What to look for in your next dishwasher

A dishwasher can be the perfect addition to your home appliances. It will not only save you the time you would have otherwise spent washing dishes by hand, but it’s an excellent way to go green. Dishwashers use less water, hence cutting down on your utility bills. Don’t know what to look for in a dishwasher? Here are a few golden tips to help you out.

The Capacity

Your dishwasher should be able to meet your daily demands. Knowing how many dishes you go through each day allows you to choose an appliance with your desired capacity. The last thing you need is to wash the extra dishes by hand when they don’t all fit in your washer. A large household needs a large dishwasher, with fewer people requiring one with a smaller capacity.

The Size and Type

There are numerous dishwasher brands on the market. It’s good to have an idea of the kind of a washer you need before hitting the stores. A great tip is researching on the different types available and checking out the reviews.  The size should solely depend on the space you have in your kitchen. If you have limited space, then you would rather opt for a small dishwasher.

Specific Features

Most of us tend to focus on the brands and size and forget about the features. We recommend going for dishwashers with adjustable racks. The extra racks allow you to reorganize your washer’s interior. Dishwashers with loading aids have a spare upper rack and individual slots which will enable you to organize the contents. However, having extra racks can limit the size of the contents you place on your second rack.

If you bought a dishwasher to save on water, opt for those with soil sensors. You will be able to not only adjust the time for each cycle, but you can also control the amount of water use.

No time to rinse dirty dishes before you load them in your dishwasher? We recommend buying one with a rinse and hold cycle. The washer will clean your dishes, and get rid of the grease without necessarily starting a full cycle. You won’t have to worry about odors in your kitchen anymore or food setting on your dishes.

Moreover, some dishwashers come with a specific rack set for heavily stained dishes. The cycle only runs for a few minutes, to get the stains off and you can keep stacking the rest of your dishes awaiting a full load.

Temperature and Sound Levels

You ought to look at the temperature settings of a dishwasher since this determines its strength and efficiency. Go for appliances with the two-temperature setting. If the washer will work in a medical environment, its best to go for one with a high sanitization setting. You will need to protect your dishes from harsh chemicals.

Most of the dishwashers available in the market are too loud. If you have a small kitchen, you might want to get one with minimal sounds. Salespersons will always market dishwashers as quiet, but it is best to test one out before making any purchase.

These are some of the vital tips you might want to consider before buying a dishwasher. By keeping them in mind, you will choose the perfect appliance for your home.

Washers and Dryers

If you are living in a small apartment, buying a washer, dryer, or machine that excels at both might be a little tricky but it’s surely a good idea. Choosing the right one, however, is a difficult task. There are many offers on the market and you have to choose the one that fits your budget best. Most of the companies offer plenty of benefits when buying from them, so do your research online before rushing to the nearest store. Here are seven tips and tricks to keep in mind when you’re buying a washer or dryer from Jaisa of Glen Burnie Used Appliances.

  1. Washers and DryersMake sure you do your research online. There are plenty of websites where you can read reviews for the product you are about to buy. Take your time and see what other users said about the product you are about to buy.
  2. Remember that you will have it for at least 5 years. Going for the cheapest combo is not a great idea considering the fact that the washer is an item you will use for a few years. Make sure that it is not too big and that you like the color.
  3. Choose the washer dryer combo that fits your needs the best. There are plenty of different functions when it comes to washers, so make sure that you study these functions, and choose the washers that fits your needs best. For example, if you plan on having a baby, or if you already have a baby, you might want a washer that has a special washing program for baby clothes.
  4. Recycle your old washer for a discount. You can find plenty of companies where you can trade your old washer for a coupon. This is not only a great way to save some money, but you also get rid of the old machine and it is an environmental friendly decision.
  5. Get an extended warranty. To avoid unpleasant situation, extend the warranty. It might seem pointless now, but in a few years, you might thank yourself for this.
  6. Do your research about maintenance. Cleaning the dust, fiber and lint must be done once a few months to avoid unpleasant situations. Also, for a proper cleaning and drying make sure you do not over-load the equipment.
  7. Have a specialist install it. A proper installation ensures a longer life span. Do not try to install it yourself, there are plenty of companies that offer installation services. Most of the authorized sellers offer free delivery and installation if you buy it from them.

Choosing a washer dryer combination is an important decision for the household. It is also a long-term purchase so you have to make sure that you do your research before buying it. This acquisition should never be made in a rush. Once you decided that you need a new washer dryer machine, start doing your research and save money weekly. Keep in mind that it will be in your home for at least a couple of years, so do your research before investing.

How to clean your stove

Cleaning the kitchen is a difficult task. One of the most important and the hardest to clean items in the kitchen is the stove. It does not matter if it is a gas stove or an electric stove, cleaning it is a true nightmare for most of us. Cleaning the stovetop and the oven regularly is crucial for the kitchen. The longer we delay cleaning it, the more grease builds up. Here’s a list with nine eco-friendly methods of cleaning up your stove given to us by our friends at Baltimore Used Appliances.

  1. clean your stoveAmmonia is one of the most efficient ways to clean your stove’s greasy burners. Take the removable burners and put them into a zipper-top bag, spray ammonia on them, seal and leave overnight. In the morning you will notice all the grease is gone and the burners look as good as new.
  2. White vinegar with water will remove the grime spots and disinfect your stove. One part of white vinegar and two parts of tap water mixed in an unused spray bottle is one of our greatest help in the kitchen. This mixture can be used for cleaning the fridge and other items in the kitchen as well.
  3. Baking soda and lemon help you clean the glass stovetop without scratching it. Just sprinkle baking soda on the stovetop and rub the surface with a slice of lemon then wipe the stovetop with a damp cloth. You will notice the stains are gone and the surface is not scratched. You can use this recipe for cleaning the water taps in your house as well.
  4. Boiling water can be a last-minute solution to clean your stove. Just pour the hot water over the stove’s surface and let it cool down. Take a sponge, wipe away the scrap and add soap if you encounter stubborn areas.
  5. Soap and water can be used to remove the easy stains on your stove. Remove the burners before you start cleaning and make sure that you are using a soft cloth on the glass parts of the stove.
  6. Make a thick mix of equal parts of dish soap and baking soda. Apply the mix on the inner surface of the stove and let it sit for a few hours. Spray water on the mix every 20 minutes so it does not dry. Scrub the remnants away with a dry towel.
  7. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is one of the most powerful home-made kitchen cleaners. Sprinkle baking soda on your stovetop and then add the peroxide then rinse with a damp towel and dry once the stains have disappeared.
  8. Vegetable oil is another item that can be used when cleaning the stove. Pour a little oil on the stovetop and scrub the residue with a cloth. After removing the stains, spray the stovetop with a universal cleaner.
  9. Mix together a tablespoon of salt and baking soda. Add water and mix it all together. Apply the paste on the stubborn stains and scrub with a sponge.

Vacuum Cleaners

Modern homes these days are packed with hundreds of labor and time-saving equipment.  Vacuums certainly do qualify as one of the appliances we can’t live without. Most people hate coming back home to a dirty house and so cleaning up is inevitable. Vacuum cleaners make this easier for you while not tiring you out completely.

Vacuum CleanersSometimes vacuum cleaners are referred to as Hoovers or sweepers. This is probably due to the fact that they evolved from carpet sweepers. Your ordinary vacuum cleaner may seem complicated but is made up of only six vital components, namely;

  • Porous Bag
  • Fan
  • Electric Motor
  • Exhaust Port
  • Intake Port whose cleaning accessories are quite a variety
  • Housing for all its parts

How Does a Vacuum Cleaner Work?

The electric current gets the motor going. The motor is normally attached to the fan which resembles an airplane propeller due to its angled blades. Air is forced towards the exhaust ports as the fan is turning. Due to the forward movement of the air particles, the density and air pressure decreases behind the fan while increasing in front of it.

Just like when you sip a drink from your straw, the pressure decrease behind the straw and fan are similar. This then creates a partial vacuum inside your vacuum cleaner. The suction created by the fan causes a stream of air flowing through the intake port to the exhaust port. As the air particles move, they rub against any form of debris or loose dust. A strong suction and loose dust will cause friction which directs the material to the vacuum cleaner’s inside.

Other designs incorporate rotating brushes to enable dirt to be kicked away from the carpet so that the flowing air stream can pick them up. Once inside, the dirty air will pass through a porous material that filters the air. The porous material usually woven from cloth or paper is just the right size to prevent dirt particles from escaping while allowing air particles to pass through.

Types of Vacuum Cleaners

They come in in different sizes, models, and types to cater for each household needs. The main types of vacuum cleaners include;

  • Handheld

This is better suited for small surface areas that are hard to reach, for example, cars. Like the name suggests, it can be held in one hand and so would not serve well for general floor cleaning purposes.

  • Stick

These vacuum cleaners are composed of a slender construction with a long stick-like handle. It might not be among the most powerful vacuums but it does a good job when used on area rugs, light carpeting, closets, or hardwood floors.

  • Upright

For a thorough cleaning job, these powerful vacuum cleaners have got you covered. It is no surprise therefore that they are the most sought after. They are versatile and provide easy cleaning functions and accessories. Some of the upright models in the market provide bare floor cleaning options as opposed to the conventional carpeted surfaces cleaning.

  • Canister

Canisters are the more technologically advanced vacuum cleaner options. They have a multi-functional design, combining both the stick and the upright vacuum models. They come in a separate canister and so are suitable for both bare floors and carpeted areas. This feature makes them more expensive than your typical model types.

  • Robot

Also referred to as autonomous models, have become more recent over the years. With our busy schedules, robots require minimal to no effort on your end. They also do an effective job while cleaning up your home, including those nook and cranny areas that are impossible to reach. The price, however, is over the top.

Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

A vacuum cleaner should be unique to your lifestyle and needs so here are a few considerations to make before you purchase one;

  1. Noise

If you want to do some cleaning but still maintain some peace and quiet, some cleaners run quiet but still do a good job. The decibel level should be at least 60-65 for an extremely quiet vacuum.

  1. Weight

Some vacuum cleaners weigh up to 20 pounds. Lighter cleaners are of course easier to maneuver. If you have a big home, consider getting a powerful but lightweight cleaner with fewer attachments.

  1. Attachments

Different cleaning requirements need different brushes and attachments; mostly dusting brushes, an upholstery, or crevice tool. If you have hairy pets or cut-pile carpets, consider a turbo brush. For wooden floors, consider a parquet or horsehair brush.

  1. Allergies

For those who suffer from dust or mite allergies, HEPA certified cleaners are the best option. They come with filters that are designed to capture even the smallest allergens. For economical purposes, consider one with a washable filter.

Dirt is sometimes lodged deep inside the carpet and this may require deeper cleaning methods. Vacuums only suck away the surface dirt for a clean appearance. So for a thorough clean-up, you may have to incorporate other cleaning methods. Remember, a clean home is a healthy home. Harmful allergens and dust present in the carpet may cause allergies to your pets or small kids. If not dealt with, they may also cause a musty smell in your home.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are used to drain accumulated water in a sump basin especially in wet basements. If you have never heard of it, count yourself lucky as it means you haven’t experienced a basement flooding problem. The American Society of Home inspectors has noted that over 60 percent of homeowners suffer from wetness below the ground. Even a little water is bound to amount to thousands of dollars of water damage.

Even if your house has a water problem, there may be other alternatives to correct the situation before your resort to a sump pump. A network of drainage tubes protect your basement or crawl spaces from water damage around the foundation area. The water is directed to a sump which then pushes the water through a discharge pipe to the outside and away from the house.

Types of Sump PumpsSump Pumps

The sump pumps are available as either pedestal or submersible types. Pedestals are more affordable than submersible as they aren’t cooled by the water in the sump. They are, however, prone to overheating under extreme use.

Submersible pumps, on the other hand, are surrounded by cooling water and rest at the sump’s bottom.

Sump Pump Buying Guide

  • Horsepower

The critical thing to know is how many gallons of water per hour it can pump and up to what height. For sump pumps that run consistently throughout the year, a more powerful pump is required.

  • Housing

Housing is essential for the pumps and is usually available in cast metal, stainless steel, or plastic housing.

  • Switch

The switches come in three types namely; vertical float, tethered float, and electronic float. After the water reaches a certain level, they all turn on the pump. They differ in pricing although they all offer protection to the pumps.

Maintenance Tips

Sump pumps are mechanical devices bound to fail from time to time. If this happens, you could be looking at a flooded basement and subsequently, costly repairs. Regular maintenance helps to nip problems in the bud before things get worse. Here are a few tips to guide you;

  • Annual examinations of the sump pumps and basins
  • Remove gravel, dirt, and sand from the sump pump
  • Ensure discharge line openings are free from any obstructions
  • Ensure float pumps are clear of any obstructions

 

Some dampness during summer is not a cause for alarm because a dehumidifier can solve that. However, if you are searching for a house be keen when doing a tour of the basement. Evidence of a significant water problem could be high water marks on the wall or an active sump pump. A wet basement brings with it a myriad of issues such as mold, rust, rot, etc. Installing sump pumps can be quite a hassle, therefore, if you like the house or you have already moved in, consider other alternatives first.

If you are replacing a sump pump that has worked well over the years, buy a similar sump pump of the same horsepower as well. The sumps mentioned above pumps operate on electric current. Battery backups are vital for providing some level of protection until the power is restored.

Click here for more information and to possibly buy a pump.

Heat Pumps for the Home

A heat pump is a mechanical system that works to both heat and cool a controlled place. It forms part of a central heating and cooling system. Despite their name, they do a lot more than just heating. They also provide humidity control and air conditioning. They can be great additions to already existing features or can be used as stand-alone appliances. They use less energy and are therefore a very cost-efficient method.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?Heat Pump

This equipment works by transferring heat through a refrigerant from one place to another. During the summer, heat is captured from inside the home and transferred to the outside air through a condensing unit. The reverse happens during the winter where heat is captured from the outdoor air, compressed and then released inside the home.

Types of Heat Pumps

  1. Air-to-air heat pump

This is the most common type of heat pump and is also known as an air-source heat pump (ASHP). They work best in moderate climates but due to technological advancements, they have become a viable option for colder climates too. They are mostly mounted on the interior of walls. They consist of two parts; an outdoor unit which is the heat pump and an indoor unit which is the air handler.

  1. Mini-split systems

Mini-splits like the name suggests has some part of the system outside and another part inside making them very suitable for retrofit installations. This is a ductless version of ASHP specially designed for single room additions or home without ducts. A 3-inch hole has to be drilled between the outside and the inside for the wiring and tubing. These help in refrigeration and condensation.

  1. Geothermal

They often go by the name ground or water source. Here, heat is moved through pipes buried outdoors either horizontally or vertically. A water solution runs through the pipes which is warmed by the ground temperatures or water sources around your home and circulated in and out of your home. They also provide humidity control. Although installation is costly, they are a good option as they are quiet, long-lasting and extremely effective in harsh climates. They have low operating costs too due to the minimal maintenance required.

Common Features of Heat Pumps

  • Noise can be a nuisance with fans and compressors in ASHP. Select one with a sound rating of 7.6 bels or lower and position it on an absorbing base.
  • Demand-defrost control is a feature that enables your heat pump to get rid of frost accumulation for complete effectiveness and cost efficiency of your pump.
  • Zoned heating and cooling
  • Two-speed compressors allow the heat pump to save on a considerable amount of energy and reduce compressor wear. They work by operating as close to the heating and cooling capacity at any time.
  • Dual-speed motors or variable speed motors keep the air moving at a good speed. This minimizes the noise and saves on electrical energy.
  • Scroll compressors as compared to piston compressors as they provide warmer air while in the heating mode and have a longer lifespan.
  • Desuperheaters are popular in geothermal heating and cooling systems. They use heat from recovered waste to heat water.

Factors to Consider Before You Buy

  • Climate

Heat pumps work efficiently in moderate climates without wide temperature changes. You will need an auxiliary heating system if you live in colder climates below 10 degrees F.

  • Size

A heating and cooling professional is better suited to recommend a suitable heat pump depending on different considerations of your home. The heat pumps should neither be too big or too small.

  • Energy efficiency

Seasonal Efficiency Energy Ratio (SEER) is used to measure the cooling efficiency of ductless-split and air source systems. The minimum standard is 13-14 SEER depending on your location. The heating system is measured by a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) and the minimum HSPF rating is 7.7. A higher SEER is important in warm climates but a higher HPSF is suitable for cold climates.

A geothermal cooling system is rated by Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) while its heating system is rated by a Coefficient of Performance (COP). The EER minimums are 2.1 while the COP is 3.1 to 4.1

  • Tax credits

Some states and utility companies offer a certain percentage of federal tax credit and rebates. More information on this can be found on the Department of Energy and Internal Revenue Service websites.

Although they cost slightly more than air conditioners, they are absolutely worth it. No combustion takes place which eliminates the possibility of pollutants. Also, they have proven to be more effective than electric resistance heating.

 

Tips to Extend the Life of your Home Appliances

Many homeowners never realize that their everyday actions affect the performance of their major home appliances. You could be harming your major appliances without really knowing until when you have to make an emergency repair call. As you abuse or neglect your major home appliances, you’re simply bringing an earlier-than-expected end of their service life. Don’t forget that replacing appliances like a freezer, an oven, a dryer or a refrigerator will require a lot of money which means your budget will be affected. To ensure that your major appliances serve you well and have an extended lifespan, follow these tips.

Scrub your Oven

Allowing food debris to stay and stick in your oven burners will certainly affect the performance of your oven over time. It’s recommended to regularly clean the inside of your even. If there’s food debris that might have stuck inside, use grease to remove it. According to experts, spraying cleaning fluid directly on your oven control panels can result in short-circuiting of your appliance. You should instead consider applying a little of the spraying fluid onto a rag before cleaning that surface.

Remember not to use aluminum foil under the baking element of your oven.

Defrost your Freezer

Despite the fact that modern freezers being used in homes today are frost-free, some homeowners still use manual defrost freezers. If you’re part of this group, it’s important that you defrost your freezer at least once a year. Be sure to do this before the frost develops to about a half an inch in thickness within the freezer.

Always make sure your Freezer and Fridge are Clean

Failure to clean your refrigerator and freezer in the condenser area will affect the life of your appliance. It’s important that you ensure that the condenser coils at the bottom unit of your fridge remain clean always. It’s recommended to clean using a condenser coil brush before vacuuming the area. Be sure to also clean up leftovers in your refrigerator on a regular basis. Before you start cleaning your freezer, make sure it is unplugged, and all the food is removed first. Consider using baking-soda solution when cleaning and water when rinsing your freezer. Ensure the appliance is dry before plugging it back in.

Don’t Overload Cloths in your Washing Machine

A major cause of premature wear out in washing machines is overloading. Another thing that can affect the performance of your washing machine is not having the proper setting of water level for the amount of clothes you’re washing. While you could be in a hurry and it might seem so easy to cram as many clothes into your appliance as possible, understand that this will force your washing machine to work harder than it should thereby stressing its parts.

Improve your Dryer’s Circulation

Dryers that seem to take more time to dry a standard sized load often require vent cleaning to solve the problem. It’s recommended to regularly clean the lint screen to prevent the vent from becoming clogged. Failure to clean the dryer vent will cause it to work harder which will not only affect its performance but also present a serious fire hazard.