Large appliances can be quite costly, and unless they’re purchased as part of a renovation, most people aren’t really excited about having to replace them. Here are some things you can do to extend their life.
Dishwashers — Load properly so that items don’t fall through and damage parts. Running an unloaded dishwasher occasionally with a cup of white vinegar on the top shelf will help to keep your unit clean and odor-free. Periodically clean your dishwasher trap (under the lower spray) to remove any remnants. Regularly check and clean the seal around the door. A broken seal can lead to an expensive mess.
Refrigerators — Clean the coils a couple times a year. A dirty coil causes the compressor to work harder and can shorten the life of your appliance. It could also lead to a higher utility bill. Be sure to unplug your refrigerator when you do this, just remember to plug it back in!
Ranges — If you have a smooth top, don’t drag pots and pans from one burner to another. For those stoves with burners, be sure to regularly clean and remove items that fall through. Keep your oven clean either by using the self-cleaning option or manually cleaning it.
Washers — While it’s tempting to get as much laundry as you can into a load, it’s not good for your washer. Also ensure that your washer is level to avoid excessive vibration. Follow instructions for the type and amount of detergent that is best for your unit, and leave it open when it is not in use to prevent mildew.
Dryers — It’s important to clean the lint filter after every load to keep air flowing freely. You should also have your duct cleaned annually to prevent it from clogging (which is a fire hazard).
All appliances are a little different, and you should check your owner’s manual for specific tips on how to care for yours. With a little care, you can usually avoid costly repairs and a need for premature replacements.