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appliance_maintenance(MCT)—Every day our appliances take a beating. From the constant opening and closing of doors to turning them on and off, our daily actions can eventually lead to a repair call or earlier-than-expected replacement.

With a little preventative maintenance and by following the manufacturers’ usage guidelines, though, we can keep our appliances in good working order and lasting longer.

Here are some tips of things you can do — and things you should never do — that can help keep your appliances in good shape:

Refrigerators — One easy step you can take to keep your refrigerator working well is to clean the condenser coils — typically located along the bottom or in the back of the unit — with a brush before vacuuming them out.

“That’s the No. 1 thing you can do to prolong the life of your refrigerator,” says Paul Hleovas with Reliable Appliance in Colorado Springs, Colo. “If those coils get clogged and that refrigerator can’t breathe, it overheats the compressor; it overheats the refrigeration and it eventually will lead to failure.”

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