Appliances / Home Repairs / Maintenance

Appliances

Appliances…Extend Their Life with Maintenance

In an earlier post we discussed things that you can do to your home to not only save you money on the heating and cooling bills, but also extend the life of your home.  But do you ever think about your appliances?  Most of us don’t until something goes wrong and we end up with a hefty repair bill or have to replace them.

I’m not talking about your weekly cleaning you might do to the surface, but other items you should consider adding into your weekly routine.

The major appliances that most people have in their home are:

Refrigerator

Three things you should consider adding to your cleaning list.

The drawers, racks and interior of the fridge.  Use a cleaner that is safe for your food.  If you don’t want to use a commercial cleaner around the food your family eats, try mixing water and baking soda.  Consider adding this to your list at least once a month to ensure your fridge is germ free and not spoiling your food, which in turn will cost you money.

Another part of the refrigerator we need to consider is the little flexible seals around the door, known as gaskets.  Check to make sure they aren’t cracked or torn.  Cracked or torn gaskets can leave the cold air out of your refrigerator and the life of your food will be shortened.  Also make sure you clean the gaskets with warm water and a little dish detergent, and dry them with a towel.  Keeping the gaskets clean will help ensure your fridge has a good seal.  You can also check the seal by closing the door on a piece of paper or dollar bill.  If you are able to easily pull it out, then it’s time to replace the gaskets.

The last section to look at about twice a year, if not at least once a year would be the coils (condenser) that are located behind and underneath the fridge.  Use a vacuum with an attachment to vacuum any dust, dirt, or pet hair from them, to help your refrigerator run efficiently, in turn saving you money on electric.  (EHow:  Great tips and video’s to help you with cleaning your refrigerator gaskets)

Range and Oven

Now a days most ovens have a self-cleaning feature on them.  If your oven is one that has this feature then you should use it to clean the oven, and avoid the harsh oven cleaners.  If your oven is not one that has the self-cleaning feature on it, then check your local stores for products that are designed to clean ovens.

Also make sure you clean your burners and top of stove.  Not only is baked on food or grease ugly to look at, but it is also not sanitary for cooking and preparing food, and it can be a fire hazard.

Make sure you check your filters in the exhaust fan or your range hood and change as needed.

Dishwasher

If you are one that uses a dishwasher often, whether it is a portable or built in one, you will want to check the spray arms.  The can become clogged with food, paper, dirt, and hard water minerals.  Check your owner’s manual for the proper way to clean them and unclog the little holes to get the best performance out of your dishwasher, which will save you cost on water and electric.

Some dishwashers have a filter or trap in them, which needs to be cleaned every so often.  If you are not sure about the filter or trap check the manual that came with the dishwasher.

The other thing to consider is the coating on the racks that you load your dishes on.  Over time they will crack, and will eventually rust.  The rust can stain your dishes, which you will have to replace.  Check with your manufacturer, most of them offer repair kits for the rakes.

Washer

The biggest thing to check is the hoses that are hooked up to the water supply.  Make sure they are not cracked or leaking.  Cracked and leaking hoses can result in a substantial amount of damage from water to other parts of your home.  Checking them a few times a year will make sure you don’t end up with hoses that break or fail and can save you a lot of money that it would cost you to replace flooring, walls or ceilings or anything else that is damaged from the water.

Also you can clean your washer by running a warm load with either vinegar or baking soda.  This will help remove any musty odors or stains that might be left in the washer.  Also propping the lid open or leaving it open will help cut down on the musty smell.

Dryers

Make sure you clean the dryer filter between each use.  Not only will this help prevent a dryer fire, but also will save you money on electric or gas and will let your dryer run more efficiently.

Every two to three months you should check the lint and dust build up around the exhaust, (where the dryer vent hose connects to) and the inside of the dryer hose.  If you still have the vinyl or plastic hose or ducts you might want to consider replacing them with the metal ones.  This will help cut down on dryer fires, and also keep your dryer running at it’s best.  There are kits or attachments for your vacuum to help with cleaning the dryer and removing as much lint as possible.

Also make sure you clean the lint filter with warm water and detergent.  This can be done every two to three months when you are cleaning the exhaust host and removing extra lint.  By washing this with warm soap and water you will be removing the build up that comes from chemicals.  The biggest one is if you use dryer sheets in your dryer.

The few tips will take a little time but will save you lot’s of money over time.

Do you have any other tips for these or any other appliances?

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5 thoughts on “Appliances

  1. Pingback: Appliance Repairs You Can Do « Healthier, Wealthier, and Wiser

  2. Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment
    (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying
    your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for beginner blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

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