There’s a Storm Coming
Into Every Life, a Little Rain Must Fall
As temps finally start to rise and we leave winter behind (finally!), there are two storms brewing that can put a stick in your power. The first may bring rain drops and maybe a bolt from the sky. The second, well, we are creatures of comfort; as the heat rises (finally) so does AC use in homes and businesses. All that AC use is a massive power grid drain, and can cause issues for your electronics, even if your own AC is working fine.
Death of an $8,000 Toilet
With everything from your cell phone to refrigerator being microprocessor controlled, there is massive potential for one of these power events to affect you. Even construction in nearby buildings can cause problems if the utility or contractor makes a mistake. We just heard a story of a utility getting things crossed up at a job site and frying a neighbor’s $8,000 computerized toilet! Now that’s a calamity!
Unfortunately, the damage wasn’t contained to the the master bathroom. Several of the homeowner’s expensive electronic components were damaged as well. Perhaps their biggest problem was that the home theater was unavailable to babysit the kids during an upcoming fundraising event.
Planning For The Best
Part of this risk can be mitigated by up front planning. If you’re building a new home or renovating your current residence, planning power circuit layout for your home electronics and related systems can be a big help.
Adequate power, dedicated circuits at critical locations, and other details can make all the difference when it comes to long-term enjoyment, future expansion, and resale value. We can help you here and would be happy to meet and look things over.
Proper power protection is critical also. Placing electronic components such as media servers, control processors and other sensitive boxes on automatic battery back up is one example of something that can keep electronic components alive and prevent expensive service calls.
Clouds on the Horizon? Let’s Hope So!
One of the latest power trends is cloud connectivity. That lets you (or us) check to see of things are plugged in, or more importantly, power cycle an outlet remotely if a specific component is acting up.
You know the first line of troubleshooting for many things electronic (we’re talking to you, modem) is “unplug it, wait a minute, plug it back in” This way we can do it, so you don’t have to. No truck roll required, either!
Why wait for you to notice a problem, though?
Your network components, such as routers and modems, are the most likely to need such maintenance. Wouldn’t it be better to be proactive, rather than waiting for the inevitable wail from your kid’s bedroom: “The Internet’s lagging again. It’s sooooo bad.”
Fortnight notwithstanding, it’s better for everyone if your Internet hums merrily along. To help make sure it does, a cloud-connected power center can actually check the Internet at regular intervals. If it can’t see the www, the power controller cycles the router automatically;, hopefully before you ever notice something’s amiss.
Scrub a Dub Dub
While we’re at it, you’re probably doing some spring cleaning. That’s a great idea for your electronics too. A/V and security camera systems can do with a good check and clean. Getting dust out of cooling vents, cobwebs and bugs away from cameras, and ensuring devices are all updated goes a long way to making sure you don’t suffer an outage at an inopportune time…. Now that we’re thinking about it, what other time is there for an outage?
We’ve seen component vents that looked more like a dryer lint screen. That can’t be good for cooling, and cooling is essential for long equipment life. A good look-see also makes sure you’re still getting all the performance you paid for.
If you’re pondering any changes to your system or residence, we can chat about it while we’re there. Things have changed mightily in the last couple of years. Just think, many people no longer have cable or satellite, but actually enjoy their entertainment systems more! No, really!
Drop us a line now. Let’s discuss a spot of spring cleaning and make sure you’re all powered up for summer!
Cool Summer Kitchen Tricks
Summer’s coming and you’ll be cooking and grilling for those get togethers that happen more often when the weather’s nice. Here are a few ways to elevate your culinary skills and wow the crowd.
Get an Immersion Blender. Those are the wand-like blenders you put in the drink, rather than the other way ‘round. The thing is, they’re useful for much more than drink making. Sauces are a breeze, and BONUS it keeps the food where you’re making it, rather than having to move it to another appliance. Slick!
Thaw Meat on an Aluminum Tray. Aluminum is light, but that doesn’t matter now. No, in the kitchen, it’s the metal’s efficient heat transfer that makes the difference. That’s one reason engines have been made of the stuff for years. They’ll transfer room heat into the meat, letting it thaw more quickly, so you can get to stewing or grilling.
Cados in Skin. No, not to eat them, but for slicing. Slicing avocados in the skin is the ticket for easy slicing and keeping them whole, so they look better on the plate. If you’re going to crush them for guaq, a super simple guaq shortcut is just mixing avocados with salsa or pico de gallo, and adding a pinch of garlic powder. Done!