6 Kitchen Appliances That Are Essential For Thanksgiving Dinner Preparations

If my grandmother is to be believed, then Thanksgiving is one of the most stressful dinners a person can prepare. Not only must the turkey be picture perfect but it must be complemented with a wide variety of side dishes and desserts. One way to ensure your Thanksgiving dinner preparations are as easy as possible is make sure you have the best kitchen appliances available to assist you. These appliances will not only save you time but also make it easier to prepare multiple dishes simultaneously and ensure they are all finished at the same time.

Here are six small appliances that are essential to preparing Thanksgiving dinner for your family.

Stand Mixers

Stand Mixer

An overlooked kitchen appliance which is incredibly useful during Thanksgiving preparation is a quality stand mixer. While they are most often associated with desserts a stand mixer is surprisingly versatile. The mixer itself is ideal for creating smoother mashed potatoes, combining dressing ingredients, and preparing silky sweet yams. Plus, a growing number of stand mixers have the capacity to support a variety of accessories which have nothing to do with mixing, but give you the freedom to leverage the mixer’s powerful motor to complete other tasks. For example, you can grind meats, stuff sausage, roll perfect pasta, strain fruits/vegetables, and even make ice cream.

Pressure Cooker

Fagor Pressure Cooker

Another useful kitchen appliance is the pressure cooker. The purpose of a pressure cooker is to speed up the necessary cooking time for a variety of labor-intensive recipes. You can even cook a juicy, delicious turkey in a pressure cooker, although it probably won’t be very presentable if you plan on carving it at the table. To help with Thanksgiving dinner preparations, a pressure cooker is ideal for a variety of time intensive desserts, such as bread pudding and custards. It can also be used to quickly churn out giblet gravy.

Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker with Turkey

A slow cooker is another extremely valuable kitchen appliance everyone should take advantage of when making Thanksgiving dinner. Its primary value is the ability to help free up oven space by allowing you to make one of your side dishes in it. A slow cooker is perfect for making Thanksgiving stuffing, casseroles, and any grain or rice-based side dish. You can also use a slow cooker to keep dips or your gravy warm while you are finishing up the main dishes. Some people prefer a triple slow cooker which allows you to heat up three different types of food at the same time.

Deep Fryer

Deep Fryer

Similar to a pressure cooker, a deep fryer is an excellent way to save time if you are planning on cooking any foods which will be fried in oil. While pan frying is a great way to impart flavor into food, you can easily deep fry the same items in less time, without sacrificing taste. Another option is to start out using the deep fryer and then transferring the food over to a pan while they are finishing. This is particularly helpful if you have multiple appetizers which are all fried.

Food Processor

Cuisinart Food Processor

When it comes to saving time in the kitchen during Thanksgiving, very few kitchen appliances are as valuable as having a food processor within reach. It is amazing how much a food processor can chop, dice and slice during the food preparation portion of cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of asking all of your family to help you chop and dice, a food processor can do better work in significantly less time. It will also help assist in making all the delicious sauces, dips and spreads that make your turkey complete.

Similar to other small kitchen appliances on this list, food processors usually come with a variety of helpful attachments and accessories which make it even more versatile. This tool can be effectively used to prepare dishes for every course you plan on making.

Freestanding Cooktops or Range Burners

Ranger Burner Cooktop

If there is one complaint that is common among most people preparing Thanksgiving dinner it is a lack of space on the stove. Unfortunately, stovetop space is one of the most difficult resources to replicate in the kitchen. The easiest way to compensate for this is by using a couple of freestanding cooktops and range burners. Normally they are setup independent of any other appliance and simply need to be near an outlet. Not only does this provide you with more stovetop burners to use but it also is a fantastic space-saver. You can setup one or two range burners anywhere as long as it can reach an outlet.

Preparing the perfect Thanksgiving dinner is hard enough with all of the right tools. There is no reason to make matters worse by trying to prepare everything without adequate space for heat sources. Making a small investment in the high-value small kitchen appliances listed above will yield immediate benefits. The best part is all of these kitchen appliances take up very little space and are versatile enough to be used all year long.

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3 Common Uses for Combo Kitchens

Combo Kitchen

A combo kitchen is single, standalone unit that serves all your basic kitchen needs. A typical combo kitchen consists of a sink, mini refrigerator and stovetop range. Sometimes referred to as compact kitchens, combination kitchens, kitchenettes or all-in-ones, combo kitchens are available in a variety of configurations. Some models include freezers, ovens, electrical outlets, cabinets, built-in cutting boards and storage drawers.

A combo kitchen is a great solution when space is in short supply, such as in small apartments or guest houses. Other models are especially built for outdoor use, making them perfect for backyard barbecues and patio entertaining. Because combination kitchens are considerably more affordable than traditional kitchens, they also make practical substitutes during home renovations, especially when your budget is being stretched thin.

Let’s take a closer look at three common uses for combo kitchens, so you can make an informed decision as to whether one is right for you.
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How Air Purifiers Help You Find Relief from Fall Allergies

Fall Allergies

Anyone with allergies knows that managing the symptoms and avoiding key triggers are the most important steps to getting through the allergy season. While most people associate allergies with the spring, it’s not uncommon to experience those same symptoms during the fall. Not only are there different allergens in the air but people start spending more time inside as the temperature cools.

There are a number of different steps you can take to minimize your exposure to allergens, but an air purifier is often the key to success as you begin spending more time indoors. Let’s take a look at the most common fall allergens, and why the right air purifier can help you stay healthy.

5 Most Common Fall Allergens

To find out whether or not an air purifier will help you improve your control over managing allergy related symptoms it is important to understand what the most common fall allergens are.
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A Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food

Dehydrating is a fun, cost-effective and easy way to prepare fresh foods for storage or for snacking right away. To ensure the best results, it’s wise to know the bare essentials before you start using your food dehydrator. Armed with this information and a little bit of practice and experimentation, you will be able to dehydrate food like a pro in no time.

What is a Food Dehydrator?

Dehydrated Apple

A food dehydrator is a small kitchen appliance that is used to dry, or dehydrate, your food. Utilizing a built-in fan and low amounts of heat, this small appliance uses a light flow of hot air to reduce the overall amount of water found in fruits, veggies, meats and other foods. Once the water is removed, the food won’t spoil as quickly as it normally would, and is also impervious to many kinds of bacteria that would otherwise grow.

Additionally, food that has been properly dehydrated will continue to retain the vast majority of its original nutritional value. Once you cook your food, you start to lose the overall nutrition potential, which is why many people tout a raw food diet as being one of the healthiest for you. A food dehydrator allows you to retain all of those nutrients and vitamins within your food, but makes it more convenient for you to store and carry around with you.

6 Simple Food Dehydrating Tips

Here are six basic food dehydrating tips that you should keep in mind.

  1. Make sure you have the right temperature
    The temperature and time required to adequately dehydrate will vary depending on the type of dehydrator you buy, as well as the food you want to dehydrate. General time and temperature guidelines will be printed on the dehydrator label or included in the instruction manual along with suggested times needed.
  2. Make sure foods are 95% dehydrated
    In order to be stored properly, foods need to be at least 95 percent dehydrated. If your items feel soft, spongy or sticky, put them back in the dehydrator for additional time. Hard and crunchy or breakable pieces are done. High indoor humidity, air conditioning or breezes may alter the time needed to dehydrate foods. Ideally, find a dry, warm place away from air vents and windows to set up your dehydrator.
  3. Don’t try to dry foods quicker
    Do not worry about over-drying your foods. You can dry them longer if necessary, but it’s not wise to turn the temperature settings up in an attempt to dry the foods quicker. This will seal the outside, leaving moisture within, which will ultimately lead to the food spoiling before you have a chance to eat it.
  4. Preparation is key
    Before you add dehydrate anything, make sure you thoroughly wash all foods with an anti-bacterial vegetable cleaner. Wear gloves when preparing foods to avoid getting skin oils on the food. Steam all low-acid vegetables for 10 minutes prior to dehydrating. After they have been steamed, pat them dry before placing them in the food dehydrator. Spritz bananas and apples with lemon juice to avoid browning.
  5. Become more efficient
    Just like you’re using an oven, it is wise to turn on the dehydrator prior to use to allow it to warm up to the required temperature before adding food. Prepare items that require the same temperature, and dehydrate at the same time. For best results, slice all items to equal thickness and size.

Choosing the Best Food Dehydrator for You

The most important feature of a food dehydrator is the fan. When you’re shopping for a food dehydrator, it’s recommended that you get one with a fan in the back, instead of on the top or the bottom of the unit. A back-mounted fan allows your food to dry evenly throughout the entire dehydrator. Top and bottom fans tend to dry first at the closet levels, and the fan blows scents from foods on one level to meld with foods in another.

To dehydrate foods successfully, an adjustable thermostat, heating element, automatic shut-off timer and suitable capacity are also important features to have available. The adjustable thermostat lets you set the correct temperature according to the food you are dehydrating. Varied temperatures are required according to the individual foods you wish to dehydrate. A heating element keeps the food air at the right temperature to optimally dehydrate, and the automatic shut-off timer allows you to run the dehydrator overnight or during time away from home.

Dehydrator capacity varies from approximately 4 to 10+ square feet of space, either in stackable or slide-out trays. A removable-tray dehydrator with nine trays allows as much as 15 square feet of space. Figure your size requirement according to the amount of food you plan to dehydrate. One-half pound of sliced strawberries, three sliced apples, three sliced bananas or two sliced tomatoes covers approximately one 1.5 square foot tray.

Picking the right size all depends on often you plan to use it, as well as how much food you’d like to dehydrate. If you buy or grow an abundance of fruits and veggies, then perhaps the larger 9-tray food dehydrators are the best fit for you. If you don’t plan on dehydrating a lot of food, then maybe the smaller dehydrators would be a better fit for you.

Storing & Rehydrating Dehydrated Foods

During storage, be sure to protect your dehydrated foods from heat, light and moisture. Any of these in excess may shorten the shelf life of the food. Once your food is dehydrated, allow it to cool to room temperature to avoid condensation inside packaging. For best results, you should consider using a vacuum sealer to package dehydrated foods for storage. If a vacuum sealer is not available, you can use a Ziploc bag, but make sure you force out as much air as you can and seal it tightly.

Once your dehydrated food is bagged, place the items in a dark, cool and dry area. Do not place in the freezer, or you will notice ice crystals start to collect inside. To ensure overall quality, check your inventory weekly for a couple of weeks. When dehydrated adequately and stored in a vacuum seal, foods can last over 20 years.

To rehydrate foods, plan to place 1 cup of food in 1 cup of hot or cool water, depending on your planned use. Once this is completed, allow up to four hours for rehydration. Use as you would normally in your recipe. If you’re using a slow cooker to prepare your food, then just simply add your vegetables to the cooker, add the amount of water your recipe calls for and your veggies will rehydrate themselves.

Why You Should Try It

Dehydrating foods not only saves you money, but it is very simple and incredibly healthy. Dehydrated foods not only retain their vitamin and mineral content, but they also have a shelf life that extends for decades. Following these simple guidelines assures success for beginners who are interested in the process.

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Jump on Juice: An Overview of the New Juicing Diet Trend

Juicing fruits and vegetables for health has been going on for centuries, but movies like Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead bring the trend into the mainstream. Many people start juicing as part of a weight loss plan, for cleansing the digestive system or to replenish nutrients after an illness. However, the main benefit of juicing is that it’s a simple way for you to start consuming healthier foods you may not have ate otherwise.

With so many different juicing products on the market, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of these health benefits. This is especially true now that modern juicers do much of the work for you.

Here’s a quick rundown of how juicing works, its pros and cons and how you can get started today.

How Juicing Works

In simple terms, juicing refers to the process of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables. The modern juicing trend usually refers to centrifugal juicers, which push fruits and vegetables through a feed tube and into a chamber where the juicers grind them. The juice moves through a tube and into a pitcher, while the pulp is left behind.

Masticating juicers are also popular. These machines work more slowly and require you to cut up the fruits and vegetables before juicing them due to the smaller feed tube diameter, but they tend to extract more juice from each item. They often produce juice with more pulp than centrifugal juicers.

Manual, handheld juicers can also be used to produce juice. The benefit here is more portability and a much lower cost investment, but these juicers require a great deal of effort to use. Manual juicers are best for infrequent juicing.

Health Benefits of Juicing

In fact, juicing advocates espouse the health benefits of ingesting a high level of nutrients in larger quantities than is possible by eating the same number of whole plants. Juicing delivers vitamins and phytochemicals to the body rapidly and in large quantities. Juice is highly caloric but quickly digested.

Juicing for weight loss is the primary goal for most people who are new to this diet trend. Juicers often follow juicing diet plans that last for weeks or even months in an effort to lose weight. This trend is echoed in the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. There are many online communities devoted to juicing for weight loss.

On the other hand, some people prefer to incorporate juice into a more typical diet as a way to get more healthy nutrients into their system. For instance, many juicers opt for a juice made from fresh vegetables or fruits for breakfast or drink juice as a snack. It is also common for athletes to drink freshly juiced fruits and vegetables after a workout or athletic event to replenish lost nutrients and hydration.

Health Dangers of Juicing

While there are definitely many health benefits associated with juicing, we must also point out some of the potential dangers associated with the process.

First off, health advocates are quick to point out that juicing should never be used as a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables. Juicing is a great way to deliver many essential vitamins and minerals, but should never be your only source of these important foods. This is due to the amount of fiber that is extracted from your fruits and veggies during the juicing process. Ensuring you consume the recommended dietary fiber no only lowers your risk for developing many dangerous health conditions, it also assists in your weight loss program.

Another potential danger of juicing is the consumption of too much sugar. Fruits are full of sugar, in fact one apple has approximately 23 grams of sugar, which is also about the same amount one orange has. In comparison, one 12 oz. can of Coca Cola has 39 grams of sugar. If you were to juice just one apple and one orange, you would be consuming more sugar than a can of Coke. One could argue that it’s a different kind of sugar in the two drinks, which is fair, but there’s no denying the potential dangers of adding an abundance of extra sugar to your diet.

However, don’t let these potential dangers stop you from juicing. There’s no denying that juicing has many health benefits and can help assist in a weight loss program or just improving your overall diet. Just remember to watch your sugar intake and find other sources of fiber. As the old saying goes — everything in moderation.

Popular Juice Combinations

Fortunately, juicing is extremely versatile. Just about any vegetable or fruit works in a juicer, and there are countless combinations that make a tasty juice. Experiment with your favorite produce to come up with unique blends. It is also a good idea to read up on the health benefits for specific fruits and vegetables to target specific health goals.

Juice fasts typically include different types of juice throughout the day. A breakfast juice, for example, often includes fruit like apples, oranges, melons or grapes. Suggested dinner juices tend to include heavier produce like zucchini, kale or spinach. Juicers sometimes include spices like ginger, garlic or even hot sauce to add more flavor.

One very popular juicing recipe for any time of the day is a green juice. Sometimes referred to as “Green Goddess Juice,” green juices include a base of fresh greens like kale, spinach and other dark, leafy greens. There are many excellent variations beyond the green base, but typical recipes call for ingredients like green apples, cucumber, lemon juice, celery and additional liquid like coconut water or almond milk. Green juice is often part of a juice fast, but it is also typical of the kind of juice in a typical healthy diet.

There are hundreds of juicing recipes out there. Try out a few of these recipes, experiment with your own ingredients and you’re guaranteed to find a juice that you’ll want to drink all day long.

The Best Juicers on the Market

The Best Juicers

It’s easy to add more juice to your diet. First you need to find the right juicer for you. We have a wide selection of juicers available for you. Here’s a list of some of our favorites:

The Top 3 Juicers on the Market

  1. Kuvings Multi-Purpose Masticating Slow Juicer (Model #NJE-3570U)
  2. Metrokane Citrus Power Juicer (Model #1009)
  3. Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor (Model #67608)

When done with a balanced diet, juicing provides a number of remarkable health benefits. Just be sure to keep an eye on how much sugar you consume, as well as make sure you’re still consuming the recommended amount of dietary fiber. If you have any doubts, it would be wise to consult with a doctor or a nutritionist prior to starting a juice diet.

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How to Stay Cool in Your Home Without Central Air

hotweatherThere are a lot of reasons people don’t have central air conditioning.  It is expensive to install and even more expensive to operate during the hot summer months.  To save money and reduce energy consumption, there are a variety of simple things you can do to stay cool in your home without central air.  In most cases, it will be necessary to combine several of these strategies to get an indoor environment similar to what central air conditioning would provide.

Use Strategically Placed Window Air Conditioners

The easiest way to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing comfort is by installing a few window air conditioners in strategic locations.  The most common areas are the living room and bedrooms.  This ensures a majority of the time spent in your home will be in cooler rooms.  At the same time, you can avoid spending time and money cooling down rooms you rarely use.  Some people add a window air conditioner to nearly every room, but will only turn them on when needed.  This offers the same energy saving benefits without sacrificing comfort.

Use a Portable Air Conditioner

A similar strategy is using a portable air conditioner.  Portable air conditioners have become increasingly popular over the past 5 years.  While they have always had the ability to cool a room, the term portable wasn’t always accurate.  They were large, bulky, and difficult to navigate around corners and stairs.  Today’s portable air conditioners are much easier to move around and are even more effective at cooling down hot rooms quickly with minimal energy use.

Use Fans

If you don’t want to use any type of air conditioner or just want to have one or two window units, then it will be beneficial to place fans in the rooms without air conditioning.  Moving air is always cooler air.  Plus, you can use fans strategically to bring in additional cool air during the evenings and early morning.  Both ceiling fans and portable fans are great options.  The best part is they are extremely energy efficient.  While they may not get a room as cool as a portable air conditioner, they do provide noticeably cooling benefits.

Shut Off Hot Appliances and Electronics

A common sense step to cooling your home is reducing the amount of heat generated in your home.  It is easy to block sunlight because you can see it.  The same can’t be said for hot appliances and electronics.  Appliances and electronics generate an enormous amount of ambient heat, even when they are not being used.  Try to unplug all appliances and electronics when they are not being used.  At minimum, make sure they are all shut off during the heat of the day.

There are a variety of other ways to keep your house cool in the summer months.  Common advice includes using fluorescent bulbs, minimizing humidity, insulating the attic, and even using certain landscaping techniques.  The key is to choose a combination of strategies that will allow you to stay cool and comfortable.

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The 4 Big Benefits of Using a High Quality Dehumidifier

Edgestar DehumidifierA variety of common complaints about living areas, garages, basements, and even closets can be directly attributed to high humidity.  A dehumidifier may be the simple solution you are looking for.  Many people don’t realize humidity is their issue because the air “feels” dry.  Air with humidity levels as low as 50% or less can substantially reduce your comfort level and cause permanent damage to your home.  There are four big benefits of using a high quality dehumidifier in any enclosed spaces of all sizes.

Humid Air Causes a Proliferation of Mold Spores and Dust Mites

Mold and dust mites thrive in moist environments.  Most people associate mold with standing water or areas with that damp, musty smell.  The truth is the rate of mold growth skyrockets when the relative humidity reaches 50%.  Not only does this mean more mold but more mold spores contaminating the air you breathe.  Dust mites react to humidity in the same way mold does.

Air Quality Significantly Diminishes as Relative Humidity Rises

Humidity is nothing more than the amount of moisture in the air.  Unfortunately, moisture is the perfect container for dirt, dust, mold, spores, and other allergens.  The higher the relative humidity is, the more likely an allergic reaction will be triggered.  This is especially true for people with a very low tolerance to light-weight allergens like dander, mold, and dust.

Damp Air Destroys the Structural Integrity of Homes and Furnishings

Your home and furnishing are in a constant struggle battling against moisture.  Humid air acts a tipping point in the favor of mold, fungus, and rot.  While every home is less durable when it contains humid air over an extended period of time, wood is particularly vulnerable.  This includes flooring, cabinets, furnishing, and the wood supporting the weight of your home.

Humidity Makes Air Feel Hotter Than It Actually Is

One of the most popular reasons people add a dehumidifier to their home is comfort.  Air with a lot of moisture tends to feel much warmer than it actually is.  As a result, people force their air conditioners to work extra hard which shortens the unit’s lifespan and drive up utility bills.  A simple dehumidifier will go a long way in helping you save money and feel more comfortable.

How to Choose the Right Dehumidifier for Your Space?

There are a variety of different factors you should consider when choosing a high-quality dehumidifier.  The best place to start is the area you want to dehumidify.  The size of your dehumidifier should be based on two variables – the size (square footage) of the area in question and the average level of humidity (ranges from moderately damp to extremely wet).  It is important to remember that when comparing the “size” of a dehumidifier you aren’t actually comparing the physical size of the device.  You are comparing the amount of water it can remove per day.  This measurement is commonly stated in pints.  The more pints a dehumidifier can remove in a day, the dryer your air will be.

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Find the Perfect Ice Type for You

Whether you’re looking for the perfect companion for your cocktails, a new best friend for your blender or just something to chew on, the type of ice you use can make all the difference. From nugget ice to gourmet, each type has its own benefits and uses. When choosing an ice maker, be sure you take into account what you’re looking for in an ice commitment. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the most common ice types, their ideal uses, and our ice maker recommendations for each.

sonic iceNugget

Commonly referred to as “Sonic Ice”, this ice is well known for its soft and chewable texture and its ability to retain the flavor of any beverage it’s mixed with. Nugget ice is great for any foodservice establishment because it cools drinks rapidly and for a longer period of time without foaming or sticking together. This makes it the perfect choice for all beverage dispensers as well as those who love to chew ice. It is sure to enhance the enjoyment of any and all fountain drinks. Our favorite nugget ice maker is the Ice-O-Matic 85 lb. Nugget Ice Machine.

Ideal for: Carbonated Beverages • Blended Cocktails • Salad Bars • Produce Displays • Therapeutic Uses – Health Care

Flakers

Similar to the ice found in snow cones, flake ice is most commonly used in food and beverage displays. Flake ice is ideal for the presentation and preservation of seafood, produce and other perishable food items. It extends the food’s shelf life and appearance by maintaining hydration for longer and more consistently, which makes for a fresh display that will help increase sales. Flake ice is also perfect for use in bakeries, perishable food transport and various healthcare applications. For perfectly flaky ice, try the Great Northern Ice Cube Shaver.

Ideal for: Produce, Seafood, Meat Displays • Blended Cocktails • Salad Bars • Therapeutic Uses – Health Care

Bullet Ice

Bullet ice, perhaps the most versatile ice available, is round and hollow in the middle. This is the type of ice typically found in portable ice makers and can be used for everyday ice needs,bullet ice such as cocktails or iced tea. For bullet ice in an attractive countertop machine, try the award-winning EdgeStar Portable Stainless Steel Ice Maker.

Cubers

Cube ice, the most common and recognizable ice form, is available in two sizes, allowing you to choose the size that best fits your customers’ needs. Cube ice is perfect ice for any occasion and compliments all of your favorite beverages by both cooling your drink and preserving its flavors. This style of ice is most popular in restaurants, bars and convenience stores. Our best-selling cube ice maker is the EdgeStar Undercounter Clear Ice Maker.

Ideal for: Mixed drinks • Carbonated Beverages • Ice Dispensing • Ice Displays • Ice Retailing • Banquet Services

  • Full Cube ice cubes melt slowly and cool beverages quickly, making them ideal for usage in beverages and food services. These are also ideal for large-volume applications like bagging and bulk cooling.
  • Half Cube ice is half the size of a traditional full cube and is shaped like a pat of butter. Their easy-to-handle size makes them perfect for blending drinks with a smooth finish. Because of its size it dispenses very easily, making it a perfect choice for self-service dispensing machines, as well.
full size ice cube

Full Ice Cube

half cube ice

Half Ice Cube

 

half-moon ice

Crescent Ice
Crescent Ice is shaped like a half-moon and moves freely in any liquid without packing together. Its unique shape allows for excellent displacement and allows liquid to flow over it more easily, so there’s no messy splashing and less waste. For a fabulous crescent ice maker, we recommend the EdgeStar Built-In Ice Maker in stainless steel & black

gourmet iceGourmet Ice

Uniquely shaped, crystal clear, slow melting and odorless, gourmet ice won’t dilute the flavor of drinks. Gourmet Ice is known for its high quality and is comprised entirely of water. Gourmet Ice adds an elegant touch to beverages and ensures your cocktails won’t be tainted by melted ice. Gourmet ice is ideal for enjoying your favorite whiskey or concocting the perfect old fashioned. The Scotsman Gourmet Ice Machine is one of the most attractive gourmet ice makers on the market.

Ideal for: Bar Use • Upscale Restaurants • Waitress Stations • Banquet Service

 

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What is Relative Humidity?

Almost everyone knows what humidity is and what it feels like. We know it as a feeling of dampness that can be very uncomfortable. However, what most people do not know about is relative humidity. To the surprise of many, humidity and relative humidity are not synonymous. Additionally, most do not know why it is important to maintain certain humidity levels for a healthy and comfortable living environment.

For a detailed explanation of relative humidity and how it relates to air quality, visit the featured article in the Dehumidifiers Learning Center

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Dehumidify for Allergy Relief

With the arrival of spring, many of us look forward to getting out of the house, spending time outdoors, and taking advantage of the warm weather. Unfortunately, along with more daylight hours and warmer temperatures comes one of the pesky draw backs of the season….spring allergies. Many are left suffering from stuffy noses, sore throats, and dry eyes.  Allergy sufferers try a number of different ways to combat these symptoms but one of the easiest is to focus on maintaining an ideal humidity level in your home.

EdgeStar 40 Pint Dehumidifier

EdgeStar 40 Pint Dehumidifier

Ideal humidity? What is that you might ask and what does that have to do with allergies? The humidity level of your home can greatly impact your allergy symptoms. A high level of water vapor in the air, or 50-60% humidity, causes mold spores, dust mites, and even pests to thrive. A dehumidifier pulls water out of the air which will in turn decreases the humidity level to prevent mold and mildew growth. You can use a digital hygrometer, like this P3 digital thermo-hygrometer, to allow you to monitor the humidity level. You should shoot for 40-50% humidity, an ideal level that will dramatically reduce air pollutants. 

Before purchasing your dehumidifier, think about the areas of you home that have the most moisture, many times this may be basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, indoor pool areas. For those that live in exceptionally humid environments the best place to use a dehumidifier might be in your kitchen or bedroom. Once you have identified which area or room you want to use your dehumidifier you can select the best unit based on the size of the room. Use the chart below as a guide to help choose the right dehumidifier. Compare with your room size and moisture level.

dehumidifier comparison

Many dehumidifiers are portable and easy to move allowing you to easily test where you would like to use it. You can use the unit in multiple rooms to achieve the desired humidity level. Ridding your home environment of harmful allergy triggers like mold, mildew, and dust mites can help you dramatically improve your allergy symptoms this spring season. Happy spring!

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Water Coolers & Dispensers

Today somewhere around 75% of the American Population suffer from chronic dehydration, and they don’t even know it. What does notice this dehydration is your metabolism, skin, joints and digestive system. That’s why having a water cooler or dispenser is so beneficial to have close by at all times, whether at home or the office. Other benefits, besides staying hydrated and increasing your body’s metabolism, are saving your finances and the environment from bottled water costs.

When shopping for a water cooler or a dispenser it is first beneficial to understand three different distinctions: cooler vs. dispenser, bottled vs. point-of-use, and freestanding vs. counter top.

Water Cooler VS. Water Dispenser

First, there’s the option of a cooler or a dispenser.  Both dispense water for use, but a cooler uses thermoelectricity to cool the water where a dispenser simply allows the water to be used from a 2, 4 or 5 gallon water bottle sitting atop the unit.

Bottled  VS. Point of Use

Continuing from your selection of a cooler or dispenser, is the option for a bottled or point-of-use unit. A point-of-use unit is fitted with a float assembly on the top where a bottle would normally sit. A hose, directed from your water source, either tap or purified, is connected to the back of the float assembly and attached to the posterior side of the cooler keeping tubing out of sight. When water is drawn, the float assembly allows water to flow back into the cooler until full, thereby providing a continuous source of water without bottle storage. Bottled water units are typically dispensers and they dispense water from 3-5 gallon bottles.

Oasis Hot and Cold water dispenser

Table/Countertop Water Dispenser


 

 

 

 

 

Freestanding VS. Countertop Units

Energy Star Industrial Hot & Cold Bottom Loading Water Dispenser & Coffee Maker - Black

Lastly, there are freestanding versus countertop units. Freestanding units are best suited for large offices, fitness centers, department stores, and salons. Ranging in height anywhere from 35’’ to  55’’ and in addition to the dispenser can include coffee makers or refrigerators.

Countertop coolers and dispensers are compact units more popularly purchased for the home or small offices. These are designed to easily fit atop tables, counters and bars without using much space. The more contemporary design of the Oasis Onyx Countertop Cooler or Primo Countertop Dispensers make these more desirable for display in small living spaces.

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