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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If you have an old refrigerator or one of the small dorm refrigerators, you know all about the frost that forms around the coils that cool the freezer. Learn how newer refrigerators keep this frost from forming.

How do halogen lights work? How are they different from normal light bulbs? Why are they sometimes called "quartz halogen"?

Gas appliances are used in homes and business for purposes ranging from bathing to grilling food. But did you know that not all gas appliances use the same kind of gas? Find out the difference between LPG and natural gas appliances in this article.

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When we change our baby's diaper, he often has what we politely refer to as "crystal butt." There are little clear crystals on his bottom. It seems like they come from his diaper. Do you know what these crystals are?

You might have heard that fluorescent bulbs are supposed to be more efficient than normal light bulbs, but is this really the case?

How do candles work? What keeps the wick burning, seemingly forever, when the same twine would completely burn up in a matter of minutes if it weren't engulfed in wax? Why won't the wax burn without a wick?

Just reading a power bill is a tricky way to determine what appliances are using the most power. Learn what appliances are sucking your pockets dry.

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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

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

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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

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 & Patrick J. Kiger

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

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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