Tips on Extending the Life of Appliances
Typically your home appliances are built to last a while, over ten years if properly maintained. If the thought of buying any new major home appliance like your dishwasher, refrigerator, or washer and dryer strikes terror in your heart, follow these simple tips to extending the life of appliances.
Dishwashers tend to become clogged making them work harder and burn out faster. To keep them clean and running efficiently:
- Clean out the food traps or filters regularly and always run hot water in your sink before you begin the wash cycle.
- Once a week, run your dishwasher empty except for a cup of vinegar to thoroughly clean it out. The water jets should also be cleaned periodically as they can become clogged with food or mineral deposits.
- And finally, wiping down the rubber seal around the outside of your dishwasher will prevent the build up of mold and dirt, and keep it closing securely.
Refrigerators can break down faster when the doors do not close tightly, forcing the motor to work overtime to keep the food cold. The magnetic strips that are embedded in the gaskets around the door wear down in time. These strips can either be replaced or re-magnetized, which is something you can do yourself with a strong magnet. To determine if the door seal is loose, stick a dollar bill in the door and if it slips out easily when tugged, it is time for maintenance. Refrigerator maintenance should also include cleaning off the condenser coils twice per year with a vacuum or brush. The large radiator-like coils located at the back or beneath the unit collect dust easily which decreases their heat removing efficiency.
Washer and Dryer Maintenance
Some tips for keeping your clothes washing machine running for the duration include:
- Avoid overloading the washing machine because it strains the motor and transmission.
- Liquid softeners can gum up in the washer. Dilute liquid fabric softeners with water (use a 3 to 1 ratio of softener to water).
- Remove and clean intake screens, filters, and replace hoses as needed (when they are splitting, cracking, or losing flexibility).
- Search hard for loose change in pockets, they can cause dents, chip paint and promote rust while banging around in the washer drum.
Clothes dryers will keep on drying longer with regular cleaning of the lint trap/filter and exhaust hose. A dryer vent brush is a good investment to clean out trapped lint.
With regular maintenance, extending the life of appliances will save you money in the long run. First Protector Insurance provides valuable tips on how to keep your costs down with regular home maintenance.