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Ten DIY tips for 10-minute appliance maintenance

We love our All City Appliance customers, and we appreciate your business, but we’d rather not see you unless it’s necessary!

To keep your appliances running at top efficiency, possibly avoiding a service call, here are 10 easy appliance maintenance tasks that you can do on your own in about 10 minutes:

1. Check the seal on your oven door. Without a tight seal, your oven can lose more than 20 percent of its heat. To check the seal’s condition, open the oven door and locate the rubber or fiberglass gasket around the perimeter of the door. Feel for any broken, torn, or deformed areas, and close the door to see if you can find any leaks. If you do, replace the seal.

2. Clean range hood or downdraft vent filters. Wash metal-mesh grease filters by hand in soapy water, or just run them through the dishwasher.

3. Clean stovetop drip bowls. Remove the bowls from underneath your burners and presoak them in a cleaning solution for five minutes. Then wash in hot soapy water. (If spills burn onto the bowls, you might need to replace them.)

4. Clean the coils in your refrigerator. Dirt, dust, and pet hair can clog up refrigerator coils, restricting airflow and forcing the refrigerator to work harder to keep cool. Once or twice a year, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the coils. The location varies by model, but most coils can be found either behind the kick plate (the front panel near the floor) or at the rear of the fridge.

5. Change your refrigerator water filter. Instructions for changing the filter vary by model, but most are as easy as turning the filter a quarter inch and popping it out or locking it in place. Perform this simple task every three to six months, depending on water usage.

6. Fix rusty dish rack tines. Rust on the tines of your dishwasher racks can permanently stain your dishes and silverware. You can buy a tine repair kit at most home improvement stores, and use the sealant to adhere replacement tips over rusty or chipped tines.

7. Clean and deodorize your garbage disposal. Turn the disposal off and look down the drain for any large, stuck items. Use tongs or another tool—not your hands—to remove blockages. To keep it clear, insert ice cubes down the drain, turn on the water, then run the disposal. To remove odors, place a handful of citrus peels in the disposal, run the cold water, and turn on the disposal until the peels are gone.

8. Clean your dryer lint screen and exhaust lines. Lint in the dryer exhaust not only reduces the dryer’s efficiency; it’s a fire hazard! Remember to clean your lint screen after every single load. To clean your dryer exhaust, loosen the clamp and pull the exhaust hose off the back of the dryer. Remove large clumps of lint from the tubing and the hole in the back with your hands, or if you can’t reach, gently scrape with a straightened coat hanger. Vacuum thoroughly and reattach.

9. Inspect washing machine hoses. Most washing machine floods are caused by leaks in the hose. Check the hoses that connect to the back panel on your washing machine for any cracks, leaks, or weak spots on the hoses. If you find any deformities, replace the hose. At a minimum, replace the hoses every five years.

10. When all else fails, give us a call! If you need help with these tasks, or you need a repair, we’ll be happy to come and see you!

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