Many of us are aware of basic appliance maintenance and proper care. Unfortunately, we tend to disregard these tasks, especially when the units are working fine. But once an appliance conks out and home life is disrupted, we suddenly realize its importance. Not to mention, the cost of hiring an appliance repair technician or buying a new one can take a toll on our wallets.
Indeed, regret is always at the end – and you don’t want this to happen. Here are simple DIY appliance maintenance tips that can help you avoid unwanted appliance breakdowns.
1. Keep the fridge’s rubber gaskets clean
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, refrigerators can last for over 13 years. By simply keeping the rubber gaskets, you can achieve the appliance’s full life expectancy and make the most out of your money. The rubber gaskets play a vital role in temperature control as it ensures proper seal and traps cool air inside the refrigerator. Thus, the refrigerator motor does not work continuously.
Sticky foods such as jam and syrup can cause the door to get stuck, thus requiring you to pull harder. This can eventually lead to tears on the gasket and leading to a poor seal. At least once every week, scrub off debris, oil, and food particles using a towel soaked in warm water and soap.
2. Clean refrigerator coils
Air exchange happens in the refrigerator coils. It is important to keep them clean to allow the unit to cool more efficiently, thus reducing wear and tear. Many refrigerator problems are due to overheating motors.
Depending on the type of fridge you have, the coils can be found either on the back or the front grille. There are coil cleaning brush sets available at home centers. You simply need to push the brush into the coils and vacuum it clean.
3. Clean the microwave
Specialists at Hartman’s appliance repair company noted that microwave ovens are among the most commonly used home appliances. Food particles and debris can get stuck in the microwave’s interior and cause bad odor and rusted metal parts. As such, you need to regularly clean it. Using a wet, soap-soaked cloth, wipe the microwave to remove debris and oil. Additionally, does steam clean by placing a bowl of water with lemon slices. Heat the oven to make the water vaporize. This can make cleaning so much easier.
4. Close appliance doors gently
Whether it is a washer, a dryer, a microwave, or any other appliance with doors, never slam the doors. Aside from damaging the mechanical parts, electronic controls and sensors are often located near the doors. Sudden jolts and jamming can damage these modules. Many costly appliance troubles can be prevented by simply closing the doors gently.
5. Clean window air conditioners before use
During winter storage, a window air conditioner can accumulate all sorts of nasty stuff, such as dust, dead bugs, dry leaves, pollen, molds, insects, and mouse droppings. Before you start using a window air conditioner, make sure to clean it up well. Vacuum all the surfaces, particularly the exterior fins. Also, remove the cover panel to access and clean the foam filter. Running a dirty air conditioner not only poses health risks but can also cause the motor to work double-time and even cause damage.
6. Wipe off food spills
Many service calls involving stove burners are because the appliance won’t come on. Often, the culprit has spilled food that blocks the igniter. To avoid this common problem, make sure to clean off food spills, pay particular attention to the igniter.
7. Empty the toaster crumb tray
Before you use a toaster, make sure the crumb tray is clean. Overflowing left-over crumbs can turn into a fire hazard if not cleared out. Make it a habit to clean the tray before using it.
8. Remove the dryer lint
Use a vacuum attachment to clean out the lint trap of your dryer at least every week or after every use. While at it, check the accordion hose for any clogging or build as it can be a fire hazard.
9. Change water filter
Sediments can clog up the water filters, which can hamper the water flow. As such, it is important to change filters at least three times a year, or much sooner, especially if you’re a heavy user. You should also regularly inspect the hoses to prevent any leaks or potential flooding. Check for any deformities, cracks, fissures, and weak spots. If there are any signs of a problem, replace the hose immediately. Additionally, washing machines can grow mold quickly, so make sure to wipe dry the interior tub and the seals on the door.
10. Regularly check oven door seals
Just like the fridge gasket, the oven door seals trap the heat. With poor sealing, an oven can lose up to 20% of its heat. This causes the oven to work double-time, thus hastening wear-and-tear effects. In case of any signs of breaks or cracks, call up an appliance technician to have the door seals replaced.