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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Fluorescent starters are used in several types of fluorescent lights. The starter is there to help the lamp light.

You refrigerator is already cold, right? So then, why does it need a fan? Find out in this article.

What causes the loud banging noise in my home's pipes? For example, when I turn off the faucet I hear it. Is there a way to prevent it?

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We use electricity everyday to run a number of appliances and lights. So how much does it cost per hour to power something like an electric blanket?

Hard water can be a problem because it causes pipes clog and some people just don't like the way it feels. Using a water softener can help solve this problem, but how does it work?

By Nicholas Gerbis

In my bathroom there is a plug that has a "Test" and a "Reset" button. When I push the "Test" button, it cuts off the current to the outlet. What is this? How is it different from the fuse in the fuse box?

By Nathan Chandler

Thermometers are used in everything from medicine to cooking. Find out how thermometers gauge temperature and learn how to make your own!

By Marshall Brain

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How can the same device keep hot things hot and cold things cold? Find out what goes on inside a Thermos!

By Marshall Brain

You probably have at least one light that is controlled by two separate switches -- either switch can turn it on or off. Find out how the light knows what to do with two sources of input.

By Marshall Brain

The toilet. The john. The loo. The commode. The porcelain throne. No matter what you call it, there's no doubt it's a true technological marvel. Look beyond the commonplace bowl and see what a sophisticated water-handling system your toilet is.

By Marshall Brain

You probably don't give it much thought until the shower goes cold, but water heaters are part of our daily lives. Find out how these ever-important appliances produce hot water -- and what may be wrong if they don't.

By Marshall Brain & Sara Elliott

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Want to know what happens to your clothes after you give them to the dry cleaner? Do they actually stay dry? Take a behind-the-scenes look at the dry-cleaning process!

By Debra Luhring & Nate Marks

A fascinating look inside an electric razor!

By Marshall Brain

For many people, their bathroom scale is an indispensable part of watching their weight and keeping healthy. Learn how your weight – no matter how much or how little – is evenly distributed to provide an accurate measure of your weight.

By Marshall Brain

Microwave ovens are popular because they cook food in an amazingly short amount of time. They are also extremely efficient in their use of electricity because a microwave oven heats only the food -- and nothing else.

By Marshall Brain