Posts Tagged ‘washer’

Want Dollars for Dishwashers?

November 17, 2009

Though it lacks a pithy catchall like Cash for Clunkers, the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program — or Cash for Appliances as I like to call it — is close to being approved for the state of Minnesota.

Administered by the state Department of Energy Security, the program likely will offer one rebate per household while supplies last of $100-$200 for the purchase of a qualifying appliance beginning around March 2010 (or later; it was first expected to begin this fall!)

Qualifying appliances mean Energy Star-rated models of refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dishwashers. So waiting until March to replace your stove, microwave or dryer is NOT smart. Though, neither is waiting in general.

You’re thinking, “I bought my kitchen only 12 (or something) years ago. It can’t be that bad!”

Consider this: A refrigerator, washer and dishwasher bought in the 1990s cost an average $207 more per year in utility costs than current, energy-efficient models.

A washer purchased in this decade still costs an average of nearly 3x more to run than a 2009 Energy Star model.

So in the months waiting, you’re actually spending more money, not saving it.

Brands like Frigidaire are offering up to $150 in Energy Star rebates, which end in November. And many utility companies already offer incentives to replace your appliances with Energy Star models. For example, Shakopee Public Utilities offers $60 to replace a dishwasher and $65 for refrigerators, freezers and washers.

$150 + $60 + ($65 x 3) = $405 in rebates.

See DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) for a full list of residential incentives.

The state was granted about $5 million from the federal government for the program, and about $400,000 of that will be used towards administration, such as rebate processing. So only an estimated 25,000 rebates will be available.

Warners’ Stellian and other retailers were asked to commit our own in-kind funds for serivices like consumer education, which is exactly what you see going on here.

If you’d like to receive news alerts related to the Cash for Appliances program, e-mail with the subject SUBSCRIBE.

Cleaning your washer – 3 tips on how to clean a smelly washer

October 28, 2009

frigaffinityFront-load washers earned the reputation for being high-efficiency, eco-friendly machines with outstanding cleaning power … that smell bad. (My sister/salesperson Angela Warner actually talked to WCCO-4 about the problem with smelly washers about a year ago.)

So why do front-load washing machines sometimes smell? For many of the reasons that they’re generally better machines, ironically enough.

High-efficiency washers use MUCH less water, so more residue and detergent can be left behind after the cycle. Both front- and top-load washers that are high-efficiency can suffer from this, but high-efficiency top-load washing machines are less common.

Constant cold water cycles can also contribute to the stink, as they don’t always fully dissolve dirt and grease from the interior of the wash tub. Also, the tightly sealed door, left closed after a wash cycle, might not dry completely, which leads to the growth of odor-causing bacteria (Think: when you leave wet clothes in the washer for too long).

Luckily, the solution is as easy as 1-2-3. I know it’s cheesy, but if you remember these three easy steps, yo nose will be in the clear.

1. Keep the gasket dry

The crevasses of your washing machine gasket, which is the rubber seal that runs the perimeter of the door and opening, is a favorite place for moisture and residue to hang out. Keep a rag handy to quickly wipe this area dry after you’re done with laundry for the day.

2. Keep the washer door open

After you wipe down the gasket, fight the urge to shut the door. Don’t you hang a wet beach towel out to dry? Same thinking. Let the washer air out so there’s no opportunity for the mildewy smell to develop.

3. Use a washer cleaner

Use a cleaner formulated specifically for the interior of the machine, such as Affresh, once a month to prevent odor. And if your washer already smells, you should use Affresh three times to get back on track. Read more about how Affresh works.

These steps have become second nature for us in using our front-load laundry pair. And it’s worth it for the money savings in utility costs, the huge capacity and the superior cleaning. Are any of you still struggling with this? If not, what worked for you?


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