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Effective Ways to Increase Air Conditioner Efficiency

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Effective Ways to Increase Air Conditioner Efficiency

Quality air conditioning has become a necessity in residential homes. During the hot summer months, your air conditioner can help you and your family stay safe and healthy inside your home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), running your air conditioner is one way you can reduce your risk of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Make sure your AC stays in top condition throughout the hot season. Follow these 5 easy yet effective maintenance tips for optimal system performance:

Clear obstructions around the unit

Proper and smooth airflow is important for efficient air conditioning. If the space around your AC unit is too crowded, it will restrict airflow to and from the system. Household items like paint cans, paper boxes, and other containers that are stored near or around air conditioner systems can also pose a risk of fire. Industry experts highly recommend providing at least 1 foot of clearance on all sides of the unit to allow your AC to operate properly.

Replace your AC air filter

Unchecked air filters are usually the cause of AC efficiency issues. Dust and dirt can accumulate on your filters over time, lowering the cooling performance of your AC. According to the United States Department of Energy, replacing your dirty air filters with clean ones will ensure the efficiency of your AC and lower the system’s energy consumption by up to 5 percent to 15 percent. 

Adjust your thermostat

Using your thermostat wisely will let you enjoy optimal cooling in your home without the high energy bill. The DOE says you can save as much as 10% a year on air conditioning by setting your thermostat back 7° to 10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. To save you from the hassle of manually adjusting your thermostat every time you arrive and leave home, you should invest in a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to control your HVAC system even when you are not at home. 

Keep your curtains down during the heat of the day.

Your windows are one of the most common sources of heat gain in your home. According to the DOE, heat gain through your windows is responsible for 25 percent to 31 percent of residential cooling energy use. To help reduce the load on your air conditioner, block heat from entering your home, using window curtains and blinds. 

Fix any air leaks around your home. 

One important factor that affects the efficiency of your air conditioner is the condition of your home. If there are air leaks around your doors, windows, walls, and ceilings, your air conditioner will have a hard time cooling your home. This will force the system to consume more energy than it normally needs to operate. 

Are you having problems with your home air conditioning?

If your air conditioner is not cooling your home properly despite your routine maintenance efforts, do not hesitate to ask for help from your trusted local AC contractor. Always leave your AC repair to the pros instead of doing the job on your own. Schedule an appointment now!

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The Guide That Makes Choosing the Best Portable Generator Simple

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Best Portable Generator

Are you in the market for a new portable generator?

Maybe you’re going camping, have an emergency, or just need standby power for your home or business. Regardless of what you use it for, it’s important that you find the right generator for your needs.

The market is flooded with lots of portable generators from different brands and manufacturers. With so many options to choose from, finding the best portable generator for you can be a tad difficult. If this describes your predicament, worry not; we’re here to help.

In today’s post, we’ll be looking at how you can find the perfect portable generator for your needs.

Look at the Generator’s Size

The first thing you need to consider before buying a portable generator is what size generator you want. Generators come in various sizes, both in terms of size and power. In terms of power, portable generators differentiate into three types, namely:

  • Generators that produce less than 2000 watts
  • Generators that produce between 2000-7000 watts
  • Generators that produce more than 7000 watts

Portable generators with less than 2000 watts are the smallest and lightest of the bunch. As you’ve probably guessed, generators with more than 7000 watts are the biggest and heaviest. Make sure you align your generator choice with your specific power demands and space or transportation capability.

For large power needs, you might want to consider a standby generator instead of a portable one. However, be prepared to dig deep in your pockets for standby generators. 

Pick a Generator That Matches Your Needs

For stuff like camping trips or charging a few electric gadgets, a small portable generator will do just fine. However, for heavy-duty tasks like construction work or power backup for your establishment, you’ll need a larger generator.

The point is, you’ll need to pick a generator that matches your exact needs. There’s no point in buying a generator that’s too large for minor power needs; it’ll be a complete waste of cash. Also, a portable generator will be practically useless if it doesn’t meet your power requirements.

Here are a few tips for determining your power requirements:

  • Have a list of items you want to power simultaneously
  • Write down the wattage requirements of all the devices; you can get the information from the operator manual
  • Add up all the power requirements of each item to get the running watts
  • Choose one item with the highest power requirements and add it to the running watts to get the final figure

The extra power you add is known as the starting watts, or surge power. This is the amount of power the generator requires to kickstart electrical appliances. You can check out this wattage sheet for a perfect example of how to calculate your power requirements.

Consider the Noise Level

Portable generators make noise and lots of it. If you’re buying your generator for residential use, you’ll have to check for any regulations on how noisy your generator can be. Some communities have a zero-tolerance policy on noisy generators.

Aside from community and HOA regulations, you may also want a silent generator so that it doesn’t disturb your sleep or distract your studying. Noisey generators can also be a huge distraction in the workplace. If noise is a huge concern, you should consider getting a silent generator.

A generator’s noise level is measured in decibels. You can check any generator’s noise level on the manual. Make sure your generator’s noise levels don’t exceed allowable levels.

Check the Generator’s Outlets

Ensure you get a generator with the right number and types of outlets for your needs. A generator with a 30amp locking-type power outlet will do fine for appliances that consume lots of power, like window air conditioners. 

Check the Fuel Consumption and Run Time

Another important factor to consider when buying a portable generator is its fuel consumption and run time. Remember, different generators run on different types of fuels like propane, diesel, or natural gas. Deciding what fuel source you want for your generator depends on a couple of factors like the cost, power requirements, among others.

You also want a generator with enough runtime to sustain your power needs. For instance, a generator with a runtime of at least eight to ten hours will last you the entire night. You also won’t have to refuel it after every few hours.

However, if you only need to charge a few devices for a couple of hours, you don’t need that much runtime. Around 4 hours of runtime should do just fine.

Check the Features

Naturally, you’d want a generator with tons of features, but feature-laden generators come with a hefty price tag. Portable generators that use pull handles are a tad outdated. Generators with electric start are much better because they can help you save time and effort.

Electric start is one of the many features you should look for in a portable generator. A couple of other features to look out for include:

  • High-temperature shutdown
  • Low-oil temperature shutdown
  • Automatic start
  • CO shutoff

Generators like the Jackery 500 range are loaded with features and are among the best power generators on the market. Make sure you explore all your options to find the best one for your budget.

Solar generators are also a good choice, especially for the environmentally-conscious individual. As the name suggests, solar generators use solar energy for power generation.

Check the Cord Set

Lastly, check the generator’s cord set before making your purchase. You don’t need heavy-duty cord sets for trivial activities like camping and the likes. If you don’t get a cord set with your generator, you can always buy one later.

You Deserve the Best Portable Generator

The information above should help you pick the best portable generator for your specific needs. Be sure to explore all your options before taking your pick. Also, be on the lookout for end-of-the-year deals from your favorite vendors.

Don’t forget to check out the other informative pieces on the site.

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5 Creative Tablet Uses You Need to Incorporate Now

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Tablet Uses

Over 52 million tablets are sold each year around the world. While some of these are to first-time technology users, many of them are to replace tablets that aren’t working as well as they used to.

Whether the screen cracked, or you need to use a tablet for a different purpose than when you purchased it, repurposing your product for new tablet uses ensures that it won’t go to waste. With the continued creation of new apps and updates to technology, there are a variety of ways that your tablet can be utilized.

Continue reading for 5 creative uses for tablets and reinvent your tablet purposes. 

1. Alarm Clock

Having a customizable alarm clock anywhere in your house can be useful. A standard alarm clock only lets you set one or two alarms, but a tablet can set multiple alarms and your screen will tell you exactly what they are for.

You’ll be able to set an alarm for every day at the same time, for once a week, or a one-time-only purpose. You’ll also be able to choose your alarm tone from a catchy tune to a different bell sound for each alarm.

Using unique tablet docks like those found at simplidock.com can make these alarm clocks stand out or blend into your decorating scheme. 

2. Communication Device

With the need for face-to-face communication growing, utilizing your old tablet to talk to relatives or hold work meetings is a smart concept. A tablet is lightweight so you can move around with it, or change rooms. 

Multiple communication apps that can be downloaded to your tablet are free.

3. Universal Remote

As long as your tablet can still connect to the internet or use its Bluetooth capabilities, it can be turned into a universal remote. Children and teens understand it easier than a complicated push-button remote and programming is easier as well.

If you find yourself constantly losing the remote, you will also be able to put find-me technology on it. While not unique to tablets, you can’t do that with a standard remote control. 

4. Entertainment for Children

You may not want your child to have a tablet or smartphone yet, but you might encounter times where having one ready for them can come in useful. Having videos or age-appropriate games that don’t require an internet connection on your old tablet can make those long waits in line or at the doctor’s office easier.

And if your little one is hard on equipment, it’s better for them to use an older one.

5. Exercise

Having one tablet that contains your workout music and videos all in one place is convenient. You’ll be able to use it at home or take it to the park or gym to get your workout or stress relief done for the day. 

Repurpose Your Tablet Uses

Now that you have some creative ways for how to use old tablets, you won’t have to throw them out just because you get a new one. Try one of these tablet uses today and see how you can give it new life. 

If this article was helpful, you can continue reading more like it in our Tech section. 

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Expert Tips on How to Choose the Best Diaper Bag

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Best Diaper Bag

There are lots of things you’ll need to purchase before your newborn baby arrives. There are larger things like a crib, a car seat, baby bath, mobile, and high chair. 

Then there are smaller things like bibs, clothing, diapers, pacifiers, teething rings, burping cloths, etc. But one thing that’s super important but often overlooked is a sturdy and spacious diaper bag. This is the one item you’ll be using to carry everything your baby needs whenever you go anywhere—so you really should make sure you’ve got the very best diaper bag that’s out there.

If you haven’t yet checked this important item off your list, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a simple guide on how to choose a diaper bag that will suit your baby and your lifestyle as a new mom.

Types of Diaper Bags

Before we get into features you should look out for, let’s discuss the different types of diaper bags that are available. As with any other type of bag, diaper bags come in a variety of different styles.

The first main type is the stroller handlebar attachment diaper bag. This is a type of bag that is designed to be attached to your stroller, and it can be handy for this reason. However, it’s possible it will only work with one type of stroller, and be difficult to carry when not attached.

There are also messenger diaper bags—another popular option. A messenger diaper bag is good as you don’t have to hold it in your hand and you can fit a lot of items inside. It is a style that can cause shoulder pain when the bag becomes too heavy, however.

The third style is a cute diaper bag backpack. This type is great because you have full use of your hands and the weight is more evenly distributed. Certain models can be big and bulky looking, however.

What to Look for in a Diaper Bag

When choosing the perfect diaper bag for you, there are a few things you should consider. First, does it have enough space? However large it is, you can always use more space when it comes to a diaper bag—check for hidden pockets and storage for bonus points.

Next, it should be sturdy. This bag will carry your baby’s entire life, and you’ll be taking it with you absolutely everywhere. For this reason, it needs to be solid and ready for anything life can throw at it—a wipe-down material is an added plus here too.

Finally, it should be comfortable to wear. Whether you prefer a tote, a messenger, a backpack, or some hybrid, choose the style that works for you. The straps should be flexible and padded for extra comfort.

The Best Diaper Bag for Your Lifestyle

Ultimately, nobody can tell you what the best diaper bag for your lifestyle is—this will depend on many different factors. But the above guide is a great place to start. If you’re looking for more tips and tricks, check out the rest of our content now.

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