Appliance maintenance takes up a big part of every homeowner’s budget. When you invest in an appliance, you expect it to work for several years and sometimes for decades.
Each appliance has a certain lifespan. For example, dryers and fridges usually last about 13 years while microwaves break down after about 9 years of use. However, without any attention from your side, the lifespan of each appliance could decrease trifold.
It’s not enough simply to plug the appliance in and go on about your business. You need to set up a maintenance schedule and ensure proper care for each unit. Only if you follow the manual and give your appliance the simple care it needs, you can expect it to work for a long time.
In this article, we’ve collected top 7 tips for homeowners, who want to keep appliances working longer.
1. Clean Them On Time
Each household item needs timely appliance maintenance. While you can clean the insides of your fridge four times a year, your microwave often needs daily cleaning. If you fail to keep it clean, eventually, dirt, grime, and grease will affect vital parts of the appliance, and it will break down.
- Refrigerator (quarterly cleaning) – make sure to wipe all spills as soon as they occur or they could seep inside the plastic and stay there forever. Inspect the fridge once a week to get rid of the old food to avoid bacteria, mold and mildew growth. Wash the entire refrigerator once every three months. Follow the manufacturer’s advice about cleaning the freezer.
- Dishwasher (once a month) – empty the dishwasher and wipe the interior with special cleaning solutions or a mix of vinegar and baking soda. Remove all removable parts and check the drainer. If the dishwasher seems to be doing a bad job after cleaning, you may want to call professional appliance technicians for assistance.
- Garbage disposal (weekly) – to prevent unpleasant odors and unexpected breakdowns, it’s important to clean the garbage disposal at least once a week. You can clean it with baking soda, citrus fruit peels, and vinegar.
- Oven (quarterly) – clean the outside of the oven every time it appears dirty. Give it an extensive cleaning once every three months. Don’t use harsh cleaning solutions or you could damage the surface. If you have a self-cleaning oven, read the manual carefully before cleaning.
- Microwave (weekly) – ideally, you should clean your microwave every time you spill something. But if you are pressed for time, schedule weekly cleanings. One of the simplest ways to clean your microwave is to put a bowl full of water inside and let it boil. Then open the microwave in 10 minutes and wipe the interior.
If you aren’t sure how to clean one of your appliances, you can always contact the manufacturer. According to Jacksonville based appliance repair specialists, timely cleaning can prevent a wide variety of problems with appliances.
2. Replace Filters
Many household appliances come with filters. Replacing filters is a part of the appliance maintenance routine. Replacing them timely is the key to their longevity. Each appliance comes with a manual where you can find the manufacturer’s recommendations about filter replacements.
Make sure to follow them closely. Dirty and clogged filters strain appliances, making them work harder and break down sooner while increasing your energy bills. Meanwhile, dirty filters in such appliances as HVAC systems, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers could cause breathing problems for people with respiratory conditions.
3. Find A Repair Company
Even before your appliance breaks down, you need to find a respectable repair company in your area. Because when the breakdown happens, you are likely to need immediate repairs. Such problems as leaks have to be eliminated ASAP. When they occur, you won’t have time to find the right company.
Experienced technicians can give you maintenance recommendations and assist with replacing filters and other consumables. If your appliance breaks down, you need high-quality repair to help it last longer.
4. Inspect Your Appliances
Make it a habit to inspect your appliances for damage once a month. Something as simple as a damaged seal could lead to a serious breakdown and high energy consumption. You don’t have to be a professional technician to spot a visual problem.
If you think something is wrong with the appliance, stop using it immediately and call the repair company.
5. Watch Your Energy Bills
One of the most common signs that something is wrong with your appliances is an increase in energy bills. When the appliance starts working improperly, it may begin to consume more energy.
For example, a damaged fridge door seal forces the appliance to work harder since the cool air seeps through the broken seal. Or a dirty HVAC filter may force you to pump up the fan speed, thus consuming more energy than usual.
If you see a sudden spike in the energy bill size, consider checking each appliance carefully.
6. Avoid DIY Repairs
While something simple as a bulb replacement or a filter change can be done on your own, don’t try to fix your appliance if it stops working. Unless you have experience and the right tools to do the repair, you may make matters worse.
Broken appliances are dangerous. If you don’t know what’s wrong with the unit, turn it off and call in the professionals.
7. Read the Manual
One of the top things you can do for your appliance is to read the manual. You may be surprised at how many useful maintenance and operation tips it contains. Without understanding the manual, you could make simple mistakes that lead to costly repairs.
Follow the above appliance maintenance tips for each of your appliances to enjoy their worry-operation for many years to come. If you spot a problem with the appliance, don’t try to fix it on your own. It could be dangerous to you and your household members.