Questions About: Auto Air Conditioners and Gas Mileage, Lack Nutrition Labels On Grocery Store Goods, Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs, Recycling Microwaves, Recharging Fire Extinguishers, Personal Questions On A Job Interview

Ask Liz: 4/24/09

Auto Air Conditioners and Gas Mileage

Q: Does my car uses more gas if the AC is turned on?

A: We took your question to AAA Mid-Atlantic. It says it used to be true in older cars that the AC influenced how much gas was used. Today, cars are computer-controlled and the difference is not so significant. So adjusting the temperature of your AC does not have an influence on your gas usage. However, if you don't maintain your car, it can have an impact on how much gas your car uses. So make sure you check things like the engine oil, coolant, and the fuel filter of your car regularly.

Grocery Store Nutrition Labels

Q: Why don't grocery stores such as Giant don't put nutrition information on its cooked and baked food?

A: We asked Giant why it doesn't put the nutrition information on those products. It says there is no law which says you have to put nutrition facts on any food prepared, altered or packaged in the store. The Food and Drug Administration lists delicatessen-typed food, bakery products and confections as exemptions to the normal need for nutrition information labeling. This is because the products are sold directly to costumers from the place where they were prepared. If you want to know the nutrition information from products prepared at Giant, you can call its costumer service at 1-888-469-4426.

Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs Made Easier

Q: Are there any tips to make peeling hard-boiled eggs easier?

A: We contacted the American Egg Board. Its specialists say you should buy eggs seven to ten days in advance, and put them in the fridge. This allows time for the eggs to breathe in some air and helps to separate the membranes from the shell. It is easiest to peel your hard-cooked eggs right after they've cooled because cooling makes the egg contract a little bit in the shell.

Recycling Microwaves

Q: Where can I recycle my old microwave?

A: We checked the District, Fairfax and Montgomery Counties to find out where you can take your microwave for recycling. D.C. residents can take their microwaves to either Benning Road or Fort Totten Trash Transfer Station. Residents who live in a house with three or fewer units can also call 311 to schedule a bulk pick-up. In Montgomery County, residents can use the public drop-off area of the County's Solid Waste Transfer Station. For Fairfax County residents, the Recycling and Disposal Center at the I-66 Transfer Station or at the I-95 Landfill Complex are the right places to recycle old appliances.

Recharging Fire Extinguishers

Q: Is easier to recharge her home fire extinguisher or to just buy a new one.

A: We took your question to the National Fire Protection Association. According to its experts, it all depends on the kind of fire extinguisher you have. For a home use fire extinguisher, it is easier to buy a new one because you generally cannot recharge it. For a portable fire extinguisher which is serviceable, you can take it to a fire extinguisher servicing company in your area to get it recharged. The cost for a recharge is between 20 and 45 Dollars.

Personal Questions On Job Interviews

Q: Is it illegal for employers to ask for an applicant's age and race during a job interview?

A: It is not illegal for employers to ask for your race and age. Companies may request this information to track applicant flow data or for affirmative action purposes. But your answer is voluntary and your information needs to be treated confidentially.

This means, this information should not be given to the people who make the hiring decision.

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