Between heating for winter, dressing for parties and cooking for family, the holiday season seems to send our appliance usage into overdrive. Turn back the wheels of time and do a little preventative maintenance to avoid putting a year's worth of wear on your heater, laundry machines and kitchen appliances the next two months.
As a renter, you might not have been so concerned with proactively extending the life of the appliances in your apartment. But if you're a new homeowner, you definitely need to start thinking about the ways you use and maintain your (very expeinsive) household machines. Taking good care of your appliances will extend their life and help cut back on repair costs.
Before you start roasting the turkey or turning the heat on for the winter (is anybody else waiting until the last possible moment like we are?), check out these tips for taking care of your appliances over the holidays:
- Don't allow heavy grease buildup in your oven. The cleaner it is, the more efficiently it will use gas or electricity.
- Bake or cook in batches when you can. Heating the oven up once on the weekend is much more efficient that doing it several times each week.
- Your refrigerator coils can build up a lot of dust, especially if you have pets. Vacuum those coils regularly, every two weeks or every month should be sufficient.
- Before you fill the fridge with leftovers, make sure the rubber seal around the rfrigerator door is tight to avaoid wasting energy.
- Clean your dishwasher filter at least twice a year. Use detergent sparingly; too much can lock up the pump or clog supply lines.
- Avoid overloading the washing machine with lots of heavy sweaters or blankets. This can damage the tub and cause belts to break.
- Leave the door to the washing machine cracked open between those bulky and frequent winter loads to help the drum to dry.
- After you unpack from your holiday travels and you're tackling the marathon laundry session, make sure you clean your dryers lint trap after every single load.
- If you're leaving on an extended vacation, turn off the water supply to water-line appliances like your washing machine and dishwasher to prevent flooding.
And if you run through these maintenance tips and find your appliances are in need of repair? Do it now. Appliance repair techs are much harder to come by during the holiday season.
If the repair will cost more than half the price of a new appliance and the unit is more than seven years old, it might be a good move to replace it with a newer model.