Fall is a great time of year to catch-up on some home maintenance projects you have been putting off. Two appliances that are often neglected and can cause big problems are the washer and dryer, and at ServiceMaster of Baltimore we know that many of these are preventable.
Dryers are an important part of everyday living; however, a dryer can erupt into flames if lint is allowed to build up inside the machine or its ducts. Cleaning and vacuuming dust from vents, baseboard heaters and cold-air returns will help prevent accidental fires (regular lint-trap cleaning, while necessary, won’t keep lint from collecting in the duct). It is important to be mindful of the ducts in your home. Discarding the dryer’s flimsy — and flammable — vinyl duct and putting a metal one in its place is one way to prevent a dryer fire. Also, dust build-up in ducts is a major cause of indoor pollutants and can increase incidences of cold-weather illnesses. Consider hiring a professional to clean hard-to-reach ductwork.
Washing machines are another appliance often overlooked. When left unattended, a burst washing-machine hose can spill hundreds of gallons of water an hour. Preventing such mishaps is as easy as replacing a washer’s old rubber hoses, ideally with steel-jacketed ones that can’t split open.
Once you’ve made those two major upgrades, get in the habit of checking hoses and cleaning ducts every six months. Hoses should be replaced every five years. It’s a good idea to tag these projects with the date you installed them so you won’t forget. Better yet, put the date you need to service your appliances on your e-mail calendar! Your appliances will last longer, run better, use less energy, and could save you a major expense resulting from water or fire damage.