What would a home be without its appliances? Modern-day households have come to rely on the technology and time-saving functionality of appliances for all sorts of tasks. So when one of these appliances breaks down, it can impact the entire operation of a household and could cost you a pretty penny, too.
The average home in America spends over $10,000 on appliances. If you choose smart appliances, this cost doubles to over $20,000. That’s a fair amount of money sitting in your home — hence the reason why appliance maintenance is so important.
To learn more about appliance maintenance and what your home insurance does and doesn’t cover, check out the rest of this blog.
Simple Appliance Maintenance Tasks to Protect Your Assets
As any homeowner should know, regular maintenance goes hand-in-hand with owning a property. Whether it’s general exterior maintenance such as painting or gardening, or interior appliance maintenance, it’s just part of the territory.
Here are some regular maintenance tasks you should perform at least every 6-months to keep your appliances in good condition
1. Clean and Empty the Dryer Exhaust
A home dryer is one of the most neglected appliances. In some cases, you may not use your dryer as often as your washing machine, so naturally, you assume that it doesn’t require much maintenance. But this is a common misconception.
Dryers draw plenty of energy and can overheat and malfunction if you fail to clean out the dryer exhaust. This can cause the heating element to fail — and a replacement dryer heating element is not always cheap!
It’s important to remove and empty out lint buildup from your dryer exhaust system on a regular basis. Not only will this improve your dryer’s efficiency, but it can also prevent overheating and fire hazards.
2. Regularly Clean and Replace Aircon Filters
Did you know that dirty, clogged up aircon filters can pose a hazard to your health? Dirty filters can spew contaminated air into your home, flaring up allergies, worsen conditions such as asthma, and more.
Not only this, but your aircon just won’t operate at its optimum. Clogged and dirty ac filters limited airflow and cause your ac unit to draw more power, which can increase your utility bill. Overall, this reduces the lifespan of your aircon.
Make sure to clean out the air filters every 4-weeks, and replace disposable filters every 6-months.
3. Sanitize Your Garbage Disposal Unit
The reality is that your garbage disposal unit is a trap for bacteria. This poses a health risk to you, your family, and pets if you don’t clean and sanitize it on a regular basis. It can also lead to foul smells in your kitchen that could permeate into the rest of your home.
In order to clean your garbage disposal well, turn off its main power switch. You may have to remove large items from the drain that could be causing a blockage. Use a solution of vinegar, salt, and ice cubes to clean it out, then rinse with cold water after. Citrus peels work well to keep any smells at bay.
4. Check Your Oven Door Vacuum Seal
It’s no secret that your oven is an appliance that draws plenty of power from your home. That’s why it’s wise to double-check its vacuum seal to ensure it’s working at full capacity, and not drawing more energy than it needs to.
In order to do so, open the door and look for the rubber or fiberglass gasket around the inside edge of the door. Assess whether there are any deformed, torn, or ripped edges. If so, make sure to replace the seal as soon as possible.
5. Regularly Clean Refrigerator Coils
When was the last time you moved your fridge and look behind it? This is one of those tasks that is also majorly overlooked by homeowners. But it’s important to check to quality of your refrigerator coils on a regular basis.
The back-end of your fridge is a magnet for all sorts of material — pet fluff, hair, dust, dirt, and debris. All this material attaches to the coils and can slow down the efficiency of your fridge. Make sure to clean the coils with a vacuum every 6-months to keep them debris-free.
6. Assess the Quality of Your Washing Machine Hose
Every homeowner dreads the day that their washing machine hose detaches or malfunctions and floods their home. You can avoid this hassle by doing regular checks of the hose, though.
All you need to do is move your washing machine out of its spot and thoroughly assess the integrity of the hose. Look for cracks, weak spots, or odd bends in the hose. If it looks a little worse-for-wear, it’s best to replace the hose entirely. Most hoses last for an average of 5-years.
7. Deep Clean Your Dishwasher
This is one of the most commonly used appliances in any home across the U.S. Most homeowners run their dishwasher several times a week — an annual average of 215 loads per household, per year. This means that the average dishwasher is working overtime, but probably not receiving the maintenance it needs.
It’s important to deep clean it and inspect it every 6-months or so. After all, this is an appliance that should be clean and sanitary! Place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and set the unit to a hot water wash cycle for a good deep clean.
Do a check of the door seal/gasket to check that it’s in good condition, too. This prevents water leaks and ensures your dishwasher runs at optimum efficiency.
Homeowners Insurance and Your Appliances
When one of your most expensive appliances breaks down or needs to be replaced, can you fall back on your homeowner’s insurance to help? In some cases, you may be covered. But in many cases, you may not be.
Either way, it’s crucial that you review your specific homeowner’s insurance policy — newer policies tend to include coverage of major appliances. But in some cases, you may need to purchase additional insurance to protect your appliances.
It’s worth noting that the general wear and tear of home appliances is not usually covered by insurance. This is because it’s your responsibility to regularly maintain your assets, as outlined above.
Homeowners’ insurance also doesn’t cover appliance malfunction due to misuse, poor installation, and non-covered natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes.
However, you may be covered in instances of the explosion, and other natural disasters such as hurricanes, windstorms, lightning, fire, and blizzards.
Get Your Fix of Home Improvement a Click Away
Appliance maintenance is an important part of being a responsible homeowner. If you want to get the best longevity out of your appliances, which are also investments, then regular maintenance is your answer!
For more on home design, furniture, bathrooms, interiors, and garden maintenance explore the rest of this blog.