Is your kitchen run down, or looking a bit tired? Do you have that one stovetop burner that you never use because it doesn’t really work? Does your fridge make all sorts of strange sounds? Does your dishwasher cycle take forever, and things never end up properly cleaned or dry?
If so, then it might be time for a new kitchen. Designing and building a kitchen of your dreams can be an enjoyable experience, especially if you end up with a finished product that you were hoping for. A serious consideration to achieve this is exactly what appliances you want to have and where they will go. Thankfully many devices such as ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers are all somewhat standardised in their sizing, however unbeknownst to many people there are often ever so slight size differences between these items between different brands and even between different models. These differences often occur with where the mounting brackets might go, where the plumbing hoses exit and enter the appliance and where the power cord is located. Not allowing sufficient spacing for this can provide an unnecessary headache when installing these items.
So what’s the solution? Experienced kitchen, bathroom and laundry designers will often allow a little leeway for just such issues should they arise. Further to this, if possible, find and purchase the items you intend to install prior to the renovation so that all dimensions can be accurately measured prior to installation. This should allow for a seamless transition from old to new and the only thing you need to worry about is ensuring that the new devices continue to function as they are designed.
The inconvenience of broken-down appliances, can be frustrating, but then trying to find a replacement of the same quality and exact size even more so. So, what can you do to prolong the life of your appliances if you’re not an experienced and qualified electrician?
Read the Instructions
Do you know what all the functions of your appliance are and how they differ? Reading the manual can answer those questions as to what exactly that button does, and also tell you if you’re doing something that’s not in the best practises of your machine. Worry not if you’ve lost your manual as it’s often quite easy to lookup these manuals online via the manufacturers websites.
A simple way to improve the lifespan of your dishwasher is to keep it clean. Ensure you don’t forget to scrape any dirty plates and put any large amounts of food into the machine. If it has a self-clean cycle ensure you run this to the suggested specifications from the manufacturer. If not at least run this every 6 months to ensure the pipes are flushed of any build up. Also ensure you check the filter on a regular basis, like every month, or more so if you’ve been doing extra heavy loads.
Fridges & freezers
Given the size of these items, having to replace a fridge is probably the worst item to consider. Not only is finding a new fridge in the exact same size somewhat impossible but moving them around to access the rear can also be somewhat difficult. If your fridge is less than 5 years old than neither of the below options are likely to apply, but not overfilling it is your best course of action. Not only will it help prolong the life of your device, but it will also use less energy! Win win!
Some older fridges have exposed cooling coils at their rear, which over time can build up dust, so if you can get someone to help you move your fridge carefully, then you may be able to give this a vacuum and keep them working efficiently. If your freezer doesn’t have an auto-defrost function, it’s important to remember to defrost your freezer once a year.
Washing machines and Dryers
Similar to the function of fridges both washing machines and dryers need to have a certain percentage of space for either water or hot air to flow around the articles of clothing to safely and sufficiently wash and dry them. So don’t overfill them. Also like you fridge if you fill these appliances too much they will need to work harder, and so will use more energy, and shorten the lifespan of the device. Oh and it’s likely that the wash/dry cycle didn’t work properly so you’ll need to run it again.
Keeping these devices clean can also help prolong their lifespan, so emptying their filters regularly is important. Throwing a dishwashing tablet into your washing machine and running an empty load is a secret hack that will help clear out and build up and muck from the machine and the drainage pipes, and give it a bit of a sparkle.
Prolonging the life of your appliances and saving you money is essentially the goal of some of these tips and tricks. However, should your appliance begin to not operate properly, contacting your local electrician might save you more money then simply buying a new machine, especially if your old machine is inefficient!