Last updated on November 3, 2020 at 01:56 pm
While you probably remember to clean out the lint filter every time you use the dryer, it can be easy to forget that your washer and dryer are big, complicated machines that require regular maintenance. Maintaining these appliances will not only help keep them running efficiently, but it could also help to keep your home safe.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is not cleaning them. Water damage can take a toll, too. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety found that more than half of cases it reviewed in a study of water damage insurance claims were from washing machine hose failures.
Here are a few DIY laundry room maintenance tips to keep your machines in good working order and protect your home from unintentional damage:
Replace Your Washing Machine Hoses
Inspect your washing machine water hoses on a regular basis. They’re constantly in use and are vulnerable to damage from wear and tear. A burst hose could lead to substantial flooding inside your home. Replace your hoses if there’s any sign of wear. Keep in mind that rubber hoses may be a bit cheaper, but braided stainless steel hoses are typically more durable.
Clean Your Ducting
In addition to cleaning the lint trap before each use (this is important!), you should also consider vacuuming the lint trap area from time to time to remove excess or stubborn lint buildup. You should also clear any lint buildup in the exhaust ducting on the back of the dryer (typically rigid or flexible metal ducting) by simply removing the ducting. When you’re finished, make sure the ducting is completely reattached and sealed.
Keep Your Outside Vent Clear
Make sure your dryer is properly venting outside. The NFPA recommends checking the exhaust pipe vent flap to make sure it’s working freely and not blocked by other objects.
Wash the Washing Machine
Many newer washing machines have a self-cleaning cycle. Check your owner’s manual for recommended regular cleanings, and stick to the schedule. Some washers also have filters that need to be drained and cleaned on a regular basis – again, check your owner’s manual for specifics about your model.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your ability to maintain your machines yourself, call a professional for service. Plymouth Rock Assurance wants to hear your other laundry room maintenance tips – please share them in the comments below.
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