There’s a meme floating around social media with a picture of an old, yellow refrigerator that reads:”2022 Appliance: breaks within two years. 1980’s Refrigerator (pictured): I will outlive everyone you know and love. I am eternal, I am time itself”. Funny, but true. “They DON’T make ‘em like they used to.” At what point does the investment of replacing an appliance outweigh the looming, ongoing repair costs?
With appliances living shorter lives, when something goes wrong should you fix it or put the money toward purchasing a new one? If it’s still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, contact them first. After that, depending on the issue and appliance, it’s best to at least try and troubleshoot problems that arise by reading the owner’s manual, doing some online research or calling the manufacturer for more help. Repair tips for do-it-yourself fans are also available online on web sites such as repairclinic.com, familyhandyman.com/skills.) Note: just as you can GOOGLE anything, the same is true for YOUTUBE. It is a beautiful place. If that doesn’t solve it, then consider calling a repair service. I’ve learned firsthand service repairmen hold a spot in that ever-so-valuable trade industry. Oftentimes, the repairman will help you determine if the appliance is best to replace or continue with repairs. Those recommendations may differ on the range of appliances involved.
Microwaves are usually best to just replace as repair costs on them may be higher than replacing. Dishwashers may include some regular maintenance tips to extend their life expectancy. Regardless of what the manufacturer says, rinse off anything solid from your dishes. You don’t need to wash it as much as just scrape the solids. It is also recommended to run the sink water until it reaches roughly 120 degrees before starting the wash cycle and using a rinse agent in addition to your dishwasher detergent.
Refrigerators don’t have many working parts so they can be pretty efficient. Many refrigerator manufacturers recommend regularly cleaning the coils located at the bottom of your refrigerator to remove accumulated dust, pet hair, etc., which can cause your refrigerator to work harder to keep cool. With ovens, avoid using aluminum foil under coils or as a method to prevent messy drips. It reflects heat and can get too hot. Finally, to help ensure the life of your washer, avoid overloading or packing too many items into the washing machine which can wear it out sooner than if you do more measured loads.
As for the dryer, be sure to clean out the lint trap after every single load and to ensure that there isn’t lint clogging the dryer vent. You may also want to remove the exhaust from the back of the dryer and run a sweeper brush to rid excess lint from the exhaust line. This should be done once a year to keep your dryer running in optimal performance. As the saying goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’… or in this case an appliance replacement.
Until next week, love where you live. And if you don’t… contact your local REALTOR®.
Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President