Laundry-room maintenance can be a snap

Just as changing a furnace filter improves performance and efficiency, properly maintaining such household appliances as washers and dryers is essential to keep them operating at peak performance year-round.

Experts suggest these tips to make washer and dryer maintenance easier this season:

• Consult your washer’s use-and-care guide for instructions on regular maintenance of your machine.

• For high-efficiency, or HE, washers, use only HE detergents in the proper amount to help prevent oversudsing and the build-up of odor-causing residue.

• Leave the door open after each use to allow air to circulate for HE washers.

• Check washer and dryer drains and pipes for blockages, such as lint or even missing socks, to maintain optimum water and airflow.

• Empty the lint trap in the dryer after each load to save energy and maintain fire safety.

• Keep the dryer’s outside exhaust clean to shorten drying time and decrease energy use.

• Avoid the potential for odor-causing residue by taking the time to “wash” the machine every 30 days by using a washer-cleaning cycle.