Home appliances, big and small, have different lifespans. Poor habits reduce your appliance’s lifespan. On the other hand, good maintenance practices save money. For tougher repairs, you can rely on affordable appliance repair solutions near you. However, you can DIY occasional maintenance tasks to extend the life of your appliances. The best way to maintain your home appliances is to observe the best care and schedule frequent inspections by professionals.
The better care you give to your appliance, the lower the maintenance costs, and the longer your appliances serve you. In many cases, however, maintenance of appliances entails regular cleaning instead of repairs. Here are some proper maintenance tips to keep your trusty appliances running in top shape.
Your air conditioner has two main parts — the condenser and the evaporator coil. The accumulation of dirt and debris is a common problem across air conditioner types. First, hose down the condenser fins and remove any dirt. You can use a condenser cleaner design specifically for the purpose.
Do not use a pressure washer as it can damage the cooling fins. Then, remove the attachment screws to access and clean the big fans.
If your condenser unit falls out of level, the compressor is bound to fail faster. Always check your condenser level and use a rot-resistant shim to level an uneven pad. Nonetheless, if you have a heat pump system, you can let the pad slope away from your home’s foundation for defrosting runoff during winter.
For evaporator coils and fins, remove the cover and vacuum clean if there is any dirt. If there is ice over the coil’s fins, don’t interfere. Instead, call a professional to inspect and diagnose the problem, then advise on the needed repair.
Oven maintenance involves frequent cleanups to keep the fresh-cooked food smelling and tasting delicious. Clean your oven after every use because heat hardens spills. Use soap and water or paste of baking soda and citrus or vinegar.
You could still opt for manual cleanups if you have a self-cleaning oven, but it can have some downsides. For instance, you could blow a fuse and incur costly repairs. The feature could present a fire hazard especially when the cavity is scattered with debris. If you self-cleanse, only do so once in a while and for a shorter time than the manual indicates.
Cleanse your stovetop of food and dirt to prevent congestion of the fuel lines. For burner models, clean the areas around the burner and all removable parts to prevent fire hazards. But, for gas stoves, use soap and water to clean the grills to prevent clogging at the burner pores.
Don’t wait until your vacuum cleaner bag is full before emptying it. Dirt and debris need room to enter the bag, so your vacuum suffers reduced efficiency if you run it with a loaded bag. So, one of the easiest maintenance tips is to empty your bag regularly. If you have a bagless machine, empty the receptacle before the dirt reaches the marker.
The brush roll is an essential component that heavily affects your vacuum’s cleaning power when unclean. Over time, certain items wrap around your brush roll, so the roll doesn’t spin normally. So, identify hair, floss, string, and other fluff, then remove by hand or cut off with scissors.
After the brush roll, always check that the belt that holds the roll is intact. The belt is prone to stretches and frays or could slide out of the spot. If you see a problem that needs adjustment, realign to make your belts tight against the brush rolls. Also, replace the belt as often as possible.
In case there are pieces of broken glass in the dishwasher, use a vacuum cleaner to remove them. You can pick up larger pieces of glass by hand but wear heavy gloves to prevent any lacerations.
Clean your dishwasher from time to time. Remove all the utensil holders, racks, and filters, and then immerse them in 1 cup of distilled white vinegar mixed with warm water.
The filter at the bottom of your dishwasher catches larger food bits, so the bits don’t lodge in your drain hose. Periodic cleanups prevent the clogging of your filter and hose pipe to save you the pain of costly dishwasher repairs.
Clean your spray nozzles of any deposits. Since tap water contains minerals, they can cause hard build-up at the nozzles. Use a pipe cleaner to clean the holes and soak the arms in vinegar if you see a large accumulation. The vinegar loosens the minerals so you can wipe the buildup with ease.
If your dishwasher is clean but has a damaged handle, you can perform the dishwasher handle repair yourself. Cost can range from $50 to more than $150 depending on the level of damage.
[Also read How Often Should You Change Dryer Filter – And How To Do It Properly]
One of the common mistakes you can make is to close the door of the laundry machine immediately after use. Leaving it open helps remove moisture and prevent mold and bacteria buildup. Additionally, keeping the machine dry after use helps to maintain the tub and other delicate parts that prolonged moisture degrades.
Your laundry machine is stress-tested up to specific limitations. Contrary to what you may believe, cramming in more clothes than necessary in your laundry machine can cost more energy and water instead of saving on them. Overloading can overstress the belts and motors that tumble your clothes clean. To avoid costly repairs, care for your laundry machine by loading only until the maximum amount specified by the manufacturer.
Your laundry machine has a manual with instructions on the amount of detergent you should use for specific loads. Don’t use excess laundry detergent, especially if you use a high-efficiency machine that doesn’t use a lot of water. Excess detergent leaves a film on the inner surface if you do. The film then becomes a foundation for mold growth.
Refrigerator efficiency problems stem from dirty condenser coils. The coils remove heat from your fridge to keep your food cold. But, with time, dirt and debris latch onto the coil and cause your motor to overheat.
Depending on the fridge you have, you can either remove the front grille or check the back of your fridge to access the coils. Once you locate the coils, vacuum them to remove the dirt. Use this opportunity to clean the floor and surrounding area to remove any possible debris that can cause buildup at the coils.
Another essential part to check is your refrigerator door. As the door seals age, the material degrades and loses suppleness, hence compromising the efficiency of the tight air seal. As a result, warm air gets in, and your fridge works harder to keep your food cold. So, inspect the rubber seal each year and replace it when needed.
Don’t put soiled clothes in your dryer lest you clog or cause the parts to corrode. Put only freshly laundered wet clothes in your dryer to prevent damage. Do not directly dry clothes wet from the beach or swimming pool. Also, frequently deep clean your dryer because lint builds up in places other than the lint filter. Use a narrow vacuum cleaner attachment to get at the nooks and crannies inside your dryer.
Clean your cloth dryer’s lint filter every three months to prevent clog formation. Clogs are a serious fire hazard because lint is highly combustible. This buildup will cause the dryer to overheat and burn the contents inside.
Wipe down the outer housing often so that soap residue won’t corrode the outer finish. Soap residue also builds up if you always set your just washed garments on the dryer.
[Also read How To Repair Appliances Yourself: DIY Appliance Repairs]
Which Home Appliances Repairs Cost the Most?
Refrigerators and freezers call for the costliest repairs and often break down during cold weather. Ovens and washing machines are close seconds, but you can save on repairs and replacement costs with the tips above.
How Do I Tell Whether To Replace or Repair My Appliance?
It depends on several variables such as age, warranty, and repair cost. You could also follow the 50 % rule. The rule stipulates that you replace your appliance past its half-life. At that stage, the repair costs more than 50 % of the cost of the appliance. Still, the best way to be sure is to seek an expert’s advice.