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 dirt sensor and how often it should be cleaned. If you cannot find this information in the owner's manual, ask an appliance repair service to help.
Refrigerator—Rubber Door Seal
Refrigerators keep food cold by using a thermostat to maintain the temperature inside the appliance. When the thermostat senses that the temperature inside the refrigerator has increased, it will trigger a switch that will turn the refrigeration system on.
Problem: If there is a warp in the rubber door seal, heat from the kitchen will get into the refrigerator. This is due to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This heat, in turn, will cause the refrigerator to continuously keep working, but it may never cool it down enough to stop and take a rest. Of course, this constant use of electricity can definitely cause an increase in your electric bill.
Solution: Inspect the rubber door seal for signs of damage, such as warping, holes, or rot. If the rubber does not feel smooth or you can see gaps in between the rubber and the appliance, then it's a good idea to replace it. Rubber door seals for refrigerators (and freezers) can be purchased through an appliance parts supplier. They typically come with replacement directions in the packaging. If not, then call a Whirlpool appliance repair parts service for assistance.