5 Reasons Why You Need a Water Softener for Your Home

Tap water that we use for in our daily purpose contains minerals like calcium, lime, chalk, and magnesium. The increased levels of these minerals in water make it hard. Hard water is unhealthy for consumption and for domestic use. Although many people use mineral water for drinking, excessive use of mineral water can result in health and domestic hazards. It’s essential to remove excess levels of minerals from water to make it suitable for drinking as well as for domestic use like bathing, washing, cleaning, etc. Water softeners are filters that convert hard water into softer water by filtering out the minerals.

Below are few important reasons why you should install a water softener in your home:

1. Easier Cleaning

When you wash dishes and clothes in hard water, they may end up with white spots, streaks, and soapy residue. Soft water helps to rinse off the soap residue more thoroughly, leaving your dishes and clothes cleaner. Moreover, water softening also reduce the amount you use for detergent or soap you need for cleaning, which helps to save your expenses for these products.

You will notice that house water softeners prevent the detergent curd and soap film buildup in bathtubs, showers, sinks, and other cleaning devices, and they stay cleaner and efficient.

2. Keep Your Skin Smooth and Well-Nourished

The calcium and magnesium present in hard water mix with anions in soaps resulting in soap scum on your body or sticky skin. This film does not dissolve even with rinsing and stays on your skin causing clogged pores, skin irritation, and dry or itchy skin.

Moreover, using dry water on the skin can also lead to acne. Therefore, install water softener in your home because bathing with soft water is better for your skin.

3. Extended Water Appliance Life

Minerals of hard water can buildup in washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers and other water appliances. This can result in clogging of minerals within these devices which can cause them to burn out. It’s better to invest in a water softener that will prevent the minerals from building up within these appliances.

Therefore, use of soft water helps to extend the life of water appliances. You will end up saving money because these devices will last longer, and you will be replacing them less frequently.

4. Faster Heating of Water

Your water heaters can quickly heat soft water, while heating hard water requires comparatively more time. It is estimated that water softeners can improve the efficiency of electric water heaters by 22 percent and that of gas water heaters by 29 percent. If you are using a walk in tub, it will help in faster heating of water for bathing.

Hard water can also cause mineral buildup in the water heaters, decreasing their efficiency to heat water. Water softeners improve the efficiency of water heaters resulting in lower utility bills.

5. Reduce Pipe and Faucet Damage

Hard water causes scaly deposits in pipes and faucets. Your home plumbing system is severely affected as these deposits buildup over time, resulting in clogs and corrosion.

Moreover, hard water can also clog your showerheads and valves. Water softeners eliminate the mineral buildup in your plumbing system, extending its life and helping your fixtures to operate effectively.

What is the Best Cordless Finish Nailer?

A finish nailer is a powerful tool that is specifically made for both experienced and DIY home users. The finish nailer uses relatively smaller nails than other cordless nail guns but is designed to handle different jobs. A finish nailer is the best bet for installing trim, crown moulding or even suitable for specific cabinets and furniture finishing.

cordless-finish-nailer-DIY

What is the best cordless finish nailer?

A ‘finish nailer’ broadly refers to one with a 16 gauge, which is a little thicker nail than the 18 gauge brads. There can be a bit of confusion due to the fact of the higher the number of gauges, the thinner the nail will be. This is due to the number of nails that you can fit per inch (for example, 16 gauge = 16 nails per inch and 18 gauge = 18 per inch). Therefore, you need the right nail for the proper work, so that the structural integrity of the material is not splinted or harmed.

Cordless finish nailers are made by different and various reputable brands such as Dewalt, Makita and Porter-Cable. Still, all these brands offer similar to little different features.

What is the greatest advantage of Cordless Finish Nailer?

A finish nailer is a versatile commodity which can also be used for various tasks such as moulding, decorating, roofing and many other jobs. This can also move the nails from thin wooden panels to dense concrete material and other various materials.

Difference between angled and straight finish nailer

Angled finishing nailers are made to be for narrow or tight spaces project. This type of finish nailer is durable to drive more substantial gauged nails. Straight finish nailers, on the other hand, are used within open spaces, and it was built with sharper nails.

Features Of Best Cordless Finish Nailer

A cordless finish nailer is a durable and versatile tool to perform a range of tasks ranging from the installation of trim to the assembly of cabinets and furnishings. It is a reasonably robust tool that is built to drive comparatively smaller nails. Here is a great article on home newtools best cordless finish nailer

Below are the key features of the best cordless finish nailer:

1. Size and Weight

To finish work is usually a multi-day, all-day task. Which means you must hold your finish nailer device in your hand for extended periods. A cordless model doesn’t have a wired cord or pneumatic hose that you need to bring and handle with you. That lowers the stress on your wrists. Although, if your finish nailer is bulky, this might have an irreversible effect on your hand. On some models, the battery can add considerable weight to the tool. The greater the battery size, the more it will weigh and the larger it will be.

A cordless finish nailer needs to get into tighter spaces and work at odd angles compared to other nailers, so size is essential. Angled versions reduce the tool’s total height and can make use in tight spaces more straightforward. Search for a smaller, cordless finish nailer with a lighter, state-of-the-art battery that weighs as little as possible to help you continue to work for longer without hand fatigue.

2. Trigger Operation

There are two primary forms of trigger: bump fire and subsequent action. Faster is a bump-fire. You keep the pressure on the trigger and press the piston in the nail where you want to drive. This is quicker, so losing track of it is easier, and there is a higher chance of accidental shooting. A sequential operation allows you to release the trigger between the nails and press it in again before the next nail is pushed. It’s slower, but it’s a little safer and controllable.

Needless to choose either one or the other. There are many models on the market which accommodate both. And, if you’re not sure which one you want, or if there are moments when you’re going to need one, look for one that has both in features. These combination finish nailers either have some internal mechanism allowing you to switch between operating modes, or they enable you to switch triggers out. Others that will enable you to change triggers also don’t come along with the extra trigger. You’ll have to buy an extra one.

3. Quality

Although, many people believe in brand reputable when choosing tool quality. This is because a reputable company always protect their name and to do this, they keep on producing a quality product.

While there is no foolproof way to upfront predict tool quality, but reading feedback and trusting a well-known organization minimizes the risks of getting poor tool.

5. User friendly

We strongly recommend that you read reviews and check product details to find a model that will comfortable in your hands, given the simple cost of a finish nailer. This is a method that is expected to deliver reliable results depending on how you treat it. The standard of the job starts with your hand. It is believed anybody will want to choose a  non-cumbersome finish nailer.

best-cordless-nailer

6. Lighting

With LED light features, a finish nailer makes its way within dark spaces such as cabinets or low-light areas, like baseboards. A cordless model with LED lights will directly transmit shadowless light to the surface, so you will see what you are doing without external lighting.

7. Higher Nail Capacity

This is one of the essential features a best cordless finish nailer you have. Having higher nail capacity will assist you in concentrating on the work through the elimination of frequently nail refilled. Another benefit of higher nail capacity is that it saves time.

8. Nail Depth

Precision hitting is outstanding as firing is. Finishing nailer is expected to hit the appropriate depth of the nail. Many finishing nailers come with an adjustable depth sensor that helps you to set precision depth. So, when choosing your finishing nail to ensure it offers consistent nail depth across a variety of types of materials.

9. Jam Clearing

Tool-free jam clearing is one a great feature expected to look for in a finish nailer. Nail jam may occur at a time, and if your nailer does not possess smooth jam-free. There may be some difficulties in hunting down the nailer.

Although, jamming can be held to a minimum by keeping your nailer in place and making sure you use the right nails.

10. Warranty

An extended warranty is an indication that the manufacturer has faith in its materials and manufacturing. Search for the longest available warranty and a money-back guarantee just in case you are not satisfied with tools.

Final Word + Recommendation

Finish Nailer is commonly regarded as a technical tool, but this innovative tool has significantly changed the finishing game. This is the reason almost everybody or hobbyists are now using the device to execute their various projects. A cordless finish nailer is a versatile woodworker tool that helps to punch the nails seamlessly, and gives the woodworks a clean and finished look.

Cordless finish nailers are fantastic, and there are plenty of models available which you can select the right cordless finish nailer to suit your work needs.

What is a Power Inverter and Why do I Need One?

Are you the owner of an RV, SUV, car, boat or other vehicle, and want to be able to watch TV, cook, or power a laptop onboard? If yes, you’ll be needing a power inverter. But what are they, and what do they do? Read on to find out why you’ll need one to power your gadgets on the road…

power-inverter-car

What is a Power Inverter?

Basically, they are devices that turn your vehicle battery’s direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) – the kind of electricity you have in outlets in your house, that are connected to the energy grid.

Having a power converter means you can plug in your appliances and devices, and power them like you would through an electricity outlet in a house.

In your car, you can get USB adaptors for your cigarette lighter so that you can charge your phone or plug in your satnav. But for larger gadgets and electronics with proper plugs, you’ll need an inverter.

Working of a Power Inverter

Like we said, they convert currents to a type safe for use in vehicles. Your vehicle’s battery voltage provides a current that powers its internal workings – you’ll need to know which voltage your vehicle’s battery uses to choose the correct inverter.

The current supplied by a battery sticks on one circuit, in one direction – where the name ‘direct current’ comes from.

However, to power your gadgets, you’ll need alternating current, as those electronics need more power to function than the DC can provide. They’re made to function with the high-voltage AC current supplied in homes.

Power inverters increase the DC voltage, change it to AC, then use it to power your devices. They amp up your battery’s voltage so you can play video games and use a kettle in your RV. Cool, huh?

Size Selection

These babies come in a variety of sizes – most commonly 1000, 3000 or 5000 watts.

It’s recommended that a 3000 watt inverter is the happy medium between inverter sizes and best choice to get. They’re not too small like the 1000, or too powerful and overcharged like the 5000. If you need a little extra boost, there are 3500 watt capacities available.

Find the best 3000 watt inverter for your vehicle by checking out the useful comparison guide by Solar Know How.

Modified or Pure Sine Wave Inverter?

Besides the sizing, there are two main types of inverter – the modified sine wave, and the pure sine wave.

So, what’s the difference, and which one will you need?

  • Modified Sine Wave: These tend to be cheaper, and less powerful. However, they’re good for most everyday electronics you will want to use, just not very large ones.
  • Pure Sine Wave: These are compatible with pretty much all electronics, gadgets, and appliances, and produce a powerful current most like the one supplied by the electric grid. These are the most common choice, because they’re more likely to be compatible with anything you need to plug in.

Power inverters are useful for charging on the road without having to cart around adaptors and large plugs

Other Features and Tips

  • Power inverters are especially useful if you are setting up a solar power system – they convert energy from the sun into electricity you can use to power your gadgets within your vehicle. This is renewable energy that isn’t a drain on your best car battery.
  • Power inverters aren’t just for vehicles – if you have a small cottage or outhouse, they’re very useful for setting up a small power source there.
  • Many (but not all) power inverters come with USB outlets, useful for charging on the road without having to cart around adaptors and large plugs. For ease of use, get one compatible with USB.
  • The best inverters have digital screens which show you how much energy has been consumed and information about battery voltage. It’s useful to know these things at a glance, so consider getting one that has a screen.
  • Modern inverters have been made to be extra-quiet, so you won’t be woken up by a noisy machine while trying to simultaneously get some sleep and charge your phone in your RV.

12 Ways Small Businesses Can Save Energy

Saving money is important for businesses and saving energy is important for all of us – so here is the perfect mix of both and some great tips for small businesses to save on energy. Remember, these are not the only ways you can save on your energy costs. You have to ensure that you are on the best electricity rate plan that is right for your business. Energy comparison sites like Electricityrates.com can help you find the best rates around your area to suit your business needs. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code, and you’ll get a list of electric providers in your area to choose from based on your preferences.

  1. Get A Free Energy Audit

A full energy audit helps identify issues that might be causing energy wastage – these include insulation issues and air leaks. Most electricity utility companies offer these audits free of charge. The inspection not only helps you determine how energy is used but also ways to address energy wastage.  The audit report will also recommend ways to keep your energy usage on the low, such as investing in energy efficient lighting and equipment.

Inquire with Josco Energy Corporation about a free audit.

  1. Invest in Energy-Efficient Office Equipment

Energy efficient (energy-star rated) appliances use up less energy as compared to older non-rated ones. That said, it would be advisable for you to lease/buy energy star rated office electronics.  This should help see your energy bills drop significantly, hence substantial cost savings in the long run.

  1. Avoid Peak Demand

Peak demand can be defined as the time of the day when there’s a high demand for energy. These are the hours when energy usage is the highest. The typical peak hours start from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Reducing your demand for electricity during these times and only running the factory and heavy equipment early in the morning, and later in the evening can help reduce energy consumption. Reducing your demand for energy during peak hours also means the business spends less on energy usage at the end of the day.

  1. Use Programmable Thermostats

Smart thermostats make it easy to monitor and control temperatures in the workplace when everyone is in the office (9 – 5), and away. The thermostat can be programmed to turn OFF the heating and cooling appliances during the night, and back ON a few minutes to ‘work hours’. This in return sees you save lots of energy that would have otherwise been wasted had the HVAC systems remained on through the night.

  1. Switch Off Lights in Unused Areas

Most offices have an always-on lights setup. This means the lights in all rooms including bathrooms, conference rooms, breakrooms, and even unused corridors. This leads to energy wastage which can be preserved if lights were only turned on when needed. Installing sensors to turn the lights on or off when required could help too.

  1. Switch to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs use up more energy for the same amount of light when compared to CFLs and LEDs that use just a fraction of it. Switching from incandescent bulbs to CFL or LEDs should help the company use less energy in lighting. This is the simplest and easiest ways to save energy in the workplace.

  1. Make Use of Natural Light

Always take advantage of the natural sunlight whenever you can. You can do so by drawing the blinds, curtains, and opening the windows to allow the sunlight in. Be sure to switch off lights in well-lit areas well. Letting the sunlight in also means you get passive heating from the sun, hence no need to have the heaters on. While it may seem like nothing, taking advantage of the natural sunlight should help save the business a few kilowatt hours a day.

  1. Run Fans

Have fans installed in showrooms, warehouses, kitchens, and offices alike. The fans will help keep the air moving, hence facilitate optimal air circulation. This means the HVAC system will run more efficiently and smoothly translating to lower energy consumption.

  1. Power Down Computers and Other Office Equipment When Not in Use

Having everyone power down their computers at the end of the day should help save lots of energy. You might also want to set the laptops to go to sleep or hibernate if not used for a certain number of minutes or hours. Be sure to turn off and unplug other electronic devices from the mains sockets.

Although modern toasters, coffee makers, printers, and other office appliances have a ‘sleep’ mode when not in use, these continue to draw some current if left plugged. Unplugging these will save some more kilowatts. 

  1. Avoid ‘Phantom’ Energy

As mentioned earlier, some equipment will continue to draw electricity when plugged in.  That said, making it a habit of unplugging such devices or using a power strip on them, can help save some energy. With a power strip, a simple flip of the switch will cut electricity supply to the connected devices. 

  1. Make Adjustments to the Surrounding Landscape

If you have control over the landscape around, you can then use it to your advantage. Energy-efficient landscaping, such as planting trees strategically to block winds and provide shelter, will go a long way in reducing heating and cooling costs.

  1. Involve the Employees

Encouraging the employees to take on energy-efficiency practices can help reduce electricity costs and energy wastage too. Train the employees to turn off their computers after work, switch off lights, as well as use energy efficient appliances in the workplace.  Inspiring them to save more energy should work well for the company. You can see more tips and tricks on how to improve employee energy-saving practices here.

Why You Should Buy a Home Weather Station

With the huge innovation and advancement in home technology, weather stations have become a popular purchase and are something that many homeowners are incorporating in their homes. There are numerous reasons why people are opting for these devices, and the huge array of options available, picking the right one is easier than ever as you can cut out a lot of the work by reading these reviews by Temperaturesensei.

Although there are many people who already have weather stations in their homes, there are still some who are uncertain about this technology and do not know whether they should incorporate it or not. In this post, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about home weather stations, including the benefits.

What is a Weather Station

A weather station is a relatively small gadget that has various tools that enable it to discern the surrounding weather. It is equipped with an array of temperature monitors and sensors, which give you information about the climate around you and the environment that you might be in. Not long ago, this was technology that was primarily utilized in meteorological departments to gather weather data.

However, innovation in technology has led to the creation of smaller versions while maintaining the same functionality. These gadgets are designed to give localized information regarding the weather conditions around the house or nearby areas. They have proven to be pretty accurate and very efficient in proving the readings you want.

Applications of a Weather Station

These devices have an array of uses that have made them quite popular. Professionally, weather stations are utilized to garner data and provide weather information of a certain area. However, home weather stations take a more practical approach and provide information that you would need.

For instance, a home weather station can give you information on the temperature so that you can dress accordingly. If you’re planning a BBQ party on the weekend, you can use the device to know whether the weather will be conducive that day. There are numerous applications of these gadgets and all can help you be better prepared for any kind of weather condition.

Benefits of Home Weather Station

With the numerous uses of these devices, there are many benefits associated with them. If you are on the fence about purchasing one, then it would help to know the advantages of home weather stations.

Accurate Readings

Chances are the meteorological department is located far from your house. In such a case, the weather predictions you get may not be the most precise. That’s because the weather in that region may not be the same as where you reside. This is where home weather stations become more advantageous. These gadgets provide the exact details regarding the temperature of where you live. That’s because the readings are centered around your residence.

Real-Time Data

This is probably the reason why most people are opting for the home weather station. The ability to get real-time information makes this device worth the purchase. In the past, people used to rely on weather reports on the news for predictions or reports from the meteorological departments. Well, you no longer have to depend on these sources and get your own precise data on the weather much faster, thus allowing to make plans in a more convenient manner.

Real-Time Alerts

The weather changes every time and it can take an unexpected turn that’s not ideal, especially in regions that are prone to hurricanes and storms. Owning a weather station can help you and your loved ones in such situations, stay safe when weather changes are detected. With real-time data and alerts, you will be informed about the weather all the time, thus helping you stay safer.

Share Data

Home weather stations can ideally run on multiple devices simultaneously, meaning every family member can be able to use them. This makes it easy to share information regarding weather conditions, thus helping everyone stay up to date and prepared. This is again extremely helpful in regions that experience harsh weather conditions and need to warn each other.

Ease of Use

Home weather stations are designed with ease of use and efficiency in mind. They are meant to provide precise weather information in a simple way. If you’re looking for a gadget that’s easy to read and does not bombard you with jargon, then a home weather station is the answer. A great example is the ThermoPro TP-67. It is a simple and efficient gadget that’s easy to use even for older people. It is also easy to install, which adds to the advantages.

Creates a Smarter Home

Smart homes are the in thing today. Installing a home weather station is certainly a great way to make your home more efficient. The devices were designed with the needs of people who need instant information about the weather in mind and they do a great job at satisfying those needs. If you are looking to create a smarter home that will be efficient for years to come, then this something that you should incorporate today.

Precise Forecasting

Knowing the current weather conditions around your residence is just not enough. There are times when you want to know about the weather forecast for the next several days. Well, these gadgets are designed to deliver just that. A weather station can help you prepare better for the weather in the next few days and help you plan your activities better.

Helps in Home Maintenance

Protecting your home from weather damage is imperative, particularly if you reside in places that experience drastic weather changes and harsh conditions. Heat, rain and snow can cause substantial damage to your home, causing you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements. A simple weather station can help you better maintain your house throughout the seasons and even safeguard your house from weather damage.

Tips for Buying a Home Weather Station

To enjoy the benefits of a home weather station, you need to choose the right device. When it comes to picking one, there are two primary things to consider; the sensors and the price.

When purchasing a home weather station, do not lean towards the cheapest in order to save a little money. The more you spend on a device, the more reliable and accurate it will be. Cheaper models are less precise with data, and this defeats the purpose of owning one.

An ideal weather station should have a thermometer for temperature measurement, a barometer for atmospheric pressure, anemometer for wind speed and direction, humidity sensor for humidity levels and rain gauge for rainfall and precipitation.