Browsing Category: "Home and Appliances"

Let Machines Do the Work! Clever Automation Ideas for Your Home

There are many simple tasks around the home that could be taken care of by modern technology.  You could free up your life to do more enjoyable things and save yourself a lot of time and hassle.  Options like gate automation can make your life so much easier and really improve the functionality of your home.

Automated Timing Switches

Timing switches can be a great way to automate a variety of different devices and gadgets around the home.  You can buy these switches and plug your electrical items straight into them.  You will then be able to program in a schedule of times when you want these appliances to turn on and off.

For example timing switches can be used for electric heaters.  The switches will automatically turn heaters on and off at the programmed times.  This enables you to heat rooms in advance so that they are nice and warm for when you get home.  This will also save you money as the heaters switch off again automatically so you never need to worry about leaving them on wasting energy.

Timing switches can also be used for other tasks like pumps for fish tanks.  You will be able to program when you want the pumps to turn on and off automatically and this saves you a lot of hassle.

Automated Washing Cycles

Many modern washing machines can now offer scheduled programming.  You will be able to load washing machines and then program what time you want them to come on.  This can save a lot of time as you can load the machine the night before and program it to automatically start the next morning.  No more rushing around before work trying to get the washing on!

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Automated wash cycles can also save you money as you can program machines to wash at the cheapest tariff point of the day even if you are out and about.

Automated Gates

Gate automation can offer a practical way to secure your home whilst still making it accessible to you and your family.  These gates can also add style to properties and have a certain upmarket appeal.  The great thing about automated gates is that they can be opened remotely.  This means you don’t have to get out of your car and open the gates to access your property.  The gates can either be opened by someone inside the property or you can have a wireless controller in your car that triggers the gates to open for you.

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[Photo courtesy of Daniel Frank/pexels.com]

This offers an incredibly convenient way to secure your property without making access difficult for you or your family. There are many benefits to installing automated gates on your property including:

  • Increased Security – locked gates offer a powerful visible deterrent to opportunistic criminals. Automated gates have specially geared motors that make it very difficult for someone to force them open.  For additional security electromagnetic locks can be installed which power up when the gates are shut.  These exert a very powerful force that makes it incredibly difficult to force gates open.  Automated gates make it much easier for you to control who enters your property.
  • Increased Convenience – automated gates enable you to enter and leave your property with ease. Some remote controller devices can be used up to 20 metres away.  This means you can ensure the gates slide open just as you approach so that you don’t have to stop your car and wait.
  • Long Lasting and Durable – quality automated gates are available in a range of robust materials. Metal gates offer a tough and lasting option.  You can also get wooden electric gates for those that prefer a more traditional, natural finish.  Whatever material you choose with a little careful maintenance your automated gate should last for many years.
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The Reason You’re Losing Time When Cooking

You find a recipe you want to make. The picture is tantalizing, the ingredients are already in your cupboard, and you’re going to cook it better than the chef in the picture ever could. Ah, hubris.

It’s not uncommon to find a recipe that claims to take 30-40 minutes and emerge from the kitchen, sweaty and irritable, more than hour later. You begin to wonder if the problem is the author – do they exist in a different universe where time runs differently? Or could the problem be… you?

One of the major contributors to the slowing-down process is clutter. We have all come to value our kitchen appliances; not just the cooker (although its importance is obvious) – but we love all those little gadgets we have that make cooking fun and seemingly easy. When thought about it… how many of those gadgets do you actually need? How many do you really use?

Therefore it’s necessary to wonder if you’re getting the most out of your kitchen or if perhaps a few tweaks to your behavior could improve on perfection.

Do You Really Need Those Gadgets All At Once?

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It’s important to be harsh with your kitchen appliances – and no, that doesn’t mean using lifespan-reducing steel wool to clean them. What it does mean is following a simple rule of necessity. Ask yourself if you really need everything that you have in the room.

Many cooks follow a rule of “one in, one out” when it comes to their gadgets. So, if for example, a meal calls for the use of a blender, then you make space for it in the room by moving out the steamer. If you have to use a bowl mixer, then it’s bye-bye blender. They don’t have to go into deep storage – just remove them from the work surfaces into cupboards. With more available space to work in, it’s easier to see what you have done and – importantly – what you need to do.

Your Kitchen Is For Kitchen Things

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[Photo courtesy of stevepb/pixabay.com]

It’s not uncommon to come home from work and, before heading to the kitchen, pick up the mail. Once in the kitchen, you put the mail down on the counter, adding to the pile your keys, bag, and your phone.

Just like that, in one mindless moment, your belongings are spreading through the room without your knowledge. If you don’t clear these items away quickly, they begin to mount up – and will get in the way when you cook.

Create a space outside the kitchen – a cubby, or a shelf – to deposit items in before entering the kitchen. If you need to use your phone for a recipe, then put it back in a pocket when done rather than abandoning it on the counter.

Use Dead Time For Clean Up

Most meals offer you a certain amount of “dead time” while food is simply cooking and there is nothing for you to do to it. Sure, stir the sauce every few minutes or turn the steaks when one side is done – but mostly, it’s hands off for a short while. Use this time to cast an eye over the counters and clear away any mess, spills, or equipment you no longer need. It might sound small and simplistic, but it genuinely is an effective way of preventing things getting on top of you and disrupting the meal!

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Your Energy Savings: Energy Efficiency Lighting Facts

Everybody seems to be trying to save more and more money these days.  Whether it’s trying to stay in for dinner more often, collecting coupons for the grocery store, finding discounts on everyday needs, or generally trying to consume less, saving money is on most households agendas.  One thing that we seem to hear about more often now is saving money on utilities every month.  We’ve all heard that changing your appliances to more efficient and updated units can greatly decrease your utilities bills.  For many however, finding the money to pay for updated appliances can be out of the question because of their initial cost.  There is another, less expensive way to cut your utility bill.  That of course is lighting your home.  Many people are skeptical though, as it can be hard to really know how much you save when changing your light bulbs to more efficient, updated ones.  Here are some of the facts behind changing your lighting to help you get a grasp on how much you actually will save.

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What type of bulb is the most energy efficient?

We have all grown up and are familiar with the incandescent light bulb.  The energy sucking bulb is now obsolete and even the government is taking steps to eliminate the bulb from American households.  We are more commonly hearing about CFL bulbs and LED lights.  Which ones better?  Energy star rated light bulbs are compared based on how much light a bulb emits based on how much energy it uses.  LED lights are the most energy efficient light bulb emitting 90 to 120 lumens per 1 watt of electricity.  Compare that to the CFL’s 40-70 lumens per one watt and it is obvious that the LED is the more efficient bulb.

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Is the Price worth it?

Although LED’s are more efficient, they are also more expensive than CFL’s and many claim that the light LED’s emit is not as comfortable as CFL’s.  If this is the case, than CFL’s will work just fine and will still save you an average of $5000-$8,000 in a ten year span.  CFL’s have a lifespan of roughly ten years so you should plan on replacing them after that span of time.  LED’s are going to be about double the price of a CFL bulb.  They are a better investment with time however, given that LED’s have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years.  And given the efficiency of an LED, in ten years you should expect to save $10,000-$15,000 in ten years, and after that ten years you won’t have to worry about changing your LED light bulbs.

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You’ll Always Be Entertained at Home with These Tips

Everyone needs to be able to relax and have fun at home. Having entertainment options you can choose from will keep the whole family entertained and stop anyone getting bored. But if you want to be able to entertain yourself whenever you want, you need to have access to superior entertainment. If you want to improve the entertainment you have available in your home, you need to consider how you can access it and what you use to enjoy it. Improving your sources for entertainment and the tech you use to experience it can make everything more fun and relaxing.

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Update Your Equipment

The first thing you might want to do is change the tech you use to enjoy different forms of entertainment. Your music or movies are often only as good as the equipment you use to play them. If the image or sound quality isn’t good, you won’t enjoy the experience as much. It might be time for a new TV or a new sound system if you think something isn’t fulfilling your needs anymore. If you’re a movie fanatic, maybe it’s time to finally set up a home theater with a projector. Or if you love music, perhaps you should get a new record player with Bluetooth connectivity and MP3 conversion capability.

Get Access to More Movies and TV

There’s nothing worse than scrolling through your movie options and not wanting to watch any of it. When you have so much choice, it shouldn’t be difficult to find something enjoyable. But perhaps the answer is to expand the choices you have available. With the right streaming apps, you can access whatever you want, whenever you want. And if you like it, you can buy it to own too. Showbox and other apps like it make it easy to watch movies on mobile devices, so you’re not just confined to your home, either. You can find both free and paid resources to use to expand your entertainment collection.

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Improve Your Music Options

You also want to be able to access lots of music and choose whatever you’re in the mood for. Listening to whatever you want can be a combination of choosing the right music services and using the right sound system. If you use a service like Spotify, you can find almost any music and listen to it anywhere. Plus, is you use a wireless sound system such as Sonos, you can connect various music sources and control everything with your phone or tablet.

Alter Your Interiors

If you want the ultimate entertainment experience at home, you should think about redesigning some of your space. For example, turning one room into a home theater can involve making the decor darker, getting in some comfortable seating, and choosing some appropriate lighting. Having the perfect environment in which to enjoy your movies or music can improve your experience greatly and change everything forever.

If you want to make sure you’re never bored at home, improving your music and movie options can help you to do that.

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