Taking better care of your home appliances is one New Year resolution that is sure to benefit you in 2013. Taking the time to ensure your home appliances are working efficiently and that there are not broken parts is an easy and effective way to save money. In this post we take a quick look at each appliance and recommend some easy maintenance and checks that can prevent any problems.

Get the best out of your kitchen appliances

The cooker is one appliance that is sure to have been in constant use over the festive period. The New Year is the ideal opportunity to give the cooker a comprehensive clean and remove any burnt-on dirt grease and grime. While you’re showing your cooker some much needed elbow grease it is also the perfect time to check for any signs of wear and tear, such as poorly fitting door hinges or a sagging door seal. These types of cooker problem are inexpensive and straightforward to fix. Remember that when you are shopping for cooker spare parts you will need to make a note of your cooker’s model number.

The dishwasher is another appliance that will have taken a festive beating. If you gave in to the temptation to overload the dishwasher then you may have damaged or broken the basket wheels and this will stop the dishwasher racks from pulling out freely and smoothly. It is also worth checking the dishwasher cutlery basket for signs of damage, such as holes that can be caused by incorrectly positioning cutlery within the basket.

Limescale is another common problem that can affect the health of your dishwasher. This is usually only a problem if you live in a hard water area, where the water contains a greater number of mineral deposits that can coat the internal parts of the dishwasher such as the heating element. Limescale build-up can lead to your dishwasher working less efficiently and if the problem is allowed to persist then it can even cause parts to fail. A good quality descaler should be used on a regular basis to counteract the problem.

Your washing machine is another home appliance at risk from limescale, however there are also a number of other common issues that can affect the performance of your washing machine and these include cracks or holes in the washing machine door seal. The door seal is the rubber gasket that fits between the washing machine door and the washing machine cavity. Overtime it is possible for a seal to wear out and this stops it from providing the water tight seal required. On inspection it should be easy to check the seal for holes, but water running down the front of the washing machine is usually an indicator the seal may need to be replaced. Other areas of a washing machine that can easily become damaged include the detergent draw and connecting hoses.

The fridge is perhaps the most used appliance in any home and needs to be kept hygienically clean at all times to keep your stored food fresh and safe. On a regular basis you should remove the draws and shelves from the fridge and give them a thorough clean. You also need to clean the wall of the fridge and in particular the door seal. The creases and folds in the door seal can be a haven for bacteria if not properly maintained. Read our earlier post on this subject for more detail.

Making the most of your fridge space is another way to make sure your fridge performs better than ever in 2013. There are a number of inexpensive ways in which you can exploit the space in your fridge and more effectively store bottles and cartons, including additional shelves and wine racks.

During the kitchen clean the cooker hood is often forgotten, however it requires maintenance to be effective at removing grease and cooking odours from your home. All cooker hoods contain filters that absorb the grease and odours, however these can quickly become saturated and need to be replaced. As a guide it is recommended that you replace the filters every 5/6 months for normal use. If you have a stainless steel cooker hood then it is also worth investing in a good quality cleaner as this will prevent and remove scratches, scuffs and finger marks.

Your tumble dryer is also likely to see increased use over the winter period, so effective maintenance is one way to prevent problems. Like your cooker hood, the tumble dryer will contain a fluff or lint filter. If allowed to become clogged up this can become an issue and may cause your tumble dryer to overheat. The filters in your tumbler dryer should be cleaned regularly and replaced if they have become damaged. The tumble dryer can also be seen as an expensive option compared to drying your laundry naturally on the washing line, but this time of year there is often little choice. Items such as tumble dryer balls can help to keep costs down as they can be reused and you don’t need to spend money on fabric softener.

Don’t forget about floorcare essentials

Away from the kitchen, your vacuum cleaner also requires regular maintenance to ensure consistent performance.  If you have a bagged model then this will need to be changed when the current vacuum cleaner bag is around 2/3 full. Vacuum bags are not the only vacuum part that needs to be replaced on a regular basis, there are also filters.

Filters provide a key function in maintaining a vacuum cleaner’s airflow and therefore the suction power. It is recommended that you replace vacuum filters around every 5 to 6 months, however on certain models it maybe be possible to wash the existing filters which extends the amount of time between changes.

Home electricals also need maintenance

There are a number of other home appliances that also contain filters and these will need to be replaced regularly to maintain performance. Common household items with filters include deep fat fryers, kettles, coffee makers and American fridge freezers. As a guide you should consider replacing these around twice a year; however this will entirely depend upon usage.

Your kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaner are not the only appliances in the home that require attention. When it comes to brown goods, these are home electricals such as TVs and laptops, there are usually only a few consumable items that may require replacement in order to maintain performance. Batteries are the most common and they are found in many of your home electrical items such as laptops, cameras and camcorders. You can purchase a full range of laptop batteries and batteries for other appliances at BuySpares as well as parts for other common household items such as shaver foils, sat nav chargers and cases for iPads and other leading tablets.

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