Consumer Watch: Household appliance repair and maintenance


by Andy Treinen

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM

(WHAS11) -- According to Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen,  the tools we rely on every day for heating, cooling, washing and drying aren't doing their jobs.

Not only are our appliances sputtering and choking years before they should, appliance repair professionals say it's our own fault.

Be honest, other than opening and closing your refrigerator, how much do you know about it? 

Have you ever really read the owners manual?

If you did, you'd know there are things you can do to improve performance

"The majority of the calls that we go out on are associated with the refrigerator," said Gary Miller from Mister Appliance.  "That is because those refrigerators run 24/7."

Cleaning the condenser coils is a simple vacuum cleaning job that will help your fridge run efficiently. You should also check the seal to make sure you're not wasting energy.

If you ever have a power outage, check your ice maker to make sure the ice hasn't melted. Ice makers break all the time when ice re-freezes around the auger.

Although our washers, dryers, microwaves and other appliances are a bit more reliable, maintenance is still cheaper than a service call.

"Consumers can expect to pay between $60-$100 for the actual service call to diagnose the problem. The parts and the labor are going to be in addition to that," said Angie Hicks from Angie’s List. "But keep in mind, many service companies will deduct that service call fee if you hire them to do the work, so don't be afraid to ask."

If you're thinking about replacing an appliance, here's a good rule. If the repair will cost more than half the cost of a new appliance and the unit is more than 6 years old, you're probably better off replacing it with a newer model.