I’ve recently learned an expensive lesson. My dryer wasn’t working properly. I discovered that it wasn’t using heat when it was drying the clothes, and I suddenly had dread in knowing that I would have to pay for this repair.
I knew that my previous warranties on both the washer and dryer were expired. I also knew that I just spent what felt like a fortune on paying my mortgage, my utilities, my phone bill and other expenses. The first thought I had was, “Oh great. One more expense.”
The first thing I did was reach for an old piece of mail from the store where I bought the appliances and called to renew the warranty. Not so simple. They asked if I wanted to schedule a technician to come to my house and perform maintenance on the washer and dryer, and THEN they would renew the warranty. Talk about a scheme, but I was desperate. I accepted and scheduled for someone to come look at both units.
The Technician Arrives
The next day, the technician arrived and was incredibly friendly. He looked at the dryer first, as I mentioned that it wasn’t using heat when it was drying. He quickly took it apart and diagnosed that the heating element had gone bad. He went over pricing and asked if I wanted him to replace that part on the spot or if I wanted him to come back. I asked him to take care of it right away, and he went to work.
Next, he checked the washer to make sure it was in good working condition. I admitted to him that the washer had been part of a recall a few years ago, but I never worried about it and the washer seemed fine. He looked it over and informed me that the washer was in good condition.
The repair on the dryer, plus the maintenance on the washer, renewing the warranties and the cost just to dispatch the technician to my house was expensive. Well, in my eyes, anyways. I couldn’t believe how much I was spending in that moment. For some, that cost isn’t much. But as I said before, I felt like I was hemorrhaging money at that point.
While I was speaking with the technician about the washer, we discussed the maintenance, or lack thereof, of both the washer and dryer. I confessed that the washer had never received a thorough once over, nor had it ever been repaired. I then told him that the dryer had been repaired twice before, for the same reason he was in my house that day. He seemed concerned but went about his work.
Piqued My Curiosity
During our conversation regarding maintenance, my curiosity was piqued. No other technician prior to this one had ever suggested regular maintenance on my units. I looked at him and asked the obvious question: how often does this need to be done? He quickly answered that it’s best to be done twice a year. You read correctly – twice a year!
It makes sense when you think about it. Depending on how much you use your washer and dryer, regular maintenance is smart. I use mine every weekend, especially on Sundays. If I use them more often than normal, it’s usually because either my son or I are sick, and the linens and clothes need to be rid of germs.
During my conversation with the technician, I revealed where I work and what I do for work. I mentioned to him how the maintenance plan with the store was very similar to the maintenance plan that’s currently offered through Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling. I was relieved to hear that other companies, other than plumbing and HVAC, also discussed and offered maintenance plans to their customers.
Later That Day
Later that day, I wondered why no other technician had ever mentioned that maintenance should be done bi-annually. The first thought that came to mind was the possibility that the store wanted to make more money somehow. I then pushed that thought out of my head because I didn’t want to think the worst of someone, or even a company.
So, while my lesson was an expensive one, it still showed me that regular maintenance on household items, other than furnaces, ACs, water heaters and such, is in the best interest of the homeowner. It will help save money, keeps the units running smooth, and keeps the homeowner in the loop of any repairs needed down the road.
I’m glad that I renewed my warranties on both my washer and dryer. I felt like I paid a lot for my units. And when I think about it now, I did. But it’s still cheaper than what my potential future repair costs will be on both units. And I want to keep these units for as long as possible until I have to make the next large purchase.
Do You Need A Maintenance Plan?
Should you get a maintenance plan on your washer or dryer? What about your stove or fridge? Those items are just as important as your furnace or air conditioner, and they help to make your life more comfortable. And just like your trusted heater or water heater, getting a maintenance plan on your oven/stove, dishwasher, fridge, etc. is a choice that’s completely up to you. If your budget allows it, purchasing a maintenance plan might be a smart investment. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to make sure you save enough money in case there’s a necessary emergency repair.
Hopefully this long blog entry helps to save you some money today or this week. Whether it’s your washer and dryer, or your furnace and air conditioner, we could all go for some friendly advice on how to save a few bucks.