August 24, 2010

Home Maintenance and Your Appliances

Filed under: Home Maintenance — Chuck @ 1:07 pm

When most homeowners think of home maintenance chores they think of such things as cleaning the gutters, caulking the windows, repairing a leaky faucet, oiling a squeaky cabinet hinge, or tightening up a loose doorknob. But home maintenance also applies to your home appliances. Keeping those well maintained can ensure that they last longer, look their best, and deliver optimum performance without unnecessarily taxing your utilities and raising your monthly energy costs.

Here are three suggestions to help you create your own appliance maintenance checklist:

* Clothes Dryer:

One of the easiest home maintenance chores also happens to be one of the most important, because cleaning the lint filter and vent on your clothes dryer can help you prevent a house fire. Sometimes lint will build up in a machine and then combust due to heat from an overworked motor or damaged wire. So train everyone in the home to clean the lint screen before turning on the dryer. This simple procedure is explained in the owner’s manual and usually takes not more than 30 seconds to do. If clothes are not drying as they should it might also be because the outside air vent is blocked with lint. In that case check the outlet where the clothes dryer vents the warm air outdoors. It is usually covered by a plastic or metal hooded flap. If there is lots of lint on the flap or inside the pipe that leads to it then it is time to clean out that vent pipe or replace it with a newer and safer one.

* Air Conditioning System:

When it comes to air conditioners, most homeowners inadvertently waste huge amounts of money while also working way too hard to stay cool and comfortable. That’s because most air conditioners have inexpensive filters that need to be cleaned or replaced regularly, but many homeowners seldom, if ever, do this easy maintenance task.

The A/C filter usually looks kind of like a large paper or aluminum picture frame about an inch thick that holds synthetic fibers or a cardboard honeycomb to trap dust, dirt, and lint. They sell for just a few bucks and can be purchased at any home improvement store. But dirty ones dramatically reduce the ability of the A/C unit to cool the home while they simultaneously cause you to use more electricity to run the air conditioner. So dirty air filters cost you double, whereas clean ones are relatively cheap and will ensure that you stay comfortable and that the air conditioner last longer without costly repairs.

* Appliance Settings:

Another really easy way to save some serious cash is to monitor the settings on the appliances in your home. Maintaining them on energy-saving settings ensures that you don’t pay more than necessary to operate them, and it also helps to reduce your carbon footprint and conserve our natural resources. You can adjust settings on the dishwasher, for example, to let dishes dry by themselves instead of using the automatic drying setting which burns more energy. Or you can be sure that you only use the energy necessary when you wash small loads of dishes or do a light load of laundry in the washing machine. That saves on water bills as well as gas or electricity bills, and it is another environmentally responsible habit. The same goes for the water heater and the refrigerator. Adjust those appliance settings so that the water is hot enough to suit you but not any hotter than it needs to be, for example, and that the fridge is cold enough to keep foods and beverages nicely but is not colder than necessary. If you go on vacation be sure to take advantage of the vacation setting on your water heater, too, because that will ensure that the appliance doesn’t keep reheating water (and costing you extra money) the whole time you are gone.

Of course every major appliance in your home deserves a little routine maintenance, so consult the owner’s manuals for these units. Then use a calendar to remind yourself when it is time to check them. The time it takes to keep appliances in tip-top shape amounts to just a few minutes a month, on average, but it can save you a substantial amount of money in terms of energy bills

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  1. […] Excerpt from: Home Maintenance and Your Appliances « Property Inspections | Home … […]

    Pingback by Home Maintenance and Your Appliances « Property Inspections | Home …Small appliances | Small appliances — November 15, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

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