Saving Money By Keeping Your Appliances Clean
If you are always on the lookout for ways to cut back on your energy use either because of the recession, peak oil, or environmental concerns, you’re not alone.
Energy conservation is a goal at the back of everyone’s mind these days. The great news is that by just simply cleaning your household appliances, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency, lower your energy bill and save you money!
Do you know that any appliance in your home will guzzle more energy and work less efficiently when it’s dirty? Cleaning it will produce energy savings – and in many cases, a better-looking home!
Read on for great ways to get neater, cheaper, and greener!
- Your fridge
It is easier to cool a clean fridge than a dirty one. Clean the magnetic gasket (door seals) of your fridge and freezer compartments to ensure a tight seal. A dollar bill placed in the closed door should NOT slide out easily. If it does, have the seal fixed because cold air is escaping from your fridge – which means the unit has to work overtime to cool your food.
If frost develops in your freezer compartment, defrost it. And even it is tempting to get frost-free fridges, then don’t – because they use more energy to operate than manual-defrost models. Icy build-up makes the compressor work extra hard, leading to greater energy use as well as increased wear and tear on the mechanism. Defrost anytime you see build-up over 5mm thick.
If your fridge model has condenser coils in the back, vacuum them off and wipe them down once a year. Dust build-up prevents them from working efficiently and they’ll gobble more electricity.
- Your oven and cooktop
They won’t gobble up unnecessary amounts of electricity and gas if they are in spic n span. Ovens work best when hot air circulates freely, so remove any old sheets of foil you may have left on the racks to catch drips or what have you. Clean the oven seal to make sure hot air isn’t escaping when you bake. Clean your stovetop burners and reflectors. A dirty reflector with a blackened surface absorbs heat, rather than effectively reflecting it back to the cooking pot or pan bottom. A shiny and reflective stovetop is an energy-efficient one.
After cleaning, check your stovetop cooking elements. A worn-out electric coil is an energy sucker, as is a gas flame that is not properly calibrated. Electric elements should heat up quickly, while a gas flame should burn blue, not yellow. Otherwise, replacement or adjustments are needed.
- Your microwave
Microwaves are energy stars in the kitchen, but even they lose efficiency when less than sparkling. Wipe up spills and remove mystery crud from the microwave interior. Both absorb energy waves, decreasing the unit’s efficiency. To maximize efficiency, you have to also clean the inside walls, door and “turntable” of your microwave.
- Your air conditioners and furnaces
Filters get clogged surprisingly quickly, particularly if you have pets. Clean your air conditioner and/or furnace filters every month. Dirty filters run less efficiently then clean ones, therefore using more energy. Washable, reusable replacement filters are a better choice than disposables because you produce less waste. Also, given their one-time-only expenditure, reusable filters encourage frequent cleaning, since there’s no reason to try to save money by skimping on filter changes!
- Your dryers
Clean out the dryer lint trap after every dryer load. A spic-and-span filter helps your clothes dry faster, while a full one not only forces the machine to work harder and use more energy, – it’s a fire hazard, too. Clean the exhaust vent annually, for the same reason. For this major appliance, the benefits of energy savings are compounded by a safety aspect.
These simple appliance cleaning tips will help you save money and increase your home's energy efficiency. So get started in cleaning everything up!