Appliances come with a hefty price tag. Ovens can cost anywhere from $350 to $15,000 plus installation with the average coming in at $2,000, for example. Taking care of your existing appliances means you can hold onto them a little longer before you spend the money to replace them.
Some general maintenance tips apply to all types of appliances. Others are specific to the type of appliance you’re using.
Check out these tips for appliance maintenance to keep your home appliances in good condition.
Follow the Appliance Manual
Resist the temptation to toss the appliance manual when you get a new appliance. You probably already know the basics of how common home appliances work, but there are always slight differences and model-specific recommendations from the manufacturer. Keep all of your manuals in a folder so you can access them easily if you have a question.
Review the instructions on how to use the various appliance features to ensure you use it properly. Check out any troubleshooting and maintenance sections to look for special care instructions for your new appliance. Some even get specific with recommendations for cleaners or other care products that work best with that appliance, which can help you prolong its life.
Use It Gently
When you’re in a hurry, you might jam clothes roughly into your washing machine or slam your refrigerator door closed. Maybe you crank knobs with a little extra force or press buttons a little too hard.
All of that harsh treatment can wear out your appliances prematurely. It can loosen hinges, break controls, and cause other issues that require repairs.
Slow down when you use appliances to avoid those rushed, rough actions. Treating your machines gently often helps them work properly and last longer.
Clean It Regularly
All appliances benefit from regular cleaning to keep important components free of debris. Gaskets along doors, drains, and other key parts of various types of appliances should all get wiped or cleaned out regularly. Refer to your appliance manual for specific cleaning instructions to protect all of the components of the appliance.
Keep Them Level
Level appliances work more efficiently and can reduce noises. A washer or dryer that’s unlevel might vibrate or cause loud noises. Leveling can help, as can rubber vibration pads under the feet.
Doors on appliances that aren’t level might not seal properly if the appliance tips toward the front. Gravity pulls the door away from the appliance due to the tilt.
Not being level can also interfere with the performance of some appliances. Your washer might be thrown off balance while it spins. Your dishwasher might not clean your dishes well, or it might leak water.
Stove and Oven Maintenance
If your stove and oven get a lot of use, they can get dirty quickly with food spills. Clean up food spills as soon as the stove is cool enough to wipe safely. Placing a baking sheet under items in the oven can catch any food that cooks over, and keeping an eye on all cooking food helps you catch it before food starts to cook over the pan’s edge.
When you clean your oven, unplug it first. Water or cleaner that drips inside the appliance can cause a short or even shock you while you clean.
When it comes to kitchen appliances, the refrigerator is a staple, even if you don’t do a lot of cooking at home. Check the temperature regularly to make sure it’s cooling your food well.
Keep the refrigerator coils clean to ensure proper airflow and to help the refrigerator cool efficiently. Once per year is usually enough, unless you have pets. The hair they shed might make it necessary to vacuum the coils twice per year or more often.
Check the refrigerator seal occasionally. If it doesn’t seal properly, the refrigerator has to work harder to keep your food cold. Have the seal replaced if it doesn’t seal tightly.
Using your dishwasher regularly helps keep food and gunk from building up inside of it. You can safely clean your dishwasher by putting a few cups of distilled vinegar in the bottom and running it through a cycle without any dishes in it.
Inspect the holes on the spraying arms regularly to make sure they’re not clogged with food particles. The drain cover is also a common area for food to collect, so empty and clean it regularly.
Washing Machine Maintenance
Smaller load sizes allow the washing machine to work more efficiently. If you overload the machine it adds extra weight and can be hard on the motor. Using the right type of detergent, especially if you have an HE washing machine, keeps the machine working well.
Check the water hoses leading to the washing machine regularly. They can break down over time and cause leaks. Look for bulges, cracks, and loose connections.
Leaving the door open after washing a load of laundry allows the drum to dry. This can prevent smells and mold or mildew growth. Likewise, transferring clothes to the dryer immediately helps reduce odors and growth.
Detergent and fabric softener dispensers often have buildup and need to be wiped frequently. Wipe the door, drum, and gasket on your washing machine as well.
Clear the lint trap after every drying cycle to prevent buildup. It helps the laundry dry more efficiently to put less wear on the dryer. It also prevents a fire hazard since lint is very flammable.
Check the exhaust vent every year to ensure it doesn’t have lint buildup. The exterior vent cap can also have buildup or get blocked with snow and other outdoor debris.
Consider Appliance Insurance
Additional protection is often available when you purchase a new appliance. You’ll often be offered an extended warranty or home appliance insurance.
These coverage options help cover the expenses for appliance repair if something goes wrong with your appliance. Even with the best appliance maintenance, you still might face issues. Check out this article for more information on home appliance insurance.
Handle Appliance Maintenance Regularly
With regular appliance maintenance, you can extend the life of your appliances. They continue running properly, and you delay the need for replacement appliances, which saves you a lot of money.
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