Certain appliances should be serviced in order to make them more energy efficient. While it is true that checking an appliance and/or getting it serviced can cost money, these steps can more than pay for themselves in terms of the amount of energy saved. In addition, regular servicing can prolong the life of the appliance and make it safer too.
The most obvious appliances that need to be serviced and inspected for safety are heating appliances such as boilers, fireplaces and chimneys. These all need to kept in top working order and used with the right fuel in order to prevent the emission of potentially lethal carbon monoxide.
Get your appliance checked at least once a year, preferably in the summer when you won't have to wait long for an appointment. In this way, you will be ready well in advance of any cold weather that might be on the way if you live in a seasonal climate.
In many cases, boilers also provide all the hot water for your home, so they are on the go 24/7/365 and will work better with the right fuel and proper maintenance.
Check the booklet that comes with your unit and put it in a safe place for quick and easy reference. Knowing what is normal can help you avoid unnecessary call-outs. In most cases, there will be a manufacturer's warranty, which can last up to five years.
The Right Fuel
Boilers and heating such as artificial fireplaces run on a range of fuels. Coal and wood have a high degree of variability in terms of moisture and quality, so it is important to keep everything clean.
Cooking stoves might run on mains gas or bottled gas. Keep the stove and burners clean to reduce the risk of fire. Follow all instructions for a self-cleaning oven.
Some people cook with solid fuel stoves. These should be inspected annually and kept clean at all times, and the chimney or egress for the air should be cleaned twice a year.
Your Air Conditioning
If you live in a place that is warm all the time or experiences hot summers, it is important to maintain your air conditioning unit/s. With small window appliances, keep them clean and dust free, especially the filters.
With a unit that cools the entire home, follow the manufacturers instructions and maintain according to the warrantees suggested schedule. Protect it from the sun, and prevent any debris getting into the unit. Keep the vents clean so the unit can operate efficiently.
Refrigerators and Fridge/Freezers
Follow the guidelines in the booklet and check the warranty. Be sure to dust under the unit, around the coils at the back, and any air vents at the front.
Check the length of the warranty and servicing terms, if any. Consider adding on a service contract through an appliance insurer or the place where you bought the item. In some cases, they will not only cover repair or replacement, but also the cost of any spoiled food if the unit breaks down completely when it is full to the brim with your grocery shopping.