While it’s expected that appliances do wear down and need replacing after an average lifecycle, a little care can in some circumstances, keep them running longer than expected. A lack of cleaning or care can force an appliance to work harder and that can put a strain on the motor which in turn, can shorten its life. Since replacing appliances can be a strain on the family budget, even small steps to extend their life by a year or even only a few months, is well worth the effort. Look for ways to reduce operating time and apply basic care to help your appliances work better and hopefully, longer.
Air Quality Appliance Care
Air cleaners, purifiers and humidifiers often operate for extended periods of time and since the function of these appliances is to efficiently improve indoor air quality, care and maintenance is very important. It can also help to extend their lifecycle. Care should include filter changes and routine cleaning of the appliances, as well as cleaning for seasonal storage.
Coffeemakers tend to have a shorter lifecycle than most other small kitchen appliances. It’s no wonder since they are used the most and left on for long periods of time. To get the best life from a coffeemaker, give it a routine cleaning by processing a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and water, followed by a couple of clear water rinses. This will help to remove mineral build-up that can hamper efficient operation.
When a coffeemaker is equipped with a variable auto shut-off, shorten that period if you can. There’s no sense keeping the coffee hot and the heating element working for four hours, if you have no intention of drinking coffee that has been sitting for that long.
While some dishwashers have built-in garberators that break down food particles left on the dishes, some do not and it’s easier on those appliances if food scraps are removed before loading.
You should inspect the condition of the door seal periodically and keep it clean. When water or dirt builds up on the seal, it can cause mold which is difficult to get rid of. A loose or broken seal should be replaced as it can lead to unwanted leaks.
Dishwashers benefit from a routine interior wash with special scale-reducing solutions sold for this purpose. It keeps all parts working properly.
We have a tendency to overstuff a dryer with larger-than-recommended loads. Not all dryer tubs handle the same capacity of laundry. Check your manual if unsure how much you can dry in it. When a dryer is overloaded, it puts a strain on the belt that turns the drum and that can lead to repair costs.
A larger load can take much longer to dry than two smaller loads, due to better air and heat circulation. You can also save energy and operating time by using reasonable time settings. There’s no need to run a dryer for thirty minutes if twenty is sufficient.
Restricted air flow can tax the motor, but keeping the lint filter and the area below it clean, keeps the dryer operating more efficiently.
Freezers should be located away from streaming sunlight or heat sources. Otherwise, they work much harder than necessary. Removing interior ice build-up improves air flow and helps to maintain proper freezer temperature.
Several things can help a refrigerator to work more efficiently:
Vacuum the compressor coils located at the back.
Inspect and replace loose or moldy door seals.
Maintain recommended interior temperatures in both the refrigerated and freezer compartments.
Leave the door open only as long as required. Avoid extended browsing or menu planning with the door open.
Anything that restricts proper air flow can affect a vacuum motor and efficiency. Check hose and attachments for trapped debris; change or clean filters; and empty or change dirt bag/bin when full. Reduce the risk of dirt filtering through to the motor by ensuring the bag is clean and inserted properly, and that the filter is clean.
As with dryers, avoid oversized loads unless your washer model can accommodate them. Check and remove clothing pocket debris that can become trapped within the washer. Front-load models require extra care to prevent a build-up of mold within the washer. High-efficiency washers require HE detergents and models equipped with a cleaning cycle should be routinely cleaned.