Clean With Steam: Why You Should Clean Filthy Floors With Steam Mops

If you’re only worried about how dirty floors look when your family and friends come tramping through your house in their shoes, think again. You may be exposing them to more health hazards than you think. I would know because I have a husband, three kids, two birds and two dogs living under my roof.

Floor Mop with Steam

According to recent research from the Scott Kelley Biology Lab at San Diego State University, which was published in the scientific journal Genome Biology, we live with an array of bacteria we bring into our homes via our shoes. All of this bacteria may affect our family’s health.

In fact, you track in dirt and more all over your house when you don’t leave your shoes at the door. Your pets bring in even more than things, like dust, dirt, bacteria, viruses, molds, fungi and other allergens.

Germs on your floors matter because they can exacerbate allergies and make you sick. For example:
[Read more...]

The ROI for Switching to a Stackable or Combo Washer Dryer

Washer Dryer Combo in the Kitchen

Ever wonder if it’s worth it to exchange your ol’ side-by-side washer/dryer setup for a stackable or combo unit? Well, my family learned firsthand there was plenty to gain in our rental property when we swapped out our full-sized washer and dryer for a stackable washer/dryer — space!

In fact, we gained an entire kitchen wall. We reconfigured the space and added more kitchen cabinets and counter space to our 1,000-square-foot house. Here’s what we learned during the process.
[Read more...]

6 Advantages Washer Dryer Combos Have Over Their Full-Size Counterparts

There are a number of advantages of using combo washer dryers in your home, as they are incredibly versatile, efficient, and compact. Through the use of these combo units, it is no longer necessary to take up a great deal of space in your home with traditional and separate washer and dryer units, nor is it necessary to make frequent trips to the Laundromat, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Washer Dryer Combo Unit

There are many combo washer dryer benefits, including:

  • A wide variety of available options.
  • Significant space is saved.
  • Units are very efficient and versatile.
  • The horizontal axis drum is easier on clothes.

1. Many Options Available

Most people have varying needs relating to their laundry. Because of this fact, it is important that there are a variety of options available. This makes it much easier to find a unit that is suitable for your specific needs, and the combo units do indeed come in a variety of load capacities, helping to meet the many needs of consumers.

Obviously, each combo unit comes equipped with washer and dryer capabilities, but there are also a number of other functions that may differ from unit to unit. It is best to consider your specific needs when making a decision on which unit is best for you.
[Read more...]

5 Tips to Choosing the Right Refrigerator for Your Living Space

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to buying a refrigerator, and if you have not been in the market for one before, you might not know what you should be looking for to find the one that fits your lifestyle and the space you have available.

Avanti Refrigerator with Door Open

Let’s take a closer look at the options available to you, as well as five tips to help ensure that you pick the right fridge for your situation.

Refrigerator Size Options

There are several different refrigerator sizes available for people with all different space considerations. These appliances generally fall into the following categories:

  • Compact Cube:
    These “office-style” refrigerators are small and provide only a little bit of space to store food and drinks. They range in size from about 1.5 to 3 cubic feet, and generally have room for a few cans of soda or water, today’s lunch, and maybe some condiments.
  • Compact Midsize:
    The next size up is a compact mini fridge, sometimes known as a dorm-style mini fridge. These appliances are designed to be very small and inexpensive, but have enough space to store enough groceries for a few days. These refrigerators generally have a very small amount of freezer space, but with between 3 and 5.5 cubic feet of total storage space they are often small enough to fit under a standard height countertop.
  • Combo Microwave/Fridge:
    For people who are looking for convenience and ease in small spaces, the combination microwave and fridge can be a great option. Combo fridges come in a variety of sizes, with fridges that range from 2 to 9 cubic feet of space, and microwaves that include everything from the basics or more advanced options.
  • Apartment Size:
    If you have a little bit more space, the next step up is the apartment-sized fridge, which offers slim style but is similar in height to more standard refrigerators. They generally range from about 7 to 15 cubic feet (about half the size of traditional refrigerators), but offer similar features to their full-size counterparts, such as drawers, dual-cooling air systems, temperature control, adjustable shelving, and more freezer space than compact models.
  • Full Size & Commercial:
    Of course, if you have the space for it, you can also choose from a wide range of full size and/ or commercial refrigerators. If you have a slightly smaller space but want the functionality of a full size fridge, many brands today offer extra narrow models of popular designs (24 to 28 inches instead of the standard 32 to 36 inches). There are a myriad of features, styles, and configurations to choose from, so it’s important to shop around before you decide on which full-size fridge is right for you.

[Read more...]

6 Cleaning Tips to Keep Your Dishwasher Running Efficiently

Your dishwasher serves a very important purpose, and it is sometimes easy to overlook the proper maintenance of this valuable kitchen appliance. There are many people who will complain about having to thoroughly clean their dishes before they even attempt to use the dishwasher, noting that this appliance is no longer working as it once did.

Clean Dishwasher

Instead of complaining and creating more work for yourself, you should instead look into a few tips that will help you clean your dishwasher, as you may simply be overlooking the proper maintenance of your dishwasher. In many cases, the solution to a poorly-functioning dishwasher is to give it a good cleaning, something that can be done quickly and easily through the use of these simple and intuitive dishwasher maintenance tips.

Let’s take a closer look at six easy ways you can keep your dishwasher clean and working efficiently.

1. Use Your Dishwasher Frequently

While food debris and buildup develops over time, the amount of buildup that is developed can be lessened significantly if the washer is used on a regular basis. At least two or more times a week, if not more.

This helps keep the debris from settling, ultimately impacting the overall effectiveness of the unit itself. Combined with regular cleaning, this will help in keeping your dishwasher running smoothly, ensuring that your dishes will come out of the washer clean and sparkling.
[Read more...]

Dehumidifier Maintenance Tips: How to Clean, Maintain & Troubleshoot Your Unit

Owning a dehumidifier can be extremely beneficial for a homeowner in a number of ways. The main purpose of the dehumidifier is to remove the excess moisture in the air, thereby reducing the humidity in the room in which it is located. Removing the excess moisture in the air helps to prevent mold and mildew buildup, and it may also help in controlling allergies, asthma, and other health issues that relate to respiration.

Dehumidifier

Additionally, having a dehumidifier in your home also makes a room more comfortable and free from any musty smells that may arise, particularly during seasons that have high humidity.

Given all of the benefits that a dehumidifier is able to bring, it is important to understand how to clean and troubleshoot your unit, as well as these basic dehumidifier maintenance tips that can help in generating a deeper understanding of how you can keep your unit working smoothly for years to come.

Keeping Your Dehumidifier Clean

It should be obvious that it is important to keep any appliance clean in order to ensure its proper and continued function. Dehumidifiers are no different, and the water collection tank, air intake, and exhaust grilles should all be cleaned on a regular basis. The water tank should be emptied frequently, and cleaning only requires the use of a disinfectant or the simple use of soap and warm water. If the tank is left unclean, mold and mildew may develop, dispersing through the dehumidifier and into the air.

In addition to cleaning the water collection tank, both the air intake and exhaust grilles should be vacuumed at least once every season. The buildup of dust and debris can impact how efficiently your dehumidifier is able to run, and blockages may result in damage and deterioration.
[Read more...]

The Benefits of Portable Washers

Most people are still under the impression that there are only two options when it comes to laundry, both of which may be very inconvenient under a number of circumstances. Many homeowners like the convenience of a traditional washer and dryer, but many do not have the space or proper connections if your home or apartment is older. Though it’s usually the fall back plan, bringing laundry to a Laundromat can be inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly.

With the advent of portable washers, there is now another alternative to investing in a traditional washer and dryer set or lugging laundry to the laundromat. These compact washers do not need very much space at all, and there are many benefits that come along with owning a portable washer.

These machines allow homeowners with no extra room to have an alternative to using the laundromat. They are also a very cost efficient and energy efficient option, perfect for small spaces or for people who travel frequently.

Portable Washers: A Compact Alternative

While there are many different options for this type of washer, for the most part, they are compact, top-loading and do not require a connection to a water line. They are generally smaller than 3 feet high, with most of them having a depth of about 2 feet.

As there are a variety of options, the weight of each unit will vary; some weigh less than 50 pounds, while others check in at over 100 pounds. The water capacity of these washers also varies, though the range generally falls somewhere between 1 and 2 cubic feet. There are several settings available for these washers, and while each unit will vary, most offer settings for the level of water, the cycle, and the speed.
[Read more...]

FAQs: Undercounter Ice Makers vs. Portable Ice Makers

If you find yourself buying bags of ice or filing up pesky ice trays on a daily basis, you may benefit greatly by purchasing an ice maker. They’re perfect for RVs, boats, entertaining guests, small offices, and for personal use in your home. When beginning your search for the one that suits your needs, the first step is deciding whether you need an undercounter or a portable ice maker.

Here we’ve compared what differentiates the two to make your choice as simple as possible.
[Read more...]

Why You Should Use a Filter in Your Ice Machine

Having an ice maker is extremely convenient. Gone are the days when you need to remember to pull out, fill, put back that ice tray in the freezer, and wait for the cubes to freeze. Any time that you want ice, you just need to go to your ice maker, pull out the bin, and put the ice in whatever container you want. Depending on whether or not you have a filter in your machine, you may notice the ice changing over time.

Clear Ice Cubes

Filters are not required for our ice makers, but we think they provide some clear benefits:

  • Improving ice quality
  • Reducing maintenance and repair needs
  • Assisting in better ice production

Although a filter may be an extra cost to consider for your ice maker, by examining the benefits, you might find it to be a good idea for you and your machine.

Improves Quality by Removing Contaminants

Many ice machines will produce great ice at first, with or without a filter. Without a filter, you might notice that your ice slowly changes. It may become cloudy and somewhat soft. In some cases, the ice may have a faint odor or undesirable taste. Although you may not be able to see it, these problems are often caused by contaminants getting into your ice.
[Read more...]

Why You Should Use a Portable Air Conditioner in Your Server Room

Server rooms are an essential part of any modern computer system. These dedicated spaces allow businesses and other organizations to keep their computer equipment secure and protected. Not only can authorized maintenance workers access all relevant terminals, but changes to the configuration of the machines can also be made quickly and easily.

Server Room Air Conditioner

Effective cooling solutions are vital to any server room. Poor air circulation and high temperatures can cause computer equipment to break down or function improperly. Regulating the temperature and air flow of your server room will help guard against equipment failure and prolong the useful life of these valuable assets.

Closely Controlling the Climate in Your Server Room

In most cases, the rooms used to house your server equipment was designed for human occupants and may not have enough cooling options available for the space. Though some spaces inside modern buildings are designed expressly as server rooms and have advanced climate control options to accommodate this use, relatively few people have these options available to them. It is therefore necessary to explore effective cooling alternatives to augment any existing air conditioning system.

Portable air conditioning units can give you greater control over the climate inside your server room in several ways:
[Read more...]