Spending Less On Appliances

3 Appliance Problems That Can Increase Your Electric Bill

If your electric bill seems to be higher than it should be, even though you are careful about how much electricity you and your family members use, you may want to investigate several of your electric appliances to see if you can find the culprit. Sometimes, appliances use more electricity than they should—even though they seem to work fine. Here are 3 appliance problems that could cause your electric bill to increase and how to fix them. Clothes Dryer—Cool Down Thermostat Your clothes dryer uses a cool down thermostat at the end of the drying cycle. This thermostat will stop the drum from tumbling when it detects that the drum has reached a certain temperature that has been preset by the manufacturer. When the drum comes to a stop, it will signal to you that the cycle is complete by sounding an alarm or a buzz. Problem: If the cool down thermostat fails, it will not tell the drum to stop tumbling when it should. The drum could continue to tumble the clothes indefinitely if the thermostat has a complete failure. However, if the thermostat has a partial or intermittent failure, it may eventually tell the drum to stop tumbling. Unless you hover over your clothes dryer while it’s in the cool down cycle, you may never realize that there is a problem with the cool down thermostat. Solution: Call your appliance repair service to have them check the thermostat and replace it with a new one. You shouldn’t have to wait for this part to be available since most repair services keep thermostats on hand for easy replacement. Dishwasher—Automatic Dirt Sensor Some dishwashers have sensors in them that will detect when there is still dirt in the water as the machine washes the dishes. When these detectors stop seeing dirt in the water, they trigger the end of the wash cycle. Problem: If the sensors are dirty, then they will not be able to detect when the water is clean in the dishwasher. With the sensor continuously seeing dirt, such as if a substance is stuck on it, the dishwasher will continue the wash cycle. When enough of the substance is finally washed off of the sensor, the wash cycle may then be triggered to end. Solution: Locate the dirt sensor in your dishwasher by reading your manufacturer’s owner’s manual. The manual should tell you how to clean the […]

Caring For Your High Efficiency Washer: Tips For Everyday Use And Weekly And Monthly Cleanings

According to the Green Building Advisor, 82 percent of American homes have a washing machine, and that trusty machine is used to do about 300 loads of laundry each year. If you’ve finally made the switch to a high-efficiency model, you might not be aware of the special needs of your new, high-tech appliance. Unlike a traditional washing machine, your high-efficiency model has special instructions and requires a little more care. Here are a few tips to help ensure you are maintaining your high-efficiency washer correctly: Taking Care of Your Machine Before, During and After Every Load Unlike your old traditional washing machine, your high-efficiency unit requires a little extra care to keep it working smoothly. Here are a few of the steps you need to take each and every time you turn on the machine: Always use detergent that is specially designed for high-efficiency machines. Look for the “HE compatible” mark on the detergent bottle and follow the instructions carefully. Your high-efficiency machines uses less water and requires less detergent to get your clothes clean. Never overfill your machine’s liquid fabric softener dispenser and do not pour the liquid softener directly onto the clothing in the machine. Once again, HE machines use less water and if you use too much liquid softener, you run the risk of staining your clothing. Switch to a powdered laundry soap, if you have hard water. Powdered soap leaves behind less residue, which can easily happen if your water isn’t treated. Leave the door or lid of your HE machine open when not in use. This helps circulate air through the washing tub, which cuts down on the formation of mold and mildew. Weekly Maintenance Tips In addition to making sure you utilize your HE washing machine correctly each time, it is important follow a strict weekly maintenance routine, as well. Start by cleaning out the liquid fabric softener dispenser and detergent compartment with a mixture of warm water, dish soap and a few drops of liquid bleach. If the dispensers are removable, pop them out and soak it in the bleach mixture for a few minutes. If you cannot remove the dispenser, use a scrub brush dampened with the bleach mixture to clean it, instead. Next, create a mixture of one part water and one part white vinegar. Dampen a cotton swab with the mixture and use it to clean your HE washer’s […]

2 Things You Should Never Use Your Utility Closet For

If you live in an apartment or you don’t have access to a garage, you might find yourself targeting unused areas to create functional spaces. After all, that boring entryway could become a handy mudroom, and that storage area underneath the stairs might make a great children’s playroom. Unfortunately, some spots around your house need to be left alone. Here are two things you should never use your utility closet for, and how your choice could impact your home, family, and furnace: 1: Craft Time Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with a craft mess that has spread across your entire kitchen. Because you can’t put things away until you finish, you might find yourself hurrying through that sewing project or trying to glue pine boughs to that wreath in a hurry. To keep the mess tucked away where nobody would see it, you might be tempted to set up a table in your utility room. Unfortunately, crafting in an enclosed space with heat-generating home appliances could be dangerous. Here are a few reasons why: Painting: To keep spray paint liquid and flowing freely, manufacturers add ingredients like linseed oil and butane. Unfortunately, these ingredients, which act as solvents and propellants, are also highly flammable. If you start refinishing that picture frame or painting that board, you could fill the area with a flammable substance, which could be lit by your furnace’s pilot light.  Paper Scraps: When you get busy scrapbooking, you might not think twice about all those miniature paper scraps that start littering the floor. Unfortunately, tiny bits of paper can be sucked into your furnace air intake, which can clog up filters in a jiffy. Sewing: Sometimes when you sew, you find yourself trying to navigate large pieces of fabric under that tiny needle. Unfortunately, if you aren’t paying attention, that quilt could block your furnace’s air intake or sit against a hot heat exchanger—which could block airflow or destroy your fabric. To stay safe, try to craft in open areas away from covered flames. You might have to endure a mess for a few days, but it could protect your home from a devastating house fire.    2: As a Storage Unit If you are like most people who live in a tiny space, that empty utility closet might seem like the perfect solution to your storage woes. Instead of renting a storage unit down the […]