Is your dryer taking longer to dry than it used to? Is there a puddle under your refrigerator drawers? Does your front-load washer stink? Sounds like your appliances might need a little care.
Like all machines, the appliances in your home need maintenance to help prevent breakdowns. Maintenance can also improve efficiency, make appliances safer and extend the life of your appliance.
You can do simple maintenance yourself, but some maintenance requires a pro. Below, we sort out which is which.
For DIYers: Appliance Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
For major appliance in your home, you can do some maintenance yourself. Each owner’s manual has specific instructions for maintaining the appliance, but here are some tips to help you get started. (For more tips, check out all our maintenance videos).
Caring for Your Washing Machine
For starters, show your washer some love by not overloading the washer tub and by not mixing light and heavy items; both practices strain the components that keep the wash tub balanced.
Once a month, clean your washer, according to the instructions in the owner’s manual. If you have a front-load washer, it’s especially important to clean the creases in the rubber door seal — odor-causing microorganisms love those dark, damp folds and can stink up your laundry room pretty fast
Finally, once a year, check washer hoses for cracks and replace the hoses before those cracks spring leaks.
Caring for Your Dryer
To maintain your dryer, clean lint from the lint trap after every load. Once a year, clean lint from the vent pipe to prevent fire and so moist air vents freely from the dryer. When the path is clogged, clothes take longer to dry because the moisture stays in the dryer.
And a clogged exhaust path can make your dryer overheat and trip the dryer’s thermal fuses. You can’t reset those fuses; they have to be replaced, and the dryer won’t run until they are.
Caring for Your Refrigerator
It’s important to clean dust from the condenser coils, so your refrigerator can dispel heat. And check your fridge’s door gaskets for rips that compromise the seal.
Caring for Your Dishwasher
Some dishwashers have filters that need periodic cleaning; make sure you know if your dishwasher has any. Check your owner’s manual for filter locations and how to remove, clean and reinstall them. Also inspect the dishwasher’s spray arm for cracks.
Caring for Your Stovetop and Oven
For your stovetop, wash the vent fan filter, which gets greasy. Check that the oven door seal is soft and pliable, too; if it’s hard, brittle or torn, the infiltration of cool air makes temperatures fluctuate, which affects baking results.
Sometimes You Need a Professional
Some appliance maintenance is best left to the pros, who have the expertise to do the work quickly and safely. Expert appliance maintenance can prevent costly repairs, shave a few dollars off your energy bills and extend the life of the appliance by keeping it in tip-top shape.
Sears Home Services has thousands of qualified technicians nationwide who can maintain your appliances. Find one near you.
Here’s what Sears Home Services technicians do to care for your appliances when you schedule a preventive care visit.
Washing Machine Maintenance
Your washer might seem like a relatively simple machine, but our technicians check 18 things, like whether the tub spins at the right speed, the electrical connections are tight and the timer works correctly. And they sanitize the door boot on a front-load washer, clean and inspect any removable filters, and wipe the exterior.
Sears Home Services technicians check 13 things on your dryer; for example, they check the moisture sensors and clean them if needed; inspect the drum belt, idler pulley and support rollers for wear; and make sure the exhaust system is free of leaks and clogs. They also vacuum the open area under the drum, which accumulates lint that you can’t reach.
When Sears Home Services technicians maintain your refrigerator, they make sure the door gaskets seal well, and they clean the evaporation drain pan, if needed. They ensure that the refrigerator defrosts as it should and check that the defrost drain path is clear. And they inspect five more things to make sure your refrigerator is in good shape.
When maintaining a dishwasher, Sears Home Services technicians use a 13-point checklist that includes checking the pump and motor shaft for leaks, making sure the pump delivers the right amount of water into the tub and inspecting the electrical system and heating element. The technicians also clean the door gasket and removable filters.
Stove and Oven Maintenance
To take care of your range, Sears Home Services technicians make sure the electrical system is grounded and the wire connections are secure. They also check that the visible insulation is intact and test the self-cleaning door lock. To make sure your roasts and baked goods are done in the time the recipe states, the techs calibrate the oven temperature.
At the end of each preventive appliance care visit, Sears Home Services technicians explain how you can clean and maintain your appliances, so your appliances look good and work well for a long time.