Show Notes: Home Humidity or Not, Hot Heating Ideas – On the House

Show Notes: Home Humidity or Not, Hot Heating Ideas

By on January 10, 2015
sweaty windows

If you have had your home heating system working overtime, you may have dried the air out. Or, are your walls weeping wet stains? Today James and Morris shared tips on how to determine if you need a humidifier or dehumidifier. This week the The International Consumers Electronics Show 2015 was being held in Las Vegas. Our show reporters gave us  a few highlights on what we have to look forward to in the marketplace.

Thank you to todays guests:

Dip Patel with EcoVent


Laundry Gets The High-Tech Treatment At Ces 2015

 Heat Pump Clothes Dryers

Cost savings associated with energy efficiency is among the most interesting capabilities of high-tech home products.

Similar to heat pump water heaters, which extract heat from the surrounding air to bolster water heating capabilities, heat pump dryers recirculate their own excess heat so the appliance can deliver the same amount of drying power with considerably less energy input. Whirlpool’s Duet dryer with Hybrid Care (above) is ventless and uses up to 70% less energy than a standard dryer, while maintaining a standard 60-minute drying cycle. The technology won a CES Innovation Award this year. LG’s heat EcoHybrid pump dryer (left) boasts up to 53% energy savings and is also an award winner, taking home an Energy Star Emerging As heat pump dryers start to roll out, look for price points of at least $1,500.

Washing With Convenience

Samsung’s innovations at CES drew attention on the washing machine side of the laundry pair. The Active Wash unit (right), coming in spring 2015, features a built-in sink that makes soaking and pre-treating more convenient. According to a rep at the Samsung booth, 70% of homeowners don’t have a sink near their laundry appliances, but 70% want to be able to pre-treat clothes when needed. With Active Wash, users can lift the washing machine lid and take advantage of a shallow basin that fills from a built-in jet connected to the water line. When pre-treating is done, the basin tips backwards so the water and clothing all go directly into the tub for normal washing.

At LG, new washing technology comes in the form of a Mini Washer (left) built into a unit the size of a standard front-loader pedestal. The unit does not need a separate water line and runs all the same cycles as a full-size washer, but only holds about 4 pounds of laundry. The compact size is ideal for washing small loads of delicates or baby clothes, or when there’s simply not enough laundry for a full load. The best part? The LG Mini Washer does not have to be purchased as part of the LG Twin Wash system (also debuted at CES). Buy it as a standalone product to add to your existing laundry appliances. Pricing information is not yet available.


Why Is A Grill Company At An Electronics Show?

SABER Introduces EDGE™:

A High-Performance, Smart Grill That Cooks and Looks Like no Other

Saber Grills, LLC has expanded its line of premium infrared gas grills with the addition of the EDGE™ grill, a smart, high-performance, contemporary barbecue that offers real-time cooking information via a Wi-Fi connection.

Designed to look and cook like no other grill, the EDGE grill is a beautifully designed, well-engineered grill that makes full use of smart technology to deliver a superior cooking experience.

EDGE is a two-burner grill made of high-grade 304 stainless steel. The grill’s sleek profile was achieved by re-engineering the burner system and replacing it with a super efficient, patented infrared cooking system that pre-heats quickly, eliminates flare ups and generates even heat across the entire grill surface.

The EDGE™ grill by SABER®

An LCD panel on the front of the grill displays grate temperature, fuel tank levels, burner on/off and battery life. The grill features an all-infrared cooking system that has a wide temperature range and uses 30% less gas than traditional gas grills, a 340 sq. in. cooking surface on 304 stainless steel grates, a pull-out tank tray, and push button electronic ignition at each burner. The grill will have an MSRP of $1,999. Optional upgrades include a SCHOTT ceramic glass lid insert, a halogen light and an app integrated meat thermometer.

“The SABER brand is built on the notion of creating ‘a better barbecue™’,” said Rob Schwing, general manager of Saber Grills, LLC. “That means better materials, tighter construction and now, the smartest technology, in order to deliver a better cooking experience overall.”

Information about EDGE grill can be accessed remotely through an app that not only monitors multiple functions during the cooking process but also offers a database of recipes and cooking tips. The interactive SABER app – which can be viewed on both Android and iOS mobile devices and tablets – allows consumers to:

-See real-time information such as grill temperature, burner on/off status, level of fuel in the tank, and battery life of the LCD screen.

-Receive alerts for pre-heat readiness, temperature changes, and when the grill is cool enough for cleaning.

-Access a full range of grill-ready recipes and instructional videos.

-Store original recipes and share what they’ve cooked via Facebook and other social channels.

The functionality programmed into the app is designed to bring value to grillers of all skill levels, so those users who want it can choose to dig deep into how-to articles and recipes for step-by-step cooking directions, and those looking only for the convenience of real-time information can simply monitor the cooking process and other grill functions.

“This is, at its core, a great marriage of useful technology and amazing design,” said Schwing. “Our customer is savvy enough to know the difference between an add-on gadget and true innovation. We made sure to build in only meaningful additions that would enhance the performance of the grill and the end-user experience.”

The EDGE™ grill by SABER® was introduced today at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in conjunction with technology partner DADO Labs. The grill will be showcased at the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo in Nashville in March and be available for consumer purchase in spring 2015.

Visit SABER grills at


What’s Your Homes Moisture Level?

Do You Need A Humidifier Or A Dehumidifier?

A humidifier is designed to put more moisture into the air.

A dehumidifier takes moisture out of the air.

Most homes don’t need a humidifier in the summer months, but only in the winter, when the weather is dry and cold when home heating makes the air inside very dry.

Do you have dry skin, cracked lips, itchy eyes, or you are getting shocked every time you walk across the carpet…. your home is dry and in need of more moisture in the air – you need a humidifier

If your home feels like a foggy day at the beach and moisture is creating wet stains on your walls or ceiling or both. Does the house smell like rotting wood or plaster? Run, don’t walk to the nearest store and buy a dehumidifier.

How to measure your homes moisture?

The only way to know for sure whether or not you need a humidifier or dehumidifier is to purchase a hygrometer.

A hygrometer is a special thermometer that can measure the amount of moisture in the air.

Ideally, your home should be between 30% and 50% humidity to be normal and healthy.

If your home is below 30% humidity, then you should consider investing in a humidifier.

If it’s over 50% then a dehumidifier is your best choice.

Be sure to measure the amount of moisture in the air in each room of your house at different times of day. You may not need a humidifier or dehumidifier for your entire home, but only the culprit rooms.


Do You Know Where Your Refrigerator Coils Are? It’s Time to Clean Them

 Refrigerators need only a small amount of care and maintenance to run effectively. Give your refrigerator about an hour once a year to do a simple cleaning of the condenser coils.

Older refrigerators have the coil (a grid-like structure often painted black) mounted on the rear of the refrigerator.

Newer refrigerators often locate the condenser coil at the bottom. It is likely that a fan (that may or may not be readily visible) will be directed at the coil to assist with heat dissipation. Use a flashlight to assist locating the coil and fan if needed. The coil will be accessible from one of two places:

Toe space panel. Remove the panel at the bottom of the front of the refrigerator and carefully slide the condensate tray out (if present, the condensate tray may contain water). A visual inspection upward into this space may reveal a flat condenser coil when located here.

Rear access panel. If not found behind the toe space, the refrigerator will have to be slid away from the wall further to work from behind. Disconnect water supply lines if too short to allow enough room to work. Remove the fasteners that hold an access panel in position. The condenser coil may be flat, but will likely be cylindrical in shape when located here.

Because the condenser coil is exposed to the ambient air on the refrigerator, it requires regular cleaning to maintain your appliance.

 Be sure to disconnect the to the refrigerators power before cleaning. If you need to pull the unit forward remember to disconnect the ice maker too!


More CES – Bosch North America

World’s first environmental sensor combining pressure, humidity, temperature and indoor air quality BME680 proves technology leadership

The BME680 environmental sensor enables multiple new capabilities for portable and mobile devices such as air quality measurement, personalized weather stations, indoor navigation, fitness monitoring, home automation and other applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The gas sensor within the BME680 can detect a broad range of gases in order to measure indoor air quality for personal well being, including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from paints (such as formaldehyde), lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, furnishings, office equipment, glues, adhesives and alcohol.


Air Filtering House Plants

Of course, only some houseplant species effectively remove the harmful compounds produced in your home. Some species effectively remove only 1 type of compound, while a few types of plants can filter nearly all harmful compounds from your indoor air.

  • Benzene is a compound produced from paints, solvents, detergents, and some plastics. Good plants for filtering benzene include English ivy, Chinese evergreen, and snake plants.
  • Formaldehyde is a harmful chemical emitted from many building materials, including foam insulation and engineered wood products like plywood. Good houseplants for filtering formaldehyde include azalea, philodendron, pothos, and chrysanthemum.
  • Trichloroethylene is another harmful compound emitted from paints, varnishes, and solvents. It can be filtered effectively by Gerbera daisy, chrysanthemum, and Dracaena marginata.

Some plants filter the whole range of harmful chemicals, including ammonia and xylene as well as the above-mentioned compounds. These species include peace lily, florist’s chrysanthemum, and snake plants.



 Don’t throw those ashes out, use them in the garden! Wood ashes are rich in Potash

 This substance raises the pH of soil, and therefore “sweetens” it. Take care when building a fire that you limit your burning material to hardwoods. Only these items are acceptable, after combustion, for garden use.

Sweet soil is the great for lilacs; these shrubs will flower when regular wood-ash applications are made beneath them in fall, winter and early spring. If your lilacs produce too few flowers, Potash can be the natural additive they require. And here are other plants that prefer sweet soil:


Clematis, Gypsophila, Iris (tall bearded hybrids only); Japanese anemones, Lilacs, Madonna Lily, Nasturtium, Passionflower, Peonies, Phlox, Sweet Peas, Virginia Creeper


Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme


Beets, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Leeks, Melons, Onions, Parsnips, Spinach

How much wood ash to use? This depends largely upon intuition. If you apply the ashes in fall, winter and early spring, you can hardly use too much; rain and snow dilute the concentration of Potash considerably. Empty thoroughly cooled fireplace ashes into a standard coal scuttle; when this is full, pour the entire amount in a wide circle beneath the drip line of a mature lilac shrub. For small ornamental, herb and vegetable plants, I pour about a cupful beneath drip lines.


Website Mentions:

Water Heater Cleaner:

How to Clean Your Water Heater:


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