Large appliances are an expensive purchase, and homeowners likely don’t wish to buy a new refrigerator, washer/dryer, HVAC system or dishwasher until the replacement is absolutely necessary. To ensure that appliances live the longest life possible, homeowners need to maintain them properly. In addition, regular upkeep can improve their energy efficiency.
Here are tips to maximize appliance life and improve efficiency of those appliances, too.
Replace the HVAC Air Filter Regularly
The filter of the HVAC system should be replaced every three months. However, some filters need to be replaced more often.
Dirty air filters can cause the HVAC system to work harder. Not only is this not great for the system, but it also could cost the homeowner more money each month, too. Since heating and cooling the home accounts for the majority of the home’s energy use, this is one easy DIY tip that can save money and help maintain the life of the HVAC.
Clean the Coils of the Refrigerator
Over time, the coils of the refrigerator can get dirty. This causes the refrigerator to work harder to stay cool. Homeserve recommends cleaning the coils twice per year—every six months. This keeps the fridge working efficiently.
Clean the Dryer Lint Trap
After each dryer cycle, remember to remove the lint from the lint trap. This is a simple maintenance tip that can help maintain the efficiency of the dryer and keep it clean.
Clean the Dryer Vent
A clogged dryer vent can be both a fire hazard and damage the dryer. Clothes might take longer to dry or the heating element could burn out. Schedule to have the dryer vent cleaned regularly; depending on how frequent the homeowner uses the dryer could impact how often the vent needs to be serviced. Vents should be serviced at least once per year.
Service the HVAC Regularly
The HVAC system should be serviced once per year; homeowners could service the furnace and AC at the same time or they could schedule two separate services. These checkups ensure that homeowners catch any system issues and repair them before they become a larger (and more expensive) problem.
Opt for Air Drying
Less dryer usage can put less pressure on the clothes dryer. Use a clothesline or lay garments flat to dry. Some items cannot be placed in the dryer, as they could shrink or become damaged.
Switch Those Bulbs
Lights are fixtures, but they use energy every time the bulb illuminates. Homeowners should upgrade light bulbs to LED bulbs—these bulbs emit less heat and are more energy efficient. In addition, LED bulbs also need to be replaced less frequently.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
Another way homeowners can ensure that their HVAC is set to the most efficient program is to use a smart thermostat to manage their home’s climate. Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely via an app downloaded on a smartphone or tablet; the app lets homeowners adjust the thermostat temperature from any location to choose the most energy-efficient temperature.
Opt for Natural Light
Sunlight is a natural way to illuminate the home when the temperatures outside aren’t incredibly hot. Open the curtains and turn off the lights. Using natural light lets homeowners be less dependent on electricity to light their home, and this could be the most energy efficient means to light the home.
Ditch the Wood Fireplace
A wood burning fireplace can be cozy and set a seasonal or holiday-inspired ambiance in the home. Unfortunately, it also is an inefficient means of warming the home. The wood fireplace lets heat escape and could put more pressure on the HVAC causing it to work harder to heat the home. The Environmental Protection Agency explains: “Fireplace drafts can pull the warm air up the chimney, causing other rooms to be cooler.”
Adjust the Temperature
Homeowners don’t have to upgrade to a smart thermostat to take control of the energy use related to their HVAC system. Opt for a more energy-efficient temperature setting in the home to keep the heat or air conditioning from turning on too frequently. Opt for a temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and 68 degrees Fahrenheit in winter.
Choose a Cool Roof
A cool roof is one that is designed to keep the sun from warming up the roof materials. This type of roof can include a special coating applied to shingles or homeowners might even plant a green roof which involves using greenery to absorb heat. Cool roofs can help the home stay cooler in summer, which takes pressure from the air conditioner.
There are many more ways for homeowners to improve energy efficiency and, hopefully, help maximize the life of their appliances. Homeowners should follow all the proper care and maintenance tips for their appliance, but they also can make changes that help take energy pressure off these appliances, too.