Every spring we all try and tackle a spring cleaning list; the hardworking machines that make our lives so much easier deserve a top spot on that list. One or two afternoons are all you should need to check everything off your list and then relax knowing you’ve made your home more energy efficient, with the added bonus of extending the lifespan of your appliances.

  • Dehumidifier – Clean the water container. If your dehumidifier has a filter, replace it. Check the cooling coils to ensure they are in good condition. The first time you turn on your dehumidifier for the season, make sure the humidity is set to the correct level. Or, simply have your dehumidifier serviced by a professional to ensure it’s ready to go.
  • Water heater – At least once a year, your storage-tank water heater should be flushed of all the dirt, sediment, and minerals that collect at the bottom.  This keeps it running correctly and efficiently. It also avoids the chance of the sediment causing your tank to rust.
  • Air conditioner – Your central air conditioning unit should be tuned-up and maintained every spring. A professional will make sure your system is ready for the long, hot summer ahead. By having this done annually, you will extend the life of this expensive equipment.
  • Refrigerator – Pull your fridge out from the wall, then brush and vacuum all the coils, including in front, underneath, and behind. Clean the drain pan. Wash all shelves and bins inside, as well as the walls. Especially important is cleaning all the door seals.  If there is anything sticky on them, it may cause the gaskets to tear.
  • Oven – Don’t run the self-cleaning feature; it actually is very hard on the wiring and electronic components. Equally important is to never use chemical spray-on cleaners, which emit toxic fumes all through your home. All you really need is a warm cloth and dish soap. If you clean the oven when it is warm, but cool enough to touch, it should be fairly easy to remove any baked-on foods.
  • Dishwasher – Since your dishwasher removes food, it is prone to clogs that keep it from cleaning properly and make it run less efficiently.  Remove and wash racks, then clean corners and gaskets, removing all food buildup. Read your user manual to learn how to remove the spray arms, and then wash using soap and water. If your dishwasher has a filter basket, remove and empty it.  Reassemble all the parts, and run your dishwasher without any dishes once to ensure that everything has been reassembled correctly.
  • Washing Machine – Wipe down the exterior as well as the door, removing all accumulated dust, lint, and detergent.  Pour two cups of vinegar into the tub and run on hottest cycle to remove detergent build-up and odors. If possible, remove and wash bleach and fabric softener dispensers.
  • Dryer – Dryer vents need to be thoroughly cleaned every year; this means more than the lint filter. Dryer vents are the number one source of fire in the home. You can purchase a vent cleaning kit at hardware stores and appliance stores.  Ensuring your vent is clear could save your home and your life.

Sources:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/garden/27fix.html