Extending the Life of Your Appliances

Extending the Life of Your Appliances

Follow these guidelines and tips to help extend the life of your homesystems and appliances—it could save you the cost of unnecessary repairs or early replacement!


Preventative Maintenance—Guidelines and Tips


 Change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year—choose family birthdays or holidays as reminders.

 Unplug small electrical appliances, such as toasters, blenders, etc. after using them.

 Inspect appliance hoses and ventilation according to owner’s manuals.

 Clean small electrical appliances after each use; unplug and cool before cleaning.

 Use only distilled water in steam irons to avoid mineral buildup.

 Strap the water heater solidly to wall studs to prevent it from movement during an earthquake.


 Repair minor drips and leaks as they occur.

 Avoid flushing anything but toilet paper down the toilet.


 Load dishwasher properly—and run only when you have a full load.

 Use only dishwasher detergent in recommended amounts.

 Load more fragile items on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Garbage Disposal

 Run a strong flow of cold water through garbage disposal throughout grinding and for at least 30 seconds after turning off grinder.

 To freshen your disposal, occasionally grind a half lemon or lime while running cold water.

Do not put fibrous foods down the disposal, including celery, corn husks, and potato skins. Never put rice (uncooked or cooked) down the garbage disposal.


 Clean refrigerator compartment regularly, even though it does not require defrosting.

 Wipe up spills in the refrigerator promptly to avoid staining and odors.

 Clean coils with a condenser coil brush

 Once a year slide the refrigerator out and vacuum around and beneath it.

 Defrost freezers about once a year, before frost is 1/2 inch thick on inside walls and clean.Use a plastic or wooden scraper, not a sharp instrument.

 When storing items in the door, place the heaviest items closest to the hinge side; this will reduce stress on the door and inner door panel when it is opened and shut.


 Clean the interior of your oven regularly.

 If you have a self-cleaning oven, do not use any other method to clean it.

Microwave Oven

 Do not use metal pans or containers with metal trim.

 Clean microwave oven and removable glass shelves regularly; food residue keeps reheating and can cause the glass shelves to break.

 Clean around microwave door to prevent soil buildup which could keep the door from closing tightly.

 Only use mild soap and/or baking soda mixture to clean the interior to avoid damaging the lining.


 Keep gas burners free of dirt and debris.

 Clean exposed metal of range hoods regularly with sudsy water—do not use abrasive pads or scouring powders, as they may scratch the finish.

 Occasionally clean the metal filter in warm, sudsy water. Charcoal filters should be replaced once a year.

 Never spray cleaners directly onto the control panel. Put some cleaner on a soft, damp rag, and then wipe the surface.


 Do not overload washing machine and choose appropriate level for size of load.

 Heavy clothing such as jeans and towels should be spread out over two or more loads to avoid added strain to the machine.

 Do not spill laundry products on exterior of washer or dryer: porcelain can be damaged by the chemicals.

 Do not spray stain removers onto garments on top of washer or dryer: it can corrode painted or plastic parts.

 Clean dryer lint filter before each load.

 Clean out exhaust vent system at least once a year. Be sure to vent dryer outside—never into the house.

 Clean the washer and dryer exterior regularly. Wipe the dryer door opening occasionally.Never clean the dryer drum with flammable solvents.

Heating/Air Conditioning

 Have the heating/cooling systems serviced annually.

 Check the filters on your heating/cooling unit—clean or replace as needed.

 Do not operate an air conditioner unit or furnace on an extension cord! The compressor draws a lot of current and can be damaged if insufficient voltage is continually supplied.

Pools/Spas/Hot Tub

 Keep a proper water level at all times.

 Maintain chemical balance.

 Clean basket strainers regularly.


Major Appliances and Avgerage Life Mechanical Systems Expectancy (yrs)

Microwave oven 10

Garbage disposal 10-12

Trash compactor 10

Water heater, gas 11-13

Water heater, electric 13-14

Water heater, tankless (on demand) 20+

Smoke detector 10

Refrigerator, side by side 14

Refrigerator, top mount 14

Refrigerator, bottom mount 17

Refrigerator, single door 19

Refrigerator, compact (dorm type) 5

Washing machine, top load 14

Washing machine, front load 11

Dryer 13

Range, electric 17

Range, gas 19

Dishwasher 10

Cook top 13-20

Air conditioner (room size) 10

Air conditioning compressor 15-20

Forced air furnace, heat pump 15

Baseboard electric heat systems 20

Plumbing,waste piping 75

Hot-water boiler 20-30

Water pump 7-10

Water softener 20

Bathroom fixtures, porcelain and cast iron 50

Fiberglass tub/showers 10-15

Garage door 20-50

Garage door opener 10

Windermere Homes & Estates
830 W. Valley Parkway 330 • Escondido, CA 92025
Phone: (760)470-2519 • DRE LIC. #01345138

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