It’s no secret that big-ticket appliances can cost a pretty penny to repair or replace. Refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and other essential appliances represent sizable investments, so it’s in every budget-conscious homeowner’s best interest to make them last as long as possible.

While there’s no denying that repair bills for these devices can be steep, there are numerous steps you can take to lessen the financial blow. If appliance repair costs have put a strain on your finances, put the following pointers to good use.

1. Get a Home Warranty

Homeowners on the hunt for peace of mind needn’t look any further than a comprehensive home warranty. The right warranty will ensure that you’re fully covered the next time an important appliance is on the fritz. Yes, this will require you to spend a little bit of money, and there’s a possibility you’ll never have to use it, but if you find yourself faced with a broken or malfunctioning appliance, you’ll be much better off with a home warranty than without one. Most home warranty prices are affordable on even the most stringent budget and can be a boon to any household that’s tired of contending with faulty appliances and expensive repairs.  

2. Have Small Issues Repaired in a Timely Fashion

Most people ignore seemingly minor issues with their appliances, and it’s easy to see why. Service calls involve spending money, and many of us are only comfortable parting with our hard-earned cash when an appliance is noticeably malfunctioning or outright broken. While this mindset is understandable, it can also result in much larger repair bills down the line. The longer a minor problem goes unaddressed, the more time it has to grow into a far more serious issue. Even the most financially fastidious among us would agree that spending a little bit of money in the short term is preferable to spending a fortune in the long run. So, the next time one of your appliances exhibits a problem – no matter how minor it may seem – have this issue professionally addressed posthaste.   

3. Regularly Clean Your Appliances

In order to perform their respective jobs effectively and efficiently, most appliances need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Refrigerators, ovens, stoves and washing machines are just a few of the essential appliances that require regular cleanings to remain in peak condition. The dirtier certain appliances become, the harder they have to work – and the harder they have to work, the quicker they wear down. Furthermore, the more energy your appliances expend, the more you can expect to pay in energy costs. So, for the sake of appliance longevity and financial security, make a point of consistently cleaning your appliances. If you’re unclear on how best to go about this task, consult your appliances’ respective owner’s manuals, hit up your favorite search engine or reach out to the manufacturers.

4. Take Advantage of Manufacturer Warranties

Most big-ticket appliances come with manufacturer warranties. While the types of issues such warranties cover are fairly limited, there are instances in which they can prove useful. Although the exact terms vary from company to company, most manufacturer warranties cover defects – but not damage caused by user negligence. In other words, if an issue is clearly the fault of the manufacturer, you’re probably covered, but if there’s a decent possibility the fault lies with you, you may find yourself on the hook for repair costs. Furthermore, many warranties of this type are only applicable for very limited timeframes. Again, terms vary, but most manufacturer warranties remain in effect for six months to one year, meaning they only cover relatively new appliances. Still, they don’t cost anything, so if you experience an issue with a newer appliance, there’s no harm in trying to take advantage of a manufacturer’s warranty.

Large-scale home appliances are no small investment. Given how much use most households get out of their appliances and the hefty price-tags these devices carry, it’s only natural to want them to remain in peak condition for as long as possible. However, even the most reliable appliance needs the occasional repair or service call to operate at maximum efficiency. While expecting an appliance to never need a repair is unrealistic, there are several simple measures you can take to minimize both the frequency and financial burden of maintenance visits.