Without a functioning kitchen, a home just wouldn't feel like a home. Regular cleaning and maintenance is required in order for household appliances to work well for years, and neglecting this critical step may mean a few avoidable problems will crop up.

Instead of putting off routine appliance care, a homeowner should always make sure to clean stoves and refrigerators often, and also keep watch for some common warning signs that can lead to an unsafe kitchen. Not every problem is obvious, however, and a home inspection might be able to provide answers to even the trickiest questions. 

Stoves and fridges are some of the most used appliances, and because of that they require a good amount of attention from homeowners - not just for safety, but also to ensure that each one works as well and as efficiently as the moment it was installed. Figuring out all of the details before buying a new home or remodeling a kitchen will help plan for routine maintenance, as well.

Are built-in appliances the right choice?

Choosing the ideal home appliance may be harder than it seems. Some homes are more suited for certain types, and a built-in stove or fridge might not be built-in at all, according to HomeAdvisor.

What is a built-in appliance? Technically, it's permanently fixed into a cabinet, nook or island, not slid into a pre-existing cut-out. In fact, some people believe they own a built-in stove or dishwasher when it is a simple illusion.

Moreover, there are several pros and cons for choosing either a fixed appliance or a portable one. Having a dishwasher or stove that can move opens up a variety of design choices, and it makes cleaning easier, HomeAdvisor noted. On the other end of the spectrum, built-in appliances look neater and maximize space better. 

Common causes for appliance failure

A home appliance can get damaged in a number of ways, and that may lead to other problems within a home. In order to spot difficult -to-notice problems, a homeowner should have a property inspection completed. That way, nothing will go undetected. 

Additionally, improper dishwasher use might create a headache. Adding too much soap, or the wrong type, can lead to an overflow and water damage in the surrounding area, according to In Home Appliance Repair. Sand build-up in water wells may also damage individual parts. 

Human error isn't the only reason a home appliance can fail. A homeowner should watch out for mice, rats and birds that can burrow or nest into vent pipes and even destroy the unit completely, the website noted. 

Many appliances require a lot of electricity to run properly, and if each one is incorrectly plugged in, that might be a safety concern. A home inspection can identify electrical concerns in a property, and running a stove or fridge in a bad outlet is never a good idea. 

Routine fridge maintenance tips

In addition, fridges are regularly opened and closed, all day long. Therefore, keeping this appliance running properly will not only save money on energy use and repair bills, but also keep a home safe.

Cleaning and maintaining a fridge should be done often, at least every three months, according to HouseLogic. At that time, a homeowner should vacuum the fan and coils. Pets can clog these components faster, so a house with a few shaggy dogs may need to give appliances some extra attention.

Doug Rogers, president of Mr. Appliance, explained to the website that a more efficient fridge is one that has condenser coils that can breathe.

If a home has some questionable-looking appliances, a home inspection may be provide the answer about safety and functionality. If a homeowner isn't thorough with maintenance and cleaning, problems might slip through the cracks.