Sense Blog

Eric G’s Top 5 Appliance Hacks to Save You Money This Summer

Keep the repair guy away and reduce your utility bill with these DIY home tips

To get your summer off to a good start, we turned to DIY expert and radio host Eric Goranson for his top five hacks to keep your appliances humming efficiently while saving you money.

Here’s what he recommends:

Hack #1 Deodorize that smelly washing machine!

We toss all our dirtiest stuff into the washer nearly every day, but when was the last time you cleaned it inside? Until recently, front load machines had a problem with the inside smelling bad or musty because mold and mildew and grime would build up between the inside and outside drum. Top load washing machines can have a similar issue. If you have one of those older machines, don’t run out and replace it. You can find washing machine cleaners now that you use on a monthly basis to clean and sanitize the inside and have it smelling fresh every single use.

Hack #2 Clean the washer’s filter

Most front load washing machines have a filter located inside the unit that protects the pump from hair pins, small change, and anything else that makes it inside your pocket and from there into the washer. If your washer is not spinning all the water out of your clothes, this is the first place you go to get that water moving again. The filter should be checked and cleaned every six months or so–or even more if you’re handy and have small kids in the household who like to collect stuff in their pockets. Check your owner’s manual or online for details on pump access. It might be behind a panel someplace. Besides saving your pump from damage, this DIY hack will save you some serious energy costs by wringing more of the water out of your clothes before they hit the dryer, which reduces dryer time – and energy bills.

Sense Energy Tips: Use cool water whenever you can, and be sure to spin your clothes thoroughly before drying. If your washer is more than 10 years old, a new ENERGY STAR model will save on water and electricity. Learn more about washers here.

Hack #3 Fireproof your dryer

We know you’ve heard this advice before, but think now, when was the last time you cleaned your dryer duct to the outside? Dryer fires can be a serious fire hazard in your home. I recommend cleaning this out every spring and you will be surprised how much lint can come out of there. This will save you money as well as drastically reducing a fire risk inside your home. You can hit your home centers and get the right brushes or hire a professional to take care of it for you.

Sense Energy Tips: Hang your clothes to dry when possible and use the delicate setting on your dryer. It takes longer but uses less energy. Read this for more ways to spend less on drying laundry.

Hack #4 Do a DIY Oven Tune-up

When was the last time you tuned up your oven? Maybe never? When I tested my oven, the inside temperature was off by 60 degrees when it was set at 400 degrees. That makes a big difference when it comes to cooking times. Put an oven thermometer in your oven, set the temperature and test it out. Check your oven’s manual (or online guide) and follow its instructions to adjust the screw on the back of the knob or adjust it electronically. The only bad part….is re-learning your recipes and adjusting for the new, accurate temperature. LOL

Sense Tip: Set an alert in the Sense app so you don’t leave the oven or other hot devices running by mistake.

Hack #5 Clean Your Fridge Coils, for Real!

Have you ever dusted your refrigerator? No, not outside… under and behind it? Those coils are what keeps your refrigerator cool, and if they’re all covered in dust bunnies, pet hair, and whatever else has been on your kitchen floor for the last few years, it reduces the lifespan of your appliance and makes your fridge work harder to stay cool. Save yourself a ton of money on annual energy costs by keeping the underside of your fridge cleaned out. Just pop the toe kick cover on a regular refrigerator and carefully start vacuuming it out. Be careful when you do this as there are parts down there that can be easily damaged

Sense Energy Tip: Knowing how your refrigerator is functioning will help you reduce your electricity bill.

Tackle these easy DIY projects in the next few weeks to save money on your electricity and appliance repair bills over the rest of the summer.

Thank you, Eric, for these awesome tips! Check out Eric’s podcast for even more expert home advice.