How to Make Appliances Last Longer
Chances are, you don’t give much thought to your appliances. You just expect them to be there, working hard, whenever you need them. That is, until something goes wrong and they have to be repaired or replaced. When that happens, it’s likely all you can think about. Fortunately, most appliances are quite reliable when properly used and cared for. Here’s how you can avoid the expense of repair or replacement and make appliances last longer:
Don’t Overload the Washer, Dryer & Dishwasher—It can be tempting to try to push your appliances to the limit, but they will last longer and work better if you don’t. Follow the guidelines for correct load sizes and don’t try to squeeze in more than they’re designed for. Doing so can actually damage your appliances, and your clothing and dishes won’t come out as clean. The last thing you want is to have to rewash them!
Perform Regular Maintenance—Just as you regularly have the oil changed in your vehicle, a little routine maintenance goes a long way toward making appliances last longer.
- Refrigerator: Once or twice a year, clean the condenser coils to keep the fridge running efficiently.
- Dishwasher: Every few months, fill the detergent dispensers with white vinegar and run a full cycle through the empty dishwasher. Wipe the gasket around the door a few times a week to ensure a tight seal.
- Washing Machine: Wipe out the drum after the last load every time you do laundry to prevent mold, mildew and odors. Rinse detergent and softener dispensers with hot water to reduce buildup.
- Dryer: Clean the lint filter after every load; check and clean the exterior dryer exhaust vent a few times a year to keep the dryer working effectively and help prevent fire.
- Vacuum Cleaner: Change the bag or empty the canister before it’s completely full. Avoid running over the cord to minimize wear and prevent electrical hazards. Clean the brushes regularly to remove hair, strings and thread.
Start Planning for Replacements—Even with regular maintenance, all appliances will wear out eventually. Be ready for the inevitable by keeping a fully funded emergency savings account. That way, you won’t have to go into debt when purchasing a new appliance. Use these tips to help you shop smart and save.