When most people think about saving money and energy with their appliances, they think about
it from the perspective of reducing usage, buying more energy-efficient models, and utilizing
greener fuels when possible.
They purchase programmable thermostats, upgrade to high-efficiency laundry machines,
check into solar-powered add-ons, and much more.
All of those steps are great, and they definitely reduce your energy consumption.
But one step that is sometimes lost in the shuffle is simple maintenance activities that improve
your appliance efficiency during whatever time you do use them.
“Equipment that is well-maintained is
more efficient and consequently
uses less energy.”
So after you’ve invested time, money, and thought in a good system for home functions, take some
time to think about what you can do to maintain this equipment for even more efficient use.
Most of this boils down to reducing different types of strain on equipment.
Good cleaning habits are essential when it comes to powered equipment of all kinds.
Imagine a lawn mower with its deck stuffed full of grass.
How well does it cut?
It might stagger through, but you can hear the motor straining to function, and that means that
fuel efficiency is not being optimized.
“Good cleaning habits are essential when it
comes to powered equipment of all kinds.
The same goes for anything with moving air.”
The filters on your furnace should be changed every month by you or your landlord, and you should
also have a program for routine HVAC maintenance.
Failing to do so causes the fan to work harder on your system, and apart from shortening its life span,
that also makes the fan use more electricity to operate.
These processes don’t have to be pollutive.
Just as you can accomplish household cleaning without using dangerous chemicals, much mechanical
upkeep is green as well.
In fact, simply removing dust by hand or by replacing a filter (with one made from recycled materials,
of course) is all that most of these appliances require.
“Keeping items clean, lubricated, and cool
is the best method for making the most
of energy-efficient appliances.”
Moving parts create friction, no matter how well they’re assembled.
Certain such moving parts require some type of material to reduce the wear and tear on those bearings,
axles, wheels, and so forth.
While some things can be a little tricky to lubricate, it’s important to do what’s necessary to keep that
friction to a minimum.
“Making sure that you maintain a
sufficient level of lubrication will extend life
and reduce energy consumption.”
The theory is the same as general cleaning.
Resistance against moving parts makes them work harder and wear out faster, so making sure that
you maintain a sufficient level of lubrication will extend life and reduce energy consumption.
Again, there’s no need to waste petroleum products in some of these applications.
In fact, it can be a great way to use up old motor oil.
Now you’re not only improving the efficiency of your appliances and equipment, you’re
also getting use out of a waste product.
“Getting the right equipment is the best way to
begin a job, but once it’s in place, it’s only as good
as its maintenance program.”
Keeping operating temperatures low is also helpful.
Your refrigerator, for example, will cool food more efficiently if the motor itself is cooler.
Most of these appliances are backed into cabinet niches or kitchen corners where air
movement is poor.
Yet anytime that the unit is cooling, it’s moving air.
That air carries dust that can clog the areas around the motor, slowing air movement and increasing
High temps make wear and tear more severe, and once again, we see higher energy consumption.
Getting the right equipment is the best way to begin a job, but once it’s in place, it’s only as good as its
Keeping things clean, lubricated, and cool is the best method for making the most of energy-efficient
Is appliance cleaning and maintenance part of your routine?
What are your best tips for smart maintenance of your energy-efficient equipment?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.