How to Avoid an Easily Preventable System or Appliance Failure

– iStock 847675964 – How to Avoid an Easily Preventable System or Appliance Failure

It can cost hundreds of dollars to repair or replace major systems and appliances in a home. Fortunately, you can significantly reduce the risk of problems by performing basic maintenance. Here are some tips for avoiding major system and appliance failures in your home.

Clean refrigerator gaskets and coils. 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. You should also clean any syrup, jelly, honey or sticky food from the door gasket – food build up 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.

Read up on the weight limits for your washer/dryer. 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 burnt out motor. 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. 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. To be safe, check your owner’s manual to learn the weight limits for your units, and be careful not to exceed them.

Clean your dishwasher filter screen. If you don’t regularly clean the filter screen on your dishwasher, little bits of food will decompose into a sticky slime, which can limit water flow and undermine functionality. It will cost you between $150 and $200 to pay a repair person to come clean out this gunk. You can also have water flow problems if you add too much soap to your dishwasher; so add no more than a teaspoon of detergent for most dish loads.

Properly clean your appliances. 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.

Schedule an annual HVAC tune-up. It’s a good idea to schedule an annual HVAC tune-up every spring to prevent breakdowns during the summer. A qualified technician will check for common signs of problems and repair them before they evolve into major issues, requiring hundreds of dollars in repairs.


A Home Warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty can protect you from costly appliance and system breakdowns. We also provide a valuable Appliance Replacement Offer program, which allows you to forgo the claim process in favor of a check for $100 to put toward a brand-new appliance. Homeowners enrolled with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty also have access to a Whirlpool and GE site where they can purchase small and large appliances at a discount. Contact us to learn more.