We all have appliances in our homes: things that help us to store food and cook, gadgets that help make our lives more comfortable by keeping us warm and appliances to help us to wash our clothes and dishes faster and more efficiently. It’s always a shame when a beloved appliance breaks down or dies, so this guide is designed to help you get the most out of your household appliances to ensure that they have a long life!

Refrigerator

1. Your fridge and freezer have seals that should be cleaned regularly to avoid splitting or cracking. A split or cracked seal can compromise the cooling power of your appliance and can also mean higher power bills as there’s a struggle to maintain temperatures. A cracked seal can also be a health risk as dirt and bacteria can collect.

2. Your fridge is run by a compressor which sucks warm air in and generates cool air. Along with the air that is being sucked in, it also takes in dust and lint from the household. An easy way to clean the compressor, coils and any other air intakes where dust can collect is to turn off the fridge and take your vacuum cleaner to these areas. This simple act can prolong the life of your fridge by keeping the compressor running well. (Don’t forget to switch the fridge back on!)

3. Don’t overpack your fridge or freezer. A well packed fridge means good airflow, which will ensure your items are kept cold across the board. This also means your compressor has less work to do to keep the space cool.

4. Keep the freezer defrosted and clear. A frosty freezer has to work harder and puts strain on the compressor.

Washer and dryer

1. These two items are often some of our hardest worked appliances. A simple way to prolong the life of your dryer is to keep the lint trap clean and ensure the venting to your dryer is clear. This means it doesn’t have to strain the motor and will ensure smooth running.

2. Don’t overload your washing machine. It puts strain on the parts as with the dryer and although you’re still going to get years of use out of it, it’ll be more like 10 years as opposed to 20 or 25 years.

Dishwasher

1. Once again, loading is important here. Stacking your dishwasher correctly and distributing the load across the shelves not only means that your crockery will wash properly, but your dishwasher will run more efficiently.

2. Clean your dishwasher regularly, and don’t put really dirty items in to wash. Scrape plates and give them a quick rinse before washing.

3. Use a sanitizing wash for your dishwasher (available in the supermarket next to the dishwashing powder) to prolong the life of your dishwasher.

4. Keep the seals of your dishwasher clean, and leave the door ajar in between washes so that the interior can dry completely.

5. Only run full loads (not overstacked) to maximise the energy output.

General Appliances (hairdryers, toasters, kettles)

1. Keep these items clean in accordance with the manufacturer.

2. Consider taking out an extended warranty on items that offer it.

3. Appliance repairs can be an easy way to prolong the life of your household goods, and can be a cost effective way to live.

4. Consider getting semi-regular appliance servicing on high use items to maintain longevity.

Always consider appliance repairing or appliance servicing if it is cost effective to do so. The environmental impact (and cost) of fixing an existing item is usually less than purchasing a new product. Have a look online for the best repair options in your local area and get a few quotes before going ahead.

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