How to Avoid Air Conditioner Repair Scams

Our home heating and air conditioning units play an integral part in giving us a comfortable everyday life. This is the reason why the maintenance and repair of these systems is a necessity. But like any unfamiliar area of home repair, there are also numerous scams surrounding aircon maintenance and repair services. The good news is there are some steps that you can take to avoid falling into these scams, as well as to ensure that you’re dealing with a reputable A/C service provider.

1. Perform a Background Check on the Company

The best way to avoid falling prey into scams is to do a background check on your potential service provider beforehand. Check the company’s license, insurance, certifications and affiliations. If the contractor isn’t affiliated with any reputable organizations in Singapore, then there’s a huge possibility that they’re not a reliable company and their technicians haven’t undergone any training or testing.

Sure, some aircon servicing companies might just be getting started in the industry, but that doesn’t excuse them from getting certified and licensed. Just like how you’d want someone with a medical degree to take care of your health, you’d also want to hire a professional to work on your HVAC system needs.

2. Educate Yourself

Educating yourself is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting scammed. If you’re installing a new air conditioning unit, take note of all the questions and calculations that your Singapore technician mentions. Understand that the size of your new A/C system depends on the size of your home, the number of people residing, as well as the number of windows in the place. If you need aircon repair or maintenance, however, then familiarize yourself with the common problems and parts of your HVAC system.

3. Beware of Offers That are Too Good to be True

Although a limited time low price offer seems like a great deal for someone looking for an affordable repair service, know that it’s just another scam in the A/C services industry. Contractors who use this promos won’t tell you that it’ll actually cost you more, especially when you call them back to have your air conditioning unit fixed again. So beware of such offers, as this is a repair service scam that you’d definitely want to avoid.

4. Request a Written Quote

Asking for a written quote for your repair job is always a good idea; it informs you of all the details of the work and holds the technician accountable for the entire job. Having a written estimate also allows you to perform further research about the problems of your unit and total cost of the aircon repair job. Other than that, you can also call a different HVAC company to compare service prices.

5. Inquire About Any Unclear Details in Your Quote

Confused about something? Are there any details in your quote that you don’t quite understand? If so, don’t hesitate to ask your aircon servicing contractor about it. He should be happy and willing to answer all your queries and educate you about your air conditioning unit. Your contractor might be the one who’ll repair your unit, but it also pays to understand all the details in your quote since you’ll be paying for it.

6. Get a Second Opinion

An air conditioner repair service isn’t as expensive as you thought it would be. If you happen to receive a large estimate from a certain contractor, call another service provider and get a second opinion about your problem. This is quite crucial, especially if one company suggested to replace your entire A/C system. You’ll be surprised to find out that the repair job that you need doesn’t cost as much as you originally thought.

7. Avoid Contractors Who Require Full Payment at Once

When doing an air conditioning repair, most service providers in Singapore typically ask their clients for a down payment before they start working on the repair job. But if your prospective contractor asks you to pay in full even before the repair job begins, then consider it as a red flag for an A/C repair scam. These contractors have a reputation of charging their clients with an absurd fee and doing poor quality work in return.

8. Ensure Your Contractor Specializes in Your A/C Unit

A good way to avoid falling into any aircon servicing scams is to make sure that your prospective service provider is experienced and certified to work on your specific A/C system. Check the contractor’s website to see the air conditioning that they’re qualified to fix. If you want, you can also call the manufacturer of your A/C unit to ask if they know a technician who specializes in repairing your particular aircon model.

9. Ask for the Part That was Replaced

If your technician informs you that they removed an old or broken part from your air conditioning unit, have them show you that particular part. If you’re sceptical with the repair job that they’ve done, bring the part to another professional and ask for a second opinion.

10. Schedule Regular A/C Maintenance

Regularly maintaining your A/C unit is another way of avoiding repair job scams, as it allows you to get a better idea of your system’s current condition. Being that lack of maintenance is a common cause of system failure, having your air conditioning unit regularly checked also reduces the chances of needing emergency repairs in the future – thus, reducing the likelihood of getting scammed by an A/C repair contractor.

Having a broken heating or air conditioning unit is never a pleasant experience, and getting scammed by a technician makes it even worse. So remember to put these tips to work as you start your search for an A/C service provider in Singapore, so you get to find someone who’s reputable and experienced to fix your air conditioning unit.

The Bottom Line: What is VoIP Good For?

More and more businesses are adapting a cloud VoIP or hosted pabx system to cater their company’s communication needs. VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is also commonly known as internet calling. It is one alternative into making phone calls that can be very cheap in comparison with using the traditional telephone lines. At times, the calls can even be completely free.

VoIP reigns as the most successful technology developed over the past decade. As of the moment, the current VoIP technology most of us enjoy is being deployed in a rapid pace across many places around the globe, and there are still a lot of VoIP components that are in the process of development. The latter is undoubtedly something to look forward to.

Having a pbx phone system, which is powered by VoIP, allows smooth communication between personnel and external parties alike. This is highly convenient for companies which outsource staff from various parts of the globe. Implementing the system is also one means to reduce operating costs. With that, VoIP remains as a famous option for many business owners in Singapore because of increased revenues running on decreased costs.

Another reason why a lot of people prefer VoIP is because of its competent and up-to-date services. Current VoIP technology can be viewed as a hybrid, since it integrates functions and features from a number of existing services. Some conventional features of your old telephone service are joined with handy features found in modern data network services.

How does VoIP work?

Once a cloud VoIP phone call is made, a communication channel or line is established between both the caller and the called party over internet protocol. The call is transmitted over data networks. VoIP conversations are simultaneously converted into binary data packets as it is streamed in real time, leaving no room for dead air or a waiting period.

VoIP by a good provider like in SIngapore makes communication possible regardless of where you are in the world through converting binary data and transferring actual human voice. When the designated packets arrive at their destination, they are converted once again into standard telephone conversation. Thanks to the many technological advancements in our time, the process of this voice conversion into data and vice versa only takes less than a few milliseconds. This allows real time conversation to take place from one caller to the other.

What is it good for?

Reduced costs

As was previously mentioned in this article, more and more people are availing the services of VoIP technology because it remarkably cuts down communication costs. We all know how regular telephone costs can get pricey — especially if conversations last for a couple of minutes and if you’re calling overseas. Thanks to VoIP, adapting an IP PBX telephone system can effectively cater to your company’s communication needs minus the additional expense.

Efficient features

VoIP can be customized according to your business’ needs. With that, you can add more features to improve the interaction between your personnel and also with customers. A lot of companies in Singapore favor this because by so doing, you can render the system more efficient and improve its quality. Not only did VoIP revolutionized voice calling across continents, but it also made communication through various platforms and devices competent.

People use VoIP for free

Most people use VoIP for free. As long as you have access to a computer with working speakers and microphone, together with a stable internet connection, you can make calls using a hosted pabx or cloud VoIP for free. This can also be done with your smartphone or even your home phone. The system transfers the call’s data through standard internet infrastructure using IP protocol, thus you don’t have to pay more.

Cheaper than standard phone calls

While VoIP is free, the service comes with a price when it is used to replace the traditional PSTN system completely. It’s still relatively cheaper in comparison with standard phone calls, though. This is beneficial especially when taking international calls into account. Some companies adapting a pbx phone system, which is powered by VoIP, effectively cut down their communication costs by 90% thanks to the magic of the system.

A growing trend

While this technology is still relatively new, the implementation of an IP PBX telephone system and other communication systems powered by VoIP has received wide acceptance and use. This can be observed in countries like Singapore where only a few businesses remained and stuck with the plain old telephone system. Admittedly, there is still a lot to improve about the new technology, but it is also expected to contribute further technological advances in the many years to come.

Regularly updated

Of course, just like any other communication systems, VoIP also has some drawbacks regardless of the many benefits it brings. Poor voice quality and weak transmission of calls due to unstable internet connection are only some of the few. Although issues arise from time to time, the VoIP technology is being regularly updated to address concerns and improve its whole system. Its worldwide use has also prompted the need for new considerations on its guidelines and security.

The widespread use of VoIP technology has undoubtedly made our lives convenient. While relatively new and with a number of issues and concerns rising from time to time, the system has revolutionized voice calls. Gone were the days we all worried over the total amount of our telephone bills especially when we’ve made overseas contact. Thanks to the wonders of VoIP, we can now make calls anytime and anywhere which is cheaper than your traditional phone — if not entirely free!

The 12 Best Nintendo Exclusive Games

They say that if you want to play the best exclusive games in the industry, you need to own at least one Nintendo handheld or console. These are the best it has to offer.

1. Animal Crossing Series
This series is a type of community simulation game. The player controls a human character who gets to live in a village inhabited by animals. The first game was released in 2001. It has a total of 4 games and 2 spin-offs.

2. Deadly Creatures
Published for Wii, Deadly Creatures allows the player control a scorpion or a tarantula to fight other animals such as insects, arachnids, rats and reptiles. The scorpion has a different fighting style than the tarantula.

3. Fire Emblem Series
The first game was released in 1990. To date, there is a total of 15 games in the series including the remakes. One of the features in the game is the idea of permanent death of one of the characters.

4. Hotel Dusk Room 215
Released in 2007 for Nintendo DS, the player controls Kyle Hyde who has to solve puzzles after he was given Room 215, said to be able to grant whatever he wished.

5. Mario Kart Series
The first game was released in 1992. These kart racing games feature characters from the beloved Super Mario series. To date, there are 12 titles for both arcades and consoles.

6. Metroid Series
The first title under this series was released in 1986. It features the bounty hunter Samus Aran as she tries to fight off the Space Pirates who are attacking the Metroids. To date, there are 11 titles including the latest released in 2016.

7. Pokemon Series
The list wouldn’t be complete without this iconic franchise. The first Pokemon game for Game Boy was released in 1998. There are a total of Seven Generations of games to date as well as spin-off games for consoles and PC.

8. Pushmo
This puzzle game was released in 2011 for Nintendo 3DS. The objective is simple: control Mallo and move the blocks to create platforms and steps so that the children who were trapped in the structures can be released.

9. Super Mario 3D Land
Released for Nintendo 3DS in 2011, this is a new type of Mario game that incorporates familiar elements from the old games and the free-roaming feature in the new games. The objective is for Mario to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser.

10. The Last Story
Released for Wii in 2011, this role-playing game features the island called Lazulis, threatened by an unknown force that’s slowly draining its life. The player controls Zael and gives instructions to otehr characters during battles.

11. The Legend of Zelda Series
The first title was released in 1986. Some games from this series are considered among the best. The story follows the lead character Link whose primary objective is to rescue Princess Zelda fom Ganon.

12. The World Ends With You
Released in 2007, this role-playing game features Neku Sakuraba and his friends Shiki, Joshua and Beat who were made to play a game and have to survive Underground, an alternate plane of existence.

The 10 Best Xbox Exclusive Games

One of the appeals of Xbox exclusives is that some of the titles can also be played on a PC. Take a look at some of the most iconic games for this platform.

1. Alan Wake
Marketed as a psychological action thriller, the game was released for PC and Xbox 360 in 2010. The format follows the usual thriller television series. The game contains a total of 8 episodes where the player controls the protagonist Alan Wake as he fights the Taken.

2. Dance Central Series
This rhythm game was first released in 2010. To date, there are four games under this title. Players have to use the Kinect to play this game, a great way to exercise without going to the gym. The objective is to follow the dance moves while the Kinect tracts the movements.

3. Forza Series
The first title of this racing video game series was released in 2005. To date, there are two major sub-series called Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon. The game emulates various real-life and modified cars. Some of the games can also be played on PC.

4. Gears of War Series
Subterranean reptile-human hybrids called Locust Horde join forces with humans to fight off their mutated cousins called The Swarm and The Lambent. The first title was released in 2006. To date, there are a total of 5 games in the series. Some can be played on PC.

5. Halo Series
The first installment was released in 2001. It follows the story of the interstellar war between an alliance of aliens called Covenant against the humans. It features the protagonists Master Chief John-117 and Cortana, and later Noble Six. The games can also be played on PC.

6. Lost Odyssey
Kaim has lost his memory so he has to fight the coming magical industrial revolution to learn of his past. Released in 2007, this role-playing game features a turn-based fighting system in a world where random enemies can appear.

7. Ori and the Blind Forest
This platforming game was released in 2015 and can also be played on PC. The protagonist Ori is a spirit guardian. He is accompanied by another character named Sein. The objective is to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles by climbing and jumping.

8. Rare Replay
Released in 2015, this is a compilation of 30 games developed by Ultimate Play the Game and Rare. Some of the games included are Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Jetpac, Slalom, and R.C. Pro-Am.

9. Sunset Overdrive
Released in 2014, this Xbox One-exclusive open-world shooter lets the player control one of the employees of FizzCo to fight mutated humans who drank a beverage from the company. The game is set in the dystopian Sunset City.

10. Titanfall
This first-person shooter was released in 2014. The players control the Titans during a six-on-six match set in war-ravaged space colonies. It only has online multiplayer mode and no offline single-player option.

5 Practical Tips on Buying Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Choosing the best commercial kitchen equipment for personal use or for your food business can be a tricky thing to sort out. There are inevitable choices you have to make, such as whether to opt to buy brand new or used kitchen equipment, and each decision should be settled through a thorough deliberation process. Keep in mind that the equipment you use in preparing your meals is crucial to the success of your cooking. They will either help you or give you headaches in the long run, and you’d do well to avoid the latter as much as possible.

Cooking should be a pleasant experience for everyone. Whether someone is already an adept cook or still learning how to do things properly, the kitchen must have equipment that will enable anyone to prepare food without any hassle or any drawbacks. Of course you’d only want the best, hence this article will be of great help in assisting you on how to efficiently shop kitchen equipment.

1. Start with the essentials

If you are on tight budget, starting with the kitchen must-haves is a good decision, especially if you do not want to spend that much to begin with. Some of the essentials every kitchen must have are: a pan designated for everyday use; to help you deal with almost every basic recipe and even do some little baking, a saucepan; and for when you begin to make sauces and the like, a covered casserole.

Other equipment such as refrigerators and freezers such as those from kitchen venture in Singapore in Singapore are also essential to help preserve food longer. You will also need a stove to cook in your kitchen. You also have to get hold of kitchenware such as knives, kitchen tongs, and the like. It is important to equip your kitchen with the necessary tools in order to help you prepare and cook your meals well.

2. Opt to buy commercial-grade equipment

Buying commercial-grade equipment is considered an investment in the long run considering the many times you use it to prepare countless meals. If you buy the best—within your budget, that is—you are likely to prepare food much more efficiently. These tools will help you run the operations in the kitchen smoothly, thus increasing your productivity and enjoyment. Aside from that, these equipment are also generally easier to clean and much more durable, since they were designed with heavy and constant use in mind.

Meet up with a local kitchen equipment supplier to become familiar with the best brands today. If you disclose your budget from the start, chances are you will also be provided with the best plausible options you can take.

3. Buy new, if possible

If your budget allows it, opt to buy new commercial kitchen equipment. Buying brand new is likely to fall in your favor as it will save you from repair costs and other headaches down the road of your business’ journey. You will also be granted the peace-of-mind that you are using something that will remain in proper functioning for the years to come, as long as you handle it properly.

Another perk attached to buying new equipment is that it comes with warranty. Hence for a covered period of time, you don’t have to worry about contacting a local technician to do the repairs nor worry over costs for their services. This perk will protect you against any chance malfunctions, ensuring you that the tool is worth buying.

4. Buy used when practical

When operating on a strict budget, it is likely that you can’t have the option of buying new. Buying used is your best alternative in instances like these. There are premium brand secondhand equipment sold in the market that you can acquire for half the price of a brand new one. Stoves and ovens for instance, which can typically cost you a couple hundred dollars, can be bought for a much lower price in secondhand stores. The money you’ll save from buying used equipment can be allocated to other costs instead, such as buying meal ingredients in bulk.

In Singapore, there are a number of kitchen equipment auctions and even online website auctions you can check. It is best that you have a talk with your kitchen equipment supplier and see if there are relevant details you can get hold of. Who knows, there might be an auction happening next block tomorrow.

5. Inspect any scratches or dents

Regardless of whether you decide to buy new or used commercial kitchen equipment, there are instances of factory malfunctions that arise every now and then. It is then wise to thoroughly inspect your equipment for any scratch or dent in order to get the best of your money’s worth. You have to be extra cautious when buying brand new, especially if you’re putting out lots of dollars on a single tool.

In buying secondhand, however, it is often difficult to find something that hasn’t obviously been through wear and tear. What you can do instead is to ensure that these minor imperfections won’t affect the performance of the unit in the long run.

Remember that an investment in your kitchen equipment can play a crucial role in the success of your business, especially if you’re planning to generate revenue off your cooking. Considering you’re only in the beginning phase of your business, there might be financial restrictions, but having a strict budget is not necessarily a hindrance for you to get quality equipment. A number of shops in Singapore will offer you generous options. Weigh the options you may take for every situation, and anchor every decision based on what is good for your business.

5 Powerful Ways to Get in Touch With Yourself


A lot of emphasis is put on developing strong relationships with people around us, but only a few knows that the best way to create good relationships is to start within ourselves.

Building healthy relationship with yourself is not just about thinking how to boost your confidence, but it’s more about knowing and accepting your flaws, knowing your worth and practicing balance in your life.  There’s no one way to learn to be more comfortable of yourself, but it surely takes time and effort to get to that phase.

  1. Accept Your Flaws

Acknowledge that you’re not a perfect person and you will never be one. Accept your flaws and scars and view it as something you should be proud of, instead of something to hide away. Realize that every person has something in them that they’re not proud of, but this makes them unique. Be brave enough to embrace these imperfections—may it be physical, mental or emotional—that the society doesn’t see as perfect.

  1. Keep Trying

Regardless of what’s happening in your life, never stop believing in yourself and never give up. Failure and rejection is part of like and everyone has to go through it. The next time you experience rejection, view it as an opportunity to prove to people that they’re wrong and to do better the next time around. Accept failure and think of it as a new opportunity to improve and do more.

  1. Let Go of Toxic People

If there are people in your life who constantly make you feel bad or seem to bring you down when there’s something good happening to you, let them go—you don’t deserve such negativity. While it’s hard to let go, you’ll see so much change and feel more relieved afterwards.

  1. Know Your Worth

Re-evaluate what you deserve. If you’re with a partner who’s treating you disrespectfully, reflect and ask yourself why continue the relationship with them. If you’re working on a job that doesn’t make you feel good or proud of your works, ask yourself if this is truly what’s for you. Think a moment to reflect and think about what you really want in your life and make the necessary changes to achieve what you want and be the person what you want to be.

  1. Go On a Solo Trip

There is nothing like taking a solo trip to a new place to get to know yourself more. Treat yourself and take a time off to explore places you’ve never been before. It’s incredible to discover things you thought you cannot do on your own, experience new sights and tastes and just be in a serene place where you can get re-acquainted with yourself.

The best way to live a happy life and create healthy relationships is to build a strong connection with yourself first. Knowing yourself more and accepting the things you cannot change is the key to creating and maintaining your relationship with others.

5 Tips to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move


Whether you’re a mover from a rented home to a condo or are trading a two-bedroom for a studio type space, you will have to bid goodbye to some of your things because of a more limited space. Stressed out of how to reduce the things you will be bringing to your new home? Here are five top tips to downsize in a snap.

  1. Assess the New Home

Get a hold of the layout of your new place. Find out exactly the size of every room, and then decide which furniture can move with you. Knowing the size of the rooms allows you to estimate whether or not a furnishing will fit and let you visualize how to arrange stuffs in it. This will greatly help in making decisions a bit easier.

  1. Start Planning Early

If you wait until you’ll have to sign a contract for your new home, you’ll likely get overwhelmed and just take everything with you. Avoid cramming, so start going through your things as soon as you decide to move. When you have enough time to pack, the more you’ll be able to reduce your belongings and only bring the most important items with you.

  1. Heavily Edit Least Sentimental Parts of the House

For example, the kitchen; most people do not need eight mixing bowls and won’t resent for losing a spatula. If you are downsizing from a house to a condo, focus on the garage and basement. The lawn mower, shovels and ladder are unnecessary to your new home; and that giant cabinet in your basement, you can also live it behind.

  1. Ask Yourself Questions When In Doubt

If you’re in doubt whether to keep or get rid of an item, ask yourself if it is useful, when was the last time you reached for it, how often you use it and where you will keep it in your new home. If it sounds like it’s going to be useful, then bring it. If otherwise, proceed to the next step.

  1. Sell and Donate

As much as possible, do not throw anything. Sell or donate things that are still in good condition. As tempting as it is to just throw away wire hangers and furnishings, be environmentally friendly and let those items find a new home. Give them away to a neighbour, to a shelter or your cleaning lady.

After you have managed to pack everything up, relax and celebrate this major event. Have dinner with your family, go out with friends or treat yourself to a relaxing massage. You deserve it.