Which Vacuum Cleaner is Right for My Floors?

With such an such extensive array of floor-care appliances on the market, it can be difficult to know for sure whether the vacuum cleaner you are buying is really the right one for your floors. The most popular types of floor cleaning devices are:

  • Canister or cylinder vacuum cleaners. These are light, compact units that have a long hose with a cleaner head.
  • Upright vacuum cleaners are erect units consisting of a motor, hose and beater.
  • Broom or “stick” vacs are like upright cleaners in shape, but are thinner, light-weight and do not contain rollers or beaters.
  • Handheld vacuums are small, light, cordless vacuums.
  • Steam vacs use steam to clean and sterilise both hard surfaces and carpets.
  • Shampooers use their rotating heads to massage the shampoo into the carpet.

Different floor-care appliances are suited to different types of floor coverings. Carpet Since uprights are adjustable to different heights, they are suitable for cleaning all different types of carpets. For cut pile carpets, cylinder cleaners with a turbo brush attachment are also appropriate. If you have loop pile carpets, either upright or cylinder cleaners can be used, however the turbo roller should be removed to avoid damaging the pile. For heavily soiled or stained carpets such as high-traffic areas, a carpet steamer or shampooer will deliver a deeper clean than a vacuum cleaner alone. Hard Floors Steamers, cylinder and stick vacuum cleaners are ideal for tiled, wooden or vinyl flooring. Cylinder and stick vacs are lightweight, provide great suction and are capable of gliding smoothly over bare floors without scratching. As well as removing surface debris, steamers remove stubborn residue and grime while killing bacteria. Confined and Hard-to-Reach Spaces The slender design and portability of stick vacs means they can easily access hard-to-reach areas such as stairs, round corners, edges and under furniture. Cylinder vacuums are also suitable for the task as their flexible cleaning heads make them ideal for handling difficult spaces. If storage space is an issue at your place, go for the more compact and easy to store stick cleaner over a cylinder model. For cleaning even tighter spaces like car interiors, a handheld vacuum cleaner is your best option. These vacs are also convenient for quickly cleaning small messes. Multi-Surface Cleaners If you have different types of flooring throughout your home, buying several appliances is not necessary. Most quality upright and cylinder vacs come with adjustable settings or attachments enabling them to clean anything from hardwood floors to shag pile carpets without damaging them. If you choose to go with a multi-surface cleaning unit, make sure that you read the user manual to ensure that you are using the appropriate setting or attachment properly. Pet Owners Upright vacuum cleaners are equipped with rotating motorised heads, which are great for removing pet hair. Since cylinder vacuums use only a suction-powered hose they are not as effective, even with a turbo brush attachment. Some manufacturers produce machines specifically catering to the needs of pet owners. These vacuums are designed to remove pet shedding, odors and stains from carpets.

What to Look For in Hair Care Appliances

Looking for the right tools to keep your locks looking luscious and lustrous? Check out the guide below to help you find the right appliance to achieve and maintain your ideal hairstyle.
Dryers
If you want a hair dryer that will make your hair healthier and minimise your drying time, look for a tourmaline and ceramic model that includes an AC motor and ionic technology.
Certain wattages should be used for particular hair types to avoid damage. For damaged and fine hair, it is best to blow dry towel-dried hair on the lowest setting using a 1200 – 1500W dryer. A 1300 – 1800W hair dryer will suit people with normal wavy and straight hair. Thick and curly hair requires the strength of a 1600 – 2000W dryer.
Other features you may look for in a hair dryer will depend on your hairstyle. Curly hair needs a diffuser for softening the airflow to dry hair gently and reduce frizz. Those looking to boost volume or to create waves and flips need a dryer with variable heat and speed settings as well as a cool shot button. Straight hairstyles are easier to achieve using a nozzle attachment.
Straighteners
To get beautiful straight hair that is both smooth and shiny, you will need to use a flat iron of straightener. There are different types of plates and technology used in straighteners:
• Ceramic plates diffuse heat evenly while producing negative ions to reduce frizz

• Ionic technology neutralises positive charges which make hair look dull and damaged

• Infrared gently heats without damaging it balancing neutralizing ions to smooth the hair

• Nano particles are infused into flat iron plates for smoothing and styling

• Silver eliminates germs from the iron’s plates and your hair

• Titanium provides quick straightening by maintaining consistent levels of heat

• Tourmaline provides more powerful ionic effects than ceramic and standard ionic models, giving smoother and shinier results.
Different hair types require different qualities from a straightener to achieve optimal results. People with curly or thick hair need a professional straightener made specifically for their hair type featuring advanced technology and high temperature settings. Medium thick and wavy hair is best suited to ceramic tourmaline irons. Thin and fine hair can be easily styled using any type of straightener however, it is important that heat settings be kept as low as possible to prevent breakage, frizz or dry ends.
Curlers
Different curling irons make different types of curls. Make sure that you select the right sort of curler to produce the type of curls you desire. A slimmer barrel will create tighter curls while larger ones will produce soft waves. The higher the temperature an iron is capable of reaching, the longer lasting the curls will be.
Spring curling irons have an arm that holds hair while curling. This kind of iron is available in the largest range of barrel sizes. Clipless irons don’t have an arm, making it easier to get close to the roots for extra volume. Ribbon curlers have a barrel with raised ridges to produce spiral curls. Wavers are double or triple barreled curling irons used to create flowing waves.

What To Know Before Buying an Electronic Language Device

Cross-cultural communications are now much simpler with electronic language devices helping to bridge the language barrier for international business people and travellers. These devices are also assisting students of foreign languages by providing them with a range of tools to facilitate their learning.
These devices are also referred to as electronic language translators and dictionaries, or simply as e-translators. While all electronic language devices offer the basic functions of translation and a dictionary, some offer much more. Because of this, they can range from less than $100 dollars to over $700. So, before you buy, take a quick look at the different features available to help determine what you want and need in an electronic language device.
 

Languages Capabilities
Do you require a bilingual or multilingual device? If you intend on only using your e-translator for regular business trips to Tokyo, then a simple bilingual English-Japanese device is all you will need. On the other hand, if you want a unit to assist you as you travel across Europe, a multilingual device is more suited to your needs. However, keep in mind that the greater the number of languages a device is equipped to work with, the pricier it is likely to be.
 

Talking Versus Non-Talking Dictionaries
Non-talking dictionaries provide fast bi-directional (and in the case of multilingual devices, multi-directional) word translation as well as extensive databases of useful expressions and colloquialisms. In addition to these functions, talking electronic dictionaries also provide an audio pronunciation of the text, which serves as an added benefit to those wanting to develop their oral language skills.
 

Vocabulary and Spelling Checker
The larger the vocabulary capability of an electronic language device, the more useful it is likely to be, particularly if you will be using it for dealing with technical language like medical, legal and business terminology. If the device you like only provides basic general vocabulary capabilities, find out whether it has the capacity for specialist dictionary add-ons.
Since many foreign languages are not phonetic, you are bound to misspell many words that you type into your translator. For this reason, having a spell-checking function is essential.
 

Speech Recognition and Text Scanning Capabilities
Devices with speech recognition technology make speech-to-speech translation possible, saving you time and helping you to speak to the locals in their native tongue. Having a built-in scanner can also save you the time of typing in text, by allowing you to scan words and passages of text for translation, which is great for helping you to find the meaning of anything from bus timetables to newspaper articles while in a foreign land.
 

Travel Tools
Before buying, also check to see if the device offers any other functions you may need while abroad such as world clocks or calculators for currency and measurement conversion.

Must-Have Tools for Aspiring Photographers

Do you love photography? Would you like to get more serious about it but aren’t quite sure what you’ll need to do so? Decking yourself out with the right equipment is a good place to start. There are certain basic tools that every photographer should have. Here’s a brief guide to the bare essentials you will need to get started.
Camera
Invest in a basic digital single-lens reflect (DSLR) camera body. While these are bulkier than regular compact digital cameras, they provide better picture quality. Look for a camera that is well made and comfortable to hold. The camera should also have a manual override to enable you to adjust the focus, shutter speed and aperture to your own settings.
Try to find one with the largest image sensor and that provides the greatest picture resolution (measured in megapixels) for your budget but don’t go all out on a professional level camera just yet – you can always upgrade later. If you’re going to spend big on anything at this stage, you’d be better putting your money toward some quality lenses and accessories.
Lens
Different lenses are suitable for shooting different subjects. Macro lenses are used for taking close-up shots and wide aperture lenses are best for photographing panoramic scenes.
The first lens you purchase should be the one best suited to your current needs. So, if you are mostly taking close-up photos of flowers, you will just need a macro lens for now.
Lens Filters
Lens filters reduce the glare caused by reflective surfaces and the sun. They are also used to modify picture quality and increase colour saturation. With each lens you purchase, you will need to get an appropriate filter.
There are several varieties of filters and each has a different effect: • Neutral filters reduce the effect of bright lights • UV filters brighten an image • Warm or cool filters are used to alter a shot’s white balance.
Light Metre
An area’s luminosity is measured using a light metre. It helps the photographer to determine whether they need to modify the shutter speed, aperture or ISO setting. Using the reading provided by the light metre a photographer can make the necessary adjustments in order to capture a great shot even in darker lighting conditions.
Tripod
A tripod is a must-have for any budding photographer. Whether you’re trying to capture a stationary or moving subject, a tripod will help to prevent camera movement to ensure you take the sharpest photo possible. Alongside stability, tripods also provide elevation and support for heavy equipment such as telephoto lenses.
Since photography is an expensive hobby, it is better to slowly build-up your arsenal of equipment as your skills and knowledge improve.