4 Appliances that Increase Your Home Energy Bill

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See how these four appliances are siphoning money from your wallet.

When you get your energy bill in the mail, do you ever wonder which one of your appliances is the biggest drain on your wallet? While your furnace and air conditioners are the biggest culprits, you might be surprised by the amount of power some of your smaller, everyday appliances are using.

We’ve previously discussed a few home improvements that will cut your energy bills, but here we’ve outlined a list of the top four most surprising appliances that are jacking up your energy bill. We’ve also included a few quick tips to keep these surprising energy-eaters in check.
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10 Handy Washing Machine Usage Tips

Loading a Washing Machine

Many people think that the washing machine is a self-cleaning machine, but it is not. It still needs to be cleaned and cared for periodically. What happens to all of the dirt and debris that the washing machine removes from your clothes? It does not all go down the drain during the rinse cycle, like you may think. Much of that dirt accumulates inside of the machine and the detergent that you use to wash your clothes may also leave behind minerals and residue that accumulate on the inside of the washing machine.
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10 Reasons to Moisturize Your Indoor Air

Humidifier Uses

Moisturizing the air in your home with a humidifier or vaporizer is an effective way to make your living conditions more comfortable and alleviate symptoms of a variety of bothersome health conditions. Below, we list out ten of the most common reasons why people use a humidifier to moisturize the air in their home or office.
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Vaporizers vs Humidifiers: The Pros & Cons

Vaporizers vs Humidifiers

As you prepare your household for battling the discomforts of the impending flu season, you may question whether a vaporizer or humidifier is the best choice for your situation. Neither appliance prevents or cures illnesses, however, they do have the ability to deliver some much-needed comfort when the symptoms get rough. They just deliver that comfort in different ways.

Before you rush out and buy the first humidifying appliance you come across, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each type to determine which one is the best pick for your family and home environment.
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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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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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The ROI for Switching to a Stackable or Combo Washer Dryer

Washer Dryer Combo in the Kitchen

Ever wonder if it’s worth it to exchange your ol’ side-by-side washer/dryer setup for a stackable or combo unit? Well, my family learned firsthand there was plenty to gain in our rental property when we swapped out our full-sized washer and dryer for a stackable washer/dryer — space!

In fact, we gained an entire kitchen wall. We reconfigured the space and added more kitchen cabinets and counter space to our 1,000-square-foot house. Here’s what we learned during the process.
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6 Advantages Washer Dryer Combos Have Over Their Full-Size Counterparts

There are a number of advantages of using combo washer dryers in your home, as they are incredibly versatile, efficient, and compact. Through the use of these combo units, it is no longer necessary to take up a great deal of space in your home with traditional and separate washer and dryer units, nor is it necessary to make frequent trips to the Laundromat, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Washer Dryer Combo Unit

There are many combo washer dryer benefits, including:

  • A wide variety of available options.
  • Significant space is saved.
  • Units are very efficient and versatile.
  • The horizontal axis drum is easier on clothes.

1. Many Options Available

Most people have varying needs relating to their laundry. Because of this fact, it is important that there are a variety of options available. This makes it much easier to find a unit that is suitable for your specific needs, and the combo units do indeed come in a variety of load capacities, helping to meet the many needs of consumers.

Obviously, each combo unit comes equipped with washer and dryer capabilities, but there are also a number of other functions that may differ from unit to unit. It is best to consider your specific needs when making a decision on which unit is best for you.
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5 Tips to Choosing the Right Refrigerator for Your Living Space

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to buying a refrigerator, and if you have not been in the market for one before, you might not know what you should be looking for to find the one that fits your lifestyle and the space you have available.

Avanti Refrigerator with Door Open

Let’s take a closer look at the options available to you, as well as five tips to help ensure that you pick the right fridge for your situation.

Refrigerator Size Options

There are several different refrigerator sizes available for people with all different space considerations. These appliances generally fall into the following categories:

  • Compact Cube:
    These “office-style” refrigerators are small and provide only a little bit of space to store food and drinks. They range in size from about 1.5 to 3 cubic feet, and generally have room for a few cans of soda or water, today’s lunch, and maybe some condiments.
  • Compact Midsize:
    The next size up is a compact mini fridge, sometimes known as a dorm-style mini fridge. These appliances are designed to be very small and inexpensive, but have enough space to store enough groceries for a few days. These refrigerators generally have a very small amount of freezer space, but with between 3 and 5.5 cubic feet of total storage space they are often small enough to fit under a standard height countertop.
  • Combo Microwave/Fridge:
    For people who are looking for convenience and ease in small spaces, the combination microwave and fridge can be a great option. Combo fridges come in a variety of sizes, with fridges that range from 2 to 9 cubic feet of space, and microwaves that include everything from the basics or more advanced options.
  • Apartment Size:
    If you have a little bit more space, the next step up is the apartment-sized fridge, which offers slim style but is similar in height to more standard refrigerators. They generally range from about 7 to 15 cubic feet (about half the size of traditional refrigerators), but offer similar features to their full-size counterparts, such as drawers, dual-cooling air systems, temperature control, adjustable shelving, and more freezer space than compact models.
  • Full Size & Commercial:
    Of course, if you have the space for it, you can also choose from a wide range of full size and/ or commercial refrigerators. If you have a slightly smaller space but want the functionality of a full size fridge, many brands today offer extra narrow models of popular designs (24 to 28 inches instead of the standard 32 to 36 inches). There are a myriad of features, styles, and configurations to choose from, so it’s important to shop around before you decide on which full-size fridge is right for you.

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