Everyday I get asked if the cost of parts and repair are worth doing or just to get a new appliance. Totally up to you, but rule of thumb is that if the cost of repair is over half the cost of new, go ahead and replace.
One good thing to help extend the life of your appliances is regular maintainence and cleaning - here are a few things that need to be on your to-do list
- Keep your stove clean - regular cleaning of not only the oven, but under your burners, too. Use care when cleaning the control panel as squirting cleaner on any electronics could short them out. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scrubbies on these either. Squirt cleaner on your sponge or soft cloth and use that. I've had people tackle their control panels with Comet and steel wool and have taken off all the markings on the panel. Do not use foil under your elements! In oven or on top. This can dramatically shorten the life of the elements. New drip pans are relatively inexpensive.
- Clean out your microwave weekly - more often if a mess is made. If you look inside you will see a small cover about 4 to 5 inches square. This is called a wave guide cover and helps distribute the microwaves around the oven. If this gets cover with food debris you may see sparks that may cause damage to your microwave. You can loosen baked on food by putting a bowl of water with a splash of lemon juice and running the microwave for 5 to 10 minutes to steam and loosen the food particles. Use care in cleaning the controls also. The electonics can short out if too much cleaner is used.
- Clean your vent hood of accumulated dust and grease both outside and in. If you have just a grease filter (no charcoal in it) you can either soak it in hot soapy water or run it through the dishwasher. If you have a charcoal filter, replace it.
- Check the filters in your dishwasher for debris - pieces of paper or plastic, twist ties, large pieces of food, etc. Check your racks for wear - if you see bare metal, ask your tech or call W L May for rack "goop". Run a cleaner like Affresh, Glisten or Dishwasher Magic through it.
- While you are running the cleaner through the dishwasher, if you have a garbage disposal, dump some ice cubes and run it through along with Disposer Care, Plink or Affresh (all found at W L May!) to keep it smelling nice.
- Clean out the refrigerator and freezers inside and out. Don't forget the condenser coils. If you don't have a frost free freezer, defrost before the ice gets to 1/2" thick. Do not use sharp objects (knife, ice pick,etc.) as you may damage the liner. A hair dryer will help melt that ice faster.
- Clean your dryer and venting system of lint both inside and out - take off the front panel and get the vacuum or brush around the outside area of the drum and motor. You should be cleaning out the lint trap on every load. Wipe down the outside, too.
- Run some Affresh or Washer Magic through your washer to clean out any sludge. Use care when using a pre-wash on your clothes and getting that on your machine as it could eat into the finish and cause rusting. Wipe it all down.