Cutting Costs by Ensuring Your Home Appliances Run Smoothly

An appliance in disrepair can crack a gigantic hole in your budget, while seriously adding major inconveniences to your daily routines. Buying replacements are costly, so setting money aside for these unseen events is smart, but preventive strategies are even smarter. Simply giving your appliances some tender loving care will extend their lives and increase their performances, while saving you both money and energy in the long run. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep the appliance blues at bay.

Check Refrigerator Seals Regularly


Image via Flickr by Polygon Homes

Check the seals, or gaskets, on the doors for damage and keep them clean. Damaged seals allow cold air to leak out of the fridge, wasting precious energy, and forcing the unit to work unnecessarily hard. Dirty seals that have accumulated grease and grime can make the doors stick when opening, making them easier to tear.

Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils

About once a year, or more frequently if you have pets, clean the condenser coils in the back or bottom of the fridge using a stiff bristle brush and vacuum hose attachments. Dust, pet hair, or lint that collects around the coils can cause them to overheat, forcing the unit to work harder to cool down. Remember to unplug the refrigerator before cleaning the coils.

Clean Up Food Spills on the Stove and Oven

Food buildup raises the heat level in the oven, which adds undue stress to the appliance. Food that has accumulated on or around gas burners can obstruct their performance. Cleaning up food spills as quickly as they happen also prevents damage to the appliance exterior and finish.

Handle the Dishwasher With Care

Like your fridge, your dishwasher has seals that can cause leakage when torn or damaged. Check them occasionally and keep them clean to prevent sticking. Use the recommended dishwasher detergent, and run the machine only when you have a full load. Handle trays carefully to prevent damaging the wheels they rest on.

Service Your Heating/Air Conditioning Unit

Check and change filters in your unit as often as recommended. Clean filters maximize the performance of the unit and ensures the best air quality circulating through the home. Also get the unit serviced annually by a licensed HVAC service to make sure more complex maintenance tasks are completed regularly.

Follow Manufacture Guides for Your Washer

Don’t overload washer and use the recommended type and quantity of laundry detergent. Avoid packing the machine with bulkier or heavier items like bed comforters or jeans. Instead divide these types of clothing and bedding between loads to prevent straining the machine.

Clear Dryer Filter and Vents

Clean the lint filter in your dryer before every load. This maximizes the dryer’s energy use. Also clean the dryer’s vent system, making sure the vent outside the house is free of debris.

Appliance care doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple maintenance tasks on a regular basis over the years is the most frugal way to maximize the performance and life of your appliances, while keeping your household efficiency at a warm healthy hum for longer periods.