Show Notes: Spring Clean Your Air and More
It’s time to clean your indoor air and more this week
Is an extension cord in your spring cleaning bucket? Do you know how to clean your indoor air? We’ll even help you clean the resident pooch. It’s time for the annual Spring Cleaning Fling, are you ready?
Videos Are A Key Feature For DIYers – Do You Watch?
This is true for just about any consumer set, but especially for DIYers. 88% of DIYers watch how-to videos online, and 65% of DIYers would be more likely to buy from a brand that provides videos for DIY projects.
They are looking for ways to be inspired. Tutorial videos are a huge opportunity for a brand. DIYers access how-to videos, videos from experts, idea videos or any other DIY video concepts you can come up with.
Remember, YouTube is the number two search engine behind Google.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor Extension Cords
Extension cords allow you to power a device when its own cable does not reach an electrical outlet. This guide will help you understand the differences between extension cords to ensure safety, energy efficiency and top performance.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Extension Cords
Outdoor extension cords have tough covers made from rubber, plastic or vinyl. Using indoor extension cords outside can lead to overheating.
Tip: Some heavy-duty cords are rated for protection against oils, chemicals or extreme temperatures.
Outdoor extension cords fall into three broad categories:
- Occasional use cords are suitable for smaller projects and tools.
- Frequent use cords can handle larger tools and equipment and heavier use.
- Rugged cords are designed for continual use on job sites, even in extreme weather, and are suitable for high-amperage tools.
Designation Letter Meaning S Indicates a flexible cord designed for general use W Indicates the cord is rated for outdoor use J Indicates the cord with standard 300 voltage insulation.
If there is no J in the designation, the cord has thicker,
600-volt insulation, designed for heavier use.
P Indicates parallel wire construction, used in air conditioner
cords and household extension cords
T Indicates the cord jacket is made from vinyl thermoplastic E Indicates the cord jacket is made from thermoplastic elastomer
O Indicates the cord is oil-resistant
Extension cords typically come with two- or three-prong plugs, while others have specialty receptacles and plugs for RVs and construction applications.
The third prong in the extension cord provides a path to the ground wire in a household electrical circuit. This ground wire greatly reduces the risk of electrical shock and fires. The three-prong cord itself should only be used with properly grounded three-slot outlets.
Amperage, Gauge & Cord Length
Each extension cord has a maximum amperage — the limit on the current it can conduct safely. Connecting devices with a higher current, may cause overheating.
Tip: You can usually find the energy requirements for electrical devices listed on the device itself or in the instruction manual.
If you plan to connect multiple devices to the cord at the same time, add up the current requirements for each device. The power requirements for some devices are listed in watts, rather than amps. Use this formula to convert the rating to amps: Amps = watts/110.
If an extension cord doesn’t include a maximum amperage rating, you can figure out its capacity by looking at its American Wire Gauge (AWG) rating. A lower AWG number indicates a thicker wire and a higher capacity, so the lower the number, the higher the cord’s capacity to deliver power.
Gauge is typically listed along with the number of conducting wires in the cord. For example, a 14/3 cord contains 14-gauge wire and has three conductions inside.
Typically, you can find a cord’s gauge rating printed on the cord jacket. If you’re replacing an old cord, look for the AWG number printed on the jacket, and select a new cord with the same gauge.
Just in time for Spring…….
My Garden Answers – App
Instant Answers To Your Garden Questions in an App
from Annuals to Weeds
Plant identification – point and click your mobile phone or tablet at any plant and get an instant identification.
Pests and diseases – at the tap of a button, you can find out if your plant has a disease or pest infestation problem.
Get Expert Advice – ask gardening experts for advice and recommendations about virtually any plant you choose.
app available for the iOS / Android
How to Clean the Air You Breathe
It might not be pleasant to think about, but the air we breathe is full of contaminants—dust, pollen and mold, to name just a few, as well as noxious gases.
Surprising fact: Air is actually the number-one way that our bodies are exposed to contaminants in the home—in fact, we inhale about 35 pounds of air per day.
Unfortunately, dirty air can have significant effects on your health.
While you can’t eliminate all airborne pollutants, it’s always wise to take basic steps to improve your indoor-air quality. These include frequent vacuuming and dusting … as well as efforts to ventilate your home, such as opening windows and using a kitchen range hood and bathroom exhaust fans.
Air purifiers can also help. What’s more, these devices can be especially beneficial for people with allergies or chemical sensitivities. What’s right for you?
Choosing The Right Air Purifier
Air purifiers are available in portable devices designed for individual rooms or whole-house units that are built into your central air-conditioning or forced-air heating system. If you want air purification in your entire home, it may be cost-effective if the air ductwork is built in. However, most people get good results in the areas where they spend the most time with one or more portable units.
Important: Because there are so many options when buying a portable air purifier, it’s easy to make mistakes that end up costing you money and/or prevent you from getting the pollution-fighting features you really need…
Mistake 1: Getting the wrong type of air purifier. There are two main types of air purifiers—units that remove particles (such as dust, pollen, mold and pet dander) and those that remove gases/odors (such as paint fumes and formaldehyde from glue in wood furniture). Some units remove both particles and gases/odors.
To determine which type of air purifier you need, ask yourself, What am I trying to get rid of?
Allergy and asthma sufferers often will want an air purifier that removes particles…someone who is chemically sensitive will want to eliminate gases and odors.
Air-cleaning devices designed to capture tiny particles from the air typically use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) technology. HEPA filters remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. For reference, a single hair is about 70 microns wide.
Air purifiers designed to remove gases and odors typically use activated charcoal or other material that binds to the pollutants. If you want to get rid of particles and gases, look for a purifier with both HEPA technology and a material such as activated carbon.
Mistake 2: Not checking a unit’s efficiency and certification. A critical factor when selecting an air purifier is the device’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), established by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
Mistake 3: Not placing the air purifier in the right location.
Mistake 4: Not changing the filter often enough.
RUB A DUB DOG
There’s something about spring that just makes you want to clean and spruce up your surroundings. If you’ve got the spring cleaning bug, here are some tips and products to help freshen up your hound and home.
Clean your dog first
Here’s a twist on an old saying, “Cleaning the house while your dog is shedding is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.” Any spring cleaning routine must start with thoroughly bathing and grooming your pet. Removing fur at the source before it ever hits the floor or furniture will make cleaning the house much more manageable. A good bath will also help reduce pet odor at its source.
Clean your dog’s hangout
Now that your dog is all clean, you certainly don’t want him sleeping on a stinky bed. This is the perfect time to wash all of his bedding with a pet-friendly, ecologically sound, odor reducing laundry detergent. A well-rated brand is Petastic (formerly Nature’s Miracle), which has an enzymatic formula that removes odors and stains.
If your dog uses a crate, this is a great time to thoroughly clean the crate as well. Scrub and disinfect your pet’s dishes and eating area. If you’ve been using plastic feeding dishes, consider switching to stainless steel—plastic can harbor bacteria.