Jeff Flowers

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INFOGRAPHIC: How You Can Save Money & Energy for Earth Day

Just in time for Earth Day, we published this infographic over on our sister site, LivingDirect.com.

Whether you’re a homeowner or not, there’s no better time to take a closer look at the amount of energy you use on a daily basis. By using less, you’ll not only save money on your monthly bills, but you’ll also lower your overall energy footprint. Not just on Earth Day, but every day.

According to the EPA, home energy use accounts for 27% of the average American’s carbon footprint, even more than driving around in your car. But, as technology advances, appliances have become more and more efficient. It’s easier than ever to use less and save more.

Click on Infographic to view larger version.

Earth Day Infographic - Guide to Saving Money & Energy

More Money Saving Tips:

Tips for Cleaning & Caring For Your Washing Machine

Just because your washing machine was created to clean things, doesn’t make it exempt from needing some cleaning and care itself from time to time. Your washing machine is an appliance, and like any appliance it needs a bit of TLC every now and then in order to stay in top form. If you spend a few moments now, you will likely keep your washer working as it should, as well as possibly have to spend hundreds of dollars on repairs later on.

EdgeStar Washer Dryer Combo

Whether you own a washer dryer combo or a full-size unit, here are a few tips that everybody should know when it comes to keeping their washing machines in top-working order.

Deep Scrubbing

In order to make sure that your clothes are coming out as clean as they can possibly be, it’s a good idea to deep clean your washing machine once a month. This is also a good way to keep odd smells out of your washer. There are cleaners made specifically for washing machines that you can put to good use. When using a washing machine cleaner, you’ll want to run the machine on an empty cycle on hot wash.

If you like, you can make your own washing machine cleaner with a 3/4 cup of bleach and a teaspoon of powdered laundry detergent. Allow the mixture to run through a single soak cycle before you start up a rinse cycle to make sure that all of the bleach has been washed away.
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The Next Big Thing in Portable Air Conditioners: InvisiMist Technology

With the never-ending Polar Vortex over staying its welcome across the country this week, it may be tough to think about warmer weather, but (fingers crossed) it’s coming. In years past, extreme winters have led to extreme summers, so you may want to get prepared. Here at Compact Appliance, getting prepared means setting up our portable air conditioners.

These versatile cooling products are a great solution for those who need an alternative to central or window air cooling systems or need to supplement their existing cooling system. For those who live in apartments that don’t have central air or have strict HOAs preventing the use of window units, portable ACs have been the perfect way to meet their needs. For home owners tired of paying outrageous energy bills during the summer months, portable air conditioners offer a way to spot cool only the areas they’re occupying at that time.
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4 Different Types of Freezers and Their Best Uses

The freezer is a relatively modern invention, only becoming widespread after World War II. Today it can be difficult to imagine the home without at least one freezer, though. They have become one of the most common ways for people to preserve meat and other foods. Freezing foods protects them from bacteria, mold, and rot. Many people prefer to shop less frequently and buy large quantities in order to save money and time. A standalone freezer can be a thrifty alternative to purchasing a refrigerator that has a larger freezer section.

Freezers come in many sizes, but they can be separated into these four basic styles that have very distinct purposes.

Chest Freezers

Chest Freezer

The most economical freezer is the chest freezer. It is called this because it is typically shaped like a large box or chest with a hinged lid that opens upward. Because of the lid, a chest freezer requires adequate space with plenty of head room.

Chest freezers range in size from compact models as small as 2.1 cubic feet to commercial sizes with more than 40 cubic feet of space. The most common place to find a chest freezer is the garage, utility room, or basement of a house, since it tends to be such a large appliance. The large, boxy dimensions of the chest freezer are ideal for storing bulky items that do not typically fit well into the freezer section of a refrigerator. This economical use of space frees up the refrigerator freezer for convenience foods.
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5 Things to Consider When Buying a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a powerful tool that can make your living and working space much healthier. Whether you’re dealing with damp winter weather or sweltering summer humidity, dehumidifiers can keep you comfortable and protect your possessions from mold and mildew.

If you’re thinking about buying a dehumidifier, these five tips can help you choose the best unit for your needs and use it as efficiently as possible.
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FAQs: Built-In / Undercounter Ice Makers

Here at CompactAppliance, we know ice makers. We also know that as you look for that perfect match, you may have a few questions. We’re hoping to answer those questions even before you know what to ask.

Undercounter Ice Maker

Here are the most frequently asked questions we receive for undercounter ice makers, as well as their subsequent answers.

  1. Do I need a water line for my built-in ice maker?
  2. How do I install an undercounter ice maker?
  3. What type of ice do built-in ice machines make?
  4. What is the difference between ice production capacity and ice storage capacity?
  5. Do I need to use a water filter with my undercounter ice machine?
  6. Do I need a drain for my undercounter ice maker?
  7. What should I consider when shopping for an undercounter ice maker?
  8. How do I clean and maintain my undercounter ice maker?
  9. Should I use a gravity drain or a pump drain with my built-in ice maker?
  10. Can I use my undercounter ice maker in the garage?
  11. Do I need a special plug or dedicated power line to run my ice maker?

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4 Ways to Save Money with a Mini-Split

Whether you are building a new home and looking for a cost saving efficient way to heat and cool your home, or adding on to your current home with the same idea of heating and cooling in a way that will not cost an arm and a leg, you may be asking yourself “what are mini-splits?” An easy way to describe them would be to say that they are a cross between an older window A/C unit and a central air system.

Mini Split Unit in Living Room

Here are some ways that the mini-split heat pump can save you time, money, and even sanity when installed in your home!

1. Save by Installing Separate Units

A mini-split heat pump unit has many benefits. One of these is the ability to install up to eight interior units for each exterior unit. This means that rooms or living spaces can have their own heat and cooling source that is not dependent on the rest of the house.

Installing one huge HVAC unit with the intent of heating an entire home tends to leave hot rooms, cold corners, and a furnace or A/C unit that must be run much too often simply to cover those areas that are never quite a comfortable temperature. Mini-splits are a great way to get supplemental heat, so you can stay warm without wasting money to heat or cool unused rooms.
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How to Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

Building a fire pit is a great way to add outdoor ambiance to your backyard. Outdoor fire pits are perfect gathering places and add a rustic charm to your home that could normally only be achieved with a venture out into the woods for a camping trip. Fire pits give you the best of both worlds, and they are relatively easy to build.

Here are our tips to building an outdoor fire pit. Of course, you should consult any local ordinances before you proceed on a project such as this.

Purchasing Your Materials

Whether you have designed your own specifications for your fire pit or you are planning on following a standard design, it is important that you know exactly what you will need before you purchase any of your materials.

Many people make the mistake of being overly eager and heading full-steam into their local home improvement store with only a vague idea of their plans. This typically leads to a waste of money through the purchase of unnecessary materials. Take the time to note what tools and materials you already have, and determine what you will need to buy before you head to the store.
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Pressure Cooker vs. Slow Cooker: Which One Is Right for You?

Pressure cookers and slow cookers seem similar, but they are actually very different methods of cooking food. A pressure cooker uses hot steam and pressure to quickly cook food, such as dried beans, faster than conventional cooking methods. Slow cookers use lower temperatures and longer cooking times to slowly cook food, such as meat and stews.

Both the pressure cooker and the slow cooker have their advantages in the kitchen, and there are even some appliances that combine both pressure cooking and slow cooking in the same machine like the Nesco 3-in-1 Digital Pressure Cooker.

Pressure Cooker Fagor

Pressure Cookers

Pressure cookers are commonly associated with dramatically reducing rice cooking times but it is easy to make a multitude of dishes like dulce de leche by pressure cooking condensed milk, roasting garlic, and even homemade bread! The science behind a pressure cooker is simple. Less liquid is used for steaming or boiling combined with a shorter cook time than when using an ordinary saucepan keeping your meal vitamin and mineral rich. Like most anything in the kitchen, get creative and before you know it your new favorite recipe might be pressure cooked rosemary risotto or red wine braised beef shank.

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