Refrigerator Glossary: Terms to Know When Buying a Fridge

When deciding on which refrigerator to purchase, you may run across some terminology that is unfamiliar to you. We have compiled a list of frequently used refrigerator features and terms to help you make an informed buying decision.

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INFOGRAPHIC: How You Can Save Money & Energy for Earth Day

Just in time for Earth Day, we published this infographic over on our sister site, LivingDirect.com.

Whether you’re a homeowner or not, there’s no better time to take a closer look at the amount of energy you use on a daily basis. By using less, you’ll not only save money on your monthly bills, but you’ll also lower your overall energy footprint. Not just on Earth Day, but every day.

According to the EPA, home energy use accounts for 27% of the average American’s carbon footprint, even more than driving around in your car. But, as technology advances, appliances have become more and more efficient. It’s easier than ever to use less and save more.

Click on Infographic to view larger version.

Earth Day Infographic - Guide to Saving Money & Energy

More Money Saving Tips:

Tips for Cleaning & Caring For Your Washing Machine

Just because your washing machine was created to clean things, doesn’t make it exempt from needing some cleaning and care itself from time to time. Your washing machine is an appliance, and like any appliance it needs a bit of TLC every now and then in order to stay in top form. If you spend a few moments now, you will likely keep your washer working as it should, as well as possibly have to spend hundreds of dollars on repairs later on.

EdgeStar Washer Dryer Combo

Whether you own a washer dryer combo or a full-size unit, here are a few tips that everybody should know when it comes to keeping their washing machines in top-working order.

Deep Scrubbing

In order to make sure that your clothes are coming out as clean as they can possibly be, it’s a good idea to deep clean your washing machine once a month. This is also a good way to keep odd smells out of your washer. There are cleaners made specifically for washing machines that you can put to good use. When using a washing machine cleaner, you’ll want to run the machine on an empty cycle on hot wash.

If you like, you can make your own washing machine cleaner with a 3/4 cup of bleach and a teaspoon of powdered laundry detergent. Allow the mixture to run through a single soak cycle before you start up a rinse cycle to make sure that all of the bleach has been washed away.
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6 Things You Should Know About Portable Ice Makers

The idea of a portable ice maker is a fairly new one, but they have changed the way many families make ice for a number of reasons. There are many advantages to owning one, and there are some misconceptions as well. If you’re looking for an alternative ice solution, you should educate yourself on portable ice makers. It could be exactly what you have been searching for.

Bucket of Ice

To help get things started, here are six things you should know about portable ice makers to clear up any confusion and to determine whether this appliance is right for you.

1. They Truly Are Portable

A portable ice maker will work anywhere there is an outlet to plug it in. It is a compact appliance that can be placed on a countertop and won’t take up an inordinate amount of space. They are fantastic for parties, family gatherings, and even road trips. With a simple DC adapter, a portable ice maker can be plugged into a car with no problem. They are even small enough to conveniently fit on the limited counter space available in RVs and campers.
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Our Top 5 Most Reviewed Portable Air Conditioners

If you’re in the market for an alternative cooling solution, you may find yourself reading a multitude of portable air conditioner reviews. As you’ve probably seen, these tend to range from pure bliss to utter dissatisfaction and every reaction in between. With each season, we evaluate our influx of reviews and alter our product line-up accordingly. Over the years, we’ve seen a select 5 of our portable air conditioners receive overwhelmingly positive reviews. They aren’t all positive, of course, but the majority of their over 100 reviews are what have caused us to keep these products around to meet the cooling needs of our customers.

Here are our top 5 reviewed portable air conditioners and what customers are saying about them.

Garage Apartment Cooling

EdgeStar 14,000 BTU Dual-Hose Portable Air Conditioner & Heater (Model: AP14001HS)

When transforming your attic, basement, or garage into a liveable portion of your home, consider using a portable air conditioner as a cooling solution for this space. There’s no need to rework your entire central cooling system; as long as you have proper insulation, a portable air conditioner works perfectly.

Photo from AP14001HS Review

The EdgeStar 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner and Heater, which has over 160 reviews, has been able to meet this need quite successfully:

“We finished our upstairs in the garage and put this unit next to the window. With the insulation we added, it is able to keep the 300s/f area cool. Am happy with the product; Thanks!”

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4 Reasons Why an Ice Maker is Perfect for Entertaining

Entertaining guests is one of the most enjoyable things a homeowner can do. It is only enjoyable, however, provided things go as smoothly as possible throughout the event. As any host or hostess should know, advance preparation is imperative to the success of a gathering. Although there are many preparations you should consider before entertaining in your home, one of the most commonly overlooked is the availability of ice.

Ice Maker

Many party-throwers will try to combat this issue by strategically placing coolers throughout the party space, while others will simply try to stuff their freezer with bagged ice from the store. These scenarios leave you with either a big mess to clean (whether from the melted ice in the coolers or from the constant foot traffic through your kitchen to the freezer) or cause you or a friend to have to run out mid-party for more ice.

The most ideal way to have plenty of ice on-hand is through the use of an ice maker. A stand-alone, countertop, or undercounter ice maker gives you one less preparation task and one less party-time concern to focus on. Here’s how:

1. You’ll Never Run Out of Ice

It is certainly not uncommon to hear the host or hostess request that a close friend or relative leave the party to pick up more ice. This is never fun for the person fulfilling the request and, depending on the proximity of a store, can cause delays in the availability of ice. This situation can be easily avoided through the use of an ice maker.

Ice makers produce ice continuously and automatically, so that even if you are to run out, more is being made. Countertop ice makers produce close to 30 lbs. of ice per day, which the perfect amount for a small gathering. If you typically entertain larger groups, an undercounter or stand-alone ice maker would be the best bet for you. Depending on the model, these will produce anywhere from 12 to 83 lbs. of ice per day. With a constant influx of fresh ice, you’ll rarely run out, and if you do, nobody has to leave to get more. The ice machine does the work for you.
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Portable Washers: Your New Best Friend

If you travel regularly or live in a small space without a washing machine, laundry is probably an ongoing logistical nightmare for you. Going to laundry facilities can be costly and time-consuming, but washing all of your clothes by hand is hardly a practical alternative. You don’t have to resign yourself to either approach, though, thanks to a fairly new and fantastically convenient solution: portable washers.

A portable washer can be a lifesaver for anyone living in a small space like a dorm, apartment, or condo, and portable washers are so versatile that you can even take them on the road to be used in hotels and RVs. A portable clothes washer can truly be used anywhere that you have a few feet of space and access to water.

Portable WonderWash

What Is a Portable Washer?

A portable washer is a compact top-loading washing machine that does not need a permanent water line connection. Many portable washers are less than 3 feet tall and have a depth and width of less than 2 feet. Weight can vary considerably; some models are less than 50 pounds, while heavier ones weigh in above 100 pounds.

Water capacity generally ranges from 1 to 2 cubic feet, or a bit below half the capacity of regular washers. Most portable washers offer a few settings for water level, speed, and cycles, giving you all of the basic options that you need to get the job done.
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Why You Should be Using an Antimicrobial Filter in Your Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are used in a variety of situations and are designed to make staying cool easy and effortless. Students living in small apartment buildings use portable models so that they can take the units with them as they move from place to place. Established couples and families with larger homes use the devices to spot cool those areas of their home that can be hard to keep cool otherwise. Many buildings don’t have central air, and the portable units offer both convenience and comfort for people at home and at work.

Regardless of the reason, more and more people are turning to portable air conditioners to keep themselves cool. Many people are also turning to the use of Antimicrobial Filters in their cooling units, as well.

Let’s delve into what these filters are and why they might be beneficial to use in conjunction with a portable air conditioner.
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6 Reasons to Add a Beverage Refrigerator to Your Entertainment Areas

Entertaining at home has become a popular choice for many people, giving them the ability to lower their spending and still provide a good time for their closest friends and loved ones. Creating the perfect entertaining space can be a fun project that often includes brainstorming about all the different fun things that can be done with your space. Hosts should consider features that will make their parties and get-togethers run more smoothly, while also impressing those who attend. Adding a beverage refrigerator to your party space has many different benefits that can be helpful to both you and your guests. Read on for the top six reasons why.
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How You Can Get Warm Now & Stay Cool This Summer

As energy costs rise and temperatures become even more extreme in all parts of the country, it becomes more and more expensive to stay comfortable during the cold months of winter and the hot months of summer. Despite the expense, it’s important to find relief from the extreme outdoor temperatures when you enter the comfort of your home or office.

Dangers of Extreme Weather

If you’re fighting the rising costs of energy and attempting to relieve the pressure on your HVAC unit, consider the dangers of both extreme cold and heat before you hit the off button on your system.

Extreme heat can lead to severe discomfort, and also to several serious illnesses:

Weather Alert
  • Heat stroke occurs when the body is no longer able to control its temperature, and is the most serious of illnesses related to extreme heat. An actual stroke can occur is temperature is not controlled, and permanent damage to the organs is common when left untreated.
  • Heat cramps are often triggered in a hot environment, and are characterized by inadequate fluid intake while working in extreme weather.
  • Heat exhaustion is caused by either salt or water depletion and is common in athletes. The body is unable to cool itself down in extremely warm temperatures.
  • Heat rash is common in infants, and occurs when the sweat glands are blocked, and appears in the form of small red bumps on the skin.

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