Posts tagged with "appliances"

Consumer Reports’ Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings

CR’s Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings can help you pick quality machines that last.

By Katrina Tiktinsky

Consumer Reports gathers data on hundreds of thousands of appliances in order to provide customers with the knowledge they need to shop confidently.

Any appliance you buy will ultimately have an expiration date, but some appliances stand the test of time better than others, and are better investments as a result. No one wants to buy a stove that needs to be repaired only a year later, or a microwave that never performs quite as well as it should. And, especially if you’re an environmentally-conscious shopper, you don’t want to toss five different washing machines into landfills in five years— you’d much rather have one machine in your home for ten!

In CR’s second annual Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings, you can find a wealth of research about the reliability of different products and their manufacturers, which will allow you to make informed decisions about what appliances to purchase. View the full report HERE.

The results of this report draw from member reviews on over 592,000 kitchen and laundry appliances purchased between 2009 and 2019. Using information on how many times each member’s appliance broke or performed sub-optimally, CR estimates how well you can rely on each appliance for its first five years in your home. This report allows you to compare the average ratings of different brands, products, and models. It’s important to remember, however, that reliability is only one factor of how a product will serve you, and that CR’s full ratings will help give you a comprehensive picture of individual models.

This year’s Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings feature a range of brands and models, offering you an enormous amount of information in an accessible format. CR does the work of researching products so that you don’t have to. Take the stress out of shopping and make smart purchases with CR by your side.

For more from Consumer Reports, visit their website HERE.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Air Filter or Air Purifier: Which is better for a Cleaner and Healthier Home?  

Statistics have it that each year, an estimated 1.6 million premature deaths occur as a result of indoor air pollution. While most of these cases can be attributed to cooking using solid fuel sources like firewood, dung, and crop waste among poor households, many other sources of indoor air pollution exist in modern homes. In addition to smoke, dust, dust mites, pollen, pet hair, mold, and mildew, from various parts around the home are known to trigger respiratory allergies, worsen asthma symptoms and cause hay fever. This is why many households (especially those with a family member suffering from respiratory allergies) invest in air cleaning and purification systems. On this note, the air filter and air purifier are the two most common options available for homeowners. But which one between the two should you invest in when looking to improve indoor health?

Well, starting with their definitions, this article seeks to help you understand the differences between air filters and purifiers so you can decide which one is better for a cleaner and healthier home.

1. Air Filters

By simple definition, an air filter is a unit that does what the name suggests… it filters air! The unit contains a mesh-like surface that sieves particles such as dust, dust mites, mold spores, and allergens from the air as it passes through. Also known as air cleaners, there are various types of air filters on the market. In the article “Air Filters vs Air Purifiers” from Filter Buy, the author points out that activated carbon filters, fiberglass filters, HEPA filters, and washable filters are among the most common types of air filters on the market today. This is largely based on the technology they use.

In most cases, air filters work hand in hand with the HVAC system to trap contaminant particles as air is drawn into your home by the HVAC unit. Strategically located in between the furnace/AC and the air return duct, the unit ensures that the air flowing into your home from the outside is clean.

The ups and downs

One major upside of an air cleaner is that it ensures indoor air is free from larger particles like dust and pet dander.

The downside, however, is that some air cleaners can be particularly noisy and may replacement of filters may be a bit expensive.  

2. Air Purifiers

As you can tell from the name, an air purifier sanitizes or purifies the air coming into your home. This means that it gets rid of bacteria, mold, certain viruses, and fungi. In other words, the unit is designed to get rid of things that may make you sick and not necessarily cause allergies. By so doing, the unit goes a notch higher in improving the quality of air inside your home. However, some air purifiers may have the capacity to sieve allergen particles from the air as well, but these often have a filter of some sort.

From standalone systems to units installed in HVAC ductwork, there’s a wide range of air purifiers depending on the air purification mechanisms they use. Some common types of air purifiers include Ionizing purifiers, Adsorbent purifiers, and UV light purifiers, which use Ionic or Electrostatic capabilities, ozone generator, and UV sterilization mechanisms to neutralize microorganisms.

The ups and downs of air purifiers

Just like air filters, air purifiers have their fair share of pros and cons.

On the Brightside, the biggest advantage of air purifiers is that they eliminate airborne pathogens that may cause illness and allergies. Also, a majority of air cleaners provide quiet operation and compared to an air cleaner, an air purifier is less expensive to operate and maintain.

On the other hand, very few air purifiers are capable of removing dust and particulate contaminants from the air. Additionally, some possess a risk of ozone and UV emissions. Unless air circulation is really good, an air purifier’s ability may be limited to only a portion of the room.

PConsidering the above pros and cons of each of the two alternatives, two facts are evident. One; both of them are incredibly vital in improving the quality of air inside our homes. Two; combining air filtration and air purification can be a great way to ensure that you and your family breathe in clean air that is free from allergens and pathogens. This also means that while an air filter can be used on its own, it’s better to look for an air purification device that also has purifier capabilities… one that combines both technologies. To add to that, it’s important to be keen on the features of the unit you purchase because some companies use the terms “air cleaner” and “air purifier” interchangeably.

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Top 10 anniversary gifts

When celebrating your anniversary, you want to do so in style. This is a day for the two of you to share your love and appreciation with a tangible gift that helps keep the mystery and romance alive. Your early anniversary gifts may be simple to choose, but over the years, keeping gifts unique and surprising can become more difficult, but not impossible.

Be inventive with gift-giving with the help of which provides the theme from which you choose your gift, such as silver for a 25th wedding anniversary and gold for a 50th. The themes can be taken literally, as in the above cases, or think outside the box for a gift that your beloved actually wants and that remains one of the top 10 anniversary gifts:

1. Flowers

Rather than flowers that wilt within a week, consider a framed floral print in a design that fits your home décor. Plant a tree in your garden or in another special place where you can watch it grow over the years.

2. Jewelry

For milestone anniversaries, choose diamonds and precious metals to feel like royalty. Earrings that can be worn during the day and dressed up with a necklace to be the most glamorous among friends.

3. Home Decor

If you prefer not to wear jewelry, dazzle with home décor. If you are a hopeless romantic, a platinum-dipped rose will celebrate your partnership, surviving hard times that we all face in one way or another. This is an elegant rose that will be a daily reminder of your love.

4. Linen

Cotton could be matching bathrooms, new bedsheets, or even matching underwear. If you had cotton sheets on your second anniversary, by your seventh, you could upgrade to a silk sheet set for a romantic snuggle fit for a queen. As you share a bed, this is a gift for you too.

5. Technology and Appliances

You can stretch the idea of appliances to being a camera, such as a Go-pro or a pet-at-home camera that can monitor Fido while you’re out of the house. Agree together beforehand before you upgrade to a fancy fridge to mark your anniversary. You have an excuse to gift an iPhone XS Max since fruit is the theme of this anniversary year.

6. Leather

Leather could be a calfskin leather weekender bag that will age beautifully over the next decade while also hinting at weekends away together. If your getaway is further afield, a stylish three-piece luggage set with 360-degree wheels will make navigating an airport painless.

7. Chocolate

Chocolate covered strawberries are a favorite, even if a cliché. Have these as a dessert at home after a meal out. A designer leather laptop bag is stylish for upscale occasions, while practical enough for everyday use.

8. Spa

For an anniversary where you just want to stop and take stock. To appreciate getting through the year together and take time to relax. Have a couples’ massage, a manicure, and a pedicure and enjoy the steam rooms and other treatments on offer.

9. Dinner

Invite as many people as you want to a dinner party at home and have a chef cater for the event so you can both relax in the company of those who mean the most to you. Alternatively, hire a private room in a restaurant for the whole night.

10. Perfume

f there are bottles of unopened fragrances, consider a perfume bottle from their favourite designer or in their favourite style instead. Classic designs from Lalique or bold geometric designs in metal. Choose their favourite style.