Taking care of your home appliances is a lot like taking care of your vehicle. Both are expensive, and if they aren’t maintained properly you’ll find yourself pouring money into repairs that could have otherwise been avoided. Today we’ll cover five common missteps when it comes to up-keeping your household appliances and show you how to plan ahead to save on repairs.

  1. Clean refrigerator condenser coils or fans
    Just like changing the oil in your car, the best approach to maintaining your appliances is by keeping a schedule.  The coils or fans beneath your refrigerator aren’t something you probably look at often. But they can get covered in household lint and dirt, which will shorten the life of your unit. We recommend cleaning them twice a year (mark it on your calendar!) or, if you’re a pet owner, check the coils every couple months–all that fur your dog loses in the spring will end up clinging to your refrigerator coils. Be sure to check your manual on the best way to clean your refrigerator.
  2. Avoid your oven’s self-clean feature
    Many modern ovens offer what seems like a saving grace–a “self-clean” feature. Imagine never again having to reach into the depths of a grease splattered oven. The catch? This popular function can also damage your oven or blow fuses. Plus it’ll probably set off your smoke detector in the process. Our best advice? Baking soda and vinegar–consider it today’s arm workout and scrub.
  3. Rinse dishwasher filters
    Many modern dishwashers in the USA crush food debris before draining them to avoid clogging your fixtures. This comes at the cost of being much louder than filter-based dishwashers. If your dishwasher has a filter ideally you should clean it at least as often your refrigerator, but if you start to notice a smell from the washer when it’s clean you know it’s time to rinse out the filter.
  4. Empty your dryer lint trap after each use
    When your dryer can’t move air efficiently it can’t dry efficiently. Running a dryer with a full lint trap places undue stress on the dryer, shortening its lifespan. The best way to remember this one is to make a habit out of cleaning it immediately when you open the dryer door. If you plan to clean the lint trap after you fold your clothes you may forget as you leave to put away your clothes.
  5. Don’t overload your washing machine
    We’ve all had nightmares of coming home to a soapy lake in our basement. Overfilling your washing machine usually won’t cause it to overflow. But it can damage or break the machine. Mind the size of your load when you fill the machine and save those king sized comforters for the laundromat. A good rule of thumb for load sizes: a small load fills a 1/3 of the machine, medium fills 1/2, and a large load fills 3/4.Keep these five cleaning tips in mind and you could end up saving hundreds on your home appliances.

Update your window treatments to add a different feel to your home. You can choose from more than a dozen treatments, styles and designs. While shopping for window treatments, focus on color, texture and size. Thickness and material are two other important features to focus on when choosing window treatments. Important points and styles to consider include:

Check out these window treatment options

As a starting point, consider the number of windows that you have at your house. Also,ask yourself a few questions. For example – Do you want to leave any of the windows uncovered or decorated with only a top hem? How many single panes do you need to get treatments for? Walk through every room at your house. Your kitchen may have short, double pane windows, while your bathroom may have a short, single pane window.

Fabric and rods

Fabric that window treatments are made in vary, ranging from silk to cotton, lace, linen and polyester. Heavier fabric adds extra insulation to your house. On the flip side, heavier fabric blocks out natural light. After you choose the fabric that you want, it’s time to measure your windows.

Measure the length and width of your windows before you buy window treatments. You want enough material to cover a single or double pane, depending on the type of windows you have. Before you measure your windows, decide if you want to mount a rod outside or inside the window frame.

To mount your rod outside the window frame, take measurements horizontally from the top edge of the window. To mount the rod on the inside of the window frame, measure the actual window. Also, measure the length of windows.

Regarding getting the treatments that you want, you could buy two single pane treatments and use them on a double pane window. Just make sure that the top border fits both rods, as some double pane windows are designed to fit one long window rod instead of two short rods.

Blinds

Cord blinds are traditional window treatments that make it a cinch to invite natural light into your home. A downside of installing cord blinds is that the cords could get tangled or become a safety hazard if young children play with them. Cordless blinds lower this danger. Just know that there are cords in cordless blinds.They stream through the blinds instead of hanging off a side of the blinds.

Shades

There are wood, bamboo, Roman, roller, cellular and metal window shades. Too add personality to shades, you could get custom designs on the shades. Darker shades can reduce outside noise at your house. To truly soundproof your home,consider installing soundproof windows. If you like a natural look, you could install bamboo or natural wood shades. It’s a great way to get an island look and feel.

Shutters

Panels on shutters are thicker than panels found on traditional shades. Shutters work well with cottages and beachfront homes. A drawback with shutters is that they may bang during high winds or storms.

Headers to top off window treatments spotlight your design choices. There is so much that you can do with window treatments. You could even change window treatments in one to two rooms of your house every several years. It could give you the sense that you’re living in an upgraded space.

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