Appliance Shopping and Maintenance Tips
Courtesy: Angie’s List
Appliance shopping tips:
· Do I need a new appliance? A good rule of thumb if you should repair or replace an appliance is to look at the age factor and the cost of repair. If a repair will cost more than half the cost of the new appliance and the unit is more than six or seven years old, you’re probably better off replacing it.
· Energy savings? Ask yourself what energy savings you’ll get with the new appliance. Will they offset the cost of a new appliance versus repair? Also consider any tax credits available.
· What are your needs? Consider exactly what you are going to need because there are a lot of options available. For example, on a refrigerator, features like ice makers and water dispensers, while convenient, will increase energy use.
· Consider cost of repair: The more complex the appliance, the more expensive it is likely to be if you should need repair.
· The price tag: The Department of Energy recommends you think of two price tags when shopping for an appliance: the first covers the purchase price and the second is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime.
The extended product warranty on appliances – should you buy one?
According to a recent Angie’s List poll, 42 percent of respondents who purchased an extended warranty said it was a waste of money and they wouldn’t buy another one.
If you do choose to purchase an extended warranty on your appliance, be sure to do your homework first.
Compare warranty and product costs. Some extended warranties can cost 30 percent or more of the cost of the product which may be about the same cost of the actual repair. And according to the AL poll, 37 percent of respondents who bought an extended warranty didn’t know the warranty’s cost.
Don’t feel pressured. Many retailers allow 30 days after the purchase to make a decision to buy the extra coverage.
Preventative maintenance is your best bet for prolonging the life of your appliances. Angie suggests following these tips:
Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator annually and check door seals to ensure they are airtight.
Check air filters monthly and replace as needed.
Replace washer fill hoses every five years.
Avoid overloading the washing machine.
Have the exhaust duct on the clothes dryer inspected and cleaned once a year. Clean the lint filter before each use.
Don’t allow heavy grease buildup on the oven interior.
Drain a quart of water from your water heater tank every three months to remove sediment that slows down heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.
Have regular service as recommended by the manufacturer