Simple tip: Keep your refrigerator from working overtime

frig dollrRefrigerators happen to be a home appliance that MUST consume energy at all times.  In fact, they contribute an average of 8-10% to our monthly energy bill, and that is unavoidable.

I’ve shared my simple “1-2-3” tips for ways to make your refrigerator as efficient as possible, but sometimes the energy loss has nothing to do what you’re doing… it can have a lot to do with what your refrigerator isn’t doing:  holding the cold!

Poorly sealing door gaskets may be the problem and (just like my recent tip to check water waste from your toilets) there is a simple way to find out if your fridge is failing you!:

  • Close a dollar bill (half-in/half-out) between the door gaskets. The bill should be difficult to remove.  If it slips out easily, your door isn’t sealing properly and you’re likely losing cold air… the gasket may need to be replaced.  Do this test for your freezer too.

I seem to be on a home maintenance kick, but my husband wouldn’t be surprise… he’s quite “un-handy” and dubbed me Mrs. MacGyver (while he’s more like MacGruber)!

Anyhow!… give the test a try. If your refrigerator keeps running and running… well, you better go catch it!

Could your toilet be wasting 500 GALLONS of water a day?

toil $Sound crazy? It sure does, but did you know that one in five toilets actually has an extremely wasteful leak?  And these leaks can waste anywhere from 30 to (yes!) 500 GALLONS of water per day!

You may presume that you would hear the water or see the leak, but this isn’t the case.  It often goes undetected. It can also increase during nighttime hours when less water is being used and the pressure increases.  So while you sleep, your water bill could be drastically rising and you could be wasting crucially important water.

There is a very simple way to know for sure:

  • Just put a few drops of food coloring in the tank.  Wait about 15 to 20 minutes and if color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak, my friend.

I recommend doing this for all toilets in your home as late in the evening as possible.  The problem is often a poorly fitting flapper valve and the solution is simple… just replace it!

I’m still combating my suddenly excessive water bills that started a year ago, but we’ve checked for toilet leaks and they’re not the problem… (back to the battle with the water department!).

While the task doesn’t sound very glamorous, it’s certainly worth testing just to be sure!  That “one in five” may be in your very own home!