They don’t make ‘em like they used to, for better or worse.
For better, there’s a smart just-about-everything to put life on autopilot.
For worse, all these modern-day sophistications have more circuitry, more parts, and more that can go wrong.
In an age of planned obsolescence, we need to arm ourselves with at least a little know-how to make our appliances last longer.
So, read ahead for need-to-know maintenance tips for your appliances (or jump to the end for special Madison Mutual coverage that can take the worry away).
Keep Those Coils Clean
We won’t ask what you keep in your fridge.
But we will tell you to check your fridge’s coils.
Odds are, it’s been awhile since they’ve been cleaned (if they’ve been cleaned at all). And making them spic and span will make your fridge run more efficiently.
While it may be a dirty job, literally, it’s an easy one!
Unplug your fridge first and pull it away from the wall. Newer models will have coils in the front behind a toe grill that snaps off, while older models will have coils behind a panel in the back.
From there, it’s a one-two punch of dusting with a coil condenser brush and vacuuming with an upholstery attachment as you go.
The Best Screen Saver Is Space
You can expect to use your TV for 60,000 hours before the picture starts to fade.
But if you want everything pixel perfect for as long as possible, the easiest way is to put some space between your screen and the wall: At least four inches.
Wall-mounted TVs look nice, but they can “overheat” as a result – even those with LED screens.
Bonus tip: Look up recommended settings for your unit on a site like RTings.com. Out-of-the-box settings tend to be brighter than normal, which can lead to LED bulbs burning out faster.
Lighten Your Load(s)
Doing laundry might be towards the bottom of your “Things I Want To Do Today” list. And as a result, your hamper might be overflowing.
While we’re all for being as time efficient as possible, resist the urge to stuff your washer and dryer to the gills.
For one, your clothes won’t be as clean. For two, parts will be exhausted and worn out faster.
So, how much should each load have? Use your agitator (the rod in the middle) as a guide. Clothes should go no more than ¾ of the way up – and even then, that might be too much.
If you have a front-loading washer, balance things out by alternating the order of clothes as you load them in: Heavy then light, heavy then light again.
It might take a little more time—and detergent—to do laundry this way, but your washer will thank you. Not verbally. It’s a washer, after all.
Which would you rather type into a search engine:
“Local HVAC maintenance service” or “Emergency HVAC repair”?
The fact is, twice-a-year checkups typically only cost around $150 total – especially if you use a site like Groupon to find a reputable, local company. These checkups typically come with cleaning your units, tightening components, checking Freon levels and more, all of which can prevent a moment of panic.
In between these recommended appointments, you can also do simple things like removing leaves, grass clippings, and other debris from your AC unit and changing your air filters at minimum twice a year.
You do change your filters, right?
Pick Out Your Arms
Somewhere in your home, there is a box with 184 toothpicks, give or take.
Put them to good use somewhere other than your teeth: Your dishwasher.
The spinning arms at the bottom of the unit have holes. Holes that get clogged with food bits, which in turn builds up pressure from the water looking to escape, which in turn… leads to nothing good.
Using that one-cent piece of wood could save you some serious money.
But If It Breaks Down…
Madison Mutual has you covered with Equipment Breakdown coverage.
For as little as $20 a month, we will repair – even replace – household equipment damaged by mechanical, electrical, or pressure failure.
That $20 a month covers up to $50,000 of appliances, plus $3,000 for spoiled perishable goods or water damage from sump pump breakdowns.
Say a voltage spike happens, frying your TV, sound system, and gaming platform. Instead of saying a four-letter word, you’ll be saying “I’m glad I have Madison Mutual.”
After all, what could be a loss of thousands of dollars would be covered with a much more affordable deductible.
Call 800-766-6642 or your local agent to add this to coverage today.