You know how it goes. The washing machine quits washing, leaking all over the floor. A stove element stops working just before a big meal. The fridge dies and spoils the food.
These issues can be avoided or delayed with just a few easy DIY maintenance steps. And the good part is, you can do them yourself. Here’s a few things to watch out for in taking care of your appliances and potentially save money.
1. Check Your Oven’s Door Seal
Your oven can lose over 20% of it’s heat if the door isn’t sealing properly, creating a longer to cook time. Open the door and check the rubber or fiberglass gasket that goes around the edge of the door. If you feel any melted, torn, or broken areas, or if you close the door and find any leaks, replace the seal.
2. Check Range Filters
Metal filters can be washed in a dishwasher or by hand. Replace charcoal filters (don’t wash them).
3. Clean Stove top Drip Bowls
Clean the drip bowls underneath your burner elements by pre-soaking them for around 5 minutes in cleaning solution. Wash by hand and place them back on the stove top. Try to clean them after spills so they don’t get burned in next time the burner is used.
4. Clean Refrigerator Coils
Refrigerator coils can get clogged with dirt, dust and pet hair. This will restrict airflow and make it harder to keep it cool. Gently clean the coils once or twice a year with a vacuum. They can either be found behind the kick plate or in the rear.
5. Change Refrigerator Water Filter
Old, over used water filters can expose you to harmful water. Make sure you change them every 3 – 6 months, depending on how much water, and brand, you use.
6. Repairing Rusty Dish Rack Tines
Check your dishwasher racks for rusty tines. If you do find rust, it can easily be repaired with a sealant and replacement tips to cover the tines. This will keep your dishes and silverware from being ruined.
7. Maintain Your Garbage Disposal
Check your garbage disposal for any stuck items. Make sure the power is off and do not use your hands! Pour a combination of ice cubes and salt, or vinegar down the drain, then run cold water for 10 seconds and then turn on the disposal with the water still running. Never run the disposal without water. You can remove odors with citrus peels, or with odor removal packets sold in most stores.
8. Clean Dryer Exhaust
Always empty the lint catcher between loads. Check for lint in the dryer exhaust by loosening the clamp and pulling the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer. Pull out lint with your hands or gently with a hanger. Vacuum before you re-attach the hose.
9. Check Washing Machine Hoses
You can prevent your washing machine from flooding by checking hoses for leaks. Check for cracks, leaks, or weak spots. As a rule of thumb, replace hoses every 5 years.
10. Clean AC Filters
Cleaning your AC filter every 2 – 4 weeks will increase your AC’s life, as well as maintain efficiency. Vacuum reusable filters, and replace disposable ones.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to avoid costly appliance repairs or replacements.