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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 Solar-powered Refrigerators Work

Solar panels sit atop buildings, homes and tents, and power any number of gadgets and appliances -- including refrigerators. But can the sun still power a fridge without the panels?

Can I go without a refrigerator?

Your refrigerator keeps your milk cold, your veggies crisp and your leftovers ready to see a new day. Why would someone want to unplug that boxy center of the kitchen?

How Hybrid Water Heaters Will Work

About 17 percent of a home's energy usage stems from its water heater. Hybrid water heaters could save the average family hundreds -- possibly even thousands -- each year.

How Wood Pellet Stoves Work

Everyone loves a fire. But the chopping and storing and constant stoking of firewood can be a drag. Now there's an alternative that's not only more convenient, but also cost-effective and environmentally friendly: the wood pellet stove.

How Nonstick Cookware Works

For busy families, every minute in the kitchen counts. But for some chefs, it's less about how long it takes to cook and more about how long it takes to clean. That's where nonstick cookware comes in.

How Dual Flush Toilets Work

For a time, toilets were called necessaries, one in a long line of euphemisms used to describe the business end of handling a simple biological process. And now it's necessary to do what we can to conserve water. Enter the dual flush toilet.

Top 10 Appliances We Can't Live Without

In a pinch, you could probably do without most of the appliances in your home -- but would you want to? Life would certainly be different without these 10.

Top 10 Wacky Inventions for the Home

A levitating lounger, a toilet seat that rises to greet you, a fold-out balcony. Some of these household gadgets are useful, and some are absolute fluff. Which ones are the wackiest?

How Steam Dishwashers Work

Steam is a powerful cleaning agent. It sterilizes without detergent and can effectively detach dried-on muck from plates and cups. But do steam dishwashers live up to their hype?

Which is greener, gas or electric cooking?

We know which is greener when it comes to gas and electric cars. But which is greener when it comes to stoves: gas or electric? There's more than one way to save energy when you cook.

How Rice Cookers Work

Burned chunks or gooey paste can be the disappointing result of rice gone wrong, but a rice cooker can even the odds for even the klutziest cooks in the kitchen.

What's the most expensive toilet in the world?

We've all heard of a potty break, but have you ever heard of a potty breaking the bank? What's the most expensive toilet in the world made of?

How to Choose a New Water Heater

Your water heater's just bought the farm, and now you're in the market for a new one. Where to start? From fuel source to size, here's what you need to know.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

The green movement is bringing tankless water heaters to the forefront of the appliance market. They last longer, don't take up much space and give you as much hot water as you want. Is there a catch?

How Home Thermostats Work

It's either too cold or too hot in your house. So, you turn a dial, press a button or move a lever -- do you know what happens after that? Look inside a home thermostat and see how it controls your indoor climate.

How Garbage Disposals Work

The garbage disposal is often overlooked until it breaks down or starts to smell. Find out how to clean, fix and buy a garbage disposal with the help of this article.

How to Repair Kitchen Equipment

Make your kitchen feel like new with our instructions on sharpening knives and scissors; fixing china, porcelain, and glass; making a polish for brass, silver, and copper; and making new potholders out of old towels.

How to Build a Lamp

Give your home lighting a stylish and inexpensive update with these easy instructions for making a table lamp, building a stovepipe lamp, or covering a lamp shade for a brand new look.

How To Repair Gas Furnaces

Aside from burning cleaner, gas furnaces have the advantage of being relatively easy to maintain. Most problems will involve the pilot light or thermocouple. Learn how to repair your gas furnace.

How Refrigerators Work

Without the refrigerator, you'd be salting your meat, tossing leftovers and drinking everything warm. Examine the inner workings of this food-preservation icon.

How Coffee Makers Work

Every morning you scoop in the coffee, add the water and turn it on, but have you ever wondered what is happening inside your coffee maker? Find out how that precious gadget delivers your wake-up dose.

How to Choose Kitchen Appliances

Appliances are the workhorses of your kitchen. While features and performance are important considerations, how they'll look in your kitchen probably matters to you, too.

How Air Purifiers Work

Americans spend an estimated $250 million annually on air purifiers for their homes. Asthma and allergy sufferers are responsible for most of these sales. How can you benefit from owning an air purifier?

How to Repair Small Appliances

Before you toss out that malfunctioning hair dryer, toaster, or other small appliance, make sure the problem isn't an easy one to fix. Learn troubleshooting tips for all types of small appliances.

How to Repair a Washing Machine

Because washing machines do so many things, they may be harder to diagnose than they are to repair. But diagnosis is possible: All it takes is some patience. Learn how to repair a washing machine.

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