Home appliances can cost American households hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Whether you live on a tight budget or you simply hate waste, you probably want your household appliances to last. Follow these simple tips to maximize the life of some of the most common appliances in your home.
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Run Your Dishwasher When It’s Full
Run your dishwasher once it’s full, without exception. You might be able to squeeze in a few extra dishes and glasses, but there won’t be enough room for the water jets to hit all your items as they should. When you open the door and find dirty dishes, you’ll probably start another cycle, which will put more load on your unit.
Of course, running a dishwasher that isn’t full can be just as bad. While your dishes and glassware will get clean, your dishwasher will experience the same wear and tear as if it did a full load. Doing lots of small loads will see your dishwasher wear out much faster than if it did fewer regular loads.
Regularly Inspect Your HVAC System’s Air Flow
When HVAC filters get clogged, your system must work much harder to keep your home at its ideal temperature. All that extra work can take years off the life of your HVAC unit. In extreme cases, your HVAC unit could overheat and die before its time.
Regularly check your HVAC system’s air filter for dirt and dust. These items clog the filter and impair air flow. Clean or change your filter regularly to keep the system running efficiently for years longer. Depending on how often you use your HVAC system, air filters need attention every one to three months. Your diligence will save you money now and in the long run. Experts say dirty air filters can impact energy consumption by between 5 and 15 percent, resulting in big power bills for consumers.
Keep Your Refrigerator Clean
A clean refrigerator is an efficient, long-lasting one. You’ll want to target two areas here: the gaskets and the coils.
The gaskets are the plastic strips that create the tight seal between the fridge and its doors. When they seal well, they conserve energy, and the fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your food cold. With less strain on its motor, your fridge will last much longer. Wipe clean your gaskets whenever you notice food residue or dust. Coating them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly will also help them maintain their elasticity for a better seal.
Just like with your HVAC system’s air filter, dirty and dusty refrigerator coils can impair airflow. Similarly, dirty coils can impair energy efficiency and cause dangerous overheating. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove all debris from your refrigerator coils as part of your ordinary kitchen cleaning ritual.
Never again surrender an appliance before you need to. With these simple tips, you can enjoy your favorite appliances for many years to come. Taking small actions now can prevent major appliance expenses down the track.