July 26, 2010

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioner

Posted in appliance parts, Home, RepairClinic.com, Weather tagged , , , , , at 6:47 am by Liliana

Air Conditioner

Air Conditioner

Midsummer.

It is the hottest, most humid time of the year in most of the country. The last thing one needs is a broken or malfunctioning air conditioner.

If your air conditioner does show signs of misbehavior, visit RepairClinic.com. Highly trained technical experts can help you troubleshoot your problem, find the solution and acquire the part you need to fix it.

Here are a few of the most common problems with air conditioners:

  • The air conditioner doesn’t turn on at all – Check to see if there is power getting to your unit – check the fuses or circuit breakers. If there’s still no power, you will need to contact a qualified electrician to restore power to the outlet. If there is power coming to the appliance but it is still completely dead there may be a problem in one or more of the following areas:
    • Wiring (inspect for any broken or burnt wiring)
    • Thermostat
    • Compressor
    • Overload and/or relay
    • Selector switch
    • Control board

Work on these areas of an appliance may require help from an appliance repair person or other qualified technician.

  • The fan runs but there’s no cold air – Is the thermostat knob turned to the proper setting? Is the compressor motor running? The compressor is a football-sized case with no apparent moving parts. It is located inside the air conditioner at the center. Is it humming or making any kind of continuous noise or causing the lights to dim? If it is making a continuous noise, and your air conditioner is still not cooling at all, there may be a serious problem with one or more of these areas:
    • Compressor
    • Condenser
    • Evaporator

These items are not user serviceable. You will need to contact a qualified appliance repair technician to repair these components.

If the compressor is not running but you do have power to the air conditioner there may be a problem in one or more of these areas:

  • Compressor
  • Overload and/or relay
  • Thermostat (open thermostat)
  • Burnt wiring
  • Bad selector switch
  • Capacitor

For more information, troubleshooting suggestions and all the air conditioner parts that you need, visit RepairClinic.com.

July 19, 2010

RepairClinic.com – Troubleshooting Your Dehumidifier

Posted in appliance parts, Health, RepairClinic.com, Weather tagged , , , , , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana

Dehumidifier Parts

Dehumidifier Parts

With the summer in full swing and humidity at record levels, it is important to have your dehumidifier working as efficiently as possible. If something does go wrong, don’t despair. RepairClinic has all the information you need to fix your unit quickly. And if you need parts, visit our website.

Here are a few steps to help you diagnose your problem:

The coils frost up
The coils (on the back of your dehumidifier) are the evaporator. When the unit runs, the coils get very cold. As the fan draws the room air over the coils, the humidity in the air condenses out onto the cold coils. If the temperature of the air the fan draws over the coils is too cool, the humidity that condenses out of the air freezes on the coils.

To remedy this problem, you can try any of these:

Warm up the room the dehumidifier is in.
Put the dehumidifier on a sturdy table (the room air is coolest near the ground).
Turn the unit off until the room warms up.

It runs, but no air blows out the front of the unit
Your dehumidifier has a circulating fan that draws the room air over the coils. If there’s no air movement out the front or the back of the unit, the fan motor may be burned out or stuck, or the fan blade may be broken. If so, you need to replace the fan motor or the fan blade.

The indicator light is on, but the unit doesn’t run
The tank may be full. Your dehumidifier has a safety device that turns off the appliance when the water tank is full. Usually the tank itself either presses against a switch or there’s a device connected to the tank that triggers a switch when the tank is in place and full.

If you’ve emptied the tank and the unit doesn’t run, inspect the place where the tank rests to see if there’s a switch or mechanism that’s not being activated. You may be able to turn it on with a simple flick of your finger.

The container fills up too quickly
When the container fills quickly, your dehumidifier is doing its job. If the container fills quickly for many days in a row, you may want to locate the source of the humidity (for example, is there an unsealed crawl space?) and see if you can correct the problem at the source.

The container doesn’t fill
If your dehumidifier doesn’t seem to run often but the humidity in the room is high, try adjusting the humidistat control on the dehumidifier to a dryer setting. If the dehumidifier seems to run constantly, but there’s little or no water in the container, there may be a problem in the refrigeration system. Try cleaning the unit. If that doesn’t work, you can not repair the refrigeration system yourself. This is the time to call a qualified appliance repair technician.

July 10, 2010

Israeli Couscous Salad

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes, Weather tagged , , , , , , at 6:11 am by Liliana

Israeli Couscous Salad

During these long, hot summer days, refresh yourself with this healthy and nutritious salad. It is very filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 heaping cup cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 large stalk celery, strings removed and diced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill, or more, to taste
  • 10 to 12 basil leaves, thinly sliced, or more, to taste
  • 4 medium firm, ripe apricots or 3 medium firm, ripe nectarines, pitted and diced
  • 1 heaping cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes (red or yellow, or a combination)
  • 1 medium firm, ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or less if you’d like a lower fat dish)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Mixed baby greens, as needed
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

Directions:

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the Israeli couscous and cook at a rapid simmer for about 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water until the couscous is at room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, combine the couscous with the remaining ingredients except the last two. Toss well to combine.

Line a large serving platter with some greens. Mound the salad over them, letting some of the greens show along the edge. Sprinkle the top with the toasted nuts. Serve at once or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Source: FatFree Vegan Kitchen

July 9, 2010

Enjoying the Heat Wave

Posted in Food, Health, Serbia, Weather tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:38 am by Liliana

Pleasures of summer

Pleasures of summer

Large parts of the US and the world are suffering from an intense heat wave. The temperature and the humidity are high. The sun is unforgiving in its glare. It is not fun being outside.

The best thing to do is stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (between 10 am and 3 pm.) Stay in a cool place. Even if you do not have an air conditioner, you can take precautions. Open your windows during the night, and close and shade them during the day. Don’t exert yourself too much.

It is important to keep hydrated so drink lots of water. There is no substitute for water. Everything else (lemonade, sports drinks, coffee, etc.) should be in addition to it. Sip water all day or take frequent water breaks.

Eat small meals. Try eating a few smaller, lighter meals rather than one big portion. You will generate less heat and not feel as full.

Eat lots of fruit. Watermelons, strawberries, apples, cantaloupes and grapes are some of my favorite choices for hot summer days and all have a high water content. Try juicy peaches and other seasonal fruit – all at the height of ripeness, freshness and deliciousness.

Eat lots of vegetables. Fresh, crisp, refreshing salads are a perfect choice. Lettuce (so many varieties to choose from,) cucumbers, celery, spinach and peppers are all over 90% water. A bit of kosher salt, a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and some lemon juice – what can be more delicious?

Eat hot peppers, they make you sweat, and this process cools you down. Peppers are a big part of the Serbian culture, hot peppers and sweet peppers, all kinds of peppers. One of my favorite summer salads is Serbian Roasted Pepper Salad.

Don’t forget salt. Salt retains water, but since there is salt in so many foods we eat and in most sports drinks, don’t overdo it.  Let common sense be your guide.

Best wishes to all my readers. Stay cool but don’t merely endure this lovely season. Enjoy your summer. Revel in its pleasures.

July 8, 2010

Hot Days in July

Posted in Children, Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Weather tagged , , , , , , at 7:04 am by Liliana

Pleasures of hot weather

Pleasures of hot weather

This week has been hot. Very hot.

The temperatures and the humidity in our part of Michigan have been in the high 90’s.

Our cottage near Lake Michigan does not have air-conditioning.

Somehow, in a small house full of people, we persevered. I cannot deny that there weren’t moments when we discussed breaking into our neighbor’s house (he was away on a camping trip) to enjoy the coolness of his whirling machine, but we didn’t actually do it.

And for the most part, we weren’t miserable either. Except for my husband Jeff who cannot stand heat at all, even though he grew up in St. Louis in the steamy humidity of the Mississippi river. Or maybe because of it.

The rest of us handled the heat just fine. We spent part of each morning sitting on the front porch, in the shade of the tall scotch pine, watching birds come to the feeder. Inside the cottage, while eating, napping, reading or playing games, we used ceiling fans and window fans to move the air around. The windows were open for the air to circulate, but the shades were drawn creating a drowsy darkness even at noon.

Branka, Joe and I took long walks on the beach, the breeze strong and refreshing, the water warm. Peter, Nena and Jeff went on bike rides on the shady wooded paths of the nearby trail. All exertion demanding activity was completed by midday.

To keep cool we lunched on salads, fruits and vegetable soups. Then everyone quieted down and people read, or napped or played computer games. I found a shady spot on the hammock in the backyard and dozed happily. Around three in the afternoon, I could hear Jeff starting to practice his violin and smell the powerful aroma of Turkish coffee.

Everyone slowly assembled on the back deck. Now, the front porch was sunny and hot, the back deck shady and inviting.

For dinner, we mostly barbecued. Chicken, fish, hamburgers. We made potato salad with fresh dill and steamed new corn. We made piles of green salad with apples, raspberries and refreshing vinaigrette.

And when it started getting dark, and we walked towards our favorite ice cream store, no one complained about the heat any longer. It seemed like the perfect background for waffle cones and a variety of flavors. Sam and Nicole wanted chocomania, Nena tried dark cherry with vanilla, Joe got strawberry sorbet and I – French silk.

Cool and delicious.

July 4, 2010

Blue Sky

Posted in Weather, Women tagged , , , , , at 7:22 am by Liliana

Blue Sky

This is what I want to do this morning: sit outside, under a warm blanket, with a steaming cup of coffee, on the front porch of my cottage, in the fresh morning air.

I will hold very still. The bird feeder is too close to the porch and any movement startles the birds. The bravest birds are the little sparrows, nothing seems to frighten them. But the cardinals, morning doves, blue jays and robins are very skittish. I will not move a muscle.

It is a cool morning, surprisingly cool for the beginning of July. It is sunny, and the sky is blue with not a cloud in the sky.

Happy 4th of July!

June 29, 2010

Weekend at the Lake

Posted in Children, Family, Food, Friendships, Holidays, Home, Weather tagged , , , , at 6:39 am by Liliana

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

We spent a few days at our cottage near Lake Michigan.

Between our guests from Alaska and Chicago and our own extended family, there were fifteen occupants. Half of us were children.

Every room was put to good use. Branka and Joe took the back bedroom. Sasha and Sam claimed the tiny front room. Tom and Sharon slept on an air mattress in the little side porch. Next to them, in the middle walk-through room, slept the two boys, Nate and Julian.

In the upstairs loft, we had a crowd: Jeff and I on the bed, Nicky and Nena on the floor.

And then the tent. Laurie brought a big, sturdy tent, and she and the two little girls (Katie and Monica) slept outside. The huge rain storm did not scare these ladies away.

The children spent hours filling balloons with water and popping them on the side of the house. They climbed the play structures in the little park down the street. Sam and Nate played soccer and basketball, at the same time. They buried each other in the sand, and we had to make them come out of the lake. No one wanted to stop bobbing in the huge waves that came after the storm.

The adults walked on the beach, sat talking on the front porch, drank Turkish coffee out of dainty porcelain cups. Branka made soups, corn bread and puppy seed and walnut strudel. Sharon and Tom made a Mexican themed dinner one night. Jeff barbecued a feast on Saturday night.

Since it was also Nena’s birthday, Branka bought a huge Dairy Cream ice cream cake. It was not just the little kids who asked for seconds! As the storm raged outside and we cooled ourselves with melting vanilla, chocolate and cookie dough flavors, Laurie asked what the adults would do differently if they had another chance at being twenty two.

Most had a similar wish – slow down the time and spend it enjoying each others presence. And so we did.

June 27, 2010

The Oil Spill

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children, Cleaning, Health, Money, News, Travel, Weather tagged , , , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana

http://www.oilism.com/oil/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/oilspill0.jpg

"Make my hands respect the things you have"

There is a great environmental tragedy happening in the Gulf of Mexico and it affects our entire planet.

I wanted to address the issue, to acknowledge the unprecedented affliction, torment and suffering, but my words feel inadequate and shallow.

What can I say that hasn’t been said? What wisdom can I offer?

I will let this beautiful Native American Prayer speak for me. It says everything, and much more, that I wanted to express.

Native American Prayer

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)

Source: http://www.sapphyr.net/natam/quotes-nativeamerican.htm

June 21, 2010

RepairClinic.com Summer Barbecue

Posted in appliance parts, Children, Company Meetings, Family, Food, RepairClinic.com, Weather, Women, Work tagged , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana

RepairClinic.com Summer Barbecue and Fun Day

RepairClinic.com Summer Barbecue and Fun Day

Last week, we celebrated the beginning of summer with a company barbecue and family fun day at RepairClinic.com.

After all the downpours and extreme weather we were having in Michigan lately, we were all a bit nervous. But the morning was pleasant, sunny and dry. Perfect for a barbecue.

The tent was already up when I arrived, and people were arranging tables and chairs. Two huge bouncies we had rented out for the afternoon fun with the kids were being inflated. I had stopped at the flower shop and picked up dozens of jewel colored African violets. Wrapped in green and white tissue paper they added charm and elegance to our gathering when I placed them on white tablecloths.

The grills were being fired up on the side of our building, and Lisa, Ryan, Tracy, Shielda and Veronica were ready to start grilling when Raina arrived with the meat.

Alana stopped at the bakery to pick up the desserts – an amazing selection of delectable little pastries, fruit tarts, chocolate brownies, carrot cake slices and napoleons.

When employees started lining up at 12:30, everything was set up and ready. I placed a perfectly done piece of steak on my plate, potato salad on the side, and green salad with dried cherries.  Prizes were given, employees recognized and Larry informed us on the progress of the latest projects and initiatives. I quietly listened as I tasted a delicate fruit tart with light cream and tangy kiwi and raspberries.

After the employee luncheon, we started cleaning up and preparing for the arrival of our friends and families. The bouncies were ready. We brought out the food, the ice cream cart full of goodies, and lots of cold and refreshing drinks.

The balloon guy was setting up when the first families arrived. Children lined up and I don’t think that guy got a break for a second the entire afternoon. We had two caricaturists doing portraits and each had a long list of patrons. Music was playing in one corner of the tent and children danced with full balloon headgear. Others were racing up the large bouncies, sliding down, then racing up again. People talked and some introduced new colleagues to their families. I visited with the little children and held the new babies. Everyone took pictures.

No one wanted to go home at the end of the afternoon. Children asked their moms and dads if they could come again tomorrow. And, I don’t think I was the only one who slept like a baby that night.

June 14, 2010

Dehumidifier Maintenance Parts and Advice

Posted in appliance parts, Health, Home, RepairClinic.com, Weather tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:58 am by Liliana

Dehumidifier

Dehumidifier

Even though summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st, hot weather has already arrived in most of the country,  and with it high humidity levels in the atmosphere.

High humidity is not only unpleasant, but can cause mold and mildew to grow inside your home.  A number of health risks (allergies, infections, respiratory problems, etc.) are associated with mold in the air. Insects, including clothes moths, fleas and cockroaches flourish in areas of high humidity. For healthy air, relative humidity in most homes should be 30 to 50%.

Dehumidifier is a small appliance that extracts moisture out of the air. This is how it works: by using a fan to pull ventilation over two sets of refrigerant-filled coils (one cool and one warm,) saturation vapor pressure of water decreases, causing the water in the air to condense and drip into a collecting bucket. Different dehumidifiers have various levels of effectiveness in removing moisture during the same period of time. Dehumidifiers vary according to tank size, water removal, humidistat accuracy, energy efficiency, noise and frost control.

Maintenance advice for your dehumidifier from RepairClinic.com:

  • Get your dehumidifier ready for the cooling season. Check to see that the humidistat is set correctly. If it is set too high (low humidity), the unit may run continuously, which is unnecessary.  Hygrometer is a very useful tool that helps you determine the correct setting for your humidistat.
  • Clean your dehumidifier water container.
  • Replace your dehumidifier filter. RepairClinic.com has several to choose from in our dehumidifier accessories section.
  • If you need a part for a broken dehumidifier, RepairClinic.com has parts for any unit.

Have a cool and pleasant summer!

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