Top 7 Different Types of Electric Heaters for Your home

Although there are plenty of heating options for your home, like natural gas, propane gas, oil, or even wood, electric heaters are also very popular and common due to their wide availability in most areas. Even if electric heat is not the most efficient cost-wise way to heat your home, its convenience makes it more popular than other types of heating. Some types of electric heat are pretty easy to install or don’t require any installation.

When it comes to choosing an electric heater, you also need to note the electricity price in your area, because electricity is market-driven and in some areas, electric heat may be expensive and in most areas, electric heat is so cheap. For most people who live in this country, at least, electric heaters can be used as a good supplemental heating source.

When it comes to efficiency, many factors will influence the result. An electric furnace can be more efficient where other heaters are not. And even if you installed 2 completely same appliances in 2 rooms, you may get different efficiency. Factors, like the home’s structure, insulation and format can influence the heaters over efficiency, as well as the distribution of heat.

Since many factors may affect the overall efficiency, consumers should choose Energy-Star or energy efficient heating products at least, because this can enhance the overall efficiency maximally. And then you need to look for ways to enhance the efficiency of your whole room by enhancing your existing heating system. In the following, we will discuss the main types of electric heat for home and some of them can give you some idea to make your home more energy-efficient and some of them can be a good supplemental heat for your home.

1. Whole-Home Electric Heating Systems

On the market, at least two main types of whole home electric heating systems are available to choose from, including radiant and forced-air heating. Forced-air heater will push out the heat from its heat source. With a furnace, heat is distributed to the whole home via a series of dusts. If the heater is smaller, in order to warm a room, forces air will be expelled with the use of a fan.

Radiant heat works differently. It delivers heat that radiates to the whole room. You can build a network of convection, baseboard or other types of radiant heaters to from your home’s main heating system. On the market, there are many electric heaters that are different from sizes or styles, like space heaters, furnace heaters, ceiling or wall-mounted heaters.

Heat pumps and exchangers either as a whole-home heater or combined with air conditioning in a multi-function air/heat exchanger, can help to save your overall costs for the home’s main comfort systems.

When it comes to buying a main home heating system, the one you plan to buy should have the proper size according to the size of your home. If you don’t know how to start, you can ask a heating technician for help and you will know the exact size of the heating system that is ideal for your home.

2. In-Floor Radiant Heaters

in-floor-radiant-heaterIf you are looking for a way to heat your home more energy-efficiently, you probably can consider the in-floor radiant heating that must be installed during the constructing process. You can choose a whole-home system or it also can be used for some smaller projects, like bathroom floors, bedroom floors, etc.

The installation is a little complicated and you’d better hire professionals to do the job. However, considering its efficiency and ease of use, it is worth installing.

3. Baseboard Electric Heaters

fahrenheat-fbe15002-electric-baseboard-1000-wattAlso known as zone heaters, baseboard heaters are the most common type of space heating systems. It requires a 220v installation. Generally, one is only used for one room, but you install one in each room. For example, if you don’t install a whole-home heater when your house was building, you can choose to install several baseboard heaters for each room, to heat your whole home. Although you may need to hire professional to install them, there is no furnace or ducting required. Therefore, it may be perfect for some homes.

These heaters generally offer wall-mounted thermostats or on-board adjustable, so the heat control is easy. Due to their installation places, they are called baseboard heaters. They come in many sizes and limited colors. Compared with portable heaters, they are more energy-efficient.

4. Convection Heaters

electric heatersConvection heaters are often also referred as a special type of baseboard heating, but they are different because of different heating technology and different installation. They need 220v installation. The installation is similar to traditional baseboard heaters. They are more energy efficient than traditional baseboard heaters. They consume up to 30% less energy. Some of them feature a low profile design, so it is difficult to distinguish between convection heaters and baseboard heaters.

5. Portable Room Heaters

mr-heater-mh18b-portable-propanePortable room heaters are also very popular because of their ease of use and affordability. You just need to plug one heater into a standard wall outlet, it can offer heat. And you can move it to anywhere you like, as long as there is a standard wall outlet.

Portable room heaters that have oscillation features are the most popular type, because it can quickly heat up a room by evenly distributing heat. You also can choose a ceiling-mounted radiant heater for your garage or home shop.

Most of them are designed for heating a relatively small room, while some of them are also adequate to heat up large spaces. They are not as energy efficient as convection or baseboard heaters, but they are more portable and convenient. They allow you to add a little more heat, so your room will become more comfortable.

Once you have some portable room heater, you can use them as supplemental heaters, so you can turn down your center heating system. This can help to reduce your energy bill overall.

6. Portable Infrared Heaters

They are very new on the market, because they use infrared technology to heat. And they also feature a special design. For example, many electric infrared heaters are designed to be similar to a side table. Therefore, you can always find a right place to fit it in with your room and furnishings.

Although they seem a little heavier and bulkier, they are also portable thanks to their wheels. Therefore, you will find it is so easy to move one from one room to another.

7. Electric Fireplaces

electric-fireplaceElectric fireplaces are becoming more and more popular in recent years, even if they are not the most energy efficient. However, people love their styles. You can add a focal point easily in your room, as long as there is a standard plug-in nearby. They are also convenient to use, because most of them offer a remote. Just press the button on the remote; it will begin to heat your room. Of course, it is able to add atmosphere to your room.

Generally, they come in several styles, including freestanding units, traditional-looking fireplace units and compact portable models. Some of them even come with mantel and storage, making them more practical.

If you decide to buy an electric fireplace for heating, you need to pay attention to its BTUs. Small ones are perfect for transferring, while a physical size can well fit in with your current room’s decor.

How to Heat Your Home – Options for Heating Your Home

If you are just renovating your old home or building a new house, you also need to consider how to heat your home. This is one of your main items that you need to take into account to complete your current project. You will find even your existing heating system is often subject to review. This is because the operating cost tends to fluctuate as the fuels’ prices fluctuate from one year to the next. And it is common to revise your current heating strategy in order to gain efficiency, so that your overall heating cost can be reduced. Sometimes, the revise is complete. This means you may need to replace your existing heating system with a high efficiency one.

The fuels you use to heat your home also vary in efficiency and the efficiency may depend on the area you live. The fuel may be cheap in your area, while it may be very expensive at the other end of the earth. Therefore, if you pursuit energy efficiency, you need to buy heating appliances that are certified as Energy Star and our energy saving tips in the following can also help you take a good use of these appliances, resulting in reducing your overall heating costs.

Sometimes, you also need supplemental heating to work with your current heating system and it can help to reduce the operating costs. When it comes to choosing heating systems for your home, your decisions depend on your budget and which fuel you decide to choose in your area. If the fuel is not available in your area, you will pay the price. First, you need to decide on your main heating system, and then choose supplemental or alternative heating sources which can help to reduce the heating costs.

However, no matter which type of heating systems you finally decide to buy and install, you also need to keep in mind that maintenance is very important for getting the most efficiency. Generally, maintenance includes recommended qualified service, or regular filter changes that can be done by the homeowner.

If you use any type of wood or liquid fuel to service a hot water heater or a cooking range, or just heating your home, a carbon monoxide detector should be installed to ensure the using safety. And you should install it in the RV’s when using propane gas.

The appliance you buy should not only meet local codes but also the safety regulations.

Electric Heating

zone-heatersThere are several types of electric heating, like whole-home furnaces, multi-function units which can also provide heating as well as air conditioning. There are also many supplemental space or zone heating systems, like baseboard heaters, infrared heaters, etc. These heaters can enhance the main heating system and warm up some cold zones.

Natural Gas Heating

mr-heater-corporation-natural-mhvfb30ngtIn some areas, thanks to the lower price, natural gas heating becomes more cost effective than oil, electricity or propane gas. You can choose a whole-home furnaces or a fireplace. Natural gas is clean and safe to use. When you use natural gas to heat your home, you also can reap more economies because you also can use it to fuel a cooking range or drier, heat hot water, even fuel an outdoor barbecue. However, you need to hire a qualified technician to complete the natural gas connection.

Propane Gas Heating

mr-heater-mh18b-portable-propanePropane gas is widely used as a camping fuel for cooking, refrigeration and heating, but it is also good for indoor heating or outdoor patio heating. Although the operating cost of propane gas appliances is more expensive than natural gas appliances, in some areas, people only can choose propane gas as their heating fuel because other fuels may be not available. Professional installation and servicing are required and propane gas heating appliances are different from space heaters or fireplaces that don’t only supple clean heat but also enhance our indoor decor. If you decide to buy a propane heater, you should know where you need to use it, indoors or outdoors.

Oil Heating Systems

delonghi-hmp1500-mica-panel-heaterOil heating has a very long history. It used to be very popular as the only choice for home heating. Even today, in some areas, it remains the only choice available for home heating. The operating costs fluctuate as the oil prices fluctuate. Therefore, if oil prices are high, oil heating may be more expensive. On the market, there are many different oil burning heating appliances which are different from sizes and shapes. You can choose a large furnace, fireplace or room space heater. And just remember the installation also needs to be completed by a professional.

Hot Water (Baseboard) Heating

fahrenheat-fbe15002-electric-baseboard-1000-wattHot water radiator r baseboard heating uses a boiler system and can have a network of hot water radiators in your house. Hot water heater is more cost effective and such a heating system is often installed when the house is being constructed. They have been improved in recent years both for efficiency and installation process. Of course, the initial cost may be a little high, but it is also great for some homes.

There is another type of hot water heating systems. This system has a wood-burning boiler furnace outdoors and the boiler is connected to pipes in the home. Water is heated in the boiler and transferred to your home via piping. Of course, this system is simple and needs plenty of wood as the fuel and you need to have enough outdoor space. And make sure the local codes permit you to do that. This type of hot water heating system is perfect for heating in rural areas, because other fuels are not easy to obtain or expensive.

Geothermal Heating Systems

geothermal-heating-systemsGeothermal heating is regarded as one of the cleanest heating sources. It uses a special technology to harness terrestrial heat below our earth.

Multifunction Cooling/Heaing Systems

multifunction-cooling-heaing-systemsFor people who live in a hot climate, multi-function systems that combine cooling with heater would be the perfect choices, because this can help reap the cost saves maximally. They come in whole home central systems and portable multi-function systems.

Outdoor Portable Gas Heaters

Brookstone-Deluxe-Propane-Patio-HeaterSometimes, besides your existing heating system, you may need some supplemental heaters because of their super portability. Portable gas heaters may use gas, propane, kerosene or oil and they are designed for outdoor use. Therefore, they are perfect for construction sites or camping. Of course, there are many outdoor propane heaters which are very popular as a heating source to heat decks, pools or patios.

 

 

Heating With Wood

wood-heating-systemIf fossil fuels or electricity are not easy to access, wood becomes the best choice. Wood heater is a cost-efficient way to heat your room or home. No matter it is a fireplace, furnace, or a pellet stove, wood heater is practical. However, the supply of wood is very important. Other factors like stove maintenance, safety guidelines also need to be considered. And it can be used as a supplemental heating source, resulting in reduce the overall cost of heating your home.

Top 3 Types Of Space Heaters

space heaterIf you only need to warm up a single room but don’t want to heat up your whole house, you can choose a space heater. And this can save energy for you, because if you turn up the thermostat of your center heating system, it is a waste of money. Once you have a space heater, you will find its portability is one of its obvious advantages.

They are small and portable, so you can place them almost anywhere in your house. However, don’t place them near flammable materials. Of course, they cannot replace center heating systems. However, as supplemental heat sources, they are helpful to reduce your energy bill. Of course, they need energy but they can help to reduce energy consumed by your center heat systems, because you can let them work together but turn down the thermostat of your center heat system. In a word, they can result in a decrease in your energy bill.

On the market, there are 3 main types of space heaters, including radiant, convection and combination heaters. The prices vary from $25 to $200 or more. If you need to buy your room a space heater, something must be taken into account. You need to consider which type is suitable and where you use it.

Generally, radiant is perfect for those who only need to warm up an area or zone very quickly. However, if you need to warm up a whole room of your house, you can consider a convection heater which will perform better. However, if you need a heater that can stand up to abuse and everyday use, obviously a combination heater is the best choice.

Another thing you need to take into account is the amount of heat you need it to put out. Generally, most space heaters have a power between 600 and 1,500 watts. The greater the power is, the more heat the heater can produce, and your space can be warmed up faster.

However, you also need to calculate how much you need to pay for your energy bill. You also need to know how long you need your heater to run every day. For example, if you need your heater to run for 6 hours per day, this means every day you need to pay for about $0.6. It will cost you about $16 per month. Therefore, the result is not bad, because you can save more electricity or gas that is used to heat your whole house.

Before making a buying decision, you need to know the specific size of your room you need to heat and how long you need to run. On the market, there are 3 main types to add your desired heat to your room. Which type to choose depends on your requirements and conditions. Let’s discuss them one by one in the following:

Convection Heaters

econo-heat-0603-e-heater-whiteThey tend to feature a unique design and they can warm the air but not people. As the hot air warmed by the heater rises to the ceiling, the cold or cool air falls to the floor and then the cool air will be warmed. This circulation will finally make the whole room warm and comfortable. Convection heaters also come in many types, like baseboard heaters, water-filled heaters, or oil-filled heaters. The oil- or water-filled convection heaters are considered as the most efficient convection heaters so far.

Radiant Heaters

zone-heatersSometimes, we don’t need to heat a whole room but objects and people, so radiant heaters can really help. They don’t heat the air in the room, so there is no convection. These radiant heaters only warm people or something sitting in front of it. If you need to heat much faster, they can do the job. However, you also need to pay attention to potential dangers. If pets or people get too close to the heater, it can burn people and pets. And if the combustible or flammable materials are too close to a radiant heater, it may cause a fire threat. Therefore, when using them, just be more careful.

Combination Heaters

Combination heaters use a fan to distribute heat, but they are not efficient as convection heaters. However, they combine the advantages of radiant and Convection Theater, so they offer the best of those 2 types of heaters. You can use it anywhere in your home.

Electric space heaters are very energy-efficient. Generally, they use every unit of electricity and can produce 1 unit of heat. Therefore, the are almost 100% energy efficient.

What are Zone Heaters? – Definition and Uses

zone-heatersWhat are zone heaters? Actually, they are certain heaters that are designed to heater certain rooms and spaces which are referred to as “zones”. On the market, they come in different designs and technologies, including small and portable infrared or radiant heaters, and ductless split wall-mounted heaters.

They are different from center heating systems and only concentrate heater to a certain small spaces, usually where the family gathers together. You can buy your family several zone heaters. That is OK. Why? This is because the running center heating system is very high and zone heaters can help reduce your heating expense. Home center heating systems can heat up a whole house or room. However, this is a waste of energy. Sometimes, we only need to heat in a small area. Therefore, a zone heater is enough to make us warm and comfortable.

Dislike ductless split systems that must hire professional to install, the portability of a zone heater is also obvious. You can locate your zone heaters where you like or need.

When it comes to energy efficiency, this depends on the efficiency of the zone heater, the technology the heater uses, how long it runs, how it was installed and climate conditions. However, some energy savings should be realized when one room or area is kept warm and comfortable and the main heating systems should be turned down.

On the market, there are a variety of zone heaters. The prices vary from $20 to $200 or more. For the best performance and energy efficiency, the capacity depends on the main room that needs to be heated. If you are looking for the best zone heater, you can read our heater reviews:

You also can read this article to learn more about electric heaters:

Different Types of Electric Heaters for Home

How Do Home Electric Heaters Work

The answer is resistance. Actually, electric heaters take the use of resistance to work through. Under applied voltages, electrical current is driven to flow through the heater’s heating element. And then electrical resistance happens at the heating element that heats up finally. Of course, electric heaters require an electrical circuit of 120v or 240v and this depends on the size of the heater you have and the size of the room you need to heat.

Infrared Heaters

Optimus-H-5511-Infrared-Quartz-RadiantElectrical heaters work by radiant or convection heat. By using the natural law, convection heat can make hot air rise and it relies on natural convection to move the hot air around the room to warm the room. However, radiant or infrared heaters works differently. It doesn’t heat the air but heats objects directly. You may know that infrared has an obvious diffraction effect, so it can bypass the air and directly work on large objects.

This is very important, because this determines where your electric heater can be located. If you have a convection heater, the ideal location is near the floor level. This is because it will heat the cold air near the floor. However, a radiant heater can be located at the ceiling or floor level, because it directly heats objects like the floor, tub or room occupants, etc.

On the market, there are several types of electric heaters, including:

  • Wall heaters
  • Baseboard heaters
  • Toe-kick heaters
  • Cove or panel heaters

And we will discuss them one by one in the following.

Electric Wall Heaters

electric-wall-heatersWall heaters can be used as supplemental heat in smaller rooms. For example, a bath room really needs a wall heater in cold seasons. Most of them are a convection heater and they are installed in the wall cavity, becoming one part of your wall. Therefore, they will not stick out, saving much space for you. Some of them can be radiant heaters that use electric coils to heat up and back panel to reflect heat to the room. Most of them are self-contained and include built-in thermostats.

Of course, it is not allowed to install them in exterior walls, because they are not compatible with exterior insulation and you will also encounter the condensation problems because the hot metal in a cold exterior wall tends to condense easily.

Electric Baseboard Heaters

fahrenheat-fbe15002-electric-baseboard-1000-wattElectric baseboard heaters are similar to hydroponic baseboard heaters, but the difference is that they use electric heating coils for convection heating. And they don’t use any motorized method to convect heat. Because they don’t have room for motorized cooling, they only take the use of mother nature to move hot air. Because of convection, hot air rise and cold air is drawn to the bottom to be warmed by its heating elements. Cool or cold air is drawn into its bottom slots and the warm air is released from its top slots. Generally, they are placed beneath windows, because this can counter heat loss through the window glass. Most models offer an integrated thermostat control, while others may come with a remote line voltage thermostat to control the heater. To make it perform better, the unit should be kept clear of drapes and there is no furniture in front of them.

Electric Toe-kick Heaters

qts1500t-instant-cabinet-kickspace-thermostatElectric toe-kick heaters are designed for limited space applications because of their low profile. Because of their 3.5″ bodies, they can fit in a 4″ toe space under vanities and cabinets. And they can use a fan to distribute warm air thanks to their proportions. You can use them as a supplemental heat source for best performance. A built-in thermostat or a remote line voltage thermostat may be included. Therefore, you can choose your desired type of thermostats.

Electric Cove Heaters

electric-cove-heatersIf you prefer to the maximum comfort an electric heater can offer, you can choose an electric cover heater which uses direct radiant (infrared) heat. Because infrared (radiant) heat only warm objects, tub, your tile work and you rather than the air, you will receive maximum comfort. You can place a cover heater anywhere you like, like below the ceiling or on the wall, making it convenient to use.


What is a Chimenea?

chimeneaChimenea is also spelled as chiminea, pronounced che-meh-NEH-yah. In Spanish, it means chimney. You may see Mexican chimeneas at marketplaces for sale and you also can see them at tourist sites in Arizona, California and other western states. Generally, Mexican chimeneas are hand-decorated terracotta outdoor fireplaces that are very charming. A chimenea can be used as a functional fire feature in your outdoor space, while some use them as garden art or accent pieces on their patio for that Southwestern or rustic look. Chimeneas have a long history, not only used as a decorative fashion statement in recent years.

Chimenea History

Its origins can at least go back to the 16th or 17th century. In some small Mexican villages, chefs tended to use chimeneas to cook vessels, while families gather near chimeneas for warmth. Therefore, they were useful for both cooking and warmth, not only as a fireplace. Generally, a traditional chimenea was made of clay and has a wide bottom vase form, a narrow chimney in the vertical direction. The wide mouth is perfect for the fire pit, while the vertical chimney can direct smoke. The vase form design of chimeneas make they can be used even in the rain, because the water cannot extinguish the flame in the bottom.

Basically, a chimenea is similar to an old-fashioned, wood-burning potbelly stove that is made of cast-iron. In some Eastern European countries, people would like to use a similar type of stove, called a kotao to cook many delicious dishes. Of course, such stove is also wood-burning stove. People place large cooking pans on the kotao to cook foods. A chiminea is not so wide and is contained, compared with an open fire pit. When it comes to choosing the wood-burning materials, you can choose some aromatic woods, like pinewood, mesquite, hickory, or cedar. When the smoke is blew up and out, you will smell the fragrance. After igniting wood-burning materials, chimeneas can give off a lot of heat in 15 minutes. Similar to other outdoor fireplace or wood-burning outdoor fire pits, the fire also can be controlled.

Buying Guides

On the market, there are many chimenea. Before making a buying decision, forget those fancy features, like lovely flowers, or Spanish motifs. And the following tips can really help you make a wise decision.

  • Overall design and shape: Is its chimney or funnel too thin or thick? It is crooked?
  • What are they made of: The traditional chimeneas are made of terracotta or clay. However, modern chimeneas are made of other materials, like cast aluminum, steel, cast iron, or copper.
  • Enough space to fit standard pieces of wood. If the inner space is smaller, you cannot put in these standard-size pieces of wood but need to chop or just buying chunks, chips or smaller pieces of wood.
  • Where do you live in? Some zones may ban indoor or outdoor wood-burning fireplaces. If this is true, you can buy a chimenea that runs propane or gas.

Where to Place?

If you want to find a place to locate your chimenea, the location you choose should be safe and you can see the flames easily in your house. Therefore, the ideal places can be a courtyard, deck, patio, etc. If you want to make your chimenea work more effectively, make sure its back faces a wind. This may be a little difficult, sometimes. Of course, to make it work properly, its chimney should be set up vertical and straight.

The surface you put your chimenea should also be solid. Brick, concrete or stone patios are perfect choices.

How to care for your chimenea?

Because chimeneas are made of clay, they are heavy and prone to cracking. Therefore, you need to care for your chimenea on a regular basis. Once you buy a new chimenea, before using, you need to apply a sealer or acrylic finish. And during seasons of use, you need to do this job every 6 to 8 weeks. The acrylic finish can protect your chimenea from moisture and water, because it can soften the clay. Therefore, the acrylic finish can prevent your chimenea from cracking or falling apart. In rainy seasons, it is highly recommended to store your chimenea as well as other patio furnishings in a garage, shed or basement.

Where to Buy

On the market, there are so many different chimeneas and sometimes it is really difficult to choose, especially if you are the first time to buy a chimenea. Fortunately, we have made a list of top 5 best chimeneas for you to choose from. And our chimenea reviews can help you find your right model.

How to Warm Up Your Patio (Backyard heating)

fire-featureChoosing a Fire Feature for Your Yard

If you want to extend the time you spend outdoors, especially in cold seasons, from hours to months, you need to add a fire feature to your deck, patio or backyard. You will get a focal point, as well as a comfortable place around which to relax, entertain, gather and enjoy your time outdoors. I think this is so great. Family members or friends will have a good place to spend leisure time.

You can choose a fire pit or other ways to warm up your backyard, but different ways vary in price. Or course, if you want a pit or hearth that is custom-designed with elaborate materials and features, you will pay much more than directly buying a simple chimenea or fire pit which only costs about $100 or less.

If you choose fuels to warm up your outdoor space, you also need to pay attention to your local wood-burning codes and laws. Therefore, you need to check with your country or city for details. You also can choose gas or butane, because it is more eco-friendly to our environment. However, you need to hire a professional to hook it up.

If you want to spend more time outdoors, the following ideas can help you find the right way to warm up your outdoor space, ensuring you have a warm space to enjoy your leisure time.

Fire Pit

fire-pitThanks to their ease of use, low cost and portability, fire pits are one of the most popular ways to add fire feature to your outdoor space. Traditional fire pits are designed to be low to the ground. You can built one or just buy one, because there are many fire pits available on the market, which are different from sizes, shapes and materials. The most popular fire pit is the wood-burning fire pit. However, if you need an environmental choice, you can choose fire pits which are fueled by gas or propane. They are a much greener choice. Of course, you also need to pay attention to the local laws or codes, because some regions ban.

Outdoor Fireplaces

outdoor-fireplace1An Outdoor fireplace is really a focal point for your garden or backyard. What’s more, it also means a sense of permanence. Near an outdoor fireplace, you and a low table and some outdoor seating, and you will get a perfect outdoor room. Such a fireplace can be a DIY project or you can purchase a prefab unit directly. Spend time and so some research and you will get the best results. There are many types of materials, like concrete, metal, stone, or brick and fuel can be wood or gas.

The location is also very important. You can think about shrubs, low-hanging trees, and near structures. The last thing you need to pay attention is that the wind should not blow smoke in your neighbor’s garden or yard.

Chimineas

chimineasIf you don’t want to pay much for a fire feature, you can consider buying a chiminea which is an affordable fire feature. Generally, they are made of metal or clay. The one you choose should be sturdy and comes with a spark screen. If you need to vent the smoke, chimney extensions should be included. For example, if you play a chiminea on a porch or patio, you need to vent the smoke.

Hot Tubs and Spas

hot-tubs-and-spasGenerally, hot tubs can offer you a temperature of 104 degrees F. Imagine just outside on the deck or patio, the bubbling tub is waiting for you. This is cool in cold winters. Even if it is snowing outside, a hot tub or spa can warm you up quickly and make you feel relaxed after a whole day’s work. You sore muscles can be relaxed. Well, when you want to exit, make sure you have a towel, slippers and a warm robe nearby. Or you will easily get cold.

Heated Floors

outdoor-patio-flooring-woodIf you want to extend the season of your patio or deck, radiant heating is a perfect choice. With it, your patio or deck will be heated. Even if it is cold, the heated floor can warm you up. And your children can have a good place to play.

Similar to an indoor application, radiant heating becomes more and more popular. The heating system is able to warm up your decks and patios. And you even can use it to melt snow. However, you need to hire a professional to install the system.

Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor-kitchenIf you have an outdoor kitchen, you can make your outdoor kitchen you want to be even on a chilly day. You can use your brick pizza oven, a grill other outdoor cooking appliances that can heat up things quickly. And your guests will be attracted by the delicious aromas of food cooking. Neighbors will be attracted to hang out on the patio.

Patio Heaters

Aura-Patio-Plus-Weatherproof-Radian-Electric-Patio-Heater-300x199Another way you use to heat your patio is to use a portable patio heater which doesn’t take up much space and is usually fueled by gas or propane. Generally, such a patio heater can heat up an area of less than 25 square feet. They are easy to see on the patio of restaurants. Of course, they are also suitable for your patio.

Outdoor Rugs and Blankets

outdoor-rugsWhile a rug is not a heating source, it doesn’t offer the same amount of heat as a patio heater or a fire pit. However, such a rug and blanket can make your deck or patio cozier. Add a rug or blanket, or throw and snuggle with your partner, you will forget the cold.

A Warm Friend and Hot Beverages

coffee-teaIf it is very cold outside, you also can grab your favorite animal (like a dog or cat) or person, and then cuddle one the patio or porch. If there is no other heating resource, you should dress warmly. Having a rug or blanket is also a good choice. And then you need a delicious, hot cup of coffee, tea or other hot beverages.

How to Effectively Organize, Declutter and Store Your Small Kitchen Appliances

kitchen-appliancesIf you are a kitchen appliance addict, you may have plenty of different types of kitchen appliances. How to effectively organize these kitchen appliances? Well, this depends on what type of cook you prefer to. For people who are a raw food nut, blender may take the first place and should be front-and-center. If you are a vegan, a pressure cooker is a must-have item and should be ready to use at any time, while indoor grills and slow cookers are so important for those who are meat-enters. No matter you are a vegan, a meat-eater, or a raw food nut, the following 4 steps can help you organize your kitchen appliances much better.

  • Group by use.
  • Cut Down appliances.
  • Cut cabinet clutter.
  • Form Good Habits

1. Cut Down Your Appliances

The first step you need to do is to group these kitchen appliances by use. This step is very important for declutter and organize your kitchen appliances. You need to group them by use, never-used, rarely-used and frequently used. If the storage space in your kitchen is limited, it is highly recommended to allocate your storage space wisely by owing multiple-functional appliances. Check these appliances carefully and make sure they are robust to use.

Here, we have some examples for you to follow:

  • Once you own a high-quality blender, you don’t need a food processor, because such a high-end blender can also double as a food processor.
  • If you have a waffle iron, a Panini press seems not so important. And you can use your waffle iron instead of a Panini press.
  • You also can use a stock pot to produce perfectly cooked rice, so if you just need to cook rice occasionally, a rice cooker seems unnecessary. However, if you need to cook rice frequently, such a rice cooker can make the cooking process much easier.

2. Banish Never-Used Kitchen Appliances

This seems so easy but this is also the hardest step for most people. These never-used appliances are unnecessary, so the best ways is to let them go. Maybe you are not willing to do that, but the fact is that they don’t generate any value for you. Think about egg poachers, juicers, and rice cookers. Of course, if you use them, it is no problem. However, the fact is that if you have never-used an egg poacher to poach an egg or never made a green juice, it is most likely to never use them in the future.

Don’t let these never-used appliances to occupy your limited kitchen cabinet storage space.

3. Donate Or Recycle these Never-used Appliances

If you have many un-used kitchen appliances and you don’t plan to use them in the future, they can find a new home easily via selling online, consignment or donation. Donating is really a good way to declutter your appliances by putting your appliances into others hand.

You can sell these un-used appliances on Ebay or find a charity in your area to donate.

Sometimes, you may be not sure whether you need the appliance or not. Therefore, you can try this method. Put the appliance in a box and store this box, so you cannot see it any more. About a month later, you can know whether you need it or not. If you used it in a month, then you can keep it. If you never think about this stored appliance, you have enough reasons to sell it or recycle it after a few months.

4. Cut Cabinet Clutter

If you have pared down these un-used or never used appliances, it is time to organize your useful appliances. In your cabinets, they should be organized well and easy to navigate. Therefore, no matter when you need one appliance, you can easily find it at the right places. The following tips are useful:

Tips:

  • Before putting your appliance into your cabinet, it is a good habit to wrap its cord around it. This can help to cut clutter, making it look more organized.
  • Some seldom use or seasonal appliances needs to be stored in higher shelves, so a step-tool is needed.
  • Manuals are unnecessarily stored in your cabinet, so you can save these manuals in Google DOCx, or just bookmark them online.
  • Some smaller parts are not easy to store, because if you directly store them in your cabinet, they will make your cabinets looks pesky. Therefore, a good way is to use zip loc bags to store them. Of course, you need to label them, so you can easily find them in the future. For example, a food processor comes with many attachments and you can use this method to store them.
  • If you don’t have enough time, at least, you need to take a Saturday or Sunday morning and follow the above steps to organize your kitchen cabinets. And in the next week, when you open your cabinets, you will receive a huge energy boost.

5. How to Store Rarely-Used Kitchen Appliances

You may find there are a few kitchen appliances that you only use once every 3 or 4 months. Think: food processor, slow cooker, waffle maker, blender, ice cream maker – you will get the idea.

The good way is to store these rarely-used appliances on a higher shelf. These less-used items should not take up valuable low cabinet or countertop real estate.

For example, some items are exclusively useful at Christmas time, so you can store in your kitchen project bin.

Tip: The locations of these appliances should change seasonally. A slow cooker becomes useful in the fall or winter, while in hot summer, an ice cream maker becomes a frequent use appliance. Of course, you need to change their location accordingly. In the summer, the ice cream maker should be put on lower shelves.

6. How to Store the Frequently Used Appliances

There is no organizing and storage scheme, because the scheme you choose depend on how you cook and what appliances you like to use and how much storage space your cabinet has. Well, how to store your appliances well?

Of course, put your most frequently used appliances on your countertop or on the lowest shelves in the cabinet. This means they are so easy to access when you need to use them.

Un-used or never-used appliances should be sold or donated. If you are not sure whether you need it or not, you can reassess it.

7. How to Maintain and Upgrade

If you want to keep your appliances organized, you need to organize your appliances on a regular basis. The more often you organize your appliances, the less time it will cost you the next time. At least, you need to go through your cabinets twice a year.

And you can label your each shelf, like a food processor, wine glasses, dishes, etc. And you also can tape an inventory list to your cabinet door.

How to Clean Small Appliances

small appliancesFor people who have plenty of small appliances (like coffee maker, water distillers, coffee grinders, rice cookers, etc.), how to clean small appliances is really very important. You may have an addition, and you counters may be full of small kitchen appliances that are the latest versions. Of course, these appliances are really good helpers in our daily life, because they can simply our cooking process, saving much time. When it comes to cleaning these small appliances, there are some basic using tips and guidelines that you can follow.

Read The Manual

First, you need to read its manual, because this can save you much time on avoid much grief. Read the manual thoroughly, and you will know all the specific maintenance instructions and what’s important, you can know where all its components are at. If you don’t have a clear picture of these components, talking about cleaning them is meaningless. On the manual, you also need to pay attention to its warranty. Therefore, take a little time to read its manually, and then file the manually away somewhere. Sometimes, we need it later. If you find the manual is long gone, it can be probably found on the manufacturer’s official site. Use the model name and number to search on the manufacturer’s site, or just search it on Google. For example, if you need a refresher on how to clean a countertop water distiller, you can find it on the manufacturer’s site and there may be a guide for you to down load. The guide will tell you how to use a cleaner.

Start With Mild Cleaning

For any appliance, it is highly recommended to start with mild cleaning instead of starting tougher cleaning methods. If the mild cleaning is not effective, tougher cleaning methods are needed, if possible. When it comes to most small kitchen appliances, you can use warm water and mild dish soap to clean them and this method is sufficient to clean most messes. Of course, microfiber cleaning cloths are perfect for removing grease and dirt. Any harsher cleaners should be avoided, because they can easily damage the finish. In some cases, they can cause fatal damage to your appliances. Therefore, you need to be more careful.

Unplug the Appliance When Cleaning

Before cleaning your appliances, make sure you have unplugged the appliances, because safety is always the first consideration. For example, if you happen to forget to unplug a food processor and begin to wipe it down, you hand may accidentally start it by pushing its button. If you are just cleaning its blade, it will be very dangerous. Therefore, don’t forget this alert. Before any cleaning job, just unplug the appliance. Don’t risk the appliance or your safety. This is very important.

Avoid immersing Electrical Components

For most kitchen appliances, the electrical portion of the appliance should not be immersed into water or you also cannot use wet clothes to wipe it. This is because these electrical portions (like motors, integrated circuits, sensors etc.) will be ruined if immersed into water or they are wet. What’s worse, this may make you take a risk of electrocution. Therefore, when you need to clean these parts, you need to be more careful and you need to cost more time to clean them carefully. In most situations, wiping down is the only and the best way to clean these small kitchen appliances. This can ensure both the safety and the function.

Check Electrical Cords

Appliances are powered by electricity, so most of them have electric cords. Therefore, no matter which appliance you have, checking their electrical cords is essential. If there is any damage, you should repair it or replace a new one. When cleaning your appliances, you need to wipe the cord down at the same time. This can effectively prevent buildup of grease and dirt. And during the cleaning process, it is really a good chance to inspect. Damaged cords can cause accidents or even electrocution.

8 Ways to Save on New Appliances

Bizerba-Automatic-Commercial-Safety-SlicerYou may think new appliances tend to be costly. However, if you know these 8 ways, you can know how to shop for them without cost much. These 8 tips can help you save some money when it comes to buying new appliances.

Never Buy The Latest Model but the Last Year’s

Most time this year’s model is only a little different from the last year’s model. Therefore, it is good way to save money if you choose to buy last year’s model. This can help you save several hundred of dollars on some large appliances, like convection ovens, Gas FurnacesMeat Slicers. However, if you mind this, you can choose the latest style but cost much more. The best time to buy these last year’s models is in September and October, because many stores begin to deal with their old stock to clear space for the latest models for the next year.

Shop Appliances with Small Scratch and Dents

If your budget is an issue, a small dent or scratch will be your best friend. When you shop, you can ask the sales associate whether there are some damaged appliances for sale. And then, you need to assess these defects and decide whether you would like to live with. Some appliances only have the smallest blemish, but if you buy them, you can save more than you can imagine. And these blemishes don’t influence their core function. These dents and scratch can save you more.

Forget Fancy Features but Buy What You Really Need

When we go into a store, we will become not rational. We will be attracted by these fancy features and pay much more on these fancy features. Therefore, before coming into a store, we need to know what we really need. The best way is to make a list and go directly to buy these appliances with essential features that we need. We need to prevent ourselves from falling for these fancy features. Or you will regret buying these useless latest bells and whistles. For example, if you want to buy a refrigerator, those with a built-in TV are not helpful to make our food any fresher and colder, but you need to pay more on this useless feature.

Do a Trade-In

If you plan to buy a new car, it is good way to trade in your current car and this can save more money. However, do you know you also can trade in your appliances to save money? You can ask appliance dealers to know whether they accept trade-ins. If the news is good, you need to know how much your appliance is worth. Just remember, this can help you make savings.

Shop the Sales

Sometimes, we find something we are interested, but we are thrilled by its current price. Sometimes, you just need to wait one or two weeks after your pick is on sale, and this can help you save up to 25%.

A Package Deal can Save More

If you have a new kitchen or you just upgrade your current kitchen and want to replace all the appliances, it is a good way to think about an appliance package. For example, you need to buy a convection oven, a refrigerator, a reverse osmosis system, a coffee maker and other more items, why not buy them together? If you buy them separately, you may cannot get any savings. However, if you buy them in a package deal, you can save more than you can think. It is not difficult to find a package deal, because retailers tend to bundle appliances to boost sales. You can ask a retailer whether there is a package deal.

Choose a Floor Model to Purchase

If you don’t mind your new appliance doesn’t come with a box, you can buy a floor model. Of course, you can get the same warranty as a new one with a box. However, without the box, you can save a lot but only sacrifice a little cardboard.

Buy Used or Second-hand

Sometimes, new appliances really are costly. Well, do you even consider to see whether the one you plan to buy is available on Craigslist? People tend to remove like-new appliances because of moving or remodeling. And these like-new used appliances can save much for you. One thing you need to notice is that used appliances don’t offer a warranty, but you can get at a very low price. Therefore, it is worth the gamble.

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