Be it the air-conditioner or the microwave oven, modern homeowners rely on plenty of home appliances to prepare their food and keep their homes clean. For our third episode of Insights, Outside, we approached folks on Orchard Road to find out which home or kitchen appliance they rely on the most. A lot of them answered the microwave oven! No surprise, as it is a hassle-free way of heating up your food and even remove a stamp from an envelope!

Below, we share more maintenance tips and ways to extend the life of your kitchen and home appliances. Alternatively, you can keep a list of handyman contacts or repair your appliance for free here. Busy? Check out the Love Home service, a maintenance scheme that covers and insures your key appliances at home.

You should also watch the second episode, where we ask homeowners which household chore they hate the most (and how they make it manageable).

How to maintain the washing machine

  • Always wait until full load before washing or drying – two half-loads use more energy than a single load.
  • Washers with load sensors will help you determine the optimum time and water level and detergent required for the wash; this ensures you do not use up the three factors more than you need to!
  • Do a maintenance wash without any load and with detergent from time to time
  • Leave the washing machine door slightly open after each wash, to prevent a buildup of mould.

How to maintain the dryer

  • Use dryers with sensors which detect the moisture level of the laundry, and get into the habit of drying clothes of similar fabric together. This ensures equal heat distribution which will prevent over-drying and and over-consumption of energy.
  • Place the tumble dryer in a well-ventilated room to prevent tumble dryer from over-heating.
  • Clear the lint after every cycle, as a build-up may cause a fire.


How to maintain the aircon

  • Schedule an annual inspection of your air-con unit. 
  • A leaking vent means the temperature is too cold (which causes condensation), so turn up the temperature or increase the fan speed. Leaking on the unit itself might mean the drainage is blocked, and requires servicing.
  • Keep the condenser coils clean by removing the access panels and vacuuming the coils. 
  • If you’re using an air-conditioning system that is over five years old, and isn’t an inverter system, you should consider switching to a new model, even if you’ve maintained it religiously. Changing from a non-inverter split system to an inverter version means more energy savings and up to 30 per cent off your cooling bill.


Design: Millimeters Studio

How to maintain the oven

  • Remove stains and grease with a paste made with equal amounts of baking soda and water. Baked-on grease can catch fire and may cause the thermostat to malfunction.
  • Never spray cleaning solutions near the heating element or on a hot and unprotected oven light – they may shatter.
  • Turn on the oven at least once a week for the oven to heat up. Lack of usage will result in too much moisture being built up in the heating elements, which results in an earth leakage (especially common due to the humid weather in Singapore) thus tripping the house circuit breaker. A component short circuit in the oven may be caused by failure of the component or the presence of pests such as lizards. 

How to maintain the refrigerator

  • Avoid placing hot or warm food in the chiller compartment, as this will cause the temperature in the chiller to rise, which causes your fridge to use up more electricity.
  • If your fridge is humming constantly or the interiors are warmer than the temperature that it is set at, it might be a sign that your fridge needs to be replaced.
  • Do not forget to clean the bottom and top edges of the fridge, the handle, and the seals. 
  • An open jar of baking soda, a dish of fresh ground coffee, or a clean sock filled with activated charcoal are some ways to absorb unpleasant smells. 

In Insights, Outside, Home & Decor gathers insights from the average man and woman on the street on various home-related topics, from home renovation to household chores, as well as shares tips on the issue. Stay tuned for more episodes!