Posts tagged ‘hot’

Exhaust Fans Help Cool Your Home During Summer

The upper floor of your home is likely the warmest place in your home. It’s not usually a big deal in the winter, but it can be very uncomfortable in the summer. It happens because hot air rises.

The ceiling of your upper floor also has the most insulation of any place in your home. It’s there because hot air rises — in the winter, you don’t want to lose that heat. It’s the same reason you put a hat on your head in the winter.

In the summer, that thick insulation in your attic is doing the same thing it does in the winter, trapping that heat on your upper floor. If you have a central heating/cooling system, it should suck hot air from the upper floor and mix it with cooler air. But, it’s not always running and it can’t always keep up with the hot air that is produced inside your home, from people, electronics and appliances.

A good solution is to run the ceiling exhaust fan in a central bathroom on the upper floor during the hottest hours of the day. To help, you can get an automatic timer control light switch; these can be used to run the fan and have it automatically shutoff after a certain amount of time — this might also be useful after somebody uses the toilet.

In some regions, it is even part of the building code that an on/off switch for the upper floor hallway bathroom fan is placed next to the thermostat on the main floor. It’s there so you can turn on the exhaust fan when you turn on the air conditioner (there is also a switch in the bathroom to control it from there). This is not a widespread building code, but it’s worth having a look beside your thermostat. If you’ve got a light switch there that doesn’t do anything, try it again and listen for the hallway fan.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: MSU, About.com

June 2, 2010 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Hot Dog Etiquette

Summer is fast approaching and I know everyone is looking forward to lots of weekend barbecues, parking lot tailgates and company picnics. It’s always fun when there is plenty of beer, brats and BBQ sauce.

But it can also be serious; some outdoor cooks are very protective of their secret sauce and grilling technique. To lighten things up, here’s a secret you can share with everyone.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) has published a guide to hot dog etiquette. According to the American Meat Institute, the NHDSC website “is a fun, practical informational resource to consumers…” (more…)

April 15, 2010 at 12:01 am 13 comments

You Shouldn’t Drink Hot Water From Your Tap

Household tap water is usually heated in a hot water tank or by an inline water heater. Water tanks particularly, collect sediments overtime and are breeding grounds for bacteria. You might be thinking that bacteria cannot survive in hot water, but you need water above 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill most bacteria. That’s why your meat thermometer recommends you cook chicken until that internal temperature is reached.

Hot water also dissolves contaminants such as lead that may be found in the solder of your hot water pipe. Newer copper tubing and fittings or PEX (plastic) pipes would be safer in this respect.

If you’ve ever read the manual for your coffee maker, it clearly states that you should make coffee using cold water.  This is not because the temperature of the water makes better coffee, it’s because you should only consume tap water from the cold side of the tap.

If you need water that is always hot, there are food grade water heaters that you can use. For example, you may have a water cooler/heater or an installation under your kitchen sink for dispensing water that is always hot. Otherwise, always use cold water and then heat it in a kettle, microwave, pot…etc.

BrokenSecrets.com

Sources: MIT, Everything2.com, CooksRecipes.com

Photo: Malla Mi (Creative Commons)

December 10, 2009 at 1:34 am 9 comments

Why Restaurant Food Stays Hot on Your Plate

Here’s a good secret for Thanksgiving dinner or the next meal you cook. I learned this during a cooking class from the experts:

Never serve hot food on a cold plate!

warm platesHave you ever sat on a bench when it’s cold outside? Your butt gets cold almost instantly! The same thing happens to your really hot food when you put it on a (comparatively) cold plate.

When you’re at a restaurant, what does the server say whenever they bring your food? “Watch this plate, it’s extremely hot.” They’re not trying to burn you, they just want your food to stay hot while you eat it.

Even buffets respect the warm plate. You know the hole at the end of the buffet that the plates magically rise from (see photo)? That’s not there for ergonomics, that’s a plate warmer.

So, if you’re not doing it already, here is a list of ways to get your plates warm.

  1. Buy a plate warmer ($35 and up).
  2. Many ovens have a warming drawer underneath.  No, that isn’t a cookie-sheet graveyard.
  3. Set your cook-top on low heat and lay the plates on top.
  4. Rinse the plates in really hot water, then dry them.
  5. Some dishwashers have a plate warmer function, otherwise run the rinse cycle on high heat with a heated dry cycle.
  6. Put them in the microwave for a short time.

I should also say that the opposite is true, don’t serve cold food on hot plates.  For example, when you go to a buffet and they have hot bowls for your “hard” ice cream.

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Disclaimer: some dishes may not be suitable for some of these methods.  Check with the manufacturer to be sure.

Photo Credit: LexnGer (flickr/creative commons/attribution)

BrokenSecrets.com

November 25, 2009 at 11:59 pm 6 comments


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