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Easy Tips To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Home Appliances


Whether you bought your home appliance at a local outlet or a big-box retailer, chances are you purchased it with the intent it would last a long time. But just as cars need the occasional oil change and tune up to extend their mileage, your home appliances need some added attention now and again too. Well-maintained appliances use less energy, require fewer repairs, and last longer. And all of these benefits add up to more savings in your pocket. My experience in the appliance industry has taught me you can't stop time, but there are a few things you can do to extend the lifespan of your appliances and keep them running well beyond their warranties.

extend home appliance lifespan

Photo by Flickr user David Locke

Below I've outlined my tips to extend the lifespan of the most commonly used home appliances:

REFRIGERATOR. The refrigerator's gaskets (the plastic strip that forms a seal between the fridge and doors) help keep cool air inside the fridge, conserving energy. To help the gaskets stay elastic and form a better seal, periodically wipe them clean, removing all residue and coat them with a thin film of Vaseline.

Dirty or dusty refrigerator coils can restrict airflow through the appliance, causing it to overheat and potentially break down. Remove your fridge's kick plate (the front panel near the floor) or reach around the back of the fridge and clean the coils with a handheld vacuum.

DISHWASHER. Like the refrigerator, a faulty gasket can prevent your dishwasher from operating correctly and efficiently. Dirt, cracks, or other buildup on the gasket can cause your dishwasher to leak. I recommend regularly cleaning it with soap and water to keep a watertight seal.

When loading your dishwasher, be careful to not damage the racks. The racks are typically coated with a vinyl material that can be damaged from rough use. Dishwasher racks are typically very expensive and often rival the cost of a new appliance, so keeping them in good shape can prevent another unwanted bill.

WASHING MACHINE. The #1 useful tip for your washing machine is ... Don't overload the washing machine! Yes, it really can be that simple. Clothes need to be able to move freely during a wash cycle. If the machine is jammed full of clothes, it will need more energy to move them around. This means added strain on the washer's motor, transmission, belts, and other parts.

That being said, it's also very important to not under-load the machine. Small loads can lead to off-balance cycles, which put a strain on the drive components. Plus, small loads waste water and energy, since there is very little difference in the amount of energy and water used for a full appliance deals load and small load.

CLOTHES DRYER. Like the washing machine, it's important to not overload the clothes dryer. A large load places increased strain on the appliance as it struggles to effectively dry the clothing. Also be aware of your dry time. Thirty-five minutes is typically plenty of time to dry your clothes, compared to the 60 minutes dryers are usually set for. Reducing dry time saves energy and decreases the strain put on your dryer, as well as your clothes. If your dryer has an auto-dry setting, use it. Auto-dry heats only as much air as necessary and will reduce energy use.

It's also important to regularly monitor the dryer's external vent cap -- located outside your home -- for a buildup of lint and dust. Debris prevents the cap from operating normally and reduces airflow, potentially causing premature failure of the motor and thermostats. Plus, it's a potential fire hazard.

Finally, for all major appliances, it's advisable to fix minor problems before they become a bigger issue and affect other components. Unusual leaks and noises should be investigated as they occur to help minimize the cost of maintaining your appliances and prolong their lifespan.

Live Better America Well Being, Fix Washing Machine, Appliance Repair, Appliance Maintenance, Fix Refrigerator, Fix Appliances, Dishwasher Repair, Extend The Life Of Appliances, Fix Dishwasher, Dryer Repair, Fix Clothes Dryer, Refrigerator Repair

PGATOUR.COM - Official Home of the FedExCup


PGATOUR.COM Official Home of the FedExCup

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Uber's cheapest service significantly lowers drunken driving deaths in California, study finds


Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have new ammunition in their fight to operate in cities around the world -- a study that concludes they could save thousands of lives.

The upstart services have battled the organized taxi lobby and politicians for entry into new markets around the world, but have made their case based on claims that they create jobs and provide competition that benefits consumers. Now, Temple University researchers have released a study that shows the entry of Uber into markets in California between 2009 and 2014 tracks a drop of as high as 5.6 percent in drunken-driving deaths.

"We looked at the entire state of California from 2009 to 2014," Sunil Wattal, who co-authored the study with fellow researcher Brad Greenwood, told "We wanted to demonstrate in a quantitative and robust manner the impact Uber has on drunk driving.

"We found that UberX actually reduced drunk-driving related fatalities," Wattal added.

"We found that UberX actually reduced drunk-driving related fatalities."

- Sunil Wattal, Temple University

Using data from the California Highway Commission, the researchers found that UberX, the company's least expensive service, significantly reduced the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths throughout the state -- with the greatest impact in the larger cities.

He noted, however, that no such link was found with Uber Black, the company'shighest priced service, consisting of commercially registered and insured livery vehicles -- typically a black SUV or luxury sedan with a significant markup over traditional taxicabs.

The researchers theorized that the Uber Black's higher cost and lower accessibility might explain why it does not provide the same benefit as the no-frills version of Uber.

"Economically, results indicate that the entrance of Uber X results in a 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent decrease in the rate of motor vehicle homicides per quarter in the state of California," the two concluded. "With more than 1,000 deaths occurring in California due to alcohol-related car crashes every year, this representsa substantial opportunity to improve public welfare and save lives."

Matt McKenna, an Uber spokesman, said the Temple University study only bolsters similar data previously collected by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the nations largest nonprofit working to protect people from drunken driving and underage drinking.

"The results of this study complement research we released earlier this year with MADD that showed that the introduction of reliable and affordable transportation options like Uber are having a meaningful impact on the rates of drunk driving crashes in California," McKenna told Tuesday.

Uber and MADD studied the service's impact in several major U.S. cities. Their report found that in Miami, for instance, Uber ridership peaks at the same time as historical drunken-driving related crashes. In Seattle, Uber's entry into the market was associated with a 10 percent decrease in DUI arrests, according to the report, and in Pittsburgh, the demand for Uber spikes right around the times bars close. The report also looked at traditional taxi services, claiming that taxi supply in Austin decreases when people most want rides, and when DUI arrests are most common.

Taxi cab associations, however, take issue with the study that is being used to bolster support for Uber -- claiming traditional taxi services have long helped to reduce drunken driving, while also adhering to important safety procedures.

"UberX is absolutely their most controversial product," said Dave Sutton of the group, "Who's Driving You?" -- a public safety campaign formed on behalf of the Taxi, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA).

"Its been roundly criticized for its lack of insurance and lack of rigorous criminal background checks on drivers," Sutton said of UberX.

"It should be obvious to all involved that Uber is a taxi service, and taxi service is an extension of public transportation," he told "If you have passengers relying on this service to avoid dangerous activity, such as drunk driving, then the service itself should be adhering to the best safety practices and UberX is not."

To use Uber, passengers must first create an account with the service through the app on their iPhone or Android device -- which includes the customer's name, mobile number, email, language and billing information. After logging in with a username and password, the passenger selects his or her vehicle preference -- for instance, a black car, which can seat up to four people, or an SUV, which can seat up to six. The customer then marks the pick-up location on a map with a pin and the driver uses the phone holder's coordinates to arrive at the location. The cost of the ride depends on the time and distance. During certain peak times -- like New Year's Eve -- Uber enacts what it calls "surge pricing."

"The ease of Uber is just amazing," said Colleen Sheehey-Church, president of MADD, who praised the technology of the ride-sharing service and saidthe Temple University study "backs up everything we have already said."

"The study does show that easier and cheaper options will have an impact," Sheehey-Church told "Were looking to change behavior and when a person has thought about it in advance, if they have easy access with a smartphone to do one click, it's the best thing for them to do to get home safely."

Sheehey-Church, whose teenage son was killed at the hands of a drunk and drugged driver, said she also advocates traditional taxi services as well as public transportation.

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