Be Frugally Responsible: Part 1
With the historic downturn in the stock market, many families who thought they were sitting financially sound are facing reality. This article will provide tips on how to reduce utility bills, how going green saves you money, and how to avoid major expenses through preventative maintenance on your home.
Money Saving Tips on Your Laundry and Water Softener
Laundry Tip #1
Make sure your dryer exhaust is installed properly and kept free of lint. Dryer lint is highly flammable. A dryer exhaust should:
1. Not exceed 25’. If there are any 45 degree turns, subtract 2.5’ for each turn. If there are any 90 degree elbows, subtract 5’ for each turn. The more turns you have, the more areas lint can collect.
2. Be of rigid metal having smooth interior surfaces with joints running in the direction of airflow. They also should not be fastened with sheet metal screws.
3. Exhaust to the exterior. Like I’ve seen way too many times, dryers SHOULD NOT EXHAUST into the crawlspace, garage, attic, or into a finished space with woman’s pantyhose covering the end. The excess moisture a dryer produces will enable mold to flourish. Gas dryers produce deadly carbon monoxide and NEED to exhaust to the exterior for obvious safety reasons.
4. Not have a screen at the end of the exhaust pipe. This can cause lint to collect and eventually clog up the line.
Not having a properly installed & lint free dryer exhaust can restrict airflow causing your dryer to run twice as long as it needs to every time you dry your clothes. This will cut your dryer’s useful life in half.
Laundry Tip #2
The lint trap on your dryer will form a filmy clear residue restricting airflow. Don’t believe me? Take yours out and pour water in it. If it holds water, you need to clean it with warm soapy water. Try to remember to clean this approximately every 6 months. This also improves the energy efficiency of the dryer.
Laundry Tip #3
Only wash with cold water. 25% of the home’s gas bill is utilized by heating water. The average 4-person family will do 3-4 loads of laundry per week. That’s a lot of heated water! There is laundry detergent specifically made for cold washings that cleans your clothes just as well.
Water Softener Tip
If you are on a septic system, turn the water softener off. Water softeners push too much water through the septic tank causing hydraulic overload, which is when the solids churn up and can clog your laterals. Digging up your clogged laterals and having new installed isn’t cheap. It’s amazing how long the water runs when the softener is discharging the brine.
Part 2 / Part 3