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Archive for November, 2012

Energy Saving Tips for Dishwasher

A dishwasher is one of the indispensable appliances in many homes today. It makes dish washing a lot easier and more convenient, thus helping you save a lot of extra time. However, the dishwasher also accounts for a big percentage in energy consumption at home. But by observing several energy-saving tips, you can greatly reduce the amount of energy you consume in dish washing.

Dishwasher Energy-Saving Tips

1. Don’t pre-rinse dishes before loading them to the dishwasher

You can save water as well as time by not pre-rinsing dishes before loading them to the dishwasher. Modern dishwashers are now powerful enough to remove all grime, grease and dirt from dishes. What you can do is to scrape-off leftover food and remove liquid from dishes and the dishwasher will take care of the rest. If there is really a need to pre-rinse, use cold water to save energy on heating.

2. Follow the instruction manual when operating dishwasher

Take time to read the instruction manual for your dishwasher and learn how to properly use it. By following the manufacturer’s instruction especially on how to load dishes, you can achieve maximum efficiency and save energy and water.

3. Utilize the “no-heat air-dry” feature to dry dishes

This feature doesn’t require heating so it lets you save energy. Use this feature if your dishwasher has one. But if you are using older models, you can simply turn off the dishwasher after the final rinse and open its door to air-dry. However, according to some users who tried this method, one major drawback of doing this is the increased spotting in dishes. But it is still worth trying; see for yourself how it will affect your dishes and how much energy you can save.

4. Dry dishes the old-fashioned way     

If you don’t like to have spots on your dishes and still save on energy, better dry the dishes the old fashioned way using a dish towel.

5. Use only the dishwasher in full loads

Regardless, if it’s half-full or fully loaded, the dishwasher will consume the same amount of water in washing so better wait until it’s fully loaded before you turn on the switch. However, be careful also not to overload it as overloading can also cause inefficiency and other malfunctions. If it takes more than a day to get a full load, you can use the rinse and hold feature if your dishwasher has. This is more economical in terms of the amount of water used in pre-rinsing each item.

6. Use the setting that has the most energy saving

Majority of newer models of dishwasher now has energy-saving cycles and settings. As most of the energy in dishwashing is consumed for heating the water, by using the “green” setting, you will be able to use less energy for the same load of dishes.

7. Practice regular dishwasher maintenance

After days or weeks of using the dishwasher, food particles and grime can accumulate in the dishwasher drain and get clogged. This in turn affects the efficiency of the dishwasher. By regularly cleaning the drain, this can maximize the full capacity of your dishwasher while consuming the same amount of energy.

These tips are not all-encompassing. You may have other tested and proven ways to save on energy in using the dishwasher. But nevertheless, by observing these simple tips, you can greatly save on energy consumption and reduce your electricity or water bill.

Thanks to Europro

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Simple Furnace Fixes

If your furnace quits or breaks down try these eight simple solutions before you call for service help. You can solve the problem and avoid a $200 service call.

  • Solution 1: Check the thermostat to make sure it’s on
  • Solution 2: Check shutoff switches and breakers
  • Solution 3: Change filters
  • Solution 4: Make sure the gas is on
  • Solution 5: Make sure the chimney exhaust flue is clear
  • Solution 6: Flush out drain lines
  • Solution 7: Look for blocked or leaky ducts that can restrict airflow
  • Solution 8: Clean away leaves and debris from heat pumps or intake and exhaust vents.

Solution 1: Check the thermostat to make sure it’s on

Move the thermostat setting to “heat.”
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Thermostat controls

Move the thermostat setting to “heat.”

A furnace can be intimidating—especially when it’s not working. However, there is good news from furnace repair pros. Roughly a quarter of all service calls could be avoided with easy fixes that cost little or nothing. In this article, we’ll focus on the common culprits and show you what to do about them.

Before you assume you have a furnace problem, check the thermostat to make sure it’s actually telling the furnace to come on. Thermostats, especially programmable ones, cann be complicated, and the more options a thermostat has, the more that can go wrong.

  • Make sure the switch is on “Heat” rather than on “Cool.”
  • Check the temperature setting.
  • Compare the temperature setting to the room temperature. Set the temperature five degrees higher than the room temperature and see if the furnace kicks on.
  • Make sure the program is displaying the right day and time, as well as a.m. and p.m. settings.
  • Trace the thermostat wires back to the furnace to check for breaks, especially if you’ve done any remodeling recently. If you find a break in one of the thin wires, splice the line back together and wrap it with electrical tape.
  • Replace the battery. If you have a power outage with a dead battery, you’ll lose your settings and the thermostat will revert to the default program.
  • Open the thermostat and gently blow out any dust or debris. Make sure it’s level and firmly attached on the wall, and that none of the wires coming into it are loose.
  • If you can’t make the program settings work, you can bypass them altogether. Simply punch in the temperature you want with the up/down control and then press the hold button. That will switch on the furnace if the thermostat programming is the problem.

Tip: Lost your owner’s manual? Most major-brand manuals are on the Web—just go to the manufacturer’s Web site.

Furnace trouble spots

Furnace trouble spots

High efficiency furnace trouble spots

High efficiency furnace trouble spots

Figure A: 8 Things to Check Before You Call a Repair Service

You can check and correct all eight items in just a few minutes. We show a gas-fired, forced-air furnace here, but most of the same checks apply to electric systems and hot water boilers.

Note: You can download Figure A and enlarge it in Additional Information below.

Solution 2: Check shutoff switches and breakers

It sounds unbelievable, but furnace technicians often find that the only “repair” a furnace needs is to be turned on. Look for a standard wall switch on or near the furnace—all furnaces, no matter what age or type, have one somewhere. Check the circuit breaker or fuse for the furnace as well. Make sure the front panel covering the blower motor is securely fastened—there’s a push-in switch under it that must be fully depressed for the furnace to operate.

Solution 3: Change filters

A clogged furnace filter can cause a furnace to shut off.
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Furnace filters

A clogged furnace filter can cause a furnace to shut off.

Dirty filters are the most common cause of furnace problems. Dust and dirt restrict airflow—and if the filter gets too clogged, the heat exchanger will overheat and shut off too quickly, and your house won’t warm up. If the blower is running but no heat is coming out, replace the filter. A dirty filter also causes soot buildup on the heat exchanger, reducing the efficiency of the furnace and shortening its life.

The owner’s manual shows where the filter is and how to remove it. Change inexpensive flat filters at least once a month. Make sure that the arrow points toward the furnace. Inspect pleated filters once a month. Hold them up to the light and if you can’t see the light clearly through them, replace them. Manufacturers say pleated filters are good for three months, but change them more frequently if you have pets, kids or generate lots of dust.

CAUTION!

Always turn off the shutoff switch (see Solution 2) and turn the thermostat off or all the way down before changing the filter or working on the thermostat or furnace.

Solution 4: Make sure the gas is on

Just as with switches, someone may have turned off a gas valve and then forgotten to turn it back on. Trace the gas line back from the furnace to the meter, and if you see a handle that’s perpendicular to the gas pipe, turn it so it’s parallel. If you have an old furnace or boiler, you may have a pilot light. Remove the front panel and the burner cover and check to make sure it’s lit.

Solution 5: Make sure the chimney exhaust flue is clear

Drawn by the warmth, birds sometimes fall into the chimney exhaust flue. Turn the furnace off and the thermostat all the way down, then dismantle the duct where it exits the furnace and check for debris. Be sure to reassemble the sections in the same order and direction that you took them out.

Solution 6: Flush out drain lines

High-efficiency furnaces can drain off several gallons of water a day in heating season. If the drain lines become restricted by sediment or mold growth, the furnace will shut down. If the drain hose looks dirty, remove the hose, fill it with a mixture of bleach and water (25 percent bleach), then flush it after several minutes.

Solution 7: Look for blocked or leaky ducts that can restrict airflow

If your furnace comes on but one or two rooms are cold, first make sure all the room registers are open. Then examine any ductwork you can get access to and look for gaps between sections or branching points. Seal any gaps between sections of duct with special metal duct tape. Don’t use standard cloth duct tape—it quickly deteriorates, and it may also cause ducts to leak if it was used to seal sections in the past.

Also check for handles protruding from the ductwork. These are dampers or air conditioner bypasses—make sure they’re open.

Solution 8: Clean away leaves and debris from heat pumps or intake and exhaust vents.

If you have a furnace that vents out the side of the house, make sure nothing is blocking the intake or exhaust. If either of the pipes is covered with screen mesh (like window screen), replace it with 1/2-in.-mesh hardware cloth. If ice is clogging one of the pipes, you have a bigger problem somewhere in the system. Clear it off and call a technician to find out why it’s happening.

If you have a heat pump, clear away grass and leaves from the fins of the outdoor compressor unit. Before heating season starts, hose it down gently from the top to rinse dirt and debris out of the housing.

Thanks to Family Handy Man

Please share your tips and suggestion to check if furnace not working in the comments section below. Rent a brand new High Eff Furnace from morEnergy for $59.95/month and get a GE appliance (Fridge/Stove/Dishwasher) Call us today for more details 1-866-225-7204.

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The Problem with Plastics

Studies have shown that water and other beverages in plastic containers may not be safe or desirable. Chemicals in the plastics can leak out into the water. These chemicals may cause a variety of health problems such as cancers, an increased risk of miscarriage, and interference with the body’s hormonal system.

The manufacture of plastic bottles uses large amounts of energy and generates toxic pollutants. Plus, although these plastics may be recycled, millions of plastic bottles end up in landfills each year.

Metal Water Bottles Are a Better Choice

A healthy goal is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. It’s still a good plan to carry water with you as you travel, play sports, or go to the gym. In this era of green practices, the new focus is on staying hydrated in the most eco-friendly way.

•    Instead of buying spring water, use filtered tap water.

•    Replace those plastic bottles with portable metal water bottles.

•    Aluminum bottles, such as those made by Sigg, are safe to use and can be reused repeatedly. They can also be recycled eventually

•    Stainless steel bottles, such as those made by Klean Kanteen, are easy to clean and maintain. They can also fit into bicycle water bottle cages.

There are many sources for buying the new metal water bottles. Look in health food and natural food markets. Check out camping and backpacking supply stores. Some coffee shops carry both hot and cold bottles. And, of course, there are many online sources.

As metal bottles become more popular, there are many new brands popping up. Be sure to choose bottles that have non-toxic and non-leaching liners. Metal bottles come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and patterns. Ideally they should be both durable and lightweight. A wise consumer always researches brands and product quality before buying.

In Summary:

– Be certain that you are choosing a bottle that does not leach, check the recycling symbol on your bottle.

–  If it is a #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a #5 PP (polypropylene), your bottle is fine.

–  The type of plastic bottle in which water is usually sold is usually a #1, and is only recommended for one time use. Do not refill it.

–  Better to use a reusable water bottle, and fill it with your own filtered water from home and keep these single-use bottles out of the landfill. Unfortunately, those fabulous colorful hard plastic lexan bottles made with polycarbonate plastics and identified by the #7 recycling symbol, may leach BPA.

Useful Tips

•    You can carry drinking water in those metal travel coffee mugs, also.

•    Recycle your old plastic Nalgene bottles.

•    Rinse your water bottles frequently and thoroughly.

•    Cut in lemon or lime slices for extra flavor.

•    Add electrolyte powder mixes for that sports drink boost.

•    Get a bottle that can clip on to your belt or tote for easy transport.

Thanks to Who’s green

what kind of bottles you use? share your views in the comments section below.

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