Fix It Before It Fails: How To Maintain Home Appliances

Home appliances are not only inconvenient to buy and replace but they can also be very expensive. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, Americans spent roughly $150 billion on home improvements and repairs in 2013, so wouldn’t it be nice to avoid some of these extra expenses?

By remaining aware of how your appliances are working, knowing what to look out for as well as keeping up with regular maintenance, you can hopefully avoid their early demise and save yourself a ton of money and time. Let’s take a look at a few key appliances most of you will have in your household, signs they aren’t working and what to do to maintain their performance:

Air Conditioner

Especially in the hot summer months, a broken or malfunctioning air conditioner can seem like the worst thing. Avoid this catastrophe by staying on top of regular maintenance clean or replace the air filter, check wiring, monitor the accuracy of the thermostat, check for rusty or cracked fan blades and clean the outside main unit regularly. Despite these steps, your air conditioner may still experience trouble so watch out for not enough cool air, poor air flow, and strange sounds and odors, and call a professional if needed.

Water Heaters

Water heaters generally last between eight to ten years, making them a common household replacement. Unfortunately, due to the number of dangerous elements involved including carbon monoxide, electricity and potential leaks, maintenance and DIY fixing of water heaters is not really possible. If you’re forced to take shorter showers due to lack of hot water, see rusty water, or notice a rumbling noise or moisture around the tank, then it may be time for a water heater inspection. While the cost of a new water heater may seem steep, it all differs according to the project the type of heater you have, what you want and any updates needed to keep up with code will influence the water heater price.


Of all of your appliances, you likely use your refrigerator the most. If you notice things like a loud banging noise, no humming sound when opened, excessive frosting or ice inside, pools of water surrounding the fridge, lack of a cool temperature or food going bad too soon, it may be time to buy a replacement. To avoid this, try and follow through on somesimple fridge maintenance procedures: clean the rubber door seals with a toothbrush so the fridge closes properly, clean the condenser coils at least twice a year, defrost any minor frost accumulation, replace the water filtration system every six months and generally give the inside a good scrub.


While you may think that a few dirty dishes after a cycle is theclear sign of a broken dishwasher, there are a few other things to keep your eye out for, like your dishes not coming out hot, the water not draining, rust or a loose latch. Try and keep up with regular maintenance, however, to avoid any of this occurring. Some things you can do include regularly unclogging the drain, using acidic liquid to remove build up, inspecting and cleaning the spinning arms as well as scrubbing debris from the interior and exterior.

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