Keep your AC primed for the summer months

With thermostats reading up to 90 degrees or more, you can be sure that summer is in full swing now. While the hot weather is a great reprieve from the long and cold winter, the heat can become obnoxious in its own right. No one likes sweating in their bed at night while trying to fall asleep. If your home doesn't have a central air conditioning system, consider one of the many electric fans or air conditioners we offer at Todays Concept. Our units are both cost-effective and energy efficient, assuring that you'll be comfortable in spite of the oncoming humidity while keeping your energy bills low this summer.

But to make sure your air conditioners are keeping you cool all summer long, you should regularly perform service checks on your units. Shannon Connelly, with Neffsville Plumbing and Heating, discusses the necessity of keeping your AC under inspection.

"I've been in houses that have been quite hot, you walk in and it's 110 degrees in there" because of improperly used air conditioning, remarked Connelly in an interview with WHPTV.

To make sure your AC is running efficiently, Connelly suggests checking your air filters and making sure that they're clean. 

"Systems we really recommend being checked once a year," Connelly advised. "Keeps it in proper running condition, by keeping coils clean, freon clean and in check."

The Houston Chronicle also suggests setting the right temperature on your thermostat, so that your AC knows how and when to perform, and isn't continuously running all day.

Consider buying a cooling unit like the Haier HPC07XC6 Portable Air Conditioner for your home. With three cooling and fan speeds, and a dehumidifier function, this machine will keep your home cool and humidity-free this summer. Contact one of our specialists at Todays Concept for more information.

New Jersey residents should consider mosquito zappers for post-Sandy insect swarm this summer

Hurricane Sandy battered New Jersey into one of the worst natural disaster crises in its history. But while New Jersey residents have picked up the pieces of their lives and rebuilt their beachfront and boardwalks to look forward to another enjoyable summer, the storm has unleashed another way to wreak havoc on the state: Mosquitoes.

Last fall, Sandy ripped a path of destruction, uprooting trees and leaving behind both large holes and tiny nooks and crannies in the ground. These holes have been consequently imbued with pools of standing water, which can serve as ideal habitats for mosquitoes, especially those carrying the West Nile Virus.

With mosquito season set to begin next month, the Mercer County Mosquito Council is mobilizing workers in full force to destroy any potential breeding grounds for the insects, including bird baths or old tires that may be collecting water inside. 

Of particular concern is the Asian tiger mosquito, a potential carrier of the West Nile virus, which council superintendent Ary Farajollahi describes as having become the biggest pest in the state in recent years due to residents' preference to have water features in their yards.

While local and state employees work to curb this outbreak of mosquitoes and potential diseases, you can help yourself and your family this summer by looking into one of the many bug zappers we offer at Todays Concept. Our Stinger BK300 1 1/2 Acre Outdoor Insect Killer is scientifically proven to attract and kill mosquitos within a radius of 1.5 acres. Using a UV black light — demonstrated to eliminate up to 40% more insects than those that use white UV lights — the BK300 is exactly the kind of defense your home will need against this seasonal mosquito wave. 

Get the rules right for your next game of Suspend

On this blog, we frequently focus on the game Suspend, which is a somewhat new offering from reputable brand Melissa & Doug that is fast on its way to becoming a household name. This fun balance game is great for the whole family and may become a staple in your house once you get the hang of it. 

While it's true that Todays Concept offers one of the best deals for Suspend anywhere online, we wanted to go over the rules so that you know how to play as soon as you get your hands on this great game. First, make sure that you've gotten ready for your game correctly and divided the pieces between the players. The game comes with a simple setup that's easy to put together. Make sure that you have this on a flat surface, and divvy up the rest of the pieces between players.

You can only pick up pieces with one hand, and if you touch any of the other Suspend parts while you're trying to hang yours, you'll lose your turn. You can place your segments anywhere on the game except for places that have already been occupied, so pick your placement wisely. If one of the pieces touches the play apparatus, you have to move your piece, and if any of them fall, you have to add them to the pile. The game is over when a bar touches the ground. 

One of the best things about this family game is that you can change or add rules as you like, so playing it is always an adventure!

Treat yourself to an attachment kit for your KitchenAid stand mixer

It's no secret that KitchenAid stand mixers can make baking a breeze. The simple fact that they save your arms the hassle of needing to stir so much can make even the most challenging dishes much more manageable, and the precision settings help to give you a handle on exact measurements and directions. But KitchenAid stand mixers are also incredibly versatile. These can be used for so many things beyond baking if you have the right attachments. 

If you've just gotten a stand mixer either for yourself or as a present, do yourself a favor and get a full range of accessories as well. A good place to start is with the KitchenAid FPPA Stand Mixer Attachment Pack. This will enable you to preform many tasks with ease. 

The package comes with two slicing and shredding cones which make food preparation easier than ever. You can turn your mixer into a vegetable strainer, grinder, shredder and sausage maker, widely expanding your repertoire of homemade dishes once you have this kit. 

Cleanup is a cinch, since most pieces are dishwasher safe, and you'll have a great time experimenting with all of the different applications of these tools. But you won't have to do it all yourself, since this package comes with a handy instruction guide that lets you know how to use everything. 

Todays Concept sells this ideal attachment pack for a great price, and if you buy more than one to stock up on gifts, you'll get an even bigger discount! Shop with us and save. 

Struggling to deal with cicadas? A bug zapper may be able to help

Every 17 years, the ominously named Brood II of cicadas invades the Northeast from Washington D.C. to Connecticut. Swarms of these bugs come up out of the ground to mate and give birth to a new generation of the curious insects, which will then go back underground, not to return for another 17 years. Scientists aren't sure why this particular brood of the species comes up after this many years, or how all of the bugs know to emerge at the same time, but the results can be dramatic when it happens. 

Though there are people who find the process fascinating, many others are terrified of cicadas, which invade trees and make mating sounds in order to attract one another. If you're feeling overwhelmed by their presence in your back yard, perhaps a bug zapper is the solution  for you. 

These devices are indiscriminate in the types of insects that they attract, so while they're most commonly used to reduce mosquito populations, they are also effective with cicadas. 

If you're seeking a reliable way to quell your fear of these pests, the Stinger MK100 7 Watt 1/2 Acre Bug Zapper with Sundown Sensor might be just what you need. This product has been specially designed to attract and zap insects within a 1/2 acre perimeter of your house, meaning that you can breathe easy while the cicadas are in town. 

You won't be able to find a reliable Stinger product like this one for a better price. Today's Concept is able to give you access to this incredibly reliable insect killing device for a huge discount over the list price. 

Trying to cool a large space? You’ll need a bigger air conditioner

You've undoubtedly heard about the benefits of the window air conditioner here on the Today's Concept blog before. We love discussing the fact that these simple appliances can keep your house cool without the expense and electricity cost of central air units. But if you're attempting to cool a particularly large space, you might have realized that just one of these appliances won't be enough. 

Rather than spending more on another unit, there are special air conditioners that have been designed for larger spaces. Here at TodaysConcept.com, we have a huge variety of these appliances, which have more than 12,000 BTUs and can therefore handle a much bigger area. 

These larger-format air conditioners can be trusted to keep an entire house or large apartment comfortable when things get hot, so thru-the-wall models are very common. This enables you to place the device out of the way, putting it in a place that maximizes cooling abilities while still keeping your windows free. 

If you're in search of a great large format air conditioner, consider the Friedrich US14B30A, which is a beautiful model. Not only does this product do a great job cooling, but it has a variety of settings and speeds that will ensure you're getting the most out of the appliance. Even better, It comes with a12 hour timer that enables you to pinpoint exactly when you'd like this machine to turn on or off keeping your house comfortable. 

Summer is coming up fast, which means that the time to buy a better air conditioner is now. Make sure that you and your family are comfortable without spending a ton, and shop with Todays Concept. 

Can I use my mosquito zapper in the rain?

For many families, having a mosquito zapper in the backyard completely transforms the summer season. Rather than staying inside for fear of these pesky insects and their potentially dangerous bites, you can throw caution to the wind and use your backyard every day. These appliances make the outdoor parts of your property a viable option for spending time, enabling you to expand the usable square-footage and luxury of your current arrangement. 

But for many new users of mosquito zappers and similar extermination devices, there are many questions as to when and how often these devices can be used. Since so many people choose to have their zapper on all the time, making the yard an insect-free area day and night, the question of whether these devices can be used in the rain often comes up. 

Because the water could cause a spark and end up starting a fire, it is not recommended that you keep your bug zapper on during a rain storm. Those who are looking to save electricity and reduce their toll on the environment can consider switching their mosquito zapper on 15 to 30 minutes before heading outside. This will help to rid the area around your yard of any pests that might have flown in, but you won't have to worry about the risk of fire the rest of the time. 

A mosquito-free summer is on everyone's mind, which is why popular bug zapping devices are so common. Just make sure to take proper safety precautions when you use yours and enjoy a fun, bite-free summer. 

Make sure to take proper care of air conditioners and electric fans while moving out

Colleges across the nation celebrated graduation this past weekend, which means that thousands of students are now rushing to move out of their dorm rooms and head home, either to live with Mom and Dad for a while, or strike out on their own to live in a new city. Either way, students are going to need to pack up their belongings and put them in a car to get home. 

While you are probably used to packaging certain fragile items so that they don't become broken in a move, you might not have considered that you should do this with your air conditioner and electric fan as well. Because these items involve electricity and somewhat complicated systems, it's important that you do what you can to keep them safe in a move. 

If you are just purchasing a window air conditioner, the best thing to do is make sure that you keep your box. This is the easiest way to transport it if you're planning on making a move into or out of a dorm or apartment, or if you're storing it during the offseason. If you don't have the box, you can likely make due by securing the cord and wrapping the unit in bubble wrap or something similar. 

For the electric fan, fewer precautions need to be taken. Simply make sure that you coil the cord and attach it to the fan so that it doesn't become warped or tangled, then either find a good place for it, or wrap it in something so you don't have to worry about having it fall. 

Suspend is a great game to leave with the babysitter

It's Friday, and if you and your significant other are planning on spending some quality time with one another this weekend, you have probably gone through the process of hiring a babysitter. This is often a challenge, since you need to make sure that the individual that you are entrusting to care for your children is responsible enough to handle the task. After taking this into account, the very best babysitters might not be available as often as you'd like to hire them. 

Having well-behaved kids is always helpful when you're searching for someone to care for your children, as a good professional will be much more likely to come back if they can count on an easy evening. 

That's why it's helpful to leave your children with an activity to do with their babysitter. This can keep the kids engaged and occupied, which will minimize the opportunities for conflict while you're away for the evening. It's best to leave them with an easy, fast-paced game like Suspend. This game goes quickly, so your kids won't lose interest in the middle. Plus, it's not at all hard to learn, which means that your babysitter will be able to catch on to the rules in no time. 

There's no doubt that a night out without the kids can be necessary from time to time, and if your children are well behaved and fun to be around, you might just have an easier time getting a babysitter. 

As temperatures rise, it’s time to consider how you can make your air conditioner more efficient

Much of the country is experiencing its first days where the thermometer reads higher than 80 degrees, showing an encouraging sign that summer is on its way. Rather than waiting for it to get really hot, this is the perfect time to install your window air conditioner so that you can be comfortable throughout the season. 

Of course, using one of these appliances means that your electric bill – and the toll on the environment that it represents - will increase. But if you make a few critical moves, you can diminish the costs of cooling your house while remaining comfortable for the entirety of the summer. Consider running your air conditioner only while you're home, rather than all day and night. This can save you a good deal of money and is the kind of action that won't really change how comfortable your house is. 

There are even Wi-Fi connected outlet adapters that you control with your smartphone, enabling you to turn your air conditioner on and off throughout the day with your phone. 

Experts say that if you find your AC isn't cooling as effectively as it once did, the problem could be related to your condenser coils. Cleaning these before you install the appliance this summer can help to make the most out of your air conditioner. 

Staying cool doesn't have to be expensive. With the right energy-saving tactics, you can turn your home into an efficient and comfortable place to spend time at the end of the day.