It's something we all fear. The washing machine breaks during a cycle and floods the laundry room. The fridge shuts off and threatens to spoil all the groceries. The oven stops just before a big meal.

But you can avoid these disasters with a little love and care. And best of all, you don't need to hire a handyman. You can do these tasks on your own. Here's a few DIY tips that can keep your home appliances in great shape and save money on major repairs or new appliances.

1. Check Your Oven's Door Seal

Your oven can lose more than 20% of it's hear o the door isn't sealed properly, making it take longer to cook food. Open the door and check the rubber or fiberglass gasket that goes around the edge of the door. If you feel any deformed, torn, or broken areas, or if you close the door and find any leaks, replace the seal. 

2. Check Range Filters

Metal filters can be washed in a dishwasher or by hand. Replace charcoal filters (don't wash them.)

3. Clean Stovetop Drip Bowls

Clean the drip bowls underneath your burner elements by pre-soaking them for 5 minutes in cleaning solution. Hand wash them and replace. Try to clean them after spills so they don't get burned in.

4. Clean Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator coils can get clogged with dirt, dust and pet hair. This will restrict airflow and make it harder to keep it cool. Clean the coils once or twice a year with a vacuum. They can either be found behind the kick plate or in the rear.

5. Change Refrigerator Water Filter 

Old water filters can expose your to harmful water. Make sure you change them every 3 - 6 months, depending on how much water you use.

6. Repair Rusty Dish Rack Tines 

Check your dishwasher rack for rusty tines. If you find rust, they can be repaired with a sealant and replacement tips to cover the tines. This will keep your dishes and silverware form being ruined.

7. Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

Check your garbage disposal for any stuck items. Make sure the power is off and do not use your hands! Pour a combination of ice cubes and salt, or vinegar down the drain, then run cold water for 10 seconds and turn on the disposal. Never run the disposal without water. You can remove odors with citrus peels, or with odor removal packets sold in stores.

8. Clean Dryer Exhaust

Check for lint in the dryer exhaust by loosening the clamp and pulling the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer. Pull out lint with your hands or gently with a hanger. Vacuum before you attach the hose.

9. Check Washing Machine Hoses

You can prevent your washing machine from flooding by checking hoses for leaks. Check for cracks, leaks, or weak spots. As a rule of thumb, replace hoses every 5 years.

10. Clean AC Filters

Cleaning your AC filter every 2 - 4 weeks will increase your AC's life, as well as maintain efficiency. Vacuum reusable filters, and replace disposable ones.

If you follow these tips, you'll hopefully be able to avoid costly appliance repairs or replacements.

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