Extend the Life of Your Home's Major Appliances
Unfortunately, lifespans for most major appliances have decreased significantly over the past 25 years. According to experts, this is primarily due to the additional bells and whistles in today’s electronically-controlled models, as well as manufacturers’ commitment to quality control has waned in recent years.
However, there are steps homeowners can take to extend the life of major appliances in their home.
Make It Last Longer: Maximize the lifespan by adjusting the freezer setting to 0 degrees and the refrigerator to 36 to 37 degrees F. These are the best compromises between efficient food handling/safety and sparing your refrigerator from excess load.
Make It Last Longer: The main enemy of your dishwasher is excessive soap. When detergent has no grime to fight, it tends to attack seals and mechanisms within your appliance, and can even harm your dishes. Despite what the instructions indicate, one tablespoon is enough detergent to make your dishes sparkling clean. Also, if you use dishwashing pods, skip the rinse enhancer — it’s already in the pod.
Make It Last Longer: Experts recommend not utilizing your oven’s self-cleaning cycle, which often runs too hot (up to 1,100 degrees F!). This can over-stresses the oven construction, shortening its lifespan.
Make It Last Longer : Microwaves are designed primarily for quick-heating tasks. Limit usage for longer cooking times, that are better suited for a conventional oven. This will help extend the life of your microwave and maintain its optimal power level.
Make It Last Longer: Similar to dishwashers, excessive soap is the primary cause of washing machine issues. Experts recommend using only one to one and half tablespoons per load, regardless of machine type. Excessive soap leads to build up in the machine, often causing the tub to smell musty and damaging the gaskets, seals and bearings.
Make It Last Longer: It is very important to clean the lint trap between every load. A clogged trap is the top stressor on your dryer. Experts also suggest skipping the dryer sheets. Their waxy film can build up on the lint screen, causing the dryer to have to work harder (and the screen to clog faster). Also, remember to clean the dryer vent a couple of times each year. Buildup there impedes the operation of your dryer and accelerates its demise.
Make It Last Longer: Flush out one or two gallons of water once or twice a year to keep sediment from building up in your tank. Also, there is a corrosion-control device in your water heater, called a sacrificial anode rod. This should be replaced every three to five years.