Prepare Appliances for Your Vacation

5 Steps to Prepare Your Appliances for Vacation

It's that time of year again. You're getting ready to take your vacation, but you haven't really thought about getIng your appliances ready for your extended absence. Here's a list of what you should do to make sure your appliances will not flood your house, spoil your food, or otherwise create havoc while you're away.

  1. Some appliances, such as your water heater or refrigerator, may have a Vacation Mode. If so, utilize this handy setting. It makes some internal energy saving adjustments.

  2. Run an empty load through your washer and dishwasher. Use whatever cleaner you normally use for cleaning that appliance such as Affresh or LemiShine. For vacations of 2 weeks or longer, prevent odor build up by leaving the door or lid on the washer and dishwasher open while you're away. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. This will keep the dishwasher free from odor, and the rubber seal in the bottom of the dishwasher moist.

  3. Turn off the water supply line to refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher. (I'm paranoid about water leaks).

  4. For vacations that are more than just a long weekend, remove perishables from the refrigerator, and turn the icemaker off. That usually means just lifting the metal bar in the ice maker to its highest/off position. In some refrigerators only the ice bin is accessible, not the ice maker itself. For these models, there will be a separate on/off switch for the ice maker (see below example).

    Refrigerator-Icemaker

  5. Your refrigerator is going to be on while you're away, and it will use more electricity if it is empty. So, if you've removed most or all of the food from your refrigerator, fill a few empty plastic gallon jugs with water, and place them in the refrigerator.

*Most of the tips are for vacations of a week or longer. For those long 3 day week end trips, I'd just turn off the water lines and turn off the ice maker.

For questions about your specific appliance, check your use and care manual. For information about appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more home products consult your designer or builder, then call Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment with one of our consultants.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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How Long do Appliances Last?

When Should I Replace My Appliances?

It's complicated

Many years ago, I used to carry around a chart from AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) which itemized the expected life spans of various appliances: washing machines 15 years, ranges 20 years, etc. I've long ago disposed of this, but I did find this current version. Here is a look at today's appliance lifespans from Consumer Reports:

Dishwasher – 9 years
Dryer (electric and gas) – 13 years
Microwave oven – 9 years
Range electric – 13 years
Range gas – 15 years
Refrigerator – 13 years
Washing machine – 10 years

We all know that the life expectancy of appliances is not what it used to be, but let's not confuse quality with durability. Today's washing machines use less detergent, energy and water than their predecessors. They are more gentle on clothes, and get them cleaner than ever before, but have a life expectancy of only 10 years, compared to 15 years or longer from grandma's Maytag.

Today, manufacturers seem to be on a never ending quest to reduce costs, and as consumers we shop until we drop to get save every hard earned dollar we can on appliances. Moreover, we don't seem to care if our kids inherit the family refrigerator, and we are quick to get rid of a broken appliance to avoid paying a stiff repair bill.

I recently read that in upscale neighborhoods it is not uncommon for kitchens to be remodeled about every 10 years, and that includes new appliances. So, even though appliances don't last as long as they used to, we tend not to even keep them for as long as they last.

The truth is that we don't expect our appliances to last as long as they used to…but we do expect that they have the latest features and look great in our house. I once asked a customer if she had a brand preference for her new washer. She replied that it didn't make a difference as long as the washer was red.

So, don't feel guilty about replacing your 15 year old agitator style topload washing machine with a shiny new front loader. The old machine is at the end of it's life, and the new one could actually pay for itself in energy savings….plus, it's red!

To get more information on appliances, floor coverings, and more be sure to consult your design professional or builder, and make an appointment with the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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