Top Maintenance Tips for Your Home Appliances

Appliances have made things far much easier in our homes. Today, it’s hard to deny the convenience and comfort that we enjoy from our appliances. Spending a day without most of these appliances can be troublesome, as well as annoying.

However, it’s important to note that our appliances can break down if we fail to keep them in good condition. Proper usage and taking good care of our appliances will make sure that they serve us for a longer period of time. But, the question is, how do we take care of our appliances?

The following are top maintenance tips for your home appliances. Following these tips will ensure that your appliances run efficiently, and also extend their lifespan.

Dishwasher

Keeping a dishwasher in a good condition is not hard at all—but it is not a simple task, either. The following are some of the common dishwasher maintenance tips. Please note that you don’t need any technician to assist you with them:

  • Use it regularly – using your dishwasher regularly is one of the best ways to make sure that it remains in good condition. This prevents food and grease from building up in your dishwasher, thus making it a challenge to clean it.
  • Use vinegar to clean it – pour some vinegar at the bottom of your appliance, and then run it on a low cycle. Vinegar is effective for cleaning dishwashers, both the interior and exterior.
  • Monitor the condition of the racks – always repair or replace the dish racks if you notice that the plastic coating has started to wear off. Moreover, don’t forget to replace the plastic lining tips that cover the vertical rack spikes if they go missing. Failing to fix the racks can lead to corrosion, which can cause tiny and rusty metal pieces to enter the pump. This, in turn, can lead to a costly repair.
  • Check the spinning arms – use a needle or another tiny item to inspect the spinning arms. This helps in clearing the openings. These arms spray water and can be blocked by food or other materials. However, don’t use weak items like wooden toothpicks as this risks snapping of the tip—which can lead to serious problems. Therefore, consider using a sturdier item, like a paper clip or needle.
  • Clean the gasket – use vinegar and water solution to clean around the edges of the appliance. Then use a soft brush or cloth to clean any gunk on the gaskets.

Refrigerator

Your fridge is one of the appliances in your home that operates continually. Therefore, it’s important to keep it in good shape. Taking a few minutes every now and then to perform the following maintenance tasks will make the unit more efficient in terms of energy consumption and operation. Besides, these maintenance tips will reduce the chances of wear and tear.

  • Inspect the door gaskets – a loose door seal allows cooled air to escape. This, in turn, makes your fridge to work harder than usual, and also waste a lot of energy. Therefore, check to make sure that the gaskets don’t have any food residue accumulating on them. Then, clean them with a water and baking soda solution, and a soft toothbrush at least two times each year.
  • Clean the coils – dirt tends to cover the condenser coils frequently, and this makes them less efficient. Therefore, vacuum the condenser coils twice every year to keep the machine running well.
  • Get the temperature correct – set your fridge at 37 – 40 degrees F and the freezer and 0 degrees C.
  • Place your fridge in a leveled position – installing your fridge in an unleveled place makes the doors not to close properly. If the doors can’t close well, it means they cannot seal well, and this causes the motor to strain while trying to keep the temperatures optimum. Place a level tool on the shelves to check the positioning of your fridge. Then adjust the feet if you realize that the position is not level to keep it even.

Dryer

Failing to keep your dryer well maintained is very dangerous. Research revealed that dryers caused around 17,000 fires in 2010 alone. These incidents resulted in 380 injuries, 51 fatalities, and losses amounting to $236 million.

Follow these tips to keep your dryer in good condition:

  • Clean the lint filter – always remove the lint from its filter after every cycle. This improves airflow and also prevents your machine from overheating.
  • Install a new hose if the need arises – if your dryer has a white vinyl hose, replace it with an aluminum one. Vinyl hoses are obstructive, and they don’t meet the set federal fire safety standards in the United States.
  • Clean the interior regularly – if you can open the dryer, clean its interior two to three times each year. Use a vacuum when cleaning it. Don’t forget to disconnect the dryer from the power supply to avoid electrocution.
  • Make sure it doesn’t vent inside your house – never allow your dryer to vent inside your home. If you find that the vent is inside your house, hire a technician to redirect it outside.
  • Inspect the outside exhaust vent – check to see if the air is escaping easily when the dryer is running. If you notice that airflow is blocked, make sure that there’s no debris clogging the vent. If this doesn’t solve the problem, there’s a problem within the ductwork, and you should hire a technician to clean your ductwork.
  • Monitor the drying time – if you realize that your clothes are taking longer to dry, there’s a possibility that the vent is clogged. First, you should clean the lint trap, and the entire venting system to see if the problem is solved. If this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to get another dryer.

Washer

Your washer saves you a lot of valuable time—and this shows the importance of keeping it in good condition. The following maintenance tips will help in keeping your washer in good condition and reduce the chances of wear and tear.

  • Replace the water hose – inspect the water hose for any signs of fraying, cracking, leaks, or bulging. Replace it if you notice any of these signs. But, you should always replace it after every three years.
  • Watch the space – ensure that there’s a minimum space of 4 inches between the washer and the wall. This prevents the hoses from kinking.
  • Keep your washer level – if your machine is not leveled, it can rock, vibrate or move across the floor when cleaning your clothes. This risks damaging the machine, as well as the floor. To keep your washer in a balanced position, adjust its legs accordingly.
  • Clean the lint filter – depending on the model, a lint filter is mostly located at the agitator tube, which is found at the center column of the washer, or close to the top of the washtub. Cleaning it ensures that your washer runs efficiently.
  • Don’t overload your washer – always use the recommended amount of water and load size. For bulky or heavy loads, wash them in small loads to avoid overworking your washer.

Microwave oven

Microwaves are easier and cheaper to replace compared to other household appliances. Therefore, most people forget to take care of them. According to technicians at  Hartman’s Appliance Repair, Tampa, keeping your microwave in good condition will improve its efficiency, and you will not replace it anytime soon.

Follow these tips to keep your microwave in good condition:

  • Clean the interior – cleaning the interior helps reduce foul smells, and also preventing chances of corrosion. Therefore, always wipe away any splatters and spills immediately they happen. Moreover, do a complete wipe-down using a mild detergent once every month.
  • Use microwavable containers – using non-microwavable containers risks them melting, and leaving harmful particles on your meals. Therefore, always make sure that all your containers are labeled microwave safe. Mostly, these containers are made of glass, ceramic, or hard plastic.
  • Cover your food – this prevents splashes and spills when the microwave is running. Covering the food will make sure that the walls of your microwave stay clean, thus protecting the interior metal and paint of the appliance.
  • Avoid putting metals and aluminum in your oven – the microwaves discharged by your appliance bounce of metallic surfaces. Therefore, metal can make the interior heat unevenly, and this can lead to costly damages.
  • Ensure that its door closes properly – if the seal or the door is damaged, your food will not cook evenly. Moreover, radiation can escape from the microwave, and this is harmful to your health.

Ovens and ranges

These are some of the less complicated appliances in our homes. However, without an oven and range, there’s no food to eat in our homes. Therefore, you need to keep your oven in good condition if you want it to serve you for long.

Electric oven/range maintenance

  • Keep the fan/filter and hood clean. These can easily catch moisture and grease when cooking, thus you should clean them regularly. However, avoid using abrasive powders or pads to clean the metal. The best way to do it is by using water and ammonia solution, which is effective for removing grease and dirt. Allow the filter to dry before re-installing them.
  • Check to see if the filter needs replacement, rather than cleaning. Consulting the manufacturer’s manual for changing/cleaning the filter, and also cleaning the fan.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your oven.

Gas range maintenance

  • For a gas range, clean the grates regularly with detergent and hot water.
  • Avoid using scouring powder since it can block the holes of the burner. Rather, use a scrubbing wire when cleaning the burner holes.
  • Avoid using brittle objects like wooden toothpicks since they can break off in your burner.