move as a time to throw out your unneeded clutter. This saves you time, because you’ll touch these items one time instead of two. Also, getting rid of clutter helps with the transition from one period of your life to another, because you are literally throwing out the old to make room for the new.
- Label Your Boxes – With the items you’re going to move into the new house, mark each box with which room it will go into during the move. Most people mark the type of item on the box, but that means you’ll be deciding the day of the move which room to set these in. Also, movers and helpers will be asking you where to put every box. Marking them by room takes a lot of moving-day decisions out of your hands, and allows everyone to instantly know where to put the boxes they are carrying.
Stress Free Moving by Hiring a Moving Company
Here are some steps you can take to have stress free moving by hiring a moving company.
- Research Your Movers – Before you choose a moving company to be your movers, do a little online research to see what kind of feedback they are getting. The last thing you need is a moving company that makes your move harder – not easier. You’ll remove a lot of the stresses of moving if you have professional movers.
- Ask Your Movers Questions – Before you hire a moving company, ask questions about the move. Know exactly what services you’re paying for before you pay. Once you’ve signed on the line, you won’t be able to convince your movers to do something that isn’t in the contract. Don’t have nasty surprises waiting for you the day of the move, so ask plenty of questions.
- Get Good Eats and Plenty of Sleep – Make certain you’re in a proper frame of mind the day of the move. Get a good meal instead of a bunch of snacks. Also, make certain you have plenty of rest the night before the move. If you’re tired during the move, you’re going to be grumpy and stressed the entire day.
- Have a Backup Plan – Just in case something happens to the movers in the days around your move, have a backup plan. Know about other moving companies. Know about other truck rental companies. Have friends lined up or extra vehicles to carry things, if something happens and your moving company doesn’t deliver.
- Plan Out the Moving Day – We end where we started. Make certain you have plenty of time for the move. Plan your moving day and give yourself plenty of slack time, because there will always be something that sets back your planned time. Also, try to give yourself an extra day or two to get the move done, because you don’t want the final hours before a deadline ticking down while you’re trying to move. A day or two gives you time to implement a backup plan, while it also assures you aren’t stressing about getting your move down immediately.
Mice may be cute little critters and may make interesting pets but they can also cause quite a bit of havoc in your home. Mice can get into your walls and chew on electrical cords, they can get into your cabinets and food supplies, and they can leave mice droppings in areas that can cause a serious health problem. In short, mice can be real pests and difficult to get rid of. If your house or business is infested, how do you get rid of mice? Do you need to call a pest control expert or can you do it yourself? If you are facing a problem with the whiskered sort, here is how to get rid of mice.
Signs Of Mice In Your Home
Mice may be small and difficult to see at times but they leave behind obvious clues. If your home has mice, you are likely to hear scurrying noises in the walls, especially at night when they are more active. If your home has an attic, that is a good spot for mice because it provides lots of hiding spots and access to your walls.
Another clue that you have mice is holes chewed in walls or containers of food. If you keep any kind of grains or seeds in your cabinets, you might find holes chewed through the containers and the grains scattered around. Mice like to chew holes in walls in dark corners or out-of-the-way places.
Another sign is mice droppings. Mice droppings are small, dark, and slightly oval. In fact, they look similar to dark brown rice. You will probably find these anywhere the mice roam such as the corner of cabinets or near the floorboards. If you find any of these types of signs, then congratulations. You have a mice infestation.
Remove Their Food Source
Mice will eat just about anything and your home is the perfect food source for them. They prefer grains and seeds but will eat anything from fruit, trash, crumbs, accidental spills, and even paper. The first step in getting rid of mice is to remove their food source. Start by taking all possible food items and storing them in metal or glass containers. Putting unprotected food on shelves is not good enough. Mice can get up on those tall shelves. Trust me, they have their ways. Do an inspection of your kitchen and make sure you don’t leave anything out that mice could possibly eat.
If you have pets in the house, use elevated food dishes and make sure you don’t leave any crumbs on the floor. This will attract the mice. If you keep any trash in the house, such as out in the garage, make sure it is in a secure container with a lid. Don’t let the trash pile up as this is a big attractor for mice.
Go through the rest of your house and inspect it for loose items that could be a food source. Anywhere that meals are taken should be checked out such as dining room, living room, or the bedrooms. If you find anything that might have been chewed on by a mouse, throw it away. Mice carry diseases and to share food with a mouse is to invite a variety of health problems.
Block Access To Your Home
After you get rid of the source of food for mice, next you need to fortify your home. Just like a king and his castle, you need to prepare it against invasion. Mice can crawl through the smallest openings imaginable. The best way to secure your home and turn it into a mouse-proof fortress is to walk around your home and inspect it. Check out every possible nook and cranny for any cracks or openings. If there is the slightest chance that a mouse might be able to wiggle through, plug the hole with material that the mouse cannot chew through. For brick homes, use mortar and cement. For homes with wooden siding, you can use steel wool, metal plates, or an exterior caulking. Once you are done with the outside, you will want to go inside the house and do the same thing. Check out your basement, attic, closets, and behind appliances. Pay close attention to plumbing and any conduits, such as the dryer vent, that may lead outside.
Eliminate Their Shelters
Mice like warm, dark places to hide and build their nests. They also like a lot of clutter. You want to eliminate everything that could possibly be used by a mouse for cover or shelter. If your attic, basement, or garage has a lot of boxes and stuff piled up, it is time to clean that mess up. Get rid of anything that is unnecessary and store the rest in containers such as plastic totes or anything mouse-proof. The idea is to limit the mouse’s roaming area. A mouse will generally only venture about 25 feet from its hiding place so you want to narrow down the mouse’s possibilities for shelter.
Mice Traps And Repellents
Now we come to the part of actually getting rid of mice. There are a number of do-it-yourself products available that you can use and it all depends on how humane you want to be. There are products that trap and kill mice and there are some that trap them alive without harming them.
Traps all have their own specific guidelines on how to use them. But whatever type you use, you need to know where to place them to be the most effective. Set the traps out in areas where you have seen signs of mice. Basements, attics, behind appliances, or inside cabinets are all good spots for traps. Don’t immediately set the trap. Bait it and let the mouse get used to eating from it. If the bait has not been disturbed, you may have to move the trap around. If there are signs that mice have been nibbling the bait, wait a few days and then set the trap. Mice also have an excellent sense of smell so to cover up your scent, you can smear a little grease on the trap.
If you are full of righteous homeowner’s revenge and want to get rid of the mice any way possible, you can always try to kill them. You can use traps such as the traditional snap traps, glue boards, or even shock traps that deliver a lethal electric shock to the varmint. Poisons are another method that are available but be very careful when using these. They can be just as harmful, and fatal, to pets and small children. Poisons usually come in a small container that you set out like a trap. The mice are attracted to the poison and will eat it just like any other bait.
For the more humane approach, you can use non-lethal traps. There are many catch traps on the market that are made of either metal or plastic. They work by baiting the trap and then once the mouse jumps inside and takes the bait, it triggers the door to close, thus trapping the mouse.
Other means of getting rid of mice include repellents. There are some commercial brands out there that all claim to have some form of success but the there are two common repellents that you can get that will do the job. The first is mint. Mice do not like the smell of mint. You can plant these small but fragrant plants around your home and it acts as a natural deterrent against the little rodents. The second form of repellent is a cat. Cats are natural predators and will likely injure and play with he mouse before killing it and presenting it to you as a gift. Just make sure your cat is smarter than the one in those cartoons.
Everyone who lives in a northern climate knows the hazards of driving on icy roads. No matter how experienced you are at navigating them, you can still end up in the ditch. This is why every time there is bad weather, you are going to find the city trucks out there trying to make the conditions better. One thing the city might put on the roads is sand to provide a little extra traction. But to really help the road situations, they pour salt on it. Why? Because salt melts ice and pouring it on the roads is one of the best ways to clear the ice off.
Why Does Salt Melt Ice
In wintry conditions, ice will form when the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees Celsius). By adding salt, you are lowering the freezing and melting point of water. When you add salt to water (or in this case, ice) you are introducing dissolved particles. As more particles are added and dissolved, the freezing point of water gets lower.
On road conditions, if you added a 10% solution of salt to the ice, the freezing point is lowered to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (which is -6 degrees Celsius). If you added a 20% solution, then the freezing point drops further to 2 degrees Fahrenheit (or -16 degrees Celsius).
However, these results are in an ideal environment. In real world terms, on roads and sidewalks during the winter, salt can only lower the freezing point to around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. So if the temperature is lower than 15 degrees, the better option is to sprinkle sand on the roads because the ice won’t be able to melt it.
Since we are on the subject, I should mention another use for combining salt with ice. Besides melting the ice, salt is also used to make it colder. This is why salt is used in making homemade ice cream the old fashioned way. The ice cream mixture is in a metal canister than spins inside a container. The container is filled with ice water. But in order for the ice cream to freeze, it has to reach a temperature below 32 degrees. By mixing salt into the ice water surrounding the canister, you lower the melting temperature of the ice to around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This creates a very cold brine that easily freezes the ice cream.
Which Salts Are Used To Melt Ice
So which salts are used to melt ice? There are four primary salts and they all have different properties. The most common used to deice roads is rock salt, or sodium chloride. It works well on roads as long as the temperature is above 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem with rock salt is that it releases chloride ions as it melts. These ions can be hazardous to plants, streams, and other water sources. They also corrode metal so rock salt on the roads is hard on cars.
Another salt for melting ice is calcium chloride. These look like small white pellets. This type of salt can melt ice if the temperature reaches 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The drawbacks to calcium chloride are that it can irritate your skin and can cause damage and corrosion to concrete so it is not the best to use on sidewalks.
Potassium chloride is an excellent de-icer for roads and sidewalks. It can melt ice at temperatures above 15 degrees but there are chemical additives that you can use with it that allow it to melt at lower temperatures. Unlike calcium chloride, potassium chloride is safe to handle and will not pollute waters or harm vegetation.
Finally, the latest type of salt that is used to melt ice is magnesium chloride. This salt will melt ice even when the temperature reaches -13 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also safer for the environment because it releases the lowest amount of chloride ions. It will not irritate your skin or cause damage to concrete. Plus, you can walk on it and not leave tracks of it through your home.
The winter months can be difficult on a person’s sinuses. Indoor heating tends to lower humidity people need in order to be comfortable, especially when they sleep. Low humidity can cause your skin to dry out as well as the mucous membranes in your nose. To stay healthy, you should set up a humidifier to keep the level of humidity in the air at a certain level. They can definitely make sleeping a lot more tolerable. But how do humidifiers work? Here’s some tips.
Why Use A Humidifier?
A moderate level of humidity can keep the air from drying to the point where it begins to cause damage. When the air is extremely dry it can damage furniture, electronics, and even your health. By using a humidifier, the humidity in the air can be adjusted to a level that you find comfortable and that fits your ideal situation. Higher humidity also helps to lower your electric bill. If the room is at 40% humidity instead of a drier 20% then the air will feel warmer and you won’t have to turn the heat up so high, thus saving some money.
Types Of Humidifiers
There are several types of humidifiers that use different processes for increases humidity in a room. They can do this through evaporation, steam, cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic.
- Evaporation – Evaporative units have a fan inside them that blows air through a moist pad. Once the air gets moist it then gets blown back out into the room. Evaporative units do not produce a spray into the air which is less likely to spread germs and bacteria into the air, unlike a cool mist humidifier. However, you need to keep the pads cleaned regularly or bacteria and mold can grow on them, thus creating a health problem.
- Steam – These humidifiers are sometimes called vaporizers. They work by boiling water and send it into the surrounding air as steam. They are a lot safer because the boiling process tends to kill off all germs and bacteria. Vaporizers also do not put out what is referred to as ‘white dust’ which is the minerals in water. When the water boils and converts to steam, it leaves all minerals behind in the tank.
- Warm mist – These humidifiers act exactly like vaporizers. They boil the water which turns into steam. However, the steam is slightly cooled before it gets pumped out into the room. This results in a mist of warm droplets instead of steam.
- Cool mist – These humidifiers break up water into tiny droplets which is sprayed in the air as a cool mist. It is important to keep the tank cleaned. Since the water is not boiled like other humidifiers, it may contain bacteria and harmful microorganisms if not sanitized.
- Ultrasonic – An ultrasonic humidifier is similar to a stereo speaker. It uses a metal diaphragm which vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency to create droplets of water. The nice thing about ultrasonic humidifiers is that they don’t usually make any noise.
How Humidifiers Work
No matter what type you use, you will have to fill the tank with water. Turn the machine on and it immediately starts raising the room’s level of humidity. The water in the tank will eventually get used up and will need to be refilled. Regular cleaning is required to prevent mineral build-up in some models as well as to prevent bacteria and germs from collecting inside it.
Doesn’t it seem like a regular light bulb just doesn’t last very long. As soon as you put one in, another one is going out. Replacing light bulbs all the time can get expensive and is not very good for the environment. More used bulbs means more waste that has to be disposed of in out landfills. Also, regular light bulbs are not very energy efficient. A good alternative to regular light bulbs is halogen bulbs. But what are halogen lights bulbs and how are they different from regular light bulbs?
How Incandescent Light Bulbs Work
Before you can understand what makes the halogen bulb so different, you need to know the basics on how a regular light bulbs works. A regular light bulb is called an incandescent bulb. Everyone knows that an incandescent light bulb is made of very fragile glass (I have broken my share so I know). Inside the glass bulb are two wires that connect to what is called a filament. The two wires are attached to the metal base of the bulb which makes contact with an electrical source. The electricity flows up the two wires and heats up the filament.
The filament of the light bulb is made up of tungsten. It is the best material for producing light. When the electricity heats up the tungsten filament, it reaches degrees of approximately 4,000 Fahrenheit. At this level the tungsten turns white hot which gives off light.
The problem with tungsten is that it evaporates the more it is used. In order to slow down the evaporation process, the inside of the glass bulb is filled with argon, which is an inert gas. As an inert gas, it will not react to the heat given off from the tungsten so it won’t catch fire. Early light bulbs actually had the air vacuumed out of them so the oxygen in the bulb would not burn.
Incandescent bulbs are cheap and easy to make but they are fragile (a good bump will break the filament before you can use it), they burn up too quickly, and they give off heat which is wasted energy. A lot of their energy is given off as infrared light which is invisible to the human eye. Only about 10% of the energy of a light bulb can be seen.
How Halogen Light Bulbs Work
Halogen light bulbs work by using the same basic principles as an incandescent bulbs. Electricity flows through a set of wires to heat up a tungsten filament. But that is where the similarities end. In a halogen bulb, the filament is encased in a clear quartz capsule in the center of the bulb. This capsule is filled with a halogen gas (hence the name). Halogen gas is also inert and will not react to high temperatures.
As the tungsten is used, it still goes through an evaporation process. But the halogen gas reacts to the evaporated tungsten particles and causes them to stick back together instead of disintegrating and floating free. This causes the tungsten filament to last longer than it would in an incandescent bulb.
Another benefit of using halogen is that the tungsten can run hotter which gives off more light, thus making it brighter than an incandescent bulb. The drawback to this is that it still gives off heat and gets much hotter than regular bulbs. Many house fires have been caused due to this.
Different Types of Halogen Lights
The most common type of halogen lights are flood lights. These lamps are used for outdoor lighting for security purposes or in construction areas where there is yet a light source. They have a high wattage in order to completely light up a large darkened area.
Another type of halogen lights are JDD type bulbs. They have a tube shape and a medium screw-in base. These bulbs have an outer casing of glass over the bulb itself.
The halogen bulb known as a solux bulb is a patented light bulb that is designed to replicate the full spectrum of daylight. These bulbs are used in light therapy, photography, museum lighting, and in automobile painting.
And finally there are the MR halogen bulbs. These are small reflector lights that are slightly smaller than one and a half inches in diameter. They are very low wattage and have a base with two pins instead of a screw-in base.
Other Sources For Light
While Halogen lights provide a much brighter light source and they last longer than an incandescent bulb, they still burn very hot. This wastes energy and can cause your electric bill to go up. As technology gets better and more people are becoming environmentally aware, they are turning to sources of cool lighting. This is a lighting source that does not give off as much heat and wastes less energy. Two good sources of cool lighting are fluorescent lights and LEDs. These sources are better for both your home and your environment.
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With summer lurking around the corner it is now time to get excited about doing some grilling. You can grill just about anything from vegetables, hot dogs, burgers, steak, and chicken. Not to mention that it is much easier to host dinner parties and BBQ’s as well since most of the cooking is done outside. There is less cleanup involved and it is less crowded inside the house. Overall, BBQ’s are great. And if you are needing one, then we will show you a few tips to save some money before making your first purchase. It is more important to find something made of quality parts as that will save you money in the long term.
Saving Money On a Gas Grill
When it comes to saving money on a gas grill the first thing that you need to do is asses your needs. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- How big is my family?
- Will we BBQ often?
- Will we entertain frequently and if so how many guests at a time?
- Does it need to be portable?
- How much space do I have?
How to Buy a Gas Grill
The last question is probably the most important with the next being the size of your family. You can put a tiny BBQ into a big hole but you can not take a big one and shove it into a tiny hole. It is very important to get one that will fit, be out of the way, and give needed clearance between it and the house. Entertaining can also be quite difficult to enjoy with a tiny BBQ as it will take longer to cook for everyone. If possible, go a little bit bigger than you think you need.
Other factors to take into consideration is the quality of the BBQ. A well constructed BBQ should last you 5 years or more without any problems. When looking at BBQ’s you should check to make sure it was well constructed and sturdy. Give it a good shake and make sure nothing wobbles or feels loose in general. The handle should give plenty of clearance for your hands and securely fastened to the lid. You want to be sure the lid shuts and seals well. The grates should not be constructed of chrome plating as this will rust over time and cost you money. If at possible, go with as much stainless steel as you can afford. Stainless is durable and will not rust and looks fantastic.
You will also want to make sure there is some sort of grease trap. Hot grease can ruin a nice deck pretty quickly. And it would be preferred to have a deeper pan if possible to prevent overflow. Btu’s (British Thermal Units) are important and should accommodate the size of the grill. For a 600 square inch grill you should have 35,000 BTUs which will reach temps of 550-600 degrees.
And the last thing you need to look at is who the manufacture is. It is possible to need parts down the road or assistance and it would be ideal to be taken care of if needed in the future. You should not have to spend more money to achieve this.
The ideal times to buy a grill are normally right before the season starts like May or June and after the summer is over in September and October. You can find many sales online as well and may be able to find free shipping in the off season. Many sales will start around $100 and work their way up to several thousand. It will depend mostly on the size you have available and room. As we have mentioned above, be sure to find a quality grill with quality components. This will save you money in the long run and if combined with a great sale, you will have found yourself a great deal.
Garbage disposal machines are a very handy appliance to have in any modern day kitchen. For anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen and who likes to cook, this tool helps make clean-ups quicker and easier. As long as you don’t get your hand stuck down in it, it is a benefit but does require some maintenance and upkeep. Cleaning out any clogs is never any fun and every once in awhile your disposal tries to eat something that does not agree with it.
They are a pretty standard fixture in today’s homes but how do garbage disposal machines work? Is there anything you shouldn’t put down them? Let’s take a look at some basics of garbage machine mechanics.
How Garbage Disposals Work
Garbage disposals machines involve both plumbing and electricity. If you are unfamiliar with working with either of these, you should hire an expert to install a garbage disposal. Here is how they work. The garbage disposal machine is attached underneath your sink at the bottom of the drain. It has a shredder and a series of grinders similar to a food processor which are all inside of a round housing. This housing has a drain so that all water and debris can continue down to the septic pipes. When you are cleaning up dirty dishes, you can push food down the drain and turn on the cold water to wash it down into the housing.
While the water is running, you turn on the garbage disposal. The shredder and blades start spinning inside which chops and grinds up food debris. The purpose is to chop up food particles small enough so that it will pass through a septic system without clogging up the pipes. As the debris gets chopped up, an impellar arm and plate force the water and debris down the drain.
There are several brands of garbage disposals that you can buy and some are larger and can process more food than others. If you are shopping for a garbage disposal unit, there are two types which you can get. The first kind is the type activated by a switch. This is the most common type that you run water through as it spins and chops. The other kind of garbage disposal is the batch-feed type which is activated by turning a stopper after loading the disposal with garbage.
Garbage Disposal Don’ts
There are a couple of garbage disposal dont’s. Like the things you should not put into a garbage disposal machine (besides your hand). For starters, you should never pour bleach, drain cleaners, or other chemicals down the drain into a disposal unit. You should also never overfill a disposal unit or else it could get clogged and stop spinning.
To take care of the unit’s blades, you shouldn’t put anything hard into the garbage disposal such as bones, fibrous materials, coffee grounds, glass, or anything metal. Basically, anything that is too hard to be ground up should not go down the drain.
Ceiling fans are a great way to help cool down a room. Sure, they won’t do the job all by themselves if it’s the middle of July but they can circulate the air, spinning the warm air up and keeping the cooler air down at your level. Since warm air naturally rises anyway, it’s a pretty simple system. But did you know that ceiling fans can also be used in the winter to help keep a room warm? Most ceiling fans have a switch that reverses the direction that the blades spin. If the fan blades spin in one direction, they push warm air upward. If they spin in another direction, they push warm air down. Another great thing about ceiling fans is that they are very conservative of energy. If ceiling fans rotate in the proper direction during the right months, they can save on your monthly electric bill. So what direction should my ceiling fans turn for which month? How do I know that they are turning in the right direction? If you have never used your ceiling fan for anything other than keeping cool, you may find this information useful.
Ceiling Fans In The Winter
Yes, it is true. Your ceiling fan can help to keep your room warmer in the winter. To do this, you need to set your fan to rotate in the proper direction. Try flipping the switch on the fan and turn it on. You want the blades to spin in a counterclockwise rotation. Because of the way fans are built, this will look clockwise as you look up at it. Confusing? Try this. The blades on a ceiling fan are angled. You want the blades to rotate in the direction that the blades are angled downward. This will cause the warm air to be pushed back down from the ceiling and the walls and redirected into the living space below.
When running your ceiling fan in this direction, make sure it runs at low speed. Otherwise, a higher speed may actually cool down the warm air which defeats the whole purpose. If you live in a house with a high ceiling, then you may want to run the fan at a higher speed in order to get the air back down to the living quarters. Just make sure that the fans are not creating so much of a breeze that the room feels cold and drafty instead of warm.
Ceiling Fans In The Summer
In the summer months is when most people use their ceiling fans. For them to work properly, the blades need to turn clockwise (or counterclockwise if looking up at the fan). Take a look at the fan blades. You want them to spin in the direction that the blades are angled upwards. This will push the warm air up and create a downward draft. You can even run the ceiling fan at a higher speed for a stronger (and thus cooler) draft. Now, this is not going to make the air cooler. It just creates a breeze which cools your skin, much like the wind on a warm day. You still have to use your house’s cooling system to keep the room from getting hot but by using it in conjunction with a ceiling fan you won’t have to turn your thermostat down as much. This can save you some money right there. You can save a little more by turning the ceiling fans off when no one is home.
Contrary to what you may think, if you have high ceilings in your home, you probably shouldn’t run your ceiling fans at all. By having the hot air up near a high ceiling, this creates an insulated cushion between the hot air outside the roof and the cool air near the floor below.
Testing Your Fan
Just in case you are still unsure which direction your fan should turn, there is an easy way to test it out. Stand directly underneath your ceiling fan and turn it on the highest speed. Try this out by flipping the switch both ways. If you feel a breeze blowing in your face, then that is the right direction for running the ceiling fan in the summer. If you don’t feel any breeze, that is because the fan is pulling the air up, not down. This would be the right direction for winter.
It seems that your utilities keep going up, especially your electric bill. As the economy changes and prices go up, it is reflected in the cost of power. It doesn’t help that in today’s modern homes, there are more electrical appliances than ever. Sure, many products claim to be energy efficient but anything that runs on electricity is going to add to the overall cost of your monthly bill. So what do you do? If you are experiencing really high electrical bills, you have no doubt been asking yourself “How do I lower my electric bill”?
10 Ways To Save Energy and Lower Your Electric Bill
The good news is that with so many people experiencing the same problem, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with some helpful solutions. Here are 10 ways to save energy and lower your electrc bill.
- The lights in your home use a lot of energy. The first ting you can do to save money is to switch to those corkscrew light bulbs that are more energy efficient. Yes, they are expensive, running about $5.00 a bulb, but over the long run, they are more than worth the price. They save money on your bill and you don’t have to buy so many of them.
- Try turning off all of the lights that you are not currently using. Unless it is Christmas, there is no reason for your entire house to be lit up. By leaving lights on in rooms that you are not using, you are wasting energy and using up those expensive light bulbs. Be more environmentally conscious and turn off excessive lights.
- Another option with the lights is to set up some alternative lighting. You can install a dimmer switch that will cut back on wattage used. You can also use simple lighting such as single bulb lamps instead of turning on every light in the room. For outdoor lighting, install some motion sensor lights instead of leaving those high-powered flood lights on all night.
- Another big user of electricity is your home’s air-conditioning and heating. If you have the thermostat set really high or really low in the appropriate months it can really make your meter spin. To be more conservative, in the summer set the thermostat higher than normal, especially when you are not home or at night when you are asleep. In the winter, do the opposite. Set the thermostat lower when you are not at home.
- If you don’t already have one, you should install an electronic thermostat so that you can program it. The benefit of an electronic thermostat is that it will automatically adjust temperature settings to more energy efficient levels.
- Your refrigerator is another one of those appliances that takes a lot of wattage to operate. The way that you can make your refrigerator more energy effective is to use it wisely. Don’t set the temperature control to the coldest possible setting. One thing is that some items might start to freeze but mostly it is unnecessary to run your refrigerator that cold. A moderate setting will do the job just as well. Also, try not to leave the door open for more than a few moments. The longer the door is left open, the longer the compressor will run to cool the interior. Changing the temperature of the freezer usually won’t affect the ice maker in most modern refrigerator but I would suggest that you test it out first.
- After your refrigerator, the water heater uses a lot of energy. You can change the temperature setting on the water heater in order to save energy. Turn down the temperature setting to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You should use natural lighting as much as possible. There is no point in turning on lights to see by if there is sufficient light outside to do the job. During bright summer days, if your home has a lot of windows, open up the shades to let the light in.
- This is something many people might not know. Even if your appliance is turned off, if it is still plugged in it uses a certain small amount of wattage. If you go through your home and unplug everything that you are not currently using, you can save yourself several dollars every month.
- By washing your cloths in cold water instead of hot water will save on the energy required to create more hot water. Also, dry your clothes at night instead of the day. When you dry your clothes during the middle of the day, the dryer exhaust heats up the house which in turn causes your air-conditioner to run more. By operating your dryer at night, the house won’t heat up as much and you save on your cooling bill.
Dishwashers are just about the handiest home appliance ever invented. Back in the college days I slaved over the sink washing dish after dish by hand because we did not have a dishwasher. You can put practically any type of dish in there (as long as it is dishwasher safe). You can even wash your retainer in there. A dishwasher can save you a tremendous amount of time and are sometimes taken for granted. Yet how do they work?
There are many brands of dishwashers, all with various special features. Some can hold more dishes than others while some are more energy and water efficient. Yet no matter who manufactures them, dishwashers all work using the same mechanics. So exactly how do dishwashers work?
A dishwasher is basically an automated robot that washes and rinses dishes for you. It fills itself with water, is automatically timed so that it uses detergent at the right time and drains the water at the right time. It can heat water for better cleaning results and can even heat the dishes to dry them. There are several sensors to control the operation. All you have to do is load the machine and unload it.
Despite what some believe, a dishwasher does not actually fill up with water. There is a small basin at the bottom where the water collects. A dishwasher is connected to your water supply and pumps in cold water when the first cycle starts. At the bottom of the dishwasher is a large electric heating element that heats the water. When the water is at the right temperature (somewhere between 90 degrees F and 140 degrees F) the pump send the water squirting out of holes in the sides and through holes in a spinning paddle at the bottom. The water is pressurized, kind of like a miniature car wash. The water mixes with the detergent and washes the dishes. As the water falls back into the basin, where it is heated and cycled through again.
Once the wash cycle is finished, the pump drains the dirty, soapy water out through the drain pipe. Then the rinse cycle starts. The operation is the same as the wash cycle except it doesn’t use any detergent. Water is sprayed out through the holes and spinning paddles to thoroughly rinse all of the dishes. When finished, the water is again pumped out through the drain.
The last basic cycle is the drying cycle. This doesn’t involve any water at all. The heating element at the bottom of the machine that normally heats the water comes on and heats the air inside the machine to dry the dishes.
There are some of the higher end models that come with extra features such as a garbage disposal. These disposals are used to eliminate large food particles from the dish water.
Energy Efficient Dishwashing
Some energy efficient dishwashing models are more energy and water efficient than others. The U.S. Government has a chart that gives the annual energy consumption of different models. This is a great way to shop and compare, especially if you are concerned about your utility bills. While dishwashers use more energy than handwashing, they definitely save on time spent washing and on the amount of water that is used.
Stronger detergents that would normally irritate the skin are used for dishwashers since they are automated and hands-free. These detergents may contain phosphates, bleaching agents, enzymes, and anti-corrosion agents. Most dishwasher detergents have a strong alkaline base. In recent years there has been the development of biodegradable detergents which are more environmentally friendly.
There are some odds and ends stuff that you should know about how dishwashers work such as things that you should and shouldn’t put in a dishwasher.
One of the most important things to remember is never use regular dish soap in a dishwasher. Just like in the movies, liquid dish soap will cause a huge amount of bubbles and suds to build up that will spill out from the dishwasher. Only use detergent that is specifically for dishwashers.
Never overload a dishwasher. A dishwasher needs space between the dishes so that the jets of water can reach every surface. If the washer is overloaded, then the water cannot get everywhere and the dishes do not get clean.
Never put crystal, wood, cast iron, or fine china in a dishwasher. These items can be damaged due to heat or detergents. Aluminum pans can be discolored and some metals, such as pewter, have a low melting point and may warp. Anything that is valuable or delicate should always be hand washed instead.
Also, you should never put plastic items on the bottom rack. By doing that it places the plastic items closer to the heating element and the item can melt.
When loading the dishwasher, load similar items together on the same rack. Put all glasses and cups together, dishes together, pot and pans together, etc. By keeping similar shapes together, the water can reach all the surfaces better.
To make the place you live inviting and pleasant to be in, you need to know how to decorate your home. Whether it is a tiny studio apartment or a mansion, you will want to reflect your personal style and tastes on the walls, flooring and in the furniture you choose. While the subject of how to decorate your home is vast, there are some basic elements that apply to all living spaces and many home decorating ideas you play with.
Many people feel stumped when faced with choosing colors for their homes. This is probably due to the classic decorator’s advice, telling you to choose the color palette and major elements before painting. This is good advice for a decorator, but may not be the best way for a homeowner to proceed. Most people have no trouble choosing our favorite colors in clothing. Why not choose colors that you wear often?
Take your favorite shirt or pants to the home improvement store and have color matching done. By choosing colors that you look best in for your living room walls, you will feel a long-term sense of satisfaction while relaxing in this space. If you choose your wall colors first, make sure you keep a paint sample in the car or in your purse. This will give you a piece to compare when you shop for coordinating fabrics, furniture and accessories.
Consider the space when choosing your colors. You can also experiment with your wild side in smaller spaces like hallways. Pick out that fire-engine red in your favorite pair of shoes for this space, but make sure you choose a semi-stain finish for such high traffic areas. Matte finish and eggshell paints are harder to wash marks from and hallways get quite a few scratches as you carry baskets of laundry and other items back and forth.
For the bedroom, it is best to choose a softer color. Perhaps your favorite pair of pajamas would be best suited as a color choice. Go with whatever color relaxes you because this is a space where you want to be in comfort and ease at all times. Bathrooms are best painted in bright, sunny colors because they often have few windows and less light. The kitchen is another area where light, bright colors are preferred. The lighter colors can make a space look bigger than it actually is.
If you live in an apartment and are not allowed to paint the walls anything but white, you will need to get creative with your wall hangings, furniture and accessories. However, the same concept applies. Go with the colors you choose for clothing and you will have a higher level of satisfaction in the color of your living space.
Once you have a basic color palette, you will be half way to decorating your home. You can now choose fabrics, furniture and accents that pull the space together into a unifying them. As a rule of thumb, your background color should be the lightest color in the room. However, you can also choose a darker color and offset it with light-colored main elements. You should use mid-range tones for one-third of the space and apply bright accent colors to ten percent of the space.
Choose Main Elements
The decorative elements you choose after color will be based on the main element in the room. In the bedroom, it is often the bed, or a special dresser. In the living room, it may be the entertainment center of a fireplace. Pick out a large element that you would like to play from. This will guide you towards choosing other elements that compliment the room.
Take time to look at different décor magazines to get a feel for what works and what does not. Cut out pictures you like and paste them in an album. Over time, you will place one item that you like and then find another that compliments it. You may decide to get a slip cover for the couch to make it fit better with other elements in the room. Be patient and make decorating your home a hobby. Trying to do it all at once is great for a decorator but can be overwhelming for the average homeowner.
The way you lay out your furniture will have a big effect on your comfort at home. Take a look at the high traffic areas of your home and be sure they are clear of obstacles. Do not place tables or chairs near room entrances. Give yourself a few feet of space to clear the entrance first.
At the same time, it is important not to place too much importance on clearing space. Many people make the mistake of putting all the furniture flat against the walls. This creates a dull and boring space. Try placing items at angles wherever possible to create a sense of movement and drama in the room. Group pieces of furniture together, away from the walls, if space allows. In living rooms, you should keep sitting areas between 8 and 14 feet apart. This is a social space where people should be able to make eye contact when they speak. Do not forget to include end tables or other surfaces where visitors can rest their drinks or put a book down.
In the Kitchen
Most modern kitchens also provide a place of informal dining. This can be accomplished through a breakfast nook or a kitchen island with stools. Make sure this area has a few splashes of color and interest to provide a more satisfying experience when you are eating on the run.
In the Bedroom
Try not to place the bed against the wall in your bedroom unless you have a large space for the headboard to rest against. Smaller rooms benefit from the bed being placed at an angle, making it the focal piece of the room. Go for the complete bed set with breakfast pillows and accents to create drama. It is also pleasant to have a small sitting area in the bedroom, but keep it away from areas you will be walking in the dark. You do not want to stumble and fall in the night!
By focusing on the colors and arrangement of furniture in your home, any space can be made comfortable so that it truly feels like home.
To walk into a bathroom and see a sparkling white bathtub is truly a magnificent sight. This is probably because the things are so hard to keep clean in a bathroom. Bathtubs just seem to attract all sorts of stains and blemishes. They can fall victim to calcium and lime build-up, soap scum, hard water stains, and the most dreaded of all…rust. Most people at the first sign of rust stains attack it with some form of industrial cleaner and scrub until their fingers fall off. The bad news is that it doesn’t always work. So how do you remove rust stains from a bathtub? There are some easier ways to remove rust and save your fingers at the same time.
Clean The Bathtub First
Before you start scouring or spraying anything, you should clean out your bathtub. Remove all items such as soaps, shampoo bottles, razors, and even those cute rubber duckies. Use appropriate cleaners to remove any soap scum that has built up. By doing all of this, you are making it easier for your cleaning efforts to have the maximum effect on the rust stain. By moving things out of the way you guarantee that you don’t accidentally get any cleaning products on your soaps and other items.
Removing Porcelain Bathtub Stains
The most common type of bathtub to get rust stains is porcelain. Porcelain is a heavy stone-like or metal material that is very durable. Since they are so sturdy, removing porcelain bathtub stains can be as easy as using abbrasives on the rust. You can try some abrasive powders such as Comet or Ajax and a scouring pad. Just sprinkle some powder on the stain, add a little water and scrub. This will work for small rust stains that are just beginning. But for tougher stains you will need to use a pumice stone instead of powder.
A pumice stone is a rough porous stone that is ideal for removing stains, blemishes, and marks. You can find them in just about any supermarket in either the beauty aisle or the household aisle. Add some water and rub the stone on the rusty stain and remove as much of the rusted material as possible. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure so be gentle or you will scratch your tub’s finish. Don’t drop the rust particles down the drain. That is a good way to clog up your drain. Just put them in the waste basket. Keep working with the stone until you get all of the loose rust. Keep the stone wet and occasionally rinse the accumulated rust off so the stone’s pores don’t get clogged with rust.
After you have removed all of the rust that will come loose, you have two options that you can try. The first option is to use toilet bowl cleaner. To do this, make sure that the area is completely dry. If it is still wet, the water will only dilute the cleaner. Pour the toilet bowl cleaner on the rust spot and take the toilet bowl brush to scrub at it. Don’t use your hands because the toilet bowl cleaner is an irritant if it contacts with skin. Scrub at the stain repeatedly, applying more cleaner if needed, until the stain is gone. Then turn on the hot water and thoroughly rinse the area off.
The second method is a bit more unorthodox but it will work if given enough time. After you have used the pumice stone to remove the rust, get some salt and a couple of lemons. Pour the salt on the rust stain, covering all of it. Be generous. Next cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice onto the rust stains. Allow the salt/lemon mixture to sit for at least twenty-four hours. Afterwards, the rust will have disappeared, having transferred into the salt. You can then rinse out the tub and wash it all down the drain with no fear of clogs.
Other Methods To Use
There are some other methods I have heard of people using to get rust stains out of a bathtub. I have never used any of these myself but I thought they sounded interesting enough to include. As with any unusual methods, you should exercise caution. What works for some may not work for all.
One product that is said to also work to remove rust is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can be poured on a rust stain and allowed to sit for about an hour. After that you can scrub it with a scouring pad. For tough stains, you can even create a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and aply it to the spot.
There is a product somewhere out there in the world called The Barkeeper’s Friend. It is a general cleaner that is said to be great for removing rust stains. Another such product is called The Works which you can find in many supermarkets.
If you go to the automotive store often, you can look up a product called Naval Jelly (I hope that is not where it comes from). This is a cleaning agent used to remove rust from metal parts but will not harm porcelain if left on for a period of time.
Your bathroom is more than just a place to take care of business. It can be a sacred retreat that reflects your own sense of style. Bathrooms can be remodeled and decorated in a variety of ways, each as unique and different as the next. There is a near endless amount of fixtures, hardware, and accessories that you can get to transform your bathroom from a simple and functional room to an elegant masterpiece. One type of item that you can check out to make your bathroom different is bathroom furniture.
Types of Bathroom Furniture
So what is bathroom furniture? Types of bathroom furniture encompass all of the accessories that you can add to your bathroom. Some of these accessories are merely for function while others are decorative.
Bathroom vanities are one of the most prominent furniture items in your bathroom. A basic vanity serves as a counter for your sink and a cabinet underneath. But they can be so much more than that. A vanity can have more than one sink and be made of a number of exotic and expensive materials. Vanity styles are all across the board. You’ve got everything from modern and contemporary to historical replicas.
Bathroom cabinets are another big furniture item. Many times bathrooms are built with little to no storage space. If that is the case, you need a cabinet to store items such as towels, shampoos, and other items. These cabinets, similar to vanities, come in many different styles and finishes. Some are free standing shelves with doors while others are storage shelves. Medicine cabinets are also in this category. Most medicine cabinets are fitted behind a mirror over the sink. These cabinets are great places to store your medicines, first aid, shaving items, toothbrush and such.
Not all vanities include a sink. Some vanity sets include a small table with a mirror and a stool. These are handy for people who have a lot of accessories such as brushes, combs, cosmetics, and other related things. A separate vanity keeps the sink from getting cluttered and provides a spot for you to inspect yourself as you get dressed.
Hampers are another bathroom furniture fixture. Their purpose is to store used towels, linens, and dirty clothes. Hampers are handy because it keeps all the laundry off the floor. When the hamper is full, you can move it to the laundry room and empty it.
Where To Buy Bathroom Accessories
You can buy bathroom accesories at just about any furniture store. Most of the larger stores and chains have separate areas for their bathroom items. You can find bathroom furniture anywhere from your local furniture store to Wal-Mart and Target. Depending on where you look will depend largely on your budget. Bathroom furniture can be inexpensive or it can be quite costly. If you want some cheap furniture, check out Wal-Mart or a discount store. You will have to put it together yourself but most are pretty easy. For the higher quality furniture, you will need to go to a high-end furniture store. Some of the furnishings can be very expensive but at least they come assembled.
If you can’t find the right furniture, no need to fret. These days you don’t have to be stuck with your local furniture store. If you are searching for just the right style of furniture, you can look online. There are many websites that have a large stock of inventory to choose from. Here are a few of the more popular sites.
- Seventh Avenue – This site has a wide assortment of furniture for bedrooms, home offices, living rooms, kitchens, and baths. They carry many styles that range in price from $50 to $200. They even have a ‘sale’ section for discounted items.
- Ikea – Ikea is a huge superstore with many locations across the U.S. and an extensive online store. They have a huge assortment of products to choose from and their bath furniture is very practical and affordable.
- Overstock – This website is full of discounted items from furniture, clothes, jewelry, electronics, and other gifts. The quality and price range of their items vary from cheap and practical to elaborate and expensive. This is definitely a great site to shop if you want to look at a wide variety of styles.
- Just Bathroom Furniture – This is a site dedicated to solely bathroom furnishings such as vanities, mirrors, cabinets, and other accessories. Their selection is quite good with competitive prices.
There is a lot of traffic that goes through a bathroom. It is, hands down, the most widely used room in the house. So with so much use, it is no wonder that things get bent, beat up, or just plain broken. It is the nature of homes. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how well built it is.
During the course of owning a home, you will likely have to replace a bathroom vanity. There may be something wrong with it such as the sink leaks or you may be tired of it and want to remodel the bathroom. Whatever the reason, you have to go through the trouble of changing out the vanity. But how do you replace a bathroom vanity? Don’t you have to get a professional to do it? Well not necessarily. It is not all that hard to replace a vanity. All you need is just a basic understanding of plumbing and anyone can do it.
How Big Are We Talking
The first thing you need to do in order to replace your bathroom vanity is to figure out how big you want it. Vanities come in a wide variety of sizes. It all depends on your budget and the size of your bathroom. If there is only enough space in the bathroom for the current vanity, then the new one will have to be no larger than the current dimensions. However, if there is more room in the bathroom, then depending on your budget you could always get a larger vanity.
What you need to do is get a tape measure and measure the space where the vanity goes. You also need to measure the old vanity so that you know how big it was before you buy a new one. Write the dimensions down or memorize them so that you can refer to them when shopping at the hardware store. Now when you are out shopping, it is a good idea to take a tape measure with you just in case. Almost every pre-made vanity will have the dimensions on the box but if you can find one on display, go ahead and measure it with the tape measure to make sure the box’ information is accurate.
Where Do You Get A New Vanity
You can get a new bathroom vanity at a couple of places. One of the best spots is a home improvement store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. These stores will have a wide selection of vanities to choose from and most will be on display so you can see the actual product.
Another good place to shop for vanities will be in the bath section of a home furnishings store. Depending on the type of store, the vanities may be inexpensive and practical or they might be more elaborate and thus more expensive. It is the difference of a vanity with a plastic counter top or one with an imported marble counter top and chrome fixtures.
If you are having trouble finding the right vanity, you can always check out the internet. There are a number of retail websites where you can purchase bathroom furnishings. You will probably have a better selection of vanities to choose from but you won’t have the advantage of seeing it up close before you buy. Make sure that you read the item’s dimensions so that you can be sure it will fit in the space in your bathroom. Do yourself a favor and read the site’s policy on returned items just in case the vanity doesn’t fit.
Installing Bathroom Vanity Steps
Hopefully by now you have shopped around and gotten a good deal on a vanity that will fit in your bathroom. Now you need to install it. Here are the steps.
- The first thing to do is take the old vanity out. Depending on the vanity, this could be easy or it could be really hard. You will first need to shut the water off to the sink. Most modern houses have shut-off valves on the water lines that lead to the sink, one valve for hot water and one valve for cold water. Turn them both off and turn on the sink to make sure the valves aren’t leaking. Then take a crescent wrench or plumber’s wrench and disconnect all the plumbing from the sink. This will be the water lines and the drain from the bottom of the sink. After all of the plumbing is disconnected, take out the entire vanity. It will probably be connected to the wall with screws or nails (hopefully screws. They are easier to take out). If the vanity is a single unit, it will be easier to take out. If it is built into a cabinet then it will be much more difficult and you may need to hire a carpenter. Either way, by using the proper tools, remove the old vanity.
- Once the old vanity is out of the way, bring the new one in. Get it into position before the plumbing. If the vanity is a cabinet, you may have to drill or cut some holes inside the vanity for the plumbing to go through. Use your tape measure to figure out where the hole should go. Once the hole is completed, set the vanity over the plumbing. You may need to disconnect the lines and drain pipe and then reconnect them once the vanity is in place.
- When your vanity is where you need it to be, hook up the water lines and drain to the sink. Most vanities have the sink built right in. If not, you will have to install your sink before hooking it up. If this is the case, make sure the sink lines up properly and then use silicone bathroom sealant around the edges. When hooking up the plumbing, it’s pretty easy. Just screw the water lines into the bottom of the faucet and then connect the drain pipe to the sink. Once you take it off, it is easy to put back on. After everything is back together, turn on the valves on the water lines and make sure there are no leaks.
- After the plumbing has been hooked back up to the sink and nothing is leaking, you will need to secure the vanity to the wall or the floor. Otherwise it may shift around which can cause stress on the plumbing. If the vanity is a cabinet type, get a screwgun and put several screws through the back and into wall. If the vanity is nothing more than a pedestal sink, then you will need to put screws in the bottom through the floor. Be aware that some pedestals have a place in the back where you can run bolts through a wall to secure it instead. There are also some of the more expensive vanities that are very heavy and made of expensive materials. If unsure, you should always ask an expert on the best way to secure it. The last thing you want to do is destroy and expensive piece of furniture by drilling a couple of big screws into it. But once the plumbing is connected and sound and you are sure the vanity is not going to go anywhere, then step back and admire your new bathroom vanity.
Bathrooms are often the most common room in the house to get remodeled. They are definitely the most used so why not turn an ordinary room into something special where you can rest and relax? Bathrooms do not have to be utilitarian and boring. They can be reflections of your personal tastes and style, just as much as your bedroom can be. You can remodel your bathroom into just about anything by changing up the furnishings such as the vanity, bathtub, cabinets, toilet, or décor. You can even add a new coat of paint to match the towels. There is an endless possibility of ideas.
Bathroom Design & Renovation
Bathroom design & renovation can be big projects where you completely redo everything or they can be small projects where you just paint the walls a new color. But not everybody can come up with their own ideas and designs. A professional designer would be happy to come up with the designs themselves but they will charge you and arm and a leg. It is much cheaper to do everything yourself. Yet you may not be very good at creating a new bathroom design. If so, you may wonder “Where can I get bathroom remodeling ideas?” Here are a few sources for you to check out.
Home Improvement Stores
Since the mid 1990’s, home improvement stores have risen in popularity. More and more people want to do their own repairs and remodeling because not only is it cheaper than hiring a contractor but it also gives you more control over how the work is done. Home improvement stores have a large inventory of fixtures and accessories suitable for the bathroom. All you have to do is browse through the aisles and you can get your ideas from the products that are displayed. Also, there are usually brochures around the store that feature various products. You can find everything you need in a home improvement store from cabinets, storage shelves, paint, mirrors, fans, fixtures, sinks, and tubs. A home improvement store will also give you different price ranges to set your budget.
Magazines And Books
There are tons of publications out on the newsstands and magazine racks that deal solely with home remodel. There are many magazines that deal with home and bathroom decorations and remodeling. The detail that they go into varies depending on the magazine. Some of these magazines cover just finished bathrooms that are completely decorated. Most of these showcased bathrooms are unique but you can still get lots of good ideas. Other magazines go into more detail about how to do a remodel project.
If you want to look at some good books on remodeling bathrooms, you can find plenty of material at bookstores and libraries. They have several subjects that cover everything from design to the more technical part of installation and repair. There are lots of do-it-yourself guides that get published every year.
The Internet has been a huge source of information and ideas for remodeling projects. There are numerous sites with tips, techniques, floor plans, and photo references. You can check out websites that give detailed accounts of other people’s bathroom projects. You can also go to manufacturer websites and browse through their online stores to get ideas. Do a search for bathroom remodel ideas and click on some of the sites that come up. There are many do-it-yourself sites that have forums where people who are remodeling their bathrooms can post questions and advice for others.
Building Expos and Shows
Building expos that showcase new materials and products are a great source of ideas. This gives you the chance to see the latest models of products, the newest construction methods, and new designs in fixtures, appliances, and accessories. One big advantage of going to a building show or expo is that you can talk to sales representatives from all the various manufacturers. This gives you a great opportunity to talk one on one with them if you have any questions or concerns about their products.
Friends and Family
Chances are there is someone in your family that is either in the middle of a bathroom remodel or have completed one in the recent past. This is a good chance to talk to someone who has gone through all the problems that you are going through in fixing up the old bathroom. You can take a look at what they are doing or have done and really pick their brain on how they did it.
Having a clean bathroom is important for many reasons, the first being that a clean bathroom is much healthier. Due to the nature of a bathroom, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria, molds, mildew, and other nasty microorganisms. A clean bathroom is also important because it is much more pleasant to look at. You are not tripping over dirty clothes or used towels and you won’t be embarrassed when a guest has to use it. But having a clean bathroom can be a lot of work even with today’s cleaners.
Whether you clean the bathroom once a week or once a day, you still need to be sure to do a thorough job. What if you have rarely (or never) cleaned the bathroom? What are some bathroom cleaning tips? Where do you start? It is not difficult to do. All you need is a little perseverance, the right cleaners, and a good pair of rubber gloves.
Cleaning The Toilet
A good place to start is cleaning the toilet. Yes, we all know what goes on there so it is very important that you clean it thoroughly. Otherwise, it is the likeliest place for harmful bacteria such as staff to develop. You can get a toilet cleaning solution to spray inside the bowl. Most of them you will want to leave for fifteen to thirty minutes to give it enough time to do its job. After letting it soak in the bowl, take your brush and scrub it around, making sure to get underneath that lip and down in the drain. If your toilet has hard water stains around the edge of the water line, you can pour vinegar in the bowl and let it sit for an hour. If the stains are persistent, try using a block of pumice to get rid of them.
For the outside of the toilet, use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe down every inch of the porcelain. Pay attention to those spots that tend to get dirtier than the rest such as the top of the lip and on top of and behind the seat. Also be sure to clean the base of the toilet near the floor. I know it is not the most pleasant thing to do but it is very necessary.
Cleaning The Bathroom Sink
Now that the really dirty part is over, you can move on to cleaning the bathroom sink. This is another good spot for bacteria to collect. For the basics, you can spray down the counter top and sink with a good bathroom disinfectant and wipe it down. If you have soap scum and old toothpaste that has collected in the sink, you can remove it by using a stiff plastic scrubby that you would normally use to remove food particles from dirty dishes.
Sometimes you get this gray funk at the base of the faucet particularly around the knobs. You know what I am talking about. It won’t come off with just regular wiping. There are two ways you can remove it. You can try scrubbing it with an old toothbrush and warm water or you can use a razor blade and gently scrap it off. Once you get it off, be sure you wipe down the area.
The mirror above the sink can also get pretty filthy. A thin film can develop on it from all of the moisture in the air, not to mention water from the sink, toothpaste, and streaks from using your hand to wipe it off. Cleaning the mirror is easy. Just use a soft rag or paper towel and a bottle of window cleaner such as Windex.
Cleaning The Tub
The bathtub and shower can be real tricky and take up the most of your time. The problem is the tile that is usually around the tub. Mold and mildew grow in damp areas. There is nothing you can do to change this fact of nature. If you clean your tub and tile on a regular basis it is easy to take care of. But if you only clean it a couple of times a year (if then) that just allows more time for mold and mildew to spread. Then you have a big job on your hands.
To clean the mold from your tile, there are a number of bathroom tile cleaners on the market that you can try. Another method is to use a solution of bleach water. Spray the tile with the bleach solution, wait a while, and then come back and scrub with a tile brush or toothbrush. Be sure that you wear gloves when using any of these cleaning solutions or else it will cause severe skin irritation to your hands.
To prevent your bathtub from developing a build-up of soap scum, you should wipe down the walls with a sponge or squeegee after every use. If the soap scum has already built up and has hardened, then try this trick. Take a dryer sheet, dampen it, and then use it to wipe at the scum. You will find that it will come off much easier than trying to scrape it off. This is also a good techines when cleaning a glass shower door.
Cleaning Everywhere Else
Now you have cleaned all of the major fixtures in your bathroom. So what else is there to clean? Just the floor and some odd accessories. For starters, keep clean towels on the towel rack. If there are any open shelves that need dusting, go ahead and do that with an appropriate duster. Check the bathroom rug to see if there is any mold or mildew that is growing on it. If so, you need to clean it or get a new one. Plastic mats are easy to clean while those fuzzy shag rugs can be thrown in the washer.
Lastly, you should clean the floor in the bathroom. If mildew is growing anywhere on the floor, you need to take care of that using the same methods you used on the bathtub. Then you should mop the floor with a good ratio of warm water and disinfectant floor cleaner. Give the floor time to dry and then you are done.
Your bathroom can be many things. It can be a place of refuge for some relaxation. It can be a reflection of personal style. It can also be a place for bacteria and mold to get together and have a party. No matter how well your bathroom is decorated, if it is not clean it will not look good. When your bathroom is dirty it can be embarrassing and unhealthy. So what is the best way to clean your bathroom? Are there any steps that you should follow? What should you clean first? Here are some steps for the best way to make your bathroom germ-free.
Cleaning Bathroom Advice
By following our cleaning bathroom advice we hope to make bathroom cleaning easy and pain free. Now, before you start scrubbing on those stains, the first thing you will want to do is remove everything from the bathroom that is in the way. This is going to include things like dirty clothes and towels, laundry baskets, hampers, waste basket, and anything else that might get in your way and can be easily removed. If you have a recently remodeled bathroom you’ll want to make sure its clear of dust and debry.
Next thing to do is to dust off surfaces where dirt might collect such as window sills, tops of cabinet, bathroom ventilation fans, and such. Use an appropriate duster and a dust-free spray such as Pledge. If the dust settles on any other surfaces, wipe it off. At the very least, make sure any clumps get to the floor. After you have dusted, sweep the floor clean of any debris such as hair or dust bunnies. You want to do this before you start with the cleaners because if dirt and dust get wet, they are near impossible to sweep up. A regular broom will work but a rubber squeegee broom or dust broom will work better.
Cleaning Bathroom Steps
Now you are ready to start these cleaning bathroom steps.
- The first spot you want to hit is the toilet. This is the worst place in your house for bacteria and viruses to form. Start by pouring a toilet bowl disinfectant into the bowl. If you don’t have any, you can always use a bleach solution. Let the cleaner sit in the toilet for about half an hour so it can disinfect thoroughly. When it is ready, use a toilet brush to scrub the now disinfected water around, making sure to get under the rim. For the outside of the toilet, wipe it down using a rag and a disinfectant cleaner.
- Next comes the bathtub. There are a number of different cleaners that you can use on tubs. For the mold growing on the tile, use a mold and mildew cleaner specifically for tile or you can use a solution of bleach and water. Spray the tile down and wait a few minutes. Then come back and scrub at it with a tile brush or toothbrush. A toothbrush will get into the grout better but a tile brush covers a wider area. For cleaning the tub, you can use a heavy-duty sponge and appropriate cleaner. There is even some products for removing built-up soap scum. If you have any hair down at the drain area, use a paper towel to remove that. If your tub as any rust stains or lime built up, a regular cleaner will not take care of those. You will need to get special cleaners for removing bathtub rust stains and lime. Once the tub is clean, turn on the faucet or shower head and rinse it out thoroughly.
- When cleaning the sink and counter area, you can use the same cleaning product you used on the tub but be careful because it is harder to rinse the soap off a counter. Using a sponge, scrub all the soap scum and tooth paste off the sink and from around the faucet. You should rinse often to keep from spreading the toothpaste and scum around. A toothbrush or cotton swabs can be useful for getting that funk out from between the faucet and handles. Once the sink and counter are clean, run water down the sink to clean it out then rinse your sponge thoroughly and wipe everything down.
- If you feel that it is necessary (like your bathroom is really dirty) you may want to disinfect other surfaces such as the windowsill, countertops, cabinet doors and handles, and any other exposed areas. You can use a general disinfectant such as Lysol to clean the spots and the wipe them down with a soft rag or paper towel.
- After everything else has been done, you need to mop the floor. Use a bucket of hot water and disinfectant cleanser like Pine-Sol or that bald guy. Mop the entire floor and then wait to dry. When you can safely step back in the bathroom without risk of falling, move all of the stuff back in there that you removed earlier.
Some Important Tips
Don’t forget the bath mat and shower curtain. If you have a plastic bath mat, you can soak it is a bleach solution either in the bathtub or a bucket to get rid of mold and mildew. Afterwards rinse it off thoroughly. To clean the shower curtain, the same bleach solution will work or you can use the same stuff you used on your bathtub. Also, we have an entire article dedicated to cleaning glass shower doors.
Never, ever use steel wool to clean bathroom fixtures. Steel wool will take off the finish from both porcelain and fiberglass fixtures.
Always wear gloves to clean your bathroom but not the same gloves you use in your kitchen. If you use the same gloves, you run the risk of spreading germs and bacteria into your kitchen.
Cleaners that remove calcium and lime build-up can also be used on your shower head. Spray a little of the cleaner on your shower head once or twice a week to keep down lime build-up and to maintain water pressure.
For more information about the best way to clean your bathroom, see:
We’ve all seen those old cartoons where the mad inventor is asleep in his bed and when his alarm clock goes off, the giant robot hands pull him out of bed, brush his teeth, fix his breakfast, and send him out the door. That is a form of home automation and it was pretty cool and somewhat farfetched at the time. But in today’s homes, automation is not just a concept for the future. It is actually being used widely right now and there is a lot more being automated than you might think.
What is home automation? The basic idea of home automation is elements of your home that are controlled by preprogrammed monitors and/or remote control. These functions operate automatically without us having to oversee every single task. Home automaton makes our lives simpler, frees us up from having to take care of simple tasks, and with the right systems it also protects us. But what elements of your home can you automate? Well, you can control practically anything in your house with the right set-up. Some of it is for entertainment, some for maintenance, and some for security purposes. Below is how you can set your house up with automation.
How Do I Automate My Home
There are a lot of different systems that can be installed by many different professionals. Some systems are simpler than others and can cost several hundred dollars while others are more advanced and can run you well up into the thousands. The most common automated systems control lighting, security, home entertainment, environment, communications, irrigation, and kitchen.
Lighting – Lighting is one of the most common forms of home automation. Lights can be automatically turned on or off by a remote or they can be programmed to be turned on or off at a certain time. For instance, when you get up in the morning, a timer can automatically turn on the lights in the kitchen or bathroom. You can also have dimmers installed that are remote controlled from anywhere in the house. Automated shades and draperies can even be remotely drawn and pulled back to add more light to a room. If you have a sunroom, there are panels that you can have installed in the ceiling that are automated to either close or draw back to control the amount of natural light.
Security – This is another popular form of home automation. There are many different types of security systems but all are automated. This could be anything simple such as an alarm that goes off automatically if your home is broken into or if the right password is not entered. Other systems may include motion sensors, heat sensors, or fingerprint scans (although that may be a little too secure for most homes, the technology is available). There are even some systems that let you lock and unlock the front door by remote.
Home Entertainment – With the popularity and affordability of home theater systems it is natural that you would want to automate your home’s entertainment. A common way to do this is to have everything from your television, stereo, and dvd player operated by remote. You can turn them on or off, adjust volume, switch channels, or pause and fast-forward through a movie. And you never have to get up from the couch to do it.
Environment – This is a type of home automation that no one really thinks about anymore but if it wasn’t for it, we would constantly be adjusting our thermostats. When the temperature in your home gets above or below a specific number, the thermostat will automatically trigger the house’s heating and cooling system. Electronic thermostats can be programmed to adjust themselves during specific times of the day. They can automatically adjust to save on energy when no one is home. You can also control them by remote from another room or even by using your cell phone.
Communications – Home phones are now more automated than ever before. They practically do all the work for you. You can store numbers in them to speed dial. If you get a busy signal, you can program your phone to keep dialing every few minutes. Phones have services such as Caller ID, Call Block, and automated Voice Mail. Some phones can even be used to issue voice commands.
Irrigation – Probably the most common method of home automation is automatic lawn sprinklers. These save you a tremendous amount of time because you do not have to pull a garden hose around with a sprinkler attached to it in order to water your yard. A fully automated sprinkler system can be programmed to come on during certain times of the day (or night) and run for a designated period before shutting off. They even pop up out of the ground and then disappear when they are finished, making your lawn more visually pleasing.
Kitchen – All I can say is thank you for automated coffee makers. These wonderful devices have saved me many precious minutes each morning as I try to cope with waking up and getting ready for work. They can be set up the night before to come on at a specific time in the morning so that by the time you come trudging into the kitchen, there is a hot cup of coffee waiting for you.
Finding the best way to ventilate an attic in your home can become a real thermal nightmare. Attics can be the site for excessive heat build-up which can lead to many problems such as increased levels of moisture, damage to the structure and roofing materials, and a higher energy bill. Luckily, with today’s building technology, these problems can be avoided by proper attic ventilation. By ventilating your attic, you can reduce mold and mildew in your home, protect your shingles, and be much more energy conservative. There are several ways to add ventilation to your attic. Some of them are simple while others are complex and costly. You can do it yourself if you are fairly familiar with basic carpentry and how to install roofing materials. Otherwise, you had better call in a professional or risk having a big hole in your roof. We’ve also written an article abotu attic radiant barriers for those interested in keeping the heat out without ventilation. But what is the best way to ventilate an attic? Here is the best system that you can install.
Attic Ventilation Systems
It is important to make sure that your attic gets enough ventilation. Current building codes state that for non-powered attic ventilation systems, you should have 1 square foot of ventilation, or net free area, for every 150 square feet of attic floor space. If your attic operates on a system where the intake vents are separate from the exhaust vents, then you need a minimum of 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic floor space.
The best form of attic ventilation for your home is a balanced system where the intake vents are separate from the exhaust vents. For this kind of system you need soffit vents and ridge vents. Soffit vents are intake vents located under the outside eaves of your home. Ridge vents are the exhaust vents that are located along the ridgeline of your roof. The system operates on the simple principle that hot air rises. The air pushes up into the attic through the soffit vents and out through the ridge vents, providing a continuous flow. This way cool, dry air will replace hot, moist air. You need to make sure that you provide enough soffit vents for this to work properly.
When using this system, there are some things you must do to make it work properly. If you have gable vents, they should be closed as they can interfere with the continuous flow between soffit and ridge vents. The same goes for any power fans. If there is a fan in your attic, you should disconnect it (or just never turn it on) because it could actually cause a reverse in the airflow. Also, some people have tried installing ridge vents on the hips of their roofs. If installed this way, ridge vents are prone to leaking during bad weather. Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure you use the proper vents in the right areas. If you try to use roof louvers or other types of static vents near the eaves, this could interfere with proper air flow.
There are some disadvantages to a soffit and ridge vent system. The most important is to make sure you have enough soffit vents. You cannot have too many. It won’t hurt your attic at all if you have more intake air than you really need. But soffit vents tend to get clogged up very easily. Depending on the brand and manufacturer, soffit vents get perforated by either rolling, lancing, or punching. Punched soffit vents work best because the metal for the holes has been completely removed which allows more freedom for the air to flow and debris to pass through. If the vent has been rolled or lanced, the metal has merely been moved aside and can easily catch debris and trash which will clog up the vent.
Another problem with soffit vents is in the installation and painting. If they are not installed correctly in the eaves, they won’t function at all. Some people have installed them for merely cosmetic purposes. This leaves a solid piece of plywood behind the vent which pretty much makes it useless. When it comes to painting the eaves under your house, the holes in a soffit vent can easily get covered and sealed off by paint.
Other Attic Vents
Although a soffit and ridge attic vents are probably best sytems for your home, there are some other types of venting systems that you can try out.
- Turbine Ventilation – This type of ventilation system uses a fan to pull cool air into your attic and push hot air out. Turbine fans work really well but there are two drawbacks. One is that they take a lot of electricity in order to run so you are adding to your energy bill when you use it. The other drawback is that turbine’s require maintenance, especially as they get older.
- Solar Venting – This system is increasingly becoming more popular as it is both economically and environmentally friendly. Solar venting uses the power of the sun to run an electric mote inside the vent. The motor runs all day long and stores the sun’s energy to convert into electricity.
When your attic gets hot, it can really affect your electric bill. The same goes for the winter months if your attic won’t hold the heat. You can practically watch the meter spin. A well insulated attic can help prevent a lot of this but there is one thing you can do to save yourself even more money. You can install a radiant barrier in your attic.
What is a radiant barrier? Well, they are not new. They have actually been around since the 1960’s and were first developed by NASA for use on astronaut spacesuits. They were later used in commercial and residential structures and are a proven way to reduce heat loss. Tests done by the Florida Solar Energy Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratories have proven radiant barriers to be very reliable. But what are the benefits of a radiant barrier in an attic? First, let’s look at what exactly a radiant barrier is and how it works.
What Is A Radiant Barrier
Radiant barriers are reflective materials that are installed inside buildings to reduce heat build up during the summer months and to reduce heat loss during the winter. Their biggest benefit is during the summer when your attic gets so hot. By reflecting the heat back out from the house, radiant barriers can keep the temperature in the attic down which will save you on your monthly electric bill because it saves on the work your air-conditioning has to do. Radiant barriers are used in all types of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
Types of Attic Radiant Barriers
Attic adiant barriers usually consist of a thin sheet or coating of a highly reflective material such as aluminum that is applied to a type of backing. Some types of attic radiant barriers are fiber reinforced to increase the durability and make them easier to handle. The most common type of radiant barrier material is a multi-layer of aluminum foil with a foam-like backing. The radiant barrier comes in a roll, pretty much like a giant roll of foil for your kitchen. If there isn’t a durable backing then the foil will tear easily. Multi-layered foil barriers might use a central layer of foam, plastic bubbles or fiberglass for additional insulating value. This kind of insulation is very effective because it gives your attic protection from both radiant and conductive heat. You can also get foil roof sheathing that acts as a combined decking and radiant barrier.
How Does A Radiant Barrier Work
The reason your electric bill goes up is because when the roof gets very hot it radiates solar heat down into the attic insulation. During particularly hot days, solar energy is absorbed by the roof which heats the roof sheathing. This causes the underside of the sheathing and the roof framing to radiate heat downward toward the attic floor. Conventional attic insulation such as fiberglass, foam, and cellulose reduce this heat transfer by trapping warm air. The problem with this is as the heat trapped in conventional insulation during the day will radiate down through the ceiling and into your living space at night even after the outside air has cooled down. This means you will have to run your air-conditioner at night which wastes energy.
A radiant barrier works by reducing the amount of solar heat that gets through the roof and build sup in the attic. An aluminum foil barrier will block up to 97 percent of this heat from reaching the insulation and thus radiating into the air-conditioned living space below. Radiant barriers can be placed on the underside of the roof deck or you can even place it directly on top of the conventional insulation on the floor.
All of this works out to give you several benefits. The most important, as stated, is to reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home. Another benefit of radiant barriers is they increase the comfort level of your home because you are not sweating or freezing. Radiant barriers also help the environment by making your home more energy efficient. Also, these barriers can help protect your attic from damage caused by high levels of heat.
How Is A Radiant Barrier Installed
Radiant barriers can be installed in your attic in several different ways. Since the barrier comes in a large roll, the easiest thing to do is to lay it directly on top of existing attic insulation which is on the floor. You want to make sure that you lay it with the reflective side up. Another way to install a radiant barrier is to attach it near the roof. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One way is to attach the radiant barrier to the bottom surfaces of the attic truss chords or rafter framing. Another way is to attach the radiant barrier directly to the underside of the roof deck which usually has no insulation. You will want to put the reflective side towards the roof. If your house is in the process of being built, you can put the radiant barrier over the tops of the rafters before the roof deck is nailed down.
Summers can be brutally hot months. If it wasn’t for Willis Haviland Carrier, we would all be sweating indoors to this day. Who is Willis Haviland Carrier? He is the engineering genius who invented and patented the first working conventional air conditioner. No, this is not an article about Willis Haviland Carrier but instead about his wonderfully cooling invention, the air conditioner. The first conventional air conditioner appeared on the market in 1902 and was an immediate hit in the business sector such as industrial warehouses and production plants that were normally sweltering boxes. It wasn’t until around 1928 before air conditioners were available for residential use. Before that, people flocked to department stores and movie theaters to cool off.
Have you ever had the a/c go out in your home or car? It really makes you appreciate the mechanics of pumping cool air all that much more. A few things have changed over the years but the basic principles behind air conditioners have remained the same. But how do air conditioners work? Let’s take a look at the basic system.
Basic Idea of Air Conditioners
An air conditioner is like a refrigerator with a big fan. It uses a gas called freon which is used for various refrigeration purposes as well as a propellant in aerosols. Air conditioners take warm air and make it cooler by using an evaporation process. Then a fan pushed the newly cooled air out into an area. That is basically how it works. Now let’s take a closer look.
Principles Of Hot Air
Air conditioners work by moving heat around. In a central air conditioning system, there are three separate stations. The first station is responsible for extracting heat from the air. The next two stations disburse heat into the outside air. Heat moves easily from place to place, especially if there is a difference in the temperatures. Hot air will readily move into an area where the temperature is cooler. And the bigger the difference in the temperature, the faster the hot air will move. Have you ever opened your car door in the summer? It feels like a blast of heat hitting you right in the face. That is because the air inside is much hotter than the outside air and so it moves quickly out through the door.
How Freon Works
The chemical refrigerant freon has a much lower boil point than water. It doesn’t require a lot of heat for it to boil. An air conditioner contains a set of small pipes that hold the liquid refrigerant. As warm air that comes through the return vent blows across these pipes, the heat from the air is transferred into the liquid refrigerant, which causes it to boil. As it boils it changes into a gas. A basic law of physics is that when a liquid boils and changes into a gas, the gas takes the heat with it.
How Air Conditioners Create Cold Air
When the thermostat tells the air conditioner that the surrounding air is getting too warm, the compressor comes on and starts pumping. It compresses a refrigerant gas, causing it to become a hotter. Next, this hot gas is pushed to the condenser. There the hot gas flows through a set of coils where it dissipates its heat to the surrounding air which is pushed past the coils by a fan. Once the refrigerant gas cools it then condenses into a liquid. Next the liquid flows through the capillary tube. While in the tube, the liquid refrigerant evaporates to become a cold, low-pressure gas. This cold gas flows through a set of evaporator coils which allows the gas to absorb heat. This process cools down the air that passes over the coils, and then a fan pushes this cold air into the room to cool it off.
When warm, moist air blows over these coils, condensation forms which drips down and flows through a tube. This water goes back into the unit and can be used by the condenser coil fan to help cool down the hot condenser coils. This can help to keep humidity levels down in your house.
As the room cools down, the thermostat will measure the temperature. Once the temperature gets below the setting on the thermostat, it sends a signal to the air conditioner and the compressor shuts off. In some cases the fan may continue to run while the compressor is off. When the room temperature rises above the thermostat setting, then the process begins all over again.
People who suffer from allergies and asthma know how important it is to have clean air. This can be tricky with today’s environmental issues. Between pollution and rising levels of pollen and other allergens, finding a clean patch of air to breathe can be a real chore. It is no wonder that so many people are trying to improve the air in their homes and offices. One way to do this is to use air purifiers.
Air purifiers clean the air of impurities and airborne irritants. They can filter out smoke, mold, pollen, pet dander, and some viruses which can irritate and damage your lungs and immune system. These days, with all of the chemicals and materials used in homes, plus the addition of pets, a home’s air can contain more pollutants than the outside air. Using air filters can reduce the amount of irritants and toxins in the air. But how? How do air purifiers work? What are some types of air purifiers on the market today? Let’s review them.
Types of Air Purifiers
There are several types of air purifiers and each one works using different methods. The different types are air filters, electric static purifiers, ionic purifiers, ozone generators, absorbant purifiers, and UV light purifiers.
This type of air purifier uses a filter to pass the air through and remove particles and pollutants. These filters are usually found in a house’s central air system. There is a filter placed between the furnace or unit and the ductwork that runs through the rest of the house. Not only does this remove contaminants from the air, it also prevents damage to the furnace due to the build-up of dirt. You can also put a filter in the return duct that flows back into the unit. Pleated filters are the best for air systems. The drawback to only using the filter in your air conditioning system is that it only stops particles that are 10 microns or larger. A micron is the unit of measure for air particles. You can’t see anything smaller than 10 microns so most bacteria and pollutants go unnoticed.
For a better filtering system, you’d better use an air purifier. Using the same filtering principles, there are air purifiers that use various filters to clean the surrounding air. The finer the filter, the smaller the particles it is able to trap. There is a standard benchmark for air filters set by the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. These filters are guaranteed to trap 99.97% of airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns. HEPA filters can remove very small allergens such as dust, smoke, chemicals, asbestos, pollen, and pet dander. The more times the air passes through the HEPA filter, the cleaner the air is that comes out.
Electric Static Purifiers
Another type of purifier is one that relies on electrical static to trap particles.
It does this by one of two methods. In the first method, electrostatic purifiers are able to draw air in using a fan and then charge the particles with a series of electrical wires. Inside are several plates that carry the opposite charge. These plates attract the contaminants as they pass and cause them to stick to the plates. The second method involves the air passing through synthetic fibers that cause a static charge similar to rubbing your feet on the carpet. Particles then stick to the fiber. In either method, only clean air passes out through the purifier. The benefit of electric static purifiers is that you don’t have to buy new filters periodically and hassle with changing them out.
Ionic purifiers use a process called corona discharge which is a small but intense electrical field. The corona discharge creates charged molecules called ions. As air passes through the purifier, particles will stick to ions, causing them to get heavier and thus can’t pass through the filter. Particles such as dust are more likely to be ionized because they are larger and easier for the ions to stick to. Ionic purifiers are only effective against certain particles and pollutants. They have not been very effective against trapping gasses, chemicals, or odors. In some cases, the ionozed particles are released back into the air where they settle on furnishings.
An ozone generator works much like an ionizing purifier. An ozone generator uses elctricity to convert oxygen and turn it into ozone.
These types of purifiers are advertised to deodorize and disinfect the air. There is also some claim that there are health benefits from ozone purifiers. However, this is a point that is beign debated. Ozone is also known to be a toxic gas and there have been some reported health problems from people using an ozone purifier. Ozone at ground level can act as an irritant to your lungs. Ozone also oxidizes metals and causes corrosion.
There are some purifiers that use an absorbant matrial to clean the air of odors, chemicals, and pollutants. The most common adsorbent is activated charcoal. Charcoal is very porous and can easilly trap other particles. Larger particles are simply stuck in the many pores in the charcoal while an electrostatic charge draws smaller particles into the pores. The drawback to this type of purifier is that there are some chemicals that react to charcoal.
This last type of air purifier is different from the others because it does not use an electrical charge to attract particles (which can help you lower your electric bill). These air purifiers use a UV light that bathes the air as it passes through the purifier. Ultraviolet light can render many micro-organisms such as bacteria and active mold hamrless. By pushing air through the UV light, it can eliminate many viruses and diseases.
An ionic air cleaner or air ioniser is a device using high voltage electrical charges to ionise air molecules. Ionization converts an atom or molecule into an ion (an atom or molecule which is either missing or has extra electrons). This gives the particle a charge (creating an electrode), which is supposed to attract other free-floating particles in the air, much like static electricity. Dust particles seek earthed conductors, which might be the walls or ceilings in your room, or might be a device attached to your ionic air purifier.
Do not confuse ionic air cleaners with ozone generators, even though both are used for similar purposes. Ozone generators collect oxygen ions to form O2 molecules. Ozone can be toxic to air-borne bacteria, so an ozone generator can kill some infectious germs in the air. Unfortunately, these levels are also toxic to humans and animals in your house, and there the FDA has taken actions to stop ozone therapy for these reasons. Even ionizers produce certain amounts of ozone, so if you use an ionizer in your bedroom at night, avoid placing it too close to your head, because you may be breathing in toxic particles if you do so.
Consumers Reports vs. Sharper Image
Consumer Reports wrote an article claiming that ionic air cleaners sold at The Sharper Image and similar stores were dangerous due to ozone particles, and furthermore did not do their job of cleaning the air (except when used in combination with a fan unit to move the air being ionized). Sharper Image sued Consumer Reports for defamation, and their products were later shown to be within the FDA-regulated ozone limits and to use the aforementioned fan units. Because Sharper Image could not prove that Consumer Reports statements were false, though, the court case was struck out by a California judge (defamation is hard to prove).
How To Build Ionic Air Cleaners
When building your own ionic air cleaners, you have to ask what is an ionic air cleaner (or what makes an ionizer) and collect the essential parts. In this case, you need an ionizing motor, which is 90% of what you need to have an ionizing air purifier. You’ll also need a fan to run air through the air cleaner, to make certain ozone particle levels don’t build up in one area in an unsafe amount. I would also suggest adding an earthed conductor strip to collect dust particles more efficiently.
Remember, if you have an ionic conductor, you will need to clean it regularly. If not (or even in case you do), remember to clean the walls and ceilings of your house regularly, to remove dust particles that collect there. Keep in mind that ionic air cleaners charge particles and they find a conducting surface nearby, so dust will collect on your walls and ceilings when you use an ioniser.
What is an ionic air cleaner and do they work?
Finally, you might be asking if you ionizer actually helps you collect dust particles or not. Many scientists (and the people at Consumer Reports) say that ionizers don’t have an appreciable effect on the air of your home, while they may introduce greater levels of toxic ozone into your house. I personally have used an ionizer before, and I felt like the device worked when I washed it regularly and kept it functioning properly, but after reading further about ionizers, that may well have been a placebo effect.
A more important way to help your allergies is to keep your house free of dust particles. This means dusting your rooms regularly (once a week), while also vacuuming your carpets regularly (once again, once a week). Vacuuming frequently is probably the single best way to rid your house of dust particles and dust mites, because these things collect in huge quantities in your carpets.
Also, change the sheets in your beds frequently (at least once per week), while you should change the pillows you use at least every two years. Dust mites collect in pillows at a high rate, so your head will be sleeping on a dust-filled pillow if you do not.
One more step many people forget is to dust and vacuum under your bed as frequently as possible. The underside of your bed naturally collects huge amounts of dust, so if you don’t clean these particles out frequently, you’ll have a greatly increased amount of dust in your bedroom as you sleep.
Follow the above steps to keep dust particles and dust mites out of your living area and you’ll do wonders for your allergies. And if you want to top that off with an ionic air cleaner just to make yourself feel better, then I’m not going to stop you. Just keep it on the other side of the room, so you don’t breathe in the ozone it’s producing as you sleep.
How to install an air conditioner will depend on the type you have or the type you decide to buy. This year, instead of waiting until it gets so hot you can’t stand it, install an air conditioner while the weather is still mild. Lugging that big box out of the attic or home from the store in 100 degree temperatures is nobody’s idea of a good time. By getting it done early, you can relax and enjoy the cool air inside when temperatures soar outside.
It is important to measure the space you are cooling to ensure the unit you have is adequate to do the job. An air conditioner that is too small will never give you the comfortable temperatures you want and will cost you a fortune in cooling costs because it will be running all the time. You should also understand that air conditioners also pull moisture out of the air, dehumidifying the space. If you have an air conditioner that is too small for the room, the air will be cool and clammy. This is no more pleasant than hot and sweaty, so get the right air conditioner for the job.
Calculating Square Footage
When measuring the space for your air conditioner, understand that you will need about 12,000 BTUs to cool an area of 1,000 square feet. To get the square footage of your space, break up the room into square or rectangular shaped areas that you can measure and then add up. Area is obtained by multiplying the room section’s width by its length. Add up the room sections to come up with your total square footage. If you have high ceilings, add 10 percent to your number.
Luckily, there are websites out there that make it easy to calculate what you need. Once you know your square footage, you can use the Good Housekeeping air condition calculator to determine the right capacity air conditioner. You can also use this very in-depth air conditioner guide at Consumer Reports to help you measure the space and determine the right size air conditioner. Otherwise, you can just do an Internet search for “AC BTU Chart” to look up the right BTUs for your space.
What Kind of Air Conditioner?
The next steps depend on the type of air conditioner you have. Standard window and casement air conditioners need to be lifted and mounted. Portable air conditioners rest on the floor and you only need to install the exhaust pipe into the window.
Window Air Conditioners
The standard window air conditioner is a self-contained unit, made to fit in a standard window that opens by sliding up or down. You can also get a window air conditioner called a casement air conditioner for non-standard windows, such as those that open side-to-side or those that are very narrow.
Choose a Location
Choose a window with an outlet nearby so you can plug in the air conditioner. Also check that the window sill is in good condition to support the unit. Measure the opening (twice!) to be sure you are using an air conditioner that fits properly. You will need these numbers while shopping to make sure you buy one that fits the opening.
Window air conditioners are installed in the window so that they rest on the sill. The unit is supported by brackets attached to the outside of the house or on sill-mounted supports. These brackets hold the air conditioner at a downward-sloping angle so that water can drain out of the unit. All of the hardware you need will be included with a new air conditioner. If you are reinstalling an older unit, check to be sure you still have the old brackets. Otherwise, you will need to run out and get some new ones.
Essentially, you need to install support brackets first. Older units will have brackets that are installed on the exterior of the house, just below the window. Your unit might also have sill supports that the unit can rest on. In either case, you will need to adjust the angle of the brackets once they are installed to make sure the air conditioner drains properly once it is installed.
The next step is the hardest part, especially if you have a large unit. You will need to open the window as wide as it will go and lift the air conditioner into place. Get help for this part of the job, even if the air conditioner is relatively light. Many air conditioners have been dropped and destroyed by those trying to do the job themselves. Not only this, a dropped air conditioner could seriously injure anyone unlucky enough to be walking underneath at the time.
Once the air conditioner is in place, it will catch on the brackets. Hold onto the unit and pull the sash down onto the unit. You then need to screw the air conditioner into the sill of the window. If you have lost these screws, go get new ones! This is an important safety feature. Many a sleepy wanderer has opened a window in the dark only to hear a loud crash below as the air conditioner falls from the window.
Once the air conditioner is secured with screws, pull out the extension on either side of the unit. Place foam insulating strips along any gaps. You should also take the time to caulk around the unit outside. Many homeowners skip this step, wasting a lot of money on cooling costs.
Portable Air Conditioners
Gaining in popularity over the last few years, portable air conditioners are units that remain on the floor within a space and can often be rolled on wheels. These units operate like small refrigerators and dehumidifiers, built into one unit. Like a dehumidifier, the unit will need to be emptied periodically as it fills up with water. Unfortunately, these units do not cool as well as window air conditioners and often need to be purchased at double the capacity in BTUs. The units with two hoses often perform better.
Portable units are more expensive than window air conditioners, but they are easier for a single person to install and offer more flexibility for installation. These units can be installed almost anywhere. You only need to install the two vent hoses in a window so that one can draw in air and the other can vent it. You only need to install a plastic kit along the window sill and hooking up the hoses.
Want some great 4th of July Party Ideas? Here is a little something for everyone. You can plan a classic 4th of July cocktail party, a family picnic or a romantic red, white and blue getaway for two. No matter how you want to celebrate, there are simple ways to make this 4th the one you remember for the rest of your life.
Have a Classic Fourth
The Aussie’s aren’t the only ones who can lay claim to the barbeque. We Americans have developed quite a flair for it as well. Hamburgers and hotdogs are true American fare you must have at your Classic 4th of July cocktail celebration. Barbeque chicken wings are another favorite on the fourth. Don’t spend too much on decorations at this type of gathering; just get some fun plates, napkins and plastic ware at the local dollar store.
4th of July Cocktails
Nothing makes a back yard barbeque more fun than cocktails. You can have some fun making red, white and blue drinks. Here are some great drink ideas for your party.
Cosmopolitan (lemon vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice)
Angle (Grand Marnier Rouge, white rum, orange juice, cranberry juice)
Pina Colada (pineapple juice, rum, coconut cream, crushed ice)
White Lady (gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, raw egg white)
Electric Martini (Blue Curacao, vodka, sweet & sour mix)
Blue Hawaii (rum, pineapple juice, Blue Curacao)
Red, White and Blue Shots
You can also wow them with a fun little shot glass drink that is red white and blue. As it turns out, schnapps will float on grenadine and Blue Curacao will float on top of the schnapps. While you can choose any flavor schnapps you prefer, you may be best to go with vanilla. You need one part of each to make this drink. Pour one part grenadine, then slowly add one part vanilla schnapps so they do not mix. Then top it off slowly with one part Blue Curacao. Now you have a red, white and blue shot!
4th of July Family Picnic
A family Fourth of July celebration means clean, fun activities for the kids and smiles all around. Before going out to the fireworks, have a family picnic on the lawn while it is still light outside. Food and fun are the most important aspects in this celebration.
Lay out the picnic on a large blanket, or use a few if you want to spread out. Use patriotic colored blankets if you have them. Get out the kids’ red Flyer wagon to keep all the utensils, plates, and cups until you need them. Use a cooler as a tabletop for food. Place a bucket full of ice and drinks for everyone to enjoy. The idea here is to have everything low to the ground and easily accessible to the kids and parents. This gives everyone a chance to relax on the lawn and enjoy themselves.
You will have the most fun if you prepare foods that are quick and easy. Just steam some hotdogs for the kids and put some blueberries and strawberries on the side. Have red, white and blue ice cream rockets for dessert. Red and blue drinks make the perfect accompaniment. Sit down and eat with the kids and talk about the anticipated fireworks.
After dinner, have some fun with a red white and blue water balloon toss. Get some silly dress-up items like wigs, hats and costume dresses. Let the kids parade their costumes for you. You can also arrange for a scavenger hunt, preparing a list of patriotic items you have left around the yard that the kids can wear later to the fireworks. Things like Uncle Sam hats and glow sticks make ideal scavenger hunt items for kids on the Fourth of July. You can also let the kids decorate each other with streamers, ribbons and balloons for a ton of giggly fun.
Red, White and Blue Just for Two
Want to celebrate without the kids? Nothing says “I love you” like forgoing public celebrations to spend the 4th of July with your partner. If you can find a secluded place where the fireworks are still visible, that is the ideal setting. If not, you can always make your own romantic fireworks when the two of you have some quiet time to yourselves.
Even in a romantic setting, the celebration should be taken outside. You will at least be able to hear the fireworks in the background, which adds a sense of excitement to the evening. Dress for romance in comfortable, but classy clothing. She may want to wear a simple white or red dress. He may prefer slacks and a blue button down shirt. Take the time to look your best, but be sure you will be comfortable outdoors.
Pull out your best lawn furniture, our go get some older furniture that you can bring out onto the lawn.
Set up an outside room, complete with dining table and chairs, sofa, end tables and lighting. Cover tables with fine linens. Use plastic sliders under the feet of the furniture so the moisture from the ground does not damage them. You can also cover the sofa with a white cotton bed cover. Throw on a few red white and blue pillows for comfort. Use a thick wool blanket or a comforter as a “carpet” so the two of you can lie down and look up at the stars or fireworks after dinner.
Small white Christmas lights provide just the right amount of lighting for a romantic evening. Place red white and blue carnations in a vase at the dinner table. Use pillar candles or another candle centerpiece for the end tables. Bring all the romantic tricks you use indoors to the outdoors for an exciting and romantic hideaway.
One of these 4th of July party ideas is sure to make a memorable holiday for you. Whether you want to kick back with your friends, have some family fun or let someone special know how much you care.
What a gorgeous piece of furniture this is! Ever heard of a Dutailier Glider? Well I just found a company online that offers free shipping on this beautiful Glider with Open Base and Ottoman.
Dutailier seems to know what producing quality is all about.
These wooden rocking chairs showcase a combination of design, comfort, and practicality. You could also say this ottoman and glider combo provides the appeal and sophistication that is hard to find these days.
The Dutailier glider’s ergonomically constructed frame will pamper you. This stunningly stylish and comfortable glider will provide the ultimate sitting experience, letting you to kick back, relax, and glide your tensions away.
The Ultimate Sitting Experience
Some might say they provide the “Ultimate sitting experience”. That is a bold statement, I know. But to my eye they are more than simply gliders. I have found that all of the Dutailier gliders contain many features that say, yes, we are committed to providing you with maximum comfort.
Take the Dutailier’s Juvenile Glider with Open Base and Ottoman, for instance. It does not rely solely on its smooth gliding action. No, this glider also features reclining, swiveling, and multi-positional locking options.
Support For Tight Joints
No matter if this glider is reclining on an angle or swiveling on a 360-degree axis, your comfort is guaranteed. But we cannot forget to mention the chair’s impressive design. The Juvenile glider’s frame was constructed with your body shape in mind. For instance, the glider’s ergonomic design and high compression level foam will add comfort and support to those high-tension pressure points, such as the lower back and neck.
Yes, because of the Juvenile Glider’s superior lumbar support and all of those customizable options, there can be little doubt that the Dutailier Juvenile Glider does provide the “ultimate” design for supporting the whole body.
But one needs to ask, does all of this talk about comfort may mean the Dutailier 211 Juvenile Glider offers little in the way of good design? From my perspective, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the Dutailier’s line of rocking chair gliders make stylish fit for just about any room in the house. Do you need a nice leather chair for the living room or den? Then any number of these chairs would make a great a choice.
And if you are looking for an inviting and friendly fabric choice, then you you won’t be disappointed either. In fact one model that comes to mind is the The Juvenile Glider, which is available seventy-eight different fabric options. If you check out this glider you are sure to find one that reflects your style and taste. So, check out the Dutailier 211 Juvenile Glider. It could be the perfect choice.
About the Author:
Melissa Cameron enjoys scrap-booking and writing. She is a full-time freelance writer who researches online while alternating between two of her favorite rocking chairs. Working online allows her to work at home and be close to her family. She loves to learn new things to write about interesting products, so much so that her husband calls her a “Walking Infomercial”.
Many adults have never heard of a lift chair, especially if they’ve never worked with mobility limited adults before. Some automatically think of a lift chair as a van lift to transport wheelchairs or a chair that lifts people up stairways. On the contrary, lift chairs are chairs that slowly rise and sink in an arching motion to provide comfortable recliners for adults who cannot sit down or stand up comfortably. Such disability is often independent of age and is commonly seen in adults who have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or osteoporosis.
Lift chairs are wonderful because they allow disabled adults to experience full independence and enjoy a recliner like any other adult. The lift chair very slowly rises in an arc, and as it rises, the occupant’s feet meet the floor and are helped to a full standing position. For sitting, all the occupant has to do is lean against the back and chair slowly lowers. This allows the occupant to avoid sitting down heavily (i.e. “falling into” a chair) and this reduces impact on joints and muscles.
Lift chairs also come with many options. Many of them have available massage and heat options, which also serve a healing purpose.
- Massage helps to keep muscles from atrophy and allows occupants to stay in the chair for longer periods of time.
- Heat relaxes joints and helps reduce inflammation. This also increases circulation to an area, which promotes healing.
Many adults often delay getting a lift chair because they’re concerned about how it will look in their living room. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, lift chairs were often very cumbersome and inconvenient. Often they were not available in many fabrics either, making it obvious that the chair was for medicinal use. Today, lift chairs come in all shapes and sizes and are often indiscriminate from regular recliners. Lift chairs can be purchased in leather, fleece, corduroy… you name it, lift chairs can be upholstered in it! Such diversity in design allows mobility limited adults to enjoy a fashionable lift chair in addition to decreased pain for sitting and standing.
Lift chairs come in all shapes and sizes for mobility limited adults. Whether you’re 100 pounds or 500 pounds, a Golden Technologies lift chair is out there to help you reach full independence no matter what disability you have. When you order a customized chair, you are ensuring top quality materials for the size chair you need. You’re also possibly saving money, especially if you need a smaller chair that tends to run less expensively than a standard sized chair. Golden Technologies always creates their chairs right from the get-go. You won’t be unsatisfied with a Golden Technologies lift chair.
Today disabled and mobility challenged adults can find unparalleled independence in the tools and therapies available in the disability assistance industry. Lift chairs are quickly becoming very popular because of their styling, high quality and great assistance to disabled adults. Lift chairs can reduce swelling, inflammation and allow older adults to have an easy time getting in and out of their very own comfortable recliner.
About the Author: Jan Heinen is a chiropractor hailing from Canada and specializes in limited mobility. Visit her website to read about a Golden Technologies lift chair or a Pride Mobility lift chair.
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Home Gallery Stores is a family-owned furniture store who has been in the business of providing quality products at exceptional prices since 1913. Lee Krumbein, who is the current President of the business, is the son to Nathaniel, who helped his father (along with his two brothers), build the company to the impressive success that it is today.
Why Home Gallery Stores Are So Successful
There are many reasons why Home Gallery Stores have remained a top-rated choice for home furnishings for nearly a century. This is a company that started out as a small dream in Goldsboro, North Carolina and quickly became the most popular furniture store in South Carolina and Virginia too. Thanks to the internet and the popularity of online ordering, the entire country can enjoy their stunning pieces and superb customer service.
So, why is Home Gallery Stores still so popular? Lee runs the business the same way his grandfather did so many years ago. The company still only deals with manufacturers who they have a strong relationship with and trust to stand behind their product, regardless if it’s a dining room set, living room furniture or a small piece of wall decor.
Home Gallery Stores guarantees customer satisfaction which is a huge reason why families have continued to make their purchases from them through many generations. They understand how hard consumers work for their money and they want to offer the best deal possible. They are not in the habit of charging double the cost like many other furniture stores do. Quite often, they simply price items just over cost to cover their expenses and that’s it because they want you to get the best deal. In fact, they are so confident in their pricing, product and customer service that they still offer the same money back guarantee they always have.
Home Gallery Stores Products
From entertainment wall units to cribs, Home Gallery Stores has it all. You’ll find items for every room in your home in styles such as contemporary, traditional, country, coastal, rustic, tropical, and safari. Only the top manufacturers bring you accent chairs, tables, baker’s racks, bar stools, bistro tables, beds, benches, bookcases, china cabinets, sofas, desks, futons, kitchen island carts, recliners, outdoor furniture, tables, room dividers, cribs, changing tables, rugs and a whole lot more. You will even find more than 1,000 American made products!
About the Author
Melissa Cameron is married with two children. She loves digital photography, running, Pilates and spending time with her family. When it came time to buy a few new furniture pieces, they trusted Home Gallery Stores as her parents have in the past and they were incredibly pleased with their shopping experience. Melissa and her husband will continue to ship at Home Gallery Stores in the future.
- Nebraska Furniture Mart Coupons
- Bathroom Furniture
- Storkcraft Furniture for Children
- Rent to Own Furniture
- Crate and Barrel Coupons
- Carolina Cottage Furniture
- Home Gallery Stores
One of the most well-known names in the furniture business today is Sauder Woodworking Co. For over seven decades, they have provided quality pieces that are so moderately-priced that they have become the brand to turn to for anyone on a budget. Primary living spaces, kitchens, offices, nurseries and playrooms all provide the perfect place for their well-made furniture.
Birth of the Company
In 1934, Erie Sauder had nothing more than an eighth grade education and a few tools but he had to find a way to provide for his family as they were just coming out of the Great Depression. Erie and his wife, Leona used a small barn behind their home to set up a small woodworking business. In the beginning, there was no need for home desk office furniture like there is today but there was a need for durable cabinets and chicken crates for local farmers.
By 1937, they were making church furniture and by 1940, they had an order for 25,000 tables that the company had recently started making out of scrap materials from their production of church pews.
A New Era
After a second fire destroyed the business and claimed the death of Erie’s uncle, he was reluctant to rebuild but his wife and staff convinced him to do it one more time. 1951 was a new era for Sauder Woodworking Co. They designed tables that could be packaged and assembled at home without any special tools, a trademark that continues to make them so popular today.
By 1965, Erie’s three sons, Myrl, Maynard and Delma had joined the family business that they were so familiar with, growing up playing in the warehouse from a young age. Then, in 1981, the microwave oven was invented, an appliance that needed a cart, which pushed the popularity of the company to another level.
1993 to Present
One of the most brilliant accomplishments that Erie is known for is his invention to use sawdust from scraps to generate electricity. He had never been one to waste anything and now he really could make use of every bit of raw material the company had.
1994 saw the home computer become the biggest craze. From cabinet-style or corner computer desks, Sauder Woodworking Co. made a product that would fit in every home.
At 92 years old, Erie Sauder passed away on June 29th, 1997. His life exhibited hard work, kindness, dedication, adversity and enthusiasm. He was a man who truly had no enemies. Kevin Sauder, Erie’s grandson, stepped up as the company president in 1999 to continue to run the business the way it was intended.
Today, Sauder Woodworking Co. is still a family owned business. Although it is a huge company, it still runs with the same mom and pop appeal as it always has. Sauder purchased Gruga-Novimex in 2007, an office chair manufacturer and in 2009, they celebrated their 75th anniversary as being a made-in-the USA, authentic furniture company. Sauder Woodworking Co., is available at fine retailers including Office Max, Staples, Lowes, Meijer, Wallmart, Target, Office Depot and Best Buy.
About the Author
Lloyd Burrell operates www.officedeskreviews.com, a website that helps consumers pick the right office furniture for their needs. Considering the 40-hour work week is now closer to 60 and more people are working from home, having a desk that one is comfortable sitting at for an extended period of time is vital. For this very reason Lloyd offers money saving tips and advice for consumers looking to purchase a desk for their home or office.
I stumbled across a nifty little importer of furniture I think you should know about.
Carolina Cottage, by Carolina Chair & Table, has been importing furniture to their Greensboro, North Carolina headquarters for many years. They pride themselves on supplying consumers with timeless designs that are functional yet practical. Their furniture is well constructed, offers exceptional value, and they have many styles and colours to choose from
Designed For Families
Each Carolina Cottage piece is designed for families, couples and young professionals to complement the decor of every room of your home, urban loft, historical residence, mountain home, beach cottage and suburban development.
A Wide Selection To Choose From
Among their many products are dining tables and chairs, indoor rocking chairs, stools, buffet, and occasional tables to name just a few. All come in a wide range of colours and styles. If you are looking for nice designs I think you’ll like what they have. Each style I looked at had clean lines instead of the more decorative pieces seen in many stores today.
Built To Last
The companies stated goal is to manufacture quality furniture that can stand the test of time that comes with busy families today. Although designed for all age groups their main focus developing pieces with appeal to young couples, especially those with children.
I guess it goes without saying that if it’s built to sustain the bumps and bruises inflicted by young children then it will last long enough to be passed along through the generations. So you may want to think of this purchase as an heirloom piece.
Workmanship Is Obvious
The workmanship of the furniture produced by this little Greensboro, North Carolina furniture manufacturer is very obvious once you’ve had a look. I guess the natural beauty of the area inspires their craftsmen to create pieces to that reflect home and family. They only use 100% wood for their products. Maybe this stems from a history of mountain folk who had little choice but to use what was available in the environment.
Eco Friendly Too
Today many companies are doing their part for the environment. Carolina Cottage is aware of their impact on the earth and use methods that will help to preserve the heritage for their children, and grandchildren. As they continue to learn new Eco-friendly techniques their focus is still on great craftsmanship at an affordable price.
If you want to purchase furniture that will last you a lifetime then these people at Carolina Cottage deserve your attention. If I were you I’d take a close look at what they offer.
Melissa Cameron enjoys scrap-booking and writing. She is a full-time freelance writer who researched this article while alternating between two of her favourite wooden rocking chairs. Working online allows her to work at home and be close to her family. She always loves to learn new things to write about interesting products that her husband has recently nicknamed her “The Walking Infomercial”.
Storkcraft is a 60 year old manufacturer of children’s furniture based in British Columbia, Canada. They started as a one man operation working from a suburban garage. Today the name Storkcraft has become a trusted brand worldwide.
Quality Comes First
Storkcraft’s team of engineers and designers employ sophisticated high-tech tools to ensure that they are always at the forefront of the juvenile furniture industry. A commitment to quality runs throughout the organization. Their high standards are internationally recognized and they are members of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. Unmatched craftsmanship and quality are the ultimate difference between Storkcraft baby and child furniture products and others.
Committed To Excellence
Their experienced professional design team prides itself on crafting the best children’s furniture available. Their customer service reps are dedicated and motivated to meet or exceed client expectations. Should you ever have a problem with one of their wooden rocking chairs they have specially trained personnel to assist you.
Built According To Code
Because the Canadian government has some of the the most stringent safety regulations in the world you are assured of high standards. All children’s furniture is JPMA certified (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) and are thereby guaranteed to meet USA and Canadian standards. Additionally Storkcraft uses independent testers to check safety of their products.
Storkcraft is also committed to the continuous introduction of new materials that are friendly to you, your baby and the environment. As an added design feature, many of the Storkcraft baby products are designed and built for other uses as well, such as, toddler beds and twin/double size beds.
State Of The Art Manufacturing
The baby furniture and children’s furniture division relies on state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. All Storkcraft baby products are double-tested for safety and durability by advanced diagnostic equipment.
They are recognized by independent testing laboratories in Canada, USA, England, Australia, Israel as well as the European Community. No other baby furniture manufacturer in the world meets safety standards in so many different countries.
Features of the Storkcraft Glider
- babies love them
- ottomans included
- many styles
Available Models & Prices At CSN Stores
Most gliders retail at around $280 to $310 although sometimes there are specials being offered by CSN stores, which has a wide selection.
We find excellent prices at CSN Stores. And they ship to both Canada and U.S. consumers. However, they often sell out so if you see it in stock at CSN Stores and at a good price it’s definitely worth grabbing.
CSN Stores continuously adds to their distinctive product line of great furniture. Currently they sell glider rockers, beds, chest, dressers and more. Their four furniture lines are Ragazzi Fine Furniture, Status Commercial Furniture, Canwood Furniture, and Storkcraft Furniture.
You might want to give them a close look.
About the Author
Melissa Cameron enjoys scrap-booking and writing. She is a full-time freelance writer who researched this article while sitting in her very own rocking chair. Working online allows her to work at home and be close to her family. She loves to learn new things to write about interesting products that her husband has recently nicknamed her “The Walking Infomercial”.
Where Should I Live?
If you had unlimited money and unlimited resources, where would you live?
Think about it for a second. If you could live anywhere on the planet, regardless of the cost or the hassle it would take to get there, where would it be? For some people, a return to their home country or hometown is ideal. Other people reject the place of their birth in search of new opportunities and experiences. Still others want to live in a certain place because of its creature comforts . . . white sand beaches or easy access to skiing or other winter sports.
The best way to figure out where you should live is to answer the first question I asked–where would you live if money and other concerns were of no object? That’s the place you should live.
The Best Places to Live in the World
Opinions on the best place to live in the world are as numerous as there are places. Every city, no matter how out of the way, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, has its fans.
The United Nations runs an annual report on the “best places in the world to live.” This poll really only takes one thing into account–the standard of living afforded people by a country, as determined by asking people from every country about their standard of living. This annual report has become a list of the best places to live over time, with countries taking a place in the top ten very seriously. Countries are ranked according to life expectancy, literacy rates, school enrollment and economy.
Here is the most recent annual UN report on the best places to live in the world.
Low interest rates offset the sometimes high cost of living in Japan, and even though things like industrial population and population density are a real problem there, a solid economy and many decades of growth after World War II regularly earn Japan a spot in the top ten places to live according to the UN.
The “most competitive economy in the world” means that citizens of Switzerland earn about $90,000 a year on average. Big paychecks, an unemployment rate of just 0.7%, and some of the best schools in the world mean that the Swiss have a lot to love about their home nation.
It just plain costs less to live in France than it does in most other parts of the world. The average wage compared to the cost of living makes for cheap and good living. Widespread unionization and dirt-cheap college tuitions along with a good median income and a prideful population are the reasons that France is on this list.
The longest life expectancy of any country in the world (84 years) and all-encompassing social welfare programs (including drug legalization and gay marriage) combined with a worldwide tradition for neutrality means Sweden will always have a place on this list.
For a country with such a large percentage of its people living below the median income, the Netherlands still makes a strong show when it comes to this UN poll. Yes there are problems in the Netherlands, both political and economic, but a long life span (80.4 years per citizen in the Netherlands) always pushes a country high up on this UN list.
A surprise entry for many people is Ireland–ravaged by economic woes, this small nation in the UK still ranks high because of the love the Irish people have for their home country. A long life expectancy and good job prospects are enough to rank Ireland in the top 5 best places to live according to the UN.
America’s neighbors to the north are usually a bit higher on the list–for many years in the 1990s they held the number one spot. A median income of $63,900 beats out America’s own median by twenty thousand dollars or so, indicating that Canadians are simply doing better financially than Americans. Recent economic and political troubles have earned Canada only the fourth spot on this list, but they are among good company.
Though Iceland’s economy is even rockier than America’s, they still perform well in this poll. People in Iceland still enjoy equivalent income to nations like Canada and the United States, but spend less of it on things like health care which is provided by the government. Icelanders have a healthy understanding of their own history and heritage, which always makes for a happier population.
Australia always performs well in this poll, thanks in large part to a happy populace, but an average household income of nearly $70,000 doesn’t hurt either. To put it short–Australia simply hasn’t had the economic troubles of the rest of the world. With most of the population living with miles of a beautiful shoreline, life in Australia is that much sweeter.
The discovery of offshore gas and oil deposits in the 1960s is really starting to pay off for this Northern European nation. A 37.5 hour work week means more free time for citizens who enjoy the highest pay rates in the world. An average annual income of $38,000 may not sound impressive, but with services like health care and government-sponsored vacations, your money goes much further.
If you’re wondering who came in dead last in this latest poll, the landlocked African nation of Niger is dead last. Any country in which almost everyone faces starvation on a daily basis is sure to rank near the bottom every time.
As for the United States? We placed 13th, a respectable show for a country that is often heavily criticized by the UN for its recent economic woes and large gap between rich and poor.
What Is Solar Power?
Solar power is energy that comes from the Earth’s Sun. When scientists and ecologists speak about harnessing solar energy, they talk about finding technologies that collect solar rays and store that energy, converting it for use in heating homes and energizing the batteries which power everything from cars to flashlights. You might be wondering what “solar rays” are.
What Are Solar Rays?
The Sun produces solar rays through the process of nuclear fusion. The same process which explodes hydrogen bombs also power the vast energies of the stars. Only a tiny fraction of the heat and light put off by the Sun ever hits Earth, but if we could build technologies to harness the solar rays that do reach Earth’s surface, the human race could solve all of our energy needs.
In fact, the Sun already is the source of virtually all of the energy stored on the planet (besides the tiny amount of energy from other stars). This energy is stored in the form of the coal, oil, and natural gas we burn, as well as the calories found in the plants and animals we eat.
The problem is that collecting the energy stored in fossil fuels like coal and petroleum requires whole industries, while the burning of these fossil fuels to release the energy stored creates massive amounts of air and environmental pollution. To be able to catch solar rays and convert it into clean, efficient energy is a much better proposition.
Why Isn’t Solar Power Used More?
So you might be asking why our civilization doesn’t ditch fossil fuels and switch entirely to solar powered technologies. We don’t have the technological advancement yet to harness solar energies as cheaply as we can mine for coal and drill for oil and natural gas. That’s only going to happen when methods of capturing ultraviolet rays and powering our cities and transportation systems get cheaper, or the scarcity of our fossil fuels drive up prices so high that solar power because a feasible alternative.
You might ask why governments and private interests invest so much in perfecting solar power technology, if it’s more expensive than oil. Good investments in technology pay off over time, even if they don’t at first. The materials used to build and implement solar technology is too expensive right now, but working every day scientists and engineers work with those materials is another day closer to finder cheaper ways to produce them. Consider the rapid advances in aviation from the 1920s to the 1940s, as new and better materials–and better designs–came into usage.
Rapid Advances in Technology
As another example, look at the advances the “space race” and the lunar landings yielded. You might say that the space program is or was a waste of time, money, and resources, but exploring that little bit of space we’ve explored created much more rapid advances in satellite technology, telecommunications, and computer science. Every time you log onto your computer, every time you dial up on your cell phone, and every time you watch a sporting event live from the other side of the world, you are benefitting from the advances in technology made from public and private investments in technology.
So eventually, some genius is going to figure out a way to make solar power the cheapest energy science on the planet, and that will revolutionize the world economy, along with how we look (and cope) with a host of other social and geopolitical issues. Harnessing solar power and finding a cheaper, cleaner alternative to fossil fuels might happen tomorrow or next year, or it might be 20 years down the line, but it is going to happen–possibly before our supply of cheap oil runs out.
Solar Power in the Future
Who can say where the future of solar power lies? Science fiction writers have proposed technologies that seem outlandish by our scientific standards, such as the “Dyson sphere”, a technological sphere built around an entire star, so that a sci-fi civilization traps every single bit of light and stellar energy escaping from the star. I imagine our technologists will find less dramatic, more practical solutions to our energy crisis, but you can bet that harnessing “solar power” is going to be at the forefront of our energy solutions in the 21st century.
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If you’ve ever worked extensively with power tools, chances are you are somewhat familiar with the Porter-Cable name. Even if you’ve never used one of their tools, you probably at least know they make power tools. Porter-Cable is a name that has been associated with power tools for a century and, despite many ups and downs, still remains a strong player in the market.
The Old Days
Porter-Cable is primarily known for:
- Creating the first portable belt sander
- Creating the first helical-drive circular saw
- Creating the first portable band saw
While this much is true, there is of course more to the story. Porter-Cable got its start in 1906 when F.E. Cable and G.G. Porter and R.E. Porter started a tool shop and jogging machine shop out of a garage in Syracuse, New York. They had to make a substantial investment for the time ($2,300), but in the end it was worth it. They had enough success that in a few years they were able to delve into power tools and created their own line of power lathes. Just a few years later in 1917 they bought their own plant in Syracuse.
In 1926, Art Emmons, Porter-Cable’s Chief Engineer, created the portable electric belt sander. It was called the Take-About Sander, and with this Porter-Cable began to carve out their own niche in the form of portable power tools. A few short years later, the same engineer created the helical-drive circular saw – his design is still the most used design in circular saws used to this very day.
The Inevitable Buyout
Things continued apace until the company was sold in 1960 to Rockwell International, a huge American industrial conglomerate. Rockwell got rid of the Porter-Cable name and moved the headquarters to Jackson, Tennessee. They also created a line of low-end power tools solely to compete with Black and Decker. Unfortunately, these tools had many problems and ultimately the brand image was damaged.
In 1981, Pentair, Inc. (a company mostly focused on water technologies such as pumps, etc.) acquired the power tool group of Rockwell International, i.e. Porter-Cable and Delta Machinery. Pentair quickly reinstated the Porter-Cable name and focused on creating top-of-the-line power tools for professionals. A few years later, they created the electric random orbital sander, the very first of its kind. It was a boom time for the company, during which they saw a huge expansion in distribution and sales. Porter-Cable even had a collection of materials put in the Smithsonian Institution in 1996.
In 2000, Porter-Cable was formally consolidated with Delta Machinery. Both were part of the Pentair family, so it was a natural choice. About this time, Pentair also bought out DeVilbiss Air Power Company and began releasing air tools, compressors, pressure washers, and generators under the Porter-Cable name.
In 2005, everything came full circle, as longtime rival Black and Decker acquired Porter-Cable as part of Pentair Tools Group.
As you can see, Porter-Cable has had its trials and tribulations, but the traditional of quality has returned time and time again. People these days know that if they are looking for wood routers for sale or any kind of power tools, they can look to Porter-Cable. This company makes great tools of any stripe, whether it be a router table or circular saw.
About the Author: Mike Rocha is an engineer from Florida with a passion for woodworking. As an engineer and hobbyist woodworker, he uses wood routers regularly and recognizes the ingenuity and versatility that they represent. Being an electrical engineer who designs and develops medical imaging systems, Mike appreciates more than most the ingenious simplicity of these tools. Check out his website if you are looking for a router table or wood routers for sale.
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If you have been into woodworking for any length of time, you’ve probably come across the JessEm name a few times. JessEm is one of the leading manufacturers of wood routers and other woodworking tools, so it’s practically impossible to avoid them if you are in the business. But who is this company? What makes them so special? Well, JessEm’s claim to fame is their Rout-R-Lift, a device that helped push them to the forefront of the industry. Let’s take a look it and find out how it thrust JessEm into the spotlight.
In the past, if you need to make an adjustment to your router while you were working on your router table you had to pull it out entirely or reach under the table. It was a real pain that you simply had to live with as a woodworker. Router tables were all pretty much the same in this regard.
In 1999, however, the JessEm Tool Company created the Rout-R-Lift to get around this issue. The Rout-R-Lift is essentially a hand-cranked lift that allows you to make adjustments to your router right at the tabletop. The handle is easily removed and attached via a hex-shaped shaft, so it never gets in the way and can easily be re-attached for quick adjustments.
The small company based in Tennessee did not rest on its laurels after the success of the Rout-R-Lift. Even before the Rout-R-Lift was named “one of the top 25 innovations in woodworking in the past 25 years” in a Wood Magazine article, JessEm was continuing to improve upon their design and apply their innovation to other designs.
The next few years saw the creation of quite a few innovations:
- The Rout-R-Lift II
- The Mast-R-Lift (I and II)
- The Mit-R-Slide
- The Rout-R-Jacket
- The Mast-R-Lift
As you can imagine, the Mast-R-Lift (are you seeing a name trend here, yet?) is quite similar in design to the Rout-R-Lift. The main difference here lies in durability. The Mast-R-Lift II is wholly designed around durability and interchangeability. It features a dedicated cam lock, five double-sealed bearings, and fits practically every modern fixed-base router on the market. The Mast-R-Lift is just as popular as the Rout-R-Lift and JessEm is quite proud of it.
Dedicated to the Craft
In the end, it’s fair to say that JessEm is a company that is wholly dedicated to those people out there that work with wood routers and router tables every day. Day in and day out, this company is always looking for innovative ways to make the woodworker’s job easier. They know the job and they know what it takes to makes some of the beautiful cabinets and furniture we see out there every day.
It’s one thing to appreciate the work, but quite another to immerse yourself in the craft for the sake of it. JessEm is one of those niche companies that has managed to truly thrive because of the quality of their tools and the recognition and loyalty they in turn receive from their customers.
About the Author: Mike Rocha is an engineer from Florida with a passion for woodworking. As an engineer and hobbyist woodworker, he uses wood routers regularly and recognizes the ingenuity and versatility that they represent. Being an electrical engineer who designs and develops medical imaging systems, Mike appreciates more than most the ingenious simplicity of these tools. Check out his website if you are looking for wood routers or router tables for your next big project.
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Whether you are a professional woodworker or amateur do-it-yourselfer, chances are you’ve used a wood router or at the very least heard of one. Assuming you have a modicum of knowledge about wood routers and how you can use them to carve detailed designs into wood, have you ever used a router table? If not, do you know what one is? While many woodworking veterans out there may shake their head at such a question, there are plenty of folks that are just getting started and have some questions. That is who this piece is aimed at; the guys that have barely gotten their toes wet in woodworking and want to know what’s what.
Safety and Ease of Use
As you probably know, many wood routers simply require you to hold the router, suspending it over the wood on which you are working by holding onto the handles. While this old style of routing is tried and true, there is an easier way. Some may scoff at the idea, but there is an adage that says, “Work smarter, not harder.” That’s what we’re talking about with router tables. They take the burden of labor off you so you can focus on your craft.
The Mechanics of a Router Table
A router table simply takes the wood router and flips it upside down. The router is mounted underneath the router table, with the bit sticking out through the table so you can mount the piece of wood you want to route on the top. That is the basic premise, but there are different types of table that allow the router to be mounted in different positions for different types of cuts. There are also additional precision and safety features that make router tables easier to use.
The “fence” is the piece on the router table that often runs lengthwise along the top of the table.
The fence allows you to keep the piece you are working on steady and allows for more precise cuts. Precision is very important when you are routing wood, so here are a couple of other things to ensure before you buy a particular router table:
- Make sure it’s made of heavy material
- Test it’s rigidity
What does this mean? Essentially, you have to consider that you will be putting considerable pressure on the piece you are working on and the actual router table. If the router table bends ever so slightly, the piece you are working on will as well and your cut will not be straight. If you are doing multiple cuts on multiple pieces of wood, chances are your cuts will never match up if the cuts are not precise. So it behooves you to get a good solid cast-iron (or similar material) router table. The weight of such material helps with precision as well, as there won’t be as much jostling around to mess up your cuts.
This is just the basic information to get you started on choosing a good router table, but there are many more resources you can call upon online and at your local hardware store or woodworking shop. Talking to a professional face-to-face is optimum, but if that is not an option for you there are plenty of people online that can really give you a hand.
About the Author: Mike Rocha is an engineer from Florida with a passion for woodworking. As an engineer and hobbyist woodworker, he uses wood routers regularly and recognizes the ingenuity and versatility that they represent. Being an electrical engineer who designs and develops medical imaging systems, Mike appreciates more than most the ingenious simplicity of these tools. Check out his website if you are looking for wood routers or router tables for your project.
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