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How to Keep Appliances Running Efficiently with Children in the Home

When you have small children running around the house, it may seem too ambitious to try and reduce your energy bills. It’s really not! In fact, there are few better ways to raise energy-conscious adults than by teaching children what it takes to maximize energy savings throughout the year. With the strategies listed below, the whole family can work together to become more energy conscious, increase energy savings, and keep appliances running efficiently in the process.

Provide Monthly Rewards 

If you want to help your kids become more conscious about the importance of appliance maintenance and care, you can try the strategy many parents swear by: the reward system! This method encourages desired behavior through positive reinforcement, such as rewards. Not only can rewards help teach children about how to take care of appliance the whole family relies on, but it will also help make them more aware of appliance usage, while building your child's self-esteem (and that’s a pretty great thing). The key is customizing the reward systems based on your children’s age, interests and personality. A great way to reward kids for their energy awareness and efficiency is to show them last year's energy bill and tell them they will get half of any savings if the current energy bill is lower than last year’s. Review the energy bills together each month, track progress and pay (or not) according to the amount of savings.  

Change Filters 

The task of changing and cleaning filters on a regular basis isn’t too difficult, but most people often forget to do it - let alone replace and clean the vacuum filter! A big part of keeping appliances running efficiently in the home is to perform regularly maintenance like changing filters. This not only helps keep the appliance running smoothly, it also helps saves energy and prolongs the lifespan of the appliance. For appliances that are used more frequently, check the filter every few weeks. For example, your AC filter should be cleaned or replaced every four to six weeks during the hottest months to keep it running smoothly.

A great way to get the kids involved in this process is to give them the responsibility of remembering to change appliance filters. Let them remind the rest of the family when it's time for filters to be cleaned or replaced. Add this to their reward program as extra incentive. 

Defrost Responsibilities  

If your freezer or fridge is overflowing with frost and ice, it’s not a good thing when it comes to efficiency and saving energy! The more iced up your freezer or fridge is, the more energy it uses to maintain a consistent temperature. It’s important to defrost any over-frosted freezer on a regular basis, either by scraping off ice manually with a specialty scraper (to avoid damaging your freezer walls), or by using a steam cleaner. Just remember to have your kids bring towels prior to starting the defrost process to soak up the excess water! You can also make regularly defrosting the freezer the kid's responsibility and add it to their monthly savings reward. Make defrosting a family affair!  

Related Topic: Why Is Frost Building Up in My Freezer 

Reduce Standby  

One of the best ways to keep appliances running efficiently and reduce your energy bill as a family is by turning off and unplugging appliances that aren’t being used. Leaving appliances on standby won’t harm them, but it will add unnecessary charges to your energy bill. Appliances like fridges and freezers should be left on, but some appliances like a toaster oven, coffee machine, computer, and lamps can be unplugged when not in use. Appliances like your washer and dryer, dishwasher, and TVs can all be turned off when not being actively used.  

It sounds like a simple strategy, and it is. But it can be hard to remember to unplug your unused appliances every day. A clever way to keep yourself accountable is by giving some of that responsibility to the kids! Have your kids check up on appliances that may be on standby, turn them off if needed, and then kindly remind the adults to turn them off as well. Teamwork helps make everyone accountable, keeps your appliances running efficiently, and saves you money too. 

Related Topic: Washing Machine Maintenance Tips That May Surprise You 

Schedule Regular Maintenance  

It can be easy to forget how important household appliances are in our lives, but when they break down, it becomes clear how much we rely on them to complete many of our everyday tasks. However, with some timely maintenance and a little help from the kids, you can keep appliances running efficiently throughout the year, as well as reduce your energy bill and save a little money. What’s even better is educating your kids about the importance of regular appliance maintenance and how to become an energy-conscious adult!  

If one of your appliances does break down, or you would like to schedule a regular maintenance program, call your local Mr. Appliance. The appliance pros at Mr. Appliance are experts when it comes to keep appliance running efficiently throughout the year.