The History of Popcorn

popcorn-history

Popcorn’s Journey: Cave Fire to Movie Snack Bars and Microwave

Popcorn, short for ‘popped corn’, is a popped corn kernel that has delighted the world for thousand of years. Popcorn has become one of the most beloved snack food in America. This easy-to-make snack, which can be flavored in countless ways, might probably be the oldest snack in the world.

The Origin of Popcorn

Popcorn’s origin is deeply rooted throughout America. Corn, or maize, is a dominant food in the continent. North America and South America both have a rich history of popcorn consumption.

The oldest popcorn known so far was found in New Mexico, a state located in the southwestern region of America. In 1948, Herbert Dick and Earle Smith made the discovery of the oldest popcorn to date at the dry cave called “Bat Cave”. A presence of small heads of corn and individual popped kernels were found in the cave. After carbon dating, those kernels were calculated to be 5,600 years old.

In Mexico, a maize god was depicted in decorated funeral urns from 300 A.D. and a headdress of the maize god was embellished with popped kernels. Traces of popcorn is prevalent not just in Mexico, but also in Guatemala, Peru and other areas of Central and South America.

A cave in Utah, North America, known to have been inhabited by Pueblo Indians, had remnants of corn kernels approximately 1,000 years old.

Aztec Indians made use of popcorn not just as food consumption but also as ornaments in clothing and ceremonial embellishments. Iroquois Indians in the Great Lakes region made popcorn as well.

Then colonization took place in North America. Colonists adopted the famous Native American snack food. Historical data showed that popcorns were eaten with milk and sugar. Back then, it also showed that popcorn was mixed with a bit of molasse, producing a snack like today’s kettle corn.

Popcorn’s Journey: Movie Snack Bar to Microwaves

With corn being a staple food in America, popcorn consumption still progressed as New Americans continued to love this snack. By 1800s, popcorn became one of the most popular snack foods as it is found everywhere not just at home but also in carnivals, circuses, concession stands, and general stores.

It was in 1885 that the first commercial popcorn machine was invented in Chicago by Charles Cretors. The machine was mobile to enable it to go around the streets. It had a gasoline burner, so the selling of popcorn was easy. Street popcorn vendors grew in numbers and at the same time, movies became popular. The roaming popcorn vendors went to places where crowds are thick. They could be found outside of theaters and because of this, popcorn being a favorite movie snack became a tradition.

In 1933, during the Great Depression, people can only afford few snack foods and popcorn was one of them. When World War II started in 1939, sugar and other supplies were rationed. With that, popcorn’s popularity rocketed.

Popcorn had its ups and downs. When the television was invented, popcorn consumption dropped as movie theater goers decreased. But it wasn’t long when popcorn made a comeback because Americans started consuming popcorn at home.

In 1981, microwave popcorn was commercially available, making it easier for people to cook their favorite snack food. Since then, popcorn consumption has been climbing up.

Americans today is estimated to consume about 17 billion quarts of popped corn kernel per year and counting.

And now, there are many types of popcorn poppers which help you easily to make popcorn at home. If you need one, you can check our list of top 5 best popcorn poppers.

How to Choose a Gelato Maker

Gelato maker
When it comes to choosing the best Gelato maker, there are some considerations that should be taken into account. And this guide will help you easily find the best of the best.

Avoiding Sub-standard Gelato Maker

There are a lot of Gelato Makers in the market today and finding the perfect one might be difficult. To help you with that, we have identified 5 pointers to consider plus the No. 1 mistake you must avoid.

But before that, let us know what a gelato is and why shouldn’t it be made using an ice cream maker.

The Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream

Gelato originated in Italy. It is an Italian dessert similar to ice cream but with a number of differences, which includes the following:

  1. First is milk. Gelato is made from milk, while ice cream is made with cream, which means a gelato has less fat.
  2. You can make a gelato even without cream or eggs.
  3. Ice cream has air whipped into it, while gelato is more condensed, offering a delectable taste bite after bite.
  4. No freezing with gelato unlike ice cream. A gelato does not need extreme cold temperature.
  5. Gelato made from a gelato machine offers a fresh sensation than an ice cream machine.
  6. Making gelato is definitely a piece of cake.

How to Spot a Great Gelato Machine

A great gelato maker should make a high-class quality gelato. With a lot of gelato machines to choose from, we often end up buying the cheaper one. It saves us few dollars but sooner or later, we will realize we bought something sub-par.

Remember that you will always get what you pay for. If you want superb results in making gelato, get yourself a quality gelato machine. Think about it. Here are some guidelines in selecting a Gelato Machine:

1. Look for a Self-Refrigerating Gelato Machine

Normally, it would take you a couple of hours to make a gelato. With a self-refrigerating machine, your gelato will be ready in minutes! It will refrigerate the gelato as it gradually mix to the perfect consistency.

Self-refrigerating gelato machines usually makes gelato in 20 to 30 minutes only. So, you can enjoy your dinner or any meal, and have your gelato dessert after eating. This is also perfect when you have unexpected guests coming over to your house. You can prepare a gelato in no time.

2. Have a Gelato Machine for a Gelato

Sure, one can make a gelato with an ice cream maker. But the question is, will the result be great? We are talking about quality gelato here as you wouldn’t want to serve the average dessert to your family or guests. That is why you should make a gelato with a Gelato Machine.

A Gelato Machine produces fresh, tasty, and flavorful gelato at the right temperature and consistency. Ice cream makers whip air into the ice cream unlike gelato makers. It’s one reason why ice cream is fluff.

3. Get a Quiet and Stout Gelato Machine

Gelato machines get more quiet as the price goes up. Generally, the more quiet and stout gelato makers are, the more expensive they are.

Considering a quite and stout gelato machine may not cross your mind for now, but there might be a point that you wouldn’t want the machine to compete with you when you are having a great time with you family and friends over dinner or any occasion.

Even so, isn’t just good to have a quiet, peaceful surrounding when making your favorite gelato?

4. Consider a Gelato Machine’s Capacity & Size

Gelato Machines usually come in 1.2 to 1.5 quart capacity. The price also increases as capacity increase. But with competition these days, you can find several great gelato makers at more than a quart capacity.

Also, ask yourself how you would like to use the gelato maker. This dessert is absolutely great and easy to make, sharing this with family and friends is bliss. Go for a smaller size when you would want to carry the machine when visiting your relatives or friends.

Another good thing with smaller size Gelato Machine is that it is easier to store, get out and use. Larger machine could give you trouble in storing and handling.

5. Consider Italian Designed/Made

What is more assuring than buying a Gelato Machine from an Italian based company? Gelato originated from Italy and there’s no other who knows gelato better than the Italians. Italian based companies, such as Lello, have already established a name as leading brands for Gelato Machines.

Most of gelato makers come with a recipe book. You can delight yourself with various recipes. Since gelato making is made easier with a Gelato Machine, do not be afraid to make your own flavor combinations.

How do you avoid the No. 1 mistake when buying a Gelato Machine?

Hopefully you have an idea on what is the number one mistake you should avoid when purchasing a Gelato Machine. It is easy! The number one mistake buyers make is to purchase an ice cream machine and produce a gelato with it.

Keep in mind that the right tool gets the job done best. Take for example, when cleaning your carpet, you use your vacuum cleaner with it and not the hard floor cleaner. They are both clean the carpet but using the vacuum cleaner yields the best result. Each of them is intended for a specific use and that is the same with ice cream maker and gelato maker.

With technology these days, there are some top-notch quality makers able to make good ice cream and gelato. The quality of those makers goes up as price increases. But then, just think of it this way, better results will come from the more specialized maker.

If you are wondering whether there’s a No. 2 mistake, then it would probably be purchasing a low quality gelato maker. To avoid these mistakes, look for a great gelato maker by checking out the product reviews.

Best Gelato Machines

The Italian Lello Machines have engraved their name in the industry of Gelato Makers. This company has manufactured the two most popular machines: The Lello Musso 4080 and Lello Musso Pola 5030. These are authentic Italian made products, offering the best design and quality. Of course, no one knows gelato better than the Italians.

The Lello 4080 Musso Lussino Gelato and Ice Cream Machine

This machine has a sleek design with a capacity of 1.25 quarts. It offers super-fast ready time, 30 minutes only! Here are what makes Lello 4080 standout from the other machines:

  • It has a rate of freezing 3 quarts of gelato or ice cream per hour.
  • It comes with a 1.5 quart capacity bowl.
  • The material of the bowl, housing and paddle is stainless steel. Other machines are made with aluminum.
  • It is certified Made in Italy.
  • It includes a recipe book.

All of this under $740 and the best place to get this is on Amazon.

The Lello Mussa Pola 5030 Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

The Lello Mussa Pola 5030 is the step up from the Lello 4080 Musso Lussino. And these are what it offers:

  • A whooping freezing rate – 6 quarts of gelato, ice cream or frozen yogurt in just an hour!
  • A capacity of 2 quarts.
  • It is made from highly durable material, stainless steel. It includes the blade, bowl and housing.
  • It is certified Made in Italy.
  • It also includes a recipe book.

These Italian-made machines from Lello absolutely provide the perfect Italian dessert treat: gelato, plus ice cream and sorbets.

Amazon is the place to be to get these amazing items! You can’t beat free shipping for these heavy duty products.

Bathroom Ventilation Fan Buying Guide

bathroom-vent-fanYou need bathroom ventilation fans for almost all bathrooms and for bathrooms without windows they are extremely important. The primary reason for bathroom fans is to extract the moisture that constantly builds up in the room and keep the room smelling fresh. This helps prevent humidity damage or from damaging walls.

Extracting the moisture is essential to keep the structural integrity of your house. Failure to get rid of moisture can cause mildew and mold to form, and can also damage walls.

Because of the extreme dangers that are possible it is important to make sure the vent is properly arranged to go outside. Venting it into the attic just moves the humidity problems to another part of the house and is a common mistake. The fan should push the air out from a flexible plastic hose that is attached to a vent cut into the outside wall. It will prevent the air from entering back into the room and keep the build up from happening. There needs to be a gap under the bathroom door to allow replacement air to recirculate.

Fans typically come in switch or timer styles. To ventilate properly, the fan should run continuously for 20 minutes after the bathroom is uses.

To work properly, bathroom ventilation fans have to have the correct CFM (cubic feet per minute) capacity in ratio to the bathroom size. This can be done by measuring the volume of the bathroom and dividing it by 7.5 which will give you the correct CFM rating to look for on the box of the fan.

The last big decision you have to make is how quiet you want the fan to be. This is measured by its SONE rating – 4.0 being noisy, and 1.0 or less being the quietest. The quieter typically the better, but it comes with a higher price tag.

Newly built homes should have a fan installed as standard, but if it doesn’t, it is essential to have one put in. Ventilation fans for bathrooms come in all shapes, colors and sizes, that can work for you. The fan should improve the functionality of the bathroom and make it appear nicer.

Best Bathroom Ventilation Fan

Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan, White

Panasonic-FV-11VQ5-WhisperCeiling-Ceiling-MountedThis bathroom Ventilation Fan is time-tested and many customers spoke highly of its quietness and powerful consistency. Thanks to its enclosed condenser AC motor, its double-tapered blower wheel can move air quietly.

It is durable and can last for many years to come. Once you have a business or household to run, you would not like to replace a vent fan and other little things. This Panasonic vent fan can move a larger amount of air but use less energy than other models. Because it runs cooler, so it lasts longer. And it is not easy to overheat, so its motor can last for a very long period. Plus, a thermal-cutoff fuse is also included to protect its motor. The installation is also flexible. It is compatible with both dual 4” and 6” duct adapter. Its double hanger-bar system makes it is easy to position this best vent fan exactly where you require it. It is also energy efficient, making it perfect for the remodel or new residential applications.

  • Moto Power: 120 volts and 60 Hz’
  • UL listed fan, perfect for shower/tub enclosure if a GFCI branch circuit wiring is used
  • Can operate with less than 0.3 sone and less than 110 CFM
  • Double hanger bar systems are ideal for accurate positioning
  • With torsion springs, it is easy to be attached to housing.
  • Grille Size: 13 inches

Panasonic FV-30VQ3 WhisperCeiling 290 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan

Panasonic-FV-30VQ3-WhisperCeiling-Ceiling-MountedThis is another Panasonic vent fan for bathrooms. It comes with a totally enclosed condenser motor and its double suction blower wheel will move more air quietly. This fan use a wider blower wheel, so it can move larger amount of air but reduce its RPMs, resulting in quiet running. This blower wheel can be reversible, which means it is able to draw in air or exhaust air. Although it seems it is a bit pricey, more and more people spoke highly of its performance, including quietness, durability, ability to move a larger amount of air.

  • Uses a condenser motor that is totally enclosed
  • Dolphin shaped and double-tapered bladed blower wheel
  • Draw in or exhaust air quietly
  • Blower Wheel Type: Sirocco
  • Heavy-gauge zinc galvanized steel fan housing
  • CFM: 290 (290 cubic feet per minute air will be moved.
  • Duct diameter: 6 inches

Delta BreezSlim SLM70 70 CFM Exhaust Bath Fan

Delta-BreezSlim-SLM70-Exhaust-BathThis best bath fan is very lightweight, only weighing less than 5 lbs. Although it is compact, it is also powerful. It uses a DC brushless motor which is reliable and runs quietly. It also comes with an LED indicator light, making you easy to know whether it is running or not. And it features a modern grille design. You can use it to retrofit into an existing space. And both wall mounting and ceiling mounting are allowed, making it perfect for both single and multifamily projects. If you need a vent fan that features low power consumption, low noise and longer life, this one is one of your best choices.

  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • Noise level, no more than 2.0 sones
  • Running quietly
  • An indicator light is included to make you know whether it is running
  • Corrosion-resistance, thanks to its galvanized steel construction

Broan AE80B Invent Energy Star Qualified Single-Speed Ventilation Fan

Broan-AE80B-Qualified-Single-Speed-VentilationIf you are looking for a mid-priced ventilation fan, you can choose this Broan AE80B. This mid-range ventilation fan can give you the flexibility to handle room-side retrofit installations or new construction installations.

This fan can remove 80 cubic feet air per minute. Therefore, fogged bathroom mirrors can be quickly eliminated. And the moisture in the bath room can be managed within 75 square feet. And you will always get a clear vision.

This fan can allow you to do entirely retrofit installations from the room-side. And you don’t need to access the attic to do the installation. This also means the installation is easy and convenient.

Thanks to the trueseal damper technology, this exhaust fan can reduce air leakage by up to 50% in contrast to other models. This can result in reducing warm and cold air back drafts.

Air King BFQ 110 High Performance Bath Fan

Air-King-BFQ-110-PerformanceIf you are looking for a cheaper bathroom vent fan, you can consider this Air King BFQ 110 High Performance Bath Fan. It comes with a unique snap-in installation system which includes screws or bracket to the ceiling joint. Therefore, the fan housing can easily snap in. After connecting the ducting and the wiring, just install the easy fitting grill and the installation is finished. This means you can finish the installation in several minutes. Its plastic housing is durable and high impact, ensuring maximum performance and quiet operation. And this best bath fan is also UL lfisted for installation over a shower or a tub on a GFCI circui using 4″ round ducting.

  • 10 x 10 inch polymeric grill with high impact housing
  • Run quietly at 3.5 scones
  • 100 cubic feet air can be moved per minute
  • A snap-in installation system is included for easy installation
  • Come with a 1-year warranty on main parts

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for bathroom ventilation fans for your bathroom, our list of best ventilation fans for bathrooms can help you easily find the right one.

Window Exhaust Fans Buying Guide

Window exhaust fans are great economical units that are easy to use and install in the window of the room you want cooled. They circulate fresh air and remove stale air from inside while bringing in fresh air from outside. They circulate air so odors do not build up giving off a nice clean and fresh scent.

This is a cheaper method than air conditioning, but it is possible to have both. It defeats the purpose to use both at the same time, so choose one throughout the day.

Window exhaust fans are best in cooler areas where the temperature stays low at night. The fan can work fast enough to pull in enough air in just a few minutes. Once you’re up in the morning simply turn off the unit to keep energy costs low.

These are great items to have for individual rooms so you aren’t trying to cool the entire home. They are perfect for keeping garages or kitchens cool during busy work days.

The fan motors are all UL listed and the fan guards are OSHA approved for safety standards. Many of the fans come with various speeds and there are some models that have bedroom based designs to keep you cool without disturbing your sleep.

If you live in a high dust or high pollen area and fight allergies, these could cause health problems for you. The fan can pull in humid air from outside so if you live in a warm area it isn’t the best option as it can make your home actually warmer.

They will fit to just about any window of a standard size and you can place them right where you want them and are great for individual rooms and sleeping areas.

Best Window Exhaust Fan

If you are looking for a window exhaust fan, out list of top 5 best window exhaust fans can help you. These include single fans, double fans and three fans.

Holmes Dual Blade Twin Window Fan

window exhaust fanThis best window exhaust fan can offer you relief from hot weather. Cool air is drawn into the room, or it can exhaust the hot and stuffy air if it is stalled facing outward. This best window fan can fit almost all double-hung and slider window. It operates quiet, making it perfect for a bedroom or living room use. Its extended panels allow you to adjust it according to your requirements. Plus, it also allows you to reverse its blades, so you can easily control the airflow for exhaust or intake.

  • Allow for dual-blade operation
  • Manual-reverse air control and 2 speed settings
  • Water-resistant motors, making it safe to use even during rainy weather
  • Fit both slider and double hung windows
  • Extended panel and adjustable extender screen make it easy to secured the fan in all sized windows
  • Come with a 1-year limited warranty

Bionaire Twin Reversible Airflow Window Fan with Remote Control

Bionaire-Reversible-Airflow-Window-ControlThis window fan comes with a remote control, making it convenient to adjust. This best twin window fan can exhaust stuffy and hot air from inside and drawn in cool air from outside. And it allows you to make one fan draw in cool air and make the other one exhaust out the hot air inside. This design is cool, allowing this to exhaust fan exchange air easily. It operates automatically or manually. It comes with a programmable thermostat that allows you to set a temperature to maintain. If the temperature is reached, it will stop working automatically. This fan come with 3 speed-settings, a LCD screen, and electronic controls. With it, you can easily know the current room temperature and the selected temperature. This twin window fan is compatible with vertical-slider, double-hung and casement windows. It is 13 inches high. And without assembling, you can install it when it is out of its box. A 5-year warranty is also included.

  • 3-speed setting
  • Remote control
  • Programmable thermostat
  • 2 fans can be Independently controlled
  • Come with a 5-year warranty.

Avalon Twin Window Fan with 9 Inch Blades

Avalon-Twin-Window-Blades-WhiteBecause of its portability, this fan is perfect for the bedroom and the living room. As a household fan, it features 3-speed settings and it also comes with an adjustable thermostat. With its LED indicator lights, you can easily read its status. You can use it as an exhaust fan or intake fan. This fan allows for using one for intake and the other for exhaust. 2 separate fans can work simultaneously.

  • 3 speed settings
  • Dual separate motors can work simultaneously, which means it can be used to draw in fresh water and exhaust stuffy water at the same time.
  • Expanded side panel
  • Reversible air flow

Bionaire BWF0522E-BU Thin Window Fan with Comfort Control Thermostat

Bionaire-BWF0522E-BU-Comfort-Control-ThermostatThis electronic fan is designed to disperse the maximum coolness for freshness and comfort. It is more powerful than other similar window fan and it can move 40% more air than others. With its compact design, it can reduce window obstruction. With this fan, you can live in harmony. And it is very thin, making it more compact.

  • LED Control panel
  • Offers 3 speed panel
  • Electronic thermostat
  • Offer reversible airflow

Lasko #2155A Electrically Reversible Window Fan

Lasko-2155A-Electrically-Reversible-WindowIf you are just looking for a single window fan, you can trust this one. This fan is able to blow fresh cool air in and pull stuffy and hot air out. This one is made in the USA. And it s durability, quality and comfort can be guaranteed.

  • Extendable side panels, making it fit a window 26.5 inches to 34.5 inches wide and at least 22 inches high
  • Made of Metal/Plastic
  • ETL listed
  • 16” 3-paddle blades

Ceiling Fan Buying Guide

ceiling-fan-01Ceiling fans can be used both indoors and outdoors and they are able to move air and keep your room much more comfortable in summer or winter. If you are looking for the best ceiling fan, the following buying guide will help you find the right one to fit your indoor style and space.

How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan

The primary purpose we use a ceiling fan is to circulate air in a room. However, air conditioners only can chill air but cannot circulate air. Therefore, a ceiling fan is a good company for your air conditioner, because it can push chill or warm air around, resulting in the balanced temperature in your room. And this can help to reduce the use of your air conditioner, resulting in saving some money on your energy bill.

And a ceiling fan is able to create a refreshing retreat on a screened or open porch. However, just make sure it is rated for wet and damp location. Actually, there is another type of fan called misting fans which are perfect for outdoor use. If you need a ceiling fan for outdoor use, make sure its fan blades are weatherproof. Both types of fans can handle moisture, but make sure damp-rated ceiling fans should avoid contacting water. If you live in rainy or coastal areas, wet-rated ceiling fans are most suitable.

To find the best ceiling fan, firstly, you need to know the size. According to ENERGY STAR® suggestions, you can choose the right size based on the room you plan to circulate air. The following recommendations can help a lot.

  • Rooms up to 75 square feet = the fan diameter should be 29-36 inch
  • Rooms 76-144 square feet = the fan diameter should be 36-42 inch
  • Rooms 144-225 square feet = the fan diameter should be 44 inch
  • Rooms 225-400 square feet = the fan diameter should be 50-54 inch

Ceiling Height

Another factor is needed to be considered is the ceiling height, no matter you need to replace an old ceiling fan or just buy a new one. If the ceiling is too high and you choose a relatively small ceiling fan, the ceiling fan cannot move the top air to the floor. Actually, the ideal height from the ceiling fan to the floor is about 8 feet. Many ceiling fans come with multiple mounting options, which means they can be compatible with almost any ceiling height in the home. However, it is recommended to measure your ceiling height and you will know whether a fan can work the best for your room.

Ceiling Height Suggested Downrod Size
9-foot 6-inch
10-foot 12-inch
12-foot 24-inch
14-foot 36-inch
16-foot 48-inch
18-foot 60-inch
20-foot 72-inch

Mounting Options:

Actually, there are two types of mounting options.

Flush mount – If the ceiling is low and a low profile is required, flush mount is the ideal choice. Flush-mount fans are directly mounted flush to the ceiling and no extra attachment is needed.

flush-mount-ceiling-fan

Downrod mount – If the ceiling is high, higher than 8 feet, downrod mount is the right choice. Many ceiling fans come with a downrod for those whose ceiling is very high. Generally, you can find it in the package. However, if your ceiling is extra tall, a longer downrod is required.Downrod-mount-ceiling-fan

Ceiling Fan Blades

The look of the blades is not only related to a design feature but also implies the utility and efficiency. The pitch of the fan blades can influence the ability to circulate air in the room. Therefore, you need to choose one that looks perfect. More and more models provide reversible blades, allowing you to change its look by reversing them. This design is cool, perfect for those who just get tired of the current finish and want something new. Different models come with a different amount of blades. Some fans even offer up to 9 blades, similar to a helicopter, while normally, a ceiling fan comes with 4 or 5 blades. And shapes are also another consideration.

Styles and Finishes

Ceiling fans can be manufactured in a large amount of finishes and styles. The one you choose should match the current theme and decor in your room. Most fans allow you to adjust its speed and some of them even have a reverse air flow function that is helpful to the heating during cooler seasons. Remote controls are also essential and useful.

Shades – The light shades of ceiling fans typically come in glass. However, due to the new innovative designs, there are some fans that is hidden with a special shade. Actually, the shade is a special fabric drum shade. Popular shades include:

  • Alabaster glass
  • Frosted glass
  • Seeded glass

Finishes – Different models come in different finishes and you can always find the perfect finish on the market. However, you need to consider the current existing finishes in your room. For example, a fan with a complementary finish is compatible with your brushed nickel cabinet hardware and door handles. Popular finish for the fan blades and the base include:

  • Antique bronze
  • Auburn
  • Black
  • Brushed nickel
  • Java
  • Matte black
  • Mink
  • Natural
  • Oil-rubbed bronze
  • Polished pewter
  • White

Ceiling Fan Accessories

Maybe some people want to modify or enhance your fan, and ceiling fan accessories can help a lot.

Angled ceiling adapter – If you have an angled ceiling, angled ceiling adapter can allow you to mount a ceiling fan even on the angled ceiling. It just attaches to the fan’s outlet box. And a longer downrod may be needed if your ceiling is very high.

Downrods – If your ceiling is very high, this accessory can help to lower the fan to an optimal height. A downrod is a standard accessories in the package of a ceiling fan. However, if the fan you buy doesn’t have one or your ceiling is too high, you need to buy one separately.

Light kits – Light kits are perfect for those who want to modify the ceiling fan after installation. You can check the package to make sure whether the current ceiling fan is compatible with a light kit. If it is yes, you can easily add a LED or standard light in the future. However, just make sure the maximum wattage should be not exceeded.

Remote control – A remote control is essential, because you will find it is so convenient to control your fan with a remote control. You can easily adjust it according to your desired comfort level.

Pull chain – You can use a pull chain to decorate your fan if necessary

Ceiling Fan Installation

Pre-assembled fans are easy to install. If you feel the installation is a little difficult or complicated, you can buy a pre-assembled fan. Before installing a fan, you can refer to its instruction manual which can tell you step-by-step instructions, warning, safety and caution information. If you don’t plan to install it yourself, hiring a qualified electrician is a good choice.

Good to Know

  • An outlet box should be in the ceiling, or you need to hire a qualified electrician.
  • A meat outlet box is required by most ceiling fans. If the outbox is made of plastic, you may need to hire an electrician to replace it.

Tower Fans Buying Guide

tow fan

Why should you buy a tower fan?

Generally, the best tower fans are more expensive than pedestal fans. Actually, they can be replaced by each. And tower fans look like more high-end and pedestal fans. However, tower fans have their own benefits. Compared to pedestal fans, they tend to be more stable and they are also more portable because of their lightweight design. And they are not easy to be tipped over by a pet. Portability allows you to easily move it to another room. And their grates are much smaller than pedestal fans. This feature makes it much safer for people who have small children.

Different models may come with different features. High quality tower fans offer many useful features, like sleep timers or air ionizers. For people who live in high pollution or high allergy areas, a tower fan with an air ionizer is really a good choice. This is because the air is cleaned by the fan while the fan is running to cool your room. Some people would like to sleep with white noise, sleep timers are perfect. And they are also helpful to conserve energy, because you can set it to stop while you are sleeping.

The Benefits

Many tower fans include an air ionizer, making them have many benefits for health. Molecules in the air are charged by air ionizers, because they use high voltages. This process makes air ionizers have abilities to attract pollutants to the filters. This design is perfect for those people who are suffering from respiratory illnesses, like asthma, because allergens as well as other types of pollutants were removed or reduced. Odors can also be effectively removed. If you smoke or one of your family members smokes, it works.

What to look for?

Size

First, you need to know how large a space you plan to use tower fan to cool. The answer determines the size. Different models provide different levels of power. Of course, the more powerful a model is, the more air it can circulate. If your room is large, you can choose a large one. If you don’t know how to choose, you can read its product description that will offer an approximation and you will know how much area it is able to cool.

Controls

Before making a purchasing decision, pay attention to its controls. Good controls are easy to read, use and understand. If it offers a remote control, this means you can control it without reaching its controls and using fingers to press the buttons. And the one you buy should be sturdy enough. Even if tower fans tend to be sturdier than pedestal fans, the one you choose should be stable enough.

Noise

The noise level is also another consideration. And it is not easy to know its noise level, unless you buy it and take it home for test. However, there are many tower fan reviews you can find online. Before making a decision, you check these reviews.

Oscillation

Different models offer different speeds of oscillation. Choosing which one depends on how fast you need it to blow. If you need to change the airflow regularly, you need to check its description. You can check some online reviews. If possible, you can test out a few models in a local store. Just keep in mind that different oscillation speed may cause different noise levels. Some models allow you to change their oscillation direction. Most models oscillate from left to right, while some models can oscillate up and down. Choosing which type depends on the space you plan to cook in your room.

Filtration

If it is not only a fan but also an air filter, just figure out how it works. Does it directly use an air filter or use ionization? You can check how often the air filters needs to be changed or they can reused and cleaned. Consider the buy cost and decide whether you really need it to double as an air filter, or choose other simple types of tower fans.

Material

First, you need to ask yourself how long you plan to use it. If you choose a fan with much more plastic parts, it tends to be easy to break or crack. If you plan to use it for many years, a metal tower fan is much stronger than plastic fans. Therefore, the materials a fan uses to build really matter.

Safety

For safety considerations, you need to check its grate. If you have small children, make sure the fingers cannot fit through the grate. And the fan blade should be made of soft material. This is a very important concern. Sometimes, you need to clean it, so the cleaning process should be easy. This means the grill should be easy to remove. You can check the specification to know whether it is easy to do that.

Weight

If you think the portability really matters, pay attention to its weight. For example, if you plan to move it from one room to another, this is very important. Or it is not a big issue for you. However, just ensure the one you choose is not so heavy.

Energy

If you concern about environment, you need to buy appliances that are energy efficient. Therefore, you need to consider how much energy the fan will use. Automatic shut offers, as well as sleep times can also help you to reduce the carbon footprint of your family without sacrificing the cooling effect.

Price

Your budget determines how much you can pay for a tower fan. However, don’t always try to get a cheaper one, or you will pay the price because of the poor quality in the nearly future. Anyway, the one you choose should meet your needs while without costing you much.

Warranty

If you buy an expensive model, the warranty from the manufacturer is very important, so you need to know about the warranty or understand its store return policy. If something goes wrong with your tower fan, the warranty can help you and save you much time.

Style

Style is also important. They tend to be tall, making them very noticeable. The color and style should match the theme and décor of your room. Just make sure you like it.

How much does a tower fan cost?

Generally, tower fans tend to be more expensive than pedestal fans. However, don’t worry about. They may only cost you under $100. Different models with different features make prices vary. For example, if you choose a small oscillating tower fan with basic functions, you only need to pay less than $50, while a larger one may cost you more than $80. If you choose a high-end model with a sleep timer, an air ionizer, a remote control and an oscillator, the cost can be up to $100.

Where to Buy?

You can buy high quality tower fans easily, like at Wal-Mart, Target or Costco. Of course, you can buy one at your local hardware store. You also can buy it online, like Amazon. com. There are many online reviews that help you quickly know whether a tower fan meets your needs and you also can compare prices between line retailers and stores. Here, at Top5Best.org, we have compiled this list of top 5 best tower fans for you to choose from.

Why do you need the best tower fan?

When it comes to buying a tower fan, you may think it is great to buy a cheaper one. However, this is not the truth. Actually, a high quality fan costs you much more, but it deserves. It can keep your room cool and offers a safety feature, protecting your pets and children. And such a high-end model offers many other useful features, like a timer, a remote control, etc. These features make your life much easier. You can lie on the sofa and control the speed of your fan with a remote fan. In a word, a tower fan is worth to have.

Top 5 Best Car Batteries Reviews

A super-premium battery isn’t a must-have for most. They may be practical for vehicles with a high-powered winch or high-quality audio equipment, but a regular value battery is usually enough. But, it is still wise not to go too low value. A solid and reliable car battery is a useful piece of equipment to get the car started. While it may not be noticed in the summertime, a poor battery is certain to struggle in the crisp and cold winter mornings. To minimize this type of issue, it is practical to go with a solid performance car battery even if shopping on a budget.

Best Car battery

If your are hunting for the best car battery, our list can help you quickly find the right one.

Car Battery by Kirkland Signature

The Car Battery by Kirkland Signature is part of Costco’s in-house brand and listed among the best car batteries in its price range. The amp and performance rating of this battery are similar to the high-end brands, such as Optima. Plus, the cost is nearly 50% more competitive than alternative name-brand products. It gives reliable cold-weather performance. Even in below-freezing conditions, this battery shouldn’t have any trouble in getting the car started. The Kirkland Signature branded battery has a full warranty/refund policy in place in the event of failure for any reason. With its reliability and performance, this car battery is a complete bargain.

ACDelco Battery ACD24F60

ACDelco-Battery-ACD24F60The 60 Series Car Battery by AC Delco is among the top-rated brands for car batteries, yet still available at an affordable price. Proper quality control is in place to ensure a high level of reliability. This means the car reliably starts every morning. It is solidly built with a large reservoir and corrosion-free terminals to last for the long-term. The 60 Series Car Battery is built to be maintenance-free. For extra reassurance, the battery is packaged with a full replacement limited warranty. The AC Delco branded battery is perfect for those seeking performance on a budget.

Car Battery by EverStart

Car Batteries by EverStart are a Wal-Mart-exclusive brand and only available in store. However, they are still a solid choice and manufactured by a company that produces name-brand, high-end batteries. They are very affordable and give great performance. The amp rating makes it a great choice for freezing or extreme conditions. Similar to other brands of modern batteries, they are built to be maintenance-free. This eliminates the need to occasionally add distilled water. For the battery needs that are overly intensive, the EverStart batteries make a worthwhile choice.

Gold Car Battery by Duralast

The Gold Car Battery is manufactured by the same company that produces the DieHard branded batteries for Sears. They are sold in AutoZone stores. The performance of these car batteries is similar to the respected DieHard Gold series. It has the ability to produce up to 800 amps to easily start the car in the freezing cold mornings. Plus, the batteries have the modern maintenance-free design and large reserve capacities. The Gold Car Battery is certain to appeal to those in search of a high-performance battery at an affordable price.

North Car Battery by DieHard

The North Car Battery by DieHard is a brand-name product that is able to give greater efficiency compared to the value options. But, it is still quite affordable. The North Car Battery is more of a standard unit. The best DieHard batteries are noticed in the DieHard Gold series. However, this budget is appreciated for its acceptable amp ratings and reliability. It is a reliable option for getting the car started time after time. They are designed to be maintenance-free. Also, the DieHard branded battery is packaged with a limited replacement warranty for the extra peace of mind.

Best Performance Car Battery

The car battery is often neglected when it comes to general maintenance. For the latest maintenance-free batteries, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern. But, it could be an issue with the old fashioned batteries, which may not have the ability to get the engine going in the winter. Plus, there are the accessories in the vehicle that need considering, such as the radio or stereo system. There is the potential for deep-cycling problems if the installed battery isn’t able to handle the load.

To avoid potential issues, it makes sense to invest a little extra in the best performance car batteries. Car batteries are simple devices and need to give enough power to get the engine and accessories going. Plus, the top-rated batteries give long-term performance and are maintenance-free.

Car Battery by Optima YellowTop

The Car Batteries by Optima YellowTop are perfect for those interested in all-out performance. They are built to undergo deep cycling and feature class-leading cranking power. In general, this type of battery is built to give a reliable starting performance and easily powers up any accessories in the vehicle. Similar to other modern battery brands, it is designed to be maintenance-free. Plus, it is spill-proof for ease of use and handling. The Optima YellowTop gives long-term reliability and performance.

Car Battery by Optima RedTop

The Car Batteries by Optima RedTop are rated among the top starter batteries in the industry. They are said to give the most impressive 5 second burst for the ignition. Plus, they have a quite distinct look that results from the proprietary gel-mix and vibration damping build.

It is spill-proof and maintenance-free and built with multiple mounting options for ease of installation. The RedTop car battery is well worth considering for those seeking a high-performance unit or living in a harsh climate.

MTP-78 Car Battery by Interstate

The Interstate branded batteries are respected and give an all-round solid performance, especially the MTP-78 unit. It is a 1000-amp battery that gets the vehicle started in any weather. Plus, the 800-amp cold cranking capacity means there is less need to be concerned about the battery draining.

The MTP-78 car battery contains a mix of Silver Calcium alloy which helps to prolong its usable lifespan. A great upside of this is fewer battery replacements. A 45-day money-back guarantee and a long warranty are packaged with the battery.

MTP-65 Car Battery by Interstate

The MTP-65 Car Battery by Interstate has the ability to deliver up to 850 cold cranking amps, which easily helps it reach our list of top performers. The total capacity rating for this battery is an impressive 1000 amps. This makes the battery a reliable choice to get the engine going in the sub-zero mornings and keeps the stereo system or other accessories going.

Similar to other Interstate batteries, this unit has the Silver Calcium alloy mix to help prolong its usable lifespan. The MTP-65 isn’t the cheapest option by far, but does come with a long warranty to give the extra piece of mind.

Gold North Car Battery by DieHard

The Gold North Car Battery by DieHard is intended to be used in the cold northern climates. Most car batteries struggle when the temperature drops. So, a purpose made unit for these difficult climates is ideal. This Gold North is designed with a total 700 cold cranking amps for reliable performance day-after-day.

Much like other high performance batteries, the Gold North is built to be maintenance-free. It is protected by a 100-month limited warranty and a 3-year replacement warranty. This car battery is certain to give reliable performance and is extremely well priced for what it offered.

Top 5 Best Oil Filters Reviews

Buying a suitable oil filter isn’t easy with such an array of choices. It is possible to find different brands selling the exact same filters. But, the build quality of the filter element can vary among the brand names, and there are even quite a few recognized brands selling low quality filters.

Best Oil Filter

The following best oil filters listed have been selected for a variety of reasons, including the construction and filtering performance. Also, the retail price is taken into account because there isn’t really a need to spend a lot to get reliable performance.

Purolator PL14610 PurolatorONE Oil Filter

best oil filterThe Purolator PL14610 PurolatorONE Oil Filter is one of the top rated options. It has great filtering capability. The actual fiber/paper elements have the more impressive surface area and filtering materials compared to close alternatives. The internal construction is also at a high standard. But, the filter element is quite dense which can lead to oil restriction. For the reason, a high-performance engine is best served with the slightly more costly Mobil 1 oil filters. However, the Purolator filter is well built with excellent filtering capability and comes at an affordable price to make it best choice.

Mobil 1 M1-102 Extended Performance Oil Filter

Mobil-M1-102-Extended-Performance-FilterThe Mobil 1 branded oil filters aren’t the cheapest, but they contain a synthetic fiber element that is highly effective at removing the smallest of contaminants. They are more effective than the alternatives that use conventional paper elements. The filters continue to flow well, even with the excellent filtering capability in place.

The Mobil 1 oil filters are widely available and manufactured by Champion. They are similar to the K&N oil filters that are designed to be easy to install with a welded nut at the end. The K&N oil filters aren’t the easiest to source. But, if able to locate the K&N oil filters only, they are a worthy choice.

Purolator L14459 Purolator Oil Filter

Purolator-L14459-Oil-FilterThe Purolator L14459 Purolator Oil Filter is an excellent choice that is easily sourced and attractively priced. This filter is an updated version of the brands Premium Plus oil filters, but with a new name and minor changes. Its paper filtering element is effective at capturing even the smallest particles. This helps to extend the life of the engine and avoids damage caused by contaminants. They are widely available and at a cost of about $4, the Classic Oil Filter by Purolator is certain to give great value for money.

WIX Filters – 51348 Spin-On Lube Filter

WIX-Filters-51348-Spin-FilterThe Spin-On Oil Filter by WIX is really easy to recommend with its high-quality construction and reliable oil flow. WIX is a well established company that is recognized for the high standard of its build quality and durability. They can stand up to heavy use with no noticeable decrease in performance over time. The price is very affordable to give a truly worthwhile investment and widely available. WIX also produced the Gold-level and NAPA Silver filters.

Baldwin B160 Oil Filter

Baldwin-B160-Oil-FilterThe Oil Filters by Baldwin are practical for all makes and models of vehicle. They give great reliability and durability. Baldwin is a further established company recognized for manufacturing high-quality products. The great design means the filters are effective at protecting the engine from contaminant related damage. These oil filters make a reliable all-round choice and easily sourced from most reputable retailers.

Top 5 Best Spark Plugs Reviews

Spark plugs are extremely important to maintain engine maintenance. Some drivers may be unaware of this but old, worn, or dirty spark plugs can diminish your engine’s ability to function properly. They could fail to ignite the fuel and air mixture efficiently. Having good and new spark plugs will make your engine run smooth and clean while requiring less fuel.

Best Spark Plug

The best spark plugs are often designed with the newest technology and can achieve high performance while remaining durable. They may come with a higher cost but their ability to increase engine performance will be worth added cost.

Bosch (4501) FGR8DQI Platinum IR Fusion Spark Plug

best spark plugSpark plugs made from iridium may be the best outright performing of any spark plugs available and the main drawback is the high cost. Bosch offers the Platinum IR Fusion to combat some high costs.

It features an electrode in the center made of platinum and iridium blend to increase performance without demanding the cost of an iridium based plug. This is combined with yttrium ground electrodes that are enhanced to have a more powerful spark which creates a more thorough ignition of the mixture of air and fuel.

These spark plugs are extremely durable and are designed to last their entire life without needing maintenance. If you want higher performance and durability then it’s worth the extra couple dollars over traditional spark plugs, the Bosch Platinum IR Fusion is your best option.

Denso (5304) IK20 Iridium Power Spark Plug

Denso-IK20-Iridium-Power-SparkA major benefit to using iridium in spark plugs is the extremely high melting point which is 2500 degrees Celsius. The Denso Iridium Power spark plug uses a fine-tipped 0.4mm diameter electrode in place of the more traditional wide-diameter offerings to take advantage of this. A standard electrode would likely melt after prolonged use at that diameter, but the Iridium allows for a more controlled spark and ignition process.

Combined with Denso’s exclusive U-Groove pattern ground electrode, iridium power is significantly better than its competitors. However, this premium performance comes at a hefty price tag. If you’re a casual driver it may be hard to convince you to pay nearly triple the cost as other spark plugs. If you are a performance enthusiast or a long-have a long commute, the increased and clean ability of the Denso Iridium Power may be worth considering.

NGK (5464) BKR5EIX-11 Iridium IX Spark Plug

NGK-BKR5EIX-11-Iridium-Spark-PlugNGK is a well respected brand among spark plug manufacturers, and the vast majority of automakers today choose to equip their cars and trucks with NGK spark plugs as stock equipment. The Iridium IX is a great example of how well-sorted a modern iridium spark plug can be. The small-diameter iridium electrode can offer a powerful yet controlled spark. This can give a more thorough ignition, therefore reducing or totally eliminating surging and other ignition-related engine problems.

As with many other high-tech modern spark plugs, the NGK Iridium IX is a low-maintenance design that can be installed easily though it is crucial to check the condition of the spark plugs every once in a while. They are durable and long lasting but they come at a high price tag and should be considered before purchasing.

ACDelco 41-103 Professional Iridium Spark Plug

ACDelco-41-103-Professional-Iridium-SparkAside from being an excellent overall spark plug, AC Delco Iridium spark plugs are used by GM as original equipment. Thanks to the higher melting point that the iridium electrode offers, the spark is more powerful than many standard models. The powerful spark gives a mixture of air and fuel which means your engine will run much cleaner and smoother.

The AC Delco Iridium spark plug requires almost no maintenance, although it’s always a good idea to occasionally check gap spacing if you suspect that the spark plugs are becoming worn. These spark plugs are designed to last up to 100,000 miles, and will offer substantial performance for the entirety of their service life.

Bosch 4417 Platinum+4 FGR7DQP spark plug

Bosch-4417-Platinum-FGR7DQP-sparkFor the big number of drivers on the road today, the Bosch Platinum +4 can be considered as the best all-around spark plug for a standard driver. The Platinum +4 achieves its high performance by employing four yttrium-enhanced ground electrodes while many others utilize only one. This creates a long-term and powerful spark which is better suited to ignite the fuel/air mixture in any engine regardless of its performance.

This spark plug requires no gapping or maintenance – you can simply install these and leave them until you get your next tune up. The price of the Bosch Platinum +4 falls neatly in between a traditional spark plug and Bosch’s Platinum IR Fusion model, meaning it is an affordable option for many drivers.

Top 5 Best Synthetic Oils Reviews

Most people associated with cars will tell you that synthetic oil is more convenient when it comes to oil changes. You won’t need to get oil changes as frequently and can go nearly twice as long on synthetic oil without getting changed. Going 5,000 – 7,500 miles on synthetic oil is very common. If you don’t like getting oil changes it can be worth the extra cost. Most brands approved by manufacturers have the right viscosity. The best brands are consistent and have longevity.

Best Synthetic Oil

For those who are seeking the best synthetic oil, our list of top 5 best synthetic oils can really help a lot. There were chosen based on their quality, prices, ratings and customer reviews.

Pennzoil 550022686-6PK Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil

Pennzoil-550022686-6PK-Platinum-Synthetic-5W-20Pennzoil Platinum performs well and is easy to find in many retail locations. It’s cheaper than several other synthetic oils and can be bought for around $20 for a five-liter jug. It consistently performs well over long periods of time and produces a great combination of performance, value, and availability. It’s one of the best options for many drivers.

AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Motor Oil

amsoilsyntheticNearly double the cost of Pennzoil Platinum, it is expensive but has some of the best performance among synthetic oils and holds up well against long drains. The Signature Series is particularly well known for lasting a very long time. If money isn’t an issue this is the best option for synthetic oil performance overall.

Castrol 03567 EDGE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil

Castrol-03567-Synthetic-SYNTEC-TechnologyCastrol Edge is a very reputable brand and commonly recommended by manufacturers and mechanics. It has Syntec Power Technology and is one of the best synthetic oils for the money. It features long drain intervals and has excellent protection against metal against metal wear. It’s great for drivers who tack on miles quickly.

Mobil 1 94001 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil

Mobil-94001-5W-30-Synthetic-MotorMobil 1 may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of synthetic oils. It’s the factory fill of many cars that are considered top performing like some Nissan, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Mobil 1 performs well if not better than other oils and is often a little cheaper.

Valvoline SynPower Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Valvoline-SynPower-Synthetic-Motor-5W-30This best synthetic oil can delivery superior engine protection, because it is able to fight top 3 main causes of engine stress: wear, deposits and heat. it is formulated with much more durable anti-wear additives. If you are looking for a full synthetic oil to protect your engine and keep it running the best, it deserves to try.

 

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