Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
01. If your air conditioner isn’t cooling as well as it used to…
Spray off the outside AC unit (the condenser) with a garden hose. It’s a simple way to keep your AC performing at top condition.
The outside “box” of your air conditioning system is called the “condenser.” That’s what acts as the heat exchanger between your home and the outside. Those cooling vanes in the condenser act like your car’s radiator by taking heat to the outdoors. Dust and debris can clog the cooling vanes, making them much less efficient. Dirty cooling vanes can diminish system efficiency as much as a dirty filter can. Use a garden hose (not a brush, or a high-pressure washer, which can damage the fragile cooling vanes) to thoroughly rinse off the vanes.
It’s good practice to clean them (and weed/trim grass) around the condenser once a year, early in the season. Depending on your environment, you may need to clean more often.
02. Use public records to negotiate your salary
If you’re considering a job at a government institution, you can usually look up the salaries of other employees as these are often public record. Use that data to negotiate your own salary. You can usually Google around to find this info. For example, here is a database for California employees, and here’s one for Texas. It never hurts to have the info when they ask you what you hope to make.
03. If you are sick of NBC’s bad Olympics coverage…
If you live in the US and are sick of dealing with NBC’s tape delays and abysmal coverage, watch CBC or BBC’s coverage. Many cable and satellite packages include these channels.
04. If you accidentally dial 911…
Follow through with the call. You may panic and not say anything, then maybe hang up. You aren’t in trouble and you’ll actually waste more of the operator’s time by hanging up, because then they have to call you back to make sure there was no emergency. Just stay on the line and inform the operator it was in error. They will usually just ask for your name, and where you are calling from. In some department an officer may have to come and speak with you to confirm no emergency and that you’re not under duress. There’s no ticket for a misdial so don’t think that you committed a offense either.
05. How to give your screwdriver more torque
Some screwdriver handles are shaped so that a wrench can slide over them for more torque. This is also an advantage for square shank screwdrivers. You can put an open end wrench (or adjustable spanner) on the shank for better leverage.
In my experience, this can actually prevent you from stripping out the head. You can apply forward pressure against the handle so that the face of the screw driver is firmly seated, while applying steady force with the wrench in the other hand. If you are struggling with a tight screw the traditional way, you expend more energy wrestling with the rotation, often letting the head slip out.