Simple Tips to Prevent Appliance Breakdowns

A recent TotalProtect® nationwide survey revealed that 65% of homeowners sampled had to repair or replace a major appliance or household system in 2012. For home appliance warranty owners, the time and money spent on repairs and replacements is lessened considerably. But there are a few easy steps you can take to help minimize the need for service visits altogether:

Be Prepared
It’s not just the motto of the Boy Scouts. A savvy homeowner saves time and money by doing a little early legwork. Upon buying or receiving a new appliance, be sure to read the instruction manual. It’s a simple step that many people skip, assuming that, of course, they already know how to use a refrigerator or washing machine!  However, improper usage can curtail the life of your appliances. Set up a calendar with an alert system to track when the warranties on your products expire and to schedule periodic maintenance.

Keep it Clean
A little elbow grease will prevent dust and hair build-up and extend the life of your appliances and household systems. Be sure to vacuum out ducts and clear all filters — not just that dryer lint screen, but your air conditioner filter, furnace air filter and refrigerator condenser too – on a regular basis. For drains and toilets, use liquid drainer to keep all pipes clear of clogs.

Conserve and Preserve
It’s easy to turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. You’ll save on your energy bill will also prolong the life of your product. Make sure rubber seals are free of mold and fully intact to prevent leakage or flooding. Also, consider caulking around windows and doors to insulate and prevent moisture and humidity from penetrating your home, driving up your energy costs and negatively impacting your appliances.

Be Proactive
Sweating the small stuff takes minutes out of your day but adds years to the life of your appliance.  Be sure to clean out clothing pockets before dumping a load into your washing machine or dryer. Rinse food remnants off dirty dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher to keep the pump and drain lines clear of build-up. Wipe up oven spills immediately rather than letting them accumulate and using the “self-clean” feature, which produces high heat that can make internal parts fail.

These simple tips can help prevent costly repairs and replacements, but the best protection is a sensible home warranty, like those offered by TotalProtect®. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.