Modern life is comfortable thanks to the many labor-saving devices we have around the house. We also have household systems that we rarely even think of – except when they make their presence felt by not working as they should! Keeping all these comforts in good working order can turn out to be a costly exercise, so our goal is to maximize their usefulness by keeping them well-maintained. When all else fails, we need a backup plan! Here’s how to go about it.
1. Home Warranties – or an Emergency Fund
If your heating system breaks down in the middle of an icy winter, or your aircon stops working in a heatwave, things can get mighty uncomfortable. A broken fridge or freezer could cost you a lot in spoiled food, and so on. Home repairs like these become an urgent matter, so it’s no surprise that you can get insurance against it. First American Home Warranty coverage provides a good example of how such a policy might look. Like all insurance policies, there’s a chance you might never claim, so you could take a gamble and just put money aside for possible breakdowns – if you have enough self-discipline.
2. Never Use Appliances or Systems Without Reading the Manual
Reading operating and maintenance instructions won’t always give you information you didn’t already have at your disposal, but it’s still worth doing so just in case you find surprises. Little things like the type of detergents you use for cleaning them, or the amount of space you should leave around an appliance can be hugely important.
It could even be a safety issue. Did you know that fires caused by clothes dryers cause fatalities in the US every year? That’s not taking into account the tens of millions of dollars worth of damages they cause. Invariably, it’s wrong use of the appliance that causes problems, rather than anything inherently bad in the appliance itself.
3. Keep a Maintenance Schedule for Home Systems and Appliances
Just as your car has a maintenance schedule you should stick to if you want it to last, so appliances and home systems like heating and air conditioning need their share of attention. While some basics like cleaning out filters or cleaning fridges are simple DIY jobs, others, like maintaining HVAC systems, are strictly for professionals. Check their credentials to ensure that they know what they’re doing. An amateur job can do more harm than good. Be sure to diarise annual maintenance and keep an eye on the regular tasks you need to perform in order to maintain appliances.
Nothing lasts forever, but using items according to specification and maintaining them well could extend their lifespan. For example, most appliance manufacturers expect their products to last for around ten years, but with care, it’s possible for them to last even longer. It’s also worth choosing high-quality items that were built to last, even if that means that prices are higher. Ultimately, it can represent a saving, and a penny saved is a penny earned.