5 Simple Maintenance Tips to Prevent System and Appliance Failures

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Basic maintenance on major systems and appliances can help them work better and last longer. Here are five super easy maintenance tips you can use to prevent system and appliance failures.

1. Change your HVAC filter regularly

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Air Filter?

Changing your HVAC filter is one of the most effective things you can do as a homeowner for three reasons.

  1. Allows your A/C and furnace to operate at full efficiency, which can lengthen its life span.
  2. Keeps your indoor air cleaner, which could make it easier to breathe, especially if you have allergies.
  3. Prevents your HVAC system from overworking, which could lower energy costs.

On average, it can cost over $7,000 to replace an HVAC system (anecdotally, it often costs $10,000 or more). Simply changing your air filter every 1–3 months is a quick and easy way to reduce the likelihood of expensive breakdowns.

2. Clean your refrigerator coils and gaskets

Concept for safe cleaning or vacuuming the freezer or fridge from dust and hair. Selective focus and textured heat resistant backside.

It’s important to vacuum the coils on the underside or backside of your refrigerator every six months. If dust accumulates, it can decrease air flow, causing the compressor and condenser fan to run longer and hotter.

Cleaning your condenser coils is easy.

  1. Unplug the fridge or turn off the fridge’s circuit to prevent the risk of electrical shock.
  2. Locate the condenser coils. They’ll either be underneath, on the back, or on top of the fridge.
  3. Use a vacuum to remove dust and pet hair.
  4. Plug your fridge back in or flip the circuit to On.

If you have pets, you may want to do this two or three times a year.

You should also clean any syrup, jelly, honey, or sticky food from the door gasket. Food buildup could prevent the door from sealing properly and ultimately cause the gasket to tear away when you open the door. These simple tasks could save you hundreds of dollars: A new compressor could cost up to $600, a condenser fan could cost up to $250, and a new gasket can cost between $150 and $300. If the damage is bad enough, you may have to replace the entire appliance.

3. Avoid overloading your washer and dryer

Washing machine and furry gray cat inside

Washers and dryers come with weight limits for a reason. If you overfill a front-loading washer or dryer, you may end up spending a bundle to replace a drum bearing or burned-out motor. If you overfill a top-loading washer, smaller items could float up and get caught in the pump. You could also break the drive coupler and burn out the drive belt.

An overfilled dryer won’t just take longer to dry! It will wear out the drive belts and drum support rollers, which cost hundreds of dollars to replace.  To be safe, check your owner’s manual to learn the weight limits for your units, and be careful not to exceed them.

4. Properly clean your appliances

Close up of female hand with yellow protective gloves cleaning oven door

It’s a good idea to keep your appliances clean, however, you need to go about it carefully. Avoid spraying cleaners directly onto your stove, or liquid may find its way behind knobs or within touch-control panels, ultimately burning them out. A touch-activated control panel can cost up to $500 to replace, while a shorted-out igniter switch could cost up to $300.

To keep from shorting out electronic components in your appliances, spray a small amount of cleaner onto a paper towel, rag, or sponge and then carefully wipe down the knobs and touch control panels.

5. Keep your outdoor A/C unit free of debris

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Over the seasons, debris such as grass, leaves, litter, and even nests can gather in and around your A/C unit. This can force it to overwork, which can cause breakdowns.

Throughout the year, make sure to clean up any clutter around the unit. Spray the coils and interior with a hose every so often.

And if you notice any animals living in your A/C unit, consider calling animal control.

Bonus tip: Protect yourself with a 2-10 HBW Home Warranty2

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Over time, every system or appliance breaks down. When that happens, a Home Warranty Service Agreement from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) can be a big help.

  • It can help reduce out-of-pocket costs of unexpected, covered breakdowns.
  • A 2-10 HBW Home Warranty provides access to a trusted network of independent Service Contractors.
  • 2-10 HBW homeowners get access to special benefits, programs, and a comprehensive Maintenance Guide through their Homeowner Portal account.

Protect your home and budget with these tips and a 2-10 HBW Home Warranty.

2-10 HBW offers quality Home Warranty Service Agreement coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home and budget.

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