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Has Any of Your Home Appliances Ever Conked Off On Christmas Eve?

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If you have an old washer dryer or fridge which you suspect will ditch you on Christmas eve or if you're planning on making saving money part of your 2014 New Years' resolution, then you'll need to make a real effort to recognize where you're spending unnecessary cash. One surprising way you can save money in 2014? Carefully inspect your home appliances before shelling out for a replacement.

Our common household appliances make our lives easier than ever: we can wash our dishes hands-free, dry our clothes in half the time and extend the shelf life of our favorite foods. However, when these appliances break down, people may find themselves panicking at the thought of facing a repair bill or replacement appliance valued at hundreds--even thousands--of dollars.

Though people often use several appliances every day, most people don't know the first thing about how to diagnose or fix even the simplest of issues. Thankfully, more often than not, problems with appliances can be remedied by relatively inexpensive replacement parts (rather than a complete overhaul or replacement). By learning the most common appliance concerns that can be rectified with simple and inexpensive repairs, you can extend the life cycle of your appliances and keep more of your hard earned money in the bank.

Washing Machine Concerns

While laundry services are always available, it is more cost effective and convenient to do your own laundry at home. Depending on the make and model you selected, investing in a washing machine can cost anywhere from £185 to well over £600 as you can see here. When you have made an investment in an appliance, you want to extend its life as long as possible by replacing and repairing your machine, as opposed to investing in a new one altogether. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that the average lifespan of washer is 14 years, meaning if you're experiencing either of these two problems after just a few years, you may want to think twice before ordering a new appliance:

Your Machine Won't Spin

If your washing machine turns on and off successfully and the water is filling and draining as required, but it is not spinning, there may be a simple solution: problems with spinning are often caused by a worn, damage, or broken belt. A new washer/dryer drive belt can cost anywhere from £12 to £30; considerably less than the cost of a new washing machine. As an added benefit, most homeowners can replace the washer belt without the assistance of a repairman.

Your Machine is Leaking

A leaking washing machine can be quite a concern because it can lead to extensive damage in other areas of your home. However, a leaking washing machine can often be fixed by replacing a hose, cleaning or replacing your lint filter, or by identifying and freeing up any kinks in your hose. If you've had significant leaking for an extended period of time, be sure to perform a careful inspection of your carpet or floorboards for mold or water damage after replacing the part.

Dryer Concerns

Like washing machines, dryers are another appliance that can be expensive to replace. They are also appliances that are used regularly--and frequent use can result in the general "wearing down" of parts. However, one of the most common things that will result in your dryer not turning on is a defective door switch. The door switch is located within the front panel, which is easy to remove, easy to replace, and an inexpensive part to purchase.

Another common problem is a dryer that requires several cycles to completely dry clothing. While this could necessitate a replacement filter, it could also mean your dryer is too close to the wall. Making these small fixes will net you major savings in your electric bill since you will no longer need to run your dryer several times a day.

Repairing a Leaky Dishwasher

Having a dishwasher is a major convenience that saves you time and energy after preparing meals for your family and friends. While you can still wash your dishes by hand, having a dishwasher may be something you've grown accustomed to. One of the most common, yet easily remedied, dishwasher issues is pooling water on the floor in front of the machine. Every dishwasher has a rubber gasket that helps to create a seal that prevents water from escaping. If your gasket is worn, or has been damaged, water will escape. By replacing your gasket, you can continue to use your dishwasher as needed.

Some homeowners mistakenly believe that film or soap residue left on dishes after a rinse cycle signifies a problem with the dishwasher. Rather, this could just be a problem with your detergent. Speaking to Better Homes and Gardens, Mark Bledsoe recommends using enzyme-based detergents and cautions against pre-washing dishes.

Refrigerators

The primary purpose of your refrigerator is to keep your food at a safe temperature for consumption. However, if you find that your refrigerator is running warmer than usual, you'll want to prepare it as soon as possible to limit the risk of food poisoning. Luckily, there is a simple fix to this common problem.

Every refrigerator has condenser coils that can fill with the dust and lint, and occasionally need to be replaced. By vacuuming your coils and checking them for damage, you can keep your refrigerator operating at an ideal temperature.

While all appliances will need to be replaced at some point, the lifespans of major appliances are often much longer than most people assume (typically 10-15 years). More often than not, you can save hundreds of dollars by investing in a replacement part or making small do-it-yourself fixes. By knowing what to look for, and how to replace the basic operating parts of your most used appliances, you can keep them operating at their desired level--and save money for the New Year.

 
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