Unfortunately, appliances don’t last forever. Some may stay with you for years (or even decades), but at some point, they’ll begin to cost more to repair over time than it is to buy a new one. While many repairs are inevitable, taking good care of your appliances can greatly improve their lifespans and save you money in the long run.
In addition to taking care of your appliances, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any not-so-obvious signs that your appliance may be malfunctioning or close to a major break. Read on to learn what those signs are and find out the best ways to extend the life of common kitchen appliances and more.
Refrigerators typically last anywhere from 10 to 13 years on average. Some of the best ways to keep your fridge running efficiently and conserve energy involve simple cleaning. Cleaning your fridge can help keep cool air inside and prevent it from overheating.
Two of the most important places to clean a fridge are the gasket and the coil. The fridge gasket is the seal on the fridge door that keeps the cold air in. By wiping the gasket down, you’ll remove any residue or buildup, allowing your fridge to keep cool air in easier. Cleaning the coils also helps remove dust and other particles which prevents your fridge from overheating.
Other easy ways to extend the life of your fridge include avoiding storing your fridge in high heat, allowing space for ventilation, and changing water filters.
Stoves & Ovens
Like refrigerators, stoves and ovens can last upwards of 15 years. Cleaning your stove is also a great way to extend the life of your appliance. Routine cleaning of the interior, exterior, ventilation, coils, and seals are key to helping your stove run as long and efficiently as possible.
If you notice that your oven takes an extremely long time to heat up or seems to under-cook despite putting food in for the appropriate cooking time, you may want to check the oven gasket. Similar to fridges, the gasket helps keep the appliance sealed and running efficiently without leaking any hot air. If it seems to be dirty or out of place, give it a wipe-down or schedule a repair if needed.
Again, cleaning is a must for any appliance. When it comes to dishwashers (which last about 10 years on average), not only do you want to keep your appliance clean, but you want to keep the things you put into it clean as well. While that seems counterproductive, since you’re supposed to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, you don’t want to be loading it up with extremely dirty dishes. By giving your dishes a quick rinse to get large pieces of food off the plate, you’ll be doing your dishwasher a huge favor.
Other ways to extend the life of your dishwasher are to avoid overloading the dishwasher, running hot water before starting the cycle, cleaning the seals and trap, and using powder detergent instead of gel.
Washers and Dryers
Both washers and dryers can last upwards of 10 to 20 years. Most of the practices for extending the life of these appliances should be things you’re already doing. Washing and drying full loads gives you the most bang for your buck, but you’ll also want to be mindful of separating loads based on color and type as well.
You’ll also want to periodically check the water hoses on the washer for any build-up, and frequently clean the lint catcher in the dryer. Lint can also get caught in other places of the dryer, so make sure you’re consistent with paying attention to the nooks and crannies of the appliance.
At some point, your appliances will begin to need regular maintenance for things out of your control. Having regular maintenance on your appliances will extend their lives, so don’t skimp out on anything that needs your attention. If your appliance seems to need frequent maintenance, it may be worth it to get a home warranty plan that covers repairs for your appliances. If you get a home warranty, make sure you’re only using reputable home warranty companies, as some may leave you hanging in your time of need. But with regular maintenance and cleaning, your appliances should last. Just pay attention to what needs to be fixed, and you should be fine.
About The Author: Aimee Adams is a freelance writer from Chapel Hill, North Carolina who has a passion for lifestyle and home topics. If she isn’t writing, you can find her playing with her dog, tending to her many indoor plants, or on a bike ride.
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