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Front Page » November 8, 2005 » Opinion » Rantings and Ravings
Published 3,240 days ago

Rantings and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Guest contributor

As the price of heating and electricity continue to rise, I have been trying to do all I can to keep the costs down in our home.

I am slowly converting our incandescent bulbs over to fluorescent ones. We bought a new furnace last year and I remembered to change the furnace filter. And mostly I holler at my granddaughter to shut the front door so she won't let all the heat out.

An article in the paper reminded me that vacuuming the refrigerator coils would keep it running more efficiently. So that became my next task. I now remember why I don't do it very often.

The first task involves taking off the cover on the front of the refridgerator. There are no instructions on how to do it and so it is a fight to the death. Once it is off then the battle becomes one of getting the vacuum nozzle to reach the coils. I think they sell special brushes and vacuum attachments, but I don't have them, so I needed to create one.

I went to find a cardboard tube. There were no empty ones so I took the rest of the paper towels off the one in the bathroom. I wadded those up and stuffed them under the sink to use later.

Once the tool was created I laid on the floor and was squashed by my 85 pound dog, who thought we were playing a new game. Once I could breathe again I turned on the vacuum and found that I could only reach the front coils. The back ones had the most dust and stuff on them.

Now I needed to pull out the fridge. At least they put wheels on them now. The floor underneath was filthy. How that happens is anybodys guess. But I had to take the back off. Six trips to the garage later, I found the right socket to do the job. I only wanted to take off one or two screws so it would be easy to put the thing back on, but I ended up taking all eight off. Then I discovered you can't get to the coils from the back at all. I was tempted to only put enough screws back on to hold the cardboard in place, but in the end all eight went back in.

After pushing the fridge back into place (yes, I mopped the floor first) I still had to tackle putting the front cover back on. Then I remembered the dirty little secret that the appliance industry has been hiding forever; the cover will not snap back on. I thought I could beat them this time and fought with the thing for over an hour, but in the end the cover won. Oh, I got one side snapped back into place and the other side wedged in so it sorta seems okay.

So there it is with only half the coils vacuumed and the cover falling off every time someone bumps it with their toe. I expect to see my electric bill go way down for all that work.


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November 8, 2005
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