Homeowners depend on their appliances to keep their homes running efficiently. When an essential appliance breaks down, such as the refrigerator or clothes washer, it can disrupt the entire household, and result in costly repairs or replacement. Appliances come with a life expectancy, but when not properly maintained, they can permanently break down much earlier. Because appliances are an expensive necessity, it is important to properly maintain these units so they last longer, even reach their life expectancy. To help, below is a list of tips to make your home appliances last longer.
- Maintain Clear and Clean Appliance Filters
There are a number of appliances that are equipped with filters. This includes the furnace, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, oven range hood filter, and air conditioner. When these filters are not changed or cleaned out regularly, debris can accumulate causing the appliance to work harder. Therefore it is important to empty or change filters on a routine basis, depending on the particular appliance. For each appliance, follow manufacturer guidelines to clean and replace the filters as directed.
- Maintain Refrigerator and Freezer
If a refrigerator is not properly maintained, it will become less efficient as it works harder, and it can result in breakdowns. Clean both the outside and inside of the refrigerator every couple of months. The condenser coils are very important so they should be cleaned two or three times per year. You can vacuum the condenser coils which typically sit on the top or bottom of the fridge. You can also clean them using a damp cloth with soap. As well, make sure the refrigerator seal is in good shape so the cool air is not escaping. These tips will extend the life of your refrigerator and freezer, and save you money on your utility bill. If you do not have a newer frost-free freezer, you should defrost the unit at least once each year to prevent an extensive build up of frost.
- Oven and Gas Range Care
If you have a gas range, it is important to regularly check the burners. A steady blue flame indicates the range is working efficiently. A yellow or orange flame means the burner needs to be cleaned. Be sure to clean out any debris in the burners and pilot hole. Clean the oven and range about every three months. Some ovens are self-cleaning and others require manual cleaning. There are oven cleaners available at various stores. To clean the range hood filter, remove the filter and let it sit in a soapy solution for about fifteen minutes.
Your microwave will last longer if you regularly clean the inside and outside, preventing food and dirt build up. Wipe up any spills with soap and water, and dry.
- Washer and Dryer Maintenance
When washing clothes, don’t overload the washing machine because it will put a strain on the motor and other unit components. Overloading decreases lifespan and the clothes do not get cleaned as well. For the dryer, clean the lint trap after each load and do not forget to change your dryer’s lint screen regularly so the dryer will not have to work as hard. It can also be a fire hazard. As well, get your dryer’s exhaust system cleaned yearly.
If you treat your appliances with care, and clean and maintain them regularly, you can extend their life. In addition, an affordable home appliance warranty plan is an excellent way to protect appliances and home systems. A home appliance warranty normally covers mechanical failures or breakdowns due to normal wear and tear and age issues. The warranty guarantees to the homeowner that if something that is covered by the home warranty plan stops working, or breaks down, then it will be repaired or replaced by the warranty company, subject to the terms and conditions of the contract. By properly maintaining your appliances, it helps them last longer which makes a positive contribution to the environment, and you will save money.