There’s nothing more frustrating than filling the dryer with a load of wet laundry, only to discover your machine isn't working any more. The same is true for a leaky dishwasher, a warm refrigerator or a stove that won’t heat. We use our appliances so regularly, we often forget that these machines aren't guaranteed to keep working forever. There are things we can do, however, that can lengthen the life of our most valued appliances so we are guaranteed the most time possible before that dreaded last spin cycle.
Read the Booklet
Before you throw your new washing machine’s manual into the junk drawer to be forgotten forever, skim through it and make a couple notes about maintenance, life-expectancy and important warnings to note. Did you know you’re supposed to replace your furnace filters once a month in the winter, and that the rubber hoses attached to your washer can crack and weaken after just two to three years? A great way to keep all these facts straight is to write them in a small notebook; when you’re spring cleaning or noticing the dryer not drying as quickly, you won’t have to go scrambling for your long-lost booklet.
Keep It Clean
Maybe you vacuum once a week, or dust every couple days, or do the dishes every evening after dinner; but how frequently do you clean your refrigerator’s condenser coil or clear the sediment on the bottom of your water heater? Since we use them every day, and many of our appliances are designed for cleaning, we forget that taking a few minutes to wipe down surfaces and seals and removing dust and particulates can make a huge difference in the lifespan of our machines. When you already have the vacuum out, make it a habit to clean out your dryer’s ventilation hoses and get rid of lint. Incorporating these tasks into your daily or weekly cleaning routine will make sure your appliances stay in tip-top shape.
Remember Routine Maintenance
Appliances aren't expected to last as long as they used to; in fact, we’re well past the years of 25-30 year machine lifespans – we’re hoping more for 10-15 years now. Once you know the maintenance recommendations from the manufacturer, be sure to follow through on routine checkups for the breakable and easily warn parts of your machines. Not sure what you’re really looking for? Then it’s best to call a professional. Having someone come out and make sure everything is running smoothly, or providing advice for how to make things run better, will be a lot less expensive than bringing out a professional when something has already stopped running.
What are your best tips for keeping appliances in the best shape possible? Let us know in the comments!
Like this article? Check out this other Spending & Saving article: “Saving Your Car – Saving Money: Regular Auto Maintenance"