The best home appliance maintenance tips can reduce your repair costs. From avoiding overloads in your washer to preventing freezer burn in your fridge, simple habits can prolong the lifespan of your appliances.
It takes a little effort to perform regular appliance cleaning, but it’s worth it for the longevity and energy efficiency of your appliances. Home appliances are typically covered under a home warranty. So if you are wondering, are home warranties worth it, you will understand that having a warranty provides peace of mind and protects your investment. Follow these ten Home Appliance Maintenance Tips You Should Know to keep your appliances in tip-top shape to reduce having them repaired or replaced frequently.
Clean the Vents
Every home appliance has a maximum load rating. Taking your appliances beyond this limit can reduce their lifespan and increase the likelihood of needing repairs. This is why it’s important to keep up with maintenance tasks, like cleaning the vents.
During your regular household cleaning routine, you probably wipe down the food splatter on your microwave or refrigerator drawers, wash dishes in the dishwasher and clean your oven with mild soap and water. But, how often do you clean the vents and other hidden areas of your appliances?
Use a brush or rod that is rated for vent cleaning and insert it into the vent, gently twisting and turning to dislodge any lint. Be sure to wear safety goggles and a dust mask to prevent letting airborne particles get into your eyes or nose. Have a bucket or bag handy to collect the lint you remove from the vents and dispose of it properly. You should clean the vents and surrounding area at least once per year.
Clean the Exterior
If you read the instruction manuals that come with your appliances, you’ll find helpful advice about preventive maintenance. Each appliance has its own special requirements. Following them helps you avoid a number of appliance problems, and keeps your appliances in good working order.
Cleaning the exterior of an appliance prevents dirt build-up and debris, which can reduce the longevity of the unit. Use a vacuum attachment with a brush or damp cloth to clean behind and under your appliances, and wipe the outside down periodically.
Appliances that aren’t well maintained often require more energy to perform their basic functions, which drives up your energy bill. Performing routine appliance maintenance reduces energy usage, which prolongs the life of your appliances. It also postpones the need for expensive repairs and replacements. Plus, it ensures your warranty stays valid.
Clean the Interior
We all know it is a good idea to regularly wipe down stainless steel appliances with a microfiber cloth or cleaner, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to
appliance cleaning and maintenance. Performing regular heavy-duty cleaning can help your appliances stay healthy and run well for years to come.
It’s also a good idea to keep your appliances clean in between professional cleanings, including keeping them away from fire hazards like grease buildup and dust accumulation behind or underneath. Make sure to check the use and care manual for your specific appliance, but most can be cleaned using a cloth or sponge with warm water or a mild detergent.
Additionally, minimizing the amount of time you spend using your appliances can go a long way to saving money on energy bills and reducing wear and tear over the life of the product. Try to preheat the oven only when you’re cooking, for example, and remove clothing from the dryer as soon as it’s finished.
Unplug the Appliance
One of the best and most overlooked tips for appliance maintenance is to unplug them when not in use. This saves energy, reduces the risk of electrical fires, and extends their useful lifespan.
Unplugging appliances when not in use also helps prevent power surges. These microsurges stress the electronics in plugged-in appliances and can cause them to short circuit. This can damage other appliances on the same circuit and shorten their lifespans, even if you have whole-house surge protection systems or individual surge protectors.
Some appliances that have LED display lights will continue to draw a small amount of electricity in standby mode, so you should always unplug them completely, even if they are not turned on or used. You can find out which devices are using phantom energy by buying an electricity usage monitor. Be sure to dry the outlet with an absorbent cloth before unplugging it to avoid getting shocked. Be sure to grasp the plug and pull gently, not just tug on the cord.