When you choose a new appliance you most likely do some research in the hopes that your choice will be reliable and efficient for years to come. But once you’ve got your new machine home, don’t forget to maintain it! Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your appliances running for the longest amount of time.
In no particular order, here are the top 10 rules to follow to ensure you’re getting the most from your appliances when you use them and to keep them from breaking down for longer.
1. Change and Clean Filters Regularly
If your appliance has a filter in it this will most likely need either changing or cleaning on a regular basis. Cooker hoods have to work harder to extract smoke and grease from the air if the filter is old and needs replacing and vacuum cleaners too will clean less efficiently if the filter’s clogged. To find out whether your appliance’s filters are washable and how often they need replacing consult your manual.
2. Don’t Overfill or Overload Appliances
Appliances have their limits! Filling appliances the recommended amount allows them to work as they should, whereas over or under-filling can waste energy or be damaging to your appliances. A washing machine crammed full of clothes for example will struggle to clean them efficiently and won’t be able to redistribute the weight of the clothes evenly around the drum, which can cause damage.
3. Never Overcharge or Completely Drain Batteries
Appliances with rechargeable batteries should always be taken off their charging points once they have fully recharged and should never be left to die completely. Rechargeable batteries do gradually lose their ability to hold charge over time, but ensuring that there’s always some juice in them will extend their lifespan.
4. Remove Limescale from Appliances that Heat Water
If you live in a hard water area, appliances that heat water such as kettles, steam cleaners, washing machines and steam irons will be prone to limescale. Limescale makes heating elements less efficient and can even cause the element to fail if it builds up too much. To keep your appliances limescale free clean them with dedicated limescale removers like this washing machine cleaner.
5. Invest in Accessories to Enhance Efficiency
Accessories and attachments are often inexpensive and can work wonders when it comes to improving the ease of using your appliances and their performance. Tumble dryer balls are one example, if you pop a couple of these specially designed balls into your tumble dryer they’ll work to help your clothes dry more quickly and soften the fabrics at the same time.
6. Turn Appliances Off Standby
Leaving your appliances on standby won’t harm them, but it will add additional unnecessary costs to your energy bill. There are some appliances that’ll of course need to be left on constantly like your fridge and freezer, but laundry appliances, TVs, computers, coffee machines and dishwashers can all be switched off when not in use.
7. Defrost Cooling Appliances
Iced up fridges and freezers will run less efficiently as they’ll use more energy to keep cool. Defrost your frosted up appliances regularly, either by scraping off ice with a specialist scraper designed to do the job without damaging your freezer walls, or using a steam cleaner to speed up the process. Just make sure to put some towels down first to catch the melted water.
8. Check Door Seals
The rubbery seals you find around the doors of ovens, washing machines, fridges and freezers serve to keep your appliances airtight so they can maintain a temperature more easily and won’t leak. Loose door seals will make heating and cooling appliances work harder as air escapes and can cause leaks when you run your washing machine. If your appliances don’t seem to be performing at their best, check your seals.
9. Don’t Ignore Warning Signs from Your Appliances
If your appliance is making unusual noises, displaying an error code or performing noticeably worse than usual, investigate. Don’t ignore the problem hoping it will go away as a fault is much more likely to get worse over time and could put strain on other parts of your appliance, causing it to break down completely. If you need help diagnosing your faulty appliance see our YouTube channel for hundreds of diagnosis and repair videos.
10. Read Appliance Manuals
For information about your specific appliances the best place to look is the manuals that came with them. Appliance manuals usually have essential maintenance and care tips in them to help you maximise the life of your machines, so have a peak at yours to make sure you’re caring for your appliance as best you can.
With the above tips you can make sure you’ve done everything you can to keep your appliances working at their best always. Some appliances need maintaining all year round, but this time of year, as we’re coming to the end of the mowing season, it’s especially important to maintain your grass cutting appliances before storing them to ensure they roar to life again with no issues next spring.