Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saving Energy Using Your Appliance Plus, Saving Money On Repairs.

Since I had to spend a lot of money to have my dryer repaired this week, I thought I would pass on some tips about how to use our appliances correctly.  Not only that but how to save energy while using them.  Saving money too is wonderful.

The one thing that so many people do when washing their clothes is to fill the washer too full.  It should only be filled to about two-third full.  If you over stuff your washer, it causes a lot of wear and tear on it.  Not to mention putting the clothes in the dryer and expecting it to dry them.

The gears underneath the agitator on my washer was broken because my son put two blankets and more clothes in it.  In other words, it was stuffed.  It was too much for the washer and these gears broke.  Not only do the clothes not get clean because they do not have enough room to agitate but the damage to the appliance is unnecessary.  A washer will last a long time if taken care of and not abused with stuffing it full of clothes.

When it comes to the dryer, the same is true.  A dryer that is too full will put a strain on the dryer belt or cause it to overheat.  In time, the belt will break plus, the heating element may have to be replaced.

Another thing that needs to be done to your dryer is to clean the lint screen each time before drying clothes.  If the lint screen is full of lint, it can't get enough air to dry the clothes causing it to run longer.  That looks like dollar signs to me.  It is easy to remove the lint screen and clean it before using the dryer.  I keep a large coffee can near my dryer to put my lint in. When full, I thrown it away.

If you do not, in time, the inside of your dryer will have lint all on the inside.  I was at my sisters one day when I noticed that her dryer screen was so full, it was hard for me to remove it.  I took the bottom panel off the dryer and there was lint everywhere.  We spent a lot of time, using any tool we could find to get all of that old lint out of the inside of the dryer.  

We even found a long, small brush at the hardware store and cleaned the vent from the top of the dryer as well.  I am surprised that she didn't have a fire because of it.  When a dryer has a lot of lint and gets too hot, the lint can catch on fire.  This tool is great for cleaning the coils on the fridge too.

What about your refrigerator?   Do you know that when it isn't at least three-quarters full, it is using more energy to keep the food cold?  I remember the days when I was young and had first moved out.  I should have just had an ice chest because I never had much food in the fridge.  Now, what I do when I finish a gallon of milk is  to rinse it and fill it with water.  Then, I put it back inside the fridge until I replace it.  If your fridge is really empty, add as many gallons of water as needed to keep it three-quarters full.

This fridge shown above is too full.  Air can't circulate around the food to keep it cool so, the fridge has to work overtime to keep it cold.  As anyone can see, there is a balance that needs to be used when using either the washer, dryer or the refrigerator. 

One other thing about a refrigerator is that the coils either on the back or underneath it has to be kept clean of lint.  When was the last time you cleaned yours?  

It should be done about twice a year.  If the coils are in the back, they are easy to get to.  If they are underneath the fridge, it isn't so easy.  What I have found is a round tapered brush on a long handle is great to use to clean around the coils.  I pull out the fridge clean the coils and move it back to vacuum up the lint.  I do this about three times trying to get all the lint.  Some people may have attachments on their vacuum cleaner small enough to do this job.  If so, wonderful.  That is easy work.  Of course, the photo below is even a better way of doing it.

Keep the seal around the door clean.  The seal will last longer.  Take a sheet of paper and put between the door and the fridge and pull it out.  If it comes out easily, the seal is getting too old and needs to be replaced.  It is something that anyone can do if they are handy with tools.  If it is tight, that is a good thing.  Do that all the way around the door.  Those little grooves in the gasket should be cleaned often to keep mold from forming and weakening the seal.  Plus, you do not want mold inside your fridge.

One last thing.  Do not block the vent in your freezer compartment.  The air from the freezer goes into the fridge to keep it  cold.  If you stuff the freezer full of food and block that air vent at the top in the back, you are asking for trouble. 

My next blog will be about saving money while using water around and in your home.  Also, I will write more about what I have learned to save energy around my home. Be sure to check it out.