Tips for Getting Your Furnace Ready for Winter

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.03.2009 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Frigid days are fast approaching. And as snow falls and temperatures plummet, it is important to make sure your furnace is in proper working condition. Follow these tips to make sure you don't get left in the cold this winter.

1. Have your heating equipment properly maintained and cleaned by a licensed heating and cooling contractor.

2. Have the duct work checked for air leaks. Research shows that faulty ductwork accounts for more than 25 percent of the heating loss in an average home.

3. Replace air filters. A dirty filter restricts air flow and causes the unit to lose efficiency.

4. Use a programmable thermostat. By setting your thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 degrees for eight hours a day (for instance, while no one is home or while everyone is sleeping) you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent according to the Department of Energy.

5. Keep air supply and return registers free from obstructions (for example, furniture, rugs, and clothes baskets).

6. Use a whole-home humidifier. Heated indoor air is very dry and needs to be humidified. Actually, one of the driest places on earth could be your home. Don't believe it? The relative humidity of the Sahara Desert is 25 percent; Death Valley's 23 percent. In the winter months, the average heated home can have a relative humidity as low as 13 to 16 percent. The benefits of using an Aprilaire automatic whole-home humidifier include:


* Comfort helps eliminate dry nose and throat and itchy skin, while also reducing static electricity.

* Well being optimum humidity levels can help reduce the chance of upper-respiratory problems caused by dry air. Ask your doctor.

* Preservation proper humidification levels will protect against shrinkage and cracking in furniture, moldings and hardwood floors.

* Energy savings adding moisture to the air means you'll feel warmer with lower, energy-saving indoor temperatures. A home heated to 69 degree with 35 percent humidity feels just as warm as a 72 degree home at 19 percent humidity.

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Professional Ranges Make Gourmet Meals

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.02.2009 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Watching food programs has become a favorite activity for many Americans, but recreating the gourmet meals onscreen is often easier said than done. True, television chefs often have cooking degrees from fancy schools and years of restaurant experience, but you don't need to be a professional to put an impressive meal on the table. What you do need is professional-quality cooking equipment.

Americans looking for the professional cooking experience can buy professional ranges for home-use. These ranges mimic the power and larger cooking surfaces of commercial models in a heavy duty, stainless steel package with the insulation and convenience features required for cooking at home.

A burner on a standard stove has a power output of about 9,000 BTU, whereas a professional range for the home will average 15,000 BTU. Putting even more power to work for home chefs, Thermador's Professional Series ranges and rangetops feature star-shaped burners with an output of 18,000 BTU each. The results: with this much power on every burner, large pots of water will boil in a fraction of the time, and overall faster and more even heating results, allowing the most challenging recipes and techniques to be mastered at home.

Thermador, which started making professional-style ranges for home use in the 1990s, recently introduced its fourth-generation Star Burner. The burner's unique design directs heat evenly from the center of the pan to its edges creating a more even and superior distribution of heat than the standard circular burner, reducing cold spots, which ultimately affects the way the food will cook. Thermador Professional Series ranges also feature patented ExtraLow simmer burners, which have an output of 375 BTU per hour. This precise simmer control system enables home cooks to heat delicate sauces or melt chocolate without scorching or stirring.

Professional ranges for the home also offer a streamlined, professional look. With a bold, chiseled profile, high-grade stainless steel knobs and an angled door handle, the Professional Series from Thermador creates a classic, robust feel in any home kitchen.

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