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Andy Alvarez
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The Inspector Newsletter
February 2017: Attic Inspections
Maintenance Matters
Keeping dishwashers humming

The motorized dishwasher is 114 years old. The first motor-powered version was unveiled at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. An electric model followed in 1908. Silverware baskets were added to the door in 1969.


Today, dishwashers have self-cleaning features, hard-food disposers, china-cleaning modes and energy-saving settings. They appeared in around 50 percent of United States homes in 2001, according to Energy Information Administration statistics.

Many dishwashers, especially older versions, have a filter near the bottom of the machine meant to keep food particles off the motor. Clean as needed according to your maintenance guide.

Water is sprayed onto dirty dishes through small holes on the spray arms. These holes can become clogged with food and other particles. To clean, remove the arms using maintenance guide instructions, and use small, stiff wire to clear the holes. Dip the arms in warm white vinegar to remove calcium deposits.

To remove odors from a dishwasher that hasn’t been operated in a week or more, place a cup of white vinegar in a small container on both the top and bottom racks. Run this through one normal cycle.

The modern dishwasher isn’t just a time saver, it can decrease water usage compared to washing dishes by hand. And when it’s ran completely full it’s relatively energy efficient. So kick up your feet and let your dishwasher do all the work.

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Ways To Save Energy

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, artificial lighting consumes nearly 15 percent of a household’s energy use. By reducing your lighting energy use and selecting more efficient lighting sources, you can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50 to 75 percent.

Install Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) where lights are on for long periods, such as the kitchen, family room and outdoors. CFLs use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs.

Turn lights off when they are not in use

Dirt reduces light levels, so keep your lamps and fixtures clean

Install timers that automatically turn lights off after a certain period of time

Use natural daylight whenever possible

Install dimmers so you can change light levels in your room to match your needs

Decreasing the amount of energy used within your home takes some small adjustments to your daily lighting habits. See if any of these tips can work for you, and watch your electricity bill go down with just a few changes.

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Into what category do 44% of home buying households fall?

  1. Married couples with dependents
  2. Second time home owners
  3. Newlyweds
  4. Vacation homebuyers

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbuck’s gift card. Submit your answer to your local NPI inspector to find out if you’ve won.

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Sent by National Property Inspections - 9375 Burt Street, Suite 201, Omaha NE 68114

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