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Simple Tips for Keeping Your Home Appliances Running at Their Best

You Are Here:   Home > Automatic Appliance Parts Blog > Simple Tips for Keeping Your Home Appliances Running at Their Best

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Life is so busy for many people that they often only tend to their appliances when things go wrong. However, when a fridge stops working or an HVAC system packs up, it can potentially mean forking out lots of money for costly repairs or new units. Just like with your car, conducting regular maintenance tasks will go a long way in preventing expensive and difficult-to-repair issues from cropping up. To help you organize the maintenance schedule of your home appliances, here's a list of home appliances that you should maintain at regular intervals.

HVAC Systems

Although you want to leave a full system inspection or HVAC repair work to a trained professional, there are quick monthly checks you can do yourself. To start with, you want to replace the filter every one to three months, depending on the number of pets and people who live in your home, to keep the air that's circulating free from allergens and dust. Some recommend that it's better to buy cheaper filters that need replacement more often than high-end filters that last longer.

A monthly inspection that you want to remember is to check the refrigerant lines, which are the two copper lines that connect the outdoor conditioner or heat pump to the indoor evaporator coil. Check for dirty or oily spots on the lines, as refrigerant tends to attract dirt. If you suspect that there may be a leak, contact a professional to do an inspection.

Also, check the outside unit every few months to ensure that there's a clearing of about 2 feet around the unit. You also want to see if the unit is level since this will ensure the longevity of the compressor. If it's not, prop the unit up with rot-resistant shims.

Fridges



Image via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 by
Marco Verch Professional Photographer: edited from original

A fridge is an essential piece of kitchen equipment. As it's working 24/7, you want to help your fridge perform optimally by doing a few regular maintenance tasks. Clean the seals of the fridge and the freezer doors every three months or so with soapy water, as dirty seals prevent the doors from closing properly. This, in turn, puts stress on the motors because they need to work harder to keep the fridge cool. Also, check that the seals aren't ripped or loose. If they are, you can repair them with silicone caulk or replace their magnet strips.

You also want to clean the condenser coils at the back of the fridge every few months. The coils are responsible for cooling and condensing the refrigerant, and when they're grimy it forces the compressor to work harder. Remove the grill and then vacuum the coils and the fan with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner.

Every six months or so, you want to replace the water filter to ensure that you get clean water and ice from your fridge. Lastly, check your fridge's temperature regularly. The fridge section should be set at around 37 to 40 F, while the freezer should be at zero.

Dryers

Believe it or not, one out of every 22 house fires in the U.S. is caused by a neglected dryer. Taking care of your dryer will ensure that it works well and will also bring down your electricity bill. Something that you want to do every time before you use the dryer is to remove lint from the filter to allow the unit to perform optimally. Not doing so will prevent proper airflow and can cause overheating.

You can clean the filter more thoroughly every three months. Vacuum the filter to get rid of any remaining lint and then wash it with a brush, dishwashing liquid, and water. Rinse and dry it properly before putting it back in the dryer.

Aim to clean the dryer drum once a month to get rid of detergents and residue from clothes. This is an easy and cheap task. Simply fill a spray bottle with half vinegar and half water, spray the inside of the drum, and then wipe the surfaces down with a soft, clean cloth. Then allow the drum to air properly by keeping the door open for a few hours. Every now and then, you should check behind the dryer for any stray lint and clear it. Also, clean the vent hose by detaching it and vacuuming the inside.

Dishwashers

Although you may think that your dishwasher is self-cleaning, this is unfortunately not the case. If you don't clean your dishwasher, food particles can clog up the drain and spray arms. If you use your dishwasher regularly, you want to clean it properly about once a month. Remove all racks and utensil holders and unscrew the dishwasher filter. Place all of these items in warm water and vinegar and allow them to soak for about 30 minutes. You also want to remove any debris from the drain at the bottom of the unit.

Next, wipe out the interior of the dishwasher and remove all food debris that may have got stuck in corners and crevices with a toothbrush. Once this is done, you can place a cup with vinegar on the top rack and run the dishwasher through a cycle, using the hottest water setting. Finally, sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher and run the machine through another cycle. This will remove any stubborn stains.

Other maintenance tasks include checking the racks for chips and repairing these with rack touch-up paint to avoid rust. If your racks are badly rusted, it's advisable to invest in new ones, as the exposed metal can damage your dishes. You can also remove the spray arms to check for any blockages in the holes. If there are any, unblock them by using a toothpick.

As you can see, taking care of your appliances doesn't involve long hours, difficult tasks, or lots of money. However, if a part does malfunction, give us a call. At Automatic Appliance Parts Corp., we boast one of the most comprehensive inventories in the country and we are truly passionate about providing our customers with professional and attentive service.