The appliances in your home account for a major portion of your expenses; as such, you want to be sure to get the most out of them. There are many things you can do to ensure a long life for your appliances – using them as intended, regular maintenance, purchasing a machine of high quality (but remember high price does not necessarily equate to high quality). Always be sure to do your research before making such a major purchase. What can you expect from your new appliances? According to Consumer Reports, the following are the general life-expectancy rates for in-home appliances:
- Dishwashers – 9 years
- Dryers (electric or gas) – 13 years
- Freezers – 11 years
- Microwave Ovens – 9 years
- Stove/Range (electric) – 13 years
- Stove/Range (gas) – 15 years
- Refrigerators – 13 years
- Washing Machines – 10 years
There are simple tricks you can employ, however, to get the most out of your machines. Some of these tricks include:
- Dishwashers – Run a citric acid cleaner through your machine once every three months. Some recommended brands include Dishwasher Magic or Lemi Shine. Running hot water through your kitchen sink prior to running the dishwasher will allow for hot water to run immediately into the dishwasher instead of running cold water into it and then having the dishwasher warm it up.
- Dryers – Clean the dryer trap after every use. Also, clean your dryer vent once per year. We also recommend using dryer balls in lieu of dryer sheets as dryer sheets can get into parts of the dryer they’re not supposed to and become a fire risk.
- Freezers – Be sure you haven’t blocked any air vents so that the cold air can properly circulate throughout the machine.
- Stove/Range – Don’t use them to warm your house in the winter! This is not only a huge safety hazard, but is also extremely hard on your appliance.
- Refrigerator – Clean the coils underneath and/or on the back of the appliance once per year.
- Washing Machine – Do not overload the machine and use as little soap as possible. Additionally, use little or no fabric softener as it can build up inside the machine and on your clothes, trapping the filth in both. Be sure to avoid washing items that should not be placed in a washer, such as plastic or vinyl tablecloths. Place small items in laundry bags. Finally, check for loose change or other objects in pants pockets as they are very damaging inside a washing machine.