9 Dryer Maintenance Tips to Live By

Dryers

While there is much debate as to whether gas or electric dryers last longer, there are some things you can do to extend the life expectancy of both type of units. Dryers, like washing machines, are appliances that can greatly improve the comfort of one’s life. Being able to dry your clothes whenever you want is much more convenient than having to hang them out on the line to dry or having to go to a laundromat.

Here are nine maintenance tips you can use to improve the overall performance of your dryer, so you can continue to enjoy its benefits for many years to come.

1. Do Not Overload the Dryer

Washer Dryer Combo Unit

Some people think that they can squeeze two or more loads into the dryer and save time. However, the exact opposite will happen if you do this.

Overloading the dryer can actually cause it to breakdown. Your clothes need the circulation of hot air and when the dryer is stuffed, the air cannot circulate as much as it needs to in order to dry your clothes. Instead of reducing drying times, overfilling the dryer will increase them.
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6 Easy Home Improvement Tips to Cut Your Utility Bill

Sealing Window with Caulk

Considering the high cost of energy, it pays to do whatever you can to maximize your home’s use of this precious and expensive commodity. Fortunately, there are small, simple steps you can take to increase energy efficiency that can save you a substantial amount of money.

Try these six simple yet vital energy-saving tips and watch your utility bill start to shrink.

1. Seal Windows & Doors

Test the air-tightness of your home, and you might be astounded at how much energy passes through the cracks and crevices surrounding your windows and doors. Check the seal around your windows and the perimeter of your doors by holding a piece of tissue in front of them. If it moves, even slightly, you have a leak, which will be even more pronounced during windy weather. Rattling windows and doors also indicate air leaks, as does daylight peeking in from around door and window frames. Also check around switch plates and outlets for airflow leaks.

Cut down substantially on energy leakage by sealing off leaks in stationary windows with caulking and using weather sealant around windows and doors that are movable. Also install door sweeps.
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How to Move Large Appliances Without Damaging the Floors

Moving Large Appliances

Whether it’s for spring cleaning purposes or a big move, it’s important to be very careful when moving large appliances. You run the risk of ruining your floors, hurting your back, or even damaging your unit. Depending on the model, the appliances in your home can weigh from 100 to 300 pounds or more, so having a plan of action is crucial.

Whether you have hardwood floors, laminate, carpeting, or tile, you can protect them from dings, dents, and rips if you approach your appliance-relocation challenge armed with knowledge and the right tools. Here are a few tricks of the trade that, when followed, will help you avoid potential damage to your floors and move your unit quickly and efficiently.
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Clean With Steam: Why You Should Clean Filthy Floors With Steam Mops

If you’re only worried about how dirty floors look when your family and friends come tramping through your house in their shoes, think again. You may be exposing them to more health hazards than you think. I would know because I have a husband, three kids, two birds and two dogs living under my roof.

Floor Mop with Steam

According to recent research from the Scott Kelley Biology Lab at San Diego State University, which was published in the scientific journal Genome Biology, we live with an array of bacteria we bring into our homes via our shoes. All of this bacteria may affect our family’s health.

In fact, you track in dirt and more all over your house when you don’t leave your shoes at the door. Your pets bring in even more than things, like dust, dirt, bacteria, viruses, molds, fungi and other allergens.

Germs on your floors matter because they can exacerbate allergies and make you sick. For example:
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12-Volt Coolers: The Key to Successful ‘Staycations’

12 Volt Cooler on the Beach

I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely curtailed my vacation spending, preferring to plan shorter, closer-to-home trips versus one big, long, expensive excursion away from home for a week or more. How about you?

According to a 2014 Ipsos Public Affairs poll of more than 2,000 Americans, 36 percent have not taken a vacation (defined as leisure travel of at least a week at least 100 miles from home) in the last five years. In 2013, when polled about vacation plans, Ipsos found just less than half of Americans (48 percent) said they were confident that they would take a vacation in 2013, down four points from 2012.

12 Volt Cooler

Since the Energy Information Administration predicts gas prices will hover around a national average of $3.61 per gallon through this September, you might be planning a ‘staycation,’ also known as the ‘stay-at-or-near-home vacation’ or taking a ‘daytrip’ (defined as one-day travels within 50 miles of home) to save money.

If so, you might consider a 12-volt (12V) cooler to help ensure your family’s happiness on these outings. While traveling, I’ve found ice just doesn’t cut it in a conventional cooler all day long because wet, soggy food is a given and warm-ish drinks can ruin any family adventure or event.
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6 Dishwasher Loading Tips

Dishwasher Loading Tips

Nothing beats the convenience of a dishwasher. Live without one for a while and you will never take for granted the time and energy savings that this small appliance can provide. Standing with your arms submerged in soapy water up to your elbows is not very enjoyable, especially if you have to do it day in and day out.

While your dishwasher is likely one of the most loved appliances in your home, what do you do when your dishes keep coming out dirty? In an ideal world, your dishwasher would remove every last piece of dried food or grime; however, improper loading techniques can reduce efficiency and leave you with dishes that are not completely clean.

If you want to ensure that your dishwasher works the way that it should, try some of these loading tips.
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Replace or Reface: Do Your Kitchen Cabinets Need a Facelift?

If your cabinets have seen better days, updating them can give your kitchen a whole new look. To determine if you want to transform your cabinets with a facelift or replace them altogether, compare the advantages and disadvantages of refacing.

What is Refacing?

Refacing your kitchen cabinets entails keeping your existing cabinets and simply freshening them up. This is accomplished by removing the old fronts from the cabinets to expose the framework, which is then refaced with a veneer made from real wood, Rigid Thermofoil (RTF) or plastic laminate. New knobs, pulls, hinges and molding are installed on the cabinets at the time of refacing.
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20 Bathroom Storage Ideas Under $20

Bathroom Storage Ideas

Unless you live in a palace, your bathroom isn’t nearly as big as you need it to be. Sure, it serves its purpose, but even those of us who appreciate small-space living like to keep things organized!

Although square footage may be at a premium, you have lots of options to help you maximize your three-dimensional space. Here are 20 of our favorites that won’t bust your budget.
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The Great Divide: 5 Simple Ways to Split a Room Between Siblings

Siblings

In many families, separate bedrooms for siblings are simply not feasible. And yet, decorating a shared room can be a challenge, especially if you want to allow children to express their own personalities and interests. After all, how do you combine ponies and Transformers or Scooby Doo and The Incredible Hulk?

It sounds challenging. But with some out-of-the-box thinking and creative use of furniture, paint and dividers, you can create a shared space that reflects the individuality of each child.
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20 Little-Known Painting Tips & Tricks

Painting Tips

Few home improvement projects can make as big of an impact with so little money as a fresh coat of paint. Whether it’s a whole-room change of hue, a touch-up on the trim, or a punch of color on an accent wall, paint can make all things old start to feel new again.

We’ve gathered 20 of our favorite painting hacks, tips and tricks to get you started on your adventure into color. They’ll help you paint like a pro, rejuvenate your favorite room and save you time and money on prep, painting and post-project cleanup. If only choosing the right shade of green were so easy!
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