Home Appliances

Home appliances make life easier, but what's really going on inside them? HowStuffWorks Home Appliances articles take a look inside common household appliances.

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How to Drain a Water Heater

You noticed that your hot-water heater is not functioning properly, and probably needs draining.

Are high-efficiency washers worth the expense?

The price tags on some of the newer high-efficiency washing machines might cause you to hesitate. But if you look at the costs of running a washer over the long haul, something that uses less energy becomes a bit more appealing.

How does design affect a dryer's energy efficiency?

It's hard not to love the warm feeling of soft, puffy clothes straight from the dryer. But clothes dryers are energy hogs, and it takes a lot of heat to get your shirts that way. Does the type of machine you use make a difference?

Top 5 High-efficiency (HE) Detergents

If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, you'll need high-efficiency detergent -- or else you might find a mountain of suds in your laundry room. Which brands are available?

Are washer/dryer combination machines energy efficient?

Washer/dryer combinations are compact and convenient for small spaces, eliminating the need for two separate machines. But are they really as energy efficient as they seem?

Gas vs. Electric: Which dryer is more energy efficient?

Buying a new household appliance is usually a long-term investment, whether you're replacing an old unit or setting up home for the first time. Before you buy a clothes dryer, though, you need to understand the difference between the two types that are most commonly available: gas and electric.

What are 'high-efficiency' dryers?

Your clothes dryer is one of the highest energy-consuming appliances in your home. But even with all the energy-saving appliances on the market today, do high-efficiency dryers exist?

Is it better to replace my washing machine or repair it?

Should you replace your washing machine or repair it? The answer would be obvious if it were something less price like a toaster. But we can help you reach a sound decision.

How do washing machines get clothes clean?

Washing machines make the work of getting your clothes clean so much easier than laundering them by hand. How do these machines mix duds and suds so effectively?

Are high-efficiency (HE) detergents safe for baby clothing?

High-efficiency washing machines have become very popular recently. And they use their own special detergents. You may have wondered if they're safe for baby's clothes. Keep reading to find out what to look for and how to make your own detergent.

How does design affect a washer's energy efficiency?

There's been a revolution in washer design in recent years to make residential appliances more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. But how are manufacturers making the two work together?

What are high-efficiency washers?

Whether you want to protect the environment or protect your clothes from wear and tear, high-efficiency washing machines are picking up momentum in the marketplace. Talk about going green: You'll even save some cash on your electric and water bills.

What are low-water washing machines?

If you haven't heard of low-water or high-efficiency washing machines yet, you will the next time you go shopping for a washer. They promise to use 40 percent less water and 90 percent less energy than conventional machines. But they cost more to purchase too. Should you get one? We'll weigh the pros and cons.

How Beer Kegs Work

It's the centerpiece of many festive occasions. It keeps beer fresh and makes it portable. So how is it designed and manufactured? And where does it go when its party days are over?

10 Appliances for Tight and Tricky Spaces

Does your washer-dryer combo dominate the laundry room? Is the kitchen cluttered with giant machinery? Is your dishwasher cramping your style -- and your space? Things don't have to be so cluttered, and there are gadgets out there you don't have to force into your home.

How much money can I save with a water filter?

A clear bottle depicting a pristine artesian well (presumably with some of its contents inside) versus the metal tap in your sink -- which is more enticing? But are those popular plastic conveyances really the smartest choice?

Design Ideas: Laundry Rooms You Want to Be In

The words "cool" and "laundry room" don't seem to go together. But if you can get past the deep-seated notion that a laundry room has to be a dungeon, you can, in fact, create a decidedly cool environment. Here are some ideas to start with.

What's Right for Me: Stacked or Side-by-side Washer-Dryer?

An informed consumer is a happy consumer. Here's the information to help you decide between a stacked or side-by-side washer-dryer and keep you smiling.

How Ceiling Fans Work

They've been bringing us relief from the heat since the late 1800s, but do you know how ceiling fans really work? And, did you know they can help keep you warm in the winter?

Can all washers use high-efficiency detergent?

You may not be able to keep up with the Joneses who bought one of those newfangled, oh-so-green front- load washers, but you can still use high-efficiency detergent in your old washer, right? We examine the answer.

Can top-load washers be energy efficient?

Front-load washers and energy efficiency go together like soap and water, but can top-loaders save energy, too? We explore your options.

Top 5 Benefits of Top-load Washers

A cherry red front-load washer might look cool in your laundry room, but when it comes to practicality, the top-loader has a lot going for it. What are its perks?

Dryer Vent Cleaning Tips

It heats up, has moving parts and literally does loads of work. So, how can you keep that dryer of yours working efficiently for years to come? Dryer vent cleaning is key. We'll show you how to do it right.

Can the right appliance save me money?

You may think you're getting a deal by buying a cheap appliance. But what if it sucks you dry via your energy bills? We'll tell you how to make the right choice.

Do washers control allergens?

Dust mites like to feed on your dead skin cells, so it's likely your bed, sheets, comforters and pillows are full of the allergy-inducing critters. Can you wash them away, and is one washing machine as good as another?