Major appliances, even when a household has installed ENERGY STAR rated products, can account for 20 to 30 percent of a household’s energy bills. In temperate climates where heating and cooling are not required on a regular basis, major appliances typically consume an even greater percentage of total energy usage.
By looking at just a few of our household appliances and changing our habits, we can reduce our energy consumption even further.
• The refrigerator – Keeping temperatures too low in the refrigerator and the freezer can result in a motor that consumes far more energy than is necessary. The optimal temperature for the refrigerator compartment is 38 degrees while the temperature level in freezer should be maintained at 4 degrees. These temperatures can maintain freshness while consuming energy efficiently.
• The dishwasher – The heated drying cycle of a dishwasher consumes energy unnecessarily, especially if there isn’t a need to pull dry dishes out of the machine at a specific time. Instead, use the air dry option which uses air blown by fans to dry the wash load.
• The washing machine – Opt for cold water washes whenever possible with your washing machine. In a hot water wash 90 percent of the energy consumed goes to heating water. Defaulting to hot cycles has become unnecessary as advancements in cold water washing detergents can now yield the same results as those of energy consuming hot water cycles. The advanced cleaning capabilities using cold water and cold water detergents now mean that hot water cycles need to only be used when greasy or oily stains need to be removed.
Each of these actions can capitalize on improved efficiencies of today’s appliances. By turning them into habits, you’ll be able to optimize your savings on a monthly basis.
Whether buying an extended warranty on a new appliance makes sense or not depends on a variety of considerations, due in part to the fact that the coverage and protection afforded by these warranties has changed dramatically over the last decade.
Here are some of the considerations that should be assessed to determine the value of an extended warranty:
Cost versus potential savings and/or replacement – An extended warranty will add to the purchase price of an appliance but the value is a function of the percentage of that increase. The extended warranties on smaller appliances can raise the purchase price by 35% or more, which decreases their value substantially. On the other hand, a warranty on a major appliance will likely be a much smaller percentage of the purchase price.
The coverage provided by the extended warranty versus the manufacturer’s warranty – While the warranty from the manufacturer will be relatively comprehensive, an extended warranty may have a level of coverage that is much less robust. Be sure to read the fine print to see how you’ll be protected.
The complexity of repairs – Many major appliances are fully integrated with computerized features that will likely be beyond the skill set of a local handyman to repair. If you’re purchasing an appliance that is loaded with computerized features, an extended warranty can save a lot of money in repairs.
When purchased under the right circumstances, an extended warranty can be a great investment. By avoiding warranties on lower cost items while purchasing protection on your major appliances, you’ll be in a position to replace and repair appliances in the most cost-effective manner possible.
While the terms “grilling” and “barbequing” are often used on an interchangeable basis, about the only similarities between the two cooking styles is that they both involve the cooking of meat in the outdoors. The determination of whether you will be grilling or barbequing starts by defining the cooking style.
Grilling, in terms of sheer numbers, is the more popular and simpler cooking style between the two, being a common sight at beach cookouts, parties, and other events. Grilling recipes are as varied as the people that prepare meat in this fashion with an almost limitless number of rubs, sauces, marinades, and spices that combine with the carmelization of naturally-occurring sugars in the meat to provide a wide range of tastes.
If you are grilling:
You are cooking with high heat temperatures that run in the vicinity of 500 to 600 degrees.
The meat you are cooking is being directly heated by burning coals or a gas flame.
Your cooking time is relatively short.
You are probably cooking higher quality steaks, hamburgers, chicken or hot dogs
Barbequing is completely different from grilling in that the process takes longer and requires some expertise to deliver a successful meal. Most of the meat’s flavor is derived from the smoke that emanates from the embers of selected types of wood.
You are cooking with lower temperatures ranging from 180 to 250 degrees
Your meat is not in direct contact with the heating source
You are cooking cuts of meat that benefit from longer cooking times such as ribs, shoulders, etc.
While the terms are often interchanged, grilling and barbequing are completely different styles of cooking. If you happen to be a person who enjoys cooking with both styles, the Primo ceramic grill is designed to allow grilling on one half while meats placed on the other side of a divider receive the indirect heat of the barbequing process. The grill can also be converted to a full grill or barbeque, depending on the size of the meal and the method of preparation.