by Harvey Bond
(Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia)
Even the best and toughest appliances can’t last forever but by simply following a regular maintenance and repair schedule, you can extend the life of your appliances and even save money on utility bills. Here’s how:
It’s amazing how much money you can save by simply cleaning things around the house. Lamps, for example, gather dust and dirt over time. This makes them burn less bright and heat up unnecessarily, using too much energy.
Ventilating fans also work twice as hard if they become too heavy with dirt and grime.
You might also want to maintain certain arrangements in your home. Appliances that produce heat, for example, shouldn’t be placed near airconditioners.
When the thermostat senses the temperature increase, the air-conditioner will work harder and consume more energy.
Get rid of frost.
If you have a manual-defrost refrigerator or freezer, regularly defrost your appliances. When frost builds up, the insulating effect causes the motor to work harder, consuming more energy.
You might also want to maintain the freezer temperature at 5 degrees and the rest of the compartments between 37 to 40 degrees. A refrigerator that is too cold is consuming unnecessary energy.
Check your windows.
You may not know it, but much of the hot or cool air inside your home may be lost due to small leaks in your windows. That means your heater or air conditioner will have to work harder and use more energy.
To prevent this, ensure proper insulation by caulking or weather-stripping your windows. If you can, you might even want to replace old windows with the more energy-efficient ones. You’ll be much more comfortable and even lower your utility bill.
Take note of the temperature.
Schedule maintenance work on your water heater and air conditioning units on a regular basis. A twice-yearly check up on your water heater and a quarterly clean-up of your air conditioning units will save hundreds of dollars in repairs later.
You might also want to use an insulating blanket on your old water heater to prevent heat from escaping.
Flush your water heater tank.
Your water heater tank collects sediment and prevents it from using energy efficiently. Not only that, accumulated sediment is a place where bacteria can thrive, causing odor and other possible problems.
Schedule a cleanup for the tank at least once a year or call a professional serviceman to do the job for you.