Take care of DIY appliances to avoid costly repairs
Regular cleaning can improve energy efficiency and extend the life of your appliances
We depend on home appliances every day, and it’s pretty devastating when they’re broken. Major repairs require a qualified service technician and are often so expensive that it’s wise to buy a new device—not to mention the time and hassle of struggling with day-to-day work without an essential device.
Courtenay’s Dustin Parker says Parker devices and more. “You don’t have to be particularly helpful—these tips are things any homeowner can do.”
Domain (stove oven): Clean the oven’s interior every three months, and right after a large food spill. If the electric stove does not turn on, make sure the stove prongs have a tight connection. If the burner does not ignite on the gas stove, try using a toothbrush to clean food spilled from the igniter.
refrigerator: Dust can greatly reduce the efficiency of your cooling system, and cause serious damage. Clean the back of the refrigerator and freezer two to four times a year. “The refrigerator coils either in the back or behind the front grill at the bottom of the appliance. Use a cleaning brush and a vacuum cleaner to clean up the dust,” says Dustin. Wipe down the door seal (also known as the gasket) at least twice a year to ensure doors close properly and to avoid costly gasket replacement. If your refrigerator has a water dispenser or ice maker, remember to change the water filter every six months.
dish washer: Have you ever cleaned your food filter? Pull the bottom rack out and remove the filter cover inside the dishwasher, then clean the screen. Do a deep clean by placing a cup of white vinegar on the top rack, and running the dishwasher on the hot water setting. Like your refrigerator, the dishwasher door gasket should be cleaned regularly to prevent leaks.
washing machine: Avoid a costly door switch repair by gently closing the washer and dryer lid or door. Constantly closing the cap can cause the switch to break. Clean the lint filter and dryer vent regularly. “If you use dryer sheets, your filter can clog up with an almost invisible film. If you put the screen under running water and it doesn’t flow easily, wipe it down with soapy water and a brush,” says Dustin. Did you know that washing machines also have lint traps? Refer to your owner’s manual for help finding it – it may be along the top edge of the washer drum, inside the center agitator, or at the end of the drain hose. High-efficiency washers don’t have a lint trap (the self-cleaning pump filter removes lint automatically) but running an empty wash cycle once a month will help get rid of excess lint from the filter.
“The first step to proper appliance care is to read your owner’s manual. It’s a great resource, and worth consulting before trying anything new,” says Dustin.