Friday, Jul. 19th, 2019

Big Sky Community Organization announces groundbreaking event 
after raising $19 million

BIG SKY, Mont. (July 19, 2019) – Today the Big Sky Community Organization (BSCO) announced several major achievements in its “ALL IN. BIG SKY” campaign to create a multi-use community center and parkland—culminating in a groundbreaking for the project on Saturday, July 27, 2019, at 11 a.m. Groundbreaking festivities will take place at the future site in the Big Sky Town Center on the corner of Aspen Drive and Simkins Drive.

To date, BSCO has raised $19 million in less than nine months, including a recent, generous donation of $4 million from Jill and Nick Woodman—full-time Big Sky residents and the founders of GoPro who are raising their family here.

“We feel so lucky to call Big Sky home and contribute to the community-wide effort to make this center possible. Our mountain is awesome, but it’s the people of Big Sky that make this such a magical place. Having a gathering place will only make our community stronger and we’re beyond grateful to be a part of this amazing effort the Big Sky Community Organization has organized. We can’t wait for the doors to open!” says Nick Woodman.

BSCO has been encouraging everyone in Big Sky to get involved in the community space’s creation—whether through fundraising, showing up to support the cause, or simply spreading awareness. “Every gift counts,” states Ciara Wolfe, BSCO, Chief Executive Officer. “This campaign represents how Big Sky has evolved from a sometimes desolate and seasonal resort destination to a thriving community of thousands of committed, year-round residents and compassionate part-time residents, all of whom truly love this place and its people.” In addition to the Woodman’s gift, BSCO received four other charitable gifts of at least $1 million each and a $1.5 million grant of public funds from the Big Sky Resort Area Tax District, along with hundreds of other gifts of all sizes to get to this point.  

In recognition of the Woodman’s gift, the building will be named BASE. The name represents opportunities for every individual in Big Sky to lead a healthy, happy, engaged lifestyle, building the base of the community, and also describes the experiences that people will have at the BASE: Big Adventures, Safe Environment.

For more information about the community groundbreaking ceremony, to make a donation, or to learn more about the new BASE center, visit https://www.bscomt.org/all-in-big-sky.

About The Big Sky Community Organization
For more than 20 years, the Big Sky Community Organization has been striving to serve Big Sky by creating exceptional facilities, trails, public spaces and experiences through community collaborations and recreational opportunities. Its mission—to engage and lead people to recreational and enrichment opportunities through thoughtful development of partnerships, programs and places—has come to fruition through multiple successful initiatives including: Ousel Falls Open Space Park & Trailhead, Big Sky Community Park, RT & Ralph’s Beehive Preserve, expansive community trail system, Camp Big Sky and more. All of these projects started as ideas, realized through community leadership, collaboration and philanthropy. To learn more about the Big Sky Community Organization, visit www.bscomt.org

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Monday, Jul. 15th, 2019

Erik Grumstrup wins prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Erik Grumstrup’s research focuses on the smallest of particles yet has the potential to make a big impact on the technologies we use every day, from computers to solar cells.


That potential was awarded last week when Grumstrup, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University, earned a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor the U.S. government gives to independent researchers near the beginning of their careers.

“It was really a surprise, honestly,” Grumstrup said.

According to a release from the White House, PECASE winners “show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.” The award draws from recipients of early career awards through 10 government agencies, in this case the U.S. Department of Energy.

Nicol Rae, dean of the College of Letters and Science said the award is “wonderful recognition” for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Materials Science Graduate Program at MSU.
“Eric is one of MSU’s outstanding junior scientists, and I am very proud of his achievement in securing the highly prestigious PECASE award,” Rae said.

The PECASE honors those who are doing more than conducting innovative research. Awardees must also have a commitment to outreach, education and leadership within their community.

“This PECASE award is a well-deserved recognition of an extraordinary young faculty member,” said chemistry and biochemistry department head Joan Broderick. “Erik's research is characterized by creativity, combined with an unusual breadth of understanding across the fields of chemistry, physics and materials science. He is also an outstanding and inspiring mentor to the research students working in his lab.”

Grumstrup considers his path to be one paved by a host of mentors, including a high school chemistry teacher who sparked his interest in the science and an undergraduate professor who pushed him to consider graduate school and research to continue his education.

“It’s exciting to be that person for young people as well,” he said.

Grumstrup has been at MSU since 2014, when he was the first person hired for the Materials Science Graduate Program, a collaboration with Montana Tech and the University of Montana that spans the fields of chemistry, physics and engineering. His lab now houses more than 10 researchers ranging from the undergraduate to postdoctoral level who study materials based on the way electrons move through them.

“We are doing what I really believe is world-class research,” Grumstrup said. “I think this reward reflects the capabilities of our students.”

Technology, Grumstrup said, is governed by physical laws. He recalls the “systematic march” of computer processor speeds in the 1990s and early 2000s, with each new model drastically faster than the one before. Today, those speeds have all but topped out near 3 GHz due to fundamental limitations of the materials used, Grumstrup explained.

“What really compels me to go forward is trying to push that boundary back a little bit,” Grumstrup said. “If we understand properties that exist in the universe and discover how to use these properties to our advantage, there are infinite possibilities.”  

Material defects hinder the movement of electrons and thus prevent technologies from reaching higher levels of efficiency. The Grumstrup Research Group looks at the movement of these microscopic particles within substances to understand these defects in materials at the very basic level in hopes of finding a way to remove obstacles from the electrons’ paths.

To conduct the research, Grumstrup works in tiny increments of time. Lasers to test electron movement pulse in picoseconds — trillionths of a second — and femtoseconds — which are a thousand times smaller yet. There are more femtoseconds in one hour than there are seconds in the entire 13.7-billion-year history of the universe. The lasers are fast enough to capture slight changes in color as electrons absorb and use energy.  

"We’re making significant contributions toward understanding, particularly in next generation solar materials,” Grumstrup said.

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Friday, Jul. 12th, 2019

Summer Hunter Education courses offered throughout southwest Montana

Hunter and Bowhunter Education courses have been scheduled in several locations throughout southwestern Montana this summer. Registration has opened for many of those courses. 

Students can find the course closest to them and register online at fwp.mt.gov/education/hunter

Students may be required to pick up materials and complete the course manual before the first day of class. Dates, locations and specific instructions for each class, as well as contact information for the instructors, are available in the event description online.  

A student must be at least 10 years old to register for Montana Hunter Education courses. Students ages 10-11 can take the course and hunt as an apprentice but will not be fully certified until the year they turn 12. There is no maximum age limit. Students must attend all classroom sessions, the field course and pass a final exam. Anyone age 18 or older can complete an online course but must still attend a field course to become certified. 


To purchase a Montana hunting license, any person born after Jan. 1, 1985, must provide proof of having successfully completed a hunter and/or bowhunter education course issued by Montana, any other state or any Canadian province.

Hunter and bowhunter education courses are led by volunteer instructors who are passionate about preserving Montana’s hunting tradition, teaching firearm safety and other outdoor skills. Instructors are needed in communities across southwest Montana. If you are interested in mentoring new hunters, please contact Morgan Jacobsen, Region 3 information and education program manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, at 406-994-6931 or visit fwp.mt.gov/education/hunter for more information. 

The following courses have been scheduled, but additional courses may be posted later this year.

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Faces of the Continental Divide: Sharing Stories, Connecting Communities

This summer, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) will partner with recreation, conservation, and community organizations and the diverse communities along the Continental Divide to invite people to connect with their public lands through a series of events and storytelling: Faces of the Continental Divide: Sharing Stories, Connecting Communities

Beginning on July 13, at the start of Latino Conservation Week, and ending on National Public Lands Day on September 28, Faces of the Continental Divide will highlight the diverse communities along the Continental Divide engaged in outdoor recreation and conservation and celebrate their relationships with public lands.“Too often we only see one image of who participates in outdoor recreation,” said Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. “That image simply doesn’t reflect the diverse communities who value the landscapes of the Rocky Mountain West. It’s time to share a more complete picture of who cares for and loves our natural places.”  

Throughout the summer, the CDTC will engage with local groups along the length of the Continental Divide from New Mexico to Montana to underscore the importance of providing access to the outdoors for all people. Joining forces with organizations already working to change the face of public lands, such as Denver Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), Big City Mountaineers, Hispanic Access Foundation, and Latino Outdoors, CDTC aims to inspire new people to explore the Continental Divide, as well as to amplify the often untold stories of communities who value and steward its lands. From day hikes and overnight backpacking trips to an outdoor poetry workshop, Faces of the Continental Divide events are as varied as the landscapes they span.  

Many Faces of the Continental Divide events are open to the public and free of charge. CDTC is offering resources to help plan and publicize events for groups interested in organizing an event, and financial assistance to support transportation and meals is made possible with support from the Hydro Flask Parks for All Charitable Giving Program and REI Co-op. Gear loans are also available thanks to in-kind donations from Osprey. 

As part of these efforts, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition will also spend the summer collecting and sharing stories of participants’ connections to the landscapes of the Rocky Mountain West. The stories will be catalogued and showcased on the CDTC’s website and communications and will provide a more comprehensive perception of how people in the Rocky Mountain West connect to landscapes, the Trail, and conservation as a whole. 

In Las Cruces, N.M., the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Latino Outdoors, and Hispanic Access Foundation will team up to raft the Rio Bravo as part of this effort. 

“The history of the Rio Bravo in southern New Mexico is deeply tied to our cultural and traditional uses of the river, from Indigenous to Mexican American communities today. Floating the Rio Bravo allows us to explore that culture, history, and tradition, and to encourage new stewards of our water and natural resources here in the Chihuahuan Desert,” said Gabe Vasquez, founder of the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project.

By encouraging communities to connect with their own story of conservation, Faces of the Continental Divide will show that although some communities are absent from the current narrative, they are conservationists nonetheless.  

“Outdoor recreation and conservation have typically been white-dominated spaces in spite of the changing face of America. But the reality is that it will take urban and underserved communities and people of color to lead this fight into the future if we want to protect the land, water, and natural resources that we all collectively use and cherish,” Vasquez said.

Faces of the Continental Divide was made possible by a grant award from Hydro Flask’s Parks for All program and donations from REI Co-Op. Events will take place from July 13 to September 28, 2019. View a map of events, sign up to host your own event, or tell your story at continentaldividetrail.org/faces. 

About the Continental Divide Trail
The CDT is one of the world’s premiere long-distance trails, stretching 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. Designated by Congress in 1978, the CDT is the highest, most challenging and most remote of the 11 National Scenic Trails. It provides recreational opportunities ranging from hiking to horseback riding to hunting for thousands of visitors each year. While 95% of the CDT is located on public land, approximately 150 miles are still in need of protection. 

About the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
The CDTC was founded in 2012 by volunteers and recreationists hoping to provide a unified voice for the Trail. Working hand-in-hand with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal land management agencies, the CDTC is a non-profit partner supporting stewardship of the CDT. The mission of the CDTC is to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a world-class national resource. For more information, please visit continentaldividetrail.org.

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Black bear euthanized due to multiple conflicts in Bozeman

A black bear was humanely euthanized this week after multiple conflicts with humans and livestock in Bozeman.
 
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks was first notified of the two-year-old male bear on June 28 when it was seen at a Bozeman residence in the middle of the day. Additional reports followed on July 2 when the bear was seen in other residential areas along Bridger Drive and Hillside Lane.
 
On July 5, a homeowner found the bear in a pen with goats and chickens, chasing the animals. Montana law allows property owners to kill predators found in the act of pursuing livestock. The homeowner shot at the bear, and the bear left.
 
During the day on July 9, the bear visited a residence in the Story Hills area, where it was on a deck and at the back door of the house. Residents there attempted to chase it off and deter it with rubber slugs, but the bear did not leave.
 
FWP biologists set traps and made repeated attempts to capture the bear as its presence was reported. Photos, videos and descriptions from witnesses indicate the same bear was involved in each incident.
 
Additional reports came on July 11 as the bear was seen on Haggerty Lane and, later, following a woman who was walking two dogs in Lindley Park. The bear was eventually darted and captured that day along Bozeman Creek, with help from the Bozeman Police Department and Animal Control Officers.
 
FWP’s bear management policies guide the agency’s actions in dealing with captured bears. In this case, the bear was clearly habituated to receiving food rewards in urban areas and being undeterred by humans, posing risks to property and public safety. Based on these factors, FWP decided to euthanize this bear humanely.

“This is a sad news story with an all-too-common sad ending,” said Mark Deleray, FWP’s Regional Supervisor in Bozeman. “At Fish, Wildlife and Parks, we manage for wildlife—the key word being wild. Unfortunately, this bear was habituated, received food rewards, attacked livestock and showed no fear of humans. In these cases, we have no choice but to remove the bear.”

Bear captures in urban areas are not uncommon in southwest Montana. So far this year, FWP has captured five bears in Gallatin County. Most of those bears were relocated. While the circumstances of any bear capture can vary, food rewards from humans are a common factor in most bear captures. The bear captured this week, for example, frequented homes with bird feeders.

 
“Our goal is to keep wildlife in the wild,” Deleray said. “In today’s world it is getting harder to do so as our urban interface with wildlife expands. It is very difficult to control wild animal behavior, but we have a better chance of modifying human behavior to reduce conflicts with wildlife.”
 
State statute prohibits people from intentionally feeding wildlife, and doing so is a citable offense. Bears habituated to unsecured food sources from humans can pose repeated threats to human safety and property throughout communities.
 
Residents can help eliminate the need to relocate or destroy bears by securing feed, garbage and other attractants. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee has compiled resources for reducing conflicts with bears, both in the wild and in urban areas. To learn more, please visit IGBConline.org.
 

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Thursday, Jul. 11th, 2019

Why Montana May Be A Budding Travel Hotspot

Many people traveling to the U.S. dismiss Montana as a potential tourism destination. However, trends in tourism come and go, and this state has some unique opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere, so it certainly should not be forgotten. And given some of the attractions listed below - some established, some new, and some just waiting to be noticed by the masses - we wouldn't bet against Montana becoming something of a tourism hotspot in the next decade or so. 



Montana Is Rich In Culture And History



Montana is home to several sites that capture American history in ways that other attractions don't exactly do. For instance, one of the top historical monuments to visit in the state is the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, which commemorates Native American tribes defeating U.S. troops. Other fascinating historical stops are in the famous "ghost towns," or preserved towns from the Old West that are no longer operational or inhabited, but provide fascinating snapshots of the past. Now, these aren't new attractions - but as some other aspects of the state draw in new tourists, these attractions are just waiting to keep them occupied and interested.




Montana Is Home To Glacier National Park



National parks have always been Montana’s tourism highlights, but that doesn’t mean they will ever become less fascinating. In fact there's an argument to be made that as climate change becomes a bigger issue and environmental preservation efforts intensify, such parks will be valued even more as destinations. Glacier National Park, known as the "Crown of the Continent," sits in the northwest corner of the state. And no matter what level of adventure any tourist may be seeking, the park will have something to offer. For those who want to get up close to some massive ice formations, day hikes on the Many Glacier trail will be amazing; those who would prefer to drive through the park than get sweaty on a hike can enjoy the picturesque Going-to-the-Sun Road, either in their own cars or via the park's shuttle service. There are plenty of fun options, all revolving around natural beauty that's going to be easier and easier to appreciate. 




Sports Betting Is Now Legal In Montana



Along with a few other states in the U.S., Montana has recently decided to make sports betting legal. It was actually the first state to legalize the activity in the current year, possibly setting a precedent for followers. This will inevitably make watching sports more interesting in Montana, whether it's live on the field or in a local sports bar, and until betting is widespread it could be a tourist draw in and of itself. Some countries like the UK have long-established internet betting traditions and provide free online options for new players, which is how a lot of Americans will envision sports betting working. However, as a new member of the sports-betting community, Montana will be keeping its betting to the physical realm (for now). If anything though, this may only mean the emergence of new, fun venues showcasing sports, serving food, and taking bets. 



Montana Is Filled With Natural Spas



One of the best things about going on vacation is taking time to relax and refresh. Montana is a great place for this, with its wide variety of hot springs that are said to have healing properties thanks to their naturally-occurring mineral content. Although they may not date back quite as far, these spas are similar attractions to those in popular European destinations like Budapest or Seville. They exist in a variety of venues; some have been renovated into contemporary tiled pools with luxury spa facilities built around them, while others are still untouched pools in the earth. Both options are just waiting to be enjoyed by a potential influx of tourists looking for things like untouched natural splendor or gambling activity. 



Some of these attractions and activities will be familiar to Montana residents, and some have been around for quite some time. But between established draws and those that may become more popular in time, these are a few of the things that could serve a more active tourism industry in the near future.

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MSU nursing professor's research cited in Time magazine story about opioid crisis


A recent article about solutions to the national opioid crisis that appeared in Time magazine featured the work of Montana State University nursing professor and health care economist Peter Buerhaus.

The piece, “One Possible Solution to the Opioid Crisis in the U.S. Has Been Inexplicably Ignored,” was published online June 24 as part of the Time Ideas series. It was written by Tommy Thompson, who served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2005 and as the 42nd governor of Wisconsin, and David Hebert, CEO of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

The authors noted that a new report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisors on how to “beat back America’s opioid crisis” highlighted as potential solutions measures like curbing illicit drug trafficking, reducing over-prescribing in doctors’ offices and cracking down on drug distributors fueling the epidemic for profit. However, they wrote that one measure was missing from the report: nurse practitioners.

Primary care professionals serve on the front lines of the opioid crisis, Thompson and Hebert wrote, but there is a severe shortage of such professionals across the country, particularly in rural areas. They noted that currently, nearly 80% of Americans addicted to opioids aren’t receiving treatment.

“Without access to primary care professionals, addicted patients struggle to receive the care they need,” they wrote.

To address the shortage of primary care professionals, Thompson and Hebert suggest turning to nurse practitioners. And they pointed to Buerhaus’ research showing that nurse practitioners could make a significant difference.

“Between 2016 and 2030, the number of (nurse practitioners) in the workforce is projected to grow by 6.8% annually, according to a study from Peter Buerhaus, a healthcare economist and professor of nursing at Montana State University,” they wrote. “The report also found that these (nurse practitioners) will be far more likely to practice in rural and underserved regions.”

The authors add that, although some states limit where and how nurse practitioners can practice, studies have shown that nurse practitioners provide care that’s just as good as—and sometimes better than—physicians.

“Empowering nurse practitioners to treat addiction—and removing unnecessary restrictions at the state level—can go a long way in liberating American patients,” Thompson and Hebert concluded.

Buerhaus is well-known for his studies and publications on the nursing and physician workforces in the United States. Some of his research indicates that nurse practitioners are more likely than medical doctors to practice in rural areas and that people living in rural areas tend to have the least access to a primary care clinician (primary care doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants).

Buerhaus is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and, in 2010, was appointed chairman of the National Health Care Workforce Commission. The commission was created under the Affordable Care Act to advise Congress and the administration on health workforce policy.

In addition to his work as a professor, Buerhaus also serves as director of the MSU Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies.

The full story is available at time.com/5612549/.

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Tuesday, Jul. 9th, 2019

Organizations in Bozeman to host 50th Anniversary of Apollo Moon Landing Parties

The Montana Science Center (MSC) is excited to host a Family Science Day for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing on July 20th. This event will be one of several community-wide events celebrating this moment in history. Events will be held at the American Computer and Robotics Museum, Bozeman Public Library and the Montana Science Center. Astronaut Loren Acton, will attend several of the events throughout the day including joining the American Computer and Robotics Museum’s event, and then attending the Montana Science Center event.


The event at MSC will be hosted all day, from 9:30am to closing at 5:00pm with special events from 11am – 2pm. The Science Center will feature space science and rocket activities throughout the day at the Science Station and MakerPlacer. During this time, the Science Center will feature activities such as stomp rockets, a moon landing photo booth, creating a “moon step” out of moon dough, creating a galaxy out of slime, trying out astronaut food and more. The moon landing footage will also be playing throughout the day and guest speakers will join in on storying telling of their experience in 1969.

MSC’s Executive Director, Abby Turner, states, “The Science Center is excited to be one of several organizations that created opportunities for the community to come together and celebrate a critical moment in our history’s innovation. This collaboration around Bozeman will acknowledge not only an auspicious date in history, but also the interactive programs available to the community for all ages.”

The Apollo 11 Moon Landing Party at MSC is open to the public and free with admission. Families will be able to explore the science center as well. The Montana Science Center is located at 202 S. Willson St. For more information, please contact Abby Turner at (406)522- 9087, or see our website at www.montanasciencecenter.org.

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FWP reminds boaters of hazardous river conditions

Two recreationists were caught in a hazardous spot on the Gallatin River in separate incidents last week where a cottonwood tree recently fell into the river. Both boaters were uninjured, but their watercrafts — a canoe and a paddle boat — became stuck in the log jam.  

This hazard is new and appeared recently between Logan and Missouri Headwaters State Park. But similar hazards exist in all rivers across the state and, like this one, are altered by constantly changing river flows. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds boaters to use caution everywhere they recreate. Boating, while enjoyable, is inherently dangerous. Boaters and other people who recreate on Montana’s waterbodies do so at their own risk. 

Historically, boating accidents are not uncommon in Montana. Between 1998 and 2018, 134 people died in boating accidents in the state. Of those fatalities, 71 occurred on a river. And in 73 percent of Montana’s drowning deaths, the victim was not wearing a life jacket. 

Here are several recommended precautions boaters can take to avoid accidents and injury: 
• Always wear a life jacket.
• Make sure the type of life jacket is appropriate for the activity.
• Montana law requires that children under age 12 wear a life jacket when they are in any boat shorter than 26 feet.
• Avoid downed trees and other visible hazards in the water.
• Practice situational awareness and know that dangerous conditions can appear and evolve without warning.
• Abide by Montana’s boating regulations. A copy of these regulations can be found online at fwp.mt.gov or at any FWP regional office.
• Follow vessel safety checklists provided by FWP and the U.S. Coast Guard, including an inventory of necessary rescue equipment. These checklists can be found online at fwp.mt.gov/recreation/safety/boating.
• Consult the U.S. Geological Survey for daily streamflow conditions. Avoid recreating on rivers during high flows.

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Wednesday, Jul. 3rd, 2019

Taking Care of Your Home Appliances


We’ve all had those crazy, super hectic situations where you’re running around, trying to do a million tasks all at once. Every time you finish one thing, the next item on your list is staring you right in the face.

No matter how many things you cross off, the list keeps coming. But then, the unexpected happens. Just after putting in a load of dishes, your dishwasher starts foaming at the seams. Soon, there’s a puddle of water and suds in and around your kitchen. It’s just another thing that needs to be added to the list.

You may have heard your parents, grandparents or yourself say “they don’t make ‘em like they used to.” Furniture always seems to get brought up in this conversation and so do any tech items. While a Nokia phone could withstand an atomic bomb, your new iPhone is being replaced every few years. But home appliances shouldn’t fall in that category. You’d rather not be shelling out money every year for a new dishwasher.

We need them to be reliable as we’re using them every day, often multiple times a day. They are supposed to stand the test of time.

Before calling a professional, what can you do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your home appliances? Check the list below to get started.

Regular Cleaning
Just like you need a shower every day, your appliances need regular cleaning as well. Amazingly enough, cleaning your everyday appliances is much easier than it may seem.

Take your fridge for example. While you should be cleaning the shelves and vegetable trays on a regular basis already, one of the best ways to ensure long life is by vacuuming the coils. Refrigerators and freezers don’t make stuff cold, they remove heat from inside the fridge. Take a small vacuum brush and do a one-two on the coils to remove all dust and debris. Bam, you’re finished!

Going to that tricky dishwasher, make sure you’re cleaning out the filter. It’s what catches large pieces of food and other debris and too much can block the drain hose. If the drain hose is blocked, expect to see more water outside the dishwasher than inside it.

With your oven, you can use the self-clean feature and simply brush away all the crumbs when you’re finished. On the top side, just clean your stove after you use it. Make sure nothing is blocking the gas burners, if you have them.

Last but not least, your water heater. Make sure you check your pressure relief valve to remove any excess pressure. If not, your water heater may start making bizarre sounds every now and then and you won’t be getting the desired pressure you need.

Take care of these small things first so you can get out and enjoy different fun activities.

Channel Your Inner DIY
If you see a problem, don’t immediately call a repairman. While you may know as much about appliance repair as you know about rocket science, there are still plenty of things you can do first.

Head online to look at YouTube videos and go onto some DIY forums. Chances are, there are plenty of other people who have had the same problem you have at one time or another so check online before reaching for the phone.


Choosing a Repair Service
There will be problems, however, that you just won’t be able to repair on your own and it will be time to call in an expert. Appliance repair companies are usually much cheaper than having to buy new.

If there are issues where you feel your appliance is affecting your safety, like your dryer giving off a burning smell, then it’s time to pick up the phone. Or if it's better half, the washing machine, is violently shaking and jumping out of place.

When it comes to your fridge, if it’s becoming hot to the touch or food is spoiling prematurely, that could be a sign of a bigger issue that will need an expert’s opinion.

When it comes to choosing a service, the best way is to look at online opinions and prices. Those with past experiences can shine a light on how responsive the company is, how willing they are to work with you and what else they can offer. In this business, online reviews and word of mouth are great ways to find your repairman.

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