The Ultimate Guide to Buying Vacuum Cleaner 2018

Trendy colors and sleek designs such as taupe, Sienna, and goldenrod are some of the features of modern vacuums. There are many models in the market which caters to different taste and preference, so you can get the best vacuum that suits your needs.

Some of the latest models of vacuum cleaners have excellent features, lightweight yet, they are highly efficient.

However, there are numerous questions that most people ask themselves before buying a vacuum cleaner. These may include, which is the best vacuum cleaner if I own a pet?

If I am allergic, which vacuum cleaner suits me? All these questions and more are answered in the following guide as we aim to equip you with all the information you need before picking a vacuum cleaner from one of our recommended picks.

Basic Information about Vacuum Cleaner

In order to choose the right vacuum cleaner that is numerous aspects that you should put into consideration, such as, the size of the house or home, the number of stairs and the type of floor surface. For larger houses, you may want to consider a more powerful and upright vacuum cleaner, for houses with numerous stair levels you can purchase a lightweight vacuum to aid in easy movement around the different floors. Lastly, the type of the floor plays an imperative role in determining the right vacuum cleaner for these surfaces, for multi-surface homes consider a vacuum cleaner that will suit all the surfaces. Buying a new vacuum cleaner is not something you do every day. Therefore, it is essential that you put all factors into consideration before making any purchase. This is vital because you will be able to get high-quality products that will last long.

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

After taking into consideration the three factors indicated earlier, there are other features to look out for and this guide will help you to get the best vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming is not a daily activity for most people, and they want a cleaner that does a good job of cleaning the house when they use it. Therefore, here are some of the factors to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner.

1. Allergies

If you are sensitive to mites and dust or have seasonal allergies. There are vacuums that come with a certified HEPA Filter which traps 99.7 percent of dust and harmful allergens.

However, it is imperative that you clean it regularly with water and change the filters after every six months to avoid any kind of allergic reactions.

2. Noise

Most people do not like noisy vacuum cleaners, and if you live in an apartment, where there are babies, you would not want to wake them up. It is essential that you choose a vacuum cleaner that is within 60-65 decibel range, this will be quiet, and you can still handle all your cleaning activities with ease.

3. Weight

Weight plays a key role in selecting a vacuum cleaner, small size to the medium are recommended for multi-level houses and heavy duty is recommended for single floor houses so do your research and pick the one you can carry around and store easily.

4. Pets

There are vacuums that are manufactured specially to help clean up pet hair as young children and babies are more prone to allergic reaction from pet hair. When looking for a vacuum cleaner for pet hair, it is important to choose a vacuum cleaner that has at least 12 Amps of power so it can pick up those tiny hairs and also ensure it comes with crevices and special brushes that you’ll need for cleaning purposes.

5. Bag or bagless

Some of the features to look out for includes whether the vacuum cleaner will be bag or bagless. Both types of the vacuum cleaner have shown to be very effective in cleaning the areas. Bagless often offers more convenience because it can be detached and dispose of the dirt, but you do have to get the replacement bags. On the other hand, the bagless one’s come with a dustbin that can be cleaned countless times, so it is a matter of personal preference.

6. Power

The amount of power consumed by the machine is one of the most important aspects because it shows how powerful it is. If you live in an area which attracts a lot of dust and the electricity cost won’t take a toll on your budget, its best to go with a more powerful option. But some lightweight vacuums are effective too for places which are much clean so the bottom line is to choose a vacuum that can clean surfaces properly without compromising quality.

7. Filters

HEPA filters are essential in alleviating dander, dust and other allergens from the air. These types of filters are important in removing all the types of allergens; you are required to replace after every 6 months.



Types of Vacuum Cleaners

There are numerous designs of the vacuum cleaners and depending on your taste and preference; you can get high-quality value equipment at affordable prices. Some of the common vacuum cleaners in the market include

Upright Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Upright Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

These are the most common type of vacuums and can be found in most apartments and homes. They are regarded as the best vacuum for eradicating dirt and dust from carpets, and it can clean large areas with ease and comfortability. In addition, these types of vacuums are good for hard floors and area rugs. Don’t miss read of Top 10 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner Reviews by Price.

Features:

It is imperative to note that there are two classes of the upright vacuums, these include

  1. Dual motor – this is an upright vacuum cleaner that is driven by a couple of separate vacuum motors, and it delivers more power and suction to the room and the carpets
  2. Single motor- this type of vacuum is driven by a single motor, and it gives average power and suction on the floor and carpet surface. Recommended for light cleaning services.

The upright vacuums are available in different sizes and styles, and some of the exceptional features include:

  • Brush OFF and ON switch which is vital in protecting the finish on bare floors
  • Adjustable head height- this is important because some of the cleaners automatically adjust depending on the floor surface and this makes the works easy because you do not have to bend to change the features.
  • Suction control – this feature is useful when using the tool to clean upholstery and draperies.

Pros of Upright Vacuum Cleaner

  1. The cleaner provides a wide angle of cleaning and swath than the normal canisters
  2. They have deep cleaning in carpets and surfaces
  3. They are easier to handle and store

Cons of Upright Vacuum Cleaner

  1. You must carry the entire machine from one area to another
  2. Some of the vacuums are heavier with others weighing up to 20 pounds
  3. Can be noisier if wrong decibel value is chosen

Price range: Under $49- $679

Weight range: 14-17 pounds


Handheld and Stick Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

These are the lightest and the smallest type of vacuum cleaners available in the market. They are often cordless and are very convenient for cleaning different areas and doing some tasks around the home. If Handheld is your best fit, then Read our Top 10 Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaners Reviews. We have selected the Top 10 Best Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Reviews as well.

Features of Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

  • It is the best choice for cleaning upholstery, closets, car interiors, blinds, and vents
  • You can navigate in different areas with ease and comfort
  • Has a powerful battery pack, which allows it to run smoothly and efficiently when working in different areas.

Features of Stick Vacuum Cleaner

  • This is the best vacuum for areas with high traffic flow
  • Has similar design with the upright vacuum and it is much lighter in weight
  • Some of the modern stick vacuums are designed with handheld making navigation easier
  • These miniature electric models come corded or cordless.

Pros of Stick & Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

  1. They are light and can be easily carried around
  2. It is vital for cleaning car interior and upholstery
  3. It can remove pet hairs in hidden places with ease and does not consume high power

Cons of Stick & Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

  1. They do not have enough power and capacity to perform like the full models

Average price: Under $17-$199

Average weight: 4-5 pounds


Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

If you are that type of person that cringes on the thought of cleaning your house, then the robotic vacuum cleaner is the ultimate option for you.

These types of vacuums are programmable and self-propelled, all you have to do is set it to do a specific task, and the vacuum will diligently handle the work efficiently. The robotic vacuum used sensors and built-in features to avoid stairs and other obstacles and it can easily clean furniture and hidden areas. This type of vacuum is ideal for people who are very busy and do not have the time. You can program the robot to handle an activity, and you will find your house sparkling clean.

This is the best option for people who clean every day; because the device has, high power and it can deliver top-notch services with high precision. Moreover, if you do not want the task of pushing the vacuum cleaner around you can decide to buy the robot. The vacuum is known to clean carpets and bare surfaces making it one of the exceptional cleaners in the market. Read more on Top 10 Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners Reviews.

Features:

  • They are powered by batteries and has a docking station
  • They are cordless therefore can move further distances without fear of complicating items with the cord
  • The vacuum can clean both bare and carpet surfaces
  • It has various cleaning modes, and it can be set to handle specific type of cleaning

Pros of Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

  1.  You can do cleaning while relaxed
  2. In a cluttered environment the vacuum can navigate the areas easily
  3. It is the best vacuum for cleaning tight spots
  4. It can be programmed to run when there is less traffic; therefore, the house will always be clean.
  5. It is cordless

Cons of Robotic Vacuums:

  1. No robotic machine can match the work of a cordless machine
  2. It is not the best in area rugs or shag carpeting

Average price: Under $89-$599

Average weight: 5-10 pound canister


Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Canister Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

Cylinder or canister vacuums are composed of a bag and a motor in a different unit; this is usually mounted on the wheels to aid in maneuvering different surfaces with ease. The canister has to be connected to the vacuum head using a flexible hose. These type of vacuum tend to be very light than any other design in the market, and they can maneuver different spots with ease. It is the best option for cleaning hard to reach spots and furniture. In addition, it can be used to clean drapes and car interiors. Read our Top 10 Best Canister Vacuum Cleaners Reviews.

Features:

  • They have a motor that powers it, giving it high capacity and power to clean different surfaces
  • The vacuum cleaner is lighter when compared to upright
  • The separation of the motor and head makes it easy to carry

Pros of Canister Vacuum Cleaner

  1. Delivers high-quality service in upholstery, drapes and bare floors
  2. They are easy to handle in stairs

Cons of Canister Vacuum Cleaner

  1. The entire vacuum when connected tends to be bulky
  2. It is corded therefore navigation is impaired
  3. It can deliver less power when compared to upright

Average price: Under $59-$899

Average weight: 8-13 pounds


Steam Mop Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Steam Mop Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

One of the main aspects of the steam mops is that it will help you move from the traditional bucket and mop type of cleaning. Steam mops are the fastest and efficient in cleaning hard floors like wooden floors, the vacuums work by heating water to steam, and the steam is then released via the mop head. In most scenarios, they are referred to as hard floor cleaners, they can remove ground in dirt, and it removes stains effectively without requiring too much work. In addition, it kills bacteria.

Features:

  • Mop head- this is the most important part of the mop, and depending on the type of the floor you can choose different types of head. It can maneuver different sites and even clean tight spots
  • Reservoir capacity- the bigger the reservoir, the longer the time that will be taken for you to do the cleaning
  • Steam control- with this feature and capability you can be able to control the level of steam that the mop produces.

Pros of steam mops:

  1. It can clean different types of floors without the need to replace battery or fix the cord
  2. It is durable, and it alleviates all sorts of bacteria in the house
  3. Because of the model and availability of different mop heads, you can maneuver even to unreachable areas

Cons of steam mops:

  1. Heating the water may consume high amounts of energy
  2. It tends to be bulkier in some surroundings

Average price: Under $50 -$179

Average weight: 4-7 pounds


Garage and Commercial Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Commercial Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

These are called shop vacuums and commercial garage vacuums because they offer extra power for the professional size of messed. They can get ocean basement dirt, sawdust, and garage spaces with ease. In order to choose the right commercial vacuum, it is imperative to think about the storage area and the mode of use. These are commonly recommended for heavy types of cleaning.

Features:

  • High power and capacity for tough cleaning
  • They have high suction power and

Pros of a garage and commercial vacuums:

  1. Increases work efficiency and cleanliness in the industrial and commercial sector
  2. Reduces chances of contracting diseases because of dirty working conditions
  3. They are made for heavy-duty cleaning, therefore, offers optimal industrial and commercial cleaning service

Cons of a garage and commercial vacuums:

  1. Can be quite expensive
  2. High power consumption

Price range: Under $160- $989

Weight range: 10-20 pounds


FAQS – Average Person Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Do I require a HEPA filter?

As indicated in the text, if you have asthma, any allergy, COPD or any other respiratory condition, it is essential that your vacuum cleaner must be equipped with HEPA Filter. Ensuring that the vacuum cleaner has the filter is vital because it improves the air quality and reduces the allergens. The filter can remove particles such as dust, dander, mite, allergens and other material can be defective to your health.

What is a sealed system?

Most vacuums that are equipped with HEPA filters have a modern technology called sealed system engineering.  With the sealed system, the clean airbags and filters are essential in alleviating up to 99%of the household allergens. The filtration system of the vacuum is greatly enhanced.

Which is the best vacuum? Upright or canister vacuum?

One of the general aspects that you need to understand is that the different vacuums work on different conditions perfectly. Canister vacuums are lighter, versatile, and easy to maneuver in different places. Upright vacuums are the best for ground floor rooms, and it has a high capacity and power. Depending on your area of cleaning, taste, and preference, you can choose the vacuum of your choice.

Are vacuum cleaners that contain dust bags a better choice for allergic people?

The answer ‘yes’ however it is imperative that you select a vacuum cleaner that has a better purifier to ensure that all allergens and dirt are removed. If suffering from allergies keep a dustbin in the house and use a bagless cleanly as the best option.

Why is their difference in power and capacity in vacuum cleaners?

Even if a vacuum cleaner has high power, it does not mean it has a higher suction capacity. However the amperage of the cleaner determines its ability, and the performance largely depends and on the manufacturer, design, airflow and filtration system.

What is the frequency of changing the vacuum bag?

Changing the vacuum bag largely depends on the on the type of floor and the use, the bag capacity, and pets among others. Most vacuum cleaners have indicators of the airbag replacement. Pet hair and carpet filter are some of the items that can easily fill the airbag and it is essential to monitor for clean and pure air in the house.

How often should I vacuum my house?

For most of the people suffering from allergies, it is recommended that you vacuum the house at least twice a week; however, you can vacuum areas with high traffic or areas that are often dusty. For the general public, vacuuming can be done once a week.

How many passes do you have to make on the carpet to make it clean?

Generally, 7-8 passes the vacuum can effectively clean even a carpet that is heavily soiled. However, the number varies with the type of the vacuum and capacity.

Why so many attachments come with the Vacuum cleaners?

All the attachments in the vacuum offer box are important because different areas require a different kind of tool. For floors, you can use floor brush and wall brush and for the dust in the drawers’ crevice tool or dusting brush.

Which vacuum is cleaner best for allergies?

The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy vacuum cleaner is the best vacuum you can buy for allergy sufferers. It has a revolutionary technology that captures microscopic dust and other allergens which the regular vacuums can’t pick up.

Which vacuum cleaner is best for pet hair?

Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum cleaner is best for pet hair removal; it has a reconfigured brush bar- 25% more power drives bristles deeper into carpets, removing more hair. It comes with special brushes and accessories that help in picking up more pet hair to give you fresh air to breathe in.

Which vacuum cleaner is best for carpets?

The upright vacuum cleaners are usually the best one for carpets as they have more power and are able to pick up more dust and allergens. The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away is our recommended choice for carpets and is the best seller.

Which vacuum cleaner is best for bed bug?

During our research, we’ve found out that the vacuum cleaners with the HEPA certified filters work best for the bed bugs. We’ve found that the VonHaus 2-in-1 Corded Upright Stick & Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is ideal for bed bugs as they are often found on carpets, and the 2-in-1 feature means you can either use them as a handheld vacuum or in the upright position to sweep bugs off the floor.

Which vacuum is cleaner best for hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors require extra work to pick up dirt and Hoover has made an excellent vacuum called the FloorMate Deluxe that has spin scrub brushes that counter rotate and scrub hard floors from all angles. It also has a 1.5-liter dual tank system to separate clean and dirty water that makes using this vacuum a breeze.

 

The Complete Coffee Beans Buying Guide 2018

Coffee is a huge industry and one of the world’s biggest exports, second only to oil. It is an important part of human culture and one of our oldest traditions which date back centuries. The first bean was discovered in Ethiopia in the 9th Century and later spread across Europe and Asia.

Today over 80% of Americans drink coffee every single day, and it is one of the most consumed drink worldwide. However, we all take our coffees differently, and everyone has specific tastes and flavor palettes.

Even if you choose to buy your coffee at the local shop, instead of self-brewing at home, you want to know which coffee to order. It’s never just another cup of coffee. Every one is different. It’s never the same brew, even if they are both made with the same beans. From cultivation to final brewing methods, the process to create coffee is complex and is a craft people have been perfecting for over ten centuries.

Basic information on Coffee Beans

Most people might not know more than if they take their coffee black, with milk or sweetened. Coffees creation is much more complex than this. The bean itself and how it is cultivated and roasted is the foundation for any good brew. Similar to wine, coffee has notes of berries and varied acidities which all accounts for the type of bean you are using.

This guide will cover types of coffee beans, their origins and the details of their roast. These three categories are what give your coffee its flavor and taste. Review the following to identify and brew your perfect blend.

Things to consider when buying Coffee Beans

Arabica and Robusta are two type of coffee beans that are grown commercially, and all coffees consist of either Arabica or Robusta even though there are more than 25 known species of Coffee but these two are the most commonly used. The Arabica beans are more expensive as they only grow at a higher altitude and takes longer to grow which reflects in its price. Don’t miss our The Definitive Coffee Maker Buying Guide 2018.

Arabica Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Arabica Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Arabica beans are usually considered milder in flavor than Robusta beans. They are oval, rather than circular, in shape and provide a better-balanced flavor. Over 70% of the world’s coffee is Arabica bean and is considered as a premium coffee bean.

Robusta Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Buying Guide Robusta Coffee Beans

This species of coffee bean contains more caffeine than Arabica beans and will be bitterer in taste. They are about half the price of Arabica beans and will often be mixed in with Arabica beans (unless specified otherwise) in retail situations. They are often used in instant coffees and gives a strong hit.

Below is an illustrated by Arabica vs. Robusta Beans:

Arabica vs Robusta Beans


Top Coffee Producing Countries

Buying Guide Top Coffee Producing Countries

Where a coffee bean is grown (and how it is farmed) is what will give coffee its unique flavor characteristics. Soil, elevation and organic quality are important factors in bean farming systems. As is any method used for processing the beans. Over 50 countries produce coffee beans, and within each region, there are likely more subcategories of beans. Below we detail some of the general characteristics of the most popular regions.

1. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is where the coffee bean was first discovered somewhere around 800 AD. The beans from this region are thick and contain nuances of berry.

2. Brazil

Brazil produces the majority of the world’s coffee, and you will find beans from this region in many store brand espresso blends. They produce thicker (or heavier) coffee and are usually in dark roasts.

3. Columbia

Columbian blends are extremely common in The U.S. and are balanced with a touch of acidity. They may have fruity hints and are mostly used for light roasts.

4. Hawaii

Hawaii is the only U.S. State that grows coffee beans (commercially), and they come with a unique floral note. They are used in mild roasts and have mellow acidity levels.

5. Kenya

Kenyan coffee beans are strong in flavor, but not necessarily color. They may have some blackberry undertones and contain a medium acidity level.

6. Indonesia

Coffee beans from this part of the world are fairly dark in color and provide an earthy quality. They will produce brews with a much longer aftertaste.

7. Guatemala

Coffee grown in Guatemala is bright (acidic) and slightly bittersweet with fruity notes and spicy undertones.

8. Vietnam

Vietnam harvests large part of the worlds coffee beans (second to Brazil) but the local beans are 90% Robusta (most of the worlds Robusta beans are grown in Vietnam). These beans are explained above in this guide and usually provide a bitterer flavor and are not as commonly used as Arabica beans.


Types of Roasts

Roasting beans is an artful science. A bean’s roast predicts the flavor and tastes of any brew. Acidity, aroma, and body are all foreseen according to a bean’s roast. Acidity is the slight sharpness of your tongue, aroma is what gives coffee its smell (or floral or berry tones), and body refers to the thickness or how heavy a brew will be. And no roast is the best or worst. They all contain their features.

Light Roasted Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Light Roasted Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Light roast beans will be a light shade of brown and have lower acidity and body.  These beans are not roasted long enough for oil to break through the bean surface.

Pros:

  1. Low acidity levels mean you won’t be drinking bitter coffee. This also means your stomach can enjoy more coffee.
  1. Mild in flavor and easy to drink

Cons:

  1. If you enjoy coffee, this may not be strong enough for you. The tastes nuances are easier to spot, but light roast does not produce bold flavor.
  2. Not suited for espresso brewing techniques or drinks.

Medium Roasted Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Medium Roasted Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Medium roast means darker in color than light roast and more acidic. This roast is often referred to as an “American” roast or “Breakfast” blend and is the most common amongst Americans.

Pros:

  1. Medium roasts are the most popular and offer a well-balanced brew. You can taste the real flavors of the coffee without any component overpowering another.
  1. They are widely produced in a huge variety. There are tons of options and new roasts being put on the market all the time.

Cons:

  1. 1. If you prefer less body or take your coffees “light and sweet,” stick to a light roast.
  1. Although the beans are darker in color, they are still not best suited for espresso brewing.

Dark Roasted Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Dark Roasted Coffee Beans Buying Guide

Dark roasts will be heavier bodied (or thicker), almost black and produce bold flavors. They will contain an oily surface since the beans are roasted for a longer period of time. They will also carry a bittersweet aftertaste.

Pros:

  1. Dark roasts are popular amongst people who prefer black coffee. If you don’t use milk, you will achieve the best flavor with a dark roast.
  1. Great for espresso drinkers and anyone who wants a good latte or cappuccino.

Cons:

  1. They produce an oily coat and are not a texture for everyone’s tastes.
  1. Dark roasts are not necessarily the type of coffee you want to sip slowly. If you prefer lower acidity levels and higher quantity, these are not for you.

Guide to Buying Coffee Beans – FAQ’s

Where do coffee beans come from?

A coffee bean is not a bean at all. It’s a pit from inside a berry (one that resembles a cherry). The coffee berries used to be served as food before anyone realized what the pits could do. These berries are grown all over the world and can be grown in a variety of conditions.

What is the difference with espresso beans?

There is no particular difference. Espresso speaks to a brewing technique, more than it does a bean. There are different roasts (light, medium, and dark) from various regions of the world, but not specific “espresso” bean. However, dark roasts are commonly used to brew espresso. And the dark roast beans are usually ground much more excellent for the espresso brewing process. Buy espresso beans here.

How much caffeine is in a coffee bean?

Arabica beans are about 1.5% caffeine, and Robusta beans are about has 2.7% caffeine. Robusta blends will have nearly double the amount. Most blends will contain a mix of species or advertise that they are 100% Arabica. And more caffeine does not necessarily mean more flavors.

How do they decaffeinate coffee?

There are different methods of decaffeinating coffee beans. One common process is done with solvent. With this method beans are first steamed and then put under high-pressure contact with the solvent. Another process is with carbon dioxide. When beans are mixed with the carbon dioxide, the caffeine combines with the compound and is then extracted from the bean this way.

What is a French Roast?

French roast, like espresso, is usually a dark roast. They produce a dark brown coffee with an oily coat. Even coffee houses are naming their blends now, but there are a few common specific roasts names like French or Italian. Full City or City roasts are usually medium roasts, and Cinnamon is a variety of a light roast.

Does size of the coffee bean matter?

Primarily producers use the size of a coffee bean. Consumers do not need to know the exact measurements. However, producers and farmers measure the beans by the size of the holes on the screen that is used to sort the beans. You may not need to know the exact size of your coffee beans, but producers need to pay attention. Beans of the most similar size will make for the most even blends.

How do I know correctly grind coffee beans?

This depends on what type of roast you have and what type of coffee maker and grinder you are using. If you have light roast coffee beans, these are best used with automatic machines. Paper or re-usable filters are used so beans should be ground to an average size. If you are using an espresso machine, and a darker roast, your beans should be ground to a much finer size. Look for more details with your grinder and coffee machine information or manufacturer.

What are green coffee beans?

Green coffee beans raw or unroasted coffee beans. They are softer than roasted beans and need to roast before they produce any coffee like aromas or flavors. Other coffee beans should be drunk within a few weeks of roasting for excellent taste. However green coffee beans can last up to a year if stored properly before brewing. You can buy here.

Can I overdose on coffee?

Yes. But that would take 100 or more cups of coffee in one day and is highly unlikely. If you have health concerns or heart conditions, you should speak with your doctor before consuming any caffeine or coffee. Remember, decaf is always an option and does not mean sacrificing flavor.

Why are coffee prices rising?

Conditions like weather and financial status of any region may affect the cost of coffee everywhere. If supply and demand are not in balance, then prices fluctuate. Some countries are projecting lower harvests in January of 2016 than ever before. And since prices have bottomed out, it is more common to see supply cuts from producers. Just like any big business, the world’s economy has its inevitable effect.

Are coffee beans good for your health?

There are various studies into the effects of coffee on our bodies. Many of these studies have shown that drinking coffee has positive effects and can help fight against conditions like Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also believed to decrease the risk of depression and improve cognitive function. Drinking coffee will increase fatty acids in the bloodstream, thus allowing muscles to absorb fat better and turn it into fuel. They are even used as antioxidant components in facial and skin treatments. Coffee and coffee beans are extremely useful to your well being, regardless of their flavor. You can in-depth book, How Coffee keeps you Healthy by Dr. YiFang Chu.

The Complete Guide to Buying a Printer 2018

In today’s modern day and age, printers are a dime a dozen, and they come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, and advanced features. With trendy and modern colors and sleek new designs, printers aren’t lacking in the innovation department.

There are many different types of printers in the market which fit into a broad array of different budgets. Whether you’re looking for a commercial printer that can handle large-scale volume printing or a personal printer for your home and office use, this guide covers all the information you need in order to make the best possible decision.

The most common questions we get regarding printers are which printer is right for me? Whether you’re a digital photographer or writer, printers are constantly being designed with new technology in order to accommodate new needs.

Basic Information about Printers

In order to choose the right printer, there are numerous different factors that you need to take into consideration and the most important thing you need to figure out is what use you’re trying to get out of a printer. Some printers are focused explicitly towards printing digital photography on higher quality premium paper. Other printers are designed to print a vast array of different colors and spectrums for digital artists. You have your basic printers that can handle simple tasks and requirements for families and students as well has high tech business printers that can handle and process thousands of sheets per day.

Printers also come in different shapes and sizes, so take into account your office or desk space when considering which type of printer you would like to purchase. New modern printers come in sleek designs and sizes that take up a minimal amount of space on your desk, but these come at a premium cost. Conversely, you can still find older printers that don’t look as aesthetically pleasing but come at a much more affordable price.

Weight is also another factor to consider when selecting a printer. Some printers are much heavier than others, and this needs to be taken into account when deciding which printer to buy for your home. Some printers are lightweight and easy to move around as well as easy to use for the elderly. The heavier printers with more features often weigh much more, thus making transportation and readjustment in the office a bit more cumbersome.

Lastly, you need to consider wired or wireless printers.Some printers come with a very small cord that leaves little room for adjustment and placement in the office, and some printers come with a very long cord that needs to be tucked away in a secure place so that you don’t trip.

Besides that, it is a personal preference if you want your desk setup to be wireless or you want to use a printer remotely in an office as wireless printers let you connect your computer via Bluetooth making it easy for anyone to get their documents printed out.

Printers last quite a long time so making the right investment into this purchase is critical towards buying a printer that will last you many years of service. Printers of cheaper quality and unknown brand don’t last very long, so if you’re looking to find a printer of value that is durable invest in a reliable brand.

Buying a new printer isn’t something that you do every day, so take the time to do due diligence, and you will be rewarded with a worthy printer that never lets you down. It is essential that you take all of these factors into consideration when deciding on which type of printer you would like to purchase as printer repair can also be quite expensive.

Things to Consider When Buying a Printer

Most people don’t print things every day, so when the time comes that requires a printing task to be completed, you want your printer in tip-top shape and capable of handling the job without any worries or issues. Printing should be an easy, stress-free experience that doesn’t require reading the instruction manual and a headache. With modern technology and newer printers, this has become a reality for many people. Below are some factors to consider when buying a printer.

1. Desk Size

Desk size is a very important aspect to take into account when purchasing a printer. Larger desks are more accommodating and give you more flexibility when it comes to determining which type of printer you should purchase. Smaller desks are much more limited in printer options unless you don’t mind a large printer taking up most of the space on your desk.

2. Noise

Printer noise is another factor to take into careful consideration. Some printers are much quieter than others, and if the bustling sound a printer makes when printing is something that you find annoying, purchasing a quiet printer is an option for you.

3. Durability

Printer durability is also an important issue to consider. Some printers require a constant change of ink cartridges and part replacements after a few months of use. Other printers can last a very long time without you having to worry about replacing anything or ordering spare parts. Choosing a printer based on its durability is always a wise choice.

Types of Printers

There are so many different types of printers available currently that it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the latest and greatest trends. With various specialties ranging from photo printers to laser printers to all in one printer, it can be difficult to know which the best option for you is. Below is a list of the various types of printers available and a little bit of information on each one. Use this guide to help you make the best decision on which printer is right for you and your needs.

Photo Printers Buying Guide

Buying Guide of Photo Printers

These special printers are designed to produce photos, much as the name of the printer makes very clear. However, they are much more intricate and complicated than that. From digital photos to HD photos all the way down the spectrum to 4K photos, these printers have it all to make sure that any of your photography needs are taken care of. Photo printers often require special paper to use, as well as certain software that needs to be installed on your computer that coordinates with your camera as well as with the printer. Altogether, photo printers require multiple different steps to get up and to run properly. This type of printer is best for avid photographers or professionals who have specialized printing needs.

Features

  • Special Ink and design designations to print high-quality photos.
  • Special software to design and edit photos on your computer before you print them.
  • Comes with a special do-it-yourself kit that lets you configure the printer to your liking.

Pros of Photo Printers:

  1. A highly specialized printer is great for photographers and professionals who require HD printing needs.
  2. Able to produce and print a vast array of different photo options.

Con’s of Photo Printers:

  1. Lack of flexibility in device size. Many photo printers have to be quite large in order to accommodate larger portrait style photos, thus leaving them on the lower end of the flexibility spectrum.
  2. These printers are specifically designed to print photos. They lack the features of other more commonplace printers should you require normal documents or other things to be printed.

Price Range: Anywhere from $50- $1,000

Weight Range: 15-50 pounds.


Ink-Jet Printers Buying Guide

Buying Guide of Ink-Jet Printers

These printers are the most commonplace and affordable out of your choice of printing options. They print by spraying ink onto paper and have been around for some time.  Ink-jet printers are considered your workhorse printer. They are efficient, reliable, and durable. A good ink-jet printer will last you many years and is something that you can rely on when needing to fulfill normal printing duties.

Features

  • Designed to be your everyday use type of printer, the Ink-Jet printer is designed for common use and standard printing.
  • Uses several tiny nozzles, or jets, to spray the paper with ink and print. Usually can produce anywhere from 100-300 pages before the ink cartridge needs to be replaced.

Pro’s of Ink-Jet Printers

  1. Relatively inexpensive, many different brands have an ink-jet printer, and it comes in multiple shapes and sizes.
  2. Ink-Jet printers are easily found and are often given away for free with the purchase of other products.

Con’s of Ink-Jet Printers

  1. Large and clunky, while inexpensive these printers often take up a lot of space.
  2. Limited in features, Ink-Jet printers are basic with simple functionality.

Price Range: Anywhere from $20- $300

Weight Range: 55-100 pounds.


LaserJet Printers Buying Guide

Buying Guide of LaserJet PrintersLaserJet printers represent a more modern variety of printing machines. These printers use a special electrostatic digital printing procedure. The LaserJet printer produces very high-quality text and graphic printing and is a major upgrade from the Ink-Jet printer. This machine uses a laser beam to print by passing the beam back and forth over the paper and producing clear, detailed fine text.

Features

  • Featuring an advanced higher definition printing process, the LaserJet printer is capable of printing in a fine text with higher graphics.

Pro’s of LaserJet Printers

  1. This printer is quieter than an Ink-Jet Printer. With laser technology instead of ink spraying cartridges, the LaserJet printer has more features for added functionality that don’t come with the Ink Jet.
  2. The LaserJet printer produces higher quality texts and graphics than the Ink Jet.

Con’s of LaserJet Printers

  1. The laser jet printer is more expensive than the Ink-Jet printer. It is not as flexible with its pricing as most of the LaserJets are on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Price Range: Anywhere from $500- $5,000.

Weight Range: 25-100 pounds.


All in One Printers Buying Guide

Buying Guide of All in One Printers

These printers are exactly how the name states…all in one capable. With the ability to print high-quality photos, clear text and graphics as well as having a laser jet features, these all in one printer don’t come cheap. The all in one printer comes with a multitude of features and functionalities that fit a broad range of printing tasks. All in one printer cover most of your bases, so if you’re looking to do a bit of everything then look no further.

Features

  • Photo printing, digital printing, laser jet printing and highly durable, the all in one printer is the complete package.
  • Features include faxing and photocopying as well as scanning. The software is usually included to help you access these features on your computer.

Pro’s of All in One Printer

  1. This printer has all of the features that you might ever need with a printer, and then some features that you’ve never even heard of. This printer is the perfect fit for a home office where multiple tasks can be accomplished with one device.

Con’s of All in One Printer

  1. If anything goes wrong with a function as a scanner or fax stops working, you’ll need to send the complete unit for service or repair leaving you without anything for your essential needs at home or office.

Price Range: Anywhere from $100- $1000.

Weight Range: Weightless – Multiple systems throughout the home.


3D Printers Buying Guide

Buying Guide of 3D Printers

3D Printers are the latest breed of printing machines which allows you to print our physical 3d objects from digital files. These 3D modeling machines were used in manufacturing and automotive and aerospace industries, but in them, past few years they’ve become highly affordable and are used at a personal level by designers and creative professionals.

They use synthetic plastic materials to liquid resins to print out high-quality 3D objects with near accurate precision depending on how expensive or good your printer really is. If you are a creative professional, architect, researcher or just a hobbyist, 3D printers give the flexibility, freedom, and affordability you need to see your ideas transformed into real life.Don’t miss out our Top 10 Best 3D Printer Reviews.

Features

  • Plug-and-Play to sophisticated printers which require calibration for accurate printing.
  • Converts your digital files into physical objects.
  • Portable but well built to withstand high temperature.
  • Comes with dedicated software or can use universal software that allows makers to make digital 3D models which can later be printed out.

Pro’s of 3D Printers

  1. They are highly affordable compared to the commercial used printers making it easy for anyone to start using them.
  2. The materials are easily available online, and unlike regular printers, the refills don’t cost the same as the printer itself.
  3. They can print as low as 0.1 mm which means you can get crazy details with them.

Con’s of 3D Printers

  1. They are not for everyone and do have a learning curve, even though there are marketplaces with pre-made digital 3D files but to make one yourself does require some legwork.
  2. As they are new, if anything goes wrong chances are you’ll have to get a new 3D printer.
  3. The printers don’t work at 100% accuracy, and often the prints fail.

Price Range: Anywhere from $50- $4000.

Weight Range: 1.2 – 100 pounds.


Guide to Buying a Printer – FAQ’s

What kind of printer is best for me?

In order to figure out what kind of printer is best for you, the best thing to do would be to analyze your needs. Do you need a printer for business or personal reasons? Do you like taking photos? Do you find yourself needing to print often? Based on the amount of work you could feasibly see yourself using a printer for, purchase the printer that is best for your requirements.

Which printer is best Ink Jet or LaserJet?

While there is not a drastic and huge difference, the difference is in the mechanism with which an Ink Jet and LaserJet printer printers out documents. If affordability and basic use is your goal, go with the Ink Jet. If you are seeking high definition clarity in your text and graphics and don’t mind spending a little more for those things, go with the LaserJet.

Which printer is best for home use?

The basic inkjet printers are best for home use as they are very affordable and cheap and you can get them for as low as $50, and they can last a long time before you can discard and buy another one or simply replace the ink cartridges.

However, if you are looking for higher quality prints then it’s best to go for a laser jet printers which also don’t break the bank, and you can get a lot of copies out of them before you have to replace the ink.

Which printer is most economical for ink?

If you want to save on ink costs, then look at printers that are capable of using CISS (Continuous Ink System) as they are the most economical of all. Epson and Brother printers have the best performing economic printers, but HP and Canon are also good options and have improved a lot over the years.

The Foodie’s Guide to Buying a Microwave 2018

Buying a microwave can be overwhelming, especially when there is a huge range to choose from between features and functions. Many people choose a microwave based on its cooking functions when it comes to what type of food you can cook with it, and look for cooking “presets” such as defrosting, and cooking chicken, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to buying, there are a lot of features that should be considered beyond the basic functions that we break down for you below.

 Basic Information about Microwave

A microwave works on the principle of an electronic cooking device, therefore, looking for how much power the microwave cooks with can be loosely linked to the heat of a conventional oven. If your oven only cooked at 150c, then it wouldn’t be adequate for cooking a variety of different foods.

Microwave power is measured in watts, much similar to other electrical items such as vacuum cleaners. With more power, you will have more possibilities, as well as being able to cook the food faster in some instances. A dessert that may need to be cooked for 30 seconds by a microwave that has a power level of 1000w may only need 20 seconds in a more powerful model.

As you will see on the back of any microwavable food, there are different categories of cooking times, based on this power ratio. Most modern microwaves come in power level categories ranging from A through to E. A microwave that is placed in category “A” will be of less power, such as a budget 800w model that will take longer to cook the same food as a microwave that is of category C such as a 1000w model.

Most home microwaves range from category A to E, while some home models and commercial models take the higher power ratings all the way up to 2200w and sometimes more. These category ratings only relate to the microwave function of the oven, and not to the grill or convection functions.

One thing to note is the difference between the heating or cooking power of the microwave, and the power rating of the microwave, which is there to indicate how economical a particular model will be when cooking.

Things to Consider when buying a Microwave

So, now that you understand the different types of microwave out there, as well as their power ratings to fit in with your cooking style, it is time to choose the microwave that best suits your kitchen. Let’s break it down into further categories to help prioritize your decision based on some important factors that you should consider.

1. Size

The size of your kitchen may determine which microwave you choose, as well as the way in which you install your microwave. If you have a small kitchen, then a built-in microwave will be the obvious option for you, as saving the maximum amount of space is obtained when you place your microwave in a cabinet.

A smaller microwave may mean that you will be limited by the cubic capacity of the oven itself, so cooking for large families or large meals such as chicken, turkey or beef may be difficult. Larger, combination microwaves will need a little space around it for heat ventilation, so securing the perfect place in your kitchen for a large microwave oven is key to its installation.

2. Function and Form

If you are looking for the most versatile microwave out there that also looks great, then be prepared to pay top dollar for it. Built-in microwaves offer a slick, stylish alternative to tabletop ovens, and also come in a wider range of finishes to match your kitchen surfaces and cabinets.

Opting for a microwave that has the most amount of functions also offers you the most versatile options with the ability to microwave, grill, bake and even roast with some of the better convection, grill and combination microwave ovens on the market.

3. Price

Choosing a microwave that won’t break the bank is a great place to start from for your next big purchase. Smaller, budget microwaves offer a great addition to any kitchen, and also offer a decent range of basic functions such as defrosting, cooking, heating and boiling.

Choosing a mid-range microwave with added grill functions could be the perfect price point for most requirements -offering a wide range of cooking options, with the added ability of the grill function to cover the basics for any style of cooking.

WITH A CORNUCOPIA OF CHOICES OUT THERE, WHICH MICROWAVE WILL SUIT YOU AND YOUR KITCHEN BEST?

Along with similar kitchen “white goods” microwaves have a decent lifespan running anywhere from 5 to 10 years if well maintained, so the types of microwave available on the market today may have changed dramatically since you were last on the look-out for a new-fangled kitchen cooker.

With the addition of combination ovens, grill features and even some microwaves that feature pizza ovens and bread baking facilities, your best choice in choosing the perfect microwave for your kitchen may come down to one of four things: Budget, form and style, function and your very own cooking habits.

Along with these few features are the different ways in which the microwave has been incorporated into the modern kitchen, such as built-in microwaves, table-top or combination ovens with microwave functions.

Types of Microwave

There are some different varieties of microwave on the market that can offer you a range of features and functions you may have otherwise thought impossible. To break down the range of microwaves on offer, we have categorized them into their basic forms and price brackets.

Standard Table-Top Microwave Guide

Standard Table-Top Microwave Guide

The standard and basic model table top microwaves offer a great value price point to make an additional and alternative cooking method to your kitchen. These basic models often contain fewer features than their bigger brothers such as advanced cooking modes and presets for cooking various types of food, as well as offering limited feedback from a digital display.

The basic model table top microwaves often do not feature combination grilling or oven features and often feature just the simple microwave cooking function. This can be a great addition to any kitchen for simple means such as defrosting meat, heating milk and ready meals as well as cooking smaller-sized dishes such as jacket potatoes.

Features of Table-Top Microwave:

  • Basic functions
  • Cheaper price range
  • Limited features
  • Great value

Pros

  1. Easy to find, these can be picked up at any store
  2. Easy to use, learning how to operate this type of microwave takes very little time
  3. Inexpensive and cost efficient

Cons

  1. Limited features
  2. Less durability
  3. Lower range of microwaving power

Price range:  Under $60-$120

Power range: 600w-900w

Oven capacity: 18-26 litres


Grill Microwave Guide

Grill Mircrowave Buying Guide

These types of microwaves offer an additional cooking method, in combination with the microwave cooking function. The added benefit of having a small grill function to your microwave is perfect for cooking additional meals, allowing you to brown and crisp your food making it perfect for pasta bakes, pizzas, and lasagnas, which would otherwise not be possible to cook in a standard non-grill microwave.

A microwave grill also may include additional parts to help cook food, such as a metal grill or rack. This is used to raise the plate or food near the grill which is located on top of the inside of the cooking space. This means that you can toast bread, melt cheese, brown your bakes and even bake desserts and treats at the touch of a button.

Microwave grills often offer a combination cooking method, so that food can be defrosted, cooked and then baked and toasted for an all-around cooking machine that can replace your oven and your grill at the same time for added value.

Features of Grill Microwave:

  • Wider variety of cooking options
  • Brown and crisp your food
  • Ability to cook baked goods
  • Can be used independently of microwave function
  • Inclusive of metal rack for toasting and grilling functions

Pros

  1. Flexible and able to be used for a wider variety of heating
  2. Ability to cook baked goods
  3. Can be used independently of microwave function

Cons

  1. Added extras take up more space in your microwave
  2. Some options require extra cleaning and maintenance

Price range: Under $120-$400

Power range: 900w-1300w

Capacity: 26-32 litres


Combination Microwave Guide

Complete Combination Microwave Buying Guide

Combination microwaves are the most versatile and offer a combination of cooking methods used in modern kitchens. Included in their cooking modes include traditional microwave cooking, grilling function, as well as a convection oven function that can half your cooking time.

The convection oven function uses a hot air fan and a grill to allow the heat to circulate inside the oven to cook the food more thoroughly and quickly.

Cooking faster means cooking more economically, saving you time and money on your electricity bill. Not only does the added function of having a convection cooking oven help with defrosting and cooking your food faster, but also includes the ability to replace your oven, grill and microwave altogether. Cooking foods such as roasted lamb, chicken, and pork is a synch, and saving you plenty of time on defrosting, too!

Features of Combination Microwaves:

  • Microwave, convection oven and grill
  • Faster cooking time
  • More economical
  • Ability to cook a wider variety of food
  • Flexible and convenient

Pros

  1. Faster cooking times
  2. More economical and energy efficient
  3. Able to cook a variety of foods
  4. Flexible and convenient

Cons

  1. Harder to find in stores
  2. Usually more expensive, a premium price is paid for combination microwaves

Price ranges: Under $145-$600

Power range: 1200w-2200w

Capacity: 28-40 litres


Built-in Microwave Guide

Built-in Microwave Buying Guide

Built-in microwaves are a great choice for those looking to save a little bit of space in their kitchen, such as on countertops and work surfaces while giving them the added benefit of having an additional cooking method in their kitchen.

Built-in microwaves are just like regular microwaves, which come with a variety of functions and features such as basic functions, grill, and convection combination oven systems, but are installed into the kitchen cabinets themselves, offering a sleek and modern look.

The range of built-in microwaves available is wide and fully-featured, featuring some of the biggest names in the business, from budget models to designer kitchen-wear brands. Many people opt for a built-in microwave to free up space in their kitchen, as well as to give a clean, designer look to their cabinets and workspaces.

Features of Built-in microwaves:

  • Space-saving
  • Smaller footprint in the kitchen
  • Stylish, designer looks
  • Fully-functioned
  • Reasonably priced

Pros

  1. Space saving, smaller footprint in the kitchen
  2. Stylish look with a broad variety of different sizes
  3. Variety of functionality

Cons

  1. Usually a bigger microwave, this takes up more space
  2. On the more expensive end of the spectrum
  3. Extensive cleaning involved

Price ranges: Under $230-$1,500

Power range: 900w-2200w

Capacity: 20-35 litres


FAQS – Average Person Microwave Guide

What is better, a microwave with a turntable or a tray?

The vast majority of microwaves use a moving turntable inside them to keep the food moving at all times. This means that the food is heated and cooked evenly – important for defrosting food. In some more modern microwaves, the turntable is replaced with a tray that moves in a side-to-side motion to allow the food not to stay still while cooking. A moving tray is required when cooking on large rectangle plates, or dishes that couldn’t otherwise turn-it depends on your plates and dishes!

How do the shortcut keys and functions work?

Most microwaves feature shortcut keys that allow users to quickly start cooking certain foods with one single button click.

These shortcuts vary depending on which model microwave you have and are used as a function to cook certain popular foods for standard times. These often include popcorn, hot drinks, meat (based on weight) and defrost functions. They are there to simplify cooking, without having to manually dial in a specific cooking method and time.

Which is best, a digital or analog timer or screen?

On older microwave models and some newer budget models, the timer function is determined by an analog dial. The dial is set to the preferred cooking time and slowly counts down until the time is up. It may be harder to see how long the cooking time has left on these dials, which is why many modern microwaves offer a digital display and timer button function.

A digital display allows you to easily see the cooking time and countdown timer of the microwave, and the cooking time is set by pressing on a number pad on the front of the microwave. Many people see a digital display as added extra, as budget models rarely feature them.

Which power rating is best?

Microwaves come in a variety of power ratings to determine how hot the microwave cooks at and how fast the cooking time may be. A lower power rating of 800w will take longer to cook the food, while a higher power rated microwave of 1800w will cook food faster and be more energy efficient.

Which microwave oven is best for making pizza?

The Grill Microwave should be your choice if you want to make pizza at home.

Which microwave oven is best to grill or convection?

The difference between grill and convection microwave is that in the grill model you can only heat, defrost, cook or grill food, but in the convection, you can do all these things and bake as well so when it comparing both, convection microwave offers more bang for your buck.

Which microwave oven is best for baking?

Convection microwave or Combination microwave are both best for baking; it can be anything from cakes to soufflé or pies.

The Complete Refrigerator Buying Guide 2018

Gone are the days of the simple top freezer refrigerator models. Today, not only are their many styles to choose from, but they also come with a variety of options and features.

Refrigerator styles range from the simple top or bottom freezer to more double-sided doors and expensive built-in models. Then there is the choice of materials: stainless steel, traditionally black or white, or even custom panels to match your kitchen.

Newer refrigerators are also expanding features beyond just the water and ice dispenser in the door, offering multiple freezer sections and even high tech options like built-in digital picture frames and docking stations for electronics.

So with all these options available, how can you pick a refrigerator that best suits your needs and preferences?

In this guide, we will help you choose the right refrigerator by breaking down various types of the refrigerator and things to consider when buying one.

Things to Consider When Buying a Refrigerator
1. Space

Firstly, it is important to consider the space the refrigerator will be in. Before heading off to the store to purchase your new refrigerator, you should measure the dimensions of the area that the refrigerator will sit in, allowing a few inches above and behind for air circulation. You will also want consider space for the doors to swing open, and if searching for a top or bottom freezer model you will need to decide which direction the door should open.

2. Capacity

Beyond just determining the space in which the refrigerator will be placed, you will also want to consider the size of the refrigerator itself. Refrigerators come in a variety of capacities measured by cubic feet, so you will want to choose one that best serves your needs. Most manufacturers recommend 19 to 22 cubic feet for a family of four or a minimum of 4 to 6 cubic feet per adult.

3. Storage

Refrigerators come with a variety of storage configurations, so you will want to choose one that works best for you. Consider how you want the shelves and drawers to be arranged. You may want to look for one with adjustable glass shelves, which are easier to clean and can be customized to suit your needs. Pull out shelves or bins can also make it easier to access products.

Some refrigerators now also come with door-in-door storage, making it is easier to access more frequently used items without having to open the entire door.  This can help to save energy for those who want something more energy efficient refrigerators.

4. Materials

You will need to consider what type of material you want your refrigerator to be as well. Stainless steel refrigerators are quite popular, but they also can easily show fingerprints and smudges. Manufacturers have come up with faux stainless steel finishes, which can help to control this problem.

There is also the option for more expensive custom panels, which can be made to match your kitchen cabinetry, or you can always go with the more basic black or white colored model.

5. Features

Refrigerators now come with numerous built-in features. Some options to consider are a water and ice dispenser in the door which is quite common now, but these often require the most repair.  Some other important features are temperature controls and freshness.

The features that can help control the freshness of your food includes dual evaporators which can help maintain higher humidity levels in the refrigerator, while air purifiers can remove bacteria and mold spores. Additionally, vacuum-sealed drawers can help to keep your fruits and veggies fresher for a longer period.

Temperature controls can also allow you to choose the temperature of your fridge in different storage compartments. This means if you want to pick a drawer to keep colder than the rest of the fridge for items like meat, you are able to.

6. Energy Efficiency

Since you will likely have your refrigerator for a long time, you will want to consider its energy efficiency. This will affect the long-term costs of running your refrigerator. Energy consumption can make a huge difference in the cost of operating your refrigerator over the course of its lifetime and buying an energy efficient refrigerator is a sensible choice for sure.

Types of Refrigerators

There are many types of refrigerators to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Below we will review different styles of refrigerators to choose from.

Top Freezer Refrigerators Buying Guide

Top Freezer Refrigerators Buying Guide

If you are looking for a refrigerator that will give you plenty of storage space, then you may want to consider the Top Freezer models as these are the most traditional of them all and costs less too. They offer plenty of storage space and are good for tight spots where double-sided refrigerators won’t fit but get ready to crouch to reach lower shelves and drawers. This model is ideal for storage of large items especially cakes and pizzas. The freezer is at the top hence the name; it also has bins at the bottom of the refrigerator for vegetables and fruits.

Features

  • Freezer at the top
  • Large storage capacity for its size
  • Wide swinging doors

Pro’s of Top Freezer Refrigerators

  1. They can easily accommodate large items, such as birthday cakes and pizza boxes.
  2. Frozen foods are easily within reach. No need to bend down to reach your ice cream!
  3. Typically this type offers the most storage capacity.

Con’s of Top Freezer Refrigerators

  1. You need to bend down to reach items in the crisper bins. 
  2. Not a good options for those who like to eat plenty of salads and veggies or for those who have a backache.

Price range: $600 – $1,100


Bottom Freezer Refrigerators Buying Guide

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators Buying Guide

If veggies and salads make your world tick, then this is the right choice of refrigerator you would want to stock as the refrigerator section is at your eye level and ideal for those who prefer to access things without bending down. This model provides the shelves at the top and the freezer at the bottom, and although it is spacious it is not as big as the top freezer model, it still has its own benefits.

Features

  • Freezer at the bottom
  • Fridge shelves are at eye level
  • Tend to offer a bit less space than top-freezer models

Pro’s of Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

  1. Your fridge shelves, which you use more, are at eye level. Fruits and veggies are right in view.
  2. Can accommodate larger items, much like the top freezer models.

Cons of Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

  1. You have to bend down to find things in your freezer, which can be a challenge particularly for older people or those with disabilities.
  2. It has a bit less capacity than the typical top freezer models.

Tips for Buying a Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

  • Look for a French door model, which can be more energy efficient and upscale looking
  • Consider one with a pull out drawer freezer and baskets which can help to keep it more organized

Price range: $700 – $1,200


Side-by-Side Refrigerators Buying Guide

Side by Side Refrigerators Buying Guide

This model takes design on a different level as compared to the basic top freezer and bottom freezer models and is ideal for offices small offices and for people who just want the right amount of fruits, cakes, and ice. It ensures easy access to freezer and the shelves compartments considering the freezer are on one side and the shelves on the other side and some models have a water dispenser built in so you don’t need to open the door every time you are thirsty. The design, however, is not as economical regarding efficiency as the top and bottom freezer models but it sure is very modern.

Features

  • Two compartments with separate doors that open
  • Typically have fridge on one side and freezer on the other side
  • Usually, have water and ice dispenser in the door

Pro’s of Side-by-Side Refrigerators

  1. Easy to access both fridge and freezer compartments
  2. Narrow doors are good for tight kitchen spaces

Con’s of Side-by-Side Refrigerators

  1. Narrow compartments don’t fit large items, and things in the back can get lost
  2. Not as energy efficient as top or bottom freezer models
  3. Smallest capacity of the various models

Price range: $900 – $1,400


French Door Refrigerators Buying Guide

French Door Refrigerators Buying Guide

This refrigerator combines the design of the bottom freezer model and the side to side model with its compartments having a small side to side doors. This design offers a larger storage space that the side to side model but falls short of the regular bottom freezer models. It is ideal for small kitchens, and its design is one of a kind.

Features

  • Smaller side-by-side doors for refrigerator sections
  • Bottom freezer section

Pro’s of French Door Refrigerators

  1. Larger freezer capacity than side-by-side model
  2. Narrow doors for tight kitchen spaces

Con’s of French Door Refrigerators

  1. Freezer on the bottom, which may be difficult to access
  2. Usable space still does not match that of top door models
  3. Expensive type of refrigerator

Price range: $1500 – $4,000


Cabinet Depth Refrigerators Buying Guide

Cabinet Depth Refrigerators Buying Guide

These are essentially designed for commercial purposes or use in restaurants, but that does not mean one can’t have them in their kitchen. These refrigerators offer large storage space

and are designed to flush with the standard countertops and cabinets that gives a perfect setting for individuals with a sense of style and interior design. Various models are available for the doors

with the one with French doors being the most common in the market. They may not be the pocket-friendly type but still a worthwhile addition to your kitchen to store a large amount of pantry for foodies or big families.

Features

  • Flush with cabinets
  • Usually bottom freezers or side by side door
  • Largest amount of space

Pros of Cabinet Depth Refrigerators

  1. Upscale look
  2. Large amount of space and almost 70 percent is usable
  3. Can give more space in a kitchen

Cons of Cabinet Depth Refrigerators

  1. Expensive, especially if built in.

Price range: $1000 – $3,000


Refrigerator Buying Guide – FAQ’s

Single Door vs. Double Door (Side-by-Side) Refrigerator, Which One is best?

The best model will largely depend on your priorities when choosing a refrigerator. The side-by-side models are easier to access for children or people who are unable to bend down. Side-by-side models might also be best for small kitchens, where space is at a premium since doors do not swing open as widely.

However, the benefits of space and accessibility can mean there will be some compromise in capacity and energy efficiency.Single door models offer more usable storage capacity than side-by-side models do. Also, these models tend to be a bit more energy efficient in comparison to the side-by-side model.

Which Refrigerator is Best for Home?

You will want to measure the dimensions of your kitchen space where the refrigerator will be placed. Refrigerators are designed to fit a range of sizes from 30” – 36” wide and 66” – 70” high.  However, you will want to remember to include a 1” clearance around both sides and the top of the fridge. This will help to accommodate the hinge cap at the top, as well as to give the needed space for air circulation. If the refrigerator is going to be placed next to a sidewall, it is important to consider clearance for the door handle when it swings open.

Next, you will want to consider the capacity you think you will need. 16 – 20 cubic feet is a good estimate for two people who cook a lot. Others recommend 19 – 22 cubic feet for a family of four. Consider that the stated capacity is not always all useable space, so open it up and check it out when you are shopping.

Also, you might want to keep in mind what your food buying habits are. Do you shop in bulk? Do you use a lot of frozen meals? Do you order out a lot? All of these will play a factor in what kind of space you will need. You might need more freezer space if you use a lot of frozen meals or buy in bulk. You might need more fridge space if you eat a lot of fresh food. If you are ordering a lot of pizza, you might want to consider something to accommodate those larger boxes.

What are some new and best features in refrigerators?

Refrigerators have come a long way in what they offer consumers. Many today now include adjustable and sliding shelving, as well as spill safe glass shelves. These can help improve access to products, as well as make cleaning easier. They also offer more storage solutions, such as convertible drawers or multiple freezer compartments. Refrigerators can also include beverage compartments and wine racks.

They also provide options and features that help to keep food fresh. Many feature fruit or vegetable crisper drawers, which had adjustable humidity settings. More models are starting to offer temperature-controlled compartments for meat and dairy products. Some are even capable of thawing and defrosting your food.

Are freshness and temperature control features really that important?

Freshness and temperature control can really help in prolonging the shelf life of your food. Settings for high and low humidity help to prolong the life of fruits and vegetables, while making temperatures colder can help to keep meat fresher for a longer amount of time.

Which Refrigerator is Most Energy Efficient?

Energy efficiency is a very important factor in choosing a refrigerator because they can use up to one-sixth of a home’s electricity. Environmental concerns aside, refrigerators can also be costly to run.

In the United States, the Energy Star label can help to inform consumers about a products’ energy efficiency. This label can give you an estimate of the model’s annual cost to operate, as well its yearly energy usage rates in comparison to other models.

The A+++ and A++ are rated as the best and most energy-efficient refrigerators.

Energy Star Rating

However, outside of this, there are a few rules of thumb to picking an energy efficient model. Side-by-side models tend to be the least energy efficient when compared to the top and bottom freezers. Also, you can choose features like door-in-door storage, which can help reduce energy consumption.

We’ve written Mini Compact & Beverage Refrigerator Reviews to help you decide if you are not looking something from above.

The Beginners Guide to Essential Yoga Gear 2018

Let’s begin with the basic question- what exactly is Yoga? Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj which roughly translates to “to bind” or “union”. There are various other phrases and words that you will learn along with your journey. Yoga is not only a form of exercise, but it’s also a way to unwind which helps one to advance towards a better living. Do keep in mind that Yoga is not a religion, but a simple philosophy; one that is based on the idea of connecting the body and mind.

The fun thing about Yoga is that it is accessible to people of all levels and backgrounds despite whatever social media and current wear catalogs have to preach. Yoga sets a whole new lifestyle. It focuses mostly on breathing and mind relaxation, rather than refinement and balance.

Yoga novices are always full of never ending questions. Questions like, what to bring in class or how to get prepared for the first day- these are always occurring when someone new aspires to practice the art of Yoga.  To be fair, it’s completely normal to have these questions popped up in your mind. Yoga is not your average cup of Joe.  It requires a great deal of commitment and enthusiasm. One must attain enough knowledge and information so that they feel comfortable enough to embrace this lifestyle.  So don’t spend hours searching for the answers; in this article, we have done just the right amount of research for you!  This guide will act as the basic checklist before you dive into the world of Yoga.

What Do I Need to Begin?

Yoga Clothing Buying Guide

Yoga Clothing Buying Guide

Most basic yoga poses involve various arm movements. You should think about choosing apparels where you can be comfortable in and can move easily around without the garment constantly distracting you.

Stay away from clothes that have a reducing neckline. Yoga clothes should fit your body well so that when you bend or twist into a new position, it doesn’t leave you exposed and embarrassed.

Your clothes should be breezy and light. The last thing you want is to die of asphyxiation due to the heat that was stored in your cotton tank top. Your clothing essentials should include: Yoga Pants, Capri’s, Leggings, Shorts, Sports Bra, etc.

Try Target and Old Navy for affordable choices and other sports brands like Nike and Adidas. There are also more yoga-centric brands such as Lululemon and Yoga Smoga.

Price: $12-$125


Yoga Mat Buying Guide

Yoga Mats Buying Guide

Yoga mats are a must-have item for any class and have the power to either make or break your experience. Mats can be pricey that’s a given, but it’s a good investment as they good ones, such as the Manduka Black Mat, tend to stick till the end. Even if you practice less than twice a week, you want a mat that will remain clean.

The material of the product should be thick and solid enough to protect your bones from getting crushed in difficult poses, but at the same time, they should not be so foamy that you sink or feel unstable. Go for a branded one – JadeYoga and Hugger Mugger are well-known brands you can trust, and of course there are countless other brands you can choose from.

Yoga mats are like yoga poses; they vary in types and usage. There are mats that are very easy to carry and good for traveling. There are also some mats which are designed for a particular type of Yoga and also the amount you sweat! So make sure you try before you invest your hard-earned cash. We’ve reviewed “Top 10 Best Yoga Mats by Price and Rating.”

Price: $10-$100


Yoga Water Bottle Buying Guide

Yoga Water Bottles Buying Guide

Water bottles are a necessary item for any physical activity. Staying hydrated is an imperative to your health, especially during Bikram or Vinyasa flow classes. Yoga requires breathing exercises and positions that causes the entire body to sweat.

No matter how simple a pose may seem, they are designed to get you breathing and your blood pumping. Without proper hydration, you might start having a falling out or worse, develop severe health issues. You can get a solid, insulated stainless steel model from CamelBak and brands like Kleen Kanteen and think the sport is also worth checking out.

Price: $10 – $45


Yoga Towels Buying Guide

Yoga Towels Buying Guide

Just like a water bottle, towels are greatly important when you’re engaging in a workout. Yoga is a sweat generator! And the thing about perspiration is that it doesn’t do justice to all. Some of us tend to sweat more than others. So take into account if you need to have more than one towel in hand. But also remember that perspiration is healthy. It means you are doing something right.

You can use a bath or beach towels, but their microfibers tend to shed on the mat. You don’t need to purchase a super expensive towel, but pay attention to how much you sweat. Expensive brands like Yogitoes and Jade offer excellent models. Less expensive and affordable brands include Gaiam and SOJA.

Price: $10-$250


Yoga Blocks Buying Guide

Yoga Blocks Buying Guide

When buying your first yoga block, you need to consider both size and material. Yoga blocks are made to better muscle flexibility, provide support, maintaining balance and provide comfort. For this, you need to be able to hold the block in your hand, so be sure to find the right size for you.

Average blocks are around 9 x 4.5 x 3 inches, but since none of us are exactly like the other, the sizes may vary. Blocks are made of materials such as wood, cork, and foam, and each has its texture and grip. For beginners, two blocks are considered to be beneficial to consider purchasing more than one to start with.

Price: $10-$25/block


Yoga Strap Buying Guide

Yoga Straps Buying Guide

Like blocks, yoga straps are vital to a beginner’s achievements. And like blocks, the straps help novice yogis perform poses with their bodies. If you feel intimidated by your surrounding students, just remember that this is what these tools are made for- TO HELP YOU! No one is born perfection and yoga is something that needs a tremendous amount of time and effort. You can’t just expect to be flawless on day one.

Some studios may provide straps, but it is beneficial to have your own for at-home practices or travel as well.  Brands like Gaiam offer a block, and strap combo pack and other brands like ProSource, Hugger Mugger, and OPTP provide interesting and affordable choices.

Price: $5-$15


Yoga Bolster Buying Guide

Yoga Bolster Buying Guide

A bolster is a simple pillow that is built to help you breathe deeper and achieve better alignment during yoga positions. They are available in a variety of shapes and styles including a cylinder, rectangular and crescent-shaped. A bolster can be used to intensify your practice, bring certain poses within reach, break limitations, or simply relax.

So basically the most important thing to think about before buying the right bolster is how you’ll be using it. Hugger Mugger, Manduka, YogaDirect & Bean Products are all brands that provide a variety of options. Make sure to purchase the best bolster for your specific needs and as always, check fabrics and labels for any allergy tendencies and washing instructions.

Price: $30-$70


Yoga Eye Pillow Buying Guide

Yoga Eye Pillow Buying Guide

Yes, believe it or not, an eye pillow is an essential for yoga beginners. But no, you will not be sleeping through the class! Mediation is a key component of yoga, and the class will usually conclude with a teacher’s segment called Savasana.

To maximize the results of your stress relief efforts during this meditation exercise, you should purchase (or make) an eye pillow. Don’t wait to discover the benefits, have one from the start. Some studios may offer pillows, but others do not. It’s best to use your pillow catered towards your own specifics needs.

Price: $5 – $20


Guide to Buying Yoga Gear – FAQ’s

What clothing to wear for Yoga?

Clothing is really important if you want to have amazing yoga experience. Your clothing should be made from breathable fabric, e.g., cotton or bamboo that should improve your overall health and wellness while increasing strength and flexibility.

Should I wear a Sports Bra to Yoga?

Even though Yoga is a low-impact activity compared to running or jogging and does not involve jostling of the breasts but there are poses where extra support and containment does make a significant difference.

For small breasts, compression bras are the best as they press the breast against the chest wall. But, for medium and large breasts, bras with both compression and encapsulation are required that comes with underwire support, zip-front closures, wide back and shoulder construction and wide ribbands.

What type of Yoga Shirts is the Best?

As yoga involves a lot of bending, stretching and spreading, a lot of times people complain that their tops slide to the side in inappropriate areas. We recommend getting a form-fitting top that should handle serious sweat and doesn’t ride up, down or sideways and offer freedom of movement.

Should I wear underwear with my Yoga Pants?

Not necessarily if you buy a yoga pant that has an extra panel around the private areas that should provide some flexibility, but it is always better to wear one as once the pants start absorbing sweat, it will reveal everything and you won’t be able to prevent the camel toe which is a pet peeve of many ladies out there.

What type of yoga pants is best?

This can be tricky as there are different types of Yoga pants you can buy, from cut and styles to material. Here is what you need to consider:

Style: Straight or flared leg vs. Legging, this is a personal preference and up to you which style you prefer.

Length: Full Length vs. Capri as if you are into hot yoga, you are better off wearing a Capri than a full-length yoga pant.

Fabric: Cotton vs. Synthetic as cotton is very absorbent and retains more water than a synthetic one.

Color: If you are buying anything other than black, then make sure to note that some colors show more moisture than others.

How to buy the best yoga mat?

There are bazillion types of Yoga mats out there which comes in different material types of different size and thickness, here is what you need to consider:

Material: While the standard yoga mat is made up of PVC material, a new breed of yoga mats have entered the market which is made from more earth-friendly options including recycled rubber, jute, and organic cotton.

Thickness: The thickness of a yoga mat is directly related to how comfortable it is. Too thin, and your knee may get bruised.  The only downside of getting a thicker mat is that it can make it harder for you to feel the connection with the floor.

Size: Standard yoga mats are 68” long, and longer mats are up to 74” long. Besides the standard size, there are manufacturers who have produced squared shape mats too so you can freely do it without having to adjust yourself to the mat again and again.

How many types of Yoga Towels are there?

Yoga towel is an essential for the regular practitioners. The two basic types include mat-length and hand towel. Mat-length is the most useful as they cover the entire mat, improve stability and a great way to avoid any traction.

Why do I need a Yoga Block? What is the purpose?

Yoga blocks are extremely useful if you are just starting out and your body isn’t flexible as they allow you to complete the yoga poses. There are numerous poses where you need that extra support while bending or stretching where the block will help you in finding better alignment and posture.

How many types of Yoga blocks are out there?

The common type of yoga blocks that are available in the market are Foam, Cork, Bamboo, and wood. They vary in price, so it comes down to personal preference if you want an eco-friendly block then bamboo or wood be a better choice.

Do I need a Yoga Strap? and Why?

Just like with the Yoga Blocks, if you are just starting out or lack flexibility then you need to get a yoga strap as there are poses where it becomes difficult to find the right alignment and the strap helps in supporting that pose. The purpose is to help you complete poses when flexibility isn’t there and also restrict your body so your yoga pose is exactly like it should be, this will train you well and build a strong foundation so you’d know where to keep your arms or legs when doing yoga without it.

How many types of Yoga Straps are out there?

Buying a yoga strap isn’t technical as the material is pretty much the same, the only difference is in the buckle as there are straps which come in metal and plastic buckle.

Do I need a Yoga Bolster?

In simple words, Yoga Bolster is cushions that come in both cylindrical and rectangular shape stuffed with thick cotton batting or buckwheat. If you are a beginner or someone who has trouble doing advanced poses, a yoga bolster provides that support and relaxation till your body develops the flexibility. If you are just starting out, it is good to have these accessories that offer support.

What is a Yoga Eye Pillow?

Yoga eye pillow is a great way to unwind after practice; it is filled with natural ingredients like dried lavender, flax seeds & natural linseed that aids in relaxation. It is a soft and cooling eye pillow that is used as an antidepressant, remedy for a headache and a mood tonic. It is great to put on aching muscles or stiff neck for instant relaxation or used for relaxation during meditation or naps.

The Definitive Coffee Maker Buying Guide 2018

Coffee drinkers everywhere understand how important that first cup of coffee in the morning is. The perfect brew can set the tone for your whole day. Getting off to a good (and properly caffeinated) start is crucial. That first cup of coffee can make or break the day.

However, knowing which coffee maker is best for you can be a challenge. There’s an endless variety available. From percolators to complex espresso machines, the prices vary and so do the features.

None of us are the same and neither are our tastes and habits. Some people drink strong brewed, black coffee with no milk. Others may prefer a latte (shortened from the Italian word: caffe latte, meaning milk coffee) with more frothy milk. Maybe you drink one cup per day, or maybe you find yourself sipping on cups throughout the entire day.

Regardless of your tastes and habits, there is a coffee maker out there for you. Follow this guide to learn more about your options and which type of coffee maker best suits you. In case you missed our Coffee Beans Guide, Please read it here.

BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT COFFEE MAKER

Just like Coffee Beans, Coffee Makers are also quite old and date back to 17th Century. In France, the first infusion brewing process was introduced in 1710 which worked on a simple process of adding ground coffee in a linen bag and submerging in hot water until the desired strength brew was achieved.

Since that time, a lot of innovations have been made to Coffee Makers, each made for different brewing techniques. Drip brewing, a technique which involves making coffee also dates back more than 125 years.

Several other coffee makers like Percolators and Vacuum brewers also date back around 100 years, the modern coffee makers have become more advanced with automation which lets you customize your brew. Please read our Top 10 Best Coffee Maker Reviews 2018.

Types of Coffee Makers

There are some different varieties of coffee makers on the market that can offer you a range of features and functions you may have otherwise thought impossible. Below you’ll find a different type of coffee makers which are available in the market right now with their advantages and disadvantages with the price range.

Percolator Buying Guide

Percolator Coffee Maker Buying Guide

Percolators are one of the oldest methods of coffee making and are still used today. They can be stovetop or electric powered and are great for use outdoors or for adding a vintage touch to any kitchen.

Pros of Percolator Coffee Maker:

  1. Since percolators brew at a higher temperature than automatic machines, the coffee is always piping hot.
  1. Coffee brewed this way will be stronger in flavor and offers more control over the brewing process.
  1. Percolators are durable, convenient and make for easy travel use.

Cons of Percolator Coffee Maker:

  1. Because of the nature of percolators, it is easy to over-extract (or over-brew). This can cause coffee to taste too bitter. Perfecting the brewing process can take a few tries and extra time.
  1. They do not offer automatic options like automatic turn off, timers or brew strength presets.
  1. It can be easy to make a mess with this method. And the percolators can be tedious to clean. There are various parts to unscrew or remove and they may not be machine washable.

Price: ranges from $17-$50


French Press Buying Guide

French Coffee Maker Buying Guide

French press coffee makers are manually operated and require a more coarsely ground coffee bean. The grinds are steeped in hot water and then plunged by a separate device (with a filter attached) to separate grounds from the coffee extract. The coffee is made and poured from the same carafe/mechanism.

Pros of French Press Coffee Maker:

  1. French press systems brew flavorful and strong coffee.
  1. They are extremely easy to use and easy to clean (some parts may even be machine washable).
  1. They do not use electricity and do not take up much space. They are a greener option for any Eco-conscious citizen.

Cons of French Press Coffee Maker:

  1. Manual French press makers do not have automatic settings, making it more complicated to control brew strength and timing.
  1. If coffee grounds are made too fine, they can slip through the filter when plunged. This can result in ground residue and can be frustrating.
  1. They do not have warmers or hot plates to keep the coffee warm after it is brewed. Once it is made, it’s best to consume it immediately.

Prices: ranges from $12-$40


Electric French Press Buying Guide

Electric French Coffee Maker Buying Guide

These machines are similar to the manual French press systems in that the course grounds are filters through a plunging mechanism. However, with electric presses you will not need to boil water in a separate device, making them more convenient.

Pros of Electric French Press Coffee Maker:

  1. These machines can be used to boil water for other things like tea and instant meals. They are a smart and versatile purchase.
  1. They brew flavorful coffee that is rich in aroma and taste. Some even offer a grinder attachment/feature for properly ground coffee beans.
  1. Electric French press coffee makers are quick and easy, and some even offer temperature controlled brew settings.

Cons of Electric French Coffee Maker:

  1. Most electric French press systems will need to be cleaned after each use. This can be a hassle and may be difficult for anyone with a busy schedule.
  1. Like French manual presses; these do not usually make more than a few cups of coffee. Not necessarily the best choice for a full house or group of people.
  1. Most of them come with warming features to keep coffee hot after brewing, but they are not very efficient, and after time the coffee cools down.

Prices: ranges from $18-$60


Automatic Drip Machine Buying Guide

Automatic Drip Machine Coffee Maker Buying Guide

These are probably the most common coffee makers and offer various settings. With automatic drip machines water is heated in a tank (usually attached to the side or back of a machine) and then pushed through the coffee grounds (via a filter) directly into a carafe.

Pros of Automatic Drip Coffee Maker:

  1. They are extremely convenient and offer various features like an automatic turn-off, brew strength control options and timers to start and stop brewing to your liking.
  1. These machines can typically brew up to 12 cups of coffee and are great for families or people who consume more than one cup of coffee per day.
  1. Automatic drip machines vary greatly in price but are usually built to last, fairly easy to clean and affordable.

Cons of Automatic Drip Coffee Maker:

  1. Chances are good, even if brewed strongly; the coffee will not have the same quality of flavor or aroma as with a French press maker or percolator.
  1. It is easier to waste coffee (and money) with these machines. Leftover coffee will most likely be thrown out.
  1. They use electricity and are easy to forget about as you go through your busy day. If you purchase an automatic brewing machine that does not offer an auto turn-off feature, you will need to remember to unplug.

Prices: ranges from $10-$600 (multiple drip/carafe machines will cost into the hundreds but are usually only seen in small bed and breakfasts or similar businesses).


Coffee Capsule (or pod) Buying Guide

Capsule Pod Coffee Maker Buying Guide

Capsule or pod coffee makers are the newest addition to the market and offer extreme convenience. With these high-tech machines, coffee is sold in sealed, pre-packaged containers of grounds. These are placed into the machine and pierced or pressed to allow the hot water through for brewing.

Pros of Capsule/Pod Coffee Maker:

  1. Super easy to use. You can choose from various brew settings (small cup or large cup) and will not have to measure any coffee grounds or use filters (each pod usually produces one cup of coffee).
  1. You will always get the same quality. With these machines, you can consistently brew the same cup of coffee. Never be disappointed or unsatisfied.
  1. These machines also save electricity because they do not consistently work to keep the coffee warm after brewing. They are also much more efficient with their use of water.

Cons of Capsule/Pod Coffee Maker:

  1. These machines aren’t saving any trees. And they can be an expensive choice.You may save money on wasted coffee, but the pod cost will add up fast. And the machines are not the most inexpensive, to begin with.
  1. You do not have as much control over brew strength or flavor since you will be purchasing pre-packaged pods. You have to trust the machine and pod.
  1. They can be larger than other options and may take up a lot of counter space.

Prices: ranges from $100-$400+


Espresso Machine Buying Guide

Espresso Coffee Maker Buying Guide

Espresso machines come in wide variety of options (dual boiler, heat exchange or automatic machine) and are probably the most complex to use. However, you don’t have to make daily coffee shop runs to enjoy espresso-based drinks. There are plenty of models that are made for home use as well.

Pros of Espresso Coffee Maker:

  1. The smooth and strong flavors of espresso are worth it for passionate coffee drinkers.
  1. In a dual boiler machine, there are two separate water heaters (or boilers). One is used for brewing and one for steaming. This allows for a perfectly blended (and heated) drink without the extra work.
  1. Similar to dual boilers, heat exchange espresso machines also offer the convenience of not having to froth or steam milk separately.

Cons of Espresso Coffee Maker:

  1. Heat exchange espresso machines may not give you a consistent brewing temperature. They can fluctuate more than a boiler system espresso machine.
  1. Espresso machines are the expensive choice and can cost up to thousands of dollars.
  1. Dual boiler machines take up a great amount of space and may not fit in smaller kitchens or rooms.

Prices: ranges from $90-$2,500+


Additional Accessories of Coffee Makers

Additional Accessories Coffee Maker Buying Guide

It is worth noting the other tools and items you may need to brew the perfect cup of Joe. The following are additional accessories you don’t want to forget.

Grinders

You do not necessarily need to have your grinder. Plenty of local stores and shops sell pre-ground coffee. However, for some methods (like French press or espresso machines) the proper grind of the bean is imperative to the quality of your coffee. It may be worth doing it on your own for the freshest and best tasting coffee. Grinders come in various shapes and sizes and can run from anywhere from $15-$300.

Filters

Filters come in two different styles. They are either a basket or cone shape and can be made of either paper or reusable (washable) materials. Basket filters normally come in a 4 cup or 8-12 cup size and cone filters usually come in #2 (4 cup maker) or #4 (for 8,10 or more cup maker) size. Every coffee maker is different and will require a specific size filter.

Mugs

You can brew the best cup of coffee in the world, but you need something to put it in. They’re plenty of mugs to choose from, and they vary in shape, size, and color. Many even come with easy grip and travel features (like thermal exteriors for temperature control). Travel mugs are common for people to use on the go or when commuting. And every coffee drinker knows the perfect mug only makes the drinking experience that much better (prices vary $10-$50).


Guide to Buying Coffee Maker – FAQ’s

What type of machine should I have?

This depends on what type of coffee you like to drink and your tastes. Review the above specifics to decide which machine might be best for you. If you are on a budget, automatic and French press machines offer loads of affordable and quality options. If you are a coffee connoisseur, you may want to opt for an espresso machine or one with more customization features.

How do I clean a coffee maker?

This will depend on what type of maker you own. The first step is to turn off and unplug the machine (you don’t want to burn yourself or other cleaning tools). You should remove all filters, carafes and other parts so you can clean them according to their specific materials and directions. Some machines may offer machine washable parts and others may not (check your product information). You never want to use steel wool or harsh surface to scrub your machine, and you should always avoid submerging the entire machine in water.

I can’t get my coffee to taste right, what do I do?

There are various reasons your coffee may taste off or not to your liking. First, check the age and freshness of your coffee beans. This is the first thing that may affect the flavor of your brew. You should also consider the type of water you are using. Fresh, filtered and clean water is imperative for proper flavor. And most machines brew best with water that is first placed into the machine cold. You should also understand that a dirty coffee maker makes for dirty tasting coffee. Keep your machine clean and experiment with brew strengths to achieve the best flavor.

Should I have a glass or a thermal carafe?

Glass carafes are heated underneath by a hot plate. Thermal carafes use their insulated walls to maintain heat. Neither option is necessarily better than the other. Like any machine offered, there are pros and cons to each. Glass carafes may leave your coffee tasting a bit burnt or over-brewed if left on the hot plate too long. And thermal carafes can run more expensive and do not give you the ability to see how much coffee is left. It’s up to you and what you want. Both work and both can be useful.

How do I avoid these annoying drips when pouring my coffee from the carafe?

It’s a struggle even the cleanest coffee drink comes across. As long as you slow down and pour your coffee with ease, you should not see any spills. Take a deep breathe, slow down and pour calmly. This should help avoid any annoying drips (as best as possible). You may also want to choose a pod or capsule machine. The coffee can be brewed directly into your mug to avoid the issue in the first place.

It doesn’t matter if you drink strong coffee or whether you prefer it light and sweet. It also doesn’t matter if you are a busy mom of 4 or a single senior citizen with daily time spare. There is the perfect coffee maker out there for everyone. The options can be expensive, but a great cup of coffee does not need to cost an arm and a leg.

Start with assessing your tastes and lifestyle. Then you can start to use this guide and explore the wide world of coffee makers. Find the one that best suits your needs and brings one home today!

The Complete Guide to Buying an Air Conditioner 2018

What you need to know to make the best choice for your home.

Air conditioners are a vital staple in most households. With sweltering summer temperatures, the need for a cool refreshing breeze flowing throughout your home is becoming ever more necessary.

Air conditioners serve a vital purpose… cooling the air temperature inside of your home to an appropriate level. There are many different types of air conditioners out there, each with different capabilities based on the speed that the air is lowered, performance, and durability of the hardware itself.

The cooling of the air usually involves a cycle of refrigeration and purification, however, in some cases evaporation devices or free cooling machines are used as well.

Some of the latest models of air conditioning units are barely noticeable and much smaller than their older predecessors of the past.

There are a few critical questions that people ask before purchasing an air conditioning unit. These may include, which type of AC unit is best for my home? Do I really need an air conditioning unit or can I get by without it? How much money will an air conditioning unit cost me? How much do the portable units weigh?

All of these questions will be answered in this guide to give you the most valuable information and knowledge that you need in order to make the best possible decision for your home.

Basic Information about Air Conditioner Units

Air conditioning units come in many different shapes and sizes. In order to choose the right type of air conditioning unit, you need first to assess where you are going to install the unit. From small studios and apartments to large multi-room homes and mansions, there are many different factors to consider and take into account when assessing the right type of air conditioning unit.

Things to Consider when buying Air Conditioner

There are numerous different aspects to consider when trying to decide which unit is best for your home, such as how many rooms are in the house, what is the size of the room, is there a ventilation system in place, and will the air conditioning unit be inside or outside of the home.

For larger homes, a more intricate and expensive air conditioning unit will most likely be required to provide the necessary power and cooling to reach throughout the entire home. For smaller homes or studios, only one or two rooms are required to cool, thus mitigating any drastic changes and allowing flexible implementation of a smaller air conditioning unit. Location and environmental seasons/temperature also play a crucial role.

1. How much space do you want to be cooled?

Some people like to keep their garages or attics cooled by the AC for storage purposes, and some people just want to have their master bedroom cooled. It is important to also take into account extra rooms or smaller spaces in the house that you are considering implementing your AC system to reach.

2. Construction and material of the home and walls.

Another important factor to consider is the quality and material of the home. For example, older brick homes are more likely to absorb heat and retain hotter air than newer apartment complexes with special chemical compounds in the walls and paint that is designed to reflect heat. You need to do the proper due diligence before investing in an air conditioning unit and figure out how your home affects your AC plans. Many air conditioning installment companies offer complimentary home inspections that take many different factors into account when trying to figure out which AC option is the best for you.

3. Location of your home and the surrounding environment.

An important concept that you need to consider is the location of your home and the environment that you are surrounded by. Is your location constantly under the gaze of the sun or do you live in a home with tall trees that shield you from the heat? Are there hills or mountains nearby that the sun goes down past at a certain time every day? Do you live in a humid desert or moist swampland where the weather isn’t too hot but the humidity is very high? You need to take all of these things into account when planning on getting an air conditioning unit because getting the right device for your home and for your money requires taking all of these external factors into consideration.

4. Where should you place your air conditioning unit?

There are different types of air conditioning units that can be considered. You can purchase special AC units that are installed in windows, attached to the floor or hooked up to a wall. Some units are located outside of the home while others can be placed in a more discreet location. There are also different types from portable AC units and central coolants to ductless or split coolants.

5. Financial Costs

Lastly, you need to consider the financial implications of getting an air conditioning unit and how different devices can equate to different costs. Bigger air conditioning units require more electricity to run and hotter climates require the AC unit to be on for a longer period of time. The air conditioning device that you purchase can take a large chunk out of your utility bill every month if you aren’t careful, so be sure of what you’re getting and investigate your options thoroughly before you proceed with any major purchase.

Types of Air Conditioning Units

There are many different types of air conditioning units, so choosing the right one and right size for your home is of the utmost importance. Whether you desire a high-quality coolant or just need something small to get you through a few weeks, this guide will show you your options.

Portable Air Conditioners Buying Guide

Buygin Guide of Portable Air Conditioner

These AC units are like the description states… portable and mobile. They are floor systems usually with wheels that cool rooms down by removing heat out of the air and dehumidifying it, then returning the air much cooler into the same space.

However, the one catch with these devices is that they also exhaust the hot air as well from a separate exhaust port in the device. This means that they need to be placed near a window or semi-outdoor location in order for the hot air to be released out and away while the cool air is blown into the house. Here is our Top 10 Best Portable Air Conditioner Reviews.

These portable devices are usually on the lower end of the cost spectrum. However, some portable devices can be quite expensive.

Features

  • Dual exhaust ports, one releasing cool air and one exhausting hot air.
  • Can be configured to fit a certain size room or apartment.
  • Comes with a special do-it-yourself kit that lets you configure the exhaust ports to your liking.

Pro’s of Portable Air Conditioner

  1. Highly mobile and highly portable, you can move these from room to room with ease.
  2. Less expensive than most other air conditioning units.

Con’s of Portable Air Conditioner

  1. These devices can be aesthetically unpleasing to look at. Often bulky and sticking out compared to furniture and other home decor, these aren’t the most visually appealing AC devices.
  2. Lack of cooling to other rooms. These portable devices are usually good for one thing alone… keeping the room, they’re in cool at the expense of the other rooms in the house.
  3. The hot air exhaust adds the limitation to the “portable” air conditioner.

Price Range: Anywhere from $100- $2,000

Weight Range: 15-25 pounds.


Window Air Conditioners Buying Guide

Buying Guide of Windows Air Conditioner

These air conditioning units are placed in the window frames, with half inside of the home and the other half sticking out of the window. These are very commonly seen in apartments. These devices are specifically designed to be installed in a window or square space with the goal behind of the device is to exhaust hot air out the back while blowing cool air into the home. Check out Best Windows Air Conditioner Reviews

Features

  • Designed to be placed on a window frame or small window hole that can handle the weight of a box sized air conditioning unit.
  • Usually, square or box-shaped, these air conditioners vary in size from small to very large.

Pro’s of Window Air Conditioner

  1. These devices are semi-portable. Often requiring a bit more installation than the portable AC units, the window air conditioner units must be latched or attached to the window frame. However, they can still be removed and placed in another window should the need arise.
  2. Free up floor space for furniture or other objects in your home.

Con’s of Window Air Conditioner

  1. Large and clunky, this box or square shaped AC units take up the entire window space. They often obstruct the view and aren’t aesthetically pleasing for a home’s ambiance.
  2. They only cool one part of the home, similar to the Portable AC units.

Price Range: Anywhere from $100- $2,000.

Weight Range: 55-100 pounds.


Through The Wall Air Conditioner’s Buying Guide

Buying Guide of Through the Wall Air Conditioner

This AC option is nice because it gives the room a more modern and elegant feel while also keeping it cool. The AC unit has a much more modern aesthetic look and sits thinly along the wall as your HD TV would. This option is very similar to the window AC units, and the through the wall air conditioning units also lack any exhaust vent to eschew hot air, due to a lack of access to the outdoors. The newer technology in these devices allows it to give off more cooling power as well.

Features

  • Designed to be placed on a wall, these AC units have newer technology and are much thinner than other AC units.
  • These units are surprisingly heavy. They do not have an exhaust port for hot air and have a stronger cooling power than the previous two options.

Pro’s of Through the Wall Air Conditioner

  1. These devices free up your floor space as well as your window views. They can attach seamlessly to the walls and have a clean cut, modern look.
  2. Exude a ton of cooling power, keeping rooms exceptionally cool for hotter climates.

Con’s of Through the Wall Air Conditioner

  1. These are quite heavy, and only cool one room at a time.

Price Range: Anywhere from $400- $5,000.

Weight Range: 85-150 pounds.


Ductless/Split Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Buying Guide of Ductless-Split Air Conditioner

Considered the most popular of all the air conditioning devices, the ductless AC units are known for their high-efficiency cooling mechanisms. This is the unit that will give you the most bang for your buck. The ductless system usually operates by having a main outdoor system with multiple mini hubs placed throughout the home to deliver cooling throughout.

Features

  • Wall mounted coordinated system that allows each room to be climate controlled for maximum flexibility.
  • The main system placed outdoors with cooling lines that run into the home to the various ports placed throughout different rooms.

Pro’s of Split Air Conditioner

  1. This AC system is extraordinarily quiet, low profile and capable of cooling multiple rooms in the home at once.
  2. Can be placed in special strategic locations throughout the home.

Con’s of Split Air Conditioner

  1. This system does not come cheap. While on the more expensive side of the spectrum, it delivers extensive AC cooling throughout your home and is more than capable of handling heavy duty AC needs.

Price Range: Anywhere from $500- $10,000.

Weight Range: Weightless – Multiple systems throughout the home.


Guide to Buying an Air Conditioner – FAQ’s

What is the best kind of Air Condition Unit?

It is impossible to say that one AC unit is better than the rest because it is such a case by case basis. You need to analyze the layout of your home, your environment, and your local weather in order to determine the best AC unit for your property. What might be a great fit for one person might not work for another?

Which air conditioner is the most energy efficient?

Energy star is a rating which determines which air conditioner is energy efficient or not. The Energy Star program requires air conditioner manufacturers to quality and meet their standards, and once they meet them, they can use the energy star logo on the air conditioner proving that their air conditioner meets the standard.

For consumers, the capacity in BTU is usually the factor to look at. The higher Capacity or BTU means the air conditioner will take more energy but will also cool big room quicker. On the other hand, an air conditioner with low BTU will consume less energy.

Which air conditioner is quietest?

Air conditioners are known for the product a lot of noise and at times making it hard to sleep. If you are someone who is looking for a quiet air conditioner, look for the noise each unit produces in decibels unit.

The lowest decibels mean the unit will be very quiet, the ductless split air conditioners are usually the quietest of all and should be considered if it is a priority for you.

Are AC units really necessary year round?

Air conditioning units come in handy when you least expect them too. While needless to say they are critical during the hot summer months, there are always unexpected occasions throughout the year when it is hotter than expected and you’ll be glad that you have an AC unit to turn on when you need it.

Do you need to hire a company to install your Air Conditioning Unit?

No, you do not need anyone to install your AC unit for you. While it might be helpful to schedule a consultation or in-home assessment, there are many options that are easy to self-install and can save you a lot of money.

The Modern Man’s Guide to Beard Grooming 2018

Steve Jobs? Abraham Lincoln? Albert Einstein? All of these historical game changers have one thing in common, beards.

Beards have always been considered as a somewhat stepping stone to manhood. One can’t be surprised to meet up with school boys in the playground stocking there naked chins trying to compete with who has the most “chin cover.”

What drives men into adopting the beard? Here are a few reasons to keep that beard going:

  • Protecting facial skin. A lot of dirt and germs get attached to the skin when a man shaves that lead to pimples and acne when the skin pores are irritated during regular shaving. Keeping that beard going avoids such situations.
  • Saves Time and money. Shaving is not a touch and process and requires a certain kind of precision unless one fancies a day with a face full of band-aids at the office. As mentioned above a regular shaver suffers from acne and pimples which often require medical assistance which does not come cheap.
  • Image Enhancement. It’s obvious the guy with the beard is the one who is easiest to remember. Not forgetting that a beard makes a man look intimidating than he probably is, this goes a long way in fending off those weirdo’s and creepers from your lady.
  • Act as natures blankets. Bread is a scientific guarantee to keep your face warm during those crazy winter months.
Beard Growing Maintenance and Styling

A man’s genetics define his beard growing potential. That being said, stress, poor dieting, and physical damage can negatively affect beard growing potential. If you want to attain the best beard you can, follow the few simple tips outlined below.

First off, to achieve the best beard possible a healthy diet of foods rich in protein is vital’.

A higher protein diet will help boost testosterone which is an important element in beard growth.  Vegetables such as peas, broccoli, chickpeas, and spinach are especially rich in protein content. Other good foods are spinach, nuts, avocados, olives, and olive oil. Avoid soy-based foods and take more red meat.

In case your diet is not efficient supplements can be used to make up for deficiencies in your diet. A good regimen ordinarily comprises of a multi-vitamin, biotin, and fish oil. Biotin will help your hair and nails grow faster, and in other countries, it’s called vitamin H for hair. In addition to these essentials, you can add zinc, vitamin B (specifically B6), and magnesium.

Another way to increase your testosterone is to exercise regularly-lifting weights in particular.

Once you have the internal matter taken care of, the focus should shift to the external. That means when growing a beard-stroking, the beard is preferred to picking at the beard. Picking split ends, or simply focusing on single beard hairs can lead to patches, more split ends, or other damaging effects.

The final tip is patience. Beards take time, and they will get longer, you just need to wait. Shaving your beard will not make your beard grow faster, and anyone who says it does is just trolling you.

Hair is little dead pieces of you slowly coming out of your body. If they lived a good life, then they will exist as a good hair otherwise your beard will look unhealthy.

Keep stress and smoking to a minimum, and you will be living up to your full beard growth potential.

Beard Care

Once you’ve got your beard growing at its best, you’ll have to take care of it to keep it that way. This starts in the shower: you have to resist the urge to shampoo your beard every day. Shampooing beards put a lot of strain on hair because it strips out the natural oils that keep your beard healthy and moisturized. I try to shampoo only once or twice a week and always use conditioner after a wash.

Immediately after the shower, while your pores are still open, is the best time to add some beard oil to your face and beard. Beard oil is a leave-in conditioner that will help keep your beard soft, shiny, and prevent against beard dandruff.

From there, you’ll need to minimize the damage to your beard. Excessive brushing, blow drying or just stroking can lead to split ends and bald patches as earlier indicated. If you are the type to play with your beard, try to keep objects nearby to keep your hands occupied such as a stress ball. Trimming regularly will help remove split ends and even out fast-growing hairs.

For your combing needs, try to get a saw-cut and handmade comb. These combs will glide through your beard like a hot knife through butter and create little to no static. If you are a brush person, avoid the nylon brushes and go for a boar’s hair brush. The hairs help redistribute your natural oils rather than stripping them away.

Beard Styling

Now that your beard is healthy and strong, you’ve got some style options. Besides your full natural beard, your Garibaldi and Verdi are the most common full beard styles. The Verdi is a shorter beard with larger mustache, and the Garibaldi is a full round big bushy beard.

Distinct face shapes call for different beard styles. These rules will help you achieve what we like to call “optimal beard.”

When it comes to facial hair styles, the guiding principle to keep in mind is: Your beard and your jaw should work in tandem to achieve a nicely graduated, oval shape. If you have a square or round jaw, you’ll want to grow your beard fuller on the bottom to elongate your face. If you have an oblong or rectangular face, you’ll want more hair on the sides while avoiding more length beneath the chin.


Beard Grooming Essentials

Beard Grooming Essentials

Beard Oil

Beard oil gives a beard both a wonderful scent and a healthy look. Best beard oils should be very lightweight. Oils retain your beard conditioned and glossy. In addition, beard oils soften, hydrate, and condition your beard while reducing or removing dandruff. Lightweight beard oils will not pull down your beard or make it feel unctuous.Check Top 10 Best Beard Oil Reviews.

Beard Wash

Beard wash should have very gentle lather that is soft enough for your face and tough enough to handle curly, coarse beard hairs. We recommend using beard wash once or twice a week, but you can use it daily if your beard tends to get dirty regularly. Follow up with a matching Beard Softener for the ultimate cleaning experience.

Beard Softener

Beard Softener (similar to a hair conditioner) like beard wash, is a silicone free product that won’t build up over time. It can be used much like a hair conditioner by applying it after washing your beard or even apply on days that you don’t need to wash your beard. For the ultimate experience, apply it after using a matching Beard Wash.

Mustache Wax

Mustache wax is commonly made with natural ingredients which include, beeswax, jojoba oil, and lanolin. Mustache wax provides a medium hold and is perfect for a natural style that keeps the mustache out of the mouth. This wax will provide enough hold for a very natural shape with some pliability, and the hold will last all day.

Texture Paste

Texture paste is a styling product that is ideal for beard care. Texture Paste is a very lightweight, sculpting product that helps get those wild beard hairs under control without feeling like you have any product in your beard.

Texture Pastes are usually water soluble, which means you don’t need to wash your hair with soap to remove the product, water will do just fine.

Texture paste is a medium hold, matte styling product. For a natural and classic look, apply while hair is damp. If you want more texture, apply product when hair is dry.


Beard Grooming Tools

Beard Grooming Tools

Beard Combs

It’s preferred to uses handmade combs made specifically for beards. This comb tooth is saw-cut and finally polished with skill and precision leaving a smooth buttery feel. This helps prevent split ends caused by using typically molded plastic combs.

Scissors

Beard scissors are not the regular kind of scissors, and it’s always important to ask specifically for beard scissors when shopping. Scissors should always be changed if damaged or after a few months of regular use. It’s always advisable to have scissors that meet current travel regulations.

Beard brush

Beard brushes should if possible be natural based, unlike its synthetic counterpart. Natural beard brushes have scaly bristle surfaces that draw dust and excess product and at the same time stimulating natural oils (sebum) present in the scalp. To maximize the efficacy of your new brush, we recommend cleaning it every few uses. To clean, simply wash it with light soapy water and rinse. For quick washes, a simple rinse will work. Towel dry and allow the brush to air dry over night


Trimming Your Beard

Trimming Your Beard

Beard trimming is an art and should be taken seriously just like any other form of grooming. With that being said here is how best to go about the job.You can check out Top 10 Best Beard Trimmers.

Beard-Trimming Tools:

For proper trimming you’ll need the following;

  • Comb and brush
  • Clippers for trimming
  • Scissors for detailing
  • Beard oil or moisturizer: for softness and health

Step by step on Beard Trimming

  1. Comb or brush it by getting all of the hairs steady in one direction.
  2. Use clippers to achieve an even cut, and if you aren’t sure of the size to cut, it’s advisable, to begin with, a bigger clip and work your way down.
  3. Fade the neck and cheeks by graduating to smaller clipper sets by starting two sizes lower as you move outward.
  4. Trim the mustache properly but first comb all hairs to the side first, and clip on the desired setting. Then comb down over the lip and get rid of the guard, so as to trim whatever that hangs over the lip.
  5. Utilize the scissors for detailing thus cleaning up strays and achieving a more natural finish.
  6. Finish up by applying beard oil to preserve healthy hairs and avoid them from drying and itching.

Beard Trimming Tips

  • Trim your beard when it’s dry to get a better sense of how it will look.
  • Invest in a solid pair of clippers that last much longer and are far more durable.
  • Don’t assume all guards are the same length: Like with clothing, every brand’s measurements are slightly different. Always test on a higher guard before settling into your preferred length. Generally, though, a 4 guard is half an inch.
  • When you trim the underside, stretch out the skin as neck skin can bunch together, so be sure you’re grazing over the actual surface of the skin.

More Beard Care Tips

Beard Care Tips

The Remedy of a Dry, Itchy Beard

The notion of growing a full-bodied beard is one of the most satisfying things a man can do. However, in reality, beard hairs, made sharp by your razor, will irritate skin as they grow. If you’re planning to grow out your beard this season, here’s how to control that itch.

Cleanse

Between dust, oil, stray hairs, and skin cells, your beard attracts all modes of debris. A regular wash will keep it clean, but everyday shampoos can strip your strands of moisture. As an alternative, scrub every day or two with a mild, hydrating beard wash.

Condition

As soon as your beard is clean, it requires being softened up. Beard conditioner will impart your beard with moisture and nutrients, refining your hair’s texture and making skin irritation less probable. Use conditioner two times every day for complete moisture.

Moisturize

For hydration to be present all through the day, a good conditioner may not be sufficient. Supplement your routine with a daily dose of beard oil, which can be applied after a conditioner or be used alone.

Repair

Despite a man’s best efforts, even the most impressive of beards can produce a little damage. If you notice any ingrown hairs, tweeze them out to prevent further irritation. For skin that’s at present reddened, a light coat of Cortisone should assist in reducing the symptoms, though be sure not to misuse it.

Brush

Consistent brushing will give a man’s beard a clean shape, smooth texture, and will also train hairs to grow in a distinct direction, reducing the risk of scratching and having additional ingrown hairs. Any small beard comb will do, although thick beards may merit a boar beard brush. You can read in detail here about Top 10 Beard Grooming and Care Tips.


Beard to Grooming Beard – FAQs

What are the benefits of using pre-shave oil?

Pre-shave oil moisturizes the skin and therefore reduces the risk of skin breakage during shaving. The oil also helps reduce inflammation and prevent irritation of ingrown hair.

How do I treat an itchy beard?

Ensure that the beard is well cleaned up, conditioned and moisturized. You can find many beard care products in the nearest mall or beauty shop.

Is there a way that can make a beard grow faster?

There is no specific answer to this question, but yes, you can aid the growth of your beard by ensuring you eat healthy foods and drinking a lot of water. Hair is made up of a protein known as Keratin hence its essential to eat vitamins and nutrients which aid in cell growth. Although there are multivitamin supplements that can aid in beard growth one will need to have clearance from the physician before they add the vitamins to their diet.

Audiophile’s Guide to Buying Car Speakers 2018

The car speaker was first introduced in the 1930s. And since its inception, the styles have evolved, as has the technology. There are multiple options now available and various specific features offered. It can easily become confusing to know where to start.

Today, people use their car speakers for several usages other than just listening to music. GPS directions, podcasts, audio books and even phone calls may also use your car’s stereo system to provide sound. But where should you start looking for a new stereo? And how do you know when to replace your factory system?

These questions are easily answered, but novice speaker shoppers will need to study first. Some of the terminologies will be useless unless you understand it. This guide was developed to help you understand every detail. It provides a basic education in vocabulary and strategy and is organized into 4 parts: types of speakers, speaker system sections, financing considerations and FAQs. Review the list to ensure you purchase the best speakers for your specific needs.

Things to Consider When Buying a Speaker

1. Sensitivity

This is measured in dB (decibels) and indicates the speaker’s loudness. Sensitivity is determined by the room or non-echoing environment. Some manufacturers give specifications on sensitivity being measured in an average room environment, while others consider an environment that is non-reverberant.

Results of sensitivity measured in a room environment are inflated by approximately 2-3 dB over that of an environment that is non-echoing. The higher the rating of sensitivity, the louder the speaker. An average speaker has 87 dB to 88 dB sensitivity. A speaker with over 90 dB sensitivity rating is excellent.

2. Power Handling

This is measured in Watts (W) and indicates the speaker’s ability to handle power with no damage caused. When a speaker is subjected to more power than mentioned, it will get damaged. Speakers have two power ratings – Peak and continuous or RMS.

The RMS rating is the speaker’s continuous output without getting damaged while the Peak power rating is the speaker’s maximum power amount it can handle instantly. To compare different speaker powers, ensure that the power is indicated in RMS.

3. Speaker configuration and Size

Before shopping for new speakers, get information on the ones you already have in your car. If you really need to replace them, then you can take out the old ones and measure them. Most stores are capable of giving you specifications for your car speakers based on the car model.

If your vehicle has full range speakers from the factory, and you desire to replace with another full range, you will need to know the configuration and sizes of the current speakers. However, most often than not, you can easily purchase speakers that will fit into the current speaker receptacles

4. Budget

Consider your financial situation and a reasonable amount to spend. New speakers can greatly enhance your driving experience, but do not have to cost an arm and a leg. There is a wide range of price options and something feasible for everyone. So determine your budget and stick to it. This will help weed out the impractical choices.

5. Extra features

When deciding what type of car speakers you want, and how much you are going to spend, also consider the extra features available. Think about if you require detachable tweeters (these can be installed in both component and coaxial systems and offer more mobility). Or, you might want pivoting tweeters (these are useful if you need to install in stubborn or tight spaces and also allow the passenger to rotate speakers toward their listening direction).

6. True Value

Understand that no matter how much you invest, your speakers will not necessarily raise the value of your vehicle. They do not enhance the lifespan of your engine or add to any specific beneficial function, other than driver and passenger enjoyment. So don’t factor overall car value into any financial decision. The good news is that plenty of systems are easily removed and capable of being installed in new vehicles.


Types of Car Speakers

Component Speakers Buying Guide

Component Speakers Buying Guide

Component speaker systems are exactly what they sound like. Separate components(tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers) that work together to produce a high-quality sound. These systems usually use crossovers connections (or cables) that create a clean separation between frequencies of the woofer and tweeter, thus allowing a crisper sound.

Pros of Component Speakers

  1. Since the component speakers’ parts are separate, you are able to move the various sections around. You can create a unique and customizable listening experience.
  1. Component speakers produce a higher quality sound and provide even more enhancements than full range systems.
  1. Although pricier, these systems are built to last and made of high-quality materials.

Cons of Component Speakers:

  1. The component speakers are usually the more expensive choice (and can total almost $1,000). There are endless customization accessories and choices available, so be careful not to go over budget.
  1. These types of speakers are much more complex to install and require a higher level of expertise (be sure you trust whoever helps you complete the job).
  1. They are more complex to repair and again, may require additional costs.

Prices: Wide range of options anywhere from $50-$300 +


Full Range (or Coaxial) Speakers Buying Guide

Full Range or Coaxial Speakers Buying Guide

Coaxial car speaker systems are an all-in-one sort of model (the components are mostly within one unit). Thus, they are also referred to as “full range” systems. This variety of speaker was introduced in the 1970’s and has been popular ever since. Coaxial speakers still offer an assortment of choices and designs and are built to last.

Pros of Coaxial Speakers

  1. They are the less expensive option and are more affordable and appropriate for everyday use for drivers. There is something for everyone’s budget.
  1. The coaxial systems are super easy to install and offer a direct fit. If you want to install speakers on your own, coaxial or full range speakers are the way to go (and as always, check with professionals if you are unsure of the process).
  1. Still, offer an enhanced listening experience with a wider range of sound and is a great replacement for factory speaker systems.

Cons of Coaxial Speakers

  1. You cannot customize the coaxial speakers in the same way as with component speakers. There are fewer options for optimization and control.
  1. Although full range speakers provide a large scope of sound, you won’t note the specific bass tones, high tones or top-notch quality of the more expensive and powerful component speakers.
  1. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the all-in-one full range units may or may not fit in your car. They make various sizes and brands which have their different attributes, so you may have to shop around to discover the right one.

Prices: Wide range of options anywhere from $400 – $1,000+


Tweeters Buying Guide

Tweeters for Car Stereo System Buying Guide

These are the smaller speakers in a speaker system. They make high-end sound frequencies and are usually made of soft materials (like silk or other textile blends) that help produce soft sounds.

 Pros of Tweeters

  1. The main benefit is that with tweeters, other speakers will not need to play the sound of the tweeter.
  2. A tweeter can be positioned to create a specific soundstage. By aiming a midrange and tweeter, in the right directions, you may get a soundstage that is accurate.

Cons of Tweeters

  1. Tweeters have to be placed specifically to aim at the listeners’ ears. This may at times be undesirable in a car setting

Prices: Broad range from $30 to $120+


Sections of Car Stereo System

SECTIONS of Car Stereo System

  1. Woofer

Woofers are the speakers responsible for low to mid-range frequencies in a system. These speakers should be lightweight in order to project the correct sounds and are often made of materials like Polypropylene.

  1. Subwoofer

Subwoofers are the speakers that produce the low sounds (normally below 180 hertz) in any car speaker system and are equally important as woofers and tweeters.

The only way that you will get a rich, full and effective bass is by having woofers in your car speaker system. Adding a subwoofer too will give it that extra lift it has lacked as it will extend your bass sound system response greatly and improve your listening experience.

  1. Mid-Range

These drivers deal with all frequencies below a tweeter and above a woofer or subwoofer. At this level of frequency, you will hear most musical notes. But these speakers will sound flat all by themselves. They will need the other components of the system to produce the correct tone and quality.


Guide to Buying Car Speakers – FAQ’s

Should I go for Component speakers for my car?

With matched components that are properly powered, you will receive better imaging with more dynamic and detailed sound in comparison to conventional speakers. A tweeter mounted closer to the ear optimizes detail and imaging. You will need an external amplifier to boost your sound.

Will new speakers even make a difference?

Definitely!! Technology advancements have made it possible, so you no longer have to be a sound engineer or technician actually to hear the difference better speakers make. Factory systems will quickly wear out over time. Anyone will be able to notice the crisper sound and more balanced tone of newer speakers. They will positively enhance your overall driving experience.

Will a tweeter make any difference?

Tweeters made of paper are responsive as they are very light. Those made with silk or its polymers bend the sound in an even and smooth way. Dome tweeter has better off-axis imaging and dispersion compared to a cone tweeter. A dome balanced tweeter is a combination of the two designs where the dome is mounted inside a cone.

What size speakers should I buy?

It depends on what make, model and type of vehicle you drive. You need to make sure the new speaker system fits. The listed measurements of most speakers will specify the cone size. But this is not the only part to consider. You also need to pay attention to the depth and height of your car and speakers. Take measurements before you shop and avoid wasting time and money on a set that does not fit.

Will my factory radio power aftermarket speakers?

Yes. However, aftermarket speakers sound better with a little more power, but most car speaker’s sound fine with the factory power. The only exceptions are where matched sets of the component are used, as well as any speaker with 8 watts RMS minimum power rating or more.

How do brands measure sound quality?

This is one of the first things you want to identify when shopping for new car speakers. There are two distinct parts of measuring sound quality. First, note the frequency range. The wider a frequency range, the more sounds it can create. Second, recognize the sensitivity rating. This focuses on how much sound a speaker will create. Lower powered stereo systems need higher sensitivity rating and vice versa (a higher-powered system would need a lower sensitivity rating).

Do I need to replace any wiring?

Replacing wires is not always mentioned in installation conversations, but it should be. It is also not necessary. Factory installed wires work fine, but if you are purchasing an amp over 50 watts RMS, then you will want to replace the wiring. RMS is the rating used to measure power handling. The lower the power of the system, the less power they need to be able to handle. But of course, as with any product inquiries, always ask your local sales associates and technicians.

Should I not be receiving better radio reception with my new speakers?

It’s not always the case.  What you are getting is a technology limitation of FM, rather than anything broken in your speakers. You may have noticed that the FM signals fluctuate between strong and weak as you drive. The signals are also affected by interfaces and more so in urban areas. There is no way that is currently available to boost your FM signals to CD sound quality.