Radio: Appliance Manuals

While your important household documents should always be backed up and kept in fireproof storage, some things, like appliance manuals, can often be replaced if they're lost.

Listen to ON APPLIANCE MANUALS, or read the text below:

First, check the manufacturer's web site. Most have manuals of their current appliance models available for free download.

If your model is older or more rare, you can check with an appliance repair web site, but a good local repair service can often give you an estimate of the repair cost and parts needed for a small fee, even if you don't hire them to do the work. If the repair estimate is more than half of the cost of buying a new appliance, it might be time for a new one.

Most dishwashers are designed to last around 10 years. Freezers, around 20 years. Everything else-laundry, ranges and fridges-all fall somewhere in between. So, if the clock's run out on your appliance, and especially if it's not energy efficient, you can probably stop looking for the manual and start looking for a new, energy-saving replacement.

Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to-or reading-Bob's 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on appliances, consider:

Selecting Appliances
Smart Grid in Your Home
Choosing Major Kitchen Appliances