Your appliances are the workhorses of your home. They add convenience and ease to your day-to-day living, and while they seem indestructible and able to handle whatever you throw at them, it’s important to provide regular maintenance to maximize their efficiency and lifespan. Here are a few simple tips to keep your Florida home appliances in top condition!
- Check the air filter monthly and replace when dirty.
- Inspect the evaporator about every 6 months – this is the large metal unit likely housed in your attic, hanging in the garage, or possibly in a closet inside your home. Use a soft brush and/or canned air to clean dust off the coils. Check the drain pan and clean with a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water as necessary.
- Don’t forget the outside unit, as well! Check your compressor regularly to ensure it is free of debris such as leaves and grass clippings.
- Check the Temperature Pressure Release (TPR) valve on your water heater monthly.
- Draining your water heater can help extend its life. Every 6 months, drain at least 5 gallons of water to remove sediment buildup that can damage the heating element and clog the lines. The 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty blog provides helpful step-by-step instructions.
- If you have a tankless water heater, an annual descaling is necessary, especially if you have hard water in your area. This step prevents damage to the heat exchanger, which typically isn’t covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
- Clean condenser coils and the base grill every 6 months to keep the air flowing, which helps use less energy. To do so, unplug your unit and then use a brush with a long or bent handle and vacuum to remove cobwebs, pet hair, and other debris.
- Check the door seals regularly to ensure they’re sealing properly and keeping all that cold air inside.
Oven and Range
- Clean your oven based on the manufacturer’s instructions, which generally means a thorough cleaning twice per year. If possible, clean your oven by hand instead of using the self-cleaning feature.
- Clean the oven racks every 1-3 months.
- Check the oven door gasket (seal) and replace it if you notice it looks worn or cracked, or if you notice heat escaping from the edges of the door while the oven is on.
- Be careful when cleaning underneath the knobs on your range. One of the primary ways ovens break down early is through a short in the electrical system. Cleaning underneath the knobs without removing them is a common cause for this electrical short.
- If you have a coil top range, clean or replace the drip pans as needed.
- To clean glass top ranges, wipe up spills before they burn onto the cooktop. To get rid of stubborn stains, consult your manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning products required by the warranty. Generally, this means using softer cleaning materials such as a microfiber cloth rather than abrasive brushes or cleaners which may scratch the surface. And, always make sure the surface is cool before cleaning it!
- Perform a monthly leak check around the dishwasher by looking for evidence of water leaks.
- Cleaning the filter is the number one way to keep your dishwasher working at maximum efficiency. Every 6 months to a year, remove all parts of the filter and clean it with hot water, then replace the parts and ensure they lock in place.
- You can also help to get the maximum life out of your dishwasher by knowing the various ways to address clogs in your dishwasher.
- If you have hard water, it can be just as tough on the dishwasher as buildup of food. The minerals in hard water can build up in the water holes in the spray arm. Clean the spray arm holes with a simple toothpick!
It may seem counterintuitive that you need to clean a machine that is a cleaner in and of itself, but a little TLC will keep your clothes washer happy and healthy.
- Check the water hoses regularly to assure that there are no kinks or rips, and look for evidence of water leaks such as stains on the floor or damp drywall.
- Don’t overload the washer! Never fill it more than three-quarters full.
- Ensure you’re using the correct detergent and the right amount for the type of washer you have – Front-load washers and some top-load units require HE detergent for use in high efficiency, low water volume machines.
- Remove wet laundry as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
- If your washer is a front-load unit, dry the door and door gaskets after each use.
- With either a front- or top-load washer, leave the lid open after use to also prevent mold from forming.
- At least every 3 months, run an empty cycle through your washer using bleach and the hottest water setting or your washer’s “clean” cycle.
Your clothes dryer requires regular maintenance for efficiency and safety purposes.
- Before each use, clean the lint trap.
- Clean out your dryer exhaust duct annually – disconnect the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer and run your vacuum cleaner in the hose and at the exhaust hole to pull out any debris.
- Deep clean the lint screen by soaking it in soap and hot water as needed to rid it of stubborn lint. Use an old toothbrush to softly scrub away residue, then blot with a soft towel and let it air dry. Don’t forget to reinsert it before the next time you use your dryer!
- Check the dryer vent on the outside of your home to make sure it isn’t blocked or clogged.
- Wipe down the inside of the drum with a microfiber cloth on a weekly basis to prevent lint buildup.
These basic maintenance tips will help keep your appliances in top condition, and always refer to your owner’s manuals for detailed specifics for the appliances in your Florida home. Putting in a little bit of time for maintenance will maximize the life of your appliances while minimizing calls to the repair man, help to lower your energy costs, and create a safer, cleaner environment for your household.
Highland Homes builds new homes in Florida cities such as Lakeland, Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, and Ocala, and is dedicated to your satisfaction from the moment you first connect with us and continuing even after you move-in to your Highland home. Learn more about the Highland Homes difference and building your dream home in Florida by browsing our website or contacting our Florida New Homes Specialists at 863-797-4999.
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