It seems to be a rule of the universe that the more inconvenient it is to be without your (fill in the blank), the more likely it is that your (fill in the blank) will break down. Sometimes stuff breaks no matter how well you take care of it. But there are some basic things you can do to minimize the chance that there’s no hot water for a shower on the day you have to meet your new boss.
Electronics Installing a surge protection device (SPD) offers a level of protection for your electronics — provided they’re plugged into it of course. There are unnoticeable electrical power surges every day that can slowly damage your equipment over time, adding up to a complete equipment failure. An SPD, such as a protective power strip, can help protect your electronics from both sudden and compounding power surge events.
Air-conditioners Air conditioning units are complex systems that can break down for a variety of reasons ranging from corrosion on the interior unit to overheating the compressor in the outdoor unit. All of this can be prevented with simple, regular home maintenance.
Preventing corrosion on the interior air conditioning unit is as simple as storing paints and any other materials with acidic qualities in another location, away from the unit. The air conditioner relies on a clean air supply surrounding the unit. When acidic particles combine with moisture on the systems metal coils, they can cause the unit to corrode. In addition, regularly replacing the filters and vacuuming the wall registers improves the indoor air flow, especially in environments that are excessively dusty or have pet dander.
The most effective home maintenance tip for your outdoor unit is to ensure the surrounding area is clear of debris. This will allow proper ventilation to maximize efficiency.
Refrigerators It’s hard to believe that dust and dirt settling on the compressor, electronics and coils behind your refrigerator could result in a breakdown, but it’s true. The components are critical to ensuring your refrigerator is properly cooled. When dust builds up on the components, it reduces proper air ventilation requiring the refrigerator to work harder and run hotter. Maintaining proper ventilation improves your refrigerators performance life and protects your unit from a breakdown.
Dryers Clothing dryer units frequently break down due to overheating. This is often caused by poor air supply and ventilation within the unit. As a result the motor needs to work harder to perform at an optimal level. Clean the lint filter after every use and clean the dryer vents annually to prevent clogging. This will not only improve the performance and life expectancy of your unit, but it can also help prevent a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, clogged vents result in more than 9,000 fires every year.
Hot water heaters Hot water heaters can crack and leak due to sediment buildup within the unit. Just like any other appliance or area in your home, hot water heaters need to be cleaned. Over time, particles and minerals within your water will settle and begin to build up around the interior of the unit. This buildup can also coat the heating element, which can lead to corrosion. Drain your water heater once a year to clean the interior and remove particle buildup. This will decrease sediment buildup and prevent cracks and leaks. It can also improve the performance of your unit, saving you money to operate the unit.
No matter how well you take care of your stuff, things can break down. Call your Grinnell Mutual agent today to see how you can keep your bank account up and running with our great Equipment Breakdown coverage.
This article includes information from Mutual Boiler Re, reprinted with permission.
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