How to fix home appliances yourself before spending hundreds of dollars

Amid the pandemic, there's been a huge surge in home repairs.

January 22, 2021, 8:32 AM

With many hunkered down at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a surge in home repairs.

In November, Home Depot reported sales up more than 20% on items including appliances and vinyl plank flooring. And the company also saw growth among DIY customers, which led to a surge in sales on items from garden to seasonal categories like soil, ceiling fans and power tools.

“As these customers complete a project, they are gaining the confidence to tackle their next project ...,” Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president of Home Depot, said during a November 2020 earnings call.

PHOTO: A refrigerator.
STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

In addition, Lowe’s pointed out in its third quarter earnings report, that sales of appliances like refrigerators and freezers have spiked since last March.

But in the event that your appliances stop working at home, and you can’t afford to drop money on repairs or a new purchase, some experts say that fixing the problem yourself could cost you close to nothing.

Read below to see how you can fix some of your appliances at home with these simple repair techniques.


If you’re noticing that your fridge isn’t keeping food as cool as it once had, Sara Morrow, deputy content editor at Consumer Reports, said cleaning the condenser coil may do the trick.

“This is something that you should really do every six months,” Morrow told “GMA.”

In a 2019 report, Consumer Reports said that condenser coils “collect dust, dirt, hair and debris, which restricts their ability to dissipate heat, limiting efficiency and potentially causing a breakdown.”

To prevent this from happening, use a soft brush attachment to gently vacuum the coils. You can locate the condenser coils on the underside or rear of the refrigerator.


If your dishwasher isn’t doing a good job cleaning, check the filter and spray arms to see if they’re clogged and clean them.

To clean the filter, Morrow suggests using water and a soft brush. The spray arms of the dishwasher can also be removed to clean as well. Morrow suggests a cotton swab to remove any food from the spray arms’ holes and to run water through them to see if you’ve removed water and debris.

Then, wipe away any more food that you may find in the dishwasher with a soft sponge.

Electric dryers

If you’re noticing that clothes are taking longer to dry, Morrow suggests investigating the duct behind the machine.

First, disconnect the dryer from the main power source, then pull the dryer from the wall and separate the vent. After, vacuum both the vent and the duct to remove any lint, which can be a potential fire hazard if not frequently cleaned out.

Last resort…

If all else fails and you can’t do a repair on your own, Morrow suggests visiting, where you can find appliance parts for sale, 5,000 how-to videos for repairing appliances, 10,000 repair instructions and schematics and a 24/7 phone number to call for advice.

“We’ve seen demand for services increase because more and more things are breaking, there’s a tremendous need,” Bob Burke, Repair Clinic chairman and CEO, told “Good Morning America.” “There’s also a need to save money.”

In addition, local repair shops may be able to provide advice over the phone.