Take care of your appliances and they’ll cool your house, cook your roasts, and wash your clothes for years to come.
Here are some key tips for keeping your home appliances in tip-top shape.
1. Air conditioners (window or central). Rinse and replace filters monthly. Check for refrigerant leaks. Clear leaves and debris from around outdoor HVAC compressors. Contact an HVAC pro if you spot problems.
2. Garbage disposals. If you hear that heart-stopping grinding sound, turn off the disposal immediately and clear obstructions, like seeds, pits, and spoons. Keep your disposal smelling sweet by grinding a lemon or orange in it. And never put egg shells or pumpkin pulp in your disposal — throw them in the trash or the compost pile.
3. Hot water heaters. Check the outside for corrosion, which can turn into a crack and costly flood. Also, test the pressure-relief values for leaks. If a replacement heater is in your future, consider a tankless model that saves space and energy.
4. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Press the “test” button monthly to make sure your detectors are working. Replace batteries once a year, or when the unit flashes or chirps.
5. Refrigerators. Toss rotten or expired food weekly. Add cleaning refrigerator coils and sweeping under and behind the unit to your deep cleaning chores. Every three months, clean the door gasket to ensure a snug seal. Replace water filters every six months.
6. Dishwashers. Remove water mineral buildup monthly by pouring a cup of white distilled vinegar into your empty machine and running it through a cleaning cycle. Keep an eye out for leaks on the side and under the machine. If you see one, call a repair service immediately.
7. Range hoods. Grease and grime are enemies of range hoods. Monthly, remove filters and soak and scrub off grease in a sink filled with soapy water. While filters are soaking, remove debris from the hood’s insides.
8. Washers and dryers. Check hoses and wiring behind the washer and dryer for pinched, cracked, or broken lines, which need to be replaced immediately. Clear lint from dryer traps after each load. Clean the outside and inside of both appliances with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water roughly every six months, depending on how much laundry you do.
Should your appliances or home systems ever break down, be sure you’re protected with a home warranty from American Home Shield.