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Saving Money - Revenge of the Maintenance Monster
ok, basic maintenance and cleaning doesn't need to be a big deal. Still, if you're interested in saving money on your utility bills and having your appliances work their best, a little occasional maintenance can go a long way.
With everyone's schedule continuing to become even more hectic, it's important that your appliances work their best. One way to protect and care for your appliances is to remember to do routine maintenance on them. With proper care, you can expect many of them to deliver good service for years to come.
1. Replace the furnace filters at least once a month. This is especially true if in a colder climate and during the Autumn and Winter seasons.
If you have central air conditioning, have the unit serviced and have them check the condenser coils for dirt. You never know if the previous homeowner did the required filter changes.
Your furnace will run better and heat your home easier with a clean filter.
2. Check the kitchen exhaust fan over the range / stove for grease build up. It can't work if it's clogged with grease and dirt. To clean, unplug the unit and you could use a spray bottle of household cleaner to remove the grease and dirt. Instead of those expensive cleaners that cost several dollars a bottle, use a more affordable option like ammonia and vinegar.
Here's a great (and cheap) general cleaner recipe that can be used to refill those expensive spray bottles after being well rinsed and cleaned.
1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 cup household ammonia
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water
Be sure to identify what the product is and include the recipe right on the bottle for when it's time to make some more.
A clean exhaust fan can remove cooking odors and smells in your home. By having an efficient and operational exhaust your home stays cleaner, longer.
3. Dishwasher not cleaning your dishes as well as it did when new? How about cleaning the dishwasher unit itself? Hard water and minerals often collect on the surfaces of dishwashing appliances. Usually, you can see the mineral build up on the heating element in the bottom of the dishwasher.
To remove, go to the hardware store and get a small bottle of CLR [calcium – lime-rust] or Lime-A-Way. These are excellent cleaners in their own right and will also remove the mineral deposits in your dishwasher quickly and easily.
How? First, DON'T do this with dishes in the machine, so empty it before you start to clean it.
Ok, now get the C-L-R cleaner and add a cup or two into the bottom of your dishwasher and run the pots and pans cycle. This cycle typically uses the hottest water and a soak cycle. When finished, check and see if the heating element looks cleaner. If you think it could use more cleaning, repeat the process. A cleaner machine will result in cleaner dishes.
4. Refrigerator. The fridge is one appliance that seems to be the focal point of most kitchens. Check your refrigerator and either in the back or underneath is a series of pipes that look a lot like a radiator. For your refer to work at peak efficiency, these pipes need to be clean and free from dirt and dust.
Dirt builds up on the radiator and needs removed for maximum efficiency. This is where the long hose attachment on your vacuum really comes in handy.
Dirty pipes can limit the ability of the refrigerator to cool the chemical and that in turn makes the unit work harder and longer to keep things cold inside the unit. Do yourself and your electric bill a favor and clean this part of your refer every 6 months or so.
The key to a long service life for appliances is occasional maintenance. You can expect better performance and a longer service life from a well maintained appliance than one that's simply used and abused.
About the Author: Abigail Franks writes on a variety of subjects which include family, health, and home. For more information on house cleaning tips visit http://www.best-vacuumcleaner.com/ or http://www.best-vacuumcleaner.com/vacuum-steam-cleaner-reviews.html