Keep Your Appliances Going Longer

Regular maintenance on everything from your car to the appliances around your home can add up to savings. Consumer Reports' experts say there's plenty you can do to keep appliances, like your refrigerator, running longer.

Polly Bijur wants to keep her five-year-old refrigerator as long as possible.

"I'm hoping it lasts like 15 years," said Bijur. "My old refrigerator, I had to buy a new one after about seven. So I'm really hoping this one lasts longer."

So, she turned to Consumer Reports' appliance expert, Jim Nanni, for some advice.

"Most newer refrigerators have a fan and coil underneath that can collect dirt during operation. So one of the important steps is to remove this dirt and debris to maintain peak performance," said Nanni.

And check the gaskets around the door to make sure you've got a good seal.

To do that, close a dollar bill in the door. If it falls out, your gaskets need replacing.

As for you vacuum, simple maintenance can keep it going longer, too.

The belt often breaks, but it's cheap and easy to replace yourself.

And don't let the bag get jam-packed.

Changing it before it's overstuffed will reduce the stress on the motor.

A washing machine that shakes a lot on the spin cycle can get damaged. You want to make sure it's level.

"The washing machine itself typically has adjustable legs that will allow you to make sure it doesn't rock," said Nanni.

Also check the water hoses for wear and tear.

"Anything that you can do to maintain your appliances would help to extend their life and cost you less in the long run," said Nanni.

Consumer Reports says it's a good idea to check your owner's manual for more tips on how to maintain your appliances.

You'll find specific recommendations for cleaning your refrigerator coils and replacing the belt on your vacuum.

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