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Spruce Up Your Pool For The Swimming Season!

As soon as winter is over and the tail end of spring has sprung, you'll want to be ready for all the upcoming engagements and social occasions with loved ones, work colleagues and of course friends. Its great to relax, and enjoy the warm sunshine, fresh air and splash about in the comfort of your own pool. The backyard is the place to be in the summer!

All healthy pools regurgitate dust and dirt via the pump into the skimmer. The pump and the filter removes these contaminants and with the help of a pool cleaner they will keep your pool clean and healthy. As the pump and the skimmer work you may experience a bit of water evaporation especially if the heat is strong, so keep a watchful eye on it, especially if your waterline starts to noticeably drop. You may have to top up the water now and again.

Apart from keeping a clean pool, heat retention will be the next biggest concern. Most of the heat is lost due to evaporation on hot days and also in the evening. Heat will be transferred through the atmosphere and naturally due to sweltering sunshine. Make sure you use a pool cover in the evening and at night to stop this loss of heat.

To actually maximize the heat up of the water it is better if you use a solar pool cover as this will actually take the heat from the sun and transfer it to your pool, and well as stopping heat seeping from your pool.

Pool Vacs

If you use a pool vac and run it through your pool it will help prevent dirt and germs from breeding like crazy. Naturally you will also have to use bromine and chlorine compounds to make sure no unseen bacteria is present in your water.

You can actually test your water to make sure the PH levels are set correctly. This will let you know if your water is safe to swim in. You can get complete testing kits with the full instructions on how to use them. Look up some videos on YouTube if you are unsure of how to test your PH levels.

These levels are very important to get right, if you fail to do so you will cause excessive algae and bacteria to grow, and if your pool is too acidic it will cause burns and rashes on your skin. It can also damage your pools surrounds, including tiles and plaster.

Follow these tips to keep your pool safe, clean and healthy, and enjoy more time using your pool.

Hands Free Home Automation St. Augustin, Fl

Home Automation in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, FLs are becoming a way of the future for many households. There are many devices available to start building your smart home, from home lighting systems, automated heating and cooling systems, security systems, even smart home doorbells. Individually controlling each system can be overwhelming and users may even forget to switch something on or off as they are going about their busy days. Control4 has recently released a handsfree way to seamlessly connect all of your smart home devices and control them with a few simple commands, making controlling your smart home even easier.

The Control4 Smart Home Skill has connected with Alexa, by Amazon, to deliver what are referred to as "scenes." The user will be able to control multiple aspects of their smart home, at once, by combining the power of each smart device and making them controllable from a single unit. The Control4 Smart Home Skill unit allows the user to program in commands, through the Alexa app, that are delivered by speech and are routed through the Alexa system. When Alexa recognizes a command each smart device associated with that command will respond.

For example, you can create this "scene" as you wake up each morning. "Alexa, turn on this morning," and Control4 combined with Alexa will recognize this phrase to mean, turn on the lights in the bedroom and bathroom, raise the thermostat to 72 degrees, check with Scout, your smart home security system to see if there was any activity in or around your home over night, and to start your favorite playlist for the morning.

Control4 also lets you voice control individual devices as well. You can set your home alarm, adjust the thermostat, or turn the lights in your room on or off all without having to lift a finger. The system gives you complete voice control over all aspects of your smart home. Whether working in unison or controlling individual systems Control4 will recognize each command that you have created, giving you a customizable smart home experience.

If you already have a Control4 Smart Home then hands-free home automation is easy to set up by adding the Control4 skill to the Alexa app. If you do not have a Control4 Smart Home then an authorized Control4 dealer can meet with you and help to start you on the path towards a hands-free automated home. In either scenario, a Control4 installer can meet with you, in your home, to help provide even further home automation by programming in advanced functions such as entertainment and more.

Which Is The Best Coffee Maker?



Coffee enthusiasts around the world prefer a different coffee maker for different reasons. Some may look into the convenience, price, and brand name, while others may prefer to look solely into the quality of the coffee.  

So, which coffee maker is the best? To help you find the answer, we bring you a list of best coffee makers from around the globe.

Bonavita 1900TS

This drip coffee machine is here to revolutionize the way you drink coffee at home. It appears in a compact design that prevents it to look bad when placed on your kitchen countertops. Leaving aesthetics aside, the Bonavita 1900TS produces the best flavor of drip-coffee you have ever tasted. The innovative process allows wetting the coffee grounds before it is brewed.

Additionally, the preinfusion method allows coffee extraction evenly—only to offer you a perfect cup of freshly brewed coffee.  

Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew

If you are looking for consistency and efficiency, in one coffee maker then you cannot go wrong with Mr. Coffee optimal brew that will definitely set your coffee stand out of the crowd. The aesthetics of this machine comes in a stainless steel form, producing the hottest coffee ever. Mr. Coffee optimal is equipped with a vacuum insulate carafe, keeping the pots warm whether they are placed on a kitchen countertop or the machine.  

Additional features include a removable water reservoir, easy programming, and two brew cycles. So, if you are looking for a pocket friendly coffee machine then consider the ever hot Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew.

Cuisinart DCC-2650

The Cuisinart is known to be the most robust and feature-laden coffee machine, available at an unbelievable price. It is equipped with more programs and functionality than any other coffee making machine. The best feature about this coffee maker is that it allows you to stop brewing coffee in the middle to adjust additional amount of water. Furthermore, the hot plate feature allows you to adjust settings for the type of coffee preferred.

Bunn My Café MCU

If you are looking for versatility, then Bunn My Café MCU is the ultimate choice. It lets you choose from a variety of options to make your perfect cup of joy! This innovative coffee machine is capable of handling K-cups, coffee pods, and regular coffee grounds making it the most flexible coffee machines of all times.  

You can also save up on time, as this coffee maker allows you to brew coffee and tea within a minute!

Chemex Ottomatic

If you are looking for simple and high quality coffee, then Chemex Ottomatic has got you covered. The process is simple, automated, quick, and easy. One of the most unique features includes the pour-over system which can alternate between multi-head drips to offer you hot coffee. If finance is not a concern, then Chemex Ottomatic is one of the best coffee makers to keep your coffee buds happy.  

One cannot determine the best type of coffee maker as people have different preferences and budget. So, you can choose from the aforementioned coffee making machines to invest in the bets one for you.  

 

Replace Or Repair Old Appliances-which One To Choose?

When your washing machine stops working or the dishwasher starts to leak, you face a difficult question. Is it wise to buy a new appliance or would it be worth spending your money and time getting it fixed by a professional appliance repair service?

In most cases, consulting with a technician can help you decide what to do with your old appliance. Having been in the business for several years handling different brands of appliances, we have found that the cost of repairing old or damaged appliances is usually about 20% to 30% of the total cost of replacing it.

A very rough rule of thumb in the appliance repair industry is that if the cost of repairing an appliance is more than 50% of the cost of a new appliance, then in most cases it would be recommended that a new appliance be bought.

Whether you are looking for refrigerator repair, washer repair, dryer repair, washing machine repair, dishwasher repair or any home appliance repair services, a professional technician can come to your home at a convenient time and fix the problem at a reasonable cost. This will also save you the time you would have spent shopping and comparing prices of a new appliance, when maybe all that was required was a fuse costing a few pennies.



Know your appliance's life expectancy

Knowing your appliances life expectancy will also help you determine when to buy a new one and when to have it repaired. Generally, if the unit is more than eight years old, it would be wise to go for a new one, if the repair is close to, or more than 50% of the cost of a new appliance as mentioned earlier.

The average life expectancy estimates of common household appliances are as follows. 13 years for refrigerators, 9 years for dishwashers, 11 years for freezers, 15 years for Kitchen ovens, 10 years for washing machines and 13 years for dryers. These estimates are based on a survey that was conducted by the National Association of Home Builders.

Before spending money to replace an old appliance, determine whether it is really broken beyond repair or have you experienced the problem before. If your home appliance has been working well, it would be a wise decision to fix it instead of replacing it with something new which you have little experience about. Sometimes better the devil you know, or the trusty old appliance that has only occasionally let you down, but you know is easily fixed, rather than a shiny new appliance you have no idea about.

Tips To Maintain Your Washing Machine

It is a must for you to maintain your washing machine to extend its lifespan. By taking care of your washing machine, it will also help you reduce the need for calling an appliance repair service to get the unit fixed should any problem arise.



In this article, we have compiled a list of maintenance tips and ideas that can make your washing machine last longer and reduce the likelihood of you needing an appliance repair. Read on to find out more.

1. Check the hoses for leakage

Washing machines come with plastic hoses which can sometimes burst or leak. A burst or leaking hose can flood your home, compromise your safety and increase your monthly utility bills. You should always check to see if the tubes are showing signs of leakage, wear or tear. If you notice something not quite right, unhook and repair or replace them as needed.

2. Switch to stainless steel hoses

If your washing machine comes with plastic tubes, it is good for you to change to stainless hoses. As explained earlier, plastic tubes are prone to bursting and leakage which can compromise your safety and increase your monthly bills. Switching to stainless steel tubes will reduce these challenges.

3. Washing machine should be level on the floor

A washing machine just like other home appliances should sit flat on a level platform to maintain its stability. If yours swings from side to side or shakes violently, this might cause a lot of internal bleeding. If yours comes with adjustable stands, twist them until the unit is perfectly level and secure.

4. Keep your washer clean

Most washing machines collect lint which collects in the drain trap. Make sure you clean out the lint trap regularly. Use baking soda and white vinegar to scrape off dirt from the unit. After cleaning, leave the door open to allow the unit to dry to prevent molds from growing.

Schedule washing machine repair

When your washing machine breaks down, it doesn't necessarily mean it won't be able to be used again. You need to contact a technician to have it repaired. Not all appliance repair services live up to their promises. Always consider a reputable specialist who is a professional in refrigerator repair, washer repair, dryer repair, washing machine repair, dishwasher repair, and repair of a wide range of appliances. Recommended: Sentinel Appliance Repair for all of your appliance repair needs.

How Does An Ionizer Air Purifier Work & What Benefits Does It Offer



An ionizer air purifier generates and discharges electrons to capture particulate matter from air. This method of cleaning air essentially utilizes the power of voltage surging through the device and applies it to a series of needles. These needles are then able to create electrons that are then discharged into the air. The electrons attach themselves to air molecules, forming negative ions.

These negative ions then attach themselves to dust particles, pollens, smoke from cigarettes, and even pet dander. The larger the particles, the easier it is for the negative ions to attach themselves to them, allowing them to descend to the floor where they can be cleaned by a vacuum later on.

However, when using an ionizer air purifer at times many particles attach to other surfaces with a positive charge, like walls, widows, or other structures found in the room. This is because negative ions are attracted to positive charges naturally, which translates to cleaning the room which might requiring frequent dusting.

Benefits of Negative Ions  

The most notable benefits of breathing in negative ions include:

  • They are able to increase your sense of well being by removing positive ions from your environment, hence working potentially as natural anti-depressants.
  • They are proven to strike the air clean of dust particles, dander form pets, airborne pollens and spores form molds.
  • Even viruses and bacteria counts indoors are effectively reduced by negative ions.
  • Aids in the functioning of respiratory tract and protect your lungs from inflammation and irritation. Hence they are able to decrease the instances of reparatory illnesses like colds, flu, and even asthma and hay-fever.
  • Their relaxing effect has been reported by many to revitalize normal breathing, blood pressure and provide effective relief from tensions.
  • Negative ions absorbed directly in the bloodstream help in combating harmful radicals that travel freely within our bodies.
  • Studies have shown that negative ions are an effective antidepressant in the treatment of patients suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
  • The University of California has provided results for a research showing that negative ions are able to improve focus and energy levels by normalizing serotonin levels found in the human brain.
  • French studies have also found that negative ions are also able to provide a better and sound sleep through the positive effects of normalizing the production of serotonin in the brain.
  • The Norwich Union company has stated that negative ions are also able to cure 78% of sickness and headaches related to working on computer and electronic equipments.

Final Word

Though there is no doubt that ionizer air purifier is able to make our indoor air quality clean and healthy, their effectiveness is much lower compared to other available technology. Hence, it is advised to choose those ionizer air purifier that come equipped with other technologies like HEPA, UV, and activated carbon filters, among others.

Different Types Of Portable Vacuums And Their Uses



Portable vacuum cleaners are highly useful due to their convenience of use and portability. However, some are quite expensive and not as powerful as traditional vacuum cleaners. Nonetheless, portable vacuum cleaners mean less back bending when cleaning and taking less time to clean as well.

Here are some of the different types of portable vacuum cleaners and their uses:

Vacuums for Cleaning Wet Spills

Generally known as handheld vacuums with the ability to make wet surfaces dry, they operate as one of the most sophisticated models with respect to cleaning liquid spillage. These handhelds can clean a majority of surfaces ranging from hard shiny surfaces to carpets. They use their working mechanism to be strong enough to suck in moisture from fabric as well.

Vehicle Vacuums

Specifically designed to function as a cleanup tool for automotive and vehicle parts such as seats and other items covered with upholstery. Handheld car vacuums are small, light in weight, and most of them come equipped with a 12-volt charger which comes in handy when the car is running, allowing them to recharge their batteries when connected. These portable vacuums can also be used within the house in situations concerning the cleaning of upholstery and stairs.

Filtration Vacuums

Handheld versions of vacuums with filtration capabilities are all the hype. With technologies incorporated in them such as a HEPA filter can make them ideal for vacuuming allergens and other contaminants from carpets and other objects within the room. Common filters used in these types of vacuums can range from HEPA to electrostatic. Electrostatic filters with a portable vacuum allow for trapping fine dust particles through electrostatic charges.

Performance Vacuums

Many such vacuums often trade high suction power for battery life. In order to make the area clean from larger debris like broken glass material or ceramics, they might deploy 15 to 18 volt machinery. Some models of a portable vacuum come with customizable speeds to save up on battery life.  Since they use a lot of battery at an extremely fast rate, they are often operable only for short period of times before they need to be charged again.

Stick Styled Cleaners

A new introduction to the market are the portable upright vacuum cleaners representing a similar look to the standard vacuum cleaner but having a built in battery and being cordless all the same. An example is the Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. These brand new additions are as strong as 3-times any other portable vacuums. Some of them also deploy the use of activated-carbon filters to add on the cleaning aspect of the device.

For Pets

Many portable portable vacuums are now specially designed to feature for cleaning your pets only. Pet dander and fur can cause considerable damage for those living with loved ones having an allergy or sickness. Therefore, keeping in mind this dire need, many manufacturers are now producing units that are specifically designed to handle similar task to keep the homes virtually clean from dander from our lovable and adorable animal companions.

 

 

 

Best Air Conditioners For Your Space



Air conditioners allow us to maintain a pleasant indoor atmosphere, regardless of how the conditions are, outside our house. Many houses and commercial buildings these days also have central air conditioning systems that use large air conditioning units. Accordingly, you have many choices when looking for the best air conditioners for your space in either a home or an office.

There are also many factors to understand when installing the new air conditioner. An air conditioner that is ideal for your friend’s house may not be suitable at all for your application. It is therefore; always better to take professional advice, although there are some pointers that you can use to select a better option.

Here are some of the tips that will allow you to identify the best air conditioners:

Determine Your Space Size

The most important element in a space is its dimensions. You should measure out your space using a measuring tape or you may also consult your building designs if you have them available. Small rooms start from around 100 square feet and the living room of your house or a hall in your office can stretch to around 400 square feet.

Calculate the Required BTUs

We generally measure the cooling capacity of air conditioners in BTUs. Your space size governs the cooling capacity required for a particular application. A well insulated room of around 100-150 square feet requires around 5,000 BTUs capacity air conditioner. On the other hand, a poorly insulated large living room of 400 square feet may require an air conditioner with a cooling capacity of around 18,000 BTUs.

Efficiency

One of the most important factors in determining the best air conditioners for your space is efficiency. The energy efficiency of air conditioners is found by dividing their BTU values with their power used in watts.

If your house is in a region that has mild summers, then you can discard an AC that has an EER of 9. If you are in a warmer region though, then you need to buy an air conditioner that has a ratio of 10 or above.

Refrigerant

Although most of the current air conditioners have now switched to R-410A which is a better refrigerant when compared with the older R-22, some available air conditioners may still employ the older option.

The best air conditioners for your space though are certainly the ones that employ the newer R-410A gas which is better for the environment as well as excellent for your compressor due to a larger thermal capacity.

Type of Air Conditioner

There are several types of air conditioners that are available to cool your space. You can buy a modern split unit AC or opt for a window unit AC. You can also install a portable air conditioner if you want to move your unit around to cover multiple rooms.

All of these types have their advantages and limitations and the best one ideally depends on the individual needs. Offices are better off at installing the newer and more energy efficient split units, while window unit air conditioners can ideally cool your bedroom, if it has a standard sized window that you can replace with the unit.

If you don’t want to tear down your window, you can either use a portable air conditioner that only requires a small exhaust point or a split unit that has a separate compressor.

These are some of the considerations that you have to make in order to create the list of the best air conditioners for your space and then selecting a winner out of them for your cooling needs.