Archive for Tricks and Tips

3 Things to Check Before Calling For Air Conditioning Service

So your air conditioner won’t turn on, and the temperature outside, and in your home, is rising fast. What to do?

Your first instinct should be to call for Immediate appliance repair (and yes, you should!) but before you pick up the phone, be sure to check these three potential causes for air conditioning failure.

1. Check for power
The first thing you should do is make sure that there is power in your home and neighborhood. If your air conditioning unit goes out in the middle of a sunny morning, you may be unaware if you’re actually experiencing a full-blown power outage. Check to make sure other appliances and lighting fixtures are able to turn on in your home.

2. Check the circuit breaker
Also called a fuse box, if the breaker to your HVAC unit has been tripped, just reset the breaker to check if activity will resume to your air conditioner. However, be aware that circuit breakers will usually trip due to safety reasons, so depending on the number of times it trips, you may want to have an electrician come out to take a look. This will help determine if there are any electrical-related issues present.

Similarly, check to see if the batteries in your unit’s thermostat are dead, and change them out if they are. Dead batteries will make it impossible to turn the air conditioning off and off, or adjust any settings.

3. Check the air filters
A dirty or old air filter may be impeding the flow of air to your air conditioning unit, resulting in a less powerful or less cold airflow. Be sure to change air filters regularly in order to ensure optimal efficiency and to avoid future issues.

Sleep Like a Baby: 5 Tips to Beat the Nightly Summer Heat With No Air Conditioning

When summer comes to mind, we almost always focus on picnics, days lounging on the beach, and tasty iced drinks. But hot weather has a gnarly side too. We’re talking about the real dog days of summer, when intense heat and humidity make it impossible to sit comfortably, let alone sleep through the night.

Pool parties, barbecues and ice pops: Summer is a veritable festival of fun in the sun! But with summer months come steamy summer night… And for some, restless, sleepless nights due to the heat.

If you don’t have an air conditioning unit in your home, you don’t have to spend all summer sweltering in your sweaty sheets. With a little ingenuity and a fan or two, you can be sleeping like a cool, comfortable baby. Below, check out 5 simple tips to do just that:

1. Craft a Cross-Breeze
Loading up your home with fans can help boost airflow around your space, which will help you and your house cool down quicker. At nighttime, a fan positioned in front of a window can help draw in the cool night air and push it around your home.

2. Choose Cotton
Ditch the thick, clingy fabric for cotton everything—clothes, underwear, bedding—to keep cool, crisp and sweat-free! Lighter than most other fabrics, cotton will hep wick away sweat and moisture, keeping you feeling clean and cool.

3. Sleep Alone
Sorry, but cuddling up isn’t conducive to a comfy-cool rest in the depths of the summer heat. Body heat begets body heat. Instead, try snoozing alone with loose sheets instead of a heavy comforter.

4. Lights Out
Lights = heat. Duh! Keep your home cool (and conserve energy) by minimizing your light usage, especially during the daytime, when your home will already receive plenty of light from the sun.

5. Get Cold Feet
Your biggest winter pet peeve will become your summer best friend: cold feet! You can purchase cooling gel socks to wear at night, or even store some socks in the freezer to keep your feet, a sensitive spot which can affect the way the rest of your body feels, nice and cool at night. You can also try sleeping your feet outside the covers… and skip the slippers!

How To Clean a Greasy Stove-Top With Only Soap and Water

When it comes to cleaning a grimy, greasy stove-top that’s covered in caked-on stains and burnt-on mess, you’d be forgiven for assuming it will take 10 products, 2 hours and a whole lot of elbow grease to get the thing shining again.

Thankfully, we’re here to tell you that that’s not the case. You may feel like you need the latest, greatest, most heavy duty cleaner available in the cleaning aisle of your grocery store, but in reality, a little Palmolive, Dawn or Meyer’s goes a long way.

Read below to see how easy (and affordable) it is to give your stove the deep clean it deserves!

Materials You’ll Need:
Dish soap
Cleaning cloth/sponge
Scrub brush
Kitchen towel

Instructions:
1. If you are able to remove the knobs and grates from your stove-top, do so.

2. Before you wipe down the stove-top, toss the knobs into a bowl of soapy water and let them soak.

3. Take your cleaning cloth or sponge and squirt a small drop of dish soap onto it, and then wet it. Squeeze out the excess water into the sink.

4. Wipe and scrub at any grease stains and sauce spills, reapplying soap and water where necessary to create suds. (Tip: Do NO worry about any soapy residue yet; this will help to continually loosen the grime and grease while you scrub at other spots!)

5. Make sure to rinse the sponge out until the water runs clear, to ensure you’re not just spreading dirt around instead of actually getting the surface clean.

6. With long strokes using the wet sponge, wipe away any lingering soap residue, rinsing the sponge as you go. Really scrub at any lingering, crusted-on stains with the rough side of the sponge.

7. Buff lingering water streaks using a clean, dry towel; wipe in the direction of the grain if you have stainless steel.

8. Continue to buff surfaces until they are shiny and free of streaks.

9. Scrub the grates in the sink using a soapy scrub brush; rinse and dry completely.

10. Vigorously scrub the knobs which have been soaking; rinse and dry completely.

11. Wipe everything down… everything! Replace knobs and grates when stove-top is dry and viola! You’re done, and should have a sparkling stove-top.

3 Hacks to Keep Cool in the Summer Heat

Do you find yourself begging for winter as July approaches? After all, it’s not like you can take your air conditioning outside of your car and home, so when you’re out there having all that summer fun, you’re stuck feeling the summer heat, too.

Luckily, we’ve got a handful of cool summer hacks up our sleeve which will keep you nice and comfortable while you enjoy the sun.

Chill Out… Your Pants:
If you have to wear full-length denim or pants during the summer, stick them in the freezer overnight. Then, put them on just before you leave the house. The cooling sensation will keep you nice and comfy as you venture into the heat, and help with anti-sticking. (Summer heat + leather car interior = UGH!)

Don’t Sweat It:
Find yourself super sweaty and overheated? Don’t focus too much on it! Hyperawareness of the heat will only cause you to feel even more unbearably hot, which will lead to more sweating. Instead, keep cool in your mind and your body will follow!

Ice to Meet You:
If you need a quick cool-down, nothing helps faster than an ice cube to the inner wrist!The wrist is the center of a pulse point, where blood vessels gather closely towards the surface of your skin. Applying an ice cube here helps to cool your blood, and in turn, your body.

And don’t forget to hydrate with plenty of water out there!

Pesky Stain Removal 101: Grass, Ketchup, and Wine

Is there anything more tragic than getting a big ol’ green grass stain on your favorite pair of jeans? It’s the worst! To help save you from a laundry headache, below we’ll lay out simple ways to remove three of the worst, most annoying types of stains in our lives: grass stains, wine stains, and ketchup.

GRASS
First, apply a stain treatment directly to the stain, scrubbing with a toothbrush before you rub the fabric together. Then, use diluted white vinegar or ammonia to remove any remaining color. Easy peasy!

WINE
The first thing you need to do is cover the stain with a handful of salt, which should begin to absorb the color, turning it pink. Then soak the garment in cold water with enzyme detergent and allow it to soak overnight. Tip: If you can’ wash straight away, spot treat with club soda.

KETCHUP
Whenever possible, rinse the stain under cold running water right away. Then, soak it in warm water and dab the stain with a sponge that has been coated with dishwashing soap. f the stain is too stubborn, treat with methylated spirits. Finally, apply a stain treatment and allow it to sit for 15 minutes, using diluted white vinegar to remove any remaining color afterwards.