You probably don't think your everyday actions are harming your major appliances. But chances are -- you're doing something to at least one of them that could lead to an emergency repair call. Over time -- abusing or neglecting your appliances will bring about an earlier-than-expected end to their useful life.
"The more water you have in there, the more freely your clothes are going to move around and wash," says Rick Cantleberry of Turner Appliance
Cantleberry says overloading the washing machine is the most common mistake he sees customers make.
"The rule of thumb is come up to the top hole of your inner tub. Your inner tub, your outer tub on the outside of that is what holds the water, so you bring your clothes up to about right there which is really only about two-thirds of the way up on your agitator.)
An off-balance load can also cause damage to your washer.
"Wash heavy things with other heavy things. Light things with other light things, weight wise. You want to wash jeans with towels and T-shirts with underwear and socks, things like that," says Cantleberry.
To help reduce build-up in the tub of your top loader, clean it regularly. If you have a front loader, wipe the door down to prevent a mildew odor.
Cantleberry says, "When you're done with the washer for the day, wipe it out real good, the boot inside there and keep it dry and keep the door cracked open a little if you can. That's lets the air get in there and doesn't suffocate the inside and cause mold growth."
When it's time to dry your clothes -- clean the lint screen after every load. If you use dryer sheets -- you also need to rinse the screen.
"If the water you run through here, it pools up on here, it doesn't come through, you know you have a problem you can use a wire brush of some sort to clean that."
Angie's List says if you skip maintenance, you may find yourself in the market for a new washer and dryer.
"When it comes to replacing your washing machine, typically a top loading washing machine starts at about $350 while a front loader starts at about $700. Some members have actually told us they considered buying refurbished appliances, but if you are doing that make sure you understand if they come with a warranty or do they come as-is," says Angie Hicks from Angie's List.
Here's another tip -- you know the rubber hoses connected to your washing machine? Over time they can rot and burst -- which will leave you with a big mess. Replace them with stainless steel braided hoses.