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This started out as a Comment to this Great Article on Clever Journeys Blog.
Successful Tips to Fight This Massive Inflation
Great Suggestions for budgeting and saving money!
In my Blog Entry today, some Food Safety; which may be made even more of a concern in times of Scarcity; and Considerations on a Few Points addressed by Clever Journeys:
Long ago, we stopped buying Ground Meat, due to Gristle or Bone Pieces in it. Now, my wife takes uncooked cuts of meat, Steaks or Roasts, cleans off the fat and grinds it into Ground Meat (for cooking), so I eat Hamburgers, Meatballs, Chili, and the like with no worries. Ground Meat is prone to abuse by stores, such as Ground Meat being mixed with older Ground Meat, and other Older Meats being ground for Ground Meat. To avoid Raw and Under-cooked Meat (Especially any Ground Meat/Poultry), use a Meat Thermometer (when possible), make sure the Temperatures in the Middle of the thick part of the meat is sufficiently high to kill pathogens (one article suggested on Hamburgers, to Insert the Thermometer from the Side). Everything doesn’t need cooked to Well Done, but you must cook it to at least the minimum temperature for the minimum time specified for the Type of Food you are preparing. Because Measuring Techniques Vary, consult Trusted Sources for the Temperatures Needed. Generally, Hamburger must be to 160° F (some say 165° F) or use other Techniques for slightly lower internal temperatures (search Safe Meat Cooking Practices).
All three of these are Food Thermometers, the Bottom One is the only one that sees use for Food, the others are used for Area Temperature Measurements. But the Bottom One has a very Fine Tip, making it easier to insert. Thermometer Calibration must be verified from time to time, see the Manufacturers Instructions. Some Thermometers have a Slow Rate of Change for the Temperature Reading. Be patient, or buy a model that updates the display faster. Don’t place the Thermometer in the Oven while cooking unless it’s designed to be used that way (Often Analog, Stainless Steel, Glass Window, and Must Rated for such use, there are Special Remote Probe Electronic Thermometers as well).
Yes, you can leave a meat thermometer in the oven, for the entire duration of the cook, but make sure your thermometer is oven-safe. Other type of meat thermometers like instant-read thermometers cannot be left in the oven for a longer duration. To know if your meat thermometer is oven-proof or not you need to check the thermometers packaging for this detail.
Thermostats. There are Seven Day Thermostats (Including Self Learning Thermostats), and 5-2 Day Units. The 5 and 2 Assume each Week Day is the same, and each Weekend Day is the same. A Seven Day Thermostat Allows Individual Programming for Each Day.
Thermostats I have Known. The One Below is currently being used, and is an Older Model. Above is the one that was in my house when I moved in, likely an Older Unit, but much Newer than the one below, it functions just fine. Both are 5-2 Programmable Thermostats.
11 Best Thermostats For Gas & Oil Furnaces – Buying Guide Included
In the Above Linked Article, I am not Agreeing or Disagreeing with the Choices in Thermostats, but it does address usage and application issues and is worthwhile. The article also covers Thermostats that are controllable by an App on your Phone or Tablet, which sounds sophisticated, but sometimes Simplicity is the best route. In a book, “The Psychology of Everyday Things”, the author describes a couple that bought a Italian Washer and Dryer with abundant features. Yet, they are only able to use it in its simplest mode as it is too complex for them to understand.
For Thermostat Installation, consider hiring a knowledgeable person, in some instances, it may not be as straight forward as one thinks.
Furnace Filter Considerations:
Heating: Dirty Details of ‘High Efficiency’ Disposable Furnace Filters
Yes, Change those Filters According to the Manufacturer’s Instructions, or more often due to conditions, but the lure of High Efficiency Filters is strong and they may cause issues with your Furnace.
Pleating the Filter Media, common in High Efficiency Filters, increases the Surface Area so that though the media is more restrictive, since it’s a larger area, it’s not necessarily an issue, Until the Filter starts plugging. Change them often, Calendar the Change Date, and look periodically before that to be sure they aren’t plugging-up. My furnace inspector said High Efficiency Filters can Ruin the Heat Exchanger because it overheats from a lack of Air Flow. Another Furnace Inspector said that he can install a 2″ Filter Tray that accepts 2″ Pleated High Efficiency Filters (much more surface area) and the risk of the Furnace overheating is drastically reduced.
Consult the Furnace Manufacturer provided Instructions, use the Filters, and Change Filters as the Manufacturer recommends to best preserve the life of the Furnace.
Of High Efficiency Filters, from a Furnace Repair Website:
Furthermore, these types of filters become dirty much faster than regular filters. Though that may sound like a good thing at first—they are allowing less debris to circulate back into your home—it also means that you’ll need to change your filters more often – something many people forget to do. Once these filters become dirty and clogged, they make your blower work that much harder. Over the years, we’ve seen many cases of burned out blower motors caused by too much stress on a blower motor.
In fact, by significantly reducing the airflow thru your furnace, these expensive disposable filters can even cause failure of parts such as high-temperature safety switches or the heart of the furnace, the heat exchanger. Furnaces use high limit sensors to shut down the furnace in the event that the heat exchanger overheats. And what do you think the number one cause of these sensors going off is? Insufficient airflow across the heat exchanger.
Incandescent Lighting is mostly wasted heat and a little light. But heat, in the Winter, in cold areas, is useful. If your lighting is wasting heat, and you convert to High Efficiency Lighting (Less Heat, More Light, for the money), the heat that is no longer added to the room by the lighting is added to the room by the furnace. It likely (at this time) is still cheaper for the furnace to run to make up for the lost lighting heat. Yet, I enjoy a Table Lamp next to me, with a 3 way Bulb, on the Mid Setting of 100 Watts or Highest Setting of 150 Watts (be careful on older lamps or unknown wiring with higher wattage lamps), and the Radiant Heat from the bulb makes me feel more comfortable in the winter.
In the warmer part of each Spring, my few Incandescent Table Lamps are all converted to LEDs, and I have one Compact Fluorescent Table Lamp Bulb (CFL) that is still functioning well, and I see no need to prematurely create waste by throwing it away. I agree, LED Lighting is the best way to go.
- Porch Light has a Dimmable LED Bulb (see below).
- All Ceiling Fan Lights in LEDs.
- All Table Lamps are LED Bulbs, with the exception of one CFL.
- Dining Room Alcove (Closet) Fixture is LED (by design).
- The Bathroom Overhead Fixture is LED (by design), wall Sconce Lights are LED Bulbs.
- Cellar Way Fixture is LED (by design), and Basement Recessed Ceiling Lights; originally Incandescent, got hot, I feared a Fire Hazard; so, I converted them all to LED Flood Light Bulbs, absolutely wonderful, they are brilliant and much much cooler in operation than the original Incandescent Bulbs.
Color of LED Lights, this page shows it best, and uses a Spectrum Chart to show the range. This applies to Colors Specified by All Manufacturers:
- Dimmable LEDs must be used on Dimming Circuits.
- There are Dimmable LEDs, but not All Dimmable LEDs work on all Dimmers.
- It seems that you can use a Dimmable LED on a Non-Dimming Circuit, but don’t use a Non-Dimming LED on a Dimming Circuit.
Though I read it’s a Fire Hazard to use Non-Dimmable LEDs on a Dimming Circuit, the Fire Hazard seems to apply more to Non-Dimming Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) used in a Dimming Circuit. It appears that there were Dimmable CFLs available.
Tips for dimming LEDs
I hope this additional information is helpful to anyone seeking to save money and minimize frustration in doing so.