A Simple Introduction on Setting Up a Smart Home

Many Singaporeans already utilize some level of integration into smart homes. But it really is a whole different experience controlling your lights, TV, and aircon with just your voice! Now, more and more people are starting to set up their smart homes. If you want to get on the hype train, here are some things you need to know first.

The smart assistant

When setting up a smart home, the first step is to get the main voice assistant. There’s Google Assistant, Siri for Apple, and Alexa for Amazon. These are basically the devices you speak to when you give voice commands. Because Android devices typically dominate in Asia, Google Assistant should be one of your first choices.

In America, on the other hand, more people choose to use Alexa for their smart homes. Either way, this is one of the first things you should focus on. Do your research regarding these different products to find out which one will be the best for you.

Smart speaker

These assistants are usually already a feature of smart speakers. Smart speakers, as the name suggests, deliver audio content from your media library or even other platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. Or when you ask for a recipe, your smart assistant will also dictate the instructions through those speakers.

Smart lights

Too tired to get out of bed and switch the lights off, well, this won’t be a problem anymore once you’re done setting up your smart home. You can simply use your phone or issue a vocal command to your assistant and voila, you can switch your lights on or off without standing up.

When installing smart lights though, you’ll have to change what you already have in your home. If you think your lights are still fully functional or you just don’t intend on spending money there, you can opt for smart light switches instead.

Security system

You can also get smart locks that will allow you to lock your doors with your phone. This can be especially advantageous because you won’t have to worry about losing or forgetting your keys. You can also integrate cameras, doors sensors, and even a siren for better security as well. You can even set up a doorbell camera system too so that you can see who’s at the door without having to go out anymore.

Do I need the internet?

Most, if not all smart devices are controlled with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. In essence, you do need the internet for your smart assistant. And because the smart assistant is where you issue commands, the internet is all the more necessary. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to turn on your lights or adjust the aircon temperature without it.

Tips for Choosing Appliances for Your Apartment

Most heavy-duty appliances are not made for small apartments in Singapore, which is why you have to be practical when it comes to choosing the right pieces. This also means not having to sacrifice the quality and function of the appliances.

Here are tips to help you choose appliances for your apartment.

Know how to read the appliances specifications. It is not that complicated to understand the power, installation, and usage requirements of appliances. It is nearly similar to the specifications on your smartphone and other devices. You can look up the latest trends in appliances online before purchasing.

Always keep size in mind. Your apartment will not have enough space for huge appliances, but this should not be a problem with newer models that are made specifically for small spaces. If you don’t have a large family and you don’t eat often at home, you won’t need a large refrigerator for example.

Focus on features you need. Modern appliances have additional features to make life easier. This is especially true when it comes to kitchen appliances, but do you really need these conveniences?

If you cook often, you should invest in conventional ovens may be a better choice than convection ovens for example. When choosing the type of stove, you will not need gas if you don’t cook yourself; induction or electric are fine for occasional food preparation.

Don’t buy what you don’t need. You don’t need to equip your kitchen with every type of appliance you can find on a catalogue. Purchase only what you are going to use and what you will need often. Otherwise, it will just look like a store display that take up a lot of space.

Go for energy-saving appliances. Older models tend to use more energy but have fewer features. Maybe it is time to replace your old air conditioner or your refrigerator if it is more than ten years old. New models are expensive, but the long-term cost will let you save more.

Don’t just go for the looks. Large, modern televisions with plenty of features will look spectacular on your apartment, but is it really worth it? If you are not at home most of the time, then why bother if it is just a decoration? Besides, with the pace with which technology is developing nowadays, your current gadget might be obsolete by next year.

Remember: quality over brand name. You should still look for trusted brand names when it comes to appliances, but quality does not mean you have to buy the most expensive appliances. Read the specifications carefully then look for reviews about the specific model before purchasing. Sure, some may look impressive, but can it perform well?

Examine the materials. When you have kids, expect them to poke around the new appliance when you’re not looking. Do not invest in flimsy materials that can’t withstand years of usage and some beating up from curious children.

How to Get Rid of Weird Smells in Your Fridge in 5 Simple Steps

Funny smells in your refrigerator aren’t always a sign that something’s wrong with the fridge itself, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it when you smell it – in fact, having that funny odor in your fridge is reason enough to find out what exactly is causing it. And if the case is usually leftovers gone bad, it’s time to not just throw them away, but also to clean out your fridge to remove the smell.

Here’s how you can do it:  

Clean it out completely

Cleaning out your refrigerator may be the most daunting step, but once you’ve managed to clear everything out, everything else will be much simpler and easier. When cleaning out your fridge, be sure to keep your frozen produce separate in an icebox to keep them cold while you clean. And since you’ll be holding the door open, you might also consider unplugging and de-frosting your interior.

Use natural cleaners

When it comes to cleaning appliances, your safest best is making sure to use only natural ingredients that are completely safe: baking soda and vinegar. Simply pour half a cup of baking soda dissolved in a bucket of warm water and scrub the mixture all over the surfaces of your fridge. To really make it shine, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water after the baking soda mixture.

Put odor remover on the shelves

Baking soda isn’t just for mixing with water to clear out the gunk – it’s also great for getting rid of the smell. All you need to do is spread baking soda on a metal tray and place it inside to soak up the nasty odors. Alternatively, you can also mix a half-cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of vanilla for a more thorough job at neutralizing tougher smells. Other substances also work, like a cup of white vinegar or pieces of charcoal.

Use airtight containers

If you have any leftovers that you need to store, be sure to use an airtight container. By doing this, not only do you keep the interior from smelling, but you also make the items inside your fridge more manageable. You should also label and date them to serve as a reminder to use them as soon as possible before they start going bad.

Keep fresh foods in sight

Fresh foods are best consumed quickly, but when they’re in the back of the fridge, you’re much less likely to notice them. In fact, many foods can often go bad because of this, and this means more food goes to waste. To deal with this problem, simply put them in front instead. This makes you more likely to remember that they’re there and that you should eat them first.

Guide to Preventing Glassware from Becoming Cloudy

If you’ve cleaned glassware for a while, whether it’s through handwashing or by using a dishwasher, you might have noticed that no matter how hard you scrub with a dishwashing liquid, there would always be athat thin milky coat covering your glassware.

While this doesn’t exactly pose a direct health problem, it can be a little annoying to see white blotches on what would otherwise be pristine glassware, and there are two reasons why this is the case: hardwater deposits and etching.

Hard Water Deposits

One of the most common problems when it comes to cleaning glassware is the high mineral content in water. If this is the case for your kitchen tap water, you have what is known as “hard water”.

There are two problems with this: first, the mineral content can reduce the effectiveness of detergents used, which means you’ll need to use more detergent to deal with it.

Here’s what you can do to deal with hard water deposits on your glassware:

  • Check your water temperature.  Your tap water might be too cold, so if you have a water heater, try to use it when cleaning your glassware. If you don’t, try heating
  • Use a rinsing aid. Rinse aids can help you by reducing hte spotting and etching, but keep in mind that these are added with each dishwashing load.
  • Just add more detergent. Simply using more detergent might be effective at removing hard water deposits, but it might leave a soap film on your glassware if you’re not careful.

Etching

If vinegar, water temperature, or detergent isn’t enough to get rid of the staining on your glassware, the reason for it might be etching.

When you see this etching, this measns that the glass itself is being worn down through constant washing , the use of water that’s too soft, detergent that’s too harsh, or even too much pre-cleaning. The result is all kinds of tiny pits and scratches that can’t be removed.

Here’s what you can do to control the etching on your glassware:

  • Rinse gently. Most dishwashing detergents contain harsh alkaline salts neutralized by oils and food particules, but when all the residue is removed, the detergent will instead have a harsher effect on the glassware itself.
  • Try something else. Some detergents are harsher than others depending on how soft the water is. One way to minimize etching is to try a milder detergent that doesn’t use phosphates.
  • Use less detergent. If you have soft water coming out of your kitchen tap, you don’t need to use as much detergent or dishwashing soap. Try experimenting with varying amounts until you find just the right amount that will keep your glassware spot-free.