Appliances are a significant investment for most homeowners, and mindful operation of these appliances is essential to maximize their lifespans and to ensure the safety of your family and home. According to the United States Fire Administration, 2,900 clothes dryer fires were reported in 2,900 in residential buildings. The majority of these fires could have been prevented by following the below usage guidelines – 34 percent were caused by failure to clean the inside dryer cabinet. The CPSC says lint accumulation inside the cabinet begins with the first use of your dryer.
When using your appliances, please consider the following use and care tips:
Refrigerator / Freezer Use & Care Tips
- Place your refrigerator in a cooler area of your house. Keep it away from heat sources like vents, windows, and cooking appliances. External heat will cause your compressor to work harder, ultimately reducing the life of your refrigerator.
- Make sure that its compressor, coils, and motor have space for airflow.
- Avoid plugging it into an extension cord and putting it under carpeting. This is a fire hazard.
- Plugging your refrigerator into a surge protector is recommended, especially in locations with unstable electricity. Electrical surges can cause main board failures and other expensive electrical problems. Make sure to use a heavy duty surge protector capable of supporting your refrigerator.
- Get rid of perishable food and turn off the ice maker while still keeping the unit plugged in when you are going away for a long vacation.
- Avoid overfilling the refrigerator since cold air won’t be able to circulate well.
- All foods that you put inside should be wrapped in tight containers to avoid odor. Clean up spilled food immediately.
- When cleaning the refrigerator, make sure to take out all the food and detach interior parts, which you can clean separately. A mild detergent or baking soda can be used to clean the appliance. As for condenser coils, you can clean them by gently brushing off debris or buildup that could cause the appliance to overheat. Vacuuming also works. Seals and controls should also be cleaned thoroughly to make it more efficient. The place under the refrigerator can be vacuumed to remove any pet hair or debris buildup.
Oven Use & Care Tips
- Ovens should be grounded and the use of adapters and extension cords is not recommended. The ground prong should also not be removed to avoid hazards. It’s wise to plug the oven into an outlet where no other appliances are plugged in. Your circuit breaker may trip when the outlet is overloaded.
- Never use plastic, paper, and Styrofoam containers in the unit.
- The crumb tray should not be covered with aluminum foil because it restricts the air flow around the oven, which can cause it to overheat.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners to clean your oven.
- Clean spills immediately after use so that they do not build up and get harder to remove. Food morsels could also attract insects such as cockroaches. This could also lead to bad odors and smoke.
- Some ovens have a self-cleaning mechanism. Make sure that you do not leave the house while your oven is self-cleaning.
Range / Stove Use & Care Tips
- Save time cleaning by immediately cleaning drip pans after they have been used. Just make sure that you let the burner cool off first.
- The burner gas ports can be cleaned using a toothpick, straight pin, or soft-bristled brush.
- You can use foil on the stovetop to prevent mess and spill that’s hard to clean from building up. Old drip pans should be replaced instead of trying to clean them.
- The glass on top of the stove can be cleaned using a cooktop cleaner. For the control knobs, soapy water will do. Damp cloth can be used to clean the clocks and display area. After cleaning, let them dry before using them again. If you are using a glass cleaner, do not spray it directly on the surface.
- It is not recommended to store heavy objects above your glass top stove. Glass tops can break relatively easy, and replacing stove glass tops can be quite expensive.
- If your glass top stove does have a crack, call a technician or replace it immediately as this is a fire hazard.
- If you have a sealed stovetop burner, do not attempt to remove it. Newer models have the burner sealed so that spills will not reach the burner box.
Dryer Use & Care Tips
- Get into the habit of checking your lint trap before and after each load. Dirty lint traps are the leading cause of clothes dryer fires.
- Your dryer will function more effectively if your dryer exhaust hose is not bent substantially or otherwise obstructed.
- Do not use any mesh wire or grates as covers. These can easily be clogged by lint. Try a flapper instead.
- Before placing clothes in the dryer, check the pockets for any chewing gum, pencil, change, needles, jewelry, nails, and other items that can cause damage to the dryer.
- Avoid putting too many clothes in the dryer at once. Not only will it cause the dryer to not run efficiently, your clothes will also have a hard time drying. However, putting in too few clothes can also create bunching problems because of improper heat circulation.
- The ideal location for a dryer is an enclosed space with no external heat or cooling sources, like an appliance closet. This will help it to run more efficiently.
Washing Machine Use & Care Tips
- Avoid cleaning rubber-backed mats in washing machines. These deteriorate and leave small pieces that will clog up the drain and water line, which can lead to the need for repairs.
- Water-fill hoses can sometimes burst. When you notice that there is a large bubble in the hose, this is a sure indication that it will soon burst. At this point, you should replace the hose as soon as possible. In order to prevent water damage to your home, you should replace your washing machine hoses every five years.
- Front loading washing machines are generally more efficient than top loading washing machines. To maximize the use of your front load washer, sort and load clothes and use detergent that had been approved for high efficiency washers.
- Keep your front loading washing machine odor-free. Leave the washing machine’s door open after each cycle to prevent mold from accumulating inside of the drum. Use a cleaning product (we recommend Affresh) every three to six months to prevent the gradual build-up of odors.
- Sorting of clothes should be done by the amount of lint they shed and by the tendency of clothes to attract lint.
- Make sure that you wash fabric inside out to avoid piling on cotton and polyester fabrics. For this, delicate wash setting should be used.
- You can prevent the yellowing of white clothes by using hot water, while you can retain dark and vibrant colors with cold water.
Dishwasher Use & Care Tips
- The use of soft water is recommended when possible for modern dishwashers. Modern dishwasher detergents no longer contain phosphates due to government regulations, and as a result hard water can cause mineral buildup (white film) on your dishes. We recommend LemiShine, an environmentally safe alternative to detergent phosphates, to resolve hard water issues.
- Scrape off debris from dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. They do not need to be thoroughly cleaned – that’s the dishwasher’s job!
- Avoid interrupting your dishwasher mid-cycle. This prevents the dishwasher from cleaning your dishes thoroughly.
- Want to save energy? Air Dry uses less electricity than Heated Dry. Alternatively, you can simply open your dishwasher door when the dry cycle starts and let your dishes dry naturally.
- Leave your dishwasher door ajar when it is not in use. Latching your dishwasher shut can for extended periods can cause mold to accumulate.
- Choose the cycle most appropriate for the dishes you are washing. Some dishwashers feature a heavy clean option for heavily soiled dishes – others feature an option to clean only one rack in order to conserve energy and water. Consult your dishwasher’s manual for more information.
With proper care and maintenance, your appliances can last many years. Experiencing issues not covered by our Use & Care guide? Check out our repair guides or give us a call at.
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