Best use of appliances reduces need to cool your house
The appliances that come to mind when you’re trying to cool down your house are usually electric fans and air conditioners. But other appliances in your home contribute to how hot air accumulates and forces your cooling devices to work harder to keep you and your family comfortable.
Using appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers generates considerable heat. Often, because of their proximity to the kitchen, they’re adding to heat from the oven and cooktop, which requires room fans and AC to work longer.
The best way to reduce the heat from household appliances is to run them during early morning or evening hours. While that delays getting chores done, it will keep your home cooler during the hottest part of the day.
How you use your major appliances also has an effect on how efficiently they run. You may think that means loading the washer as much as possible, but stuffing it to full capacity is a mistake. There should be some space for the clothes to agitate freely and clean properly.
More importantly, filling the washing machine too much will likely require you to do two drying cycles. Dryers should have about 25 percent empty space during each cycle so clothes can move around and dry completely, and more unfilled space when you’re drying bed sheets and blankets.
While you need very hot water in a dishwasher, you don’t necessarily need a heated drying cycle, which can be disabled on most models. Heated drying helps prevent water spots on dishes, but as long as you use a rinsing agent for the same purpose, there’s no need for both.
After rinsing food left on dishes, place items in the dishwasher rack to maximize your cleaning loads, cut down on the number of cycles you have to run and reduce the amount of heat that’s released into the house. Bottom racks work best with plates facing into the center of the appliance. Cups facing down and bowls placed at a downward angle clean best on the top row. Large, flat objects should be placed at a slant, rather than parallel to the door.
By using appliances correctly and during non-peak hours, you use less energy and prevent utility brownouts by easing up on the power grid. And there’s often a financial break, because utility charges are typically less per kilowatt-hour during those times.
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