Thursday, September 11, 2014

Delta Breez Fans

One of the best fans on the market right now is the Delta Breez line. These are for sure my favorite thing we sell right now. They run quietly, will pull enough air for most bathroom sizes, and have a humidity sensor and will turn on automatically.

They meet the ASHRAE 62.2 requirements, which outlines the requirements for ventilation to ensure acceptable indoor air quality.

They run super quietly, can be set to turn on automatically, and cost practically nothing to run. I have a hard time remembering to turn on the fan before I get in the shower, which causes mold and paint damage, so that feature is fantastic for people who forget. Also, since it runs continuously on a lower speed, it will pick up any toilet smells. You know, those smells.

My favorite Delta BreezGreenBuilder fan is the BGr80H-

Awesome features:

  • 0.8 Sones
  • 80 CFM
  • Humidity sensor that can be set to turn the fan on between 50% and 80% humidity
  • Adjustable low speed
  • Annual cost for running continuously is $10.20/year
This fan costs only $88.95, and can easily be installed with the included guide. 

The fan will replace Broan models 688, 670, 671, 675, 695, and 696N, so no adjustments to the current hole or venting would need to be made.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bathroom Fans 101: Finding the perfect fan

When I was growing up, I used a bathroom without any ventilation. No windows, a well-sealed door, and a small, noisy bathroom fan. As one can imagine the steam got trapped every time I showered. It was fun and cozy to have a hot, steamy bathroom while getting out of the shower, but over time, it ruined our bathroom. After a few years, the paint began to bubble and peel away from the ceiling, water seeped into the drywall, and traveled down the seams between pieces. Eventually, the ceiling had large, water and mold-filled bubbles all over it. We scraped the paint off, bleached the mold, sanded, used spackle, repainted, repeat. I finally gave up and started having to shower with the door open to prevent steam from ruining the ceiling more.

We finally bit the bullet and hired a professional to come take a look and re-drywall our ceiling. After walking in the bathroom, he gave a knowing nod and said he had seen this many times before. The main cause of this problem was our bathroom fan. The builder who had installed it put in the wrong kind of fan, and installing the correct fan could have saved us a lot of effort, time, and money (and would have let me shower with the door closed!). We installed a higher powered fan with a damper, and haven't seen an issue since.

So, in an effort to help those who may be experiencing similar issues, or who are doing a DIY bathroom remodel, here is everything you need to know about bathroom fans! 

This is a measurement of how loud the fan is while running. The scale for bathroom fans is from <0.3 to 6. The lower the number, the quieter the fan will be. Typically anything rated 1.5 or below is going to be super quiet and hardly noticeable. These fans typically come with a light so you won't forget that it's running. Choosing a fan's sone rating is based more on preference than function.

This stands for cubic feet per minute, and it measures how much air the fan can move. As bathroom size increases, CFM needs to increase, as well. There is a simple formula to use in order to find the minimum CFM for your space.

Length x Width x Height x 0.13 = minimum CFM

Broan also has some suggestions for picking out a CFM for your space. They say, "A good general rule for bathrooms with 8' ceiling heights is to allow at least 1 CFM of ventilation for every square foot of room size for bathrooms under 100 square feet.

"For larger rooms, the recommendation is based on adding 50 CFM for each toilet, bathtub or shower and 100 CFM for jetted tubs."

It's always okay and better to go with a higher rated CFM. The higher the number, the faster the air will be replaced in the room. This can solve issues like water condensing on walls and ceiling and bathroom mirrors getting foggy during showers. The larger the CFM rating of the fan, the faster it will take care of any issues.

The maximum CFM for non-commercial bathroom fans is 150.

Proper ducting is very important to the function of the fan. In order for it to work properly and prevent problems, the size of the duct needs to match the duct connector on the fan. If the diameter is different, upgrade the duct so that it fits properly. For bathrooms on second story homes, make sure the fan is vented through the attic and out the roof, and not vented into the attic. First story bathrooms (in multi-story homes) need to be vented out through the wall.

Dampers can also be important to the effectiveness of the fan. These prevent airflow in the reverse direction so outside air can't get in through the fan and into your bathroom.

Style and Function
Bathroom fans come in many different styles and functions. What type of fan do you need for your space?

Fans with a light. Many fans options come with two-in-one fan and light feature. If there is an existing light, it's easy to install the light/fan combo in the existing light space.

Hidden fans. These fans may look like just a light, but it's actually a light/fan combo! The exhaust fan pulls in air through the sides of the light, and you never have to see it! This is a great option for those who want to keep their bathroom stylish and not have the fan grate showing on the ceiling. These are my personal favorite.

Here are a few that we carry. To see more, click here.
761BN and 761RB

764BN and 764RB

Fans with heaters. Many fans also come with bathroom heaters. I know I love getting out of the shower to a hot and steamy room, but if the fan is working properly, it can sometimes suck all of the warm air out before I exit the shower. The heater on these fans fix that, and keep the room hot while also clearing out steam. The heater is also able to turn on without the fan to warm the room any time. My favorite Broan model also includes a light and night light while running at 0.9 sones and rated at 110 CFM. It's a fantastic way to keep nice and toasty during the winter months.

Keep an eye out for more bathroom fan posts soon! There are plenty of really cool options I'm really excited to talk about, including energy saving fans and motion sensor fans.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring!

The long, cold, frozen winter tunnel is coming to and end. Can you see the light peeking through the end of it?

With the long, dark months coming to an end, and now that everything is starting to thaw, it's about the time that the spring cleaning itch will begin.

Spring cleaning is a bit overwhelming, to say the least. After being hunkered down in the house, and practically hibernating, chores easily get put off. So what is the best way to get started without feeling overwhelmed?

I have already blogged a couple of cleaning and organization ideas, so take a look at those and see if something might be helpful for you.

5 Steps to an Organized Home for the New Year

12 Cheap DIY Ideas to Fix Up the House

Start Nesting for Winter

I also have pinned a lot of my very favorite cleaning and organizing ideas. There are some bloggers out there who have brilliant ideas! Check out the Pinterest board, and follow it for future cool pins and ideas!

Cleaning and Organizing Pinterest Board

Now, readers, I have to let you  know that I will be going on a short two-month hiatus while I'm away for maternity leave. I promise to have something awesome and when I return, and I can't wait to start writing again! Good luck with your spring chores, and comment about your favorite tips! Let me know about your results!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Music Intercom System

I am a music junkie! I think music always makes everything better. And the best part is, you can find the right music for any mood.

I'm a huge supporter of playing music while doing daily, monotonous chores. I think it helps make the work go faster, and brightens the mood while doing something that usually isn't fun or exciting to do. I'm not sure I'd ever make it through washing a sink full of dishes without listening and singing along to fun and energetic music.

That's why one of my very favorite products we sell is a music intercom system. When I think of my dream home, one of these is definitely included. It will play music throughout your whole home. It can be tuned into the radio, and also has auxillary inputs for iPods or other music devices.

Intrasonic RETROM Intercom master station

The advantage this has over regular radios or stereo systems is that the music is played through every speaker in the house. I know that I miss being able to hear music continually through all of the rooms when doing sweeps through the house, or needing to go room to room. And, if there is a time that you don't want the music to play in a certain room, just turn the speaker volume down or off. Simple fix!

Of course, it's also an intercom system. I'm sure it's every mom's dream to be able to call for her kids without yelling across the whole house.

Also, for those hard of hearing, or if you have a large home, another great perk of having an intercom is that you can hear the doorbell through every speaker in the home.

Check out our whole selection of musical intercom systems and give us a call or leave a comment with any questions!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Get Motivated To Do Your Laundry!

Laundry! For many people, this is a bad word, right up there with "dishes" and "yard work." It's hard to get motivated to do certain chores, and laundry always seems to be one of them. Perhaps because it takes so much time start to finish while you're stuck at home waiting for the load to run, or because it's just so annoying to fold all of the clean clothes and do the ironing.

There are four simple tips that may help you find your motivation to do laundry. I used to be the absolute worst about doing laundry when I was in college (No clean shirts? I'll just go to class with my sweatshirt zipped all the way up). These have all worked for me in the past, and some may hopefully help our readers, as well!

Tip One: Keep the laundry room clean. I know I'm always reluctant to use or walk in a dirty room. Not only does it remind me that cleaning it is on my To Do List, but it's just uncomfortable to work in a room with clutter and too little space. So instead of closing the door to hide the mess while thinking, I have to clean this room before I can do laundry. I'll put it out of my sight and do it later, do some simple things to keep the laundry room in good shape.

1. Get some nice divided laundry baskets. Let yourself splurge on this one. Usually three is a good number- one for darks, one for lights, and the last for whites. Dividing the laundry right away into these three baskets makes it easy to throw a load in the washer later. Many stores have some really cute baskets. For rooms with less space, look into space saver baskets that can hang on the wall, or that you can slip into a cupboard. Having baskets you love will encourage you to use them, and will keep the dirty clothes where they need to be- hidden in the baskets instead of on your bathroom floor.

2. Look into a built in ironing center. It's annoying to have the ironing board propped up against a wall, falling over and getting in the way. The ironing board likes to fall over a lot, and I'm pretty sure my toes are not happy about it. An ironing center is a slim cabinet that installs on the wall, and an ironing board folds down and swivels when you open it. When you're finished, fold it up, close the door, and voila! Hidden away, and no more toe squishes. There are also spots to store an iron, starch, spray bottle, etc. Not only do ironing centers save a lot of space and keep those ironing tools organized, but it also looks nicer to have all of the ironing gear hidden away.

Tip Two: Keep your closet organized. How many times have you done laundry and left the clean clothes in the baskets because you couldn't put them away? Everyone has done it, so don't beat yourself up. I know that it can be really hard to find enough space to put clean clothes if the closet is a mess, or there isn't enough space for them. I have preached this same thing a couple of times before, but closet organizers are your best friend! Get some hanging shelves, a bar extender, a shoe rack, whatever you need to expand the space and utilize all of your closet. Declutter! It's easier than you think! Also, put out of season clothing items into storage. Not only will you have a place for your clean clothes, but your bedroom will be better because of it.

Tip Three: Folding laundry can be a reward! There is another culprit behind leaving clean clothes in the hamper- folding it. It seems like it takes forever and is a boring task. I'll tell you a secret; this is my favorite chore. I bring the clean clothes out into the living room, plop them right out in front of the couch, and turn on the TV. It's the only chore where I feel productive while sitting down and watching TV. It also makes the folding go a lot faster. Usually one 20 minute episode gets me through all three baskets of clean clothes. Find something you enjoy, like music, a movie, or TV show, and put it on while folding. I think you'll soon find that this tail end of laundry day is a lot better than it used to be. Plus, this multitasking will let you catch up on the latest episode so no one can spoil it for you. Super important, right?

Tip Four: Find detergent that makes your laundry smell wonderful. I am not sure if there is a better feeling in the world than climbing into bed with freshly laundered sheets, or drying off with fluffy towels after a shower. Invest in some great soap that you love. Usually cheaper detergents don't clean as well, and can leave clothes smelling a little dingy or mildewy. I personally choose Arm and Hammer detergent. It smells amazing, cleans very well, and is good for sensitive skin. (A 120 load box of powder at Costco is less than $20. I like the powder because I hate having to clean the cup from the liquid after each load, but the liquid works just as well). Believe me, having that sensory reward will help motivate you to want to start your laundry for the day.

Good luck, Laundryteers! If you have any more tips or motivators to share, leave them in the comments! Now, stop doing the Sniff Test to the clothes sitting on the floor, and get working!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

5 Steps to an Organized Home for the New Year

Happy new year! As 2013 leaves and 2014 comes to take its place, there is an air of rebirth. It's a motivation for a new start and a time to start making improvements. What are your goals for this new year?

I know many people make goals to keep their house cleaner and more organized, and possibly get into a new housekeeping routine. What many people don't know is that it's much easier to keep the house clean and orderly if everything is organized. The first step to achieving this goal is to declutter and find a place for everything.

While growing up, my mom was the queen of organizing. She taught me many tips about how to do it, and always expected my room to be spotless. As a kid, that would get frustrating. But as an adult, I now have a lot of knowledge to share and have a clean home.

Step One: Declutter. 

    The biggest culprit to having a messy house is too much stuff. If you have more stuff than space, it will pile up and end up hanging around, not really having anywhere to go when it's time to put it away. It'll end up making its home wherever it's placed, and make the house look cluttered and uncomfortable.

So, it's time to declutter! Go room by room and go through everything. To do this, start with one room, and make three piles: Keep, Donate, and Trash. These are pretty self-explanatory. These three piles will make it go so much faster, and it will be easier to take care of the items once you know what you want to do with them.

I know sometimes it's really hard to toss or donate some things. I'm a very sentimental person and like to hold onto everything. I sometimes have to realize that I won't need the broken knick knack from my college freshman roommate, or won't even remember that I threw away the old (ugly) figurine from Great Aunt Ruth. It's okay to get rid of things you don't use. A great rule of thumb that I live by is, "Have I used this at least once within the last 12 months?" If the answer is no, it gets sorted into the donate or trash pile. This makes the process quick and easy. It also makes it easier for me to get rid of useless items that I always felt like I had to keep. Luckily, now I can take a digital picture of these sentimental items, upload them to my computer, and still have a memento to look at without it hanging around and taking up space.

Step Two: Sort

Once everything has been sorted, cart away the donate and trash piles. The room will look so much cleaner already! And with one pile of stuff sitting in the middle of the room, it's time to sort. It can be surprising how much stuff ends up in the wrong place. I once found my lost can opener in my bedroom closet.

Go through the pile and decide which items stay in the room, and which ones need to go elsewhere in the house. Hopefully, this one won't take long. Quickly remove items that don't belong there and put them in their room. For the remaining items, decide where you want them to be. For my bedroom, I make a small pile next to the nightstand of things I want to organize there, put things next to the dresser that need to go in it, and leave the rest of the stuff for the closet.

Step Three: Organize

With everything ready to be put away, this is the time to organize and decide a place for everything. For drawers holding small items, look into dividers. This will easily keep things neat and easy to find- especially in bathroom drawers filled with bobby pins and hair elastics. Utilize closet space with hanging dividers, boxes, shoe racks, and bar extenders. Cruise through the home section in stores and find some good tools to help make organization easier.

The important part of this step is to find a place for everything. Give every single item a home. Then, when it's time to clean up or pick up the house, things won't hang around or continue to get in the way.

Step Four: Upkeep 

With everything having its own place, upkeep is very easy. I have a trick that I learned that I just love, and it makes picking up very easy. I have a small white basket that I take around the house with me once a day before bed. As I go around, if something is out of place, I pick it up and put it in my basket. Once I have collected the offending items in my basket, I go room to room and put them in their place. It's much faster, more efficient, and easier to make one general sweep through the house rather than rush around the whole house without direction trying to put stuff away. Since using my basket, I find that picking up the house takes five to ten minutes a day.

Step Five: Repeat

Set a doable schedule to achieve the whole house decluttering. Depending on the size of your home, how much time you have, and the amount of clutter, it may take you a shorter or longer amount of time. A good schedule to start with is one room a week. For a busier schedule, try one room a month. Don't worry about not doing it fast enough. It needs to be a manageable schedule so you don't feel overwhelmed! Play some music in the background and soon, you won't even realize how the time flies and you'll be done in no time.

Good luck with getting everything done! It may take some time, but is definitely worth it in the end. Happy New Year from Home Products, Inc!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

How to Fix the Vacuum Problem with Ultra Soft Carpet

A problem has been arising for many homeowners lately. When these homeowners install new ultra thick and plush carpet, usually called ultra soft carpet, their central vacuum systems have had a tough time picking up debris from the floor because they are suctioning into the carpet and won't move. The super thick carpet causes the brush head of the vacuum to suction and seal into the carpet because it is so thick and air can't flow through into the vacuum. This doesn't allow the brush to move across the floor and pick up dirt and dust.

But there is a simple solution.

The air flow relief wand allows for airflow adjustment. By adjusting the airflow, it will break the suction that the brush head has on the floor, and can easily move and work again.

Here's how it works. On the wand near the handle, there is a valve that twists and can change the airflow power. Turn it closed for use on traditional carpet or hard floors, turning up the suction power all the way, or twist it open to adjust and lessen the airflow and suction power for use on ultra soft carpet.

Via VacuMaid
These new wands are two pieces- the top wand, which connects into the central vacuum  hose, and the bottom wand, which snaps into the top wand and then connects into the brush head.

Top wand: 

Bottom wand: 

Compatible brush head for BW240: 

Please leave a comment with any questions or call us anytime!