Appliance Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

1. Always clean your dryer lint trap at least once a week. The lost airflow can increase drying time and in severe cases even present a fire hazard. The dryer is one of the most expensive home appliances to operate. Removing lint will reduce drying time and save you money!

2. Clean your washer hose screens at least once a year. A clogged screen will slow down your cold water flow and cause long rinse cycles while you wait for it to fill. New filter cones always point upstream, you can move screens to valve end if more easily accessed.

3. Replace rubber hoses with steel braided fill hoses. These will pay for themselves the first time your hose does not burst! Also take the time to properly balance and load your machine to reduce mechanical wear.

4. AC duct filters should be changed at least twice a year for health and efficiency purposes. Use a leaf blower to keep the outside exchanger free of debris.

5. Refrigerator coils and maintenance area should be vacuumed every year and the drain hose examined for wear or clogs – you may be able to vacuum the drain hose as well and avoid a clog that could have water leaking both inside the unit and spilling out onto floor. A clogged evaporation drain line is very common on frost free refrigerators. The drain line is typically strapped to the rear of the refrigerator where it empties into a drain pan on the bottom and connects to a drain outlet near the top. Simply disconnect and clean the hose and outlet with a dry vac. A small tool may be needed to loosen a stubborn clog inside the outlet.

6. Always stock surplus vacuum cleaner bags for your model and replace them once half full. Packed with bacteria, your vacuum bag is one of the dirtiest places in your home. The unit also becomes less efficient and can allow finer dust to escape once the pressure becomes concentrated on the remaining bag surface. A clogged bag makes your machine run hotter and puts a strain on the motor.

7. Water doesn’t drain from the dishwasher? A clog in the drain line is normally the cause. Check for blockage where the dishwasher drain hose attaches to sink drain or garbage disposal. Remove hose and test for blockage. Other causes can be the drain valve, the pump or belt, which should be addressed by a professional repair service.

8. Most modern gas range electronic surface (spark) ignition systems can trip a GFI receptacle or breaker on a regular basis, so do not plug a gas range into a GFI outlet or at least do not initiate repairs if the GFI trips. This is an acceptable GFI response when sensing an arc which you will either have to accept or switch to a non GFI receptacle for this appliance. The same goes for refrigerators. Don’t plug them into GFI outlets.

9. Energy-saving hints for operation of dishwashers:

  • Air-dry dishes with heat selector on OFF.
  • Only run the dishwasher when full, do not overload.
  • Use the Rinse/Hold cycle to save dishes until a full load has accumulated.
  • Use the shortest cycle necessary to clean dishes.
  • Operate when power demand is low, between 8pm and 8am
  • Use only the recommended amount of FRESH dishwasher detergent. Old, caked detergent may neither dissolve nor clean properly.
  • Put detergent into cups when ready to start the dishwasher.

10. Energy-saving hints for operation of a refrigerator:

  • Locate it in the coolest area of the room, out of direct sunlight and away from heating ducts or registers.
  • Allow space around the unit for good air circulation.
  • Level the refrigerator so doors close tightly.
  • Use suggested operating settings and the Energy Saver switch.
  • Do not overcrowd your refrigerator or block cold air vents.
  • Cover foods and dry containers before placing in the refrigerator.
  • Organize the contents to reduce door openings.
  • Vacuum the condenser at least once a year.