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10 Reasons to Read Your Product Manuals

Why Reading Your Manuals is a Good Idea

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Appliances and housewares typically come with product manuals or operation guides and these can vary in size from a two-page pamphlet to a full indexed booklet. Often, these important documents are overlooked with the packaging and discarded, or considered advertising and totally ignored.

These manufacturer guides are designed to help you get the most out of your new product, know what to do if something goes wrong, and keep it in good running order for it's full intended lifecycle. In a nutshell, they want you to be satisfied with your purchase. Keeping your manuals not only involves filing them for future reference, but reading them when you first take your new purchase home. Here's why:
  1. Set-Up & Installation Information

    Why wait until you hit an assembly roadblock? Why not get the set-up instructions right from the pro - the maker of your new purchase. It may save you time and needless aggravation. And installation recommendations are very important to ensure proper operation and reduce hazard risks.

  2. Warranty & Servicing Details

    Details regarding warranty limitations and coverage period are good to know, as well contact information and where your product can be serviced should you encounter problems. It's a good idea to write the warranty period, date of purchase and serial number of your product right on the front cover of your product manual for easy reference should the need arise.

  3. Power Requirements & Energy Information

    Important information to ensure proper installation and voltage requirements are met. Energy related data can provide comparisons when purchasing replacements or tracking consumption costs. It may also include manufacturer recommended settings for best energy efficiency, such as best temperature settings for refrigerators.

  4. Included & Optional Accessories

    This is where you can confirm if all included accessories were packaged with your product, and what other parts are available for purchase. An additional accessory may be worth the purchase and enhance your product, such as a mini power head for a vacuum or a cookware lid.

  5. Parts List

    Your guide will list the parts by name and provide ordering numbers to assist in finding replacements. Filter type, size and number is also important information to maintain your product in good working order.

  6. What Not to do With Your Product

    All too often, we neglect this section and these 'do not's serve a very important purpose. This may include things to avoid that may reduce the lifespan of your product and invalidate your warranty, or ways to reduce the risk of hazards and injury.

  7. Performance - How it Works

    How it works, what it does and operational tips and suggestions. This is especially important if product operation involves an ordered sequence of steps which, if not followed could damage parts.

  8. Special Features

    You'll find instructions on controls and settings for all its unique features and options, such as how to reverse the door on your new dryer, set the programmable timer on the coffeemaker, or set a delay cycle on a dishwasher. Whether your new purchase is dishwasher or microwave safe and so on.

  9. Recommended Maintenance & Troubleshooting

    What you need know and do to keep your product operating properly. You may find troubleshooting tips and answers to frequently asked questions. When to change filters, how to take your product apart for cleaning, what to use to clean it and how to prepare it for storage.

  10. Recipes

    Recipes are a real bonus when it comes to small appliance purchases - a fun way to try out your purchase and learn something new.

Also see After the Purchase for useful information regarding new houseware purchases.

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