They sure don’t make things the way they used to. Whether it’s the fridge that conked out or a washer that’s spun more cycles than you could count, that major appliance that you invested in will, eventually, break down for good.
But don’t despair! Although it may be tempting to run out and buy a new model that’s sleek, shiny and new, your refrigerator, dishwasher or oven can likely still do it’s job just right. Use these simple tips from Consumer Reports to lavish your appliances with TLC and you’ll be able to extend the life of the domestic devices you have in your home without so much as a glance at the warranty.
The fridge is the most vital part of the kitchen and can also be the most expensive to replace. With the average life expectancy in the 11 to 14-year range, it will work longer and more efficiently if the cold air is able to circulate easily. Make sure you don’t pack your fridge too full of groceries and ensure that cold air isn’t leaking out by closing the door on a slip of paper and tugging on it; if it slips out easily, it’s time to replace the gasket.
But the single best way to extend the longevity of your fridge is keeping the compression coils free of dust. Use a vacuum and brush to clean out the gunky area at the bottom once a year, which will help ensure that hot air can be released as it keeps everything else cool.
Nobody likes washing dishes, except your dishwasher that is. Typically built to last nine years, you can help it take care of the dirty work by giving it a bit of a hand before it even starts. Since the bulk of its energy goes into heating up the water it uses to washes away the mess, run the water at your sink until it heats up before starting a load. And before you hit start, wipe down the gasket around the door with soap and water to help ensure a good seal.
Ranges typically last around nine years. Keep a gas range in tip-top shape by cleaning out the gas ports with a pipe cleaner or paper clip to ensure they’re not blocked by build up.
Household dryers are one of the longest-lasting appliances you’ll buy for your home and last, on average, a whopping 20 years! You can push their longevity even further by taking some simple steps before each dry cycle. Cleaning out the lint trap and using the auto-sensor to determine when your clothes are dry will not only save energy but also reduce wear and tear on your clothes. And be sure to clean out the vent at least once a year, which will also help the dryer run more efficiently.
Hate doing laundry? Well, you’re not alone. But stuffing in as many clothes as possible to get the chore done faster might actually be doing your machine harm. Built to last for around 14 years, the motor and transmission can easily become strained when trying to wash a load that’s too full. So although this may result in having to do a few more loads of laundry, it will easily add years to your appliance’s life cycle.