Appliances are some of the most important things in our lives, especially at home. Washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and air conditioning units, among other appliances, are staples in our lives that we heavily depend on. Yet people constantly spend exorbitant amounts of money buying new appliances because their old ones no longer work. It seems that appliances die quickly these days, and that’s because they’re often designed to do so; many companies purposely decrease the shelf life of their appliances, so that you’ll have to buy new ones with greater frequency. This may seem infuriating, but thankfully, there are numerous things you can do to increase the lifespan of your home appliances. Here are five big tips to help you get the most years out of your appliances
Usually when your appliances “die,” it’s really just one inexpensive piece that has stopped working. Most of the time, this piece is very easy to replace, and it’s usually easy to locate. Replacing a broken part is significantly cheaper than replacing the entire appliance. Even if you can’t do it yourself, a repair technician can do it for you for a very reasonable price, relative to a new appliance.
Perform Regular Light Maintenance
Like anything else, home appliances need regular maintenance. People usually don’t do this, however, because they don’t understand their appliances, and so they don’t know how to perform maintenance. Usually it’s very easy. Dishwashers and washing machines can be routinely cleaned with vinegar, for example. These sorts of light maintenance tasks help keep unnecessary gunk from building up internally and preventing your machines from working. Performing light maintenance on your appliances is no different from having the oil changed in your car: it keeps everything clean and running correctly.
Perform Heavier Maintenance Where Necessary
Some machines require maintenance beyond simple cleaning. Driers and air conditioning units have filters that collect lint; as the lint buildup grows, machines become less and less efficient at doing their job, until they stop working altogether. By cleaning these filters once a year—and replacing them every few years—you will drastically increase the life of your machine. Similarly, refrigerators have condenser coils at the back that get dirty just like filters. Once a year you should unplug your fridge and clean the coils.
Use Your Appliances Correctly
Many appliances have a short life span because they are used incorrectly. For instance, most people use too much soap in their dishwasher, and don’t clean their dishes enough beforehand. Many oven users allow too much grease to form on the bottom and sides of the oven. By understanding how your machine should be operated, you allow it to thrive rather than fail.
When you do buy a new appliance, do some smart shopping. Many people are tempted by the most expensive appliances, but they usually cost more simply because they offer superfluous bells and whistles. On the other hand, too many people attempt to save money by buying the cheapest models, which are worse quality, and end up costing much more money in repairs or simply by dying much sooner. The smart investment is to purchase appliances in the middle of the spectrum.
With these tips, you can greatly increase the lifespan of your home appliances, making your life easier and your wallet heavier.