Photo by: American Home Shield
Read the manufacturer’s instructions.Yes, the documentation can be detailed and intimidating, but taking the time to become familiar with what your manufacturer recommends for use, care, and maintenance is the best thing you can do to get the most use from your new purchase. Recommendations can vary among brands and models, so don’t assume that you know how to care for a certain appliance until you’ve done your research. If the appliances came with your home and you don’t have a copy of the instructions from the previous owners, check the manufacturer’s website for an electronic version. After you’ve read the directions, file the documents in a convenient place so you can refer to them when needed.
Keep appliances clean, inside and out. For example, keeping the gaskets clean around appliance doors can help them retain their seal longer. Cleaning refrigerator coils can help it run more efficiently. Even washing machines need to be cleaned periodically.
Use appliances as they were intended. Don’t let children play on appliances or sit or stand on appliance doors. Don’t overload dishwashers, washing machines, or clothes dryers. Take care to use the recommended products for each appliance, such as high efficiency laundry detergent for front-loading washing machines.
Change or clean filters regularly as directed. Most people know that heating and air conditioning systems and clothes dryers have filters that need to be cleared or changed. Some dishwashers, ice makers, and other appliances have removable filters that need to be cleaned, too, for proper operation.
Periodically inspect appliance wiring and hoses. Look for any damage, deterioration, or cracks.
Minimize appliance use. As with anything mechanical, more use usually equals more wear and tear. Even making small changes in the way you use your appliances can help. For example, preheat the oven right before you need to use it, and turn it off as soon as you remove food. Limit the number of times you open and close your refrigerator door by thinking ahead about what you need. Choose the shortest dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer cycle for your needs. Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as they are finished.
Make appliance care a family affair. Everyone uses appliances, so everyone in the family should know how to use them and care for them correctly.
If you would like to learn more about how to maintain your household appliances to help them last longer and run more efficiently, AHS has a free maintenance guide that you can download. As the nation’s leading home warranty company, AHS helps millions of homeowners nationwide protect their valuable home systems and appliances.
Next > Home Warranty Basics and What It Covers