The Top 9 most dangerous appliance hazards in your home and how to fix it
We get it, you’re busy. You got kids to feed, dogs to walk, a life to live, and with so much going on appliance maintenance is probably the LAST thing on your mind. But whether it comes to your kitchen or even your laundry room, those little grease strains and lint traps can pose a hazard to your health, even your safety. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most overlooked appliance and maintenance tips to keep you and your family alive and well.
- Hood Range or Downdraft Vents
Your hood range or downdraft vents have a metal-mesh grease filter inside them. Overtime, grease, gunk and nasty bacteria will build up, creating a health and fire hazard. To alleviate the problem, simply remove the mesh filters and soak them in hot, soapy water. Note that charcoal or paper filters should not be washed, they must be replaced.
- Refrigerator Water Filters
Refrigerator water filters are one of the most overlooked maintenance issues in the home. This is especially true of older fridges that have malfunctioning or non-existent indicators. This creates a moldy, bacterial haven so remember that the next time you’re dispensing water for your guests. Furthermore, most manufacturers cut costs during production by using the cheapest filters possible. Once they are sold to the consumer, the responsibility now lies with them. Make sure you’re changing the filter once every 3 to 6 months depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines
3. Clean your dryer exhaust
Over time your dryer will accumulate lint in its exhaust system. It not only saps power from the appliance, making it more inefficient, but also poses a serious fire hazard. To clean, locate the clamp and separate the exhaust from the dryer. Next remove any clumps of lint from the tubing and also the large hole in the back. Vacuum out any leftovers clumps in or on the machine.
- Refrigerator coils
Umm excuse me, but what are those? Fridges have coils located at the foot of your refrigerator or behind it. They’re typically protected behind a metal or plastic grill. These coils help to keep your fridge on at the right temperature and over time, dust and debris will gather on causing them to be less effective. To clean, simply take a vacuum cleaner with a hand attachment to suck up all the dust and debris. We recommend completing the process once every 6 months.
- Dishwasher Tines
While modern dishwashers require little maintenance, you still need to keep an eye out for rush that forms on your dishwashers’ tines. Rust will destroy precious silverware and expensive dishes over time. Be sure to replace the tines or use a tine repair kit at the first sign of rust.
6. Garbage Disposal
You might think it’s ok to have a nasty garbage disposal. After all, it’s meant for garbage being disposed of and that’s what it’s there for, right? Unfortunately a dirty disposal can be hazardous to your health. Imagine for a moment that you accidently cut yourself while chopping vegetables. You run your garbage disposal and notice a fork is stuck in it. You turn it off and grab the fork and BAM! You’ve just placed an open wound into a queen bee hive of mold and bacteria. There’s no telling how bad of an infection you can get. To properly clean your disposal, we recommend creating a mixture of vinegar, salt, and ice cubes. Pour the mixture down the drain, run cold water for 10 seconds, and finish off by turning it on and letting the disposal clean itself.
- Oven Seal
Have you recently cooked something in your oven only to find that your meat or cake was undercooked? The reason is most likely due to a loose oven seal. In fact, a loose seal can cause over a 20% loss in cooking power! To check your seal, simply open your oven and run your hand along the edges of the seal. If you notice any bumps, gaps, or tears, it’s time to replace the seal. Luckily they aren’t too expensive and take minimum time to install.
- Washing Machine Hoses
Ever come home to a flooded basement? Chances are that it came from a cracked water hose on your washing machine. It’s important to periodically check your water hoses once every 3-6 months to prevent any disastrous flooding. Be on the lookout for cracks, leaks, and other imperfections in the hose and make sure to replace immediately upon discovery.
- Air Conditioner
Having a source of cold, clean air is a godsend in the summer, but many homeowners forget, even neglect to maintain them during the winter if at all. While manufacturer recommendations will vary, it’s universally recommended that air conditioning filters be cleaned every two to four weeks, and replaced 1-2 times a year. To clean the filter, remove it from the unit and vacuum to remove dust. If the filter is made of paper, simply replace it.