Most people know that they should unplug their appliances when they’re not in use to save on energy costs, but few people know how to properly care for their appliances and keep them in good working order, as well as prolong their life.
Therefore, let’s discuss eight ways to keep your appliances in good condition and running smoothly. We’ll start with the essential tips and work our way up to more advanced advice, so whether you’re a novice or an expert appliance owner, there’s something here for everyone.
Clean your appliances often.
Dirt, grime, and dust can accumulate on the exterior and interior of your electrical devices, which could affect their performance. Make sure to periodically wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth or sponge and use a vacuum cleaner to suck away any dust that may have settled inside the vents.
You can also use a mild detergent or all-purpose cleaner to clean the surface of your appliance and use a compressed air canister to blow away any dust that may have settled into crevices and hard-to-reach areas.
Also, homemade cleaning products like vinegar and water solution can safely clean the exterior of certain appliances, like your microwave.
Check for frayed cords and loose parts.
Before using an electrical appliance, scrutinise it for any signs of damage in the power cord, plug prongs, and other components. Frayed wires can be hazardous and lead to electric shocks or even fires. Replace any worn-out or damaged parts before using the appliance again.
On the other hand, consumer units, cables, and electrical wiring should be checked by a qualified electrician. In the case of electrical damages, you will need to consider a consumer unit replacement cost, the cables’ replacement cost, and the labour costs. This also means that you must ensure all your electrical appliances are adequately insured.
Read the manual
Every appliance has a user manual containing all the information you need to operate safely and correctly. Read the manual before using the appliance and follow all instructions carefully. This includes how to use it and any maintenance information that is included, like when you need to replace parts or clean specific areas.
Additionally, you should also make sure to keep the manual in a safe place for future reference. That way, if you ever run into problems with your appliance, you can check the manual for guidance and instructions on troubleshooting.
Use a power strip
Power strips are designed to provide extra protection for your electrical devices by preventing them from overloading or shorting out. They also make it easy to switch off all your connected appliances in one go whenever you leave the house, thus saving energy and extending their lifespan. Invest in well-made, reliable power strips with surge protection to ensure your devices are adequately protected.
On the other hand, be sure not to overload your power strip, as this can cause them to malfunction.
Test the grounding
If you have any three-pronged plugs, make sure to test the grounding before using them. You will need a voltage tester available at most hardware stores. Simply plug it into the component and see if the light turns on; if not, you may need to replace it.
For instance, if your appliance has a three-pronged plug but only two prongs work, the ground wire likely needs to be fixed. In this case, you will need to replace the grounding plug with a new one.
However, always use the right outlet for your appliances and make sure they match up in voltage, current, and wattage rating. You can find these details on the back or bottom of the appliance or in the accompanying user manual.
Purchase from reputable retailers
Always buy an electrical appliance from a reputable retailer or manufacturer so that you know that it is safe and of good quality. This is especially important when purchasing second-hand appliances, as these may have yet to undergo the necessary safety checks before selling. Always purchase your appliance from an official manufacturer’s store or website when in doubt.
This will also mean that you’ll likely get a warranty, allowing you to get a free or discounted repair if any parts need replacing or your appliance stops working.
However, remember that warranties only apply to production defects and not user-induced damages, so follow the tips above for proper maintenance.
Monitor energy consumption
Your appliances will use more energy depending on how often and for how long they are used. Try to be mindful of this and avoid leaving them running unnecessarily, as this could lead to higher electricity bills.
You should also avoid overloading your electrical outlets. Remember, when you’re not using an appliance, unplug it from the wall outlet, as this will help save energy and prevent potential fire hazards. This is especially important for appliances that generate heat, like hair dryers, irons, and toasters.
Of course, some appliances need to work all the time, like refrigerators and freezers, and you should ensure that these devices are functioning correctly. Frequently clean the condenser coils of your fridge or freezer, so they don’t overheat and use too much energy.
Update your appliances regularly
Finally, update your electrical appliances regularly with any available firmware updates. This is especially the case for intelligent devices that can be connected to the internet and are subject to frequent software updates. These updates can help improve performance and security, so install them as soon as they become available.
You should replace old or outdated appliances with newer, more energy-efficient ones. This will help reduce your electricity bills and ensure that your home runs safely and efficiently.
As you can see, there are several ways to keep your electrical appliances in good order and functioning safely. Some simple tips include testing the grounding, purchasing from reputable retailers, monitoring energy consumption, and updating your appliances regularly. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your home runs efficiently and safely while saving you money on your electricity bills.