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 Maintain an Air Conditioner

Central air and window conditioners require routine maintenance to keep them operating at peak efficiency. It's important to know how a system's main parts function. Learn to troubleshoot a central air and room conditioner system.

How to Repair a Dryer

A dryer is a large drum into which wet laundry is loaded. Air heated by a gas heater or electric heating element is blown through the drum to dry clothes. Learn to repair a dryer.

How to Repair a Refrigerator

A refrigerator is one of the few appliances in your home that runs continuously. On the rare occasion your refrigerator does stop working, you may face a high repair. Learn how to repair a refrigerator.

How to Repair a Dishwasher

The control panels on dishwashers can look intimidating. They're loaded with so many dials, push buttons, and other features that the machine looks too complex to repair. It isn't. Learn to repair a dishwasher.

How to Repair Major Appliances

Appliances are built to perform. They work hard, usually without too many problems. When an appliance breaks down, you may be completely at a loss. Learn how to repair major household appliances.

Small Appliance Basics

Coffee makers, vacuum cleaners, hair dyers -- you probably have one or all of these in your home? Learn about the differences between heating appliances, motor appliances, and combination appliances in this article.

How to Install a Home Intercom System

A home intercommunication system is more than just an easy way to call the family to dinner or to summon someone for a phone call. Learn more, including how to install one in your home.

How Dishwashers Work

Learn how a dishwasher gets the job done, how to use one properly and what features to look for when buying a dishwasher.

Microwave Tips

Microwaves are great time-savers, but cooking in them is much different than using an oven or the top of a range. Follow these tips to make your microwave food taste great.

How Pilot Lights Work

Is the water in your home not getting hot? Chances are the pilot light on your hot water heater has gone out. Find out how the pilot light in your furnace or water heater works.

How Central Vacuum Systems Work

When the floor needs a good cleaning, most of us reach for the portable vacuum cleaner and drag it around the house. Well, what if your whole house were a vacuum? Find out how central vacuum systems work.

How Blenders Work

What do chefs, bartenders and geneticists have in common? They all use blenders. A blender is an appliance you can't live without if you want to turn solid ingredients into liquid deliciousness.

How Food Processors Work

Looking for a kitchen appliance that can chop, slice and shred, knead, beat and grind, or even stand in for a juicer? Find out how a food processor can handle all these culinary tasks with ease.

How Bone China Works

There’s a certain mystique to fine bone china -- have you ever wondered why? Lenox is the only manufacturer of bone china in the United States and they’ve even produced china for five U.S. presidents. Take a trip inside the Lenox factory with HowStuffWorks.

How Dimmer Switches Work

A regular light switch takes care of off and on. A dimmer switch handles off, on and everything in between. Find out what this clever switch does with electrical current.

How Light Bulbs Work

The light bulb hasn't changed a whole lot in its 120 years -- the original design was just that good. Apparently, you can throw together a filament, a glass mount, an inert gas and a bit of electricity and change the world. Learn what happens when yo

How Sewing Machines Work

The sewing machine took a time-consuming, laborious task and made it super fast and easy. Find out what goes on inside this ingenious device (and check out the high-tech upgrades!).

How Fluorescent Lamps Work

You see fluorescent lighting all over the place -- in offices, homes, stores, dressing rooms. But there's a certain mystery to it. Find out what's going on inside these glowing tubes!

How Humidifiers Work

Is the air feeling a little too dry in your home? A humidifier can help make things more comfortable -- and even save a little wear and tear on your house. You might be surprised how big a difference a little water can make.

How Icemakers Work

Most of us can enjoy an ice-cold beverage any time, anywhere we want. With an icemaker, there's no need to crack, dump and refill a single tray yourself. See how icemakers do all the work for you.

How Grills Work

Ribs, chicken and lots of barbecue sauce. Steaks, burgers, hot dogs and assorted veggies. Summer is prime grilling season. Ever wonder how these treats get so tasty?

How Vacuum Cleaners Work

Electric vacuum cleaners have been helping us keep our homes clean for over a century. There's a lot going on inside these devices -- learn how they suck up the dirt (and whatever else finds its way onto your floor).

How Espresso Machines Work

Espresso, cappuccino, latte, double latte, double mocha latte... Espresso drinks have become coffee-shop staples all over the world. Watch us take apart an espresso machine!

How Hair Dryers Work

You may not have given it much thought, but your hair dryer is specially designed to prevent bad things from happening to you and your head. Why is it that your hair dryer doesn't get too hot to hold? And how does it avoid burning your scalp?

How Home Dry Cleaning Works

Is your wardrobe filled with fabrics like rayon, silk, and wool blends? Tired of those escalating professional dry cleaning bills? The answer may be as close as your clothes dryer. See how home dry cleaning works.


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