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Care tips for your home appliances and electronics

Proper Care and Feeding tips for your appliances and electronics 

Taking care of your gadgets and appliances can be easy. We’ve compiled a list of not so obvious tips and tricks to keep your stuff on top of its game. 

And if something happens out of your control, don’t worry. Our Extended Warranties provide you with that extra peace of mind for a cost that makes sense. We cover wear and tear after the manufacturer's warranty is expired along with protection from accidents for laptops, camcorders, digital cameras, and gaming systems after a short 14 day waiting period. As long as your home appliance or electronic device was purchased as new within the past 365 days, there's a good chance we've got an Extended Warranty for you.

Laptop Care

Your laptop is attached to you most of the time. Love/hate relationship. You take it everywhere. It’s your traveling lifeline and workstation – and access to Facebook and other social scenes. Don’t let anything bad happen to it. Caring for it is easy if you follow a few easy steps.

  • Never pick your laptop up by its monitor/screen
  • Don’t roll over the power cord with your office chair. Tape the cord to your desk or to the wall.
  • Have your laptop professionally cleaned once a year to remove internal dust.
  • Avoid using your laptop in bed. It will suck up dust and lint, possibly blocking the fan. And it’s not into “cuddling.”
  • Keep food and liquids away from your laptop. It’s just a matter of time before you dump a piping hot Americano on the keyboard. If you do spill, shut it off and unplug from its power source.
  • Virus and spyware software is a good investment.
  • Run a defragmentation program.
  • Back up your hard drive externally, just in case.
  • Do NOT use cleaners, such as Windex, that contain ethyl alcohol, ammonia, acetone, ethyl acid or methyl chloride to clean your monitor.
  • Never use bubble gum to keep your laptop shut. 

Did You Know? According to our internal research, the average repair costs for laptops are around $300.  Following these simple care tips may help you avoid a dreadful laptop repair experience. 

Desktop Care

In general your desktop computer should be easy to operate and pretty low maintenance. Here are a few simple tips for keeping it in great working order:

  • Keep food and liquids away from your desktop. If you do spill, shut it off and unplug from its power source.
  • Don’t roll over the power cord with your office chair. Tape the cord to your desk or to the wall.
  • Have your laptop professionally cleaned once a year to remove internal dust.
  • Virus and spyware software is a good investment.
  • Run a defragmentation program.
  • Back up your hard drive externally, just incase.
  • Do NOT use cleaners, such as Windex, that contain ethyl alcohol, ammonia, acetone, ethyl acid or methyl chloride to clean your monitor.

Digital Camera Care

Your digital camera can capture and upload your memories in moments. Depending on what type of camera you have, it can be an important investment. Here’s a way to treat it nice.

  • Always keep a digital camera charged.
  • Get a snug fitting bag to store it.
  • Use the lens cover all the time (except when taking pictures).
  • Clean the lens and body with a soft cloth.
  • Don’t take pictures with your digital camera while sky diving.
  • Keep liquids away from the camera at all times.
  • Don’t drop your camera in hot lava. Stay away from volcanoes in general. 

Did You Know?  According to our internal research, the average repair cost for a digital camera or digital SLR camera is around $150.  Lot of money for just one, run of the mill, repair job.  Follow these simple steps and keep your camera in tip top order to reduce the risk of any kind of failure. 

Camcorder Care

There are so many types of video cameras to choose, from high to low price, feature rich to basic varieties, the list goes on. Once you choose one, you want to take good care of it so it will be there to capture your special moments, funny accidents, and family fun.

  • Always keep the video camera charged.
  • Get a video camera bag. Keep it stored in the bag at all times. Except when using the camera, of course.
  • Use the lens cover all the time to protect the lens.
  • Clean the lens and body with a soft cloth once a month.
  • Keep liquids away from the camera at all times.
  • Don’t use your video camera as a doorstop. This will damage the video camera. 

Did You Know?  Camcorder repair costs are on the rise – according to our internal research, the average repair cost is around $250.  Taking preventative care of your most valued possessions, like your camcorder, may help you avoid costly and time consuming repairs. 

Washer / Dryers Care

Your washer and dryer are always there for you when you need them. Just a few simple care steps can prolong the life of your appliances and your clean clothes, too.

  • Keep it clean. It’s called a washer. Clean out dispensers and attachments at least once a month.
  • Wipe the glass door dry after each load in the washer so the drum can dry. This helps with water spots, odors and mildew as well.
  • Clean dryer ducts and screens. Lint buildup reduces the effectiveness of dryers, making them work harder and costing more money to run.
  • Vent dryers properly. Flexible plastic or metal ducts trap lint when they sag or bend, creating a fire hazard. Look for solid-metal ducts.

These simple care tips may help you increase the life span of your washer and dryer – and help you avoid common failures such as:

Typical Washer Repairs Typical Dryer Repairs
Inverter - $412 Motor - $250
Wire Harness - $386 Control Assembly - $200
Control Board - $383 Heater Coil - $200
Pressure Switch - $274 Drum Slide Kit - $180
Water Valve - $245 Thermostat - $160
Pump Filter - $243 Ignitor Assembly - $160
Drain Hose - $211 Idler Pulley - $140
Dispenser Vent Tube - $194 Drive Belt - $120

 

Not sure what an “inverter” or an “Idler Pulley” is?  Don’t worry, our network of 5,000+ trained and certified service technicians do in case you get into trouble.  Follow these simple care tips and consider purchasing an Extended Warranty from Protect Your Bubble for even more peace of mind.
LED/LCD TVs

Man’s second best friend. His TV. The best thing you can do for you LED and LCD TV is to watch it. Which is pretty easy. Here are a few other tips to keep it in the best working order.

  • Keep the screen lint and dust free with a soft cloth wipe down once a week.
  • Keep the picture crystal clear, and all the colors correct with calibration. You can do this yourself, or have a professional come out and check your color spectrum for you.
  • Make sure all cables are attached correctly and evenly.
  • Keep the set turned off when it is not in use.
  • Do NOT use cleaners, such as Windex, that contain ethyl alcohol, ammonia, acetone, ethyl acid or methyl chloride to clean your screen.

Take care of the LCD/LED/Plasma based panel is paramount… the typical repair costs, based on our internal research can be anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 depending on the size of the panel and it’s availability.  So, take of the screen! 

Refrigerator

The best place in the house to hang out, the fridge area. It looks like it’s low maintenance, but there are a few simple steps to keeping your refrigerator cool.

  • Plug into a properly grounded wall outlet
  • Do not overfill; this can prevent circulation of cold air needed to regulate temperature and prevent food from spoiling.
  • Wrap or cover food to prevent odors. Clean up food spills immediately.
  • It’s extremely important to keep the unit clean. The interior and exterior can be cleaned with a mild detergent. Avoid abrasives and do not use hot water on glass parts.
  • Keep door gaskets clean.
  • Keep area around the refrigerator clean and free from debris and large items that can restrict airflow.
  • If the Chinese takeout is over 1 week old, chuck it.
  • Clean condenser coils regularly to remove dust build up. It will restrict air flow and cause overheating if build up occurs.

Did You Know?  Common breakdowns include evaporators, compressors, and condensers. Based on our internal research, the average repair cost for each of these types of breakdowns is $400 per incident. 

Dishwasher

Dishwashers are an amazing benefit to living in the modern world. They are compact, powerful workhorses that don’t ask for much in return. Here’s how to keep your dishwasher in working order. 

“Most people use 10 to 15 times the amount of soap they need, and they’re pouring money down the drain.” – New York Times 

  • Why would you need to wash a dishwasher? Debris and deposits reduce its performance. Keep it washing for its true life span. And fortunately, dishwashers don't need cleaning very often and it's not hard to clean them.
  • Use it! The more you use your dishwasher, the better it is for the unit.
  • Run your garbage disposal before starting the dishwasher. The dishwasher drains into the same pipe as your sink, so that drain must be clear.
  • Never. Ever. Ever. Use too much soap. Keep it to a minimum. Even the New York Times agrees with this: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/your-money/13shortcuts.html
  • Check all the spinning arms. Clean ALL debris out of the arms.
  • Make sure the drain inside is clear and clean at all times.
  • Watch for hard water deposits, mildew and rust. Treat accordingly.
  • Use a rinse aid and keep it full. 

Did You Know? Based on our internal research, a few of the most common breakdowns with dishwashers involve the heater, main motor, the door gasket and the hinges.  All of which cost at least $200 each per repair on average. 

Oven

Keep your oven in tip top shape and it will keep you in baked goods for a long time. Here are some great tips for caring for your oven.

  • Clean you door gaskets. Gaskets maintain proper cooking temperatures and should be replaced if they are leaking.
  • If the temperature of your oven appears to be off, check it with a stand alone thermometer.
  • Use the self-cleaning mode on your oven at least once per year. The cleaner your oven is, whether gas or electric, the more efficiently it will work.
  • However, don't use the self-cleaning mode on your oven right before a big event, because if your oven is getting ready to break, it will likely happen then. 

Did You Know? Surface heating units are common repair jobs with ovens. Our research shows that the average cost to repair the thermostat is over $1,200. 

Follow these simple care tips to help avoid expensive and time consuming repairs.  And, don’t forget to explore Extended Warranty options now by getting a Quote Today!

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All insurance products are offered by The Signal, L.P. The Signal, L.P. is a licensed Insurance agency appointed by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida and American Security Insurance Company. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida and American Security Insurance Company are Assurant, Inc. companies licensed to offer insurance products. Protect Your Bubble, the Protect Your Bubble logo, Bubble and Squeak and other Protect Your Bubble trademarks, service marks, graphics and logos used in connection with this website are trademarks of Assurant, Inc. in the United States.