Stoves and Heating Ovens

No matter how careful you are while cooking, the stove and oven always get dirty. To be efficient, you should clean the stains once you see them. It is easier to clean a fresh stain, than one that’s been there for a few days. You can either buy special cleaning products from the supermarket or you can use the ingredients that you already have in the kitchen. There are many cooking ingredients that you can use to clean the stove, oven and the fridge. We got these tips from Carlos at Baltimore Used Appliances who uses these himself. If you need a new appliance, you can get some great deals on used appliances.

Heating OvenMake sure that you use products that are compatible with the stove’s surface. Avoid the abrasive products because they can harm the stove. Also, do not forget to use gloves when cleaning the stove and oven. Rinse the oven with water before using it again. Most of the cleaning products for ovens on the market are toxic, so make sure you read carefully the instructions before you start cleaning. If you prefer eco ingredients you are in luck. If you mix baking soda, white vinegar, salt and lemon juice you get a very efficient and powerful paste that removes no only the stains but also the unpleasant smells in your oven. You can use this mix to clean the whole kitchen, including the fridge.

Cleaning the oven might seem a little difficult at first, but once you get experience, it will become a routine for you. To clean the inside of the oven you have to remove all of the accessories first. You can wipe the inside of the oven with a wet soft cloth. The oven must be cleaned after every use.

Using home-made solutions to clean the stove and oven is recommended because they are cheaper than cleaning products and they are not toxic. If there are children in the house, it is better to use these homemade solutions to make sure their health is not at risk. Keeping your kitchen clean and shiny is easy if you take half an hour every day to clean it.  Make sure that you always clean the oven and stove after you use them, since the stains are much harder to remove if they have been there for a few days. Removing a grease stain that’s been there for ages and throwing away food residue that’s old is very unpleasant and unhealthy. Cleaning a glass stove is difficult and tricky. Choose the right cleaning product for the surface of your stove. Make sure that you use a soft cloth on glass surfaces and never use abrasive substances since they can cause permanent damage to the stove’s surface.

Using the right products to clean the stove and making sure there are no stains on them ensure a longer life span of the stove and a great cooking experience for you and your family. Keeping the kitchen clean should be daily task in every household. Avoiding the stains to get old and making sure there are no unpleasant smells in the oven are the first steps when it comes to stove and oven cleaning.

 

 

Tips and Tricks for a clean refrigerator

Our friends at PG Used Appliances helped us with this information. Keeping a clean refrigerator is very important not only for aesthetic reasons but a messy fridge can be a paradise for germs and bacteria that can cause serious digestive problems. Making sure that your food is contained in a clean environment and the right temperature is crucial if you want to enjoy every meal. A clean fridge will impact your everyday meals, and will improve your lifestyle.

clean refrigeratorStart your refrigerator cleaning by throwing away the expired food and the old vegetables. We all have those old, forgotten items stored in the fridge. Nobody remembers buying them, and they are so old that you might want to use gloves when you are throwing them away. The first step in having a clean fridge is to dispose of those ancient products and make room for new, tasty edibles.

The next step in cleaning your fridge is washing it. We recommend avoid using soap or detergent since their smell might get absorbed by the food, but you can make your own fridge-cleaning potion with white vinegar. Mix one part of white vinegar with two parts of water and you’ll obtain one of the most effective kitchen cleaning products. The white vinegar has amazing disinfectant properties and it also removes any unpleasant smells. Another great home-made mix is made of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and hot water. For the tough stains that do not disappear when cleaning with the home-made products we recommend using toothpaste, it is effective and it has a pleasant, refreshing smell.

You should make sure that you wipe up the spills in your fridge before they get to dry. A spill of milk is one of the most horrific things that you can see in a fridge. After they have dried the spills become sticky, smelly and harder to remove. Avoid the spills by cleaning everything that goes into the fridge. Make sure to wipe off any jars, bottles and containers that you plan to store in your refrigerator.

Another important task that you should do every few days is to check for spoilage. It is a proven fact that one bad apple ruins the whole bag, so make sure that you throw away any vegetables and fruits that have rotten. Check the terms of expiration of the items in your fridge and make sure that you put the ones that will expire in less than a month in the front, so you can see them and consume them before they get spoiled.

Deposit the left overs in sealed containers that can be easily seen. Never should you deposit your food on a plate and directly into the fridge. This way you avoid strong, unpleasant odors and keep a very organized refrigerator. You can buy special containers from any supermarket. Not storing the food in special sealed containers is one of the most common mistake people do when it comes to keeping the fridge clean. Use baskets for storing the fruits, vegetables and other foods.

 

Dehumidifiers

A musty or stuffy home, with water condensing on pipes and windows is a sign of high humidity levels in your home. Running the common household appliances like a dishwasher, washing machine, or even activities such as taking a shower all contribute to moisture in the air. Not only is balanced humidity levels important for your family’s comfort, but also for their health and well-being. It can cause problems such as pests or even make you sick.

DehumidifiersHumidity simply refers to water or moisture in the air. Air is able to hold a certain amount of moisture and when it reaches saturation point, the effects are felt all around. It seems to dampen everything including your moods.

There are different ones in the market to serve the varying needs in different homes. The two main types of dehumidifiers include;

  • Desiccant Dehumidifier
  • Refrigerant Dehumidifier

The most common type in the market today is the refrigerant type. They are generally composed of a fan, cooling coils, compressor and a water tank. These

Dehumidifiers Buying Guide

Different homes have different dehumidifier needs. The most popular ones in the market today are the portable dehumidifiers. You can find them in home improvement centers and bi box hardware stores. Here are the factors that you should take into consideration when choosing one for your home includes;

  1. Size

To pick a suitable size, you should know the square footage of the area/room you plan to dehumidify. You also need to have a rough idea of moisture levels in the area.

  1. Mobility

Dehumidifiers with casters are convenient as they can be moved from one room to the other. The unit can be placed anywhere in the house as long as you have a long power cord.

  1. Humidity Control

Automated controls are great for setting certain humidity levels and for monitoring. Some of the dehumidifiers have in-built hygrometers which measure the levels of relative humidity in your home. Those with humidistats allow you to set a desired level of humidity and the unit will maintain it. Optimal relative humidity should range between 30-50 percent in winter and 40-50 percent in the summer.

  1. Noise

It is advisable you test the noise levels of a dehumidifier before purchase. A two-speed fan dehumidifier will ensure reduced noise levels at a lower level of humidity. Noise can be a disturbance especially if it is close to the bedroom area.

  1. Water Capacity

The larger the capacity of the bucket, the more expensive the dehumidifier. Smaller buckets need to be emptied more often. Some dehumidifiers are self-draining while others employ the use of evaporation technology so no draining is required.

  1. Defrost Features

An automatic defrost feature is an absolute must for those living in areas with very low temperatures. It might be an additional cost but it saves you from expensive future expenses of damaged units from iced coils.

  1. Auto Shut Off Feature

When the tub is full, a dehumidifier with this feature will have an overflow protection valve causing the unit to switch off. This will indicate that the tab needs to be emptied. Some contain indicator lights to signal a full bucket.

  1. Washable Filters

A more economical option would be to get washable filters which are more durable. They are more convenient as they allow you to do fewer filter replacements. Washing should be done at least twice a month.

  1. Energy Efficient

Dehumidifiers certified by Energy Star Label are guaranteed to save you some money on utility bills. This applies to the government sponsored ones as well which consume less energy but still maintain optimum functionality.

Humidifiers

Humidity refers to the amount of air in the atmosphere. Dry indoor air can cause certain body irritations like dry sinuses, cracked lips, or even bloody noses. Humidifier adds moisture to the air to ease some of these symptoms and conditions. Humidifiers can bring relief to symptoms such as colds, flu, dry skin, dry throat/irritated vocal cords, dry cough, headache. Etc.

Humidifiers are classified into two sizes; portable or console. Portable, as the name suggests, are small and an excellent option when traveling. Sometimes they are referred to as personal. Console units are quite large and mostly for use to the whole house. They have wheels so they can be moved from one location to the other and can also serve a room at a time.

Types of HumidifiersHumidifiers

  • Ultrasonic Humidifiers

With the help of ultrasonic vibrations, these humidifiers give out either a cool or warm mist. They are available at varying prices depending on the size suitable for your home. Cool-mist is the best version if you have kids.

  • Central Humidifiers

These are the most expensive and are built into your home’s AC or heating unit to serve the whole house. While central humidifiers don’t emit steam, traditional ones do which increases the risk of burns.

  • Impeller Humidifiers

Impeller humidifiers are also child-friendly as they produce cool mists with no risks of burns. They are less expensive and can only be used in one room at a time. They expel humidity through high-speed rotating disks.

  • Evaporators

Although they can only be used in one room, these are quite affordable. Evaporators work by blowing the moisture through a filter. The fans expel the humidity as they power the unit through a single-unit system. They provide high levels of humidity and can be bothersome to asthmatic people.

  • Steam Vaporizers

Steam vaporizers are the most inexpensive humidifiers and are readily available at drug stores. They work by heating water and then cooling it and expelling it into the indoor air. This makes them least child-friendly because of high burn risks. They also operate on electricity.

Humidity Control Levels

Some humidifiers come with hygrometers to measure the amount of humidity in the air or your home. Consider a built-in hygrometer (humidistat) when buying a humidifier. It keeps moisture within a reasonable range. If not, you can purchase one easily at your local hardware stores or department stores. A 30-50 percent range is recommended. If someone in your household has respiratory problems, test the humidity daily. Low or high humidity will cause problems either way.

Possible Risks Associated with Humidifiers

Caution should be exercised as failure to maintain the humidifier or humidity levels properly can cause health problems.

  • Burns

There have been high incidences of humidifier-associated burn injuries especially around children. Warm-mist steamers and humidifiers should be kept away from the children’s bedroom.

  • High Moisture Levels

Too much moisture can bring about condensation on the walls causing the growth of mold and mildew.

  • Coughs and Colds

Bacterial growth from unclean humidifiers can promote or worsen coughs and colds. Some minerals and micro-organisms emitted from humidifiers can be a bother to people suffering from asthma.

It should be noted that this is a home remedy and not an alternative for medical treatment. Call your doctor and seek medical advice if symptoms persist. Humidifiers will make a significant difference to your airways and dry skin.

Another article on this topic can be found here.

Air Conditioning Units for the Home

Air conditioners are definitely a lifesaver during the dreaded summer heat. An interesting fact about air conditioners is that they work the same way as refrigerators. The difference is that your refrigerator cools only a small area while your air conditioner is responsible for cooling the home. A refrigerator also has a housing unit but your conditioner does not.

How Air Conditioning WorkAir Conditioning Units

The AC unit has chemicals that work to transfer the heat from inside your property to the outside. It consists of three parts namely the compressor, evaporator, and condenser. The evaporator is mostly inside the house while the compressor and condenser form the outside part of the condensing unit.

The compressor receives the cooling fluid as low-pressure gas. The fluid and gas are packed closely together causing the temperature and energy to rise. It then moves from the compressor to the condenser as a high pressure, hot gas. The metal fins located on the outside of the AC unit act as radiators on a vehicle to dissipate the heat quicker.

The fluid leaves the condenser as much cooler and changes into liquid form because of the high pressure. Through a narrow hole, it proceeds to the evaporator where the pressure has dropped causing it to change to low-pressure gas form.

Air is sucked through the vents into the ducts, which cools the gas in the evaporator while removing the heat from the air. The cool air is blown back into the house by the ducts. It is a continuous process. The thermostat will turn the air conditioner off once it senses that the interior temperature is at its desired level. If the temperatures start to rise again, the thermostat will turn it back on.

Air Conditioner Filters

The most important maintenance to ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to replace or constantly clean the filters. If they are clogged and dirty, they will interfere with the working of the conditioning system. Normal airflow will be blocked resulting in reducing a system’s effectiveness.

Some types of filters are reusable while others have to be replaced. Clean or replace the filters after about a month or two. If the air conditioner is used regularly, prone to dust,  or fur pets in the home, it may need more attention.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Central AC

  • Maintenance

Choose a package that is all inclusive of regular inspections, labor warranty, discount repairs, etc.

  • Efficiency

Energy efficiency is expressed as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). The minimum allowed SEER is 13 or higher. The higher the SEER the lower your energy costs.

  • Size

This will depend on your house and so some sizing guidance from professionals is advised.

  • Programmable thermostat

These are low maintenance, cooler and will ultimately reduce cooling costs by a considerable 20 percent.

  • Upgrades

Depending on the changes you have made to your home, you may not need a system the same size. For instance, if you have upgraded your windows insulation, your cooling needs may be reduced. If you have additional rooms, you may need more cooling.

 

 

 

Advantages of hiring an appliance repair company

Home appliances are important in your home because they help in the daily chores. Other than making your life more comfortable, they also cut down the huge workload. When one of your appliances fails or breaks down, it can inconvenience your plans. For instance, when your washer and dryer breaks down, it can affect the plans of your family. However, as much as it may be tempting to try repairing your appliance yourself, home appliance repair is a task that should always be left for professional. An appliance repair expert will examine your appliance, identify and fix the problem within the shortest time possible. Here are the benefits of hiring an appliance repair expert.

Save money

Hiring a professional appliance repair service is more cost effective than purchasing a new appliance or doing the repair yourself. A repair expert will ensure the job is done correctly the first time, saving you any additional repair costs you would incur if you try fixing it yourself and make more mistakes in the process. Moreover, you will be able to the save hundreds of dollars you would have spent to purchase a new one. Hire a reputable repair company for regular maintenance on your appliances to avoid being caught up by the problem.

Ensures safety

Most home appliances are meant for the heavy-duty task, requiring electricity for them to be operational. Handling electrical appliances is dangerous. Trying to fix the appliance yourself without proper training and knowledge on the safety measures can lead to injuries. However, hiring a repair expert will ensure the appliance is fixed without ignoring the safety measures required by the industry standards.

Excellent services

Hiring a professional appliance repair expert will give you peace of mind because of the confidence you will have in them. Repair experts have the proper skills and necessary tools needed to fix the problem with any appliance. The experts will identify the exact problem with your appliance, fix it and offer you professional advice on the proper use of the appliance.

Time saving

When you try to fix your appliance on your own, it may take you several hours and even end causing more damage than it was before. However, hiring a repair expert will ensure your appliance is fixed in a short span of time preventing inconveniences that would be caused by a faulty appliance. You will be able to save yourself much time especially if you operate tight daily schedules.

Service warranties

A reputable professional service will always offer service warranty. When you hire an expert to repair your appliance, they will ensure they guarantee their service. You will, therefore, have no worry when the expert leaves your home because if an issue arises with your appliance again, the expert will come back and offer a free service to your appliance.