Keeping Appliances Safe and Efficient

Appliances today come in all shapes, sizes and with tons of features.  The prices of these appliances can also cost way too much money, therefore keeping your appliances in the best shape is even more important now than it was years ago.  Getting your appliances fixed is more than pocket change and even worse yet, having to replace an appliance will dig into your bank account even further.  Always read the booklet that the appliance comes with to be sure you are operating your appliance as efficiently as possible and always refer to it when something is not working right.  Here are a few tips that can help you to get more life out of your appliances and keep more money in your pocket. 

Kitchen appliances:   If a gas appliance stops working, you can first check to see if the pilot is lit.  If it isn’t please refer to the manual to see if instructions on relighting it is included or if something further must be done.  If you notice a yellow flame coming from your gas stove when it’s on, this is an indication of a problem – the flame should always be blue.  If you see yellow, it means your stove is not running at full efficiency so you may want to call a service professional.  With the dishwasher, always be sure to have a full load before you run it.  This will save you money on water and energy bills.  If you run the dishwasher in the evening, this will also save you money on the energy bill.  Waiting to run with a full load will also prolong the life of your dishwasher.  Most people have freezers that self defrost or frost-free but if you do not have one of these, be sure to defrost the freezer when a quarter inch of frost builds up.  This will help the freezer function at its best.  

Laundry room appliances:  Check out your hoses on your washing machine.  If they are old, consider replacing them with metal hoses.  These are more tough and they last a long time.  If your washing machine begins to rattle and/or shake while running, it probably means it needs to be leveled.  With most machines, switching the water control to cold and using the lowest water level will save you on your energy bills and still get your clothes clean.  Always be sure to clean out the lint trap of your dryer before its next use.  This will help dry your clothes faster, save on energy bills and most importantly – prevent a fire hazard.  There are too many house fires due to dryers all because the lint trap was not cleaned out.  This only takes a minute and well worth the time spent.  Also, beware of dryer sheets.  These can sometimes clog lint traps and not allow proper airflow through this vent which can also cause a fire.  Periodically run the lint trap under water to see if the water flows freely through it.  If not, rinse thoroughly with water and a cloth and dry well before placing it back.  Also, don’t forget to clean the outside vent as well.  Be sure the vent opens and closes properly when the dryer is on or off.  Don’t forget the bottom of a dryer as well, lint and debris that accumulates there can also cause a fire. 

Electricity That Powers Your Appliances:  Do not plug a large appliance into an extension cord if you can help it.  If you must, be certain that the cord is the correct size for the appliance and can handle the electric current.  Make sure all connections are secure.  If an appliance stops working then test the electrical outlet with a lamp.  If you have older appliances, keep in mind that many older models have flames that are constantly burning.  Never keep any chemicals, paints or solvents anywhere near appliances with a pilot light. 

Well, I hope this helps to keep your appliances and you safe, sound and efficient.

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