A Room-by-Room Approach for Making Your Major Appliances Last
When you're busy running your home and ensuring your family's well-being, you don't have a lot of time to worry about your appliances. You just want to fill the dishwasher with dirty dishes, punch a button, and unload your clean dishes a few hours later.
On most days, your biggest challenge is just getting the laundry finished, much less worrying about your washer's maintenance.
However, all major appliances have limits.
To learn how to extend your appliance's lifespans, take a tour through two of the busiest areas in the house: your kitchen and laundry room.
Your kitchen is a busy place, filled with spills, smells, and people. Here are a few strategies to protect your kitchen appliances from the wear and tear of daily life.
You may love your new ceramic stovetop. It looks great and heats your meals evenly. But if you want it to last, avoid these common mishaps:
Dropping or banging pans on the surface-You may not realize it, but that oversized pot can create a heat imbalance. If your pan traps hot temperatures beneath it, you risk cracking your stovetop. Make sure your pots aren't bigger than the heating elements. Using pans improperly-There's a good reason why manufacturers recommend certain cleaning products for ceramic or glass stovetops. Use the wrong product and you risk etching or otherwise damaging the surface. Delaying spill cleanup-Spills can damage any stove, whether it's a glass top model or a traditional model with o pen drip pans and electric coils. Don't delay cleaning sticky, sugary spills. Otherwise you'll pay more to replace drip pans or the entire stovetop later.
It's simple to keep your microwave working well if-once again-you keep it clean. Wipe out spills just after they occur. Pay attention to the doors and hinges, too. If they get sticky, they can stop working or break. Use a surge protector so your microwave isn't damaged by electric spikes.
Finally, keep adequate airflow behind your microwave unit, and place it away from flammable materials.
You can expect most dishwashers to last nine years, on average. However, the lifespan depends on the make, model, and your usage patterns. Extend your dishwasher's life by keeping the door seal or gasket clean. If it gets gummed up, it may cause water to leak from the door's edge.
Also, periodically check around the spray arms and pump for objects that might clog the dishwasher's draining system.
Fridge and Freezer
Although most refrigerators and freezers have a relatively long lifespan (11 to 13 years), don't expect them to last long if you never maintain them. The most important areas are:
The coils(either underneath or behind the refrigerator or freezer). Dust these off at least twice a year for optimum power and function. Otherwise, you may overheat your compressor. The door gasket.If this gets dirty, sticky, or gummy, it won't hold a decent seal. Then your refrigerator will lose energy and not keep your foods as cool as they should be. Wipe the gasket regularly with a damp, slightly soapy cloth. The door gasket.Don't be tempted to overfill either the freezer or the fridge. As much as it's tempting to have lots of food on hand, if you cut off proper airflow, you lessen the cooling power of the freezer or refrigerator.
The Laundry Room
You already know how much time you spend in this area of your home. But you can still extend your machines' lives by a few simple laundry-room strategies:
Front- or Top-Loading Washer
Luckily, top loaders are pretty simple to maintain. In fact, they don't demand anything beyond basic cleaning to keep grime and dust off the surfaces.
Front loaders are another matter, however. Prolong your front-loading washer's life by:
Using proper load sizes.Don't overload; if you do, you risk a lot more wear and tear on the machine. Cleaning once a month.Check your user's manual or manufacturer recommendations for cleaning tips. Most front loaders do better when running a cleaning tablet through the machine each month. Allowing air circulation.When you're done with a wash load, leave the door open to avoid musty smells and mould growth.
You've heard it plenty of times: clean out the lint trap regularly. This is critical to your safety and the life of the dryer, but it's not the only important tip. Here are a few more:
- Clean the exhaust vent each year. Dangerous lint collects here, too.
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- Take time to clean the exterior, too. Excess grime damages the finish over time.
No appliance lasts forever. However, by following a few of the above maintenance strategies, you also prolong your major appliance s' lives.
Need more ideas? Yourappliance dealer has even more strategies to help you get the most from the machines that run your home. Use these strategies to keep you appliances functional for many years to come.