Be good to your refrigerator and it will last longer

Among the common myths about home appliance repair, according to RepairClinic.com, is that appliances don't need routine service. Here's what this dotcom enterprise's Web site recommends:

Every use

Dryers - Clean the lint filter after each load to prevent hazardous buildup and for more effective drying.

Microwave ovens - Keep the interior clean to prevent burns and other damage.

Every year

Refrigerators - Clean the condenser coils under the refrigerator.

Dryers - Clean any accumulated lint from the dryer and venting.

Humidifiers - Clean the humidifier and replace the filter/pad.

Every three to five years

Washing machines - Replace rubber fill hoses. For additional peace of mind, replace with durable stainless steel hoses.

Increase in average age of appliances

According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, here's how length of ownership (in years) changed from 1990 to 1996:

1990 1996

Freezers 10.7 11.2

Compactors 7.2 11.1

Ranges/Cooktops 8.7 9.5

Clothes dryers 7.9 8.8

Refrigerators 8.3 8.7

Dehumidifers 8.0 8.3

Washers 7.3 8.1

Microwave Ovens 4.9 7.7

Dishwashers 6.6 7.5

Disposals 5.8 6.8

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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