KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE AROUND APPLIANCES

To some members of your household, a dryer looks like a good place for a hideout or a nap. They might think the cord from your mixer is a good toy, and the dishwasher or laundry detergent a good target for their teeth or claws.

Of course, we are talking about your pets. Just about everything that could put your pets at risk can be prevented with a few extra precautions. Many of the steps you should take to keep your pets safe are good safety practices even if you don’t share your home with a dog, cat or other furry companions.

 

Keep laundry appliance doors shut, and do a quick safety check

Pets could climb inside a washer or dryer if the door is left open. Keep the doors on your laundry appliances shut, and check inside before you use them, Bierbrier says.

 

Secure your detergents

We recommend storing your laundry detergents out of pets’ reach, such as in a cupboard. If that is not possible, the product should be stored in a bite-proof container, Bierbrier says. This is especially true of detergent pods, which contain highly concentrated detergent and can be easily bitten into. That goes for both laundry and dishwasher detergents.

 

Put the cords out of reach

Keep the cords of your portable appliances out of the reach of pets. If a pet chews on or bites through a cord, they could be burned or electrocuted, Bierbrier says.

 

Look for heaters with covered elements

To reduce the risk of burns to your pets, look for a portable heater with an enclosed element, Bierbrier says. As well, look for a space heater that has safety features like an automatic turn-off for overheating or if it is tipped over.

 

Keep a safe kitchen

Pets should be kept away from hot stoves and ovens, Bierbrier says. The main risk is for pets to get accidentally burned by touching a previously heated element. When you’re not cooking, make sure you store any foods that are toxic to pets, like chocolate and onions, where your pet can’t reach them. If the pet is particularly crafty, owners may consider using locks to keep them out of cupboards, Bierbrier says.

 

Vacuum with care

Pets bring companionship, but also additional vacuuming needs. Consider keeping your pet in another room while vacuuming if the noise startles them, Bierbrier says. If that is not possible, positive reinforcement with treats and distractions may be useful.

 

All of these tips are helpful to not only keep your furry friends safe but are also great tips to protect other vulnerable members of your home. We recommend you always act safely when working with any appliance and have regular services to ensure that they are completely safe to use. If you notice any fault with your appliances we recommend you consult a technical service as soon as possible.

If you need any servicing done on appliances or just want someone to have a look at a faulty unit then just give Camtec a call!

INTRODUCING MIELE KNOCK2OPEN DISHWASHERS!

Wiping down the front of a dishwasher after loading in the dirty dishes kind of goes with the territory. No matter how careful you are, greasy finger marks always seem to spoil an otherwise clean surface. The latest integrated machines from German domestic appliance maker Miele overcome this messy problem with a couple of taps.

 

What are Miele Knock2Open Dishwashers?

“Knock2open makes dishwasher operating a magical experience with its perfect solution in handleless kitchen design. By tapping the front of the fully integrated Miele dishwasher twice, the door opens by about 10 cm completely automatically using a clever opening mechanism. A convenience you will enjoy every day (Miele website).”

Available on the Lumen dishwasher (model G6595SCViK2o) and the Diamond dishwasher (model G6985SCViK2o) in custom wood panel fronts only, you literally knock twice on the front and the door automatically opens. It’s very cool.

 

Why Would You Want Knock2Open Technology?

If you’re going for a modern kitchen design and your cabinetry doesn’t have handles or minimalistic handles, Knock2Open dishwashers ensure that you keep continuity throughout your base cabinets.

Other Features in Knock2Open Dishwashers

As you’ve probably guessed by now, tapping twice on the front of the handle-free door automatically and quietly opens it to the ajar position. Then you can push it down without smudging the front and load in the dirty dishes. The company says that the mechanism won’t accidentally open up if you’re noisily chopping veg on a nearby worktop or slamming kitchen units closed.

At-a-glance monitoring has also been incorporated into the new machines. Its TimeControl feature uses four edge-mounted LEDs that auto switch on when a wash cycle starts, then turn off at timed points in the program. The last remaining light indicates that 20 minutes are remaining before the door is automatically opened and you can safely remove the cleaned and dried dishes.

Besides this cool technology, Miele Knock2Open dishwashers are brimming with features that have made them famous like their 3D Cutlery tray and super-duper, whisper quiet operation (44 decibels for the Lumen model and 42 decibels for the Diamond dishwasher). Both units are packed with cleaning cycles like China & Crystal, Pots & Pans, and Rinse & Hold. In total, the Lumen dishwasher features 12 wash cycles and the Diamond offers a whopping 16 different cycles. Miele even backs up their Diamond dishwasher with a free five-year warranty as long as you register your purchase at Miele’s website. Also, If the Automatic program is selected, water consumption in the new models is a low as 6.5 litres. The unit on show in Berlin is rated A+++ for energy efficiency, the highest grade EU Energy Label.

BEAT THE DRY WINTER WITH AN AIR HUMIDIFIER

If you need another reason to dislike winter, dry winter air is a good one. It can dry out your nasal passages, which can make it tougher to bounce back from a stuffy nose. The dry air can aggravate asthma symptoms and cause dry skin. Over time, it can also damage your wooden floors and furniture and hurt the health of your houseplants.

Clearly, if you can offset the dry air, you should. And a humidifier is your go-to appliance for balancing out the air in your home as you count the days until spring. If you are shopping for a humidifier, there are a few things to consider while you’re making your choice. Some things to consider when you shop for a humidifier are the:

Size of the room

If you have an idea of where you’re going to primarily use your humidifier, it’s important to know the size of your room. If you buy a humidifier that’s too large for the space, you’ll not only make the room uncomfortably humid but also create an environment favourable to mould and mildew. Too small, and your humidifier won’t be able to adequately humidify the space. Humidifiers designed for larger spaces will have larger water tanks.

Check the labelling of the humidifier, which should have information about how big a space the model is made for. Know the square footage of your room and choose the model that’s appropriate for the space.

Warm vs. cool

Appliance manufacturers produce humidifiers that can put out either warm or cool humidity. Your choice is largely a matter of personal preference, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a cool-mist humidifier for children who are suffering from colds and the flu. However, both warm and cool-mist humidifiers will increase the humidity in your home.

Filter or no filter?

Filtered and filter-free humidifiers will both humidify the air. A filtered model will remove minerals from water before the water is put into the air. However, the filter will need to be changed regularly, possibly every 1-2 months.

Filter-free models, obviously, don’t require changing filters. But, you may notice an accumulation of minerals, possibly as a fine white dust, on the outside of a filter-free humidifier. However, some models come with demineralization cartridges, which need to be replaced periodically.

You’ll probably also notice a difference in the way filtered and filter-free humidifiers put moisture into the air. Filtered models are evaporative and use a fan to put humidified air into the room. Filter-free models put a visible mist directly into the air.

Maintenance and care

All humidifiers, whether warm or cool, filtered or filter-free, require regular cleaning and maintenance. Before you buy, take a look at the models you’re considering and think about how easy they might be to clean. Do they have detachable parts that can be placed in a dishwasher? Are there narrow openings that might be difficult to clean? You’ll need to wipe down the inside of the tank regularly, so make sure the humidifier you choose has an opening large enough to reach inside. Keep

The cleaning process will vary depending on the model, but in general, it’s a two-step process that involves descaling and disinfecting. Descaling breaks down any minerals that may have accumulated on the humidifier. Disinfecting will kill any germs that have built up. You’ll need bleach for disinfecting, vinegar for descaling, plus a cloth or brush. Follow the cleaning instructions in your humidifier use and care manual.

Keeping the humidifier clean is even more important if you’re using it to ease a cold, allergies or asthma, as a dirty dehumidifier can put contaminants back into the air.

It’s a humidifier, not a diffuser

People sometimes confuse humidifiers with essential oil diffusers. Never put anything but water into a humidifier. Oils or other substances can damage the humidifier tank and mechanical parts. Diffusers, which tend to be much smaller than humidifiers, and are designed to accommodate oils.

WINE STORAGE, THE DO’S AND DON’TS

Did you know that the wrong storage environment can negatively affect your wine after only a few weeks and substantially reduce the life of your wine? Inconsistent temperatures, excessive heat and light exposure all cause undesirable characteristics, such as loss of fruit and floral flavours, unpleasant aromas, or oxidisation.

Check out this list of all the places you might store your wine at home, and which ones you should try to avoid.

Don’ts

Surprisingly, one of the worst places for storing wine is in your kitchen.

This includes near or above your stovetop and oven, or next to your fridge – which dispels a considerable amount of heat during its compressor cycles. Any wine professional will tell you that fluctuating temperature is one of the worst things for your wine.

Similarly, storing wine in a consistently hot environment, such as a west-facing garage or attic, will literally cook your wine, resulting in flabby ‘spoiled fruit’ flavours.

Another disastrous option is storing your wine on racks near a window or glass door in direct sunlight, where your wine will be exposed to excessive light. UV light in particular causes hydrogen sulphide compounds in wine, which affects a wine’s colour and tannins. It strips the wine of the natural fruit flavours and causes it to taste flat and lifeless.

Unfortunately, this category covers a lot of the places we often think are okay for wine storage, such as under the staircase or house, in a basement, or in Styrofoam boxes.

Wine’s ideal cellaring temperature is between 12ºC and 14ºC. Storing wine under 10° will stunt maturation, while above 16° will prematurely age the wine. This isn’t a wide bracket, and constant variation between the two can cause a surprising amount of damage to a wine’s structure and life expectancy.


Indeed, a 2014 study conducted by the Fondazione Edmund Mach Institute in Italy found that wine stored at home ages four times faster than when stored in a proper cellar and tasted blander.

Lead researcher Dr Fulvio Mattivi said, “After six months under domestic conditions, the wine in the bottle was approximately as ‘old’ as a bottle from the same producer stored for two years under cellar conditions. The house-stored wine was ageing approximately four times faster”. The conclusion reached was that even slight changes in storage temperature can severely affect your wine.

On top of this, low humidity environments (below 50% hygrometry) dry out corks, causing them to become brittle and shrink, which allows air into the bottle. You can recognise an oxidised wine through off and unpleasant odours, and discolouration from purple or red to brown.

Do’s

So excluding all these places, where should you store your wine? Though it sounds obvious, the best place is somewhere that has been specifically designed to accommodate the needs of your wines, like a cool natural underground cellar, a purpose-built walk-in wine cellar, or a climate-controlled wine cabinet.

These options prevent wines from spoiling due to environmental stress and allow them to mature at a steady rate. A well-made wine cabinet or walk-in cellar replicate the conditions found in the best natural underground wine cellars by controlling humidity, temperature, and UV light – and can effectively prolong the life of your wine substantially.

While you may assume a regular fridge or wine cooler is a good alternative, unfortunately, these generate intense blasts of cold air, creating large temperature fluctuations, and they remove ambient humidity causing your corks to dry out. In addition, a climate-controlled wine cabinet is typically equipped with a special slow-cycling compressor housed outside the unit on rubber shock-pads, to protect your bottles from vibrations that spoil and prematurely age wine, and ensures frequent air circulation to limit the growth of mould on corks and labels.

If you don’t yet have the right storage solution for your home, you can also look into external cellaring facilities, or only purchase wine for immediate enjoyment. However, you will be missing out on the joys of cellaring, and will only be able to hold a limited amount of bottles on hand at any time.

Money-Notes

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