Appliance maintenance to-dos for your home
Each of your home's appliances and systems will function better with a little regular maintenance from you.
You probably take your car in for regular oil checks and go to the dentist several times a year to make sure your teeth are healthy. But do you put periodic home appliance maintenance on your calendar? You should: Repair for just one appliance costs about $170, on average.
There are several ways to tackle appliance maintenance: You can go floor to floor or room to room, for example, or put one or two appliances per month or week on your schedule. In doing so, you'll help extend your appliance life and put a stop to frantic calls to repair experts. Here's help to get you started.
Appliance maintenance in the kitchen
Oven: Check the owner's manual for recommended maintenance. Regularly inspect the burners to ensure they light up evenly. Check the seal on the oven door; a poorly sealed oven door can cause your appliance to lose a large portion of its heat, driving up utility bills and unevenly cooking food. Inspect the rubber or fiberglass seal around the perimeter of the door for any breaks, and check for leaks with the door closed. Replace if necessary. In addition, take the necessary precautions to keep cooking time safe with more tips.
Garbage disposal: Check for blockages and remove with tongs, then run the disposal with a deodorizing or cleaning agent such as ice cubes and salt, vinegar or even frozen citrus.
Dishwasher: Follow manufacturer recommendations for cleaning. Regularly inspect the racks for chips and go over them with special touch-up paint to prevent exposed metal and rust, which can damage your dishes.
Fridge: Clean the interior, exterior and coils according to the manufacturer's instructions. Regularly inspect the seals on the doors for cracks or breaks.
Microwave: Regularly inspect the interior of the microwave to ensure the seals and coatings are intact.
Appliance maintenance in your laundry
Washing machine: Look for any cracks, weak spots or deformities in the hoses connected to your washing machine to prevent floods or leaks. Replace hoses every five years or as directed by your owners manual.
Dryer: Clean the filter after every use — no exceptions. Use guidance from the manufacturer to clean out the vent.
System maintenance in your living spaces
Electronics: Use surge protectors to help guard spendy electronics. Regularly inspect cords for any cracks, and clean per manufacturer instructions.