How to tackle deep-cleaning tasks around the house
(BPT) - You know it must be done, but you just don't want to. It's been on the to-do list for far too long. You may try to ignore it, dodge it or even cover it up. It's your mess nemesis — your least-favorite cleaning task — and you dread having to tackle it.
Not all cleaning is equal
While some people enjoy cleaning more than others, everyone can agree that not all cleaning tasks are created equal. In fact, 88% of American adults have a least-favorite cleaning task, according to a new survey from the makers of home cleaning brand CLR (pronounced "clear"). When asked to liken their least-favorite cleaning task to a person, 33% of Americans said it's like a scam caller. When asked to choose between activities, almost half (43%) would rather go to the dentist than handle their least-favorite cleaning task.
Cleaning during quarantine
Considering the extra time people are spending at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, messes are more frequent and can quickly become bothersome. The frequency of cleaning has increased for most Americans over the past several months, but Americans are, understandably, split on their level of cleaning productivity during this time: 53% have tackled a cleaning task they've been avoiding for years during the pandemic and 42% have avoided at least one cleaning task during the pandemic.
Tips for conquering a mess nemesis
Whether it's soap scum, mildew, rust, stinks, stains or spills, it's time to show your mess nemesis you mean business. Follow these tips to get the job done right:
1) Set a date: It's easy to keep avoiding tasks you loathe, so set a time for when you plan to focus on cleaning and be specific. For example, at 10 a.m. Saturday you're finally giving the boot to that lime and calcium buildup on the shower door. Put on some cleaning clothes, play some motivational music and focus on getting the job done once and for all.
2) Stock ample supplies: Stock necessities, such as sponges, scrubbers and rags, before diving into any cleaning mission. Having the right supplies for the specific job makes tasks simpler. Use proper cleaning formulations for your task, such as the CLR line that has products designed to get rid of the grime in areas of the home, from the kitchen and bathroom to the patio, garage and beyond.
3) Follow directions and use safer products: Always follow the directions on any product to ensure you get the results you want without making the mess worse or damaging the items. Use products that clean effectively without unnecessary use of harsh chemicals. Look for products approved by the EPA Safer Choice Program, meaning they’re recognized as a safer alternative to traditional cleaning options that rely on the use of harsh chemicals to be effective, such as bleach.
4) Rally the troops: Whether it's a big mess that requires multiple sets of hands or a tough mess that requires a few people strategizing, help can make a big difference. Even if you need to focus on the mess nemesis while other people handle regular household chores, this can keep things moving forward thanks to teamwork. Get your partner, spouse, kids or roommates in on the action.
6 ways to improve the time you spend at home
(BPT) - After spending so much time at home in 2020, you might be running out of ideas to keep yourself entertained. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, you’re not alone. Many people are looking for new ways to improve the time they spend at home. Follow these tips to revamp your space and enhance the time you spend at home.
1. De-clutter to cultivate calm
Make your home your happy place away from the hectic world. Target the hot spots for mess and get organized to regain peace of mind. Do a bedroom makeover to create a space more conducive to sleeping. Whatever you decide, your body and mind will thank you.
2. Binge a new podcast
Though they’ve been around for years, podcasts continue to grow in popularity. While you’re spending time at home, they can make you feel like you’re part of a fascinating conversation. Search for a subject or topic you’ve always wanted to learn about and dive in. And if you’re looking for a device with the latest technology to help you stay informed, check out LG’s newest smartphones --Wing, Velvet or K92.
3. Watch something out of your comfort zone
Sure, you could turn on another season of your favorite show, but why not try something completely different? Choose a topic you don’t know enough about and turn on a documentary. Or choose a show or film from a genre you don’t typically follow and see what all the hype is about. To help you stick with your new favorite, LG’s OLED TVs deliver the pinnacle of picture quality and offer access to the most popular streaming sites so you’ll have a vast library of content to explore.
4. Up your work-from-home game
If you’re working from home, you might be getting tired of sitting at the kitchen table or lounging on the couch. Make your work setup official by finding a designated office space within your home. Customize your space to help with productivity — like swapping your small laptop screen with an LG UltraFine Monitor for easier multitasking and an unencumbered view.
5. Increase your cleaning efficiency
Since you’re spending more time at home, you’re likely spending more time doing mundane chores. Get your cleaning done better and faster by boosting your laundry room setup. With a style-forward design that takes up half the space of a typical washer and dryer, the LG WashTower gives you the freedom to reinvent your laundry space. You'll have room for more storage, a pet wash station, or even a new desk set-up for work or hobbies.
6. Do nothing
When you’ve run out of activities, work and chores, there’s nothing wrong with just letting yourself be. Many people don’t take enough time to decompress and recharge. Take advantage of some downtime to de-stress and relax.
Small and simple actions can help make the time you spend at home more enjoyable. Follow these tips to get the most out of your downtime.
Do you dream of a new bathroom? If a bathroom addition or remodel is in your future, keep these ideas top of mind.
(BPT) - Adding or remodeling a bathroom is a popular home improvement project in 2020. Whether it's a simple powder room, a useful three-quarter or a grand master bath, it's worthwhile to research the top trends so you can create a space that is functional while also increasing your home's overall value.
Sensational showers: When it comes to bathing options, showers are the focus. For instance, four in five homeowners upgrade the shower during a master bathroom renovation (83%) and over half increase the shower size (54%), found the most recent U.S. Houzz Bathrooms Trends Study. Some homeowners are eliminating the tub altogether, adding multiple showerheads and steam features for maximum relaxation.
Unique locations: A homeowner's bathroom location desires are no longer limited to the property's existing plumbing and drainage systems. Saniflo technologies use above-floor plumbing with features such as a macerating toilet and drain pumps that can be hidden in closets or behind walls. This means previously impossible spaces — such as in garages, pool houses and attics — can now be transformed into stunning bathrooms. The Saniaccess3 is a smart choice for full baths, and the Saniaccess2 is ideal for powder rooms.
Freestanding tubs: For those homeowners who still enjoy a good soak, say goodbye to jetted tubs with apron surrounds. Freestanding tubs are the ultimate in luxurious bathing, providing a focal point that draws the eye in any bathroom while also creating an airy feeling in the space. If a homeowner wants to install a freestanding tub where no drainage currently exists, a Saniflo system is an affordable way to complete the project in less time. Learn more at www.saniflo.com.
Color and styles: After avoiding white color palettes for some time, white on white is back in 2020, offering a clean look with sleek appeal. Mixed materials are often used to add visual interest, such as a tasteful blend of wood and metallics in the vanity or hardware choices. Contemporary styles with clean lines and open spaces are key characteristics of the modern bathroom. When a splash of color is called for, blues dominate the cool tones and salmons often infuse warm hues.
Vanities and tops: Vanities vary in size and shape depending on space. Designs tend to be modern or transitional, with elements of interest such as sliding doors that mimic the barn-door trend. Floating vanities are favored, adding an upscale feel that opens the space. Vanity tops are made from a host of materials: as granite loses steam, quartz, marble and concrete are increasing in popularity. Finally, when space allows in a master bath, double sinks are a must.
Flooring: Ceramic and porcelain tile is often the choice for the modern homeowner who can customize tile with any design they want. Large tiles are less desired, with smaller mosaic options a common choice for personalization. For those who feel tile is too hard or cold, engineered vinyl is a leading choice. It can be made to mimic the look of wood surprisingly well, but can handle the moist environment that typically comes from a bathroom.
Smart technologies: Technological enhancements have entered virtually all aspects of life, and the bathroom is no exception. This is more than just streaming music to water-resistant speakers. In 2020, more homeowners desire digital shower controls allowing temperature adjustment and flow of the water through voice commands. For those with the funds, smart toilets open and close by sensor and are self cleaning. Another growing tech trend is chromatherapy — the use of color to enhance and inspire mood — with technologies used to illuminate tubs and shower spaces.
Every year brings with it trends in home design. For 2020, the bathroom is a standout space with customizable features that simplify and beautify life. If a bathroom addition or remodel is in your future, keep these ideas top of mind.
Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help the environment.
(BPT) - Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help the environment.
1. Boost your insulation
You may already know what areas of your home are poorly insulated, simply by how you feel when it’s cold or hot outside. You can have a professional home energy audit conducted to help pinpoint areas that need improvement. Many energy companies provide an audit free of charge.
Start with the attic: If your attic is insufficiently insulated, you could be losing a lot of heat over the winter, which means your home is wasting energy — and money. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that boosting attic insulation can save 10-50 percent on heating costs.
2. Upgrade your heating and cooling system
Heating and cooling your home uses the most energy, so investing in Energy Star certified HVAC products can make a big difference when it comes to cutting energy costs and your home's impact on the environment.
For a new HVAC system in a variety of styles to fit any décor that can be easily installed by a contractor, you might consider wall-mounted duct-free systems from a trusted brand like LG. They offer a variety of ultra-quiet "Art Cool" options (the sleek Mirror, stylish Premier and unique Gallery, which looks like a picture frame and allows you to display your own artwork). These systems are smart-enabled, allowing homeowners to adjust the temperature from their LG ThinQ app for Android and iOS users, or with simple commands via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The most eco-conscious consumers will want to look for "Energy Star Most Efficient" HVAC solutions. For example, the Art Cool Mirror earned the 2019 designation and also features advanced "Reliable to Extreme Degrees" LGRED, heating technology that delivers 100 percent heating capacity down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and continuous heating down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep you warm and comfortable all winter long with remarkable energy efficiency.
3. Replace doors and windows
You may be losing a lot of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer through your doors and windows, especially if they're older. The latest energy-efficient models of windows and doors not only reduce leaks around the frames, but they're made from materials that enhance insulation.
Doors: According to EnergyStar.gov, energy-efficient doors not only fit better and have improved weather stripping to reduce air leakage, but also use improved core materials for superior insulation. Where glass is used, they reduce heat flow via double- or triple-paned insulating glass.
Windows: Energy Star qualified windows use superior framing materials, including multiple panes of glass, with air- or gas-filled space between for additional insulation. They're made from Low-E (low emissivity) glass, with special coatings to reflect infrared light. Warm edge spacers keep the glass panes the correct distance apart reducing heat transfer through the window.
4. Go solar
While most people are aware that solar power harnesses the sun’s energy to create electricity, many don't know how easy and cost-effective it is to go solar.
The newest technology behind solar energy has made it increasingly accessible and appealing for homeowners. For example, new energy solutions such as LG’s "NeON R ACe" are high-efficiency solar panels that incorporate a built-in micro-inverter (that converts DC electricity to AC) instead of a separate traditional inverter. Recessed into the frame of the solar module, the micro-inverter simplifies the installation process and allows more flexibility to create a solar array that looks attractive on your roof. When going solar, it’s important to seek out a brand you trust, one like LG that offers solar panels covered by a 25-year limited product, part and performance warranty.
Choosing just one area to upgrade will save energy, reducing your home's carbon footprint. You'll also feel more comfortable throughout the year, as you better regulate the temperature of your home.
Here are some basic tasks you need to do now to prepare for wintry weather and to ensure your family stays healthy and safe inside.
(BPT) - No matter where you live, there are bound to be weather challenges this winter. Your home may suffer damage, minor or major, from the onslaught of colder weather, along with wind, heavy rain, ice storms or even major snow systems. This can affect not only the integrity and value of your home, but may lead to costly repairs down the road. That's why it's smart to prep now, to prevent bigger problems in the future. It's also a good idea to make sure that your home is prepped for spending more time indoors.
Here are basic tasks to prepare for wintry weather, and to ensure your family stays healthy and safe inside.
1. Perform a safety check
Are your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in good working order? Make monthly testing of these safety features a regular part of your seasonal household chores. For battery-operated units keep up-to-date with battery changes as per manufacturer instructions. Also be aware and take action if you hear any low battery alarms. Also, do you have a home fire extinguisher in your kitchen?
2. Ensure clean indoor air
Make sure your home’s heating and air conditioning units are in good condition, and schedule regular tune-ups to avoid unpleasant surprises. Change your furnace filter frequently, so your air quality stays clean indoors, where you’re likely to spend more time as temps get cooler. Also, consider setting up a schedule with a professional to have your ductwork cleaned on a regular basis.
3. Keep the outside out
Check weatherstripping around exterior doors, replacing where necessary, then seal and caulk exterior wood, since wood trim can rot around windows and outside doors. Walk around the outside of your home with spray foam gap sealer and caulk to plug gaps, cracks and holes in siding and around windows. Find and seal air leaks where you may be losing valuable heat and letting in the cold. Many energy companies offer an energy audit to discover where you may be losing both heat and money — and advise you on ways to improve your insulation. Making sure your gutters are cleaned out and in good condition helps protect your home's exterior from exposure to moisture due to rain, ice or snow melt.
4. Install back-up power
Power outages occur for many reasons, usually outside your control. In major storms, outages can last for days or even weeks when a large area is affected. To protect your home and family, an automatic standby generator gives you peace of mind — even when you’re not at home.
Look for a unit that comes in a durable aluminum enclosure with options that can withstand up to 181 mph winds and can be installed as close as 18 inches from your home (important for areas with tight lot lines and strict building codes), such as select models of KOHLER standby home generators. They will automatically start and restore your power in seconds, whether you’re home or away.
Units can be monitored remotely from your smartphone or laptop. The unit is permanently installed near your home, and provides high-quality power that can run your sump pump, furnace or air conditioner, and major appliances — plus delicate electronics. KOHLER generators feature commercial-grade engines built to withstand extreme workloads over many years, and they come with a five-year warranty. This is not a do-it-yourself job; you will need to work with a professionally licensed and insured generator installer.
5. Trim your trees
Now is a great time to get your trees trimmed, while it’s easier to access branches without all the extra foliage. Trimming dead branches helps prevent problems that can occur due to wind or ice storms, when a falling branch could endanger a power line, car or home. Like all professional contractors, work with tree service companies that have proper credentials and insurance.
6. Check your roof
Whether you inspect your roof yourself or hire a professional, it's a good idea to take care of repairs before winter wind, hail, snow and ice do their worst. Look for blistering, curling, buckling — or missing — shingles. Moss or lichen growing can indicate decay underneath. Any visible sagging of your roof, rust or cracks around flashing or vent pipes should also be repaired promptly to avoid later problems like leaks.
Don't let the calamities of winter take you and your family by surprise. Doing prep work and maintenance on your home now, with a focus on safety, will ensure that you're ready for anything that may come your way — even if it's just hunkering down in your home for the season.
(BPT) - The latest trends in home decor reveal a desire for a feeling of tranquility and calmness, perhaps as a response to today’s overly busy and distracted lifestyles. From Marie Kondo’s decluttering craze to a return to natural materials in home design, everyone is looking for a way to create a peaceful, less hectic inner space. When it comes to home decor, less is definitely more.
How can you tap into this yen for a little more Zen?
1. Simplify your design strategy
When revamping your room to create a more minimalist effect, choose a limited color palette, meaning one to three colors at most. Select mostly more muted or neutral colors, though you can use one vivid color in a piece of furniture or art to grab the spotlight.
Let the textures of the materials that you use for the floors, walls, ceilings and furnishings — whether they are natural wood, stone, ceramics, glass, tile, fabrics or canvas — create the room's visual interest instead of yesterday’s too-busy colors and patterns. Choose a couple of contrasting textures, like glass and reclaimed lumber, or woven fabric and stone, to highlight in the room for the best effect.
2. Declutter your spaces
Decide what items you really want and need to be in each room and get rid of the rest — or find a way to store it neatly, preferably out of sight. One of the greatest visual clutter culprits today comes from technology. It's hard to know what to do with the mass and tangle of cords from all the latest gadgets, power strips and chargers everyone uses in their homes.
To streamline the technology you use for viewing TV, movies and more, a product from LG Electronics USA can solve your cord clutter problem and turn your living room into an amazing home viewing theater. The LG CineBeam AI ThinQ 4K Laser Projector (HU85LA) creates an impressive 90- to 120-inch cinematic screen by placing it just 2.2 to 7.2 inches away from the wall, needing no complicated installation. With its streamlined and compact design, the state-of-the-art projector incorporates LG's ThinQ AI and has the Google Assistant built-in so you can control your compatible smart home devices with just your voice.
3. Choose furnishings with clean lines
When you're selecting new furniture for your minimalist rooms, look for high-quality, standout pieces designed with clean lines, with no fussy design details or busy patterns. Don't acquire more furniture than the room really needs. Chances are you can do without all those end tables and extra chairs.
Make one exceptional, stylish piece of furniture be the focal point for each room, and don’t over-furnish or over-decorate the space around it. Then avoid the urge to smother the couch or sectional with tons of blankets and throw pillows. Let the furniture speak for itself.
4. Streamline artistic expression
Instead of filling every wall with pictures, choose just one accent wall, eliminating excessive decor elements around it. Let one work of art dominate that space, reducing any competition for attention.
The LG CineBeam Laser Projector can display a chosen photograph or work of art on your accent wall. With 8.3 million pixels, it delivers impeccable precision and detail at four times the resolution of full HD, along with incredibly vibrant color reproduction. It works without the need to darken the room around it, using gentle light that produces clear images without any harsh brightness.
5. Leave plenty of open space
Resist the urge to fill every corner and surface of the room with ornaments and knickknacks. It's the open space, unencumbered by any visual clutter, that creates the feeling of calm and tranquility you're craving.
And if you're lucky enough to have a great view out the window, install only simple, streamlined window treatments — or no window treatments at all — to highlight that view.
Minimalist decor is all about making careful choices and choosing the best quality furnishings and decor over quantity of items. You can turn any room into a beautiful showcase that you'd be happy to entertain and live in, with some thoughtful decision-making. To learn more about improving your home technology, visit LG.com.
New, smart products are hitting the market every day. For homeowners savvy enough to incorporate this new technology into their homes, they’ll not only be more connected, but they’ll likely see more offers rolling in when it comes time to sell.
(BPT) - The spring home-buying season is just around the corner and that means people are busy making improvements to get their homes ready to sell. These days, home upgrades are increasingly focused on one key feature: connectivity. In 2019, buyers want smart homes they can easily control from anywhere. From smart HVAC and sprinkler systems to connected garage door openers, it’s all about creating convenience and comfort.
Security gets connected
Security systems are nothing new, but the technology used to arm those systems is changing rapidly. More and more home security companies now offer fully connected systems that allow users to protect and monitor their homes from any smart device. Whether it’s a live video feed, the ability to lock and unlock doors remotely or just checking that all sensors are working properly, integrated security systems offer peace of mind. Having the infrastructure in place can be a selling point for buyers who want to make sure their new home is as safe as possible, given they’ll only have to set up the monitoring subscription upon move-in.
Updated garages add value
According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value survey, a garage door replacement is the number one home improvement project in terms of return on investment. But these days, more homeowners are taking it a step further and installing new technology to make the garage more user friendly. For example, the SilentMax Connect garage door opener from The Genie Company comes with Aladdin Connect technology built-in to improve convenience and functionality. Not only is the opener super quiet — ideal for attached garages — but the connectivity features allow you to check whether your garage door is open or closed, grant individual access with virtual keys, instantly know when someone is operating your garage door (authorized or not), and provide a log of when each opener was used — all from your phone or smart device. Thanks to this technology, you can open the garage door remotely for delivery people, a housekeeper or for your child coming home from school. Considering your garage is one of the most accessed points in your home, this functionality is a great security feature and proves that garages offer more than just storage space. With the right connectivity tools and features, they can provide convenience that will be attractive to future owners.
Save energy, increase comfort
As home improvement trends go, increased connectivity is rivaled only by the desire for more energy-efficient homes. Smart thermostats accomplish both these aims and can increase the value of your home in the process. Smart thermostats let you easily control the temperature in your home from any connected device. You can set a daily schedule for your heater, adjust the temperature in individual rooms or let the system program itself based on your usage history. For energy-conscious buyers, this kind of technology provides a way of living that’s as aspirational as it is attainable.
Lighting the way
Smart lighting has turned from a novelty to a practical tool as products have gotten more advanced. Programmable lighting allows you to schedule when your lights will come on, turn on and off lights remotely or change the lighting to improve aesthetics. With a smart lighting system, you’ll never have to get out of bed to turn the lights off downstairs, and you can always come home to a fully lit house, boosting your sense of security. With these kinds of applications, your home’s lighting can go from a ‘given’ to a must-have, attracting buyers like a moth to a flame.
New, smart products are hitting the market every day. For homeowners savvy enough to incorporate this new technology into their homes, they’ll not only be more connected, but they’ll likely see more offers rolling in when it comes time to sell.
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