Adding a Smart Home Hub: Amazon Echo

Adding a smart home hub such as the Amazon Echo to your place is great way to connect and expand the capabilities of home automation devices. Seamless control from a central hub adds convenience and maximizes the features for each device you own.  

The Amazon Echo is controlled through voice commands and can perform tasks on its own right out the box, without additional costs. It works off an Amazon cloud-based system called “Alexa,” and to use it, simply speak the activation word “Alexa” followed by a command or question.

The Echo has seven built-in noise cancelling microphones to pick up commands in loud surroundings or when music is playing.

What does Echo do?

Amazon Echo can play your favorite … Read more...

Generator Safety Tips: Dos & Don’ts You Need to Know

If you really want to be prepared the next time the power goes out, a portable generator is the way to go! You’ll have the lights back on in no time at all. Here are the dos and don’ts to operating your generator and keeping you and your family safe.

Portable Generator Safety Tips

  • Choose the generator that’s right for you. When choosing the right generator, first consider what you will be powering in your home. Will it be your lights, appliances, or other household equipment? You’ll need to figure out how much power they require and total it up. You’ll need to purchase a generator that produces more power than what will be drawn from your home’s equipment. 
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5 Delicious Grilling Ideas for Vegetarians and Vegans

Grilling isn’t only for hamburgers and hot dogs. When you’re a vegetarian or vegan, sometimes you need to get creative when it comes to summertime cookouts. You don’t need to be left out if you don’t eat meat… there’re plenty of meatless options to cook on your grill! Plus, even if you are a carnivore, these healthy and nutrient-filled ideas are great if you just want to add some extra veggies to your diet. If you’re vegan, just read the labels on all of the ingredients you use to ensure they fit your diet restrictions. 

1.) Grilled Veggie Skewers 

Use your imagination and add all different types of vegetables to your skewers. They can be seasoned with spices like paprika, … Read more...

10 Ways to Beat the Heat Without an Air Conditioner

Keeping cool isn’t always about air conditioners. Here are some additional ways you keep comfortable in the heat:

1. At night, open your windows and turn on any ceiling fans so they’re spinning counter-clockwise to circulate the air. In the morning, close the windows to trap the cooler air inside while it lasts (especially during peak heat times of 10am – 2pm). Closing your blinds and curtains will help the cooler air last longer, especially on the south or west sides of your home where the sun beats most.

2. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime, as it raises body temperature.

3. Turn off the computer, stereo, TV, desk lamp, or any electronic that generates heat when not in use.

4. … Read more...

We Tried the HP Sprocket Photo Printer & Loved It!

Do you love taking selfies? The HP Sprocket is a photo printer you can use on the go, and it’s small enough to fit in your jacket pocket. You can print peel-and-stick photos from your phone after personalizing them with cool filters, text, and frames. Everyone wants an HP Sprocket, so we decided to try it out to see what it’s all about… and we LOVE it!

Setup is quick & easy
First, we installed the HP Sprocket Photo Printer app, available through Google Play and iOS App Store. The app is supported by Android 4.4 and above and iPhone iOS 8.0 and above. You can pair your device and printer through the Sprocket app. The printer works off Bluetooth, … Read more...

5 Ways the Right Mattress Can Improve Back Pain

Are you waking up in the morning with your back feeling stiff and achy? In some cases, an old mattress that’s not properly supporting you can be to blame. After all, you spend 1/3 of your life sleeping in bed, and the way you sleep will directly affect the other 2/3 of your life. Nothing beats a good night’s sleep, and sleeping on a proper mattress makes all the difference!

1. Comfort

If you can’t remember the last time you bought a new mattress, there’s a good chance your current mattress is no longer providing the support you need. If your mattress has become worn, saggy, and lumpy, this is a telltale sign that it’s time to be replaced. In … Read more...

5 Tips for Getting Your A/C Summer-Ready

Whether you’re at the beach all day or out and about chillin’ and grillin’, you’re going to want to come back to a cool home. In order for your air conditioner to work its best, it’s important to properly maintain it. Prepping your A/C before you use it for the season could help prevent costly repairs, improve efficiency, and reduce energy consumption. Be sure to also check out your A/C’s manual for instructions before doing any maintenance work. Here’s some tips to get you started…

1.) Cleaning or replacing your A/C’s air filter is more important than you think
You should clean your A/C’s air filter and make sure there’s no build up of dust, which tends to happen over … Read more...

5 Things You Need to Know About Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

When the temperatures rise and air conditioners come out, there are some important things you should know about your units. Here are 5 things to watch out for and techniques for increasing the life and efficiency of your air conditioners:

1. Change the filter often during the cooling season

While your air conditioner is cooling you off, it’s acting as an air purifier and prevents outside debris from blowing into your home. When was the last time you took a look at your unit’s air filter? Cleaning or changing it will increase efficiency, decrease your energy bill, and can potentially benefit your family’s health. Make a mental note to clean the filter at least once a month in the summer … Read more...

Splish Splash Water Park Coupons Available at P.C. Richard & Son

Summertime is almost here, and it’s starting to get hot out! What better way to cool off than with a trip to Splish Splash water park in Calverton, NY? Stop into any P.C. Richard & Son superstore and ask for your coupon toward discounted admission! There’s no purchase necessary to get this coupon.

Check out the amazing deals you’ll get: 

From 5/27/17 through 8/30/17, save $6 on each general admission at ticket windows or when purchased online for up to 6 guests.

From 7/1/17 through 9/4/17, save $4 on each general admission at ticket windows or when purchased online for up to 6 guests.

These savings are void with any other discount, and you must have our original coupon from … Read more...

How To: Clean and Maintain Your Refrigerator

Looking to clean your appliances? Your refrigerator, with its expired condiments, corner grime, and dusty condenser coils, should be the first project you take on. Here are some step-by-step instructions on making your fridge look and perform like new, and tips on how to keep it that way year round.

Preparation

You’ll need to block out anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half of your day to really clean out your appliance. Scrubbing down your fridge right before you go to the grocery store is a perfect time, as it will have the least amount of contents in it.

Because your refrigerator will be open while you’re cleaning, you’ll want to power it down and conserve energy. … Read more...