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How to fix your washing machine



washing machine

I’ll wager that your washing machine is unloved.

  It’s most likely tucked away in the laundry and cleaned reluctantly and rarely. Yet, it’s expected to remove the grime of life on a daily basis without fuss.

Everything is fine and dandy until, one day, it isn’t, and your dirty clothes start piling up. 

So, what goes wrong with a washer, and what can you do to keep yours spinning? The good news is that you can cheaply and easily repair most common faults. 

Percentages are the proportion of faulty machines reported in our latest reliability survey that exhibited the particular problem.

Before you start

If you’re not keen on tackling the repair yourself, enlist the services of a local specialist.

They can access spare parts that can be hard to locate, and you won’t be left rueing your over-ambition as they’ll guarantee their work should something go wrong.

Most washers report an error code when something goes wrong.

Deciphering the code will help point you to the fault. The manual should explain the codes. Otherwise, you can likely find it online (just search the code and your brand/model).

Electronic circuits 25%, Controls not working 14% 

Have you checked the machine is plugged in, switched on at the wall, and the fuse hasn’t blown, or the circuit breaker tripped? 

Next, make sure the door or lid has shut properly. Most front loaders have an interlock that confirms the door is closed.

If the interlock has failed, it’s relatively simple to replace. Top loaders have a lid switch that does the same job. 

If you’re unlucky, the control board or power supply is cooked (though these are relatively rare faults). Those are expensive parts to replace, and you’ll need to call in an expert.

Check the machine isn’t stuck mid-cycle, that any child lock function hasn’t been inadvertently switched on, and there’s no water sitting in the drum.

If these pass muster, you may have a broken door handle. It should be a cheap and easy repair (though some machines need a whole new door).

Not draining 21% 

Inside the machine, water from the drum flows through a sump hose, a filter (if your machine has one), then the pump before exiting through the drain hose.  

You can use gravity to drain water without the pump – unplug the drain hose and make sure it is lower than the drum. If it doesn’t drain, you likely have a blocked hose or filter. 

If the pump’s kaput, it doesn’t mean the whole machine is ready for the scrapheap – pumps aren’t expensive and can be replaced relatively easily.

Not spinning 12%, Out of balance 11%, Motor broke 8% 

The wash cycle runs, but the drum doesn’t spin. You might notice because your clothes are soaking wet after a program has finished. 

First, check the load isn’t too big or small – both can result in the drum getting unbalanced while spinning.

To prevent damage, some machines won’t spin an unbalanced load. 

If the drum isn’t turning during the wash or spin cycle, check the motor belt hasn’t broken or slipped off – when you rotate the drum by hand, you should feel some resistance to it turning (that’s the belt turning the Motor). A belt is an easy fix. 

A less likely cause is worn motor brushes. These consumable parts wear down over time. If your machine is older than five years, you may need to replace them.

New brushes are cheap, though you may need to remove the motor to fit them.

The least likely of all is a broken motor or control module. Those are expensive and need specialist repair expertise.

Noisy 12%, Bearings 7% 

First, work out what type of noise it is and where it’s coming from. 

If the noise is coming from low down, sounds like a loud rattle, and only happens when water is being drained, you could have something stuck in the pump or filter.

Most of the time, the pump will push these objects out with the water, but sometimes they lodge and can cause damage.  

Bearing failures cause a grinding sound when the drum spins. Bearings should be a relatively simple replacement, but many are now built into the drum assembly, making them impossible to repair economically.

Bearing failures are rare, though. To confirm, try turning the drum by hand – it should turn smoothly with little noise.

Leaks contributed to a mere 6% of faulty machines in our survey. That’s probably because we only asked about failures in washers less than five years old.

As rubber hoses and seals get older, we’d expect them to figure more prominently in the stats. 

You should check water supply hoses periodically for cracking signs and replace them every five years to prevent a flooding disaster.

Regularly examine the door seal for damage and cracking. If you need to replace a failing (or moldy) door seal, it’s a surprisingly cheap and easy job.

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Last update on 2021-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The 7 Best Cordless Stick Vacuums to Buy in 2021



best cordless stick vacuum

If you’re sick and tired of using an old clunky traditional vacuum, it might be time to cut the cord and upgrade to a modern, cordless version. These high-tech cordless appliances are lighter and much easier to maneuver compared to their corded counterparts and look sleeker as well. 

These innovative gadgets suck up the same amount of dirt and debris as traditional vacuums. Their compact and lightweight designs will help prevent excess wear and tear from occurring on your flooring. 

While most cordless stick vacuums are designed to work on all surfaces, they are handy for cleaning hardwood floors. Like many other appliances, cordless stick vacuums can be a bit pricey.

From a cordless stick vacuum that is great at picking up pet hair to a super lightweight option to an ultra-quiet model, here are 7 cordless stick vacuums that shoppers say worked wonders in their homes. 

Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum: Best Overall 

Dyson (214730-01) V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Willing to spend a little more money to get a top-quality vacuum?

You can’t go wrong with this high-powered one from Dyson.

Its powerful suction will last for about 40 minutes on a full charge, or up to 25 minutes if you’re using the motorized floor tool attachment.

The on/off mechanism is a finger trigger, which allows you to start and stop the machine instantly. According to the company’s description, the vacuum has a HEPA filtration system that captures allergens and expels cleaner air than the air you breathe.

Customers overwhelmingly love this lightweight (5.8 pounds) vacuum and say it’s worth the money. One even called it life-changing, noting how much dirt and dust it was able to pick up.

While some of the cordless stick vacuums are best for daily maintenance and quick pickups, this one seems to be much more than that, thanks to its powerful suction strength.

Some have had issues with the charge lasting less than desired, but most haven’t had any problems with that and would recommend it to others. 

Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Presentation

Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Cordless Vac: Runner-Up, Best Overall 

Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum Cleaner Lightweight Stick Vac BH53420PC White

This vacuum from Hoover claims our top pick for customer satisfaction and sheer power and performance. The 18-volt lithium-ion battery is able to give the machine a big boost, even without being plugged into the wall.

You can use it on hardwood floors or carpet, plus it’s easy to switch settings — just one push of a button. The vacuum has Hoover’s famous Wind-Tunnel Technology, which lifts deep-down dirt from the carpet to hard floors.

Customers say the suction is great. One person said that even with multiple pets and plenty of mess around the home, the vacuum gets the job done.

Although you might want to pick up large pieces of trash before swiping it across the floor — they might clog the machine. However, one did say that even if it gets clogged, it’s a pretty easy fix. Also, people were pretty happy with the battery life.

Plus, there’s a handy fuel gauge on the handle that shows you how much battery life is left. The overall weight of this vacuum is about 10 pounds.

BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES PRO Cordless Vacuum: Best 2-in-1 Model 

BLACKDECKER POWERSERIES PRO Cordless Vacuum 2 in 1 Anti Allergen

Want two vacuums in one? Here’s a great option! You not only can vacuum floors with the stick version, but it comes apart to create a hand vac that’s perfect for picking up smaller messes too.

Weighing nine pounds, the full vacuum has swivel steering so that you can get around furniture more easily.

The company says you’ll be able to vacuum up to 2,500 square feet on a full charge, so you won’t have to worry about recharging mid-clean. They also say that the strong suction will pick up dirt and debris in a single pass. 

So, do the customers agree? Mostly, yes.

Many have praised the suction and said that this vacuum is totally worth the money. They also love how quickly the battery charges and the versatility of the hand vac.

Some things owners would change would be the size of the dust cup (bigger is always better) and the fact that it’s very loud when in use. But most people were happy with it and would recommend it to others. 

BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES PRO Cordless Vacuum Presentation

Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik Lightweight Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum: Best Budget 

Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik Vacuum Cleaner, 3-in-1 Hand and Stick Vac, Small, Lightweight and Bagless

If you are looking for a vacuum to pick up after a busy day at home, then this Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is just the thing. Weighing in at less than 4 pounds, you can easily push this along the carpet in the living room and the tile in the kitchen to pick up life’s messes.

If you want to get in deep, say under the couch or on a windowsill, you can remove the handheld vacuum part for extra cleaning or use the included crevice tool. 

Reviewers say this is easy to put together and great for everyday cleanups, though this doesn’t provide enough suction for more deep cleanings at home.

One reviewer even said this is a great vacuum for kids since it is lightweight and affordable, so you can put your kids to work! 

Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum: Runner Up, Best Overall 

Shark IZ163H Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum with MultiFlex, Self-Cleaning Brushroll, Dirt Engage Technology, Crevice, Pet Multi-Tool, Powerful Suction

Weighing in about seven pounds, this powerful cordless stick vacuum is loved by many of its owners.

It’s got a two-speed brush roll that works well on carpet and bare floors, plus a high-capacity dust cup that’s easy to empty and clean. You can recharge the whole thing in about four hours, and it conveniently charges on a storage dock.

The company says it’s also great for picking up pet hair, so if you’ve got a furry family member, you should be set.

Those who have purchased it are mostly happy with the performance. One customer even went so far as to say the vacuum changed their life because of how quick and easy it makes the process of cleaning up the house.

It’s a great product to have on hand for upkeep, but if you have high pile carpets or wool area rugs, you might need a heavier-duty vacuum for deeper cleaning. 

Dyson V6 Animal Cord-free Vacuum: Best For Pet Hair 

Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner, Purple

If you’ve got a pet at home, you know just how necessary a good vacuum is. From hair to litter, it seems like there’s always something that needs to be picked up.

A cordless stick vacuum is great for this because it’s easy to get out of storage, lightweight, and can get the job done fast. We recommend the Dyson V6 Animal Cord-free Vacuum for homes with pets.

The five-pound machine can be used for up to 20 minutes on a full charge. It’s got a direct-drive cleaner head that pushes the bristles even deeper into the carpet to help remove more dirt.

There’s also a mini motorized tool that removes pet hair and ground-in dirt.

So, does it get the job done? Customers say yes! A majority of reviewers said that it’s got great suction and removes pet hair well.

They also enjoy the fact that you can hang the charger on the wall and store the vacuum on it for easy storage and to guarantee a full charge every time you take it out to use.

Just a warning, though: some have had issues with the battery not lasting long enough to clean their whole house, so if you’ve got a big space, this might not be for you. But if you want something quick, easy, and powerful, it comes highly recommended.  

Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: Best for Hard Floors 

Dirt Devil Reach Max Plus Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Looking for an inexpensive vacuum that can get the job done? Here’s a great option from Dirt Devil.

It weighs 6.4 pounds and is ideal for quick pickups on hard floors. This stick vacuum is the ideal companion for busy households that need to do a quick vacuum at the end of the day. 

It has a 10 Amp motor that will suck up stuff like Cheerios and more without losing suction. An 11-inch cleaning path lets you clean up faster with its wide space.

A bagless disposal takes away the hassle of having to buy vacuum bags, while the one-touch removal ensures your hands stay away from the grime. 

Reviewers say this has taken away the chore of nightly sweeping, and many say this can handle hardwood floors with ease.

A few mention this isn’t great with pet hair, so for those looking to clean up after their furry friend, they might want to opt for our pet hair pick below. 

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Last update on 2021-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Best 9 Best Air Conditioners to Buy in 2021



best air conditioner

The best way to beat the heat for anyone without a central cooling system is with windows and portable conditioners.

They’re best for small or medium spaces — you certainly can’t keep your whole house ice cold with them—and they can be a bit noisy. Fortunately, they’re also inexpensive and effective.

Experts caution that you need to pick the right size air conditioner for the space — too small and it won’t cool the air enough, too large, and it will leave the air too humid.

Energy Star recommends units of:

  • 6,000 BTU units up to 250 sq feet;

  • 8,000 BTU units up to 350 sq feet;

  • 10,000 BTU units up to 450 sq feet;

  • 12,000 BTU units up to 550 sq feet.

Here are some of our favorite air conditioners, whatever your needs:

Frigidaire 10,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner: The Best Overall

Frigidaire FFRS1022R1 10000 BTU 115-volt Slider:Casement Room Full-Function Remote Control Window Air Conditioner

The Frigidaire model is an excellent pick for anyone who needs to cool a medium-sized room. This 10,000-BTU unit is best for rooms up to 450sq feet, and it gets solid marks for effective cooling and ease of use.

The Frigidaire Air Conditioner features eight-way air deflection, a low-power energy-saving start, a temperature-sensing remote control, and a programmable 24-hour timer. It also has a clean-air ionizer, a feature sure to please allergy sufferers.

While you expect an AC this powerful to be loud, it gets solid expert marks for noise, particularly on low fan speeds. Owners offer mixed reviews: Some say it’s noisier than they would like, while others aren’t bothered.

Like most window air conditioners, the Frigidaire model is white and boxy with expandable side panels that allow it to fit windows up to 36 inches wide. The air conditioner itself is about 21.5 by 19 by 14.5 inches.

It comes with a limited one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system.

LG 12,000 BTU 230V Window-Mounted AIR Conditioner: Runner Up, Best Overall

LG LW8017ERSM Smart Window Air Conditioner (Wi-Fi), 8,000 BTU 115V, White

If you’re looking for a window air conditioner that can cool off a smaller space well, the LG LW8015ER is a true 8,000-BTU unit that is recommended for rooms up to 340sq feet. Experts even give it top marks for effective cooling and ease of use.

The LG unit features a thermistor thermostat, four-way air deflection, an energy-saving mode, a remote control, and a timer. It also has a few more thoughtful features, including anti-corrosion coating and easy-to-direct fan blades, so the unit won’t break down as fast.

Experts say it’s fairly quiet on low and still manageable on high, and most reviewers agree that noise isn’t an issue. They also say installation is a cinch.

Like most window air conditioners, the LW8015ER is white and boxy with expandable side panels that allow it to fit windows up to 36 inches wide. The air conditioner itself is about 19.5in by 19.5in by 12.5 inches. It is Energy Star-rated for efficiency and comes with a one-year warranty. 

Frigidaire FFRA051WAE 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner: Best Budget-Friendly

Frigidaire 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Mechanical Controls

Suppose you have a smaller space to cool and a smaller budget to work with. In that case, the Frigidaire FFRA051WAE is a simple air conditioner for any room up to 150 sq feet making it a good pick for home offices.

This 5,000 BTU unit gets reviewers’ top marks for effectiveness and solid marks for noise, but it costs a lot less than most other window units.

The FFRA051WAE doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but many reviewers actually like the simplicity. It has seven temperature settings, two fan settings, and two cool settings controlled with dual dials on the unit.

There isn’t a timer, remote, or digital thermostat, but reviewers don’t mind, saying it keeps them cool, and that’s what matters. They say the noise is average for a window air conditioner, but it isn’t the best pick for a room for those who don’t want a fair amount of white noise.

At just 15 by 16 by 12 inches, the white FFRA051WAE lives up to its billing of “mini,” but users can install side panels to fit windows up to 36 inches wide. It comes with a one-year warranty that extends up to five years for the sealed system. The only drawback is that it isn’t Energy Star-rated.

Friedrich Chill CP06G10B 6,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner: The best for Small Spaces

Friedrich Chill Premier 6,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner with Built-in WIFI

The Friedrich Chill is a good pick if you’re willing to spend a little bit more on a small-space window air conditioner. This 6,000 BTU air conditioner has many features and can cool off rooms up to 250 square feet.

The unit comes with 3 cooling and fan-only speeds, a 24-hour timer, a remote control, four-way air-flow, and an energy-saving mode. Owners give it good reviews for noise and say it’s quieter than most window air-conditioners being ideal for a bedroom for light sleepers.

The Chill is much larger than the budget Frigidaire FFRA051WAE at 14in by 18.5in by 21 in. Its side panels can extend to fit up easily to 36-inch windows.

It has a one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system, and it is Energy Star-rated for efficiency. The panels feature “EntryGard” protection that helps protect against burglars who may otherwise be able to easily kick in the air-conditioner panels to get into your home.

LG LW1216ER 12,000 BTU 115-Volt Window Air Conditioner: The best for Large Spaces

LG LW1216ER 12,000 BTU 115-Volt Window Air Conditioner

Anyone with a larger living room or loft space that needs to be cooled should check out the LG LW1216ER. It’s a 12,000 BTU air conditioner that can cool larger rooms up to 550sq feet.

Reviewers say that it keeps them nice and cool without inflating their utility bills and manages to keep noise to a minimum. Experts agree and give it the highest possible marks for comfort in testing and excellent ones for noise when it’s on a low setting.

This LG AC has the features most buyers expect in a window air conditioner. This includes a remote control, a 24-hour timer, an energy-saving mode, four-way air deflection, three fan speeds, and three cooling speeds.

It’s among the quieter window air conditioners, especially at lower speeds. Many reviewers talk about how cold it keeps larger spaces, even when the temperature is sky-high.

The white, boxy LG measures roughly 24in by 15in by 22in and looks like a typical window air conditioner.

It comes with a limited one-year warranty and weighs 81 pounds. Consider grabbing a friend for installation.

Frigidaire Smart Window Air Conditioner FGRC1044T1: The best Smart Model

Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 10000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Window Air Conditioner with Wifi Control

Smart air conditioners have been slower to take off than other Wi-Fi-connected home appliances. Still, owners say the Frigidaire FGRC1044T1 Cool Connect is worth the upgrade. This 10,000 BTU unit is best for medium-size rooms up to 350 square feet. 

The Energy Star-certified Cool Connect’s biggest draw is its Wi-Fi connectivity.

This allows iPhone or Android users to fully schedule and operate the air conditioner from anywhere. The app is easy to use. It even integrates with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. If you don’t carry your phone around your home, Cool Connect also comes with remote control.

There are three fan and cooling speeds, a built-in ionizer that cleans the air, and an energy-saving sleep mode. The noise gets mixed reviews from owners.

The Cool Connect is a lot sleeker than a typical window air conditioner, with a clean white front and an elegant mesh grill that design-conscious buyers appreciate. It’s also relatively compact at roughly 18.5in by 16in by 13.5 in.

It has a limited one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system.

Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner: The Best Portable

Honeywell MN10CESWW Environmental Appliance Rooms Up To 350 450 Sq. Ft White

Portable air conditioners are a good alternative for anyone who can’t install a window unit, and reviewers say the Honeywell MN10CESWW is among your best choices. This 10,000 BTU unit is ideal for rooms up to 350sq feet.

The Honeywell features an LCD display and digital controls that are easy to use. However, a few reviewers complain they’re too sensitive. It also has a built-in dehumidifier, a programmable timer, and remote control.

It’s the quietest portable air conditioner at low settings. Owners say it’s no louder than a typical window air conditioner.

While you don’t get a color choice with most portable air conditioners, the Honeywell comes in different colors.

It’s about 29in high, 18in wide, and 15in deep, and unlike window air conditioners, it demands some floor space.

With the help of an auto-evaporation system, users don’t have to empty a drip pan. However, water may still have to be drained in high-humidity conditions. The unit comes with a one-year warranty that extends to five years for the sealed system.

Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner Inverter+ Ductless: The best Split System

Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS012A 19 Wall Mount Ductless Inverter Mini Split Heat Pump 12000 BTU 110120V

Split system air conditioners have two main parts — a ductless indoor unit and an outdoor unit, making them different from standard window units.

This type of air conditioner is usually much more expensive than window-mounted units. Still, the benefit is that you don’t have a cumbersome device in your window all summer.

The Pioneer WYS012-17 is a highly-rated split system air conditioner. It has a cooling and heating capacity of 12,000 BTU, meaning it can cool a larger room with ease.

Both indoor and outdoor fans are extremely quiet, and it uses a minimal amount of electricity. The indoor section has a modern design, including a dimmable LED display. It can be easily mounted on the wall where needed.

The unit comes with wireless remote control and all the equipment needed to install it, including copper tubing, drain line extension, and more. However, reviewers note that installation is pretty complicated.

If you arent familiar with HVAC processes, you might be better off paying for professional installation.

Costway 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Dehumidifier: The Best Portable

COSTWAY 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control Dehumidifier Function Window Wall Mount (10,000 BTU)

Portable air conditioners are popular among people who don’t want to install a window unit. The Costway 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is an excellent option for small to medium-sized rooms.

The multi-function unit can be used in all areas of the house, and it includes wheels for easy portability from room to room.

The Costaway Portable AC also has dehumidifying settings, and it boasts fan and sleep modes as well. Two fan speeds can be controlled via its LED control panel or wireless remote.

It can be set anywhere between 62.6 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You can easily program it to automatically turn on and off as you like.

This portable air conditioner’s downside is that it must be vented to a window using the included exhaust tube and window seal plate. This can be a bit unsightly, but it is an effective cooling unit nonetheless.  


Staying cool in the summer became a lot easier with a properly functioning air conditioning system in your home. But this requires getting the right system in the first place and then maintaining it, and if necessary, repairing it too.

Air conditioning systems come in a variety of styles and energy efficiency measured in SEER. Current regulations require at least a 13 SEER system with SEER ratings going as high as 21.

Some systems work as an add-on to a forced-air furnace (central air), which relies upon the existing heating duct for cool air distribution.

Other systems are designed for use where air distribution by a duct is difficult (PTAC systems or unitary window units). As a result of these options, there is also a wide variation in cost for an air conditioning system. But you can find a solution to fit your budget.

We provide you a list of the top 7 tutorials to get you on the road to a cool home this summer. It covers everything from selecting the right air conditioning system to maintenance and repair issues.

So take some time and get familiar with how to be “chill” this summer.

best air conditioner

How an Air Conditioning System Works

How an Air Conditioning System Works

One of the most amazing machines made is the air conditioner. I mean, it takes heat from your house and dumps it outside. And does it using 5 bizarre things, including:

RefrigerantCompressorCondenserExpansion ValveEvaporator CoilRefrigerant is amazing stuff as it changes its state from gas vapor to a liquid as heat is collected from your house and rejected to the outside.

The Compressor is the pump that keeps things moving, and the Condenser is where the refrigerant changes state from a vapor to a liquid.

The Expansion Valve houses more physics and state changes. A hot, high-pressure fluid on one side of the valve change to a cool, low-pressure mist on the other side of the valve because a gas cools as it expands.

Lastly, the Evaporator Coil is where cool air is created as air is blown across the coil to cool your home.

Central Air Conditioning Unit and Heat Pump Maintenance

Central Air Conditioning Unit and Heat Pump Maintenance

The air conditioner takes hot air and makes it cold. The heat pump does the same thing, except it can also “run in reverse” and pump heat out of cold air. So cool!

These two devices share the same refrigerant, compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator coil components.

With their location outside, a good annual maintenance program should include:

  • Cleaning the condensing coils of dirt, leaves, and other debris
  • Checking the condensing coil fins for damage
  • Lubricating fan bearings
  • Inspecting the fan for damage.

This tutorial will also describe shutting off the unit’s power, removing the protective grills and lubricating the motor, cleaning condenser coils, straightening the coil fins, and leveling the condenser.

Window Air Conditioner Maintenance

Window Air Conditioning Repair

Window air conditioners are a great solution for limited cooling applications or when you want to add removable cooling to a home you don’t own, like a rental.

But to do an effective job at cooling, they need to be sized properly and periodically maintained.

A room that is 150 square feet to 250 square feet requires an average of 6,000 BTU of cooling per hour, a 450 to 550 square foot room requires about 12,000 BTU, then the ratio decreases above that point in terms of BTU required per square foot.

Window Air Conditioning Repair

Window-mounted air conditioners pack a lot of equipment in a small space. The same basic components as found in a central air system are found in these little units that are set on your windowsill. It’s just that the condenser discharge is out the window instead of a remote ground-mounted unit.

Improve Your House Cooling with Window Air Conditioning Tricks


This tutorial is about doing more with less. So what do you do if you have a window air conditioner with good cooling capacity but want to cool more than one room?

Well, aside from using multiple window air conditioners, there are some tricks you can use, employing a box fan or even your home’s furnace and ductwork.

You’ll learn how to strategically place box fans for maximum effect and how to use the return air duct in your home’s furnace to deliver cool air to remote rooms. Cool solutions!

How to Keep Condensing Unit Cooling Fins Clean and Straight

How to Keep Condensing Unit Cooling Fins Clean and Straight

The condensing unit in your air conditioner relies on air moving through its cooling fins to cool the refrigerant in the system. Occasionally the fins, made of thin metal, can get damaged from impact by tree limbs or sticks, hail, high-pressure power washing, or other external factors.

Bent fins can restrict the flow of air through the condensing unit and can cause problems. So when the fins get bent, it’s a good idea to fix the fins and straighten them with a small tool called a fin comb. The fin comb comes in different head styles and sizes to best match the condensing coil fin counts.

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Last update on 2021-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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The 7 Best Stand Mixers to Buy in 2021



best Stand Mixer

If you think stand mixers are unitaskers, you need to think again. They go way beyond just making cookies.

You can buy attachments that can shred, grate, grind, juice, or even make pasta or ice cream for several models.

However, other stand mixers are designed to just be mixers or have a limited number of attachments. And when you want to make cookies, they save you time and won’t tire your arm muscles.

Also, most stand mixers employ planetary action when mixing. The whisk, paddle, or dough hook spins at the same time it travels around the bowl for more thorough mixing.

Although you can find stand mixers in a wide variety of capacities, keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better.

A giant mixer with a big bowl should be able to knead triple or quadruple batches of dough, but it doesn’t work as well when you want to make small batches of food.

A small mixer might strain at mixing the dough for two loaves of bread. Bigger bowl size is great for larger quantities, but you also need a strong motor for mixing or kneading dense doughs.

Look for a mixer that can handle both the size and the type of foods you’ll be mixing.

All the joy in baking can be instantly quashed as soon as the dough turns tough — better your batter with one of these 7 upstanding stand mixers.

KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer: Best Overall

KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart

Not too big and not too small, this 10-speed mixer can mix small amounts and knead a double batch of cookie dough just as quickly.

It doesn’t have all the integrated bells and whistles (timers, automatic shutoff, etc.) of some of our other picks.

What the KitchenAid lacks in technology will make up for in attachments. Usually, when someone says they have a stand mixer, they’re most likely talking about a KitchenAid. Probably even this model.

At least 15 different attachments for this machine include a grater, grain mill, pasta maker, spiralizer, ravioli press, juicer, ice cream maker, and more. (Although please keep in mind that they are all sold separately).

Since the brand is so famous, besides official KitchenAid-branded attachments, there are also third-party attachments and accessories.

You can buy this mixer in a wide range of colors to match or accent your kitchen décor. The tilt-head makes it very easy to switch from paddle to the dough hook, scrape the bowl, and add ingredients.

This mixer has a 5-quart bowl that comes with a flat beater, wire whisk, a dough hook, and a pouring shield.

Cuisinart SM-50BC 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer: Runner-Up, Best Overall

Cuisinart SM-50BC 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer

This 12-speed mixer sports a 5 1/2 quart bowl and has a slow-start function that helps minimize splashing, as well as a slow-fold function that can mix continuously or pulse.

It also has an integrated 15-minute timer and automatic shutoff.

It has three power outlets for the optional attachments (available separately, at various prices), a high-speed power outlet for the blender and food processor attachment, a mid-speed power outlet for the citrus juicer attachment, and a slow-speed power outlet for the large meat grinder and the pasta-maker.

This mixer has a locking tilt head and includes a whisk, flat paddle, dough hook, and a splash guard. It’s available in three colors.

Breville Scraper Mixer Pro Stand Mixer: Best High-End

Breville BEM800XL Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer

This mixer has 12 speeds, a load-sensing technology that protects the motor, and a 10-minute timer with an auto-off function. The pause function temporarily stops both the mixer and the timer as well.

Rather than a flat metal paddle, this mixer comes with a scraper beater that scrapes the bowl’s bottom and sides. So, there’s no need to stop the mixer from making sure everything is thoroughly mixed.

The speed is controlled with a dial, while an LED strip indicates which speed is selected. Another LED display shows the timer. The tilt-head locks in place, and there are handles to make it easier to lift and transport the mixer. The cord stores in the base.

This mixer comes with a scraper paddle, wire whip, dough hook, and pouring shield. It’s available in three colors.

Breville Scraper Mixer Pro Stand Mixer Presentation

Sunbeam MixMaster Stand Mixer: Best Budget

Sunbeam MixMaster Stand

This MixMaster might remind you of the stand mixer your mom or grandma had. Still, it’s been updated for today’s cooks, yet it’s very affordable.

It has 12 speeds, 350 watts of power, and a locking tilt-head. It includes chrome beaters, whisks, dough hooks, a 2-quart glass bowl, and a 4-quart glass bowl. A sliding selector on the base adjusts for the different bowl sizes.

This has a soft-start feature, so you won’t fling flour all over the kitchen as it starts slow and increases the speed until it reaches the set speed. There is also a burst-of-power function that gives an extra surge of power when you need it.

There’s a large dial for setting the speed and a soft-grip handle to raise and lower the head that locks into place during use.

While this includes dough hooks, it’s likely to be more successful with wet doughs, but it might struggle with more dense bread doughs that more powerful mixers can handle with ease.

KitchenAid Commercial 8-Qt Bowl Lift NSF Stand Mixer: Best Large Capacity

KitchenAid KSM8990OB 8 Quart Commercial Countertop

This giant stand mixer is specially designed for commercial use. However, it’s still feasible for home use for those who often cook or bake large quantities for the family or big gatherings.

The motor is the most powerful and quietest in the KitchenAid line, so it can knead tough doughs without overheating. It can hold up to 14 cups of flour. It has 10 speeds, from a slow mix to a quick whip, with the traditional KitchenAid slide control.

This model has a bowl-lift design, meaning that the bowl moves up and down while the mixer head remains in place.

Although this is a commercial machine, the attachment hub can power all of KitchenAid’s standard attachments. It comes in a smaller color range than the Artisan line.

Still, anyone who opts for this model is probably more focused on size and power than perfectly matching their mixer to their wall paint.

It also includes a wire whip, flat beater, and spiral dough hook. All of them are made from stainless steel, so they’re dishwasher safe.

Sunbeam Heritage Series Stand Mixer Bundle: Best Design

Sunbeam FPSBSM2103 BND Heritage Series 12 Speed 350 watt Stand Mixer Bundle with Bowl

While Sunbeam isn’t the first name, you’d think when someone mentions stand mixers, the company has been making them for a long time, and this machine has features that more well-known brands don’t include.

The bowl is offset instead of centered. This makes it easier to add ingredients while mixing. It has 12 variable speeds, so you can do a soft start to minimize splashing.

The bowl also spins for 3 different mixing actions. There is no need to tilt the head up to pour ingredients into the bowl. The mixer has 2 beaters that revolve independently.

This bundle includes two bowls. You can work with two different batches or recipes without washing a bowl in between, or you can choose which bowl to use based on the amount you need to mix—the bowls are 4.6 quarts and 2.2 quarts.

It includes chrome beaters, dough hooks, and whisks and is available in three different colors to match your kitchen decor.

While this machine is capable of kneading bread dough or thick cookie dough, it’s not as powerful as more expensive models and could struggle with some recipes.

KitchenAid Artisan Mini Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer: Best for Small Spaces

KitchenAid Artisan Mini Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

This small mixer from KitchenAid is 25% lighter. It has a 20 percent smaller footprint than the company’s classic mixer.

Still, the 250-watt motor and hob attachment means that it’s compatible with attachments like the pasta roller, grater, spiralizer, for example. The beaters and bowls, unfortunately, are not interchangeable with other models.

The tilt-head design makes it very easy to access the bowl or change beaters, and the head locks in place to make sure the beaters keep in close contact with the bowl for even mixing. It has 10 mixing speeds.

This model has a 3 1/2 quart bowl, so it won’t hold as much as the full-size models, but it’s perfect for dozens of cookies at a time.

This model also includes a coated flat beater, coated dough hook, and wire whip and comes in 10 different colors.

Buying Guide for the Best Stand Mixer

Having a multifunctional stand mixer, you will get a conglomerate of benefits that can definitely make your life better. It will take over some of your kitchen tasks, and you’ll get a great team player in the kitchen. Allow yourself to enjoy more free time.

You don’t have to spend more money on individual machines. Choose a stand mixer that can perform multiple tasks at the same time.

As long as you choose models that offer robustness and various functions, stand mixers will become your best friends.

We will help you understand the differences between models and which types to look for.

You can save time with intensive work tasks, such as cutting onions, beating cake, grinding nuts and seeds, or even kneading bread dough. Use a good stand mixer and forget about worries.

These machines are equipped with flat and longer blades. They can rotate even more slowly to cut rather than chop.

best Stand Mixer

What a stand mixer does

We expect a stand mixer to perform more tasks. He must be able to cut, mix or mix food in whatever quality we need. With it, you can prepare the base for desserts, make the dough for bread, juices, or sausages with the help of the meat grinder that some models have.

Appliances can have one or more variable volume bowls, smoothie glasses, different pallets, and mixing accessories. Usually, some have discs and cutting blades of various types. Check to have them packed.

You can use the stand mixer as a grinder or even blender because the appliances are versatile, robust, and designed to do a wide range of activities. Using the sharpest cutting blade and the fastest speed you can use as a blender.

It may take a little longer than a classic blender, but it will do its job without much effort. Surely all ingredients will be properly mixed and the consistency you need.

I think it’s one of the best purchases you can make to get a blender, grinder, mixer, meat grinder – all in one body. It saves space in the kitchen and budget.

The type of food a stand mixer can process ranges from smoothies, juices, meat, dough, bases, or creams for dessert. You’ll only have one device with some accessories, and that’s about it. The vast majority of the appliances are reliable and quality. The best stand mixer must be convenient, fast to lead to good use of resources, saving time and effort in the kitchen.

Advantages of a good stand mixer

Stand mixers are useful for a wide range of foods. It is good for cutting, grinding, slicing, and mixing. If you want a single gadget that can make fruit juice, knead the dough, and slice, you’ll have to look.

You must find a stand mixer that can process food with the correct amount of power and have all the necessary accessories.

Stand Mixer

How to choose the Best Stand Mixer


Since you need a universal solution in the kitchen, the stand mixer must have enough power. You will need a stand mixer with a power of 800 – 1000 W to cope with the mixing of food and their efficient grinding. The higher the power, the smoother the mixing.

On the power control side, some models have modern levers, keys, or touchpads. It is easy to use the button variant, but it may be harder to clean if leaks occur.

A touchpad is almost as easy to use, and wiping during use is incredibly easy. For this cause, the additional investment in a model with touch buttons might be worth it.


It is clear that the space in the kitchen is mostly limited. Some of us are dealing with a studio apartment with a small kitchen. So, we’d need lightweight, portable models.

However, suppose you want a large bowl, lots of accessories, and more power. In that case, you’ll have to be careful with the available space.

Stand mixers that can be placed on the countertop normally have a capacity of between 3.5-5.5-Qt. You can easily choose that model closest to your needs in the house.

Blade types

A common blade used in stand mixers is the multi-large corrugated blade. Most tasks can be performed, such as smoothies or cream soups. Blades of this type can cut and mix very efficiently, especially if you occasionally use the pulsating function. These blades are time-resistant and are made of stainless steel.

Some versions come in a package with additional blades or discs. In contrast, you may need to order accessories separately. Usually, even the simplest stand mixers have a slicing blade, which can act as a radiator. With this, you can slice very fine vegetables for salad or soup.

Plastic dough blades are perfect for kneading bread dough, so it’s worth checking their availability in the package that comes with the device. Not all models have this option, and it can be an additional purchase and an unexpected expense. Best check this aspect in the product description before purchasing.

Bowl size

The best size for the bowl or container of a stand mixer depends exclusively on how large the food preparation needs are. Try to choose a model with a bowl that’s quite roomy for your family.

Blade performance

Better versions should have blades sharp enough to evenly cut vegetables and herbs. On the other hand, they should be extremely versatile for smoothies, fruit and vegetable shredding, nuts, or even solid foods.

To last for several years in a row, the stand mixer’s blades and discs must be made of stainless steel to remain sharp.

They should also be good to combine liquid and soft ingredients. The blades and bowl you use are direct impactors of the device’s performance, so be careful when you want to make your choice.

Other accessories

If you are a smoothie fan, you will often find portable glasses on these devices. These make it super easy to mix the smoothie quickly and be able to carry it with you when you go to work.

Some versions have them in the package. If you want to be able to do this, check the availability of such an accessory.

Citrus juicers, meat grinder, salad slicer, dough kneading palettes meet the same way. On more expensive models, all these options are included in the purchase cost. They are usually made of quality materials and are resistant.


High-quality stand mixers have efficient engines and solid bases that anchor them on the worktop. They are protected with caps so as not to splash and protect from the blade inside. They are resistant to solid and liquid foods.

To help keep the device fixed, some more advanced versions have suction cups. There are also safety locking devices fitted to the cover.

best Stand Mixer


You can feel a little discouraged when you have to choose a good stand mixer for your needs. The truth is that the variations of the models are countless, all of which are extremely different.

You may already own an older or smaller model and try to determine whether to update to a newer model. Or maybe you’re just in the process of adding a stand mixer to your arsenal to help you cook in the kitchen.

How many watts are needed for your needs, what functions matter most to you? Think about the most important things you’d like to see on your kitchen device.

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Last update on 2021-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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