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REVIEW: Super-intelligent, dog-detecting robot lawn mower

<p>I was recently invited to an onsite demonstration of a brand new line of lawn mowers that were pitched as being not just a lawn mower, but a furry-friend dodging, grass-grooming marvel of modern technology.</p> <p>According to the specs, the <a href="https://au.worx.com/vision-technology/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">WORX LANDROID® Vision</a> is the world’s first advanced AI, "unbox &amp; mow" robot lawn mower. "No wire. No satellite. No beacons. No time between unboxing and mowing."</p> <p>Using a combination of HRD camera, the latest AI smarts and a deeply trained neural network to identify grass to mow and obstacles to avoid, it features the innovative "Cut-to-Edge" function, multi-zone management and adaptive auto-scheduling. Plus an<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> optional LED headlight safe night-mowing (apparently, unlike conventional robots, Vision sees nocturnal animals and stays away from them).</span></p> <p>But the real test for me was always going to be: how would something like the Vision get along with my dog, Rosie? I was offered the chance to try out one of the mowers for a few weeks, and so I jumped at it.</p> <p>But let's talk about Rosie for a moment. Now, this little ball of fur thinks she's the queen of the backyard. She zooms around like a tiny tornado, and honestly I think she believes the grass is her personal chew toy. So, when I introduced the LANDROID into the mix, I was half expecting chaos and half hoping for a miracle.</p> <p>Lo and behold, this mower is not just a lawn whisperer; it's a puppy ninja. The WORX LANDROID has some sort of superpower in its sensors, allowing it to detect my pup's presence and skilfully manoeuvre around her. It was like watching a graceful dance between technology and canine curiosity.</p> <p>For the duration of the test, Rosie basically appointed herself as the official supervisor of lawn maintenance, proudly watching from a safe distance (and sometimes not so safe) as the LANDROID worked its magic.</p> <p>But let's not forget about the real star of the show: the lawn itself. The LANDROID doesn't just dodge around obstacles; it trims with precision, leaving my yard looking like a freshly coiffed celebrity. It's like having a personal stylist for my grass – one that never sleeps. </p> <p>And the best part? I get to sit back, relax and sip my lemonade while the LANDROID does all the heavy lifting (or should I say, mowing). It's like having a reliable little garden gnome, except this one runs on electricity and has impeccable dodging skills.</p> <p>So if you want a lawn mower that's not only efficient but also entertaining, look no further than the <a href="https://au.worx.com/vision-technology/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">WORX LANDROID Vision</a>. It's the perfect blend of technology, pet sensitivity and grass-grooming prowess. Plus, it's the only mower I know that can outmanoeuvre a puppy – and that is definitely something to bark about.</p> <p><em>Images: Alex Cracknell</em></p>

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Vinegar and baking soda: a cleaning hack or just a bunch of fizz?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nathan-kilah-599082">Nathan Kilah</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p>Vinegar and baking soda are staples in the kitchen. Many of us have combined them in childhood scientific experiments: think fizzy volcanoes and geysers.</p> <p>But people also frequently mix vinegar and baking soda to produce a reportedly effective household cleaner. Unfortunately, the chemistry behind the bubbly reaction doesn’t support the cleaning hype. The fizzy action is essentially <a href="https://theconversation.com/six-surprising-things-about-placebos-everyone-should-know-220829">a visual “placebo</a>”, formed by the combination of an acid and a base.</p> <p>So, how does it work, and is it worth using these chemicals for cleaning? To understand all this, it helps to know a little more about chemistry.</p> <h2>What’s an acid?</h2> <p>Foods with a sour taste typically contain acids. These include citric acid in lemon juice, malic acid in apples, lactic acid in yoghurt and <a href="https://theconversation.com/kitchen-science-everything-you-eat-is-made-of-chemicals-56583">phosphoric acids in soft drinks</a>. Most vinegars contain around 4–10% acetic acid, the rest is water and small amounts of flavour chemicals.</p> <p>There are other naturally occurring acids, such as formic acid in ant bites and hydrochloric acid in our stomachs. Industrially, sulfuric acid is used in mineral processing, nitric acid for <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-ammonium-nitrate-the-chemical-that-exploded-in-beirut-143979">fertiliser manufacturing</a> and the highly potent hydrofluoric acid is used to etch glass.</p> <p>All of these acids share similar properties. They can all release hydrogen ions (positively charged atoms) into water. Depending on their potency, acids can also dissolve minerals and metals through various chemical reactions.</p> <p>This is why vinegar is an excellent cleaner for showers or kettles – it can react with and dissolve mineral deposits like limescale.</p> <p>Other common acidic cleaning ingredients are oxalic acid, used for revitalising timber decks, hydrochloric acid in concrete and masonry cleaners, and sulfamic acid in potent toilet cleaners.</p> <h2>What’s a base?</h2> <p>In chemistry, bases – the opposite of acids in many ways – can bind, rather than release hydrogen ions. This can help lift and dissolve insoluble grime into water. Bases can also break apart fat molecules.</p> <p>Baking soda (also known as sodium hydrogen carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, or bicarb) is a relatively weak base. Stronger common bases include sodium carbonate (washing soda), sodium hydroxide (lye) and ammonia.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/spill-at-a-nuclear-facility-shows-potential-burn-risks-from-a-household-chemical-112763">Sodium hydroxide</a> is a potent drain cleaner – its strong base properties can dissolve fats and hair. This allows blockages to be broken down and easily flushed away.</p> <h2>Mixing a base and an acid</h2> <p>Mixing vinegar and baking soda causes an immediate chemical reaction. This reaction forms water, sodium acetate (a salt) and carbon dioxide – the fizzy part.</p> <p>The amount of carbon dioxide gas that is produced from baking soda is remarkable – one tablespoon (around 18 grams) can release over <a href="https://www.chemedx.org/JCESoft/jcesoftSubscriber/CCA/CCA8/MAIN/8/06/2/4/movie.html">five litres of gas</a>! But only if you add enough acid.</p> <p>Reactions in chemistry often use equal quantities of chemical reagents. A perfect balance of acetic acid and baking soda would give you just water, carbon dioxide and sodium acetate.</p> <p>But the majority of vinegar and bicarb cleaner recipes use a large excess of one or the other components. An example from TikTok for a DIY oven cleaner calls for one and a half cups of baking soda and one quarter cup of vinegar.</p> <p>Crunching the numbers behind the chemical reaction shows that after the fizz subsides, over 99% of the added baking soda remains. So the active cleaning agent here is actually the baking soda (and the “elbow grease” of scrubbing).</p> <p>Ovens can be cleaned much more rigorously with stronger, sodium hydroxide based cleaners (although these are also more caustic). Many modern ovens also have a self-cleaning feature, so read your product manual before reaching for a chemical cleaner of any sort.</p> <h2>What about the sodium acetate?</h2> <p>Devotees of vinegar and baking soda mixtures might be wondering if the product of the fizzy reaction, sodium acetate, is the undercover cleaning agent.</p> <p>Unfortunately, sodium acetate is an even weaker base than baking soda, so it doesn’t do much to clean the surface you’re trying to scrub.</p> <p>Sodium acetate is used in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vABpel-11Nc">crystallisation-based heating packs</a> and as a concrete sealant, but not typically as a cleaner.</p> <p>Fun fact: sodium acetate can be combined with acetic acid to make a crystalline <a href="https://theconversation.com/busting-the-myth-that-all-food-additives-are-bad-a-quick-guide-for-label-readers-82883">food additive</a> called sodium diacetate. These crystals give the vinegar flavour to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0hEutu_goY">salt and vinegar chips</a> without making them soggy.</p> <h2>Sorry to burst your bubbles</h2> <p>There are a few rare cases where mixing vinegar and baking soda may be useful for cleaning. This is where the bubbling has a mechanical effect, such as in a blocked drain.</p> <p>But in most cases you’ll want to use either vinegar or baking soda by itself, depending on what you’re trying to clean. It will be less <a href="https://theconversation.com/visually-striking-science-experiments-at-school-can-be-fun-inspiring-and-safe-banning-is-not-the-answer-195362">visually exciting</a>, but it should get the job done.</p> <p>Lastly, remember that mixing cleaning chemicals at home can be risky. Always carefully read the product label and directions before engaging in DIY concoctions. And, to be extra sure, you can find out more safety information by reading the product’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-new-tiktok-trend-has-people-drinking-toxic-borax-an-expert-explains-the-risks-and-how-to-read-product-labels-210278">safety data sheet</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/225177/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nathan-kilah-599082"><em>Nathan Kilah</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/vinegar-and-baking-soda-a-cleaning-hack-or-just-a-bunch-of-fizz-225177">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Bunnings' inspired makeover proves a smash hit with Bluey fans

<p>Bunnings' latest <em>Bluey</em> inspired makeover has proven to be a hit among fans, as they brought to life part of the cartoon-world. </p> <p>The hardware giant collaborated with the hit children's cartoon and rebranded six of its Australian stores and one New Zealand outlet with the moniker "Hammerbarn."</p> <p>This is an homage to a popular episode with the same name, where the cartoon heelers go to a hardware store that looks exactly like Bunnings. </p> <p>“We’re excited to be working with BBC Studios and Ludo Studio to bring Hammerbarn to life in stores across the country,” says Ryan Baker, chief customer officer of Bunnings.</p> <p>The rebranding goes beyond the exterior with special Hammerbarn merch, Bluey-branded trolleys, and Bluey-themed workshops, meet-and-greets and scavenger hunts every weekend.</p> <p>“Our team across Australia have had kids and parents referring to Bunnings as Hammerbarn ever since the episode aired, so making this a reality in our stores for customers is really special," Baker said. </p> <p>“We wanted the Hammerbarn experience to be accessible to as many ‘Bluey’ fans and customers as we could, so it’s great to have a Hammerbarn transformation in each state – even down to the kids’ trolleys that have been rebranded."</p> <p>Hammerbarns resemblance to Bunnings is no coincidence as the episode reportedly took inspiration from a real store in Keperra, Queensland.</p> <p>“The design of Hammerbarn draws inspiration from the Bunnings Keperra store in Brisbane, the home of Bluey, which adds an extra layer of significance," Ludo Studios, the creators of the series said. </p> <p>“We are thrilled to offer fans the opportunity to experience Hammerbarn for real life; it’s everything we’ve ever wanted!”</p> <p><em>Images: Perth Now</em></p> <p> </p>

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Simple, cheap remedies you’ll wish you knew sooner

<p><strong>Pull nails out gently</strong></p> <p>If you’re planning to pull a nail out of wood but worry that the hammerhead will hurt the grain, protect the wood before using the hammer. How? Slip a plastic spatula under the head of the hammer before you start the job.</p> <p><strong>Replace the oil in baking </strong></p> <p>Fat makes baked goods moist and tender. It’s also incredibly kilojoule-dense, and if you’re cutting kilojoules, it’s an easy place to start. But say you don’t like your cakes and muffins dry and tough? Then applesauce is the answer. Replace up to 2/3 of the oil called for in a cake or muffin recipe with applesauce, and you’ll add moisture and flavour while ditching the fat.</p> <p><strong>Sweeten the house </strong></p> <p>People who are allergic to air fresheners and sprays can still enjoy the benefits of a sweet-smelling house. Wet a cotton ball with vanilla and dab it very lightly on the outside of a regular light bulb (not a halogen bulb) in your lamps. When you turn on the lamp, the bulb heats up and a faint but alluring scent of vanilla drifts out.</p> <p><strong>Soften beans </strong></p> <p>Afraid those dry beans have been on the shelf too long? Help soften them by adding a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water. Add a fresh pinch to the cooking water, too, and you can significantly reduce the aftereffects of bean consumption.</p> <p><strong>Neutralise mouth ulcers</strong></p> <p>Place an antacid tablet directly on the ulcer, giving it time to dissolve, or simply chew one. The medicine will stop the acids and enzymes in your mouth from attacking the tissue in the sore, and more importantly, it will stop the pain. (Be sure to check the product’s label for correct dosage instructions.)</p> <p><strong>Rip it off the right way </strong></p> <p>Pulling an adhesive bandage off your child’s skin can be tough on both of you. Make it easier by rubbing the bandage with a cotton ball soaked in baby oil. Rub until you can easily pull the bandage off. This trick works well for adults with sensitive skin, too.</p> <p><strong>Clean your carpet overnight </strong></p> <p>Whether your carpet smells dank and musty because of a pet, a smoker, or a season of rain, take the odour out with baby powder. Using a flour sifter, spread the powder generously over the carpet. Let it sit overnight – a few hours will suffice, but overnight is better – and vacuum up the powder and the smells in the morning.</p> <p><strong>Hold a nail</strong></p> <p>Stop hitting your fingers every time you hammer a nail in place. Use the teeth of an ordinary comb to hold the nail while you hammer.</p> <p><strong>Get rid of fishy odours</strong></p> <p>Been chopping something pungent? The smell of garlic or fish can linger on your fingers long after the food is gone. Avoid that by scrubbing your wet hands with baking soda, just as if it were soap, then rinse in warm water. Your hands will smell sweet – and feel softer, too.</p> <p><strong>Remove splinters</strong></p> <p>Make a paste of Epsom salt and water and apply it to the area harbouring a splinter. The paste will pull the splinter to the surface of the skin in about 10 minutes. It will pull insect stingers out of your skin, too.</p> <p><strong>Skip the shaving cream </strong></p> <p>Use hair conditioner for a smooth, clean shave – on your legs, under your arms, and (for men) even on your face. The conditioner will pamper your skin as well as your hair! You can also use hair conditioner as a soothing agent for legs irritated by shaving.</p> <p><strong>Preserve your bouquet </strong></p> <p>Spray the undersides of your cut flowers – leaves and petals – with hair spray to prolong their life. Be sure to stand about 30 cm away when you spray them for best results.</p> <p><strong>Numb your eyebrows </strong></p> <p>Make plucking your eyebrows much less painful by putting an ice pack on them until they’re uncomfortably cold. At that point your skin will be numb enough to begin plucking. You won’t even feel the tug!</p> <p><strong>Train a dog </strong></p> <p>Most dogs hate the sound of dried beans rattling in a can. Use that to your advantage when training a dog by putting a handful of beans in the bottom of an empty aluminium soda can. Seal the top with a strip of tape. When your dog misbehaves, shake the can a couple of times.</p> <p><strong>Refresh tired feet </strong></p> <p>Take this tip from marathon runners, who know that a ten-minute soak in a sugarless mouthwash will take your tootsies from tired to terrific. Alcohol invigorates and mint will make them smell sweet again.</p> <p><strong>Remove crayon from walls </strong></p> <p>If you find crayon markings on your wall, don’t get mad – get shaving cream. Spray the shaving cream directly onto the offending artwork, and scrub it off with a toothbrush or scrub brush.</p> <p><strong>Make a close-fitting hot pad</strong></p> <p>Soothe aching muscles with a custom-made hot pad. Fill a long sock, such as a tube or athletic sock, with dried beans, and tie the top tightly closed with ribbon or string. Heat in a microwave on high for 30 seconds. Place it right on your painful spot. You can drape it around a stiff neck or wrap it around a sore wrist, and it will mould to you, providing faster relief.</p> <p><strong>Keep cookies fresh </strong></p> <p>Homemade chocolate chip cookies can go from tasting deliciously soft and cakey to feeling hard and crunchy in a matter of days. To keep your freshly baked cookies tasting freshly baked, put a couple of slices of bread into the tin or jar where you store the cookies, laying the bread right on top of the cookies. The bread will keep that just-out-of-the-oven flavour and texture intact for up to a week.</p> <p><strong>Wax your windows </strong></p> <p>Do your double-hung windows have a bumpy ride every time you open or close them? If your windows don’t slide up and down with ease, let a candle help them. Clean the insides of the window frame where the sashes travel, then rub the same area with a candle. The windows will have a much smoother journey.</p> <p><strong>Make your garage floor sparkle </strong></p> <p>If you find a puddle of oil on your concrete garage floor, pour paint thinner over it, and then cover the area with kitty litter. (Make sure that the garage is well ventilated by keeping the garage door open, and don’t let anyone smoke or strike matches anywhere near the affected area – and keep the cats away.) The kitty litter will absorb the oil. Just sweep up the mess and you’re done.</p> <p><strong>Clean smudges off suede </strong></p> <p>Suede jackets, shoes and handbags look great, but they’re prone to picking up dirty marks. Clean fresh smudges off quickly and easily before they set into stains by rubbing the suede gently with a piece of fresh white bread. Use a small, circular motion. You may need a second piece of bread to get the spot clean.</p> <p><strong>Keep down items from clumping </strong></p> <p>Throw one or two tennis balls into the dryer the next time you dry down-filled items like pillows, comforters and jackets. They’ll ditch the flat look they get from the washing machine and puff up again with pride.</p> <p><strong>Repel mosquitos </strong></p> <p>You may love the mild apple-like flavour of chamomile tea but mosquitoes absolutely hate it. Brew a very strong batch of chamomile tea and keep it in a spray bottle in the fridge. Before you relax in the back yard or run through the tall grass, spray exposed skin liberally. It’s fragrant, potent and totally safe for children.</p> <p><strong>Fill a stripped screw-hole </strong></p> <p>If the screw keeps turning and turning in a piece of wood, push a bit of foil loosely in the hole and try again. It will grab tight.</p> <p><strong>Freshen a fridge </strong></p> <p>If something soured in your fridge or the freezer failed, clean it out, then fill a wide, shallow bowl with fresh coffee grounds and leave it in the fridge or freezer overnight. The strong scent of coffee will permeate the space, eradicating any hint of what went wrong.</p> <p><strong>Banish burned-on food </strong></p> <p>Liquid fabric softener is your best friend when it comes time to scrub pots and pans soiled by your worst enemy, baked-on grime. Soak the offending vessel in water and a squirt of fabric softener. Let it sit for an hour. Wash and rinse it all away.</p> <p><strong>Feed your plants </strong></p> <p>Used coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, so it’s a shame to throw them away each day. Coffee is especially good for acid-loving plants, like camellias, evergreens, rhododendrons, azaleas and rose bushes, so be sure they don’t miss out on the occasional cup of coffee – grounds, that is.</p> <p><strong>Oil squeaky hinges </strong></p> <p>Spray a little oil-based furniture polish on a squeaky door hinge, then open and shut the door several times to work the lubricant into the hinge. The furniture polish is a lot cleaner than the oil you’d usually use for a noisy hinge, and it works just as well to silence the squeak.</p> <p><strong>Untangle a shoelace </strong></p> <p>Junior got a knot in his sneaker and pulled and pulled until it became an impenetrable mass. Sprinkle the knot generously with cornflour, and then work the knot again. The laces will start to slip and slide, and you’ll be able to get the kinks out.</p> <p><strong>Breathe better with a paper bag </strong></p> <p>Got a case of the hiccups? Stop them before you start to hurt. Breathe in and out of a paper bag for a few minutes. You’ll create a build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs, which helps relax your diaphragm – whose involuntary tightening causes the hiccups in the first place. This trick works if you’re hyperventilating, too.</p> <p><strong>Give the jar a hand </strong></p> <p>No more banging a jar on the floor to loosen a tight lid. No more running it under hot water. And no more fancy tools designed to do the trick – that somehow don’t work. Just put on a pair of rubber gloves, and open the jar with ease. (Psst – sandpaper also works wonders!)</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/1-solutions-youll-wish-you-knew-sooner?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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7 ways you’re shortening the lifespan of your refrigerator

<p><strong>How you may be shortening the lifespan of a refrigerator</strong></p> <p>Refrigerators are a necessity in the home, but they cost a pretty penny. They can range in price from $700 to thousands of dollars, depending on which refrigerator brand you buy and which bells and whistles you want. Since it takes a good chunk of change to pay for this appliance, it makes sense to take great care of it so it lasts as long as possible. The typical lifespan of a refrigerator is 10 to 15 years, but it could last up to 20 years if you take superb care of it.</p> <p>Knowing how you may be shortening the life of your fridge helps you nip bad habits in the bud and make those well-spent dollars go the extra mile. That’s why we’ve rounded up the ways you may be knocking valuable time off your fridge’s life – read on and take note! Then, brush up on the signs your refrigerator is about to die and what your refrigerator temperature should be – both important things to know for fridge upkeep.</p> <p><strong>You’re not cleaning the internal mechanics</strong></p> <p>“If the defrost drain is clogged with debris, or frozen, the water dripping off the coils will overflow the drain trough and drip into the bottom of your refrigerator,” experts at the Repair Clinic told Reader’s Digest. Not only can this overwork your fridge, leading to a shorter lifespan, but it potentially causes your fridge/freezer to leak water all over your kitchen floor.</p> <p>Leaking water is a sign you should get any appliance looked at – it’s also a symptom of some of the ways you’re shortening the life of your washer and dryer.</p> <p><strong>You’re not cleaning the fridge itself</strong></p> <p>Additionally, debris, foodstuff, sticky spills and more common food mishaps that stay on the gasket of the refrigerator’s door too long can tear or break the seal of your refrigerator door. That can cause a leak, allowing cold air to escape. This makes learning how to clean your refrigerator properly all the more important (psst – these are the best fridge cleaners that’ll get the job done).</p> <p>To keep your fridge in tip-top shape as long as possible, wipe down the door edges often. And while you’re wiping down your fridge, see if you’ve organised your refrigerator the right way to keep ingredients fresh and avoid food poisoning.</p> <p><strong>You’re not cleaning the coils</strong></p> <p>More than 70 per cent of service calls for your fridge can be eliminated by cleaning your coils once a year – so experts recommend upping that to twice a year if you have furry pets (like an adorable but extra-fluffy pup).</p> <p>Debris on the coils can stop your fridge from properly dissipating heat, which means your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to. That makes your fridge use more energy and shortens its lifespan.</p> <p><strong>It's too full </strong></p> <p>We’ve all played a few games of Tetris with our refrigerator after we get home with the groceries, but be careful when stocking up and storing. While this isn’t a huge problem with newer models, some older models have fan blades that are less protected. You may even be able to see the fan blades in your freezer or fridge.</p> <p>Cramming your food into the fridge and freezer to the point of applying undue pressure on this small part can affect its shape and fit among related parts of your fridge, risking a break. Ineffective fridges are overworked fridges, which will eventually lead to a refrigerator that doesn’t work. To avoid overfilling your fridge, do a deep clean of the contents of your fridge every once in a while and eliminate clutter.</p> <p><strong>You’re not changing the water filter often enough</strong></p> <p>If you have the type of fridge that makes ice – with the dispenser either within the freezer or on your door – the water filter is key to keeping this part of your refrigerator in great condition. An old, broken or dislodged water filter can create all kinds of problems for your fridge. At best, your ice dispenser breaks. At worst, your fridge overworks itself to an early death and you’re stuck footing the bill for a new one.</p> <p>Luckily, CNET reports that you likely can detect this problem early, as your ice cubes will start coming out smaller, oddly shaped or not at all. Keep this in mind next time you’re filling up your water bottle.</p> <p><strong>Your freezer temperature is too high</strong></p> <p>“Ideally, the temperature should be set -18 degrees Celsius,” said experts at Repair Clinic. The wrong freezer temperature can affect the longevity of your ice maker, as well as the safety of the food you’ll be eating.</p> <p>A temperature higher than -9 degrees Celsius can also cause the defrost thermostat to stop working, which, in turn, overworks your refrigerator and shortens its life.</p> <p><strong>You ignore weird noises or constant running</strong></p> <p>If you notice that your fridge is always running, or is running louder than usual, do something about it right away. Some fixes are easy enough that you can do them yourself, or they’re inexpensive for a professional, but even if that’s not the case, allowing a fridge to work itself harder than it is intended to is a good way to put an early expiration date on it. Depending on the age of your fridge, you may want to decide not to fix it and invest in a new, more energy- and cost-efficient option.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/7-ways-youre-shortening-the-lifespan-of-your-refrigerator" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p> <div class="slide-image" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; font-style: inherit; box-sizing: border-box; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </div>

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10 dumb hiding spots burglars always find

<p><strong>Under the mattress</strong></p> <p>Burglars will make a beeline to the room with the most valuables. “The good stop is always going to be in the master bedroom,” says Chris McGoey, CPP, CSP, CAM, president of <a href="http://www.crimedoctor.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">McGoey Security Consulting.</a></p> <p>“That’s where you have your clothes, your jewellery, your extra cash, your prescriptions – anything of value.” Hiding things under the mattress is one of the oldest tricks in the book, so a thief will likely check there for hidden treasures, he says.</p> <p><strong>Bedroom closet</strong></p> <p>A thief might rummage through your entire closet – pockets and all – looking for cash or other valuables. If you do decide to store valuables in your closet, leave them in a box purposely mislabelled with a boring name (think: “uni textbooks 1980” or “baby clothes”) to keep sticky fingers out, suggests McGoey.</p> <p><strong>Dresser drawers</strong></p> <p>While burglars are in your bedroom, a jewellery box on top of the dresser is a hot commodity. Even if you don’t store your jewellery in plain sight, a thief will probably hunt around in dresser drawers for a shoebox or other unique box that could be filled with watches, jewels, and other valuables, says Robert Siciliano, CSP, security analyst with <a href="https://www.hotspotshield.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Hotspot Shield</a>.</p> <p>Instead of putting your high-value belongings in an obvious box, ball them up in a sock, he suggests. Pick a pair with a bright pattern that will stand out to you but won’t look fishy to a crook.</p> <p><strong>Portable safe</strong></p> <p>You probably want to keep your precious items locked away, but it won’t do much good if the safe isn’t attached to the floor or a wall. “If it’s closed and locked, it implies there are things of value in there,” says McGoey. “If it’s small and portable, they’ll take the whole thing.” On the other hand, burglars are generally trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. They won’t bother using a stethoscope to crack the combination, so a heavy safe they can’t lift is your best bet, he says.</p> <p><strong>Medicine cabinet</strong></p> <p>Robbers want to make quick cash off your belongings, so they’ll be sure to browse your medicine cabinet for prescription pills they can sell. The pills might not be a concern because you can get a refill easily, but be careful what you store nearby.</p> <p>“You want to avoid putting anything of significant value around medication of any kind,” says Siciliano. For instance, using an old pill container as a hiding spot for jewels could actually make them a target.</p> <p><strong>Freezer</strong></p> <p>If you’ve thought of the freezer as a sneaky hiding spot, chances are a robber has, too. A burglar won’t rummage through your entire stack of frozen peas and fish sticks, but if you leave your treasures in something out-of-place, such as a sock, the thief will be onto you.</p> <p>“If you’re going to put something in the freezer, you want to put it in with something that looks legit, like wrapping it in a bag that used to have blueberries in it,” says Siciliano. Use the same rule of thumb if hiding anything in a pantry. Just give a loved one a heads up so that if anything happens, your valuables won’t be trashed with the rest of your food.</p> <p><strong>Office drawers</strong></p> <p>Think twice before stashing important papers like birth certificates or passports in your office drawers. “People want to be convenient. They have a file labelled,” says McGoey. Unfortunately, that also means you’re leading burglars straight to everything they need to steal your identity. Use a locked drawer to keep sensitive data safe, recommends Siciliano.</p> <p><strong>Vase</strong></p> <p>An empty vase could act as a hiding place for valuables, but swindlers are onto your tricks. They’ll likely tip the vase over or even break it, hoping to find goods inside. “Have something additional in it, like flowers, that would obscure somebody looking in it,” he says. They’ll also be less likely to empty your vase if it means dropping flowers all over the floor.</p> <p><strong>Liquor cabinet</strong></p> <p>A liquor cabinet might not seem like an obvious spot for thieves to hunt for valuables, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. “It’s a target for kids looking for [alcohol],” says Siciliano. You might not be devastated if your whiskey goes missing, but you don’t want to lose an heirloom along with it.</p> <p><strong>Suitcase</strong></p> <p>Your luggage might seem like a waste of valuable storage space when you’re not travelling, but don’t keep anything irreplaceable inside. “Suitcases are common things people use as a safe even though it’s not a safe,” says McGoey. Criminals will open a suitcase up if they find one in your closet, he says.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/10-hiding-spots-burglars-always-look-first" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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How often should you wash your sheets and towels?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rietie-venter-100529">Rietie Venter</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p>Everyone seems to have a different opinion when it comes to how often towels and <a href="https://7news.com.au/video/lifestyle/cleaning/dr-karl-on-how-often-you-should-wash-our-sheets-bc-6320410318112">bed sheets should be washed</a>. While many people might wonder whether days or weeks is best, in one survey from the United Kingdom, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-61259074">almost half of single men</a> reported not washing their sheets for up to four months at a time.</p> <p>It’s fairly clear that four months is too long to leave it, but what is the ideal frequency?</p> <p>Bed linen and towels are quite different and so should be washed at different intervals. While every week or two will generally suffice for sheets, towels are best washed every few days.</p> <p>Anyway, who doesn’t love the feeling of a fresh set of sheets or the smell of a newly laundered towel?</p> <h2>Why you should wash towels more often</h2> <p>When you dry yourself, you deposit thousands of <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02362/full">skin cells</a> and millions of <a href="https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(23)00402-9/fulltext">microbes</a> onto the towel. And because you use your towel to dry yourself after a shower or bath, your towel is regularly damp.</p> <p>You also deposit a hefty amount of dead skin, microbes, sweat and oils <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-bed-probably-isnt-as-clean-as-you-think-a-microbiologist-explains-163513">onto your sheets</a> every night. But unless you’re a prolific night sweater, your bedding doesn’t get wet after a night’s sleep.</p> <p>Towels are also made of a thicker material than sheets and therefore tend to stay damp for longer.</p> <p>So what is it about the dampness that causes a problem? Wet towels are a breeding ground for bacteria and moulds. <a href="https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/public-community-housing/public-housing-tenants/looking-after-your-home/safety/mould">Moulds</a> especially love <a href="https://www.asthmaandlung.org.uk/living-with/indoor-air-pollution/allergies">damp environments</a>. Although mould won’t necessarily be visible (you would need significant growth to be able to see it) this can lead to an unpleasant smell.</p> <p>As well as odours, <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/infections/can-clothes-and-towels-spread-germs/">exposure to these microbes</a> in your towels and sheets can cause <a href="https://aafa.org/allergies/types-of-allergies/insect-allergy/dust-mite-allergy/">asthma</a>, allergic skin irritations, or other <a href="https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/11/4/04-1094_article">skin infections</a>.</p> <h2>So what’s the ideal frequency?</h2> <p>For bedding, it really depends on factors such as whether you have a bath or shower just before going to bed, or if you fall into bed after a long, sweaty day and have your shower in the morning. You will need to wash your sheets more regularly in the latter case. As a rule of thumb, once a week or every two weeks should be fine.</p> <p>Towels should ideally be washed more regularly – perhaps every few days – while your facecloth should be cleaned after every use. Because it gets completely wet, it will be wet for a longer time, and retain more skin cells and microbes.</p> <p>Wash your towels at a high temperature (for example, 65°C) as that will <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34465009/">kill many microbes</a>. If you are conscious of saving energy, you can use a lower temperature and add a cup of vinegar to the wash. The vinegar will kill microbes and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231443/">prevent bad smells</a> from developing.</p> <p>Clean your washing machine regularly and dry the fold in the rubber after every wash, as this is another place microbes like to grow.</p> <h2>Smelly towels</h2> <p>What if you regularly wash your towels, but they still smell bad? One of the reasons for this pong could be that you’ve left them in the washing machine too long after the wash. Especially if it was a warm wash cycle, the time they’re warm and damp will allow microbes to happily grow. Under <a href="https://textbookofbacteriology.net/growth_3.html">lab conditions</a> the number of these bacteria can double every 30 minutes.</p> <p>It’s important to hang your towel out to dry after use and not to leave towels in the washing machine after the cycle has finished. If possible, hang your towels and bedding out in the sun. That will dry them quickly and thoroughly and will foster that lovely fresh, clean cotton smell. Using a dryer is a good alternative if the weather is bad, but outdoors in the sun is always better if possible.</p> <p>Also, even if your towel is going to be washed, don’t throw a wet towel into the laundry basket, as the damp, dirty towel will be an ideal place for microbes to breed. By the time you get to doing your washing, the towel and the other laundry around it may have acquired a bad smell. And it can be difficult to get your towels smelling fresh again.</p> <h2>What about ‘self-cleaning’ sheets and towels?</h2> <p>Some companies sell “quick-dry” towels or “self-cleaning” towels and bedding. Quick-dry towels are made from synthetic materials that are weaved in a way to allow them to dry quickly. This would help prevent the growth of microbes and the bad smells that develop when towels are damp for long periods of time.</p> <p>But the notion of self-cleaning products is more complicated. Most of these products contain <a href="https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/chem-2016-0005/html">nanosilver</a> or copper, antibacterial metals that kill micro-organisms. The antibacterial compounds will stop the growth of bacteria and can be useful to limit smells and reduce the frequency with which you need to clean your sheets and towels.</p> <p>However, they’re not going to remove dirt like oils, skin flakes and sweat. So as much as I would love the idea of sheets and towels that clean themselves, that’s not exactly what happens.</p> <p>Also, excessive use of antimicrobials <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6636436/pdf/idr-12-1985.pdf">such as nanosilver</a> can lead to <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2021.652863/full">microbes becoming resistant</a> to them.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/216083/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rietie-venter-100529"><em>Rietie Venter</em></a><em>, Associate professor, Clinical and Health Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-australia-1180">University of South Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-often-should-you-wash-your-sheets-and-towels-216083">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Aussies lament the end of ancient "Beers for Garbos" tradition

<p>Here in Australia, where rubbish collectors are celebrated annually with a frosty brew (or six), a cherished tradition is facing its untimely demise.</p> <p>Yes, you guessed it right – the legendary "Beers for Garbos" tradition, where grateful locals adorn their wheelie bins with a six-pack of beer as a token of appreciation, is disappearing faster than a cold beer on a scorching summer day.</p> <p>For generations, Aussies have upheld this festive practice, a heartwarming exchange between citizens and their garbage collectors during the most wonderful time of the year. But alas, the tides are turning, and it seems the days of beer-topped bins are numbered.</p> <p>The alarm was sounded when a concerned citizen took to the virtual streets of Reddit to lament the decline of this time-honoured tradition. "I've been doing this for 20 years, only the last two years they don't seem interested. Is this a tradition we are losing?" cried out the desperate Redditor, faced with the heartbreaking prospect of having their VB left unwanted and <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">unclaimed</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">.</span></p> <p>Speculations ran wild in the digital realm, with theories ranging from light-fingered neighbours to the outrageous notion that beer might not be as popular as it once was. However, Veolia, the giant among waste management companies in Australia, quickly extinguished the fiery speculations.</p> <p>Veolia's chief operating officer of environment, Tony Roderick, delivered the crushing blow, confirming that the "Beers for Garbos" tradition had taken its last bow. The culprit? Health and safety concerns, the perennial party poopers of workplace festivities. Roderick explained, "Packages of beer become missiles in the cabin of the truck under emergency braking."</p> <p>Picture this: a garbage truck hurtling down the suburban streets, emergency brakes screeching, and inside, a symphony of exploding beer bottles. It's a hazardous scenario that even the most seasoned garbage collector might find hard to navigate. Moreover, Veolia has a company-wide dry workplace policy, dashing hopes of a beer-fuelled trash pickup.</p> <p>But fear not, for Roderick is not entirely Ebenezer Scrooge. He encourages alternative forms of gift-giving. "Should people want to leave a small gift for their local driver, it is possible to leave it at the local depot where the driver can collect it at the end of the shift."</p> <p>So, instead of a six-pack perched on the bin, envision a quaint scene of a garbage collector picking up a thoughtful gift basket at the depot – the stuff of modern Aussie holiday magic.</p> <p>As we bid adieu to the "Beers for Garbos" era, let's raise a glass in fond remembrance. May your wheelie bins be forever adorned with the spirit of giving, even if the contents are now strictly non-alcoholic. Cheers to a new era of sober, yet equally heartfelt, expressions of gratitude for our unsung garbage heroes!</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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How household gas leaks affect your home in Adelaide

<p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">If you're an Adelaide local, you'll know the city is as notorious for its hot summers as it is for its icy winters. One common necessity across all seasons is the reliance on gas. Be it for the central heating in winter or that gas oven whipping up a delightful roast, we can't really do without it. However, any discussion about gas and electricity supply here would be incomplete without addressing household gas leaks in Adelaide.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The Silent Stalker: Gas Leaks</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Often undetected and woefully underestimated, gas leaks can become a real concern if not addressed promptly. The main culprit in residential settings usually boils down to faulty gas appliances. An incorrectly installed gas appliance or ageing unit can develop leaks over time, silently emitting gas into your living space.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Signs of a Gas Leak</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">So, what are the </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://cyberairconditioning.com.au/blog/what-do-gas-leaks-smell-like/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">indicators of a gas leak</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">? In the absence of an instinctive warning, we might unknowingly be dealing with a perilous scenario right at our fingertips. Luckily, nature offers us a clear heads-up: our sense of smell. Indeed, that rotten-egg-like aroma you sniff is likely due to the addition of a chemical called Mercaptan to your natural gas supply, which serves as a leak alert. Thus, if your nose detects something unpleasant in the air, it's a credible signal that a gas leak is present.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/GasLeaks02.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Apart from the smell, other signs include a higher-than-usual gas bill, dead patches on your lawn, or the persistent sound of a hissing near gas lines.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">So what do you do if you suspect a gas leak? Well, common sense and caution are your top mates here.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When a Gas Leak Occurs</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Start by making sure you're not creating an ignition source. This means avoiding lighting matches or using a cigarette lighter inside your home. Similarly, don't operate electrical equipment close to the suspected leak area.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Ensuring good air circulation is paramount in such situations, so swing open your doors and windows to facilitate the diffusion of the gas. If the odour is overpowering, promptly guide your loved ones and pets to a secure location outdoors.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/GasLeaks03.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Once you're in a safe position, immediately dial emergency services. And remember, attending to a gas leak isn't a task you just anyone can do.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">What Happens If a Gas Leak Goes Unnoticed</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A frequently unobserved gas leak can pose significant dangers in your home. While it's crucial to heed the signs, smell gas, and call in professional help, it's also vital to understand what can happen if a gas leak goes unnoticed. As Adelaide homeowners, it's our responsibility to remain well-informed on the consequences of an ignored gas leak and be prepared to take swift action.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Health Hazards</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The primary danger of an unnoticed gas leak is its potential health impacts. Being exposed to leaking gas—from devices like stoves, heaters, or your gas water heater—can induce an array of symptoms, including <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/body/6-ways-to-combat-headaches-without-painkillers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">headaches</a>, dizziness, nausea, and weariness. These minor symptoms could potentially worsen to more critical health conditions, such as breathing difficulties, memory impairment, and in severe situations, unconsciousness.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Furthermore, carbon monoxide, an invisible and odourless hazardous gas that occurs from malfunctioning gas or electrical appliances, can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. This condition can display symptoms resembling flu but can escalate to chronic neurological impairment or even prove fatal in the long run.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fire or Explosion Risk</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A more immediate danger of an unnoticed gas leak is the potential for a fire or explosion. When the concentration of leaked gas in the air reaches a threshold level, even the smallest spark or open flame can ignite it. This might result from someone lighting a match or a cigarette lighter or inadvertently switching on an electrical device near the gas leak source.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Consequently, the ignited gas can cause a destructive fire or explosion, leading to significant property damage, serious injuries, or fatalities.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Environmental Impact</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Say, for example, your outdoor gas metre is damaged or the gas pipes buried in your garden develop leaks. The escaped gas can cause harm to your plants and lawn, creating dead patches of grass, discoloured vegetation, or stunted growth. Furthermore, prolonged leaking of natural gas can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, aggravating the issues of air pollution and climate change.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Call in the Experts: Licensed Gas Fitter</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When it comes to gas leaks, it's critical not to mess with things you're not licensed to handle. In Adelaide, turn to a licensed gas fitter for gas leak repairs. Your gas fitter is trained in gas leak detection and repair gas leaks to ensure the safety of your home.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/GasLeaks04.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Further, regular inspections and proper installation of gas appliances can prevent gas leaks in the first place. If you've been regularly revamping your home with advanced gas installations and didn't already know this, well, you've been living under a rock, mate.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Proactive steps in your gas supply system, like the installation of carbon monoxide detectors and reviewing your gas metre's location, can help identify potential leaks and prevent dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning, exhibiting your perfect gumption.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Wrapping Up</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">As part of the Adelaide community, it's essential to be aware of the potential hazards that household gas leaks can introduce into our homes. A gas leak can spell disaster, from health risks to damage to our property. Being alert for the signs and knowing when to call in the professionals is our best defence against these leaks.</span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 12pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Secure your home from gas leaks with trusted </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://cyberairconditioning.com.au/locations/sa/air-conditioning-adelaide/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Air Conditioning Services in Adelaide</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">. Remember, it's always better to have a professional tend to leaks or complications with your plumbing gas system, rather than trying to be a hero and tackling it yourself. Prevent gas leaks, save lives, Adelaide!</span></p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-3fcd498c-7fff-1283-e93c-4b331fcbd12d">Images: Supplied.<br /></span></em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Cyber Air Conditioning.</em></p>

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5 ultimate tips before you schedule heating and cooling maintenance in Adelaide

<p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In Adelaide's climate, a reliable heating and cooling system isn't just a luxury – it's a must-have! Beyond comfort, maintaining these lifesavers at peak efficiency helps you tackle the temperature swings. But how do you ensure they're up to snuff year-round?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Walk about our </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.metropolitanheatingandcooling.com.au/blog/how-often-should-i-schedule-heating-and-cooling-maintenance/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Maintenance and Routine Services Guide</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">. They'll arm you with everything from understanding your unique system, spotting trouble early on, the cleaning nitty-gritty, right to zeroing in on the best time for that crucial maintenance in Adelaide.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Now, let’s dive into these handy pointers and get you sorted, shall we?</span></p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">What You Need to Remember</span></h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HeatingCooling02.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Aside from air conditioner repairs and ducted gas heating repairs, diligently scheduling heating and cooling maintenance in Adelaide is just as important. Whether it's your first time scheduling one or you've done this before, these five tips can surely help you.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #1: Understand Your Air Conditioning System</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The kind of air conditioning unit you have can make a big difference to your maintenance schedule. Could be split systems, ducted gas heating systems, or the lot. Most Adelaide homes use evaporative coolers, and servicing these units is quite a different ball game compared to reverse-cycle systems.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #2: Recognise Signs of Trouble</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Today's air conditioning units are excellent at giving you a heads-up about an upcoming hassle. If it's not putting out enough cool air, or it's not running as it should, it might be time to call someone for those heating and cooling repairs. Nipping these problems in the bud is what you should be aiming for.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #3: Regular Cleaning and Air Filter Changes</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keeping your air conditioners' filters clean and changing them regularly is a clever way to keep your air conditioning service in tip-top shape. The air filters, in particular, play a big role in this. Blocked air filters can lead to poor airflow and overworking of the system, which bumps your running costs up the wall.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">However, don't stop at just swapping out the generic filters. Give the other components like the coils and fins in your air conditioner system a good clean as well.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #4: Regular Cooling and Heating System Checks</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keeping up with regular air conditioning repair services makes sure your system is always raring to go. Your system needs to be a ripper, ready to go the minute you need it. Maintenance involves cleaning and checking big brands like Mitsubishi Electric, making sure any faults are out of the picture.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tip #5: Knuckling Down the Right Time for Check-up</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The best time to schedule air conditioning services or ducted gas, heating, and cooling systems repairs is before peak use - early autumn for heating systems and early spring for your cooling systems. This way, you're sorted with a climate-controlled environment just when you need it.</span></p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The Importance of Scheduling Heating and Cooling Maintenance</span></h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HeatingCooling03.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">We have our busy days, and there are times when scheduling maintenance for our heating and cooling unit is the last thing on our list. However, there are plenty of reasons why sticking to heating and cooling maintenance like glue is so important:</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Keeps Your Systems Efficient</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Routine maintenance keeps your system running efficiently. A well-maintained unit uses less energy to run and is therefore less likely to punch a hole in your wallet when the energy bill shows up.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Helps Prevent Breakdowns</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular maintenance can spot potential problems and get them sorted before you're left stuck without climate control on a stinking hot day or a freezing cold night. It's a lot cheaper and less hassle to prevent problems than to fix them once they've happened.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Prolongs the Life of Your Unit</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Frequent maintenance can extend the lifespan of your heating and cooling system. Like a meticulously serviced engine, it promises to function efficiently for a long haul.</span></p> <h3 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 14pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It Keeps You in Warranty</span></h3> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A lot of manufacturers require regular maintenance to keep the warranty valid. You'd want to avoid voiding your warranty for lack of looking after your investment well.</span></p> <h2 dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 18pt; margin-bottom: 4pt;"><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Choosing the Right Professionals</span></h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HeatingCooling04.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When it comes to air conditioning installation, repairs, and maintenance, make sure you're seeking out the right professionals. Some folks might be game for a bash at DIY, but trust us, most air conditioning repairs need the know-how of a trained pro.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Whether it's regular </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.metropolitanheatingandcooling.com.au/locations/sa/heating-cooling-adelaide/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">heating and cooling installation in Adelaide</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">, system updates, or tweaks for maximum efficiency, the role of the professionals is crucial. They ensure vital parts, such as your air conditioning unit, are installed well, functioning properly, and maintained to provide <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/5-reasons-to-check-on-your-elderly-neighbour-during-a-heatwave" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cool air in summers</a> and warm air in winters. That's precisely why heating and cooling installations in Adelaide should only be carried out by seasoned pros.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In Adelaide, you're in luck with professional, reliable air conditioning services. Keep an eye out for fully trained and licensed heating and cooling technicians who are accredited to work on big brands.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Look after your system well, and you'll be cool in the summer and cosy in the winter. Keep cool, Adelaide!</span></p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f55474ea-7fff-8d26-6743-0e1ae38713e8">Images: Supplied.</span></em></p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-f55474ea-7fff-8d26-6743-0e1ae38713e8">This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Metropolitan Heating and Cooling.</span></em></p>

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Hydronic heating maintenance: Tips for a cosy winter

<p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Hydronic heating systems, often called radiant heating, utilise a closed-loop system to circulate hot water through pipes, providing efficient warmth to spaces. This blog post will delve into the </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://airconrepairnearme.com.au/blog/is-hydronic-heating-sustainable/#:~:text=Advantages%20of%20Hydronic%20Heating"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">advantages of hydronic heating</span></a><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> and the </span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">significance of regular maintenance for these systems, ensuring optimal performance during the chilly winter months. Let's explore critical aspects that contribute to a cosy and well-maintained hydronic heating system.</span><strong id="docs-internal-guid-43a50dd5-7fff-83c3-b866-681029940351" style="font-weight: normal;"></strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Why Hydronic Heating Maintenance Matters</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Maintaining your hydronic heating system is not just about comfort; it's a practical step towards energy efficiency and cost savings. A well-maintained winter heating system operates more efficiently, requiring less energy to achieve the desired temperature. It reduces utility bills, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/property/home-hints-tips/9-cost-effective-ways-to-warm-your-home-this-winter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">giving you a cosy home</a> without breaking the bank.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Extended Lifespan of the System</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular maintenance is like an investment in the longevity of your hydronic heating system. Simple tasks, such as cleaning and inspecting, can prevent wear and tear, ensuring your system lasts for years without significant issues. This foresight can save you from the inconvenience and expense of premature system replacement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Improved Heating Performance</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A well-maintained system translates to consistent and energy-efficient heating. By addressing potential issues early on, you ensure each room receives the warmth it needs, avoiding cold spots and discomfort. It enhances your overall living experience and contributes to a healthier and more enjoyable home environment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Enhanced Safety Features</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Safety should always be a top priority for home heating systems. Regular maintenance checks help identify and address potential safety hazards. From leaks to faulty components, addressing these issues promptly ensures your family's and property's safety, providing peace of mind throughout winter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Seasonal Maintenance Checklist</span></p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HydronicHeating02.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Fall Preparation</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">As the temperatures drop and the leaves begin to fall, it's time to prepare your hydronic heating system for the colder months ahead.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Checking and Cleaning Radiators or Baseboards:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Start by inspecting each radiator or baseboard for dust or debris. Clean them thoroughly to ensure unobstructed heat distribution. This simple task can significantly enhance the efficiency of your system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspecting the Boiler for Any Issues:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Give your boiler a once-over, checking for any signs of wear, corrosion, or leaks. Addressing minor issues now can prevent major breakdowns later.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Testing Thermostat Functionality:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Test your thermostat by adjusting the temperature settings. Ensure that it responds promptly and accurately. It may be time for a thermostat replacement or recalibration if you notice any discrepancies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bleeding Air from the System:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bleeding air from the system is crucial to maintaining optimal water flow. Follow these steps:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Turn off the heating system.</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Use a radiator key to open the bleed valve.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Allow warm air to escape until the water starts dripping.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Close the valve tightly.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">This process prevents hot air from pockets that can impede water circulation, ensuring efficient heating throughout your home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Winter Best Practices</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Monitoring Water Levels:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check the water level in your hydronic heating system regularly, especially during winter. Low water levels can cause the system to overheat or shut down. Consult your hydronic system's manual for specific instructions on maintaining water levels.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Adjusting Thermostat Settings for Efficiency:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Optimise your thermostat settings based on your daily routine. Lowering the temperature when you're away or sleeping can yield substantial energy savings without sacrificing comfort.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regularly Checking for Leaks:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspect your system for leaks, paying attention to connections, valves, and the boiler. Addressing leaks promptly prevents water damage and ensures the continued efficiency of your system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Troubleshooting Common Heating Issues:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Proactively troubleshoot common heating issues, such as uneven heating or unusual noises. Understanding your system's behaviour helps you address problems early, preventing extensive damage and costly repairs.</span></p> <p><strong style="font-weight: normal;"> </strong><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Tips for Hydronic Heating Maintenance by Professionals</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Maintaining a hydronic heating system is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Here are some tips for hydronic heating maintenance by professionals:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular Inspections:</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Schedule regular inspections by qualified technicians to assess the system's overall condition.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check for leaks, corrosion, or damage to pipes, valves, and components.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Pressure Check:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Monitor and adjust system pressure as needed. Low or high pressure can affect the heat pump's efficiency in the hydronic heating system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Flush the System:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Periodically flush the system to remove any accumulated sediment or debris hindering the system's efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Bleed Radiators:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">I bled the air filters from the radiators to ensure they heated evenly. Trapped air can cause cold spots and reduce the system's effectiveness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspect Pumps and Motors:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check pumps and motors for proper operation. Lubricate components as necessary and replace any worn-out parts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Boiler Maintenance:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Service the boiler regularly to ensure it operates efficiently. Clean the burners, heat exchanger, and flue to prevent efficiency loss.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Thermostat Calibration:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Calibrate and test thermostats to ensure accurate and consistent temperature control. Replace batteries if applicable.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check Expansion Tank:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Inspect and maintain the expansion tank to accommodate water volume changes and prevent damage to the piping system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Test Safety Controls:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Test safety controls, such as pressure relief valves and high-limit switches, to ensure they function correctly in emergencies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Water Quality Maintenance:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Monitor water and air quality in the system and treat it with inhibitors to prevent corrosion and scale buildup.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Evaluate Insulation:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Check the insulation on pipes and components to minimise heat loss and improve heating performance and the system's overall efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Update Controls and Sensors:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Consider upgrading control systems and sensors to the latest technology for better energy efficiency and system management.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Documentation:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keep comprehensive records of maintenance activities, inspections, and any repairs performed on the hydronic heating system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.999999999999998pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #434343; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Training for Staff:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Provide training for facility staff on basic maintenance tasks and early detection of potential issues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Regular professional maintenance ensures the hydronic heating system operates efficiently, reduces energy consumption, and extends lifespan. Always consult with qualified HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system professionals for specific maintenance requirements based on the type and complexity of the hydronic heating system.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Professional Maintenance Services</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HydronicHeating03.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When to Call a Professional for Maintenance</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">While homeowners can perform some maintenance tasks, there are instances when professional assistance is necessary.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Benefits of Professional Inspections:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Professional technicians have the expertise to identify and address issues that may go unnoticed. Regular professional inspections can extend the life of your system and ensure its continued reliability.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Finding a Qualified Hydronic Heating Technician:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When seeking professional services, look for technicians with experience in hydronic heating systems. Check reviews, ask for recommendations, and verify their certifications to ensure that you entrust your design to capable hands.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">When to Seek Professional Help:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">If your energy bills remain high despite your efforts, involving a professional is essential. They can conduct a thorough assessment to identify and address underlying issues affecting your system's efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Winter Energy Saving Tips</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Setting Optimal Thermostat Temperatures</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Guidelines:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature when at home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Lower the temperature when sleeping or away, aiming for energy savings reduced efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Consider investing in a programmable thermostat for automated temperature adjustments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Benefits:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Optimising thermostat settings ensures comfort and contributes to significant energy savings over the winter months.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Proper Insulation for Energy Efficiency</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Areas to Insulate:</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Walls and ceilings.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Attic and basement spaces.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Doors and windows.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Benefits:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Proper insulation prevents heat loss and leaking of warm air, reducing the workload on your hydronic heating system. It translates to lower energy consumption and improved efficiency.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Utilising Programmable Thermostats</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Advantages:</span></p> <ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0; padding-inline-start: 48px;"> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Automated temperature adjustments based on your schedule.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Energy savings by reducing the heating costs when not needed.</span></li> <li dir="ltr" style="list-style-type: disc; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Remote access for constant temperature control, even when away from home.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Installation Tips:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation, or consult a professional if needed. Programmable thermostats offer a convenient way to optimise heating and energy usage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 17pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Keep Your Place Cosy</span></p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/12/HydronicHeating04.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In conclusion, maintaining your hydronic heating system is essential for a cosy and worry-free winter. By following the seasonal maintenance checklist and knowing when to seek professional help like</span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href="https://airconrepairnearme.com.au/"><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: none; text-decoration-skip-ink: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">airconrepairnearme.com.au</span></a><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">, you can ensure the efficient operation of your system. Troubleshooting common issues and adopting winter energy-saving tips further contribute to a warm and inviting home. Embrace these practices, and may your winter be filled with comfort, warmth, and the joy of a well-maintained hydronic heating system. Stay cosy!</span></p> <p><em>Images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Air Con Repair Near Me.</em></p>

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9 things you should never touch in someone else’s house

<p><strong>A hands-off approach</strong></p> <p>Nothing like a global pandemic to critically alter your lifelong and intrinsic sanitary practices, huh? And while we know coronavirus does not spread easily from surfaces, there are still plenty of other germs and bacteria that do. And it’s not always a matter of good hygiene – sometimes it’s just a matter of good manners!</p> <p><strong>The door </strong></p> <p>Of course, you can actually touch the door, but you should never do so to let yourself into someone else’s home without them, or without being invited. Always knock or ring the bell, even if it’s been left unlocked, unless someone has expressly told you that you don’t have to.</p> <p>And please, don’t show up knocking earlier than expected – it could be a huge inconvenience to your host.</p> <p><strong>Their bathroom </strong></p> <p>As with most of the things on this list, you should avoid this unless you’re specifically invited. Try not to stray after your trip to the bathroom for a look around – it’s definitely off-limits if you don’t have permission or are going in without your host knowing. Of course, there are exceptions, as it may not be so serious an offence if you know the person very well, or if one lives in a shared living space, a studio, or an apartment with limited space.</p> <p>And on that note, it’s best to wait until you’re invited to sit or relax on someone’s bed. Many people also find that a bedroom is a convenient place to store coats if there are guests coming over, but wait until they offer instead of assuming it’s OK.</p> <p><strong>The floor - with your shoes on</strong></p> <p>Depending on personal preferences or cultural norms, many households have a no-shoes-inside policy. Take the tip from your host – if they’re wearing shoes in their house, you can probably assume it’s OK for you. When in doubt, ask what they would prefer.</p> <p>Another place you shouldn’t be putting your feet? On the couch or coffee table. I can think of five good reasons you should ban shoes in the house, period.</p> <p><strong>The fridge and cupboards </strong></p> <p>This one might sound like it should go without saying, but some might not realize just how rude it is to help yourself to someone else’s food. If you’re hungry, let your host know, or suggest going out to eat. If you’re staying for a long time, your host will probably prepare and shop for food accordingly, but it’s a good idea to offer to bring or buy some groceries yourself. And if you came for dinner, eat what’s been prepared for you, and offer to bring a dish or wine to share.</p> <p>If you have a restricted diet, let your host know beforehand and prepare a dish to bring if it’s difficult to accommodate. Offer to help cook, and lend a hand with the dishes and cleanup. Countertops are absolutely one of those things you should be cleaning every day, regardless.</p> <p><strong>The windows or thermostat</strong></p> <p>Always let your hosts set the thermostat number – it’s their house, after all, and they’re the ones paying the bill for it. If you’re really too cold, a better option might be to ask to borrow a jumper, or extra blankets if you’ll be staying overnight.</p> <p>Too hot? Suggest an activity to help cool off, like going to a place with air conditioning. If you have a medical condition that makes you particularly sensitive to heat or cold, you should always inform your host ahead of time so you can make plans accordingly.</p> <p><strong>Drawers and cabinets</strong></p> <p>This one is definitely invasive of your host’s privacy. Don’t go rummaging for anything that’s not in plain sight or in the rooms your host is expecting you in. You might find it tempting to snoop, but the medicine cabinet is certainly off-limits.</p> <p><strong>Workspaces, mail, or bills</strong></p> <p>To go along with the last one, it’s always best to avoid snooping. In some homes, a guest bedroom might also double as a home office, so steer clear of using these spaces to store your things. You have no idea how they might have organised their things, so try to leave it as is. Not going through someone’s mail is basic manners!</p> <p><strong>Cigarettes or e-cigarettes </strong></p> <p>Unless your host is doing the same and gives you permission, you should never, ever start smoking a cigarette or e-cigarette in someone’s home. This rule is especially inflexible if there are children in the house. Not only can you expose them to the harmful ingredients and chemicals in cigarettes, but the effects – and the smell – can linger long after you’re gone.</p> <p>If you can’t wait, excuse yourself to go outside, and try to move away from doors and windows so it doesn’t waft into the house. Removing the cigarette and cigar smell is quite the cumbersome task. </p> <p><strong>The Wi-Fi</strong></p> <p>Try to refrain from asking for the Wi-Fi password unless you’re a long-term guest or a very frequent visitor. If you’re asking at the beginning of a dinner party, it’s sending the message that you’d rather be on your phone. Try to stay off of your phone as much as possible to really have quality time when you’re visiting.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/9-things-you-should-never-touch-in-someone-elses-house" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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This bathroom item is dirtier than your toilet seat, according to a microbiologist

<p><strong>Bathrooms and germs </strong></p> <p>Bathrooms are filthy – there’s just no way around it. They’re home to toilets, sinks and showers and tend to be one of the dirtiest places in the home, no matter how often they’re on your cleaning schedule. And because the toilet seat plays host to your derrière, it’s easy to label this as the germiest spot in the bathroom. But research is disproving that notion.</p> <p>Overall, the hard surfaces – such as the toilet seat and floor – are scrubbed down often because they’re the first lines on your bathroom cleaning checklist. And many people focus on cleaning the toilet because nothing screams dirty like a line of biofilm in the toilet bowl. But what about other bathroom-specific items? Dr Charles Gerba, a microbiology professor at the University of Arizona, says that it’s the fabrics in our bathroom that deserve the most attention. Yes, your bathmat is actually dirtier than your toilet seat, followed by towels, including those facecloths (which is why you need to wash your towels often). Here’s what you need to know.</p> <p><strong>Are bathmats really that dirty?</strong></p> <p>“We’ve done a lot of research on the microbiology of homes and, more recently, the bathroom,” says Gerba. The bathmat is problematic for two reasons, he says. First, it gets wet when you’re getting out of the shower, and it stays wet and moist, often in a dark and damp room.</p> <p>The second issue is that many people wear shoes in the bathroom, a huge contributing factor to the dirt, grime and bacteria found on bathmats. “Almost 90% of all shoes have faecal bacteria on them,” Gerba says. “You’re walking in dog poop all the time, and you don’t know it.”</p> <p>Beyond tracking shoes throughout the house and across bathmats, Gerba also pointed out the potential of spray from the toilet to land on bathmats. The Ecological Fluid Dynamics Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder experimented to see how far water droplets were ejected into the air when flushing public restroom toilets. The airborne particles shoot out quickly, reaching as much as 1.5 metres above the toilet within 8 seconds. The droplets were unpredictable and landed on the walls around the toilet, including behind it, and also on the ceiling. Which means that depending on the proximity, spray from a toilet can easily touch down on a plush bathmat.</p> <p>But while some research might suggest closing the toilet seat cover at home before flushing, not everyone agrees with that solution. “When you close the lid, the spray then goes over the top of the toilet seat and hits the walls on the side because you’ve narrowed the opening, which makes the water shoot out at a higher speed,” Gerba says, adding that closing the lid also leads to the toilet seat and underside of the lid getting more contaminated.</p> <p><strong>How to prevent dirty bathmats</strong></p> <p>Whether or not you close the toilet seat, one thing is certain: Keeping your bathmat as dry as possible is important. One of the factors that make bathmats the dirtiest spot in the bathroom is that they sometimes stay damp for hours, depending on how humid your environment is, how many people are showering and how much water splashes on them. Drying off in the shower will keep your bathmat from getting soggy. You can also hang it to dry instead of leaving it on the floor, where it will stay wet longer.</p> <p>Another tip: If you don’t remove your shoes when entering your house, at least take them off before going into the bathroom (and clean your floors often). That way, you’re not tracking outside germs onto a bathmat where they can quickly and easily multiply. “When you get out of the shower, it’s moist,” Gerba says. “Any time we have a fabric, it absorbs water, and things like faecal bacteria will survive longer there than on hard surfaces.”</p> <p><strong>How to wash your bathmat</strong></p> <p>The hard surfaces in bathrooms are satisfying to spray and wipe down, which Gerba recommends doing every few days. But what about bathmats? You should wash your bathmat at least once a week, and not just to keep it fresh and fluffy, but importantly, to remove bacteria.</p> <p>The first step to washing bathmats is to check the care label and follow the instructions on the tag, including which temperature is best for the fabric. Most bathmats can be machine-washed, but be careful with rubber-backed bathmats, which shouldn’t be dried on high heat. In general, quick-drying fabrics, such as microfibre and chenille, can be good options because they dry fast and are easy to launder. Something you can easily wash twice per week is the healthiest option.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/this-bathroom-item-is-dirtier-than-your-toilet-seat-according-to-a-microbiologist" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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Why are people putting toilet paper in the fridge?

<p>Recently, people on social media have been advising you to replace that box of bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda) in the back of your fridge with a roll of toilet paper.</p> <p>Does this weird trick work? We asked kitchen and appliance experts to see what the pros had to say!</p> <h4>Why put toilet paper in the fridge?</h4> <p>Ruiz Asri, editor of Honest Food Talks, says toilet paper’s absorbency is behind this hack. “Moisture in the refrigerator often contributes to mildew and unpleasant odour,” Asri says. The toilet paper absorbs excess moisture, along with foul smells. References to toilet paper in the fridge can be found as far back as 2015. But its dedicated use of it as an odour absorber seems to be more recent, with videos appearing on TikTok and Facebook.</p> <p><strong>Does it work?</strong></p> <p>Yes, to a point. While TP will absorb odours, other options are more efficient, take up less space and generate fewer odd looks from houseguests. Amy, from the parenting blog Amy & Rose, has tried the TP technique. She had some fishy smells in the fridge, and her daughter suggested that she try the toilet paper hack. So did it work?</p> <p>“In my experience, somewhat,” she says. But here’s the catch: It’s just a temporary fix.</p> <h4>Alternative fridge odour busters</h4> <p>So if you want something longer lasting that takes up less space, read on for some alternate odour-fighting strategies.</p> <p><strong>Bi-carbonate of soda</strong></p> <p>Bi-carbonate of soda (also known as bi-carb and baking soda) is the go-to solution for many households. It caught on in the 1970s, when one manufacturer promoted it as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical cleaning. By 1994, a US newspaper reported “more refrigerators are likely to have bi-carb than working light bulbs.”</p> <p>Bi-carb is a base material, which means it neutralises acids. Because most odours are acidic, it can cut off the smell at the source. (Side note: After deodorising a fridge with bi-carb, don’t use the contents of that box for baking. Cooking can reactivate those acids and contaminate your cake.) As the bi-carb interacts with more acids, it becomes less effective. Most people will need to replace it every three months.</p> <p><strong>Black cumin seed oil</strong></p> <p>Corinne Segura, a building biologist practitioner and founder of My Chemical-Free House, has first-hand experience with fridge odours. “When food went bad in my fridge, it left a lingering foul odour,” she says. “I used black cumin seed oil, which has a deodorising effect, to clean up the smell.”</p> <p>Segura credits this to the essential oil’s ability to deodorise methyl mercaptan, a chemical that produces a rotten scent. “I mixed five drops of black cumin essential oil with 1 tablespoon of dish soap and applied it in a thick layer to all the plastic components inside the fridge,” she says. “I let it sit for two hours before washing it off. This worked well to get rid of foul odours in the fridge.”</p> <p><strong>Activated charcoal </strong></p> <p>Activated charcoal captures the particles that cause bad smells, just like toilet paper. It’s available as a powder, in pre-cut filters or as fabric you can cut to size. It functions by collecting the volatile compounds given off by smelly items, reducing odour. Swap out the charcoal every month or so to keep it effective.</p> <p><strong>Vanilla extract</strong></p> <p>For those who prefer a more pleasant scent, especially around their food, Asri offers a particularly sweet recommendation. “Soak a cotton wool ball in vanilla extract and place it in the refrigerator,” he says. “This combats bad odours and leaves your fridge smelling like a bakery.”</p> <p><strong>Crumpled newspaper and charcoal </strong></p> <p>If you want a deep-clean on your fridge or freezer at minimal expense, go with one paper product that’s even cheaper than toilet paper. Fill up a particularly stinky fridge with crushed charcoal and crumpled newspaper (you can buy unprinted newsprint paper).</p> <p>You’ll need to replace the newspaper every day for about a week, but it’s a low-cost way to deal with a foul-smelling situation.</p> <h4>UV light purifier</h4> <p>If you gravitate towards high-tech solutions, consider a fridge with a UV light filter. “Ultraviolet light can destroy bacteria, mould and other pathogens,” says Alexander Hill, a sales rep for UK-based Appliance Depot. “Some fridge purifiers use UV light to sanitise the air and surfaces inside the fridge, thus reducing the source of many odours.”</p> <p>Take that, toilet paper.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/diy-tips/why-are-people-putting-toilet-paper-in-the-fridge" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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Homeowners often feel better about life than renters, but not always – whether you are mortgaged matters

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-ong-viforj-113482">Rachel Ong ViforJ</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hiroaki-suenaga-1477343">Hiroaki Suenaga</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ryan-brierty-1477346">Ryan Brierty</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em></p> <p>Homeownership has long been thought of as the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-23/why-australians-are-obsessed-with-owning-property/8830976">great Australian dream</a>. For individuals, it’s seen as the path to adulthood and prosperity. For the nation, it’s seen as a cornerstone of economic and social policy.</p> <p>Implicit in this is the assumption that owning a home rather than renting one makes people better off.</p> <p>It’s an assumption we are now able to examine using data from the government-funded <a href="https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/hilda">Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia</a> (HILDA) survey, which for two decades has asked questions both about homeownership and satisfaction with life.</p> <p>The <a href="https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/4694137/ContinuingPersonQuestionnaireW23M.pdf">overarching question</a> asks "all things considered, how satisfied are you with your life? Pick a number between 0 and 10 to indicate how satisfied you are".</p> <p>We also looked at people’s satisfaction with their financial situation, their home and the neighbourhood in which they live.</p> <p>In a study published in the journal <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00420980231190479">Urban Studies</a>, we linked those answers to home ownership and characteristics including age and income.</p> <p>As expected, we found homeowners were generally more satisfied with their lives than renters. But we also find the extent to which they were more satisfied depended on whether or not they were still paying off a mortgage.</p> <h2>Mortgaged homeowners about as satisfied as renters</h2> <p>Outright home owners were 1.5 times as likely to report high overall satisfaction as renters. But home owners still paying off a mortgage were only a little more likely to feel high overall satisfaction.</p> <p>Similarly, outright owners were 2.3 times as likely to report high financial satisfaction as renters – but mortgaged owners were only 1.1 times as likely.</p> <p>When it comes to satisfaction with their home and neighbourhood, the differences were less extreme.</p> <p>Outright home owners were 3.1 times as likely to report high satisfaction with their home as renters, while mortgaged owners were 2.8 times as likely.</p> <p>Outright owners were 1.6 times as likely to report high satisfaction with their neighbourhood as renters, and mortgaged owners 1.4 times as likely.</p> <p>The results also varied with age and income.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="hK9Ua" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/hK9Ua/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>As shown in the graph above, outright owners were more likely to report high financial satisfaction than renters across almost the entire age range.</p> <p>But mortgaged owners only showed a demonstrably greater financial satisfaction than renters between the ages of 25 and 50.</p> <p>Beyond age 50, the existence of a mortgage debt burden appeared to cancel out any boost to financial satisfaction from homeownership. This potentially reflects the growing financial stress of making mortgage payments as retirement approaches.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="f2GSl" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/f2GSl/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>By income, mortgaged owners reported experiencing more financial satisfaction compared to renters the more they earned between A$80,000 and A$240,000. Outright owners experienced more financial satisfaction than renters up to A$320,000.</p> <p>Beyond these income levels, owners did not have greater financial satisfaction than renters, perhaps because high-earning renters have other sources of financial satisfaction.</p> <h2>How satisfied people feel beyond 60</h2> <p>In other respects, outright owners and mortgaged homeowners showed similar patterns, becoming more satisfied with their homes relative to renters the more they age up – until the age of 60. That’s when their satisfaction relative to renters declined, as illustrated below.</p> <p>This decline might reflect the growing physical burden of maintaining an owned home as people age.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="oLrHz" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/oLrHz/2/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Our study has important implications. One is that age matters.</p> <p>Although older people consistently express a desire to <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/analysis/brief/whats-needed-make-ageing-place-work-older-australians">age in place</a>, we found satisfaction among those who owned vs rented their home declined beyond age 60. This suggests better integration between housing and care is critical to support people ageing in place.</p> <p>Another implication is that as low-income owners are more reliant on their homes as a source of relative financial satisfaction than high earners, they are <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-social-policy/article/housing-equity-withdrawal-perceptions-of-obstacles-among-older-australian-home-owners-and-associated-service-providers/268F54A8EAA1E9ECA118E243505AA9FD">more exposed</a> in times of crisis. They may face the risk of being forced to sell suddenly with little time to consider the consequences.</p> <p>And another implication is as the relative financial satisfaction of mortgage holders disappears after the age of 50, and as more of us approach retirement with mortgages intact, more of us will either <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00420980211026578">postpone retirement</a> or become dissatisfied.</p> <p>Our findings suggest the extension of mortgage debt into later life should be discouraged if the benefits of the Australian dream are to be preserved.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215147/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-ong-viforj-113482"><em>Rachel Ong ViforJ</em></a><em>, ARC Future Fellow &amp; Professor of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hiroaki-suenaga-1477343">Hiroaki Suenaga</a>, Senior Lecturer School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ryan-brierty-1477346">Ryan Brierty</a>, PhD candidate, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/homeowners-often-feel-better-about-life-than-renters-but-not-always-whether-you-are-mortgaged-matters-215147">original article</a>.</em></p>

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These 7 genius hacks will revive almost any plant

<p><strong>Look for signs of life </strong></p> <p>If your plant has turned brown and lost some leaves, don’t give up on it just yet. There is hope that you can revive a dead plant if the plant still has a few green leaves and pliable stems – buds are a sure sign too. Melinda Meyers, star and producer of Melinda’s Garden Moment TV and radio segments, says that reviving a plant takes patience (sometimes even years).</p> <p><strong>Think about the water</strong></p> <p>Plants that are over-watered appear wilted and may have brown or yellow leaves that make it look dead but with very moist soil. By contrast, if you have forgotten to water your plants,  the leaves will be brown but dried around the edges or curled up. Master gardener, Kristena LaMar, says that if you suspect over-watering is the cause of your plant’s demise, repot your plant in dry dirt.</p> <p>And if your plant is thirsty, water it! However, hold off on fertilising until the plant is in better health. Meyers warns that, “Fertilising a struggling plant can injure the tender roots of a recovering plant.”</p> <p><strong>Consider your lighting situation</strong></p> <p>If you recently moved your plant to a new spot, it’s possible it’s no longer getting enough light. Even if you didn’t move it, it’s possible its lighting situation changed. Did you recently buy heavier drapes? Plant a tree outside that’s now blocking the indoor sunlight?</p> <p>Try moving your plant to a sunnier window if it needs a lot of light. (Same goes with a plant that’s now getting too much sun; try a different location in your home.)</p> <p><strong>Find a humid spot</strong></p> <p>Plants absorb water through leaves as well as roots. So keep your plant in a humid spot that’s not too sunny and not too dry to help it recover.</p> <p><strong>Feed your plant carefully </strong></p> <p>People and pets aren’t the only things in your house that need food; plants can get malnourished, too. (Signs are discoloured leaves or slow or no growth.) Meyers recommends a fertiliser/nutritional supplement. Depending on the nutritional deficiency, providing the nutrition can help the plant recover nearly immediately within days.</p> <p>Other deficiencies may take longer – as in weeks – while others are chronic and may not ever fully recover, although these are rare with houseplants.</p> <p><strong>IV for plants </strong></p> <p>Another option for malnourished plants is a water-soluble fertiliser that will slowly release nutrients and is less likely to burn your plant’s roots. Add it to the watering can before watering plants. Only use fertiliser during the time when your plant should be growing. Over-fertilising or using the wrong fertiliser can burn the roots of the plant.</p> <p><strong>Compost</strong></p> <p>If you’ve tried everything, and your plant still can’t be revived, it might be time to let go. By composting your plants, the remains can be recycled as nutrient-rich dirt that can help your next houseplant thrive. Don’t beat yourself up – and next time buy a hearty, nearly kill-proof cactus.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/7-hacks-that-will-revive-almost-any-plant" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

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Streets of purple haze: how the South American jacaranda became a symbol of Australian spring

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-k-martin-107846">Susan K Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p>Jacaranda season is beginning across Australia as an explosion of vivid blue spreads in a wave from north to south. We think of jacarandas as a signature tree of various Australian cities. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth all feature avenues of them.</p> <p>Grafton in New South Wales hosts an annual <a href="https://www.jacarandafestival.com/">jacaranda festival</a>. Herberton in Queensland is noted for <a href="https://www.facebook.com/jacarandafestivalherberton/">its seasonal show</a>.</p> <p>There are significant plantings in many botanic, public and university gardens across Australia. <em>Jacaranda mimosifolia</em> (the most common species in Australia) doesn’t generally flower in Darwin, and Hobart is a little cold for it.</p> <p>So showy and ubiquitous, jacarandas can be mistaken for natives, but they originate in South America. The imperial plant-exchange networks of the 19th century introduced them to Australia.</p> <p>But how did these purple trees find their stronghold in our suburbs?</p> <h2>Propagating the trees</h2> <p>Botanist Alan Cunningham sent the first jacaranda specimens from <a href="https://mhnsw.au/stories/general/dream-tree-jacaranda-sydney-icon/">Rio to Britain’s Kew gardens</a> around 1818.</p> <p>Possibly, jacaranda trees arrived from Kew in colonial Australia. Alternately, Cunningham may have disseminated the tree in his later postings in Australia or through plant and seed exchanges.</p> <p>Jacarandas are a widespread imperial introduction and are now a feature of many temperate former colonies. The jacaranda was exported by the British from Kew, by other colonial powers (Portugal for example) and directly from South America to various colonies.</p> <p>Jacarandas grow from seed quite readily, but the often preferred mode of plant propagation in the 19th century was through cuttings because of sometimes <a href="https://mhnsw.au/stories/general/dream-tree-jacaranda-sydney-icon/">unreliable seed</a> and <a href="https://academic.oup.com/histres/article/93/262/715/5938031?login=true">volume of results</a>.</p> <p>Cuttings are less feasible for the jacaranda, so the tree was admired but rare in Australia until either nurseryman Michael Guilfoyle or gardener George Mortimer succeeded in propagating the tree in 1868.</p> <p>Once the trees could be easily propagated, <a href="https://www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/library/local_history/woollahra_plaque_scheme/plaques/michael_guilfoyle">jacarandas became more widely available</a> and they began their spread through Australian suburbs.</p> <h2>A colonial import</h2> <p>Brisbane claims the earliest jacaranda tree in Australia, <a href="https://blog.qagoma.qld.gov.au/godfrey-rivers-under-the-jacaranda-a-quintessential-image-of-brisbane-queensland/">planted in 1864</a>, but the Sydney Botanic Garden jacaranda is dated at “around” 1850, and jacarandas were listed for sale in <a href="https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13055858?searchTerm=Jacaranda%20OR%20Jakaranda">Sydney in 1861</a>.</p> <p>These early park and garden plantings were eye-catching – but the real impact and popularity of jacarandas is a result of later street plantings.</p> <p>Jacaranda avenues, in Australia and around the world, usually indicate wealthier suburbs like Dunkeld in <a href="https://www.wisemove.co.za/post/top-10-richest-suburbs-in-johannesburg">Johannesberg</a> and Kilimani in <a href="https://gay.medium.com/hashtag-jacaranda-propaganda-2f20ac6958b9">Nairobi</a>.</p> <p>In Australia, these extravagant displays appear in older, genteel suburbs like Subiaco and Applecross in Perth; Kirribilli, Paddington and Lavender Bay in Sydney; Parkville and the Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy in Melbourne; Mitcham, Frewville and Westbourne Park in Adelaide; and St Lucia in Brisbane.</p> <p>The trend toward urban street avenue plantings expanded internationally in the <a href="https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.2307/3983816?journalCode=foreconshist">mid 19th century</a>. It was particularly popular in growing colonial towns and cities. It followed trends in imperial centres, but new colonial cities offered scope for <a href="https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/eh/2009/00000015/00000003/art00004">concerted planning of avenues in new streets</a>.</p> <p>Early Australian streets were often host to a mix of native plants and exotic imported trees. Joseph Maiden, director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens from 1896, drove the move from mixed street plantings towards avenues of single-species trees in the early 20th century.</p> <p>Maiden selected trees suitable to their proposed area, but he was also driven by contemporary aesthetic ideas of <a href="https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/eh/2009/00000015/00000003/art00004">uniformity and display</a>.</p> <p>By the end of the 19th century, deciduous trees were becoming more popular as tree plantings for their variety and, in southern areas, for the openness to winter sunshine.</p> <p>It takes around ten years for jacaranda trees to become established. Newly planted jacarandas take between two and 14 years to produce their first flowers, so there was foresight in planning to achieve the streets we have today.</p> <p>In Melbourne, jacarandas were popular in post-first world war plantings. They were displaced by a move to native trees after the second world war. Despite localised popularity in certain suburbs, the jacaranda does not make the list of top 50 tree plantings for <a href="https://www.proquest.com/docview/220356756/714CC7FF6134038PQ/6?accountid=12001">Melbourne</a>.</p> <p>In Queensland, 19th-century street tree planting was particularly ad hoc – the <a href="https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=602440">Eagle Street fig trees</a> are an example – and offset by enthusiastic forest clearance. It wasn’t until the early 20th century street beautification became more organised and jacaranda avenues were planted in areas like New Farm in Brisbane.</p> <p>The popular plantings on the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland occurred later, in the <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/queensland-review/article/abs/for-shade-colour-and-in-memory-of-sacrifice-amenity-and-memorial-tree-planting-in-queenslands-towns-and-cities-191555/459CD1E02E7FD581B4B89ADD7073D705">1930s</a>.</p> <h2>A flower for luck</h2> <p>In Australia, as elsewhere, there can be too much of a good thing. Jacarandas are an invasive species <a href="https://weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/weeds/jacaranda">in parts of Australia</a> (they seed readily in the warm dry climates to which they have been introduced).</p> <p>Parts of South Africa have limited or banned the planting of jacarandas because of their water demands and <a href="http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&amp;pid=S0006-82412017000200020">invasive tendencies</a>. Ironically, eucalypts have a similar status in South Africa.</p> <p>Writer <a href="https://gay.medium.com/hashtag-jacaranda-propaganda-2f20ac6958b9">Carey Baraka argues</a> that, however beloved and iconic now, significant plantings of jacarandas in Kenya indicate areas of past and present white population and colonial domination.</p> <p>Despite these drawbacks, spectacular jacaranda plantings remain popular where they have been introduced. There are even myths about them that cross international boundaries.</p> <p>In the southern hemisphere – in Pretoria or Sydney – they bloom on university campuses during examination time: the first blooms mark the time to study; the fall of blooms suggests it is <a href="https://mhnsw.au/stories/general/dream-tree-jacaranda-sydney-icon/">too late</a>; and the fall of a blossom on a student bestows <a href="https://newcontree.org.za/index.php/nc/article/view/34">good luck</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214075/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/susan-k-martin-107846"><em>Susan K Martin</em></a><em>, Emeritus Professor in English, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/streets-of-purple-haze-how-the-south-american-jacaranda-became-a-symbol-of-australian-spring-214075">original article</a>.</em></p>

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3 household items that expire sooner than you think

<p>Milk, cheese and other fridge-dwelling food items are stamped with expiration dates that, should you choose to ignore them, will make themselves known via smell.</p> <p>But your house is actually peppered with items that require regular replenishment - many of which are outside of the kitchen.</p> <p>Thanks to this handy info, we're now aware of the many surprising household items that require a monthly or yearly upgrade.</p> <p>From knickknacks on your dresser to the staples in your pantry, your house is chock-full of items that can go bad.</p> <p>Here are a few of the most surprising.</p> <p><strong>Hydrogen Peroxide</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Expires in:</em></span> 2 months</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why:</em></span> Hydrogen peroxide, the versatile topical antiseptic used to prevent infection in cuts, scrapes, and minor burns, actually turns into water just two months after opening. An unopened bottle should be thrown out after one year.</p> <p><strong>Kitchen spices</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Expires in:</em></span> 1-3 years</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why:</em></span> Household kitchen spices, like cinnamon, cumin and basil, reportedly begin losing their lustre after just one year - both in terms of taste and smell. Brightside also claims that ground spices should be thrown out after just six months.</p> <p><strong>Mosquito repellents</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Expires in:</em></span> 3 years</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Why:</em></span> Mosquito repellents are essentially useless after just two years, according to Brightside. You can usually tell if a bug repellent has expired by the smell - if one spray doesn't emit the pungent odour you've grown used to, it's time to throw it out.</p> <p><em>Written by Kelsey Clark. First appeared on <a href="http://www.Stuff.co.nz" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Stuff.co.nz</strong></span></a>. </em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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5 time-saving laundry tricks

<p>Doing laundry seems to be a never-ending chore. These simple tricks will make your life a little easier next time you do your washing.</p> <p><strong>1. Use lingerie bag for socks</strong></p> <p>Losing and then pairing mismatched socks makes laundry a bigger task than what it already is. Make sock washing easier by washing all your socks together in a lingerie bag. Gone will be the days that you find odd socks stuck in a pair of jeans or hiding in the washing machine.</p> <p><strong>2. Make detergent yourself</strong></p> <p>If you are ever concerned with the chemicals and ingredients in laundry detergent then you can opt for a natural detergent by making it yourself. To make homemade detergent, stir together one bar shaved bar soap, 1 cup of borax and one cup of washing soda. You can put the ingredients in a food processor or blender to create a fine powder. Simply store in a sealed container.</p> <p><strong>3. Make dryer sheets yourself</strong></p> <p>To make budget-friendly dryer sheets, you will need old scraps of cloth, essential oils and white vinegar. Mix one cup of white vinegar with roughly 25 drops of essential oils. Fold the cloth scraps and place them into a jar or storage container. Moisten the cloth with vinegar mixture but do not saturate them. Then use one cloth per dryer load to freshen laundry.</p> <p><strong>4. Use chalk to remove grease stains</strong></p> <p>If you have any chalk handy it can pre-treat grease stains. The chalk powder helps absorb the grease and will leave your clothes looking clean again.</p> <p><strong>5. Use baby shampoo to unshrink clothes</strong></p> <p>If you ever accidentally shrink one of your favourite items of clothes then reach for baby shampoo. Baby shampoo can stretch clothing and restore it to its former shape and size.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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5 myths about bedbugs

<p>Just about everyone fears these nasty critters turning up in their hotel bed or home. Let’s separate the myths from the facts.</p> <p><strong>Myth 1: Bedbugs mean you have poor hygiene</strong></p> <p>Bedbugs can spring up anywhere, from the cleanest penthouse bedroom to the most questionable hostel bunk bed. Dirt has really nothing to do with attracting bedbugs – they are only interested in having human bodies nearby for a food source.</p> <p>It can help to reduce clutter as it gives them fewer places to hide, but don’t feel that they are a reflection on your housekeeping skills.</p> <p><strong>Myth 2: Bedbugs only live in beds</strong></p> <p>The name bedbug is a misnomer – these little biters will happily live pretty much anywhere. Think lounges, cushions, carpet, chairs, railings, even the walls.</p> <p>So once you brush against something, the bugs will transfer to you and you’ll carry them along with you.</p> <p><strong>Myth 3: Any bug in my bed is a bedbug</strong></p> <p>Probably not! A recent review found that fewer than 10% of the bugs that were reported actually turned out to be bedbugs. People have become very aware of bedbugs due to news reports and hotel horror stories, so they are more inclined to jump to conclusions.</p> <p>Don’t panic and have the situation property assessed before you assume the worst.</p> <p><strong>Myth 4: Bedbugs spread disease</strong></p> <p>They will give you itchy and unsightly bites, but that’s about all you have to worry about. There have been no reported cases of bedbugs ever spreading any kind of disease.</p> <p>Keep in mind however that the bugs have been found to harbour human pathogens, like viruses and bacteria, but they do not multiply within the bug’s body.</p> <p><strong>Myth 5: You can kill bedbugs with insect spray</strong></p> <p>Sorry – you’re going to need to invest in more than a can of Mortein to evict these houseguests. Most bedbugs are resistant to over the counter sprays and you could end up doing harm to yourself by coating your bed in chemicals.</p> <p>You’ll need to get a quote from a professional exterminator who can offer fumigation or heat-based treatments. But beware, these won't come cheap.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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