Having to replace or repair major appliances such as fridges and ovens or even washing machines and dryers can be a massive hit to your budget. To ensure you don't have to buy these items unnecessarily and keep them performing like new just follow these simple tips. Once you start applying some of these tips you will see a vast improvement in the longevity of your appliances.
Refrigerators work by removing heat from the inside and expelling it through condenser tubes into the surrounding air. Old fridges used to mount the condenser tubes on the top or the rear of the fridge. These days the condenser tubes are found underneath the fridge to achieve a more sleek appearance. Most fridges come with a 5-year warranty period and after such time you will notice the fridge will start to fail. This is massively impacted by the condenser tubes having to work overtime due to a build-up of dust and grime. By simply cleaning your condenser tubes once a year you can potentially increase the life of your fridge up to 15 or even 20 years.
Of course, keeping the inside of the fridge clean, and monitoring the fridge temperature is a must. This will take the extra strain off the mechanical parts and will draw less current from the wall. If your fridge isn't full then you can drop the temperature required to keep everything cold.
Typically an oven can last between 10 to 20 years. To extend the life of your oven past the minimum you must keep it clean. A super simple tip to keeping an oven clean is to clean up spills as they happen. Although this isn't always feasible so instead it is advised that you allocate time once a month to giving your oven a deep proper clean. This includes cleaning the grime off the inside glass and cleaning the oven racks and drip tray.
Some ovens have a self-cleaning ability which uses extreme heat to incinerate grease and food drippings from the walls and floor of the oven. As tempting as this feature is, it can actually damage the heating elements thus shortening the lifespan of your oven. Another common oven issue is foil on the drip pan. It does make it easier to clean and also helps in reflecting heat but it can also short circuit the burner.
You can expect a normal dishwasher to last anywhere between 7 to 12 years. To ensure that your dishwasher lasts as long as possible you need to maintain it. Regularly checking and cleaning the filters can help avoid clogging when draining. When using the dishwasher it is recommended to use as much hot water as possible. This is to prevent any detergent build-up inside the dishwasher. It is preferred that you use powder tablets instead of gel-based detergent. Gel detergent may contain chlorine bleach which can cause damage to the inside of your dishwasher ultimately shortening its life.
When loading the dishwasher make sure that you have first rinsed off any food residue to avoid clogging the sprayers or filters. Place dishes into the rack gently. Being forceful and shoving the racks inside will eventually cause them to bend and break. It is recommended that you run your dishwasher at least once a day to avoid clogging and wash away food remnants.
One of the easiest ways to help a washing machine's useful life is to ensure that it is balanced and on level ground. Being off balance can not only make a horrible racket when you are washing, but more importantly, it will cause added stress to the motor and ultimately kill it faster. If your washing machine is on the floor and you can hear that it is unbalanced you can use shims under the front and back corners to get it back to level.
Another common washing machine killer is overloading it with washing. Having more clothes in the machine not only doesn't allow the washing machine to clean your clothes properly, but it also adds more stress to the motor and can ultimately kill it faster too. When it comes to using laundry detergent less is more. Using large amounts of laundry detergent or fabric softener can cause a build-up around the seals and discolour the inside of your washing machine.
After every washing day, it is strongly advised that you wipe down the inside of the machine and keep the door open a fraction. This is to allow for fresh air to get into the machine and aid in drying it out. If you are going on holiday it is a good idea to unplug your machine and turn off the water supply. This can help avoid accidental flooding due to a water pressure surge.
Increasing the lifespan of a dryer is very similar to a washing machine except for a few differences. Instead of wiping down the inside, you should remove lint and dust build-up from your lint filter and remove any coins or buttons that may have come loose or fallen out of your clothing. Ensure that the ventilation for a dryer is adequate. If you are using ducting to help vent your drying ensure you look inside it once a week if used regularly to clear out any lint or dust build-up.
Lint build-up reduces the effectiveness of dryers and causes them to work harder and longer which will end up costing you more in the long run. If you are buying a new dryer look for one with a moisture sensor. Moisture sensor dryers will automatically shut off when your clothes are dry. This will avoid overheating and higher power bills.