Install appliances correctly to ensure safety, proper operation

Stove with exhaust hoodWhether you have new appliances or are using the ones that came with your house, just knowing that they work may not be enough. It’s important to make sure the appliances are installed correctly to keep your home safe.

AmeriSpec Omaha and Lincoln’s inspectors recommend that homeowners to read the manufacturer’s manual to understand proper installation and operation.

Different makes and models of ovens and microwaves have unique requirements for minimum and maximum clearances from other appliances and/or combustible materials. Appliances using exhaust vents, such as dryers or exhaust fans, also have specific requirements for proper materials, proper clearances and proper termination locations.

For example, manufacturers recommend that all exhaust fans should be vented to the home’s exterior. However, it is common for inspectors to see range hoods and dryers vent into ceilings, attics and garages in older homes. These are not proper termination points for venting.

Homeowners also should check connections of vent pipes or other materials to ensure that there are no breaks that may lead to venting in improper areas.

Inspectors also have seen two separate appliances with their venting systems connected so they vent only at one termination point. This is not recommended. All vented appliances should have their own separate vent line to exterior.

Other suggestions for safe appliance installation and maintenance:

  • Check filters to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced. This can prevent a fire and help appliances operate better.
  • Don’t overlook char/burn marks around on appliances or combustible materials. If you see these marks, have a qualified appliance contractor correct them with repairs or replacements. Cracked glass in oven doors also should be replaced.
  • If installing gas appliances, such as dryers or water heaters, check the manufacturer’s manual for installation recommendations. If the manual is not available, consider having the setup reviewed by a qualified contractor to ensure proper and safe installation.