Today’s home appliances – especially energy saving ones – are not cheap, and repairing or replacing your bigger units like ovens, washing machines, and fridges can cause a huge dent in your wallet. If you want to get the most value out of your appliances, consider these tips for making them last as long as they should. Once you start following the tips, the units will perform like new for years.
A typical oven should last you about 20 years of perfect performance. You can extend its life by simply keeping it clean at all times. This means cleaning up spills as soon as is possible.
While it is not always feasible to clean messes as they occur, allocate some time at least once a month when you give your oven a thorough clean. Cleaning includes removing grime from the inside glass as well as cleaning the drip tray and oven racks.
A few ovens on the market have a self-clean feature, which utilizes extreme heat to burn food drippings and grease on the floor and walls of your oven. This feature looks like a godsend, but it can actually cause damage to the heating element and shorten your oven’s life.
Another common thing you should watch out for is placing foil on the unit’s drip pan. It does help in making cleaning easier as well as in the reflection of heat, but it is also capable of short-circuiting your burner.
Your Washing Machine
Extend the life of your washing machine by simply ensuring that it is on balanced and level grounding. An off-balance machine will make horrible noises while washing, causing more stress on the motor, and killing it even faster. If your machine is unbalanced, use shims under the back and front corners to keep it level.
Another common mistake that shortens the life of a washing machine is overloading it. Doing this places more strain on the engine, eventually leading to faster wearing. As a rule of thumb, only fill your washing machine until about halfway.
However, remember that not all laundry behaves the same once soaked in water; therefore, a load of underwear does not behave like a blanket. At the same time, do not under-load because it is a waste of energy and can cause it to vibrate.
The refrigerator works by removing heat from inside and expelling it via condenser tubes to the surrounding air. Modern fridges have their condenser tubes under them for a streamlined, sleek appearance – unlike older units that had the tubes at the top or the rear.
While most fridges have a 5-year warranty period, this timeline can be seriously reduced when condenser tubes work overtime due to grime and dust build up. Simply cleaning the condenser tubes at least once a year will increase your refrigerator’s life by up to 15 to 20 years.
In addition, keep the inside of the fridge clean, and monitor its temperature. This helps take the extra strain off the unit’s mechanical parts as well as reduce the amount of current drawn from the wall.
Further extend your refrigerator’s life by:
- Placing it away from your oven, direct sunlight and heat vents
- Scrubbing the door gasket
- Filling it properly – leave at least 1 to 2 inches between your items
- Covering everything inside
- Not leaving the door open for too long
Before you start any new appliance, it is important you take the time to read the instruction manual. The manual has all sorts of information including how to repair a few minor issues and how to handle the appliance. In addition, consult with an electrician level 2 to ensure that the unit is installed correctly.