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5 Things You Shouldn't Do to Your Appliances

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Home appliances are expensive, especially when they come equipped with smart home technology and other modern features. Many homeowners insurance policies cover your appliances for home but will not cover them if the damage was caused by neglect or misuse. Home appliances are not as sturdy as industrial models, so they need to be treated with more care as there are many ways you could damage appliances and void your warranty.


Common Things You Do That Damage Appliances

Almost everyone is guilty of doing some of the following behaviors from time to time, but if appliances are treated with habitual contempt, they will revolt by eventually breaking down. We’ve listed a few things to keep in mind that will help you get a longer life out of your appliances and ensure that your homeowners insurance or appliance warranty will cover them when they do break.


Washing Machine

Frequently overloading washing machine drums causes them to overwork, which results in parts wearing out faster. Also, your clothing will be cleaner if you give it a little more space to circulate in the water. If your washer keeps stopping due to an unbalanced load, try taking a few items out and see if it fixes the problem. For a good rule of thumb, you should not load your washer more than 2/3 full or above the top of the agitator.

Another thing you should avoid is allowing coins and other objects to fly around in the washer. These can cause damage to parts by making their way into the filter or result in dings and chipped paint, which can cause the drum to rust. Make sure to check pockets and any loose items on clothing, for instance, buttons, before placing them in the washer.



Dryers catching on fire is one of the most common causes of house fires, and usually happens because the filter need cleaned. Make it a point to clean your filter after every use. Failing to do so can cause a lint buildup, which can catch fire if it gets too hot. Removing lint after each use also helps your dryer work more efficiently, saving you money in energy costs.

Failing to clean the filters also puts stress on the appliance parts, and if your dryer won't heat, it might be that the heating element has been working too hard trying to keep up. Like washing machines, clothes driers can be damaged if overloaded. If you find that your clothes are taking longer to dry, it may be that you’re filling the drum too full, and they’re not getting proper circulation.



Your refrigerator works based on the ability of cold air to circulate throughout all the areas. If your fridge won’t stay cold, it could be that it’s too full. If your refrigerator is packed, it’s possible that some of the food is not staying at the proper temperature, which can be a health risk. Over-packing your fridge can also cause uneven cooling. For example, if your butter is soft but items near the compressor are freezing, it can be due to improper air circulation.

Stuffing your refrigerator makes it work harder to attempt to keep the proper temperature. This can cause wear and tear on the compressor and components. Another thing to be aware of is that you need proper air circulation around the outside of the refrigerator, too. If your refrigerator is too close to the wall, the condenser coils might not be able to work properly. Moving your refrigerator out a few inches from the wall and making sure not to overstuff it can go a long way in preserving its life.



What happens if you overload your freezer? The answer to this is similar to what will happen if you overload your refrigerator. Your freezer needs proper room for air to circulate around the food to keep it at the proper temperature. You might consider purchasing a special storage system designed to keep your freezer organized, which also helps you locate items. You can also try a few small containers that will add a bit of extra air space around the food.



Dishwashers tend to take a lot of abuse. From overloading it to forgetting to change the filters, many people take this appliance for granted until it breaks. If you overload your dishes too tightly, they can bang together and break. These small broken pieces can make their way into the drain pump and other parts of the machine and cause further damage. In addition, food particles need to be rinsed off dishes before they go into the dishwasher to avoid clogging the pump. If your dishwasher keeps tripping breaker circuits, don’t use it until you have it looked at by a professional as it may not be safe since it combines both electricity and water.


Another Reason to Take Care of Appliances

If you make an insurance claim over a damaged appliance, your insurance company will typically investigate to find out the reason for the damage. If it turns out that lack of maintenance or improper use caused the damage, your homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or condominium insurance might not cover the cost of repairs or replacement.

One way to prevent damage to your appliances is to read the owner’s manual as soon as you buy and install a new appliance. The manual will give you tips on how to maintain your appliance and keep it working properly for a long time. If you have any other questions, you can either call a local repair shop or use the internet to get advice from other users.

These are some simple tips that will help you get the most out of your appliances and avoid unexpected repair bills. If you have any questions about whether your homeowners insurance covers appliances, or you want to buy a policy, call Wawanesa and speak with one of our helpful agents, who’ll be happy to help.



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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.