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Living Smart: Appliance Maintenance

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By Angie Hicks

If you have an icemaker and water dispensers built into your refrigerator, it’s also important to change that filter per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

“If you don’t change your water filter, it can make the ice smaller, which can break the icemaker,” says James Smith, senior technician with 123 Appliance Repair in Pineville, N.C.

Stoves/Ovens — The self-cleaning feature on ovens is notorious for creating more problems than it solves. Avoid running this, especially before a big dinner party.

“I don’t recommend cleaning it around the holidays,” Smith says. “It can knock out a component and you might not have it for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Calls (for service) are really heaving during the holidays. If you do clean it, clean it by hand.”

Washing machines — Smith recommends checking the fill hoses on the back of the washer to make sure they’re in good shape. Also, avoid overloading a washing machine with too many clothes, as this can cause it to prematurely wear out.

Dryers — The most common issue with dryers is a clogged vent. If your dryer takes longer one cycle to dry a standard-sized load, a vent cleaning could rectify the issue. Cleaning out the lint screen after every load will help reduce lint buildup in the vent, but isn’t sufficient. Clogged dryer vents are common causes of house fires. It’s also important to check the duct leading out of the dryer and ensure it’s made of metal and not plastic.

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