The Complete Guide to Buying a Podcast Microphone 2018

As a Podcaster, the quality of the Podcast microphone you choose will determine the quality of your voice recordings.  While there are many moving parts of a podcast setup such as an audio interface, mixer, compressor, and a computer where the sound is recorded and stored for future editing, the microphone is the fundamental part of any podcasting setup as the audio input has to be of certain quality to be able to improve with post editing.

If you are creating a Podcast, keep in mind that you will need a microphone that can focus on small areas (most especially the sound from your mouth), for this reason, an in-built microphone in your laptop or smartphone is not ideal for podcasting because it can pick up external noises within the room, A podcast microphone has a dedicated mic that automatically filters away background noises. A good microphone doesn’t have to cost a fortune. However, you must be careful of choosing extremely cheap ones. Therefore you need to strike a balance between cost and quality when buying one.

A studio quality microphones usually cost hundreds of dollars, but you can still find a great one for much less and still get great value out of it.

Basic information on Podcast Microphones

Depending on the type of Podcast microphone you choose, there can be up to five main components of any Podcast microphone. A typical USB Condenser microphone comes with major components; The Mic preamp, The USB Sound card, the enclosure, and the microphone itself. Extra components that can be found on a podcast microphone include; a mixer, the compressor and an audio interface. Other extra components you can found on Podcast microphones include; anti-shock mount, and pop-filter. An ideal podcast microphone will provide a smooth frequency of around 16-bit and between 44-50 KHz resolution to produce a smooth and professional quality audible sound, regardless of what you are recording. USB Condenser microphones seem to be easier to handle because it involves a plug and play set-up. Podcasters, musicians, and students prefer this type of microphone because they are cheaper but better than their computer’s in-built microphones.

Things to consider when buying a Podcast Microphone

There are quite a number of factors you must consider aside your basic needs for a podcast microphone:

  1. The directional capacity of the microphone ( ability to pick up sounds),
  2. The Impedance ( Receptiveness of the microphone), and
  3. The Frequency Response
  4. Durability
  5. Price

Microphone Directional Diagram

Directional Capability of the Microphones

Directionality is a critical factor to consider when choosing a podcast microphone. A microphone’s directionality explains how it picks up sounds from any direction. Some microphones are capable of picking many sounds from different directions at the same time, while most microphones are limited to the direction from which they can pick up sounds, and you can use this limitation to your advantage when making your recordings.

Omni-directional: Omni-directional microphones are capable of picking up sounds from virtually any direction, therefore, they are capable of picking up unwanted noises. For this reason, you should consider buying these types of microphones if you are reporting or broadcasting, never consider these microphones for personal podcasting.

Bi-directional: Bi-directional podcast microphones refer to a group of microphones that can pick up sounds from opposing sides. These types of microphones are not quite popular with podcasting but are not popular with amateur music recordings. These microphones can cost hundreds of dollars. Thus they remain some of the most expensive podcast microphones in the market today.

Cardioids: Cardioids are heart-shaped microphones that only pick up sounds from the front direction (Especially the direction to which the microphone is pointing at), this microphone can also pick some little sounds from the sides. Cardioids remain the most popular types of microphones used in recording music today, and it belongs to the Condenser-USB type of podcast microphones.

Shotgun: Shotgun microphones are unique as they feature a highly directional, cardioid polar pattern yielding great attenuation at the sides of the microphone, maximizing pick up at the front. While a lot of videographers use this by mounting on their DSLR, it has the best signal-to-noise ratio which produces the most accurate sound that it picks from the front.

The impedance of Microphones is another factor you must consider when buying a podcast microphone. Impedance refers to the receptiveness ability of a microphone, especially to a sound signal or AC current. The Impedance of a microphone is measured in Ohms. If you want the best Podcast microphone, you should consider a mic with an Impedance rating of 600 Ohms or lower – these have better audio retaining qualities especially when you are using cables longer than 16 feet. You need to check the Impedance rating of a microphone before buying it because a very high Impedance rating may signal the poor quality of other components of the microphone.

Frequency Response of Microphones Most podcast microphone manufacturers will clearly display the frequency response of their products on the package labels. Simply put the range of frequencies at which a microphone can detect audio sounds is its Frequency response. Knowing the frequency range of the microphone is not as important as knowing the specific frequencies at which your microphone will respond to sounds, for this reason, you need to think about what you are recording before picking up a microphone. If you are recording vocals and guitars, then you should pick a mid or high range frequency response, and if you are recording for bass, then you should consider a low-frequency response.

The durability of Microphones Durability is another factor you will definitely consider when purchasing a podcast microphone. Condenser-USB microphones are complexly designed, and for this reason, any shock or drop may damage the microphone. The internal structure of condenser microphones also shows that they are generally more expensive than dynamic microphones. Therefore it will be wiser to invest in a heavy-duty microphone like a Dynamic microphone if you are prone to dropping or abusing microphones.

Price of Microphones Price should be the last factor you should consider when buying a podcast microphone. Dynamic microphones seem to provide great value for money, they are sturdily designed and can last for several years when maintained very well. Dynamic microphones may withstand lots of abuses, but once damaged, you may find it difficult to get replacement parts, and on the other hand, USB-Condenser microphones are fragile and can be easily damaged. However, some repairers can provide replacement parts for them. Blue Woodpecker Microphones are the Ribbon-Dynamic microphone that cost as much as $1000, despite their fragility, but the quality of sounds they produce is far better than what you will get from any Dynamic microphone. We have covered the Top 10 Best Podcasting Microphone Reviews by Price.

Which type of Microphone Should you Consider Buying?

Choosing the right type of Microphone should depend on what type of podcast you are about to create. Make sure you consider the microphone that will give you the ideal directional capability, Impedance and Frequency response (base on the main factors that has been explained above). A dynamic microphone may be more expensive however it can help you record deeper vocals as well as strong percussion instruments, a USB-Condenser mic on the other hand can help you create excellent acoustic sound recordings. A USB-Condenser microphone may also provide a cheaper alternative to a Dynamic mic, if you are working on a very tight budget. Condenser microphones can also help you create better sounds from highly sensitive sources. As a personal podcast microphone user, a simple and cheap Dynamic podcast microphone may be suitable for you if you use it for yourself and not for commercial purposes. If you want a dynamic microphone for commercial purpose, then you should invest a lot more in the high-end Dynamic microphones that can withstand several years of abuses and they do come with special manufacturer warranty. USB-Condenser microphones are highly recommended for individuals who sparingly record podcasts.

Types of Podcast Microphone

There are basically two types of Podcast microphones around today; The USB-Condenser, and the Dynamic microphones.  While the USB-Condenser microphone requires external power, the Dynamic microphone doesn’t require any and can pick up sounds from a limited source of audio supply (such as your mouth).

Dynamic microphones also come with much better compact designs. While condenser microphones require an external power supply, they are able to deliver richer and fuller quality tones which makes it great for podcasting. The third type of Podcast microphones are the Ribbon microphones. Ribbon microphones are technically dynamic in nature because their internal working mechanisms are similar to those of dynamic microphones.

Dynamic Microphones Buying Guide

Dynamic Microphones Buying Guide
Dynamic microphones make use of unique design technologies, they are known for their versatility as well as simple yet sturdy constructions. They come in wider ranges of quality and prices. While some models such as Nady SP-4C can go for $20, high-end brands like Electro-Voice RE20 can cost more than $500. The differences between the sound qualities of expensive high-end brands and the cheaper brands can be very huge. However, the technology used in creating them is more or less similar.

Dynamic microphones can be described as mini-loudspeakers that however work in reverse (in this case, sound waves are converted into electrical impulses). In a typical dynamic microphone, there is a wire coil located close to a magnetic component, sound waves simply vibrates when they hit the wire coil, and when the magnetic component is activated, an electrical current is generated, this, in turn, will be directed through a wire, and out of the microphone, into your recording equipment ( your computer for instance).

The simple design used in the making of dynamic microphones allows them to withstand more abuse than other types of microphones. Their longevity and durability make them the ideal choice for musicians, and people who record podcasts more frequently. It is important to note that Dynamic microphones are designed to respond to the loudest sounds possible, and this is the reason why they are used at live shows. Dynamic microphones generally cost much less than microphones of similar qualities.


Condenser Microphones Buying Guide

Condenser Microphones Buying Guide
Condenser microphones generally have more complex set-up than Dynamic microphones. For this reason, they can produce stronger audio signals. Hence they are more sensitive and more responsive than Dynamic microphones. Condenser microphones are much more preferred when recording subtle sounds. With the sensitivity of Condenser-USB microphones comes certain a condition or procedures that must be carried out.

A typical condenser microphone does not contain wire coils; rather it contains two capacitor plates that are powered from an eternal source through a process known as “Phantom power.” The eternal power source is a mixer that is directly connected to the microphone. If you are planning on getting a Condenser microphone, always keep in mind that it’s set up will require that you purchase some extra hardware. Condenser-USB microphones are however much more preferable to Dynamic microphones if you are looking recording sensitive sounds with better frequency response.


Ribbon Microphones Buying Guide

Ribbon Microphones Buying Guide
Ribbon microphones are special types of Dynamic microphones; they have a similar internal design like Dynamic microphones except for the absence of a wire coil. The wire coil in dynamic microphones has been replaced by a single thin ribbon (a thin metal conductor) that is forced to vibrate when it comes in contact with sound waves.  

Ribbon microphones are quite harder to find these days, and they are very fragile when compared to Dynamic and Condenser microphones. With the inclusion of a thin metal conductor, you don’t have to worry about the microphone being destroyed through the supply of strong blasts of sounds. The microphone is not exposed to any phantom power supply. Therefore it is quite safer to use than Condenser microphones, and however, it is still fragile when it comes to design. Ribbon microphones provide detailed and warm sounds, and this is why they are preferred by musicians.


Guide to Buying a Podcast Microphone – FAQ’s

Can I record a podcast on my iPhone? While it may seem convenient, an iPhone is not matched to the studio microphone, either condenser or dynamic and will affect the quality of your podcast. Podcasters do use a digital audio recorder as a backup which you can consider buying. Zoom H1 is a handy backup mic that will save you from a lot of headache when things go down.

Do I need an audio Interface to Record Vocals? The audio interface worked as an external sound card and used to get audio in and out of your computer. As you are recording the audio on your computer, a good audio interface will improve the quality of your audio by giving you more control and options that is why podcasters tend to go for external equipment like this to maximize their quality.

What does an Audio mixer Do? An Audi Mixer or sound board is another equipment used by top-rated podcasters like Smart Passive Income, and they use it to combine multiple tracks of music into a single track. The Audio mixer provides options like adjusting equalization, audio distribution, and audio level adjustments all use to really get that studio like the sound from a simple setup and small investment.

The Definitive Guide to Buying a Humidifier 2018

Humidifiers are relatively unknown but have many unique purposes and benefits that people don’t often realize. While humidifiers are relatively uncommon in many homes, those that do have these devices rave about their capabilities.

To understand why humidifiers are so beneficial we have to take a deeper look first at why humidifiers even exist in the first place and what they do for us. This guide will walk you through everything that there is to know about humidifiers, from their types and purposes to their advantages and disadvantages. Humidifiers may sound unimportant but can be worth every penny to those who appreciate and use them.

So what is the point of a humidifier?

Room air humidifiers have one main goal, and that is to help improve the breathable air quality in that select space. It emits water vapors in the air to increase the level of humidity to combat dry weather and can also help alleviate certain issues that people have, such as sinus headaches, sneezing, and coughing.

The goal of a room air humidifier is to suck the dry air out of the room and replace it with moist air that is better for you as it helps alleviate dry skin and similar topical related issues.

Humidifiers are often used in times of cold, dry weather and dry heat, but they can also be used year-round to help people who are sensitive to dry weather. They are exceptionally beneficial for rooms and places with low air ventilation as well, such as areas without windows, or an attic or basement.


Basic Information about Humidifiers

Humidifiers come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are discreet and unnoticeable while others take up more space and have more functionality. To know what type of humidifier is right for you, read below in order to gain a better understanding of the various types available in the market today.

Humidifiers have become much more modernized as time has gone on and now there are many new varieties designed to suit your various needs.

In order to choose the right type of for yourself, you need to understand what each type of humidifier is designed to do to maximize the benefits that you are trying to receive. Careful consideration needs to be put into a variety of factors, such as the size of your room, the weather and climate that you live in, and the noise level of the humidifier.

It is also important to take into account the type of building you live in as well as how much ventilation is available in the room that you are interested in getting a humidifier for.

For larger rooms with less ventilation, you might want to consider a larger humidifier with more power and capability in order to cleanse the entire room of dry air and alleviate any related problems completely. Smaller rooms require smaller humidifiers, and if portability is what you’re looking for than a lightweight and transportable humidifier is recommended which are easily available in the market.

Lastly, the functionality of the humidifier is another important aspect that you need to consider when determining what type of humidifier is right for your home. With various types and models coming out all of the time, purchasing a new humidifier requires doing all of the proper research and planning to make sure that you are taking advantage of any new features and capabilities available.

You also don’t want to spend too much for a humidifier that you will never use. Investigate thoroughly before deciding which type of humidifier you wish to purchase, and you will end up saving yourself a lot of money.

Things to Consider When Buying a Humidifier

Be cognizant of your budget, your requirements, and your reasons for getting a humidifier. Below I’ve broken down the main things to consider and take into account when looking for the right humidifier.

1. Noise

Noise is a big issue for some people and is something to take closely into account when purchasing a humidifier. If having a quiet air purifier is your goal, then make sure you invest a little more in a humidifier that is specifically designed for reduced noise levels. This can be helpful if you plan on leaving the humidifier on at night while you sleep.

2. Special Features

Some of the features that one should look for when buying a humidifier is a timer and auto-shut off functionality as it allows you to use it while you sleep without having to turn it off manually. Some advance humidifiers have a humidistat to monitor humidity level in your room and prevent from over moistening the air.

3. The Room Space and Size

How much space is available in the room is also a key aspect to take into consideration when deciding what kind of humidifier you wish to purchase. Some machines are much larger and more clunky than others, while some humidifiers blend right in with furniture and do not take up much space. Before you purchase a humidifier, figure out how it will fit into the room you plan on using it in.

4. Room Ventilation

In bigger rooms with less ventilation, a bigger more powerful humidifier is required to handle the extra work. Locked up rooms with low ventilation can get stuffy over time, so if there is limited access to a window or fresh air than you might want to invest in a more powerful humidifier. Conversely, leaving the window always open in hot, dry climates requires your humidifier to work overtime as well. You need to find a balance between the design and layout of the room.

Types of Humidifiers

There are numerous different designs of humidifiers available each with their unique aspects and filtration system. Read the guide below to understand each one and get a better understanding of the type of machine that you think will suit your needs best.

Warm Mist Humidifier Buying Guide

Warm Mist Humidifier Buying Guide

These humidifiers are unique because they use a special heating element which allows them to boil the water within the humidifier. After this process is completed, the humidifier releases this heated water out into the air in the form a warm mist. These types of humidifiers are intended for those who live in colder climates, as the warm mist will heat up the room.

They are also on the quieter spectrum of humidifiers because there is no fan involved. Some machine models of this type of humidifier also have optional mineral pads as well, which help take out of the mineral deposits in the air and require fewer filter changes.

Features

  • External port blows out warm steam.
  • Mineral pads that are optional and help avoid maintenance on the humidifier.
  • Cold Climate Tuning to help heat rooms as well as purify the air.

Pro’s of Warm Mist Humidifiers

  1. Very quiet humidifiers that do not use a fan, these can be placed in a room and barely noticed.
  2. Also doubles as a heater in colder, winter climates.

Con’s of Warm Mist Humidifiers

  1. This device is not designed for warmer climates, so if you live in an ever-changing environment with highly variable seasons, this humidifier isn’t for you.

Price Range: Anywhere from $25- $200.

Weight Range: 5-25 pounds.


Cold Mist Humidifier Buying Guide

Cold Mist Humidifier Buying Guide

Contrary to the warm air humidifier, these machines are designed for warmer environments and exude a colder mist into the room in order to cool it down. These humidifiers are considered the most common, and a cold mist humidifier works primarily by the forces of evaporation.

These humidifiers add moisture to the room and are considered on the cleaner spectrum of humidification machines. A filter that traps impurities is required to be changed every few weeks or months depending on the quality of the humidifier.

Features

  • A special wick filter that traps impurities and minerals from the air.
  • A special function that adds moisture to the cool mist being released into the room.

Pro’s of Cold Mist Humidifiers

  1. Relatively inexpensive, this humidifier is the most common and easiest to find.

Con’s of Cold Mist Humidifiers

  1. Designed primarily for warmer climates, the cold air humidifier does not handle cold weather climates well. Its main function is to cool down rooms.

Price Range: Anywhere from $25- $200.

Weight Range: 10-35 pounds.


Console Humidifiers Buying Guide

Console Humidifiers Buying Guide

These humidifiers are considered the industrial, large-scale air purifiers. Their primary goal is to cleanse the air in an entire building or home. Console humidifiers are different than cold air and warm air humidifiers in size and capabilities. Console machines are capable of sustaining humidity levels throughout an entire residence. These are often much larger units that are not portable and fixated in one permanent location within the home. Console Humidifiers should be placed near the central ventilation system for the proper distribution of moisture throughout the entire house.

Features

  • These humidifiers are known for using natural evaporation techniques to get rid of dust as well as purify the air.
  • Console machines are capable of humidifying the entire home.
  • These units are very large, heavy and immobile.

Pro’s of Console Humidifiers

  1. These devices are extremely efficient and convert very little energy into humidifying your entire home. This is an excellent option if humidifying every room of your house is your goal.
  2. The console feature comes with additional cleansing options that remove small dust particles as well as other impurities in the air.

Con’s of Console Humidifiers

  1. These are quite heavy and are relatively expensive. The console humidifying option is only recommended if you require a high level of purity for health reasons or are extremely serious about air purification.

Price Range: Anywhere from $100- $5,000.

Weight Range: 85-150 pounds.


Ultrasonic Humidifiers Buying Guide

Ultrasonic Humidifiers Buying Guide

Ultrasonic Humidifiers are on the more modern end of the spectrum with the latest devices coming equipped with special technology with advanced air filtration system even more powerful than the normal devices.

Ultrasonic humidifiers also come equipped with the capability to switch between cold air and warm air mists as well if you live in a changing environment. This is a great humidifier if you’re looking for an all in one device that can handle a broad array of tasks and requirements.

Ultrasonic humidifiers work by utilizing high-frequency sound waves to break the water down into a special very fine mist. This mist is also released into the air very quietly with little to no noise at all, making this humidifier equally beneficial for night time or sleeping use.

Features

  • Modern functionality and capabilities. Able to switch between cold and warm air mists.
  • Ultrasonic vaporization that incorporates new technology to clean the air better than ever before.
  • A quiet, fanless system that cleans in near silence.

Pro’s of Ultrasonic Humidifiers 

  1. This AC system is extraordinarily quiet and low profile.
  2. Can be placed in special strategic locations throughout the home, highly portable and able to clean very efficiently.

Con’s of Ultrasonic Humidifiers

  1. This system does not come cheap. While on the more expensive side of the spectrum, it also is designed for smaller spaces and cannot purify larger rooms completely.

Price Range: Anywhere from $200- $2,000.

Weight Range: 15-50 pounds


Guide to Buying a Humidifier – FAQ’s

Which humidifier should I get?

We will recommend the ultrasonic option to start out with because it comes with flexible features. Whether you need it for cold air or warm air flow, the ultrasonic humidifier has all of your bases covered. It is also quiet which is a bonus.

Will a console humidifier really make a difference throughout the entire house?

Yes. Console humidifiers are great because they clean every room of your home and keep the air constantly purified. They also pick up and remove smaller dust particles that regular humidifiers don’t always catch. If you want to rest easy knowing your entire family is breathing well this is the option for you.

Do Humidifiers help me with my allergies?

Humidifiers were originally designed as a specific tool to deal with allergies and people who had trouble breathing in the normal air of their home. Over time, they grew in popularity and became appreciated for their ability to help you breathe better, regardless of allergies or not. It is by no means an alternative to medicine and should be treated in such way.

Which humidifier is best for a cough, stuffy nose, sinus problems and dry skins in winter?

The Luma comfort is ideal for these conditions in winter as it has both cool and warm mist features so you can have better night’s sleep and automatic humidity control to help you with your ailment. It can be used both in a residential and commercial building and helps alleviate allergy, cold, cough, and other symptoms that a humidifier is supposed to help with.

Which humidifier is best for a newborn baby?

The Rowenta Ultrasonic 360 humidifier is the best one out there, it produces light and vapors as compared to cheaper models and has different modes, automatic, baby, and night mode so you can adjust it your liking. It has an auto shut off, filter and 360 mist diffusion making it ideal for newborns and babies.

 

The Complete Home Heater Buying Guide 2018

Choosing a home heater may not be an easy ride to all considering the technical aspects required when choosing the right home heater. The market provides a wide range of home heating appliances which gives the buyer the freedom to go for the best alternative that will suit their needs.  Although cost and efficiency are the major determinants, important aspects such as the availability of energy sources and the working space should be put into consideration among others.

This guide aims to equip the buyer with all the necessary information that they require when it comes to making this important decision.

Things to Consider When Buying a Heater

1. Indoor or Outdoor Heating

If you require heating in a big room, then a large heater, preferably an electric heater or even wood heater, is the way to go. On the other hand, and a portable heater is appropriate if one is targeting to heat a small room or a certain spot in the room. For outdoor heating such as porches and properly ventilated areas, the propane and kerosene heaters can be used as they are unsuitable for indoor heating due to the carbon monoxide hazards and also may get hot enough to ignite fabrics.

In addition, ensure that when you have a new furnace installed or your furnace is being serviced, your contractor checks the filters. Furnace filter should be regularly changed at least twice a year before the cooling and heating seasons. Clean filters will improve the efficiency of the furnace

2. Safety features provided by the heater

The heater should provide safety features especially where pets and children are involved. The heater should also have a mechanism that can shut them down in case of overheating. If it is an electric heater ensure that it has a plug that is ground fault protected. When heaters are not handled well, they can pose a risk of electric shock or even cause fire.

3. Cost-effectiveness of the Heater

When selecting the heater, this is one of the most important aspects to consider. When it comes to choosing the energy source, the cost of electricity and gas vary across regions depending on the availability. This can lower or increase the cost of operating the heater hence this should be put into consideration.

4. Heater Type

The first thing you need to determine is the best heater that is suitable for your space.  While there are several styles of heaters, there are mainly three technologies of heating: radiant, micathermic, and convective. Convection heaters provide whole-room, even heating; radiant heaters give spot and quick heating in spaces that are small while micathermic heaters give widespread, fast heat while at the same time saving space. Selecting the heater that is appropriate for your application ensures effective performance.

5. Heating Capacity

You will need to consider the space that will be covered by the heater. This is determined by wattage rating of the heater. Generally, each square foot of the room requires a heating power of 10 watts. Hence, a typical heater of 1,500-watts when used as the primary heat source will cover rooms of around 150 square feet.  However, this is a rule of thumb not applicable to all models.  Depending on the indoor environment, heating technology, and the application, more space may be covered by portable heaters.

6. Energy-Efficiency

If you want to conserve energy and maintain low costs of heating, it is advisable to make comparisons prior to making a choice of heater.  Choose a heater suitable for your space size and also your environment. Check special additional features such as adjustable thermostats, energy saving modes, and programmable timers that contribute to economic operation and aid in minimizing power usage.

7. Noise Level

Similar to other electrical appliances, most portable heaters make some noise when in operation. Some models produce more noise than others. When purchasing a heater, consider units that are non-fan-forced such as an oil-filled radiator or a baseboard heater for silent operation in environments that are quite such as your office or your bedroom.


Types of Heaters

Home heaters can either be electric or gas.

Electric Heaters Buying Guide

Electric Heater Buying Guide

These are usually cheaper, portable, and a better option if you do not intend to use them for long periods or in large spaces. Electric heaters are ideal for personal use or heating small spaces.

Pros of Electric Heaters

  1. Low Installation costs-The cost of installation of electric heaters is low as compared to the cost of installing gas heaters. This is because most electric heaters are single units and require no piping or restructuring the design of the house to accommodate the heater.
  2. Efficient- Electric heaters are efficient in the sense that 100% of the energy is utilised during operations as there is no room for energy loss.
  3. Flexible- Electric heaters can be termed as flexible since they can fit at any point in the house. There is no need for changing the design to accommodate the heater as it is in the case of gas heaters.
  4. Safe and reliable- since electric heaters do not burn fuel to generate heat, there are none of the associated safety risks such as explosions fire and emission of gases. They are also reliable since they are not susceptible to tear as they have no moving parts.

Cons of Electric Heaters

  1. The most evident disadvantage of electric heaters is the high cost of electricity.
  2. During a power outage, other methods of heating will have to be employed thus not suitable for areas with constant power outage problems.
  3. There should be an electric outlet for it to work hence they cannot be used in areas where there is no power line.

Gas Heaters Buying Guide

Gas Heater Buying Guide

Gas heaters are driven by different fuels which include Natural Gas, Propane and Kerosene.Natural gas heaters are run by gas which is connected by a pipe from a gas tank. Most of these heaters have flues which are used to channel all the fumes produced outside the room, however, some portable gas heaters have no flues and in turn, contain sensors which can detect when the air becomes stuffy and in turn shut down.

Vented gas heaters are those that have a flue that carries exhaust gases from the heater to the outdoors. These are ideal for indoor heating as they ensure all emitted fumes leave the room to avoid breathing complications that can arise from gases such as carbon monoxide that is emitted when gasses are burned.

The main disadvantage of this kind of heater is that it is not flexible regarding installation. Non-Vented Gas Heaters are normally used for outdoor heating because they can emit gases such as carbon monoxide which can cause breathing problems when used indoors. They are suitable for use in poaches and backyards.

Pros of Gas Heaters

  1. Low operating cost- this can be attributed to the low cost of gas as compared to electricity.
  2. Can always be relied upon even when there is a power outage.

Cons of Gas Heaters

  1. High installation costs– The cost of obtaining piped gas is high especially in areas where there is no piped gas already in place. Installation of a gas heater usually calls for some design changes which ensure the tanks and the heaters are accommodated into the current house design.
  2. Can cause environmental hazards if not properly installed- gas heaters are prone to the emission of gases such as carbon monoxide which can cause environmental hazards when released to the air. Also, there are leakages that are associated with the gas heating equipment.
  3. High maintenance costs-Gas heating systems need to be constantly checked for any leakages which in turn raises the cost of maintaining the gas heating system.

Furnace cost Price: $1300-$1400

Installation Cost: $3600-$4000


Oil Filled Column Heaters Buying Guide

Oil Filled Heater Buying Guide

These heaters are electrically powered but use the oil as a heat reservoir which is in turn heated by the heating element. The heat emanating from the oil diffuses to the casing and then to circulating air in the fins. Some column heaters are filled with other material and not oil but work similarly.  The oil column heater is very ideal for heating a large room as it works by convection method. The heater remains hot for a long period when turned off.

Pros of Oil Filled Heaters

  1. Column heaters are great for heating rooms where heating is needed for a long time or where they will not need to be attended to, for example, at night in a bedroom.
  2. The surfaces that you could touch are not as hot as other types of heaters.
  3. For faster and evener distribution of heat, you can use a low-speed ceiling fan.

Cons of Oil Filled Heaters

  1. They depend on natural convection hence it tends to take longer for air to be heated in a room.
  2. If the air movement is limited, for example, if you are in the room watching TV or reading, the heat may be unevenly distributed.

Price: $50 – $380


Radiant Heaters Buying Guide

Radiant Heater Buying Guide

Radiant heaters are personal and work by radiating from a heating element. Your family will need to take turns in warming up in front of the heater.

Pros of Radiant Heaters

  • They are wall mounted and floor models.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.

Cons of Radiant Heaters

  • They do not heat the room very well.
  • The heating element is relatively exposed and can be a safety and fire hazard. For example, if a paper or piece of cloth dropped in, it would light up; small children may get burned if they play too close to the heater.

Price: From $20 to $200.


Micathermic Panel Heaters Buying Guide

Micathermic Buying Guide

These are usually similar in shape as the column heater albeit thinner. Their panels have mineral mica surrounding the heating element; heat is absorbed by the mica and then radiated evenly. This enables the heater to warm the room more efficiently and much faster compared to the element alone.

Pros of Micathermic Panel Heaters

  • More portable and lighter than the oil-filled column heater
  • Heats the room more quickly and evenly
  • You can utilize a ceiling fan at low speed for faster and more even heat distribution.

Cons of Micathermic Panel Heaters

  • Some models, especially panel heaters, are quite expensive to purchase.

Price: From $40 to $600


Top 10 Best Electric Space Heater Reviews

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Guide to Buying Heater – FAQ’s

How can I tell if my gas heater is efficient?

When your gas heater is installed, insist that the models selected by the contractor are in a range of efficiencies. The contractor should help you calculate the estimated annual operating cost for the model you want to purchase. The calculations can be completed by plugging information on the model’s electrical consumption and AFUE, utility rates in your locality, and your home characteristics into computer programs that will calculate the estimates. Ensure that the quotes are inclusive of the cost of any alterations to venting that is needed by any home appliances.

Why choose electric heating?

Electric heating is controllable with energy consumption that is low. There are cheap and perfect temperature regulation option that enables adapting to changing economic and family conditions.

 

Is an electric fireplace difficult to install?

No. Most models run on the 120-volt home standard electrical circuit. Therefore, no further wiring is needed. You only need to position and plug in the unit.

Can I heat different rooms at different temperatures?

Yes! The heat controller allows for different temperatures to be set up to four different house zones. Discuss with the contractor on the rooms that you would like to be included in the zones during the time of installation.

Can one controller be used for the entire house?

Yes. A master controller that is usually placed in the living room operates all zones. This master controller can remotely switch on or off the heating in other zones as needed.

Why does my heater run when it is not programmed?

You will need to check whether the time is set correctly; AM or PM. Check the away or sleep temperature that is programmed as it may be set too high, and if so, reduce the temperature. If it still does not work properly, have it checked as it may require servicing.

The Complete Guide to Buying Men’s Shavers 2018

Unless you plan on growing a full-length beard, shaving is an important, daily part of most men’s morning routine. Although it can bring some displeasure, proper shaving provides protection and exfoliates your face.

As with any product, there are tonnes of versions on the market and not every shaver is right for every man. If you are a first-time shave, then making the right choice of shaver will be critical for you. The following guide will ensure that your shopping trip is both well informed and satisfied.

Basic Information on Shaver’s

Without a doubt, the act of shaving has been around for centuries. It is even believed that in 4 B.C, Alexander the Great ordered his army to shave their beards to dissuade the enemy from grabbing their beards.

It wasn’t until 1847 that William Henson invented a handheld razor in a hoe shape; this is what almost all men still use today because it is the most efficient shape and size for safe shaving. 40 years later, a salesman named King Camp Gillette revolutionized the idea of a disposable, multi-blade razor. Besides safety and quality, little has changed in the original design; however, one thing that has been added to the market is the electric shaver which are becoming the tool of choice for men these days.

This guide will help you decide what features to look for and when buying a shaver as there are different types of shavers out there with several features that should be considered.

Things to Consider When Buying a Shaver

1. Cuts per Minute

Although not often considered, the number of cuts per minute your electric shaver is capable of completing is incredibly important. Not only could it save you time in the morning, but you will also achieve a much cleaner cut with a high-powered device.

Top of the line models will offer upwards of 9,000-14,000 micro vibrations or cuts per minute that ensure your clean-shaven face is ultra-smooth. Lower numbers are also suitable, but the cuts may not be that fine.

2. Battery Life

Most high-tech electric shavers will have a battery life of between 45 minutes to just less than two hours. Since it won’t take anywhere near this amount of time to complete a shave, what is more, important is how long that battery will last, and if the battery life stays consistent.

A battery that is not replaceable and begins to lose power after a few months is not a great investment and should be avoided.Hopefully, the existence of a charging dock will alleviate these worries, but be careful when purchasing a cheaper model; they are not known for their longevity.

3. Charging Dock

When deciding between an electric and conventional shaver, it is important to determine whether or not you have adequate counter space for the charging dock. While most people will, it may not be preferable to have a bulky and not so convenient charging station next to the sink, so be sure to consider this factor when shopping.

4. Wet vs. Dry

With the introduction of extremely high quality, state-of-the-art electric shavers, the wet vs. dry argument is becoming a thing of the past. Wet shaving is more refreshing, and may seem safer, but in reality, using a powerful electric shaver is quicker, better for sensitive skin, and will result in fewer cuts.

Another benefit to a dry-shave is the lower incidence of ingrown hairs regardless of the direction in which you shave.

If you’re worried about razor burn, make sure to use a pre and aftershave product to moisturize your skin and open your pores. A good scrub will also help make sure the razor will glide smoothly.

5. Display

Depending on your ideal characteristics, you may want to take into consideration the display of an electric shaver. Many newer versions offer LED displays that are easy to see and will include features such as shave time, battery life, and speed setting.

If this is an important quality for you, make sure you do some research before buying and see what the display will show.

6. Waterproof electric shavers

Along with dry use, some cordless electric shavers can be utilized with shaving foam or gel. The underlying reasoning is that you get the best from both options- dry and wet shaving. Some electric shavers may also be used in the shower allowing you to get more from one shave.  However, ensure you read the instructions carefully before using the shaver in the shower.

Additional Useful Features

  • Pivoting heads: Adjusts to your neck and face curves for an easy shave.
  • Lifting Comb: Pulls the air up before cutting and is ideal for a close shave
  • Beard trimmer: Allow you to style the sideburns, beard, and mustache. It is attached to the shaver head back.
  • Moisturiser: Electric shavers that dispense moisturizer while shaving is great for persons with sensitive skin and are ideal for dry shaves
  • Travel case: This is especially handy when traveling.

Ergonomics: Your electric shaver should be easy to use and comfortable. It should have handles that are slip-proof, comfort settings, and times types


of Electronic Shavers

Choosing the Right Electric Shaver for You

When purchasing an electric shaver, you should buy one based on the facial hair type you have or on your skin’s sensitivity;

  1. Sparse or Fine Hair: If your skin is not sensitive and have a relatively light growth of beard, then the best option will be a single foil shaver.
  2. Medium hair: If you get skin irritation while using an electric shaver, the best-suited Shaver will be the dual foil shaver.
  3. Coarse hair: A rotary head triple foil electric shaver is best for a broad range of types of beard styles including longer stubble. It is also good for sensitive skin

Foil Shavers Buying Guide

Foil Shavers Buying Guide

The name “foil” comes from a thin layer of metal that envelope the top blades. Foil shavers are characterized by their straight rows of blades and are known for their precise trimming power. The blades oscillate and instead of actually cutting the hair, they lift the hairs from the face, but due to speed, this is not felt nor is it painful.

Pros of Foil Shavers

  1. Best for fine, straight hair.
  2. Offers a closer shave than a rotary blade.
  3. Great for trimming sideburns.
  4. Compared to the rotary blades, foil blades are easier to clean
  5. You have several options to choose from: single for slow beard growth or fine hair; dual for sensitive skin or coarse growth; and triple for longer stubble or hairs that are flat-lying under the lips or on the neck.

Cons of Foil Shavers

  1. Need to be well maintained and cleaned often.
  2. Can have an uneven cutting of rough or coarse hair.
  3. Can be noisy.
  4. If you have long hair, they are not ideal for shaving

Price: $75-$400


Rotary Shavers Buying Guide

Rotary Shavers Buying Guide

Rotary shavers are easily recognizable due to their unique three circular blades that cover the top. They are specifically designed to follow the curves of any face, and their unique design helps with this contouring.

The blades work by rotating incredibly fast and are best for men that don’t shave every day, or those with longer, thicker hair growth.

Pros of Rotary Shavers

  1. The circular motion of the blades guarantees a close shave.
  2. Extremely comfortable as hair is not pulled, but cut.
  3. Able to be used on hard to reach areas or places with sharp angles/curves.
  4. Can be used effectively on thick hair.
  5. You have a choice of dual or triple rotary heads

Cons of Rotary Shavers

  1. The head of the shaver is rigid and fixed in position. This makes it harder to maneuver.
  2. You will want to avoid cheap rotary shavers as the blades could break down and lead to painful shaves or cuts.
  3. Cleaning the blades is a bit difficult.

Price: $75-$400

Some high-end shavers are purchased complete with a cleaning station such that they are capable of cleaning themselves. All you need to do is to pop the shaver into the base unit and then wait. It provides a convenient and easy way of keeping your shaver fuzz free and clean.  All you are required to do is to fill up the cleaning fluid. You will also need to replace the cleaning cartridges often. Refills can be purchased online or from large chemists and will cost between 6$ and 12$ for a one month’s supply.


Guide to Buying Men’s Shavers – FAQ’s

What is the best product to use with my shaver?

There is a multitude of soaps, foams, creams, and gels available for purchase, but you should choose your ideal lubricant based on skin type, price, and clean-up. Soaps are the most traditional but may take more time to lather and will provide less cushion than foam or cream.

Foam is by far the easiest to apply and remove, can moisturize the skin, and provides the most protection against cuts and scrapes. Gels are another great option, and if your skin is extra dry, try adding a vegetable or essential oil underneath your primary product.

What is the best direction to shave in?

It is best to shave in the direction of beard growth starting with the sides, followed by the upper lip area, and finishing at the chin. Although you can achieve a closer shave by going against the grain, it is much easier to cut yourself, and you risk cutting a hair below the surface of the skin. This is not only painful but often results in ingrown hairs and possible infection.

What are the benefits of using aftershave?

Although aftershave is a personal preference, it is recommended to prevent acne, maintain clean pores, and calm irritated skin. It also comes in a variety of scents, but make sure to choose a mild version to guarantee the product is focused on protection rather than the donor.

Should my shaver have a warranty?

If you decide on an electric shaver, make sure the manufacturer or store offers a money-back guarantee or two-year warranty. Because electronics can and will break, it is important to cover all of your bases (especially since quality shavers will cost a few hundred dollars).

You should also determine what is included in that warranty— if blades and foils are excluded, you will need to factor those replacements into the total cost of the shaver.

What is the cheapest option?

According to a few studies, the average cartridge razor will cost at least $110 per year depending on the number of blades you will use and the company you buy from. The best cost-effective electric shavers cost around $200-250 and you may need to add $50 for replacement blades and foils.

Yes, electric shavers will outlive their disposable counterparts, but it is important to weigh the benefits and detriments of each before making a decision. But, the efficiency and safety provided by electric shavers may just make their higher cost worth it.

Do I need a shaving brush?

Although not vital, there is a reason most barbers have shaving brushes on hand. They not only help lift the hairs to facilitate a close shave but brushes also work much better than fingers when trying to lather a soap or cream. Another less known benefit is their ability to remove dead skin cells by exfoliation. The best shaving brushes have stiff yet comfortable bristles and an easy to grip handle.

Which shaver should I use: Foil or Rotary?

It boils down to what you prefer, your beard growth and the type of skin that you have, whether sensitive or not. If you have a skin that dries easily or one that is easily irritated, you may want to try the foil shaver as it is less harsh on the skin. The rotary shaver is best suited for skin types that are regular or tough. You may find that you want to use both the foil and rotary shavers. Some men use one on their face and the other on their neck.