How to Protect Your AC Unit from the Rain

protect AC from the rainWith spring come spring showers. A little drizzle is not an issue, but a complete downpour is a whole other problem. While manufacturers design residential AC units to withstand water exposure, heavy rain combined with wind can cause damage. We’ll explain how you can protect your AC unit from the rain and the natural elements.

How Rain Affects Air Conditioners

AC units have sealed electrical components that shield the circuitry from rain. However, when the rain is accompanied by strong gusts, airborne projectiles and debris can lodge in the system. For AC systems installed on ground level, heavy rains can also cause floods that inundate the unit. Flood water can also damage air ducts and air quality systems if they’re located within the same vicinity.

How to Safeguard the AC System

Mukilteo can be rainy city during peak spring. We advise home and business owners to protect their installed AC and HVAC units. The solution is quite simple: invest in a rain guard. This is a simple add-on that protects any part of the system that partially or completely protrudes outdoors. Continue Reading →

How High Humidity Affects HVAC Performance

high humidity affects HVACWith spring around the corner, you can expect the weather to heat up. This should also mean an uptick in humidity. Too much moisture in the air makes for uncomfortable weather. Unbeknownst to most homeowners, though, high humidity also affects HVAC performance. Spring is the time to start monitoring the air quality of your HVAC system.

How Humidity Impacts HVACs

Part of an air conditioner’s function is to remove moisture from the surrounding air. The higher the humidity the harder the output of the air conditioner to achieve the desired results. Older HVAC systems may not be able to deal with the excess moisture, resulting in subpar air cooling. The same goes for modern systems that operate continually without a filter change or other maintenance work. The same problem also arises if the installer did not properly size the system for the size and type of your home.

The end result? Premature HVAC wear, higher utility bills, and poor air quality. Continue Reading →

Ideas for a Valentine’s Day Barbecue

Valentine’s Day BarbecuePeople tend to think of a barbecue as a summer event or occasion, reserved for Sunday afternoons during baseball season. Well, here’s a bold idea: how about a Valentine’s Day barbecue? This is a intimate way to have dinner with a significant other without worrying about securing a restaurant reservation.

Why a Home Barbecue for Valentine’s Day?

Why not? This is quite a creative idea, don’t you think? Use this occasion for breaking out the grill and smoker and having a private dinner at home. A dinner at a restaurant is so conventional. Plus, if you haven’t made a reservation already, then you’re probably out of luck. The same goes for a date at the movie theaters or booking a hotel suite.

Valentine’s Day Barbecue Ideas

1. Load Up on the Oysters

Oysters are the perfect romantic food. Casanova was believed to eat 50 oysters for breakfast every day. Oysters are also a rich source of zinc, which increases libido. You and your partner can feed each other oysters while enjoying an ice-cold glass of tequila or a margarita. Continue Reading →

Walk-In Freezer Safety Tips for Employees

walk-in freezer safetyWe hope you had a nice Christmas. With 2018 here, kickstart the year by enforcing workplace safety practices. This reduces chances of injury, which can result in lost productivity and increased medical insurance costs. If you work in the food industry, we recommend these walk-in freezer safety tips for your employees.

Walk-In Freezer Safety Tips

A walk-in Freezer is a shed-size room of blistering cold. Negligence can result in an accidental lockin or a slip and fall. Be adamant that your staff follows these safety practices:

1. Regularly Inspect the Safety Releases

Modern freezer and refrigeration units have safety releases for preventing accidental entrapment. Employees who become locked in are at risk of severe hypothermia. Check the safety release regularly to be sure it’s functioning properly. Employees should also use the buddy system when entering refrigeration units. Continue Reading →

Why Does the Common Cold Increase During Winter?

common coldWinter is right around the corner. This is also the time of year when people tend to catch the bug. Why is this? Why does the common cold increase during winter? What can you do about it to prevent the sniffles as the temperatures gradually drop?

An Explanation for the Common Cold Increase in Winter

Contrary to popular belief, the cold weather itself is not what makes you sick. Researchers conducted an experiment where they placed a virus on the nose of test subjects. The participants then entered either a warm and dry chamber or a cold and wet one. Both groups became ill at equal rates.

Scientists aren’t sure of the exact cause, though they have theories. One explanation is that people spend more time indoors during winter. The confined space allows viruses to more easily spread from person to person. Continue Reading →

How to Reduce Indoor Christmas Tree Allergens

Christmas tree allergensWe love Christmas trees. They bring out the festive spirit in any home interior. However, fir trees are also notorious for inducing allergies. We’ll explain how to keep a tree in the home while reducing indoor Christmas tree allergens.

How Fir Trees Affect Allergies

The branches and pine needles may contain dust, mold, and pollen. The mold is especially a problem. Once you place the tree in an indoor environment, the enclosed space allows the mold to grow.

The sap from the tree may also cause allergies. The terpenes, a compound that produces the fir tree’s signature scent, may also cause coughing fits and irritation in the eyes and skin. Continue Reading →

Four Preparation Tips for an Outdoor Thanksgiving

outdoor thanksgivingThanksgiving dinner doesn’t always have to take place in the dining room. Why not host an outdoor Thanksgiving celebration for a change? If you optimized your patio for outdoor living, then this is a terrific way to bring the family together.

Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Thanksgiving Dinner

1. Prepare for Rain

Rain can ruin any outdoor event. You will need a backup plan if a downpour befalls Mukilteo on the day of giving thanks. Does your patio have an awning or canopy? If you need to move the event indoors, is the dining room ready to accommodate a crowd? Continue Reading →

What NOT to Burn in an Outdoor Fire Pit

what not to burnAn outdoor fire pit is a great addition to any patio. Such a fixture is becoming a mainstay for outdoor living. Of course, you must treat the appliance with great care. This means being selective with what you place in the fire. We’ll outline what not to burn in an outdoor fire pit.

Do Not Burn These in an Outdoor Fire Pit

Even if you forget everything else in this article, just remember this simple rule: Don’t burn anything in a fire pit other than natural wood.

The fire pit is not a trash incinerator. Do not burn paper, trash, or anything manmade. These release carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, and a number of other toxic chemicals into the environment.

You also shouldn’t burn treated wood. This includes pallets or any form of wooden materials used in industrial applications. These often contain the toxic chemical methyl bromide.

Particle board is another item to keep out of the fire. This is a form of engineered wood that contains adhesives for bonding the wood fibers together. Some adhesives contain formaldehyde, a chemical found in tobacco. Continue Reading →

Improve Indoor Air Quality with Ultraviolet Light

ultraviolet lightAdequate ventilation is essential for air quality control. There are many ways to reduce indoor pollutants. These may include cleaning the home, investing in a portable air purifier, etc. However, most homeowners don’t know they can also improve indoor air quality with ultraviolet light.

How Ultraviolet Light Purifies Air

Fall is a time to be wary of indoor allergens. The air is full of airborne particles known as bioaerosols. Home interiors are also vulnerable to fungi, mold, and mildew.

Okay, so how does UV light factor into this? Indoor air receives much less exposure to sunlight. The indoors also happen to have up to five times more pollutants, according to EPA estimates.

UV light in a certain wavelength, known as UV-C, will kill bacteria by altering its DNA. UV-C light is not a recent discovery. In fact, many facilities use the light for various purposes, such as purifying water, disinfecting laboratories, etc. Continue Reading →

The Best Walk-In Refrigerator Food Storage Ideas

Walk-in Refrigerator Food StorageThe food industry is required to abide by very strict guidelines regarding food storage. To ensure you’re following regulations, and minimizing food waste, be sure to follow these best practices for walk-in refrigerator food storage.

Food Storage Tips

Keep Meats Separate

Meats, including poultry and fish, are susceptible to bacteria growth. This is why they should be kept separate from other perishables. Meats should also be placed on the lowest shelves. When meat is thawing, some of the juice from the meat may thaw and melt. Placement on an upper shelf can cause the liquid to drip down onto the food below, thus causing cross contamination. Continue Reading →