Routine maintenance is the best way to get the most out of your appliances. Youprobably know you should clean the lint filter every time you use the dryer and change the HVAC air filterregularly. But there are several other important things you should do to help keep your home safe and yourappliances running strong.These maintenance tips can help lower utility bills, save time and energy, increase safety and extend the lifeof your appliances.P.3 Fridge Maintenance TipsP.7 Dryer Maintenance TipsP.4 Oven and Stovetop Maintenance TipsP.8 HVAC Maintenance TipsP.5 Dishwasher Maintenance TipsP.9 Appliance Maintenance ResolutionsP.6 Washer Maintenance Tips2

Fridge Maintenance Tips1Check the temp.Refrigerator temperatures fluctuateseasonally. Place a thermometer in thecenter of the middle shelf (not on thedoor). Be sure food is stored safelybelow 40 F.TIP: Sometimes refrigerators don’t operate properlybecause the room they’re in is too hot or too cold.Keep that in mind, especially as the weather heats upor cools off dramatically.234If not sealed correctly, thefridge will run longer thannormal, increasing energy useand raising the temperatureinside the refrigerator.5Clean the condenser coil regularly.6Change the water filter.Don’t block airflow.Improper ventilationaround the outsideof a fridge will causeincreased energy usageand p ossible earlyequipment failure.Don’t overcrowd.You need airflow insideas well to make sure allfoods are equally cooled.Avoid the urge to stackitems or cram in toomany containers.Inspect the door gaskets fortears, gaps or air leakage.Dirty condensers increasethe energy needed tooperate the fridge andcan cause early failure.Clean the coil with abrush or vacuum — justbe sure to unplug thefridge first.Don’t ignore the filter indicatorwhen it says it’s time forreplacement. Filters pushed pasttheir limits can no longer fully trapcontaminants.TIP: Subscribe to a water filter replacement program likethe one Sears offers so you’ll never have to worry aboutpicking up a new filter.3

Oven and Stovetop Maintenance Tips1Unplug the oven before cleaning.If it’s accessible, it’s agood idea to unplug youroven before cleaning theinterior by hand. This isespecially important ifyou’re using water.TIP: Use vinegar, baking soda and water to make a DIYoven cleaner.23Deep clean the grates.Spray grates with ovencleaner, put them in aplastic bag and let it sit for24 hours. Then wash thegrates with soap and water.4Self clean.5Check the gas line whenyou get a new oven.Check your owner’s manualfor more information anddetailed instructions.Be careful cleaning the knobs.This mistake is one of themajor reasons for ovenservice calls. If you spritzcleaning fluid under theknobs, you’re essentiallyspraying the oven’s electricalsystem. That’s not safe!TIP: You can clean the knobs themselves by pullingthem off and popping them in warm soapy water.Your installer can checkyour gas line and replaceit if needed when installingthe new oven. You don’twant gas leaking into yourkitchen.4

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips1Clean your dishwasherwith vinegar.Pour 2 cups of vinegar in thebottom of the dishwasherand run a cycle. Mid-waythrough, stop it for 15-20minutes to let the vinegarwork i ts magic,and then continue with the cycle.3Soak the filter.4Wipe around thedishwasher door seal.Use a vinegar and watersolution and a rag (or evena soft toothbrush).TIP: To prevent damage, use a spray or wipe made forstainless steel to clean the outside of the dishwasher.52Eyeball the holes in thespray arms.If debris is clogging any of them, usea toothpick or needle-nose pliers toclear them — but be careful not toscratch the arms!Some dishwashers have aremovable filter on the bottom.Soak it in soapy water for a bit,rinse it off and pop it back in.Tackle mold with bleach.Fill your detergent holder with bleach andrun a cycle in your empty dishwasher.TIP: Don’t use bleach with any other cleaners — especiallynot vinegar — and if your dishwasher’s interior is stainless,check your owner’s manual.5

Washer Maintenance Tips1Inspect the hoses.2Don’t overload it.3Use the right type of detergent.4Use the right amount of detergent.5Every month or so, make sure there are nobulges or cracks and that the fittings are tight.6This can damage washer, so break uplaundry into smaller loads.Make sure you’re using the right kind for yourmodel. Many energy-efficient washers require alow-sudsing HE detergent.Too much detergent will leave aresidue and can be hard on yourwasher. Pods make it easy, but ifyou’re using liquid, measure accordingto the manufacturer’s directions.Clean the interior and dispensers.Yes, you need to wash the washer to helpkeep it clean and smelling fresh.TIP: Every month or so, run an empty load of hot waterwith 2 cups of white vinegar. In the middle of the washcycle, add ½ cup of detergent. Then let the cycle complete.Wipe down the drum, door and gasket.A monthlycleaning helpsensure thewasher won’t giveoff odors that canseep into yourlaundry.TIP: Use equal parts water and vinegar and a cottonswab or two to clean the gasket.78Leave the door ajarafter a load.Ever notice a smell when you openyour washer to start a load? Lettingit air dry can help prevent odors.Transfer clean laundry to thedryer as soon as it’s done.Letting wet clothes languish in thewasher can cause mold and mildew.6

Dryer Maintenance Tips1Clean the exhaust vent atleast once a year.Remove the vent fromthe back of the dryer andclear out any built-up lint.TIP: Removing lint is the most important thing to do tohelp prevent fires.23Check the vent cap outside.It’s common for debris,dirt or snow to build uparound the vent. Clear itout every so often to letthe air flow freely.4Don’t just clean it afterevery load — wash it everythree months.TIP: Use a bit of laundry detergent and rinse it thoroughly orpop it in the dishwasher to clear residue left by dryer sheets.5Clean out the lint trap.6Replace vinyl or plastic exhaust ventswith metal.Remove the screen anduse a dryer lint brushto clean inside the trapitself. Lint can build upthere, too.Plastic exhaust vents aremore likely to catch fire.Play it safe with metal.Don’t overload it.Large loads take longer todry and use more energy.And if clothes don’t drycompletely, you may endup with a musty smell.Deep clean your lint screen.7Clean the inside.Give the inside a wipedown with a microfibercloth and a bit of rubbingalcohol to remove anydryer sheet residue. Let itdry thoroughly.7

HVAC Maintenance Tips1Give it a checkuptwice a year.Have an expert do a preventivemaintenance check in the springand fall to look for motor orelectrical failures.4Know the best temp.The optimal temperaturefor cost savings is 78ºduring the summer a nd68º during the winter.78TIP: No matter what type of HVAC system you have,Sears can handle repairs, maintenance and replacement.2Replace the filter everyfew months.3Clear outside debris.5Change it out, even if it doesn’t lookdirty. Any buildup reduces the amountof air the system draws in.Cut or remove plants thatare encroaching on yourcondenser so it can pullin fresh air from all sides.Make sure to allow for atleast 12 inches of spacearound the coil.6Check the flame.Your furnace flame shouldbe a nice, crisp blue. If it’swavy, orange or yellow,call a technician.Clean the condensate drain line.Every three months, poura solution of 1 cup bleachand 3 cups water downthe condensate drain tubeto keep it clear of algaeand other debris.TIP: Turn off the unit and use a hose (with no sprayattachment) to wash off dirt and debris.8

Appliance Maintenance ResolutionsResolve to complete one small task each month, so by the end of the year your appliances will feel like new.JanuaryClean your refrigerator’s condenser coils.DecemberFebruaryChange your water filter again, andresolve to repeat these resolutions.Clean your microwave.NovemberMarchStop ignoring frost buildupin your freezer.Clean or replace your dryer vent.AprilOctoberChange the filter and clean thecondenser coils in your air conditioner.Clean your disposal.SeptemberMayClean the door gasket onyour dishwasher.Use your oven’sself-cleaning feature.JuneAugustChange the water filter in your fridge.Clean out your fridge.JulyCheck the hoses on your washing machine.9

These maintenance tips can help lower utility bills, save time and energy, increase safety and extend the life of your appliances. P.3 Fridge Maintenance Tips P.4 Oven and Stovetop Maintenance Tips P.5 Dishwasher Maintenance Tips P.6 Washer Maintenance Tips 2 P.7 Dryer Maintenance Tips P.8 HVAC Maintenance Tips P.9 Appliance Maintenance Resolutions