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By Platinum Team January 22, 2017

Tips to Maintain Your Home Systems and Appliances: AZTV Segment

Check out our AZTV segment, featuring easy tips to keep your systems and appliances running smoothly.


AZ TV Cable 13 KAZT 01/17/2017 08:36:02 AM

Catherine: We always like giving you some great tips on how to save money. Right now, it’s all about things you can do right now to keep your home appliances from breaking… of course, costing you money. Steve Higgins is with Platinum Home Warranty. He is an expert. We’re talking about specifically if people don’t have a home warranty, there are some things that they should be doing to prevent their appliances from breaking and obviously having to shell out a lot of money. Simple fixes they can make to their appliances on their own. Walk me through some.

Steve: Let’s start with the refrigerator. A lot of people don’t — aren’t aware they have to clean the door seals annually. Baking soda and warm water around the door seals helps. You don’t want leaking, and refrigerators are designed for max mass, which means full or nearly full. So an empty refrigerator uses a lot more electricity than, say — some people say put jugs of water in. It helps with the rush of warm air as you open the refrigerator.

Catherine: If you are not doing these little things we are going to walk through, how much is it going to cost you annually on average?

Steve: To run a refrigerator? It’s about $200-300.

Catherine: You add that up with various appliances, that’s a lot of money.

Steve: That is true. All combined is a huge electric bill.

Catherine: Walk me through some of this.

Steve: Hot water tank. You should flush that annually. This is an example. Arizona has some of the hardest water out there, and so the calcium builds up. This is a temperature probe that is in the hot walker tank. When this gets coated with calcium, you can see it’s plugged completely.

Catherine: And those are expensive.

Steve: They are very expensive. This will take your hot water tank from going from 3 years to 10 years to 12 years.

Catherine: How should you flush it?

Steve: There is little knob on the base of the hot water tank. Hook up your garden hose. Do it two or three times, and then fill your tank back up.

Catherine: That’s it?

Steve: That’s it.

Catherine: What else?

Steve: There are little things you can do on unclogging the drain. This is something you can buy off the shelf from the big box stores. It’s a simple little plastic ribbed strip of plastic here. You put it down the drain. It goes down to the p trap and pulls the hair and debris. Stuff you can do on your own without having to call a plumber.

Catherine: And, they are expensive these days.

Steve: They are. Your garbage disposal — a lot of people think the plumber left behind a tool. What happens is the disk inside, it’s a plate with some teeth that climb around in here. Well, every once in awhile something will get wedged on the side of this disk, and it becomes inoperable. This thing is designed on the bottom, you just stick it in there and turn it to unclog. There you go. Unclog the thing. A lot of times if it’s a bone or something that’s got in there, this will unclog it, take it out, start it again, everything works fine.

Catherine: You like these, too. I use something similar.

Steve: I like these. We talked about the beads. Anything. They make a concoction or something online that says you can chop up lemons and ice cubes and baking soda, or you can buy these for $3-4, and there is a pack of 10. Put it in there as it’s running with warm water. Takes all the smell out of it. Cleans it all up.

Catherine: Great idea. I love what you have to say about the vents. The cheaper the better.

Steve: Everybody asks the same thing when we go out — how often do I replace the filter? The best filter is the one you can see through easily. Replace it once a month. You can get these in the big box stores for like $6 or $3. A lot of people have allergies, and so they’re talked into buying the big thick ones. Restricts the airflow. What I have to say is, because the analogy is the same when you put your hand over the vacuum cleaner to clean it, the motor speeds up. Well, the motor speeds up because it’s using more electricity to speed up. Same with your air conditioner. You are restricting that airflow. The motor is running faster and you are using more electricity.

Catherine: Who knew. Great advice.

Steve: Or you can get a washable one like these.

Catherine: That’s a great idea, too. If people do need to get a home warranty, what is the cost savings when you talk about a home warranty? Why is that so important? And how does it work.

Steve: It’s substantial. Basically you have an annual fee. It’s good for 12 months. You have a service fee that usually runs from $50 to $75 to $85 per call. Our call we handle up to two items for the same thing. If you have two toilets that are messed up, we do them both. Just do your research. A lot of the home warranties, the national home warranties, hire people that aren’t licensed — or whoever they can get to hire — to get to the call. We have our own techs in house.

Catherine: That’s key.

Steve: It’s key.

Catherine: is where you can go for more information. Thank you, Steve. Good to have you here. When we come back, we will talk about investing in precious metals. More “Arizona Daily Mix” coming your way next.