If you’re like most people, you don’t give your household appliances much thought until one of them malfunctions just when you need it the most. Few things are more frustrating than a dryer that breaks down before the clothes you’re planning on wearing are dry or an oven that stops producing heat before the family dinner has been thoroughly cooked. Fortunately, there are strategies designed to help your household appliances last as long as possible and produce a minimum of unpleasant surprises by unexpectedly breaking down. Following are successful techniques to keep seven major household appliances humming along smoothly for as long as possible.
If you’re washing a large load of laundry, using the appropriate setting will save significant wear and tear on your washing machine. Also, make certain that your pockets and other parts of your clothing are completely free of all foreign objects before closing the lid and turning on the washer. Loose change, pebbles, and other small items can seriously damage your machine. Unless you have an industrial-size washing machine, don’t wash adult sleeping bags and other large items in it. Your local laundromat should have washing machines equipped to handle super heavy loads.
Although most people know that keeping their dryer’s lint trap clean and clear is a proper maintenance procedure, but many often completely fail to pay the same attention to the exterior vent. If this item is clogged, hot air can’t escape, and this creates a serious fire hazard as well as burns up the motor in your dryer. Also, never leave clothing on top of the dryer while another load is drying. This can cause motor components to become too hot and wear out prematurely.
Some refrigerators are equipped with air and water filters, and it’s important to make sure these are kept clean and replaced if they show signs of serious disrepair. If you aren’t sure whether your particular refrigerator model has these filters or where they are located, check your owners’ manual for more information. It’s also essential to ensure that the magnetic strips around your refrigerator doors are providing optimal performance. Testing this is easy — simply close the door on a dollar bill. If the door fails to hold the bill firmly in place, it’s time to re-magnetize or replace the seal.
You can extend the life of your dishwasher by changing its food trap regularly and always doing your best to pre-clean dishes, cutlery, and cookware before placing them in your dishwasher. Also, keep its inner workings as clean as possible by running an empty cycle with one cup of white vinegar once per week.
Most microwaves will last for a long time if you provide basic maintenance. Never run the appliance with anything inside that contains metal, including tea bags with tiny metal staples at the top. Microwaves also benefit from surge protection to protect their solid-state circuitry. You should also turn your microwave off immediately if you notice any sparks coming from the appliance.
One of the fastest ways to wear out the motor of your freezer is to fill it up all at once. Try to schedule your shopping so that you only purchase a few items destined for the freezer at once. Also, always ensure that you keep your freezer level. This will keep the oil that lubricates the compressor draining properly back into its pan, allowing the compressor to perform its function seamlessly.
Toaster ovens don’t ask for much. They just want to be kept clean and not asked to do more than they’re capable of doing. Although toaster ovens can be successfully used to cook a variety of items, don’t overwhelm these small appliances with family-sized roasts, for instance.
Always consult an appliance repair specialist if you find yourself stumped by an issue with a household appliance, and always keep your owners’ manuals organized and close at hand so that you can troubleshoot problems as they arise.