5 ways to keep your appliances running smoothly when the temperature drops

Hoping to avoid your appliances breaking down on you? Follow these steps

woman touching radiator
(Image credit: Zvonko Djuric / Alamy Stock)

With temperatures set to go below zero for the UK over the next few days, many Brits will be fearing the worst when the arctic chill hits. Not only can the cold have a severe effect on many home appliances, it can also hinder any repairs that need to take place. High demand mixed with ice on the roads can make it difficult hunting down a plumber or engineer last minute, leaving many people stuck. 

However, there are simple steps you can take to ‘combat the frost’ on your appliances, according to Victoria Miller, appliance expert at AO. Instead of waiting for the most common winter home problems to occur, why don't you follow these steps to prevent the worst from happening? 

Before you find out more, check out these 5 low-cost ways to heat your home for longer during the cold weather. 

1. Washing machine

How to save money on washing machines and tumble dryers

(Image credit: PlanetCare / Unsplash)

It can be worth taking a few precautions when it comes to using your washing machines in the colder weather, especially if it is against an outside-facing wall that isn’t well-insulated. The transfer of cold water to even some of the best washing machines can cause damage to its insides, especially if temperatures become more extreme and pipes start to freeze.

If this sounds close to home, you should consider wrapping your washer’s hoses with pipe insulation to give them some protection from the cold.

Check out these 5 tips to help extend the lifespan of your washing machine to find out more!

2. Tumble Dryer

washer dryer

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Were you aware that you shouldn’t really expose your tumble dryer to temperatures below 5 degrees? Additionally, condenser tumble dryers have further problems as the water travelling through its pipes can freeze if the machine get cold. By the way, we've also explained the difference between condenser and vented tumble dryers if you're interested. 

To avoid any damage and look after this appliance, make sure it’s kept in a room that is well-insulated and avoid keeping it in your garage if possible.

3. Fridge-freezer

Foods you should never store in a freezer

(Image credit: LG)

Most fridge-freezers are kept in the kitchen and should be safe from the elements, but some may be exposed to hidden cold spots that you may be unaware of. Check the back of your fridge to ensure there is no damp but also use this opportunity to thoroughly clean it.

Dust and debris accumulate over time which damages your fridge and causes energy consumption to increase. To prevent this, unplug your fridge-freezer and vacuum this mess away. Alternatively, you can use a coil brush to remove the build-up.

Read about the 3 mistakes everyone makes with their fridge freezer for more information. 

4. Dishwasher

Miele appliances

(Image credit: Miele)

Even the best dishwashers can be the most sensitive to cold air when it comes to all the appliances. When a dishwasher is exposed to the freezing temperatures, it uses much more energy to heat the water affecting time and cost.

To combat the frost, try insulating the dishwasher by placing blankets around it. This added layer of protection will not only help maintain the water temperature, but it will also reduce energy consumption.

5. Dehumidifer

A closeup of an Ecoair dehumidifier sitting in a living room

(Image credit: Ecoair)

Damp can be a stickler for any homeowner and the best way to combat the frost can often be found where you least expect it. During the day pop the dehumidifier on in any part of the home where you feel wet walls or if you see dark patches beginning to form.

By dehumidifying your walls, you will remove any cold and moisture from the air in your home and stop any damp from forming. We've written more about why dehumidifiers are great if you want to avoid damp and mould during the winter if you want to find out more.  

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.