Take care of your appliances and they will take care of you.

Every appliance large or small comes with an owner manual. An all important first step in operating and caring for your new appliance is to familiarize yourself with the manual. Before setting up and using an appliance for the first time, carefully read the appliance manual and become knowledgeable with all the information. Follow instructions exactly to avoid personal injury or damage to the unit. And also so any accompanying warranty will not become void.

Regular cleaning and maintenance – the best way to avoid unnecessary repair costs.

The following are cleaning and maintenance guidelines for most major appliances:

 

  • Cooktop/gas stove/electric stove – clean spills immediately once stove top has cooled. Use only cleaners recommended by the manufacturer on one piece cooktops. For electric or gas stoves, clean drip bowls under the burners immediately after spills, once they have cooled. Replacing old stained drip bowls with new ones can significantly spruce up an older stove. A small investment; usually under $20.Immediately clean oven spills once the oven has cooled. Regularly inspect oven door gasket for a snug fit; replace when necessary. When it comes to a gas range, the color flame on the pilot light can give an indication of gas efficiency. When properly adjusted, the flame will be blue. If poorly adjusted, the flame will be yellow.If the range has one, clean and de-grease the hood and exhaust fan every 3 to 4 months.

 

  • Refrigerator – use a vacuum with brush attachment to clean coils on the back of the unit monthly; this can increase efficiency and avoid overheating.Clean the door gasket using baking soda and warm water every 3 to 4 months. Inspect the gasket for a snug fit; replace when necessary.For refrigerators with and automatic ice maker or water purifier, replace the water filter at least twice each year. Use only manufacturer recommended replacement filters.

 

  • Freezer – avoid ice build up (which reduces efficiency) by defrosting every 3 to 4 months. Clean the gasket using baking soda and warm water. Inspect the gasket for snug fit; replace if necessary.Clean coils on the back of the freezer using the same procedure as for a refrigerator every 3 to 4 months.

 

  • Dishwasher – clean the dishwasher interior; de-scale the unit by running a wash cycle with at least one cup white vinegar every 3 to 4 months.Clean the strainer using warm water and detergent every 6 months.Remove and gently clean the spray arm using a wire or stiff brush annually. Remove mineral deposits from the spray holes as much as possible.Annually inspect the water supply hoses to ensure they are tight, with no kinks or leaks.

 

  • Clothes washer – clean detergent or bleach spills immediately to avoid possible damage to the finish.Most units have a filter of some type on the clothes washer plumbing supply inlets. Clean or replace it at least annually. Also inspect supply hoses to ensure they are tight, with no leaks or kinks.

 

  • Clothes dryer –clean the lint trap after each load of clothes. A clogged lint trap can drastically reduce air flow and compromise dryer efficiency. Clean detergent or bleach spills immediately to avoid damage to the finish.Make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outside; never vent a dryer to the inside of the home. Clean the vent and hose annually to prevent lint build up and avoid a fire hazard.

 

  • Hot water heater – a common problem leading to tank failure and a leaking water heater is the build up of minerals inside the tank. Most of the newer gas water heater or electric water heater models (1998 to present) have a special lining that resists build up. However, it is still a good idea to hook up a garden hose to the valve on the bottom of the tank and drain it; purging out any mineral sediments 1 to 2 times each year. Be sure to turn off heater and water supply while draining. After draining, shut the valve, turn on water, and then turn thermostat back on once the tank is full.