Maintaining your home appliances is a big part of keeping your home comfortable and running smoothly. Keeping your home appliances serviced, cleaned and in good working order will prolong the lifespan of your appliances and give you a good return on the investment you made when you purchased them. With just a few simple tools, cleaning supplies and a little time and elbow grease, you can get your home appliances in great shape. With scheduled, routine maintenance you can keep them running smoothly for years to come.
Taking Care of Refrigerators
Refrigerators are expensive appliances and are crucial to keeping foods at a safe temperature. At least once a month, you need to do a deep clean on your refrigerator. Deep cleaning your fridge requires that you pull out all the items stored in it, throw out the expired items and then clean the shelves, drawers and interior of the appliance with an antibacterial cleaner. Be sure you wipe down the sealing strip that lines the door. Mold and bacteria can accumulate in this rubber seal and cause sickness and disease if it comes into contact with your food.
While you are cleaning your refrigerator, be sure to clean the outside handles and all surfaces of the appliance. Pay special attention to the grate under the door. Behind the grate is where the fan is located and lots of dust and debris can accumulate in the grate. Keeping the grate clean and clear will help your fan work more efficiently and reduce wear and tear on your refrigerator’s motor.
Once every six months, be sure to defrost your refrigerator. In humid climates like Sri Lanka, you may need to defrost your refrigerator more often. At least once a year, be sure to clean the coils under your refrigerator. Wipe the coils down with a grease cutting cleaning solution and clear all dust and debris from the coils. Sweep the floor under the refrigerator and wipe away any caked on dirt, grease or grime before putting your refrigerator back into place. Follow these schedules and you will have a clean, well functioning refrigerator you can rely on for years to come.
If you have defrosted and cleaned your refrigerator but find it is not keeping your foods cold or frozen, it is time to call in an expert repair technician. You can find repair technicians in the classifieds. Once they have assessed the problem, they can do the necessary repairs or replace parts and get your refrigerator running again. If the job is too expensive or the refrigerator is worth less than the repairs would cost, you can find a new or used refrigerator in the classifieds that will fit your budget.
Keep The Washing Machine And Dryer Clean
If you have ever had to lug your clothes to the laundromat, you know how convenient having a home washer and dryer is. Keep yours running smoothly and your clothes clean with simple maintenance. At least once a month, clean your washing machine with bleach and vinegar. Fill the drum with warm water, add a cup of bleach and let the cycle run. Next, fill the drum again and this time add a cup of white vinegar. After these cycles, all the detergent residue, dirt, and grime will be washed out of your washing machine along with any unpleasant odors. To keep your dryer working well, be sure to clean the lint trap after each drying cycle. Once a month, use a long handled brush to clear out the dryer vent. Not only will cleaning out the dryer vent improve your dryer’s efficiency, it will help prevent accidental fires.
If your dryer is not heating and getting your clothes dry, you may need to replace the heating coil. You can find replacement parts in the classified ads or you can look to these ads to find a replacement dryer if repairing your dryer is not a good or economical option.
Keep Your Hot Water Heater Working
Many people are not aware that as water is pumped into the hot water take, minerals, dirt and debris are often pumped in as well. As time goes on, these particles can accumulate and settle in the water heater’s tank. When debris is allowed to settle, over time the accumulated matter will decrease your hot water heater’s efficiency. Not only will you loose efficiency and run up your consumption of energy, this settling matter can cause your heating system to rust out requiring a very costly replacement. Fortunately, it is easy to avoid this by doing an annual draining and flushing of your hot water heater.
Taking just a few minutes, a bucket, a hose and a pair of gloves, you can empty and flush your hot water tank. A clean tank will run smoother and more efficiently heat water and it will last longer than one clogged with settlement and debris particles. Hot water heaters are expensive, so do yourself a favor and safeguard the one you have.
Get More Out Of Your Oven
Even if you have a self cleaning oven, there are some simple things you need to do to make sure your oven is in good working order. Making sure your oven is free from caked on, burnt on food will help food cook evenly and avoid unpleasant burning smells when you cook. Periodically check the temperature on your oven by setting the dial and checking the inside temperature with a digital thermometer. If you see condensation on the outside of your oven door, it is very likely your oven has a faulty gasket. Gaskets regulate oven temperature and if yours is not working properly, you need to have a professional repair technician replace it as soon as possible. Be sure the oven light is working. A working oven light will allow you to check the food without opening the door keeping heat in and increasing cooking efficiency.
Keep Your Microwave Clean
Microwaves offer a convenient, quick way to reheat or prepare foods. Microwaves are easy to keep in good shape with just a little cleaning and effort. Replace your over the range microwave’s charcoal filter once every six months. Made to absorb pollutants and odors, this filter is easy to replace and will keep your microwave running at peak performance. Once a month, soak your over the range microwave’s grease filter in hot water and grease cutting detergent to keep it clean and increase your microwave’s efficiency.
Over the range or counter top microwaves should be kept clean on the outside as well as the inside. Food and grease allowed to accumulate can decrease efficiency as well as cause odors and cross contamination. Wipe down the microwave after every use and once a week or bi weekly, heat a bowl of water with some vinegar or lemon juice in it. This solution will loosen any caked on food and help absorb odors, too. Stay away from abrasive cleansers as they can damage the inside of your microwave.
Keep Your Dishwasher Sparkling Clean
Dishwashers are one of the most helpful appliances in the kitchen. Freeing you from the task of hand washing and drying dishes, the dishwasher takes a lot of work off your hands and needs regular servicing to work at its best capacity.
Keep the inside of your dishwasher clean and odor free by running a cup of white vinegar through an empty dishwasher. Clean out the filter under the spray arm at least twice a year and periodically check to make sure the spray arm holes are not clogged. The spray holes can become clogged with food, soap, glass, plastic and other debris and dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your dishwasher. When the holes get clogged, simply remove the spray arm and clear out the clogs with a stiff wire brush.
Improve Air Quality
In hot, humid climates like here in Sri Lanka, air quality is a big issue. Humid climates can invite a host of allergies and mold problems, so you need to keep your air filters and air conditioning system clean. Be sure to change the air filters in your home’s heating and cooling system every month and have a expert technician service your unit and clean all your duct work once a year. A professional heating and air expert can help make sure your systems are working perfectly and can clean, service and repair your system to keep it running in top shape. A clean system not only gives your home great air quality, it also takes less energy and is less costly to run. When the air in your home is clean, allergies are less likely and everyone in your home can breathe easier knowing there is no mold, mildew, or other unhealthy contaminants in the air.
Taking care of your household appliances will take a little bit of organization and time, but it will pay off in increased efficiency, lowered utility bills, comfort and peace of mind knowing that your home is running at optimal levels. Get a calendar and mark monthly and yearly maintenance tasks down so you do not overlook them or let them slide. Put the calendar on your refrigerator and seeing the listed tasks will help motivate you to get them done. If you need help with repairs, replacement parts or even replacement appliances, the classifieds are a great place to look.
Investing a little time and effort every month on home appliance care will help you keep your appliances running longer and help you keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket. When you get organized and schedule your tasks, you can get them done in very little time. Do not wait until your home appliances start to give your trouble, start your upkeep today and keep trouble at bay.