MYTH: Cold water won’t properly wash your clothes
FACT: Modern washers are designed to clean in cold water and 90 percent of a washer’s energy goes toward the water heating. So by washing with hot water, you’re pouring money down the drain.
MYTH: You must rinse your dishes before they run in the dishwasher
FACT: Dishwashers and detergent clean best when starting with dirty dishes. The detergent needs food to activate and many dishwashers use sensors to determine the “turbidity” level of the water so if the dishwasher thinks the dishes are already clean, it will run shorter and colder.
Today, an Energy Star dishwasher uses only 4 gallons of water or less, and some estimates say you’ll use 20 gallons of water from your faucet pre-rinsing dishes. So it’s better to run the dishes through 4 times than to put them in rinsed.
MYTH: More soap = more clean
FACT: Just because dishwashers and washers now require less water to clean properly doesn’t mean that everyone has gotten the message to reduce our detergent use in conjunction. Too much dishwasher detergent can leave a white film on dishes and too much laundry detergent can cause oversudsing in the washer, reducing the performance and lifespan of a washer not too mention leaving soap residue on your clothes that didn’t properly rinse out.
MYTH: Using an old refrigerator as a second beverage refrigerator is a money-saving idea
FACT: The electricity to power an old refrigerator over several years will cost more than an energy efficient replacement…and then some! Energy Star’s website cleverly offers a Refrigerator Retirement Savings calculator.
I plugged in what I consider some common figures and found that the cost to a homeowner of a 20 year old top-freezer fridge (probably 18 cu ft) would be $620 over 5 years. A new Energy Star model costs about $40/year to run vs. $125/yr PLUS many local utilities will actually pay you $35 or more to let them come haul away your second refrigerator.
MYTH: Buying a more powerful A/C will cool down your space faster
FACT: The A/C will just cycle off more frequently when it reaches the temperature in the room, reducing efficiency, lifespan and causing uncomfortable temperature fluctuations. Buy a window air conditioner or room air conditioner that’s just right for your space.
MYTH: When the oven’s preheating chime sounds, it’s fully reached temperature
FACT: Some preheat chimes are on a timer so it shouldn’t be trusted for finicky bakers, who should test the temperature with a thermometer. For your everyday pizzas and casseroles, you’d be fine however.
MYTH: You don’t need to turn on your ventilation until there’s smoke
FACT: You should start running your ventilation 10 minutes before you start cooking to create an airflow and leave it running 5 minutes after you’re done for best results.
Window air conditioners are the most common style of A/C, but — like everything else in appliances — they’re by no means standard.
Depending on your home, you might purchase a casement air conditioner or a wall air conditioner instead.
Casement air conditioners (also known as slider casement air conditioners) are very similar to window units, but they’re designed for framed windows with a sliding sash or metal casement. Casement air conditioners are tall and thin as opposed to traditional window units, which are short and wide.
In general, casement air conditioners cost more than traditional window units and offer less selection.
Wall air conditioners, you guessed it, go into a wall cutout. Air and moisture vent through their back, unlike window and casement window units, which exhaust air and moisture out both the sides and the back.
Window air conditioners are NOT appropriate for use in a wall application, as the compressor could burn out from improper ventilation and moisture build-up could cause mold in the walls.
Wall air conditioners also are generally more expensive than window units, as they are more of a specialty product.
But if you don’t like the look of a air conditioner hanging out of your window or if you dislike reinstalling your window unit every year, getting a wall unit cut in to your house could be the answer.
Don’t expect any reprieve after the weekend’s hot, humid weather. Today’s supposed to see record high temperatures in the 90s.
Excessive Heat Warnings have been issued for this afternoon and early tonight for Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
Here at Warners’ Stellian, that means sweaty, sleepless customers start shopping for window AC units (or wall air conditioners).
If you’re shopping for a window air conditioner but don’t know what to look for, check out our air conditioner buying guide.
Don’t try to sweat it out, either, thinking you’ll save money. Buy early in the season, because window air conditioning is a seasonal item and runs out at nearly every store every summer. TRUST. ME.
I fielded far too many calls from desperate families looking for window air conditioners later in the summer after stores had sold out of normal window air conditioner BTU units (the only units left were the more expensive, 20,000-plus BTU units). My heart broke for families pleading for help for their elderly parents, etc. But once they run out…
Buying bigger than you need isn’t a great idea, either, or moisture won’t be removed from the air. From our buying guide:
In addition to cooling, air conditioners also dehumidify a small amount of moisture from the air. So it’s important to buy an air conditioner with cooling power appropriate to the size of the room it is in. If the air conditioner is too powerful, the room will be cooled too quickly for moisture to be removed. This results in a lower room temperature with high humidity levels. This kind of environment can cause the air conditioner to cycle on and off, ultimately creating a room that feels damp and clammy.
In terms of figuring out how many BTUs you should buy, Good Housekeeping has a great online calculator to take the guesswork out of it.
Of course, Warners’ Stellian can do the calculating for you if you come prepared with your square footage and room information.