Homeownership 101: Essential Appliance Maintenance Tips to Extend Their Lifespan


Congratulations on becoming a homeowner! Now you get to enjoy the satisfaction of owning your own space, but also the responsibility of maintaining it. This includes keeping your essential appliances – the workhorses that make your life easier – in top condition. The good news is that a little preventative maintenance goes a long way in extending their lifespan and saving you money on costly repairs down the line. Here’s your Homeownership 101 guide to essential appliance maintenance tips:

Refrigerator Love

Declutter and Clean: A packed fridge forces it to work harder. Regularly declutter to improve air circulation. Clean spills promptly to prevent bacteria growth and unpleasant odors. Wipe down shelves and drawers with a mild baking soda solution every few months.
Coil Care: Dirty condenser coils on the back of your fridge can significantly impact efficiency. Vacuum them at least once a year to remove dust and debris buildup that hinders heat dissipation.
Door Duty: Ensure your fridge door seals properly. A faulty seal lets cold air escape, making the fridge work harder and potentially leading to higher energy bills. Inspect the seal for cracks or tears and replace it if necessary.

Washing Machine Woes

Lint Management: Cleaning the lint trap after every wash removes lint buildup, which can not only reduce drying efficiency but also pose a fire hazard. For optimal performance, consider cleaning the washing machine’s internal vent pipe every year (consult your manual for instructions).
Detergent Discipline: Using excessive detergent can leave residue buildup in your machine, leading to unpleasant odors and potential clogging of components. Use the recommended amount of high-efficiency (HE) detergent for your machine and load size.
Deep Clean Cycle: Most washing machines have a dedicated cleaning cycle. Run this cycle periodically (as recommended by the manufacturer) to remove detergent residue, mold, and mildew buildup from the machine’s interior.

Dishwasher Dilemma

Pre-Rinsing Power: While pre-rinsing heavily soiled dishes can be helpful, it’s not always necessary with modern dishwashers. Scrape off food scraps but avoid rinsing excessively, as dishwashers are designed to clean dirty dishes.
Spray Arm Savvy: The spray arm inside your dishwasher is responsible for distributing water and detergent. Periodically check for clogged holes or a loose connection, ensuring it rotates freely to ensure proper cleaning.
Racker Regularity: Overloading your dishwasher can prevent dishes from getting properly cleaned and can strain the machine’s mechanics. Ensure proper water flow by strategically placing dishes in the racks, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Bonus Tip: Keep Appliance Manuals Handy

Your appliance manuals are treasure troves of information. Refer to them for specific cleaning instructions, troubleshooting tips, and maintenance schedules for each appliance. By following these essential maintenance tips and consulting your appliance manuals, you can keep your home’s appliances running smoothly for years to come, saving you money and ensuring a more comfortable, stress-free homeownership experience.