Make Your Life Easier By Keeping These 5 Appliance Parts On Hand

When it comes to the DIY culture of our times, it’s easy to forget that being able to repair things yourself wasn’t a fad or the cool thing to do. At one point, the idea of calling a repair person to install appliance parts in your home was somewhat alien as many homeowners were very self-sufficient and could do the work themselves.

There is something to be said about being able to handle basic appliance repairs in your home. You’ll need just a few tools and a little time to get the job done. Nothing makes a repair easier than already having the right parts on hand, and these five parts can be quite the blessing:

Light Bulbs – When it comes to making your home run as smoothly as possible, nothing makes this easier than being able to see where you’re going. Most figure the idea of having light bulbs on hand is a no-brainer, but can you actually find your stash of bulbs when you need them? More importantly, maybe having a supply of bulbs isn’t your cup of tea. Perhaps then it might be best to see what type of longer-life efficient bulbs are now on the market. You can have fewer on hand, but you feel confident in the dependability of the bulbs you’re using.

Furnace Filters – If you’re having a hard time remembering the size, or location of, your furnace filters, there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t looked at them in a while. This usually means that it’s probably time for a replacement. A dirty filter makes your HVAC system work harder, and this wears down your furnace. Replacing your filter depends on how much stuff you have floating around in your house. You should also take into consideration your family’s health issues, and if there are any family members that have asthma or severe allergies, a frequent filter change may be the way to go.

Toilet Fill Valve – Having your toilet, or toilets, be unable to do their job is a real pain. Internal toilet tank parts will quit on you without warning. There aren’t many parts to tinker with, so it is a great idea to have a few toilet fill valve kits on hand based on the number of toilets in your home. This way, if there is any part failure, you can just as easily replace all the pieces needed to fix the problem.

Agitator Dogs for Your Washing Machine – You’ve probably never heard of these things, but you will know pretty quickly when they need to be replaced. The agitator ratchets back and forth, creating the motion that helps wash your clothing. At some point, you may notice that the ratcheting motion isn’t quite operating as it should. A likely culprit is the agitator dogs inside the agitator assembly. While the repair seem heinous, the parts are usually less than $10, require minimal tools, and the repair can take less than ten minutes. Granted, your washing machine can handle years of abuse, but when its primary function isn’t hindered, you will be thankful to have these small parts on hand.

Vacuum Cleaner Belts – Vacuum cleaners are commonly plagued with broken belts and clogs. Usually the problems start when vacuums are asked to do more than they should. Vacuum belts break because they’re made of rubber and will burn or break if something stops the brush from turning. Belts are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, so keeping one on hand for your vacuum is highly recommended.

How to Keep Your Energy Bill Low in Extreme Temperatures

Whether the temperatures are heading to the high 80s or 90s or plummeting to the low 20s, that fast change in temperature can have a massive impact on your HVAC system. With those extreme temperatures also come extreme energy bills. You want to keep your home and family comfortable, but what do you do to keep your energy bills in check as well?

1. Consider upgrading to a newer high-efficiency HVAC system

How old is your system? If it is older than 10-15 years, you may want to consider getting a new system. There have been major advances in technology that have made HVAC systems much more energy-efficient. Make sure to check the SEER rating and talk to your local trusted contractor before settling on a system. Most efficiency systems have a rating between 14 and 18.

2. Always buy Energy Star labeled equipment.

Energy Star equipment has to meet very strict guidelines from the EPA. There is also a possibility of receiving rebates from your utility companies when you use Energy Star equipment.

3. Determine your usage needs

No one knows your home better than you. Determine where you don’t need as much heat or air and then install programmable thermostats to decrease your usage when it’s not needed, like when you are at work or on vacation, or at night when everyone is sleeping.

4. Turn up your thermostat

You would be surprised how much money you could save just by turning up the thermostat a few degrees. It is recommended to keep your home between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit or as high or as low as your household can stand.

5. Clean up around you

By removing dirt and debris from around your air conditioning unit you can keep all airflow paths clear. If you don’t, you run the risk of having your system clogged up. It doesn’t just have to be about your residential AC system. If you are a business owner, don’t neglect your roof.

6. Keep the sun out

Make sure to close your blinds on the west and south facing windows to keep the sun out, especially in the summer. If not, your air conditioner will have to work a lot harder to keep those rooms cool.

7. Do not ignore regular maintenance

Just like your car, your HVAC system needs regular maintenance. By having it performed on your AC unit in spring and your furnace in the fall you will have fewer problems on the hottest or coldest day of the year. Maintenance also means your system will be performing at peak efficiency which saves your household money.

Ultra Diet Cooker – Secret to Healthy Living

Using pressure cookers for your everyday cooking is the best way to cook food in a faster manner while also retaining nutrients and saving energy. But if you are a rice eater and want to remove starch from rice, what would you do? You would use a diet cooker or a stainless steel pressure cooker that comes with the option of removing all starch from rice!

Starch is made of glucose and is a carbohydrate. Thought it is an intrinsic part of a person’s diet, if you use it too much, it can lead to weight gain. If you are diabetic, you better stay away from starchy rice. The best way to do so is to use an Ultra diet cooker which comes with a starch remover. How convenient, isn’t? And healthy, of course.

If you use a traditional pot for cooking rice, which is not very convenient for modern times, owing to the lack of time, there was one advantage. Starch would be taken out as rice would boil. However, in a typical stainless steel pressure cooker, the starch is not removed.

How does a diet cooker work?

In such a scenario, what do you opt for? Presenting a diet cooker which brings you the best of both methods. These diet pressure cookers come with a starch remover with perforations at the bottom. All you need to do is use rice, pour water and wait for the whistle. Once the cooker cools down, you can remove the starch remover containing rice and notice that all the starch has trickled down to the bottom of the cooker. This is a traditional method that incorporates the modern concept of quick pressure cooking. What’s more, the starch remover or utensil comes with a neat handle lending it a basket-like appearance, so it is easy to hold it and take off from the cooker.

The stainless steel pressure cooker also comes with a high-impact bonded base so cooking is super fast and uniform. The base ensures that food doesn’t get stuck to it or get burnt.

Cut down those calories!

By using a diet cooker, you can effortlessly do away with at least 30 calories for every meal. Isn’t that a huge step towards a healthy diet and weight loss programme? Regular pressure-cooked rice is high on calories as all the starch gets re-absorbed into your cooked rice.

The other aspects you need to consider about pressure cookers include the material that the cooker’s body is made of, and the safety valve. Also find out about the finish of the diet cooker, both inside and outside (a mirror finish on the outside and a coating of satin inside), the material that handles are made of etc, so that you bring home a diet cooker that is perfect in every way.

Tips to Diagnose And Repair Appliances

The majority of appliances work on the electrical system of your home. They derive the AC current from the power boards on the walls of your house. Some electrical appliances operate on 110 volts and their plugs feature 2 blades. On the other hand, bigger appliances require 220 volts, such as dryers, rangers and air conditioners. Just like other things, appliances may also go out of order needing repair. You can repair them on your own with the tips given in this article.

Repairing Common Appliances

When repairing any type of appliance, make sure you follow three rules. You can’t save money or time just by not following these rules. In fact, you may end up damaging the appliance further.

· Disconnect the gas or power supply to the appliance before doing the diagnosis. In the same way, after you have fixed the device, make sure you don’t touch it while it is turned on. Just resume the power supply and then observe it from a distance.

· If the components of the device are stuck together with plugs, bolts and screws, you can repair it safely. On the other hand, if the device is held together with welds or rivets, you had better hire a professional.

· It’s a good idea to replace malfunctioning or broken parts of an appliance rather than make the repairs. If you are unable to find the same part, you can go for a part that is similar. However, make sure you read the instructions of the manufacturer before installing the new component.

Testing And Diagnosis

To locate the problem, make sure the appliance is plugged in properly and that the plug is in working condition. You can use a voltage meter to test if the outlet is in good working condition. Now, use the following steps to test and diagnose the appliance.

· Make sure the circuit breakers and fuses are not tripped or blown. In your home, there may be multiple electrical panels, especially for appliances that run on 220 volts, such as air conditioners and rangers. You should check each panel to make sure it has no tripped or blown fuses.

· At times, the breakers or fuses of the appliance itself are tripped or blown. In this case, you should press the reset button for restoration of power to the device.

· If the device uses water or gas, make sure the supply of gas or water is not stopped.

· Don’t forget to read the owner’s manual. In the manual, you may find some helpful solutions to the problems you may have. You can get the manual from the owner or from the website of the manufacturer if you don’t already have one.

How to Decide If You Need a New Refrigerator

If your refrigerator is acting up, should you call it quits and purchase a brand new unit or see if you can have it repaired? There are many things that affect the decision to repair or replace. Many of these depend on whether or not the repair would exceed the cost of a similar model.

Your refrigerator is a key part of your kitchen and household. Under normal circumstances, refrigerators typically don’t give the owner too much trouble and can last for years. But even the best models can break down. To decide whether you should buy a new fridge or repair your old one, check out these important factors:


Your refrigerator can last anywhere from 11 to 15 years. Of course, this number is based on the brand, usage, and maintenance. Although many consumers choose to upgrade their appliance early due to changes in style and technology, you can expect your refrigerator to last within this time range. Some refrigerators can even last 20 years. Keep in mind the longer you own your refrigerator, the more expensive the repairs will be if something goes wrong.

Is the unit between 8-15 years? Weigh the price of repairs against the cost of a new fridge. If the refrigerator is more than 15 years old, it’s time to replace.


The type of refrigerator plays a major role in whether or not it should be replaced. Units with a built in ice maker are more than twice as likely to need repairs compared to a top or bottom-freezer model without the ice maker.

Built-in refrigerators are typically less expensive to repair so unless there is critical damage, it’s worth calling a technician. Side-by-sides should be repaired within five years of purchasing and a replacement unit should be considered after. Bottom-freezers should be repaired seven years after purchase. After this time period, consider a replacement.

Energy Efficient

Even if your refrigerator is operating correctly, it can still be a costly appliance in terms of energy use. According to Energy Star, “more than 60 million refrigerators are over 10 years old, costing consumers $4.4 billion a year in energy costs.”

If your unit is an older model, keep an eye out new, more energy-efficient refrigerators. Many appliance stores offer rebates and sales, and buying a new fridge before your old one goes out can save you time and stress.

The Big Picture

While there are several deciding factors when determining whether you should repair or replace your refrigerator, use your best judgment. If you have a variety of bad parts or if the unit is old, then it will be more productive to replace. If you are getting rid of your old refrigerator, make sure to recycle it properly. Call your city or municipal waste management services. Many areas offer appliance recycle programs and pick up.