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The Ailing Ceiling Fan Industry in America and Why Almost All Ceiling Fans Come From China

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Here we discuss the history of ceiling fans and why they are no longer made in America and what can be done about. Since America was one of the first countries in the world to make and use them, it is a sad legacy that we have lost that capability but there is hope. Read on for more information.

Electric ceiling fans were first manufactured in the 1890s primarily by General electric, Westinghouse and Emerson Electric. These companies were the largest of the electrical device companies at the time and on the fore front of new electrical product development. In the beginning, the fans were very expensive for the era and used almost exclusively in commercial applications such as bars, restaurants, hotel lobbies and meeting rooms. They were very heavy and made of solid metal castings with bears that needed to be filled with oil on a regular basis. But they worked well and ran almost forever. Many are still running today in restored condition. The fans generally very simple and plain by today’s standards, but were very much considered a utility appliance to be felt and not heard or seen. There was no air-conditioning at that time so the ceilings were fairly high and the fans kept the air moving. The fans continued on this way essentially unchanged but gradually dropped in price to become more affordable (and lighter duty) by the 1960’s. At this point they became less popular as central air-conditioning and heating became the norm and ceiling heights fell to the standard 8′ tall. In the late 1970’s there was a resurgence in fan popularity with the “energy crisis” and renewed interest in saving electricity, though that again faded into the 1980s as energy became cheap again. There was a major change in the evolution of fans in the 1980 and 1990’s as cheaper production factories in Taiwan came on line. But first a little background into ceiling fan manufacturing.

Ceiling fans are fairly simple devices, a motor, hanging rod and 3-5 blade arms that hold the usually wood blades. The motors were generally made by a handful of large companies and used in a variety of brands, keeping costs down. You might have a choice of two motor sizes, but otherwise they were pretty similar. The decorative outer housing and blade arms were the expensive part to develop. They required very expensive dies and other castings and often took years to pay back the development costs. So, few companies wanted to take risks on developing and paying for new shapes, styles and designs when there was no perceived need. So, fan styling stayed pretty simple and boring. Remember when the upgrade for fans were blades with woven cane inserts? That all changed with Taiwan initially than China in the late 1990’s. Their much lower labor and tooling costs did two things; 1. It allowed existing fan companies to more cost effectively create entirely new models and 2. It created an opportunity for new companies without any factories of their own, to suddenly become fan companies. Examples of the latter are Craftmade, Minka Aire, Concord, Fanimation, Quorum, Regency, Copper Canyon, Ellington, Hunter and many more. In fact only Emerson is left of the original companies making fans. GE got out of the business and Westinghouse went bankrupt and sold the name to a start up company.

This was the first major explosion in fan variety and popularity. As more and more choices because available, consumers discovered that fans were not longer just for moving air, they were now decorator items that jazzed up the room. Then the housing boom hit in the 1980s further increasing sales and the choices became almost unbelievable. The downside to all this was that the companies manufacturing ceiling fans in the US either had to shut down or move overseas to keep up with the radical style changes and demand from an ever more finicky consumer. After about 10 years, all the US companies were either out of business or now just importers. Once this happened, all the support industries that used to make the fan parts, likewise moved into different areas or also went out of business. For a while a few companies like Emerson assembled fans here from parts made overseas or in Mexico, but they eventually gave up and now strictly import all their fans. This scenario worked great for many years as the housing boom continued into 2007, than disaster hit.

One of the “devil’s bargains” the fan companies had to sign with the large foreign factories was to buy large quantities of these fans, usually 500 to 1000 at a time of each model. That was great so long as there was plenty of market. What has happened now is that these companies suddenly had warehouses full of fans that were no longer selling and they could no longer afford to create new models or even order inventory of good selling models until back inventory was sold, which was not happening very quickly. The next major issued was that prices started to rise dramatically as the cost of raw metals and petroleum products spiked in 2007-10 due to massive demand in Asia. As the lighting and fan business went into a dramatic tail spin, many companies had to merge or got bought out and this trend is expected to continue for a while to come. So the question now is how do companies survive in a shrinking market with costs rising and consumers still expecting new and different styles? That is a very difficult order that will require either a dramatic decrease in fan companies and therefore capacity, or the companies have to be much nimbler and able to produce smaller quantities and still be profitable. In reality, both are happening and in 2011 the market is starting to stabilize, though there are still buyouts going on such as an anticipated one between Ellington and Craftmade.

An additional complication in all this is the change in retail distribution due to the internet and “Big Box” stores. Traditionally, fans were sold through local lighting showrooms with hardware stores carrying some very basic models at best. With the advent of the internet and growth of mega hardware stores across the county, that has changed the fan retail landscape completely. You can no shop and price check thousands of models from any internet connected computer. The Big Box stores are now importing fans directly from China and can sell them for less than lighting showrooms can often buy them. The normal 2 times and more markup the showroom previously enjoyed have also eroded due to the internet, so lighting showroom business that was the traditional mainstay of these fan companies is faltering. The traditional fan companies have been forced to embrace internet companies and try to sell to the Box stores with mixed success. Big box stores are notorious for letting the smaller fan ( and other product) companies take all the risk in developing new designs, then take proven successes and have them made in their own factories in China for less.

There is another option that only one specialty lighting and ceiling fan company has embraced; go back to assembling and finishing fans in the US. Copper Canyon is known for their artistic western and rustic style ceiling fans. Even in this very limited, low volume market, they have grown dramatically in the last 5 years by keeping inventory low and offering more variety even as other companies are cutting back. They bring in partially completed ceiling fans from overseas, then add their own US made decorative panels and accessories and hand finish the fans as ordered. The cost is higher per fan this way, but it allows for less inventory, provides US jobs and more choices for customers.

As more and more companies grapple with the rising costs of manufacturing and doing business in China, this trend will likely continue, benefiting everyone. Making consumer level ceiling fans completely here in the US will probably never happen again, but just like car companies, why not assemble and finish fans here from imported and domestic parts? The tremendous profits of the past may never be the same, but that is the price of staying in business and we have to start evaluating the real cost of losing so many jobs to overseas suppliers.

Home Improvement

Trends to Modify Your Beds and Add Allurance to Your Bedroom

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A famous quote by E J Cossman- “The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”, speaks of the significance of a quality sleep, which directly depends upon, how comfortable your bed is. A Maximum number of individuals find it really difficult to fall asleep, due to multiple reasons, such as having stress, loads or pending work, financial crisis, and so on, which are “old wives tales”! Whereas, a matter of fact is, after working hard, a person can fall asleep easily. If we look at the bigger picture, we realize, a cozy, snug bed can heal it all and take you to the world of dreams, as soon as your head strikes the pillow! Therefore, a happy-healthy bed can improve your bedtime and soothe your soul.

Beds are the most inevitable commodity, and they define the aura of your room. Therefore, they must be clean and well-organized. Adding a little decoration here and there, around your bed, can add extra goodness around your bed, making you fall for it more! So, once you buy a comfortable bed, you can pick up one of the enlisted ideas below, to add some extra awesomeness to your beds:

  1. Built-in lights under the pallet beds: If you have wooden pallets in the base of your beds, then adding small LED’s underneath those pallets would escalate the brilliance of the bed. These lights won’t disturb your sleep, unlike all the other lights, placed anywhere else inside the room. Also, it keeps you from absolute darkness in the night.
  2. Lighting the wall touching the headboard: Hanging some fancy lights on the wall adjoined to the bed, will also render an unmatched gleam to your bedroom!
  3. Shelter your bed using an alcove: We all love to sleep, feeling secure, like nobody is looking at us! Forming an alcove around your bed forms a recessed section in the room, that is set separated from the rest of the room. Sleep in that niche bed, leaving all the worries outside it!
  4. Stash all your books behind your bed: Hiding a bookshelf with the curtains, right behind your bed, gives you easier access to your books! Apparently, Reading to sleep is the practice that can give you the best kind of sleep. It is advisory to read the sanguine novels so that all the good thoughts enter into your mind before your end your day.
  5. Shelving around the corners: Fitting some wooden shelves around the corners of your beds and lighting some essence candles on them, makes room for all the positivity around you. You can even place some small flower-pots, for adding green always invites good vibes.
  6. Hang some art: It would literally add a feather to one’s cap, if you hang some big round mirrors on the adjoining wall. The grace it brings to your room is unmatched. You can also hang some family pictures on the walls adjacent to the beds, which can give you a boost of good memories each time you enter your bedroom! Isn’t is a natural antidepressant?
  7. Dream catchers: This angelic object, loosely woven like a web, is believed to filter dreams. If you hang a dream catcher, it only lets the good dreams be seen, and filters all the bad dreams. The bad dreams are assumed to be staying in the net for the night and then disappear with the light of the day.

With the help of the mentioned ways, you can create a healthy space that makes you fall asleep easily! Above all the room should be well ventilated, so that no feeling of suffocation can disturb your sleep.

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How To Easily Install Windows 7 On Your PS3 Console

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Looking for a good & simple way to put Windows 7 on PS3? Here are a few tips that you can use to get started and hopefully get it done within a few hours. The method below is one that has worked for a lot of people, so I hope it will work for you too? Read below and let’s begin getting started.

Here’s How You Basically Put Windows 7 On PS3

The most common and by far the most simple method is to get a piece of software that you can download. Once it’s downloaded you transfer it to your PS3 and run it – from there the steps are really automatic and you can have your PS3 into a PC by a few hours. Of course there are more “technical” ways to do it if that’s your thing, but if you’re a regular PS3 user who just wants to turn it to a PC then this software is your best bet.

Simple Steps to Take

Here are the few steps broken down into 3 steps that you take to get your Windows 7 on PS3.

1. Download the software program

2. Transfer it to your PS3 and install it.

3. Follow all the steps and then install your Windows 7 onto the PS3

That’s really all it takes when you want to get it done.

Be Careful What You Download

Once you’re ready to get started you can search online for good software – but watch out – because a LOT of the software gives you viruses and is really just malicious developers who make bad software to steal your stuff and put a bunch of ads and annoying things on your computer that just slow it down. If you want to skip the “hard part” of finding a good software, then I’m going to recommend one below.

Download PS3 Magic Below to Get Started

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Home Improvement

Constructing Retaining Walls

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Retaining walls can be some of the most beautiful garden and yard pieces of functional decor. These walls hold back some material, usually water or dirt and can be designed in such a way to bring joy and beauty to the surrounding areas. They can also be designed in such a way as to appear ugly and old, lacking the charm that most people desire for their retaining walls. Knowing how to properly construct the right retaining wall and construct it in such a way as to have it enhance the area only takes a little know how and a little work.

First, one should look at the material that is being retained. Retaining walls can retain dirt, sand, water, or just about anything else. If one is retaining water, solid concrete is best for providing a waterproof area. If one is retaining anything else, rocks, wood, or concrete work very well. Procuring the appropriate materials can make a big difference in the effectiveness of the retaining wall.

Finding the appropriate color of the retaining wall is very important. There are plenty of different colors to choose from, natural colors in lights and darks to the unnatural colors of the rainbow. Finding the right color can make the difference between the retaining wall matching the rest of the decor to the retaining wall clashing horribly with the decor.

One should then build a frame and begin to assemble the retaining wall. For concrete, this can be done on the ground and left there while it sets. Things like hand prints and dates can be set in the concrete to add to the beauty of it. Wood and stone can be built up where the retaining wall is supposed to be going. Paint or varnish can keep the wood looking good, while the stones can be left clean and natural for the best effect.

No matter what the material or color, a major aspect of the beauty is the quality that the retaining wall is designed with. A beautiful colored piece with the perfect materials can look horrible if one rushes through the job and does not place the retaining wall appropriately. By taking time and care, the wall can be designed and placed, simply and efficiently to bring about the most beauty.

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Laminate Flooring Vs Hardwood Flooring

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When it is time to choose the flooring for your home you may be faced with the dilemma of comparing laminate versus hardwood flooring. You want the look of the hardwood, the price of the laminate, and you may have a hard time deciding which of your wants to meet.

We will take a look at the two flooring types according to different categories that homeowners have said were important to them.

Costs:

Laminates are man-made planks that are engineered to look like the natural hardwoods. Many of the laminates come very close to being indistinguishable from the hardwood they are copying. Laminates are generally priced about fifty percent less than hardwoods are. That means that the laminates are more cost effective at the time of purchase, but will these man-made board imitators be able to last as long as the real deal?

Care:

If you are talking about how hard it is to care for the flooring after it is installed then the laminate planks will win this category. Not only are laminates cheaper to buy, they are much easier to care for. When you have laminate flooring all you really need to do to keep it looking good is use a dust mop to remove dirt and debris, and then use a damp mop to remove grime on occasion. Hardwood floors will require the same dust mopping for the removal of dirt and debris. They will get the same mopping to remove grime, but they will also periodically need to be waxed to help them retain their shine.

Looks:

Hardwood boards on the floor are beautiful. They are warm, inviting, and they have a glow that no other flooring can capture. Laminate planks come very close to imitating the look of hardwood boards. The laminates are pretty to look at. They appear warm and inviting, and they have their own glow depending on the finish you select. The two types of flooring stack up evenly in this category.

Durability:

Laminate planks are incredibly durable, but their durability increases, and decreases according to the thickness of the laminate planks. The real winner in this category is going to be the hardwoods. The natural hardwoods can be easily repaired if they are gouged, or cut. You can sand the marks out of these boards to create boards that look brand new even after they have been installed for fifty years. If a laminate plank gets damaged the entire plank must be replaced.

Installation techniques

Laminate floors are easy to install. Almost anyone can install laminate planks even if they have no skill. Hardwood flooring is much harder to install and requires precision cutting, and lots of experience. Laminate flooring can be installed over a concrete slab. Before you lay the laminate you install a padding or underlayment. Natural wood floor boards must be nailed to another sub-floor that is made of wood. Laminate wins the comparison for being easy to install.

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Stuff – Best Tech Magazine to Like-Minded Tech Fans

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Stuff is the world’s best-selling gadget monthly magazine for over a decade, published by Haymarket Consumer Media. The magazine started off as a bi-monthly in the US in 1996 by Dennis Publishing and the focus shifted to being more lifestyle orientated in 1998; the same year that rival publishing group Haymarket Consumer Media bought the title in the UK. Haymarket Consumer Media also took over ownership of Stuff magazine in 25 other territories, such as: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam. It has a global circulation of 1.36 million copies.

Stuff is a men’s magazine carrying reviews on various consumer electronics, and previews of possible future technology. With a Stuff magazine subscription, you can take an alternate look at the planet’s best gadgets, tech and apps. The magazine is all about the pure, unfiltered joy of tech and gadgets. It provides a monthly project that helps you get more from your already existing gadgets, including learning new skills, tricks, and hacks to bring your level up to a new standard, and breathe new life into old kit.

The magazine investigates and uncovers new trends in tech. Some of the past episodes included the championing of 3D printing, the Internet of Things, and going behind the scenes with Vine – 6-second video app and its makers to discover how it conquered the world of social media. Stuff is first to tread where no other technology magazines think to tread. Whether you are an Apple or Android fan; the magazine caters to everyone. By being global and having 25 editions with 1.36 millions readers, it has definitely come to be known as the best technology magazine to like-minded tech fans every month.

The magazine produces the world-famous Stuff magazine Top 10s, and ranks everything including latest phones, computers, tablets, games, apps, TVs, home cinema, hi-fi, headphones, cameras, consoles, media players, sat-nav, etc,. So whatever you decide to get in the tech world, be sure to first check the latest issue of the magazine to get acquainted with all the info you will need to get the best gadgets.

Haymarket has always been trying to spice up the magazine for its readers and recently unveiled a new look for the magazine in 2013. The aim is to continue providing a premium monthly magazine that is more relevant in an ever changing media landscape, in competition with other abundant free technology news and features. The editor of the magazine is Will Findlater.

Redesigning the magazine every few years is sometimes necessary; especially now since apps and OS updates have become pivotal in technology enthusiasts’ lives. Therefore, the magazine needs to revamp itself and find better ways of integrating latest news and features that tech fans are wanting to read about. However, Stuff magazine is not all about gadgets; cars, robots, sport, toys, watches, music, films, fashion, and funky furniture also don several pages of the magazine.

The team also created templates that work on the iPad and other mobile devices. This enables the magazine to go into the digital platform and reach more interested readers. A Stuff digital subscription will give you access to all that you expect from the print version of the magazine. The team has maintained Stuff’s distinctive character, by keeping its accessibility and with that has been a big part of the brand’s success to this point. So grab a copy of the Stuff digital magazine and enjoy every aspect of the latest in tech news from around the world.

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Tips on Buying a Bedroom Furniture Set

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Buying a new bedroom furniture set can be a chore. Who has the time these days to go comparison shopping to big box furniture stores, wholesale stores, discount furniture stores, and designer furniture stores in search of the perfect bedroom set?

Here are the basics you should know before you buy.

Cost: The sky is the limit when it comes to bedroom furniture sets, especially if you start looking at designer furniture, expensive wood materials, leathers, and etc. For those with budgets, a basic set including a frame, headboard, and 1-2 nightstands can be purchased for around $500. A bedroom set can also save you time and money because you will spend less when buying a set and you won’t have to shop around for individual pieces to match and complete your room.

Styles: The style you choose for your set will set the tone for your bedroom. Do you want something practical, fun, light like a storage bedroom set? Are you looking for something traditional like a four-poster bed set? Maybe a bed set with an upholstered headboard? Something modern that is platform-style which is low to the ground? Knowing what style you prefer will help you make a decision more quickly.

Size: Most bedroom furniture sets come in full-sized, queen-sized, or king-sized. As the central focal point of a bedroom, deciding on a size is not only based on what size you prefer, but also the size of your room and how much of a statement you want to make. Do you need space for bookshelves? A work desk? A reclining chair for reading?

Typical bedroom set pieces: Many bedroom sets begin with a bed frame and headboard. Bedroom sets can go up to 6 additional pieces that could include: night or bedside tables, dressers, chests drawers, mirrors, bookcases, and storage benches. Buying bedroom furniture set is often more aesthetically appealing because additional pieces will match your bed frame.

Designer or non-designer? Some of the most popular household brands today include South Shore, Modus Nevis, Prepac, Young American, and American Drew. When it comes to designer bedroom furniture sets, most of your guests won’t notice whether something is designer or not – but they will notice when your bedroom set is good quality. Generally speaking, better quality sets will cost you more but will also last you longer.

Kids’ bedroom sets: Last but not least, if you’re looking for a bedroom set for kids, it’s better to go simpler and choose something more affordable because the furniture will wear quickly. Choose additional pieces that are practical, that will actually be used, and a style that will stand the test of time – that means no to the race car bed.

Good luck!

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Smart Homes Are The Future Of Living

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WHAT IS A SMART HOME?

When you hear people talk about “smart homes,” they are merely referring to the way that you can control and monitor your home’s systems remotely. You can check the temperature, turn down the cooling, make sure the doors are locked, and much more. If you want a smart home, you don’t have to go out and buy a new home. You can make changes to your current home, adding and installing features that you can control with a computer, a tablet, or a mobile phone. Smart home products are popular for several reasons:

  • They are convenient.
  • They save you money.
  • They keep your home more comfortable.
  • They make your home safer.
  • They are easy and fun to manage.

HOW TO CHOOSE SMART PRODUCTS

Smart products can be a little more expensive than your typical home fixtures. For that reason, most people choose not to upgrade their entire home all at once with smart products. That is one of the benefits of transforming your abode into a smart home. You can choose to do it all at once or in steps. If you want to start with a few essentials, select smart home systems that will have the greatest impact. We recommend asking yourself a few questions to help you decide:

  • What home systems are costing me the most money to run? Or, which monthly bills related to my home do I most want to reduce?
  • What home systems do I most frequently forget to monitor?
  • Which home features do I wish would monitor themselves?
  • Where do I feel like my home is lacking in safety?

This list should help you narrow down your list to things like self-locking doors and windows, a fireplace or stove with an automatic shut-off, faucets that use more water, an inefficient heating or cooling system, or house lights that are frequently left on when not needed. Smart home products can solve any and all of these problems.

HOW THEY WORK

Smart home products are quick and easy for a professional to install. Just talk to your home builder, plumber, or electrician about smart products you are interested in. Once installed, they are easy for the entire family to use. You can have your smart products up and running in as little as one day.

  • First, have the specialist walk you through set up or follow the owner’s manual to set up the smart home system initially.
  • Download any apps you need or set up your account on websites that monitor the smart feature in your home.
  • Access the app or website at work, at the gym, or anywhere on your phone.
  • Finally, get a good night’s sleep knowing all is well with your home.

You can customize your smart home system to exactly how you want it to work. This is what makes smart homes so convenient. Every family has different needs, such as when they eat, sleep, shower, clean dishes, and turn the lights on. Your smart home systems will work with your family’s schedule, minimizing energy usage and saving you time and money.

HOW THEY SAVE MONEY

How exactly do smart homes save you money? Several ways. Have you ever looked at your water bill and wished you could lower it permanently? Have you ever wondered what was causing your heating bill to skyrocket? Everyday life and every season has fluctuations, but smart products help to minimize those fluctuations while still meeting the family’s needs. For example, a smart thermostat can be programmed to keep the house cooler at a certain time of day and then warmer during other times. When the house is always comfortable, there is no need for you to constantly be going back to the thermostat to turn it up. And if you never have to turn up the temperature, then you’ll never forget to turn it back down again. An added benefit of smart heating and cooling systems is that they usually include more energy-efficient heaters and air conditioners.

WHAT’S TRENDING WITH SMART HOMES

Manufacturers are constantly coming up with new and amazing products for smart homes. For example, not only can you program your thermostat from your phone, but now you can even install a smart thermostat that can remember your heating and cooling preferences and automatically set your home’s temperature without you touching a button. Talk about staying comfortable without shooting your utility bill through the roof! Here are a few other popular smart products on the market:

  • Water leak sensors
  • Water shutoff valves to stop leaks
  • Automated, electronic water softeners/conditioners
  • Water heater shutoff
  • Water-conserving faucet attachments
  • Automatic irrigation sprinkler systems
  • Energy-saving, programmable thermostats
  • Automated air conditioning systems
  • Motion detectors
  • Automatic, timed lights
  • Light dimmers
  • Digital security system
  • Automated home locks

GETTING STARTED

Make sure you get high-quality smart home systems by talking to neighbors about products they have used and asking the experts about the highest-quality products they offer. You can also tell quality products by whether they come with a warranty. If you prefer to start slow, choose one or two smart changes to your house. You can experience the convenience and the monthly savings before making further upgrades to your home. Every upgrade will make a difference and save energy and money. The more smart products you invest in, the more you’ll enjoy the benefits!

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3 Home Technologies That Are Going Away

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Technology is a field that evolves very rapidly, either out of necessity or through consumer demand. What once used to be the latest and greatest will eventually become obsolete, replaced by newer and hopefully better technology. Here are three home technologies that are going away and how they are being replaced.

  1. Landline Phones

Landline phones exploded in use throughout the middle of the twentieth century. This enabled people to communicate with others much more quickly and efficiently than before. However, the increasing use of mobile phones in the late 1990s through today has made it easy for households to do away with their landline phones and exclusively use personal mobile phones. Cellphones usually come with other features besides the ability to make calls, such as texting and GPS navigation, making them a convenient option when traveling.

However, there remain disadvantages to going fully mobile, such as receiving worse cell quality in remote areas and less reliability when calling emergency services. Some other alternatives to landline phones include voice over internet protocol phones and online services that offer voice and video calling.

  1. Cable Television

Cable television is still ubiquitous in many households but is being replaced by streaming services, often offered by the cable networks themselves, as well as online platforms that allow people to watch shows, movies, and news on demand. Some of the benefits of cable include the ability to watch sports and other broadcasts live, as well as the opportunity to choose a cable package with a limited selection of channels or a wider selection including premium channels at a more expensive price point.

Today, streaming services often offer a larger selection of shows and movies for even lower prices. Most streaming services allow you to pay by the month and give you the option of streaming on more than one device at a time.

  1. Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are still easy to find, but are slowly becoming regarded as more expensive and less environmentally friendly than compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes. CFLs and LEDs work in most modern light fixtures and are a good investment for your lighting needs, especially considering the fact that many U.S. states are starting to limit the use of incandescent lights. CFLs and LEDs generally last longer than traditional light bulbs, leading to less hassle in replacing bulbs.

Consider these three home technologies and their replacements the next time you are looking to save money or upgrade your house.

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Maxwell Drever explains the concept of the affordable housing crisis

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People all across the globe are facing the problem of an affordable housing crisis. It is affecting millions of individuals who belong to the medium-income spectrum. Grabbing a look at national analytics, you will understand that ever since 2018, the problem has aggravated. Individuals who offer 35 to 40 hours each week and earn minimum wages fall within this category. They are finding it hard to afford or two to a three-bedroom apartment for themselves because it adds to the burden on their financial expenses. Hence, countries in a global setting have come up to solve this problem.

Research reveals that the cost burden on the middle-income group has increased by 30%. It is a reason why they are looking for affordable, well-maintained, and reasonable housing to cut down on their struggles. Around two-third renters have reported the hardship of affording a new house for themselves because their savings are low. It is here that affordable housing turns into a crisis. It is not only limited to the middle and lower-income groups but also to other sections of society.

The problem of construction for investors by Maxwell Drever

You may be thinking that affordable workforce housing is only a problem for the middle-income group. However, it is not so. Even the investors and real estate agents face similar issues because construction material costs are soaring high. For example, the cost of lumber has increased by 16% in the last few years.

Although the index keeps on fluctuating, Maxwell Drever says it has remained elevated for the earlier few months. Remember that a minimum of 5 to 10% of the increase in construction material prices adds to the cost. Hence, the problem builds up for the investors and other related agents. It is why most home builders are finding it hard to construct reasonable and affordable housing to cater to the market.

Problems faced by the government

Federal governments introduce multiple policy options for providing tax cuts and benefits to society. All these get targeted towards the middle-income group; surveys reveal that they hardly get the advantages. On the other hand, some policy options get designed for the investors and real estate industry. Implementation of these policies is sometimes a challenging task. Hence, the governments are facing the problem of restrictive practices and their impact on the broader economy.

Transportation issues in affordable housing

Affordable housing is not only limited to the residence itself. The increasing rent and property prices push low. Hence, the middle-income groups move further away from the main urban centers. It is here that the problem of transportation comes into play. Low housing costs in the suburban areas often compel the middle-income groups to spend a lot on transport, claims Maxwell Drever.

Hence every section of society is suffering from the problem of affordable workforce housing. The crisis has taken a global form, and that is transforming itself every day. For dealing with policy options, transit access, job opportunities, people are trying to analyze the available options. Hence, the crisis is multifaceted and requires a combined effort.

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Beginners Tips For Greenhouse Gardening

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Greenhouses make a great addition to any garden. They allow you to grow plant varieties that would not be suitable for outside areas, and to extend the growing season for other species. But for those first considering setting up a greenhouse in their garden, it can seem daunting to know where to begin. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

Heat

On sunny days, your greenhouse will heat up nicely as the sun’s rays are refracted through the glass. But you’ll also need other means of heating for colder times. Electric heaters are the easiest to install, but you could also use gas (although this method will require you to vent the greenhouse for fumes. You will also need some way of preventing the temperature becoming too high in the greenhouse. Avoid installing air conditioners for cooling, as these dry the air. Passive vents or exhaust fans will do the job, or consider constructing your greenhouse with windows at either end that can be propped open, to allow air to flow through.

Light

In winter the amount of light coming into the greenhouse is often not sufficient o support the plants, particularly if they are juveniles. Installing fluorescent or LED lighting above your grow beds will help ensure they have enough light.

Water

While the exact amount of water required in your greenhouse will vary depending on the species of plants you’re growing and the temperature, as a general rule, plants and growing beds ill dry out more quickly than beds outside in the garden. So give plants a good soaking whenever you water. Avoid spraying the foliage too much, as this is one way disease can spread between plants.

Soil

One of the key components in the success of your greenhouse gardening is your soil. Most greenhouse novices begin growing in beds or pots (or a combination of the two). As such you need to have soil that drains sufficiently to prevent water logging, but also retains moisture well so that the water is available for the plant roots to access. The soil should ideally be slightly acid and, crucially, contain a lot of organic material. One of the ways to ensure this is to add compost.

Compost

Because the soil won’t be getting organic matter – the rich topsoil full of nutrients and bacterial activity – from natural sources as the soil outside may, from, for instance, leaf litter, animal droppings, decaying plant material, you need to add a good proportion of compost to your growing beds. Some recommendations call for all much as a third of your beds to be made from compost. This will give the plants the most nutrient rich growing medium in which to thrive. Whenever possible choose an organic fertilizer, or, better yet, start your own compost pile using scraps form the kitchen and plant cuttings from the garden.

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