We know we're supposed to spend time each year deep-cleaning our house, organizing our closet, and tuning up our car, but what few of us realize is that some of our most essential home appliances also require yearly maintenance. Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, filled us in on the TLC our most valuable appliances need to function optimally. The good news is, most of these are simple DIY checkups anyone can do. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Exterior Dryer Vents
"Clean out your dryer vent — I'm not talking about just the vent in the dryer itself but actually the vent that goes outside," explains Angie. "That can have a big impact on the efficiency of your dryer and how quickly your clothes get clean. You will know you have a problem if you find that your dryer isn't drying your clothes in one cycle."
Washing Machine Hoses
"We don't think about those, but they can rot over time, and if they are not in good shape, they might need to be replaced," says Angie. It's especially important to check your hoses if your washer and dryer are on the second floor of your home, because if there's a problem, water will leak down to the second floor, causing serious damage.
"Make sure you are cleaning and vacuuming the vents on your refrigerator. They can get clogged with dirt, especially if you have pets, and that is going to cause it to run more than necessary," says Angie. This could mean more energy consumption and a higher electric bill.
Just like your vehicle, your air conditioner requires an annual tune-up; unfortunately, unlike the other projects, this is not a DIY. You need to call a professional to do the servicing. "Your air conditioner loses about five percent of its efficiency every year you fail to take care of it," warns Angie.