Nothing lasts forever, but it’s sometimes shocking how quickly appliances bite the dust. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you take care of your appliances, they’ll take care of you, so be sure to add these easy maintenance tasks to your routine. Your reward for a little extra elbow grease will be a much longer lifespan for everything from your air conditioner to your smoke detectors.
Refrigerator: Go through your ‘fridge weekly and toss any rotten or expired foods. Clean the door gasket every three months or so to maintain a tight seal, and clean the refrigerator coils as necessary. Sweep under the refrigerator during regular kitchen cleaning, and replace water filters every six months.
Dishwasher: Run the machine empty with a cup of white distilled vinegar once a month to remove mineral buildup. Be vigilant of leaks around the machine, and call a repair service promptly if you notice one.
Air Conditioner: Change the A/C filters once a month, or whenever they get dirty throughout the cooling season. Keep the outdoor compressor unit free of leaves and debris, and keep an eye out for refrigerant leaks.
Water Heater: Test the pressure-relief valve for leaks, and check the tank periodically for corrosion.
Washer and Dryer: Always clear the lint from the dryer traps after each load. Examine the wiring and hoses behind washers and dryers for broken, cracked or pinched lines, and replace the lines if necessary. Clean both the washer and dryer inside and out with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water every six months.
Range Hood: Clean grease and grime whenever you notice it. Remove the filters once a month, and then soak and scrub them to remove built-up grease.
Garbage Disposal: Never pour liquid or solid grease down the drain, and avoid problematic items like egg shells, pasta and corn husks. Grind up a few ice cubes in the disposal to knock away buildup, and add a handful of citrus peels to freshen it up.
Smoke Detector: Press the “Test” button once a month to make sure your smoke detector works, and replace the batteries annually. Same goes for carbon monoxide detectors.