Forget Energy Efficiency. Repair Your Appliances to Protect the Earth.

Earth Day is that one day reminding us we need to do more for our environment. If you have appliances you think might be on their last legs, think again. Before wishing your refrigerator, dishwasher, or oven farewell to the landfills, you might want to look into salvaging your appliances for a few more good years.  

In celebration of Earth Day, let’s look first at the historical aspects of energy efficiency, and then roll right into insightful approaches to keep your current machines in tip-top condition.

Do it for you. Do it for the planet.

First things first: a history lesson on energy regulations.

Historically, no federal efficiency rules were introduced until the Reagan administration. But once that fuse was lit, the demand quickly ignited. Consumers advocated for more efficient appliances and the government put more pressure on the industry. By 2005, the Energy Policy Act established new standards for 16 products. Just two years later, Congress enacted new or updated standards for 13 products through the Energy Independence and Security Act.

And it’s proven successful in some ways, with a flurry of technical advances being key features in the latest appliances. Refrigerators have new compressors to keep the temperature consistent and well regulated. Clothes dryers have termination controls that stop their operations once clothes are fully dry. Dishwashers only need 3.5 gallons of water thanks to better motors and pumps, meaning water heaters don’t have to work as hard.

But even with these new advances, repairing almost always beats replacing. Just ask Mother Earth.

Reduce Waste. Repairing appliances extends their lifespan and reduces the waste generated by discarding appliances in landfills, where they pollute the environment with harmful chemicals that spill out of them. 

Conserve Resources: Manufacturing new appliances is takes a toll on the environment, siphoning raw materials, energy, and water to make these machines. The demand for these resources diminishes when you repair the appliances you already own.  

Energy Savings: The production of new appliances consumes an enormous amount of energy. By repairing and maintaining existing appliances, you avoid the energy expenditure associated with manufacturing, transportation, and packaging of new appliances. The same holds true for energy-efficient appliances.

Lower Carbon Emissions: The manufacturing and transporting of new appliances contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and, ultimately, climate change. Repairing existing appliances reduces this need—significantly.

Preserve Biodiversity: Extracting raw materials for new appliances can lead to habitat destruction and loss of prized wildlife and plant life. But by repairing our current appliances, we help minimize this demand and, thus, protect the beautiful ecosystems of our world.

All that said, there will come a time when it makes more sense to replace your appliance. As your appliances work through their second decade of use, replacement parts will be more difficult to find, some repairs (though not all) will become cost-prohibitive, and efficiency standards will have improved enough to move the energy and emissions math in your favor. 

If you’re unsure whether now is the time to repair or replace your appliance, we encourage you to schedule a virtual visit to consult our experts. It will not cost much, and you can be sure we will give you our honest and informed opinion.

Now it’s your turn. Keep your appliances around longer.

If the opportunity to extend the life of your appliances comes up, it’s not hard to keep these investments around a couple more years. Here are some simple steps to keep your machines from making the scrap heap their next home:  


  • Never leave doors open long. By letting cold air out, your refrigerator has to work harder.
  • The optimal temperature setting is in the neighborhood of 37-40° F. Make sure it’s set properly to save money and reduce unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Clean the condenser coils, door gaskets, and vents. There are all sorts of ways heat can escape. Wipe out dust, food and beverage spills, any gunk that could lead to this.  

Washing Machines

  • Keep them clean on the inside with a special disinfectant weekly to avoid an eventual and expensive tub replacement.
  • Don’t overload or underload your washer. It causes heavy strain on your appliance and doesn’t clean clothes thoroughly. Underloading, conversely, wastes water and detergent.
  • Empty your pockets. Even a nickel or hairband could serve as culprits in causing permanent damage to your tub and water leakage that might damage your floors. 


  • Replace any worn-out igniters as weaker igniters give a poor and intermittent performance.
  • Don’t be lured into using the self-cleaning feature. Extreme temperatures are often the main reason fuses, fan motors and other components have a shorter life span.
  • Use an oven cleaner spray to keep your oven clean as opposed to using the self-cleaning feature, which adds considerable stress to your unit.

Hometown Hero Appliance Repair is committed to doing everything in our power to protect your appliances, and our planet. If it has been awhile since you maintained your appliances, we encourage you to schedule a visit from one of our expert technicians. We will get your appliances working more efficiently, help prevent breakdowns, and extend their lifespan.

Happy Earth Day everyone!