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“A four-inch duct out of the back of the dryer is made to blow out a certain amount of cubic-feet-per-minute of air,” Hleovas says. “If that is restricted, even in the slightest bit, you will burn (it) out.”

Dishwashers — Avoid leaving a dishwasher running with no one home. If the automatic shutoff valve fails, you could come home to an overflowing unit, which could create thousands of dollars in water damage. Also, never put dish soap in a dishwasher.

“Just one drop of hand dish washing liquid in a dishwasher and suds will just pour out the front,” Hleovas says.

Often, when an appliance stops working, our first urge is to think we have to replace it. Calling a reputable company first, though, could save you big bucks. A new appliance could cost thousands of dollars, but the average price of a repair call typically ranges from $60-100. Typically, if a repair will cost more than half of the cost of a new unit and the old appliance is more than half its life expectancy — say, six or seven years into its life — it’s likely time to replace it.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care.

© 2013, http://www.angieslist.com/
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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