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As a homeowner, you rely heavily on your appliances in doing the everyday household tasks. After all, how could you live without our refrigerator to keep our food fresh, our washing machine and dryer to do our laundry, our stove and oven to cook hot meals for our family, and our dishwasher to do the dirty work for us?

So if something unexpected happens to your appliance, what should you do? Should you call a professional right away or should you do it yourself and try some small, easy fixes first? Hiring professionals for some minor issues can become costly.

Or let’s think proactively, what can you do to help prevent your appliance from breaking down and minimizing how often it malfunctions. Especially since you know appliances stop working correctly at the worse possible time.

It’s a fact that maintaining your home appliances properly and annually can help prevent these unfortunate instances and save you lots of money in the long run.

We decided to help you out and save you some money by writing this article. Here are some simple and easy DIY (do-it-yourself) maintenance and repair tips every homeowner should know:

DIY Oven/Stove Repair & Maintenance

  • Verify your oven door has a tight seal. Your oven can lose more than 20% of its heat if not properly sealed. These results in your food taking longer to cook and that it could cook unevenly. To check seal, open the oven door and find the 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.
  • Clean or replace dirty range hood or downdraft vent filters. Wash the metal grease filters in soapy water, or through the dishwasher. Do not wash charcoal or paper filters, these should be replaced if worn or torn.
  • Clean stovetop drip bowls. Remove the drip bowls from under the burners, presoak them in a cleaning solution for five minutes. Then handwash and replace. Always clean drip bowls immediately after spills. If spills burn into the bowls, you might need to replace them.

View our stove/oven maintenance checklist here.

DIY Refrigerator Repair & Maintenance

  • Clean the coils in your refrigerator. Refrigerator coils can get clogged very quickly from dust, dirt, and pet hair. To clean, use a handheld vacuum to suck up all loose particles. Do this at least once or twice a year to prevent too much build-up.
  • Change your refrigerator water filter. Filters that are too old and clogged will not properly filter your drinking water. This can possibly expose you to contamination. Filters should be replaced every three to six months, depending on your water usage. Instructions vary by model, but most are as easy as turning it slightly till you hear a click and it is locked in place.

View our refrigerator maintenance checklist here.

DIY Dishwasher Repair & Maintenance

Fix rusty dish rack tines. Rust on the tines of your dishwasher racks could ruin your dishes and silverware. To clean, purchase a tine repair kit and use a sealant to adhere the replacement tips over any rusty or chipped tines. Let dry for at least 24 hours before running the dishwasher.

View our dishwasher maintenance checklist here.

DIY Garbage Disposal Repair & Maintenance

Clean and deodorize your garbage disposal. Make sure your disposal is off. Then, look down the drain for any large, stuck items. Using tongs or another tool to remove blockages, never use your hands. Pour a mixture of ice cubes and salt, or vinegar down the drain. Run cold water over it for 10 seconds, and turn on the unit.

DIY Dryer Repair & Maintenance

Clean your dryer exhaust. Clogged lint traps are the number one cause of dryer fires. It is important to routinely clean lint out of your filter and vents. To clean, loosen the clamp and pull the exhaust off the back of the dryer. Remove any lint from the tubing and the hole in the back with your hands, or gently scrape with a straightened coat hanger. Vacuum and reattach.

View our dryer maintenance checklist here.

DIY Washing Machine Repair & Maintenance

Inspect washing machine hoses. Leaks in the hoses of washing machines can cause flooding in your home. Check your hoses periodically and if you see any deformities, replace the hose. It is recommended that your hose be replaced every five years at a minimum.

Need Professional Help?

If you have gone through all of these steps and you are still having problems with your home appliance, please give us a call at (847) 459-8070. We have specialized appliance repair technicians that will gladly assist you. Whether you are in need of repairs or you would like to schedule a routine maintenance, please contact us today!

We are available 24/7 and have been in business since 1958. Area Appliance Service also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, offers a 100% Satisfaction Guaranty for up to 12 months, and has up to a 12-month Warranty on parts and labor.

Area Appliance Repair services the Buffalo Grove and Arlington Heights area including Northbrook, Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Bartlett, Palatine, and other local suburbs.


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If you want to learn more about taking care of your home appliances to avoid costly repairs, check out How To Take Care Of Your Kitchen Appliances To Avoid Costly Repairs.