It’s so easy to take appliances for granted. Sometimes it seems like they just keep running and running. Until they stop.
Any appliance repair expert will tell you that simple maintenance can add years to the life of your appliances and reduce the likelihood of having to replace them.
Plus,these simple maintenance tips can vastly reduce the likelihood of huge repair or clean-up costs when your appliances fail.
And given Murphy’s Law, they always seem to fail at the worst possible moment — like over a holiday when repair costs double.
One of the best times to perform simple appliance maintenance is when your tenants moves out, and you are preparing to re-rent your unit. Below are some simple maintenance tips that can easily be performed without any experience or special tools.
Some of them you may already do — but some may be a surprise!
1. 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. Most people forget to clean the condenser coils regularly. Years of dust and grime can clog the condenser coils and reduce the lifespan of your refrigerator. The easiest way to clean the compressor, coils and any other air intakes where dust can collect is to turn off the fridge and take a vacuum cleaner to these areas. If you do this simple act every time your rental unit turns over, it can prolong the life of your fridge by keeping the compressor running well.
2. Check the seals on your refrigerator and freezer doors. If they’re not tight you’re losing efficiency. This burns up your compressor, shortens the lifespan of your appliance, and uses significantly more electricity. To check your seal, close the door on a thin sheet of paper. If the paper slips, your fridge is wasting energy. Replace the seal or adjust the door latch, if needed.
Washer and Dryer:
3. Make it a point to invest the time and money to replace washer fill hoses every five years. It’s a lot cheaper to replace the hoses than the massive clean-up that happens after one of them bursts. If this has ever happened to you, you know exactly what we’re talking about!
4. Inspect your outside dryer vent (exhaust duct) annually and clean it of any blockage. In cold climates, small animals have been known to nest in or around these events, causing damage to the vent and the dryer.
5. Under normal usage, a typical water heater will last eight to twelve years. But some landlords have water heaters that last fifteen or twenty years. One of the best ways to extend the life of your water heater is to clean or flush out your tank, between renters. This will remove any sediment build-up, helping your water heater to run more efficiently.
6. While a drain is not an “appliance”, clogged drains are one of the most common reasons for plumbing maintenance calls. So every time you re-rent your unit, make a point of removing your bathroom sink and tub drains to remove any hair and blockages. It’s amazing how much nasty gunk will coagulate around hair that gets caught in your drain.
This can lead to expensive plumbing bills. But with a simple — and free — cleaning job, they will work like new again.