Tips To Keep Your Appliances Running Better For Longer
Take care of your appliances!
If you take care of the little problems that arise with your appliances and have them serviced by a professional technician, it will help lengthen their years of operation. Appliances today can last 16-18 years, even up to 20 years, with proper maintenance. Appliances are a huge investment and by taking care of them, you’ll save money.
A good rule of thumb is to NEVER LEAVE ANY APPLIANCE—INCLUDING YOUR DRYER, WASHER, STOVE OR DISHWASHER—RUNNING WHEN YOU’RE AWAY FROM HOME. Anything can happen at any time. A fire could start, a hose could spring a leak, a washer could overfill or your dishwasher could suddenly start to leak. Most electrical appliances still use electricity even when they are turned off. Examples would be appliances that use LCD panels and clocks.
• Your ice maker may have stopped making ice
• You notice a decrease in flow
• Your water may have an unpleasant taste or odor
Vacuum the condenser coil once a year—and twice a year if you have pets. Some refrigerator coils are located on the back and some are located underneath. Dusty, dirty condenser coils cause the appliance to work harder and hotter and will cost you more to operate as they use more electricity. If you are unable to vacuum the coil, call us and one of our technicians will come out to help you.
The ram, the part that compresses the garbage, should be cleaned once a month. Use a bacteria-fighting cleaner. Refer to your manufacturer’s manual.
Also, ALWAYS run the hot water at the tap before starting your dishwasher for the best results. You want to clear the cool water from your lines before starting your dishwasher. Dishwashers have temperature sensors in them and the water entering the dishwasher should be at least 120F. Don’t over pack it—leave room for water to spray between each plate and glass.
Even though some say you do not need to rinse dishes beforehand with new dishwasher models, it’s a good idea to scrape your dishes before loading them. The dishwasher is not a garbage disposal, and this will help to keep the pump clean and free of debris.
Do NOT run the dishwasher when you are away from home or asleep. Some dishwashers have had recalls regarding the possibility of the control panel smoking or starting on fire. This is not limited to just one or two manufacturers. Each manufacturer at one time or another has seen this problem. Another reason not to run the dishwasher –it can leak. This could be caused by a bad door gasket or a door that’s bent out of alignment.
Never run your microwave empty. If the microwave energy is not absorbed by food or liquid, the energy bounces around inside and causes the magnetron tube to overheat and fail.
If you have a glass top stove, do not place heavy items in the cabinet above ( like cookbooks or bottles of wine). On more than a few occasions, customers have called to get information or an estimate on replacing the glass top because something heavy fell on it and either cracked or shattered it. These tops are very expensive to replace. Also, you may have caused further damage to the burners and connections underneath—making the repair even more extensive.
All stoves, cook tops and door glass should only be cleaned when they are cool. BE AWARE that some range tops DO NOT lift up for cleaning. If you try to force it, you will break the gas connections or electrical connections.
Take care with cleaning these types of tops also. Read your manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning suggestions.
Do you have really crusty oven racks or burner grates? You can pour ammonia in a garbage bag and place the racks inside overnight. The food and grease will rinse right off. BE CAREFUL USING THIS METHOD. Ammonia has an overwhelming odor and should be used in a well-ventilated space. Keep ammonia away from children and pets.
Clean the inside of your oven up to three times a year. Wipe up any grease as this may cause a fire.
Turn off the stove and leave the oven door closed. By keeping the door closed, you’re starving the fire of oxygen which will cause it to snuff out. Only open the door if you are sure the fire is completely out. Open your windows for fresh air. Call for service.
If a fire should start in a pan or pot, make sure you have a lid so you can cover it to extinguish the flames. If any damage was done to the stove, call for service before using it again.
Vented outside? Check the vent for grease buildup which could catch fire. Contact a vent cleaning contractor or a heating and cooling professional to clean it properly.
Pay attention to the fan motor and motor speed and performance. Grease, moisture and heat can affect them and their performance.
Clean it occasionally to make sure there is no moisture or frost building up where you may not be able to see it.
If it came with a filtration system, some manufacturers advise changing the filter every 3-6 months so any odors in the unit do not get absorbed by the corks.
If you find your washer, front or top load, bath towels, kitchen towels or even your clothes beginning to smell musty or moldy, it’s because you’re using too much soap. We suggest using two tablespoons of soap per load. This is half the amount that is recommended by the soap manufacturers. This soap builds up and stays embedded in your towels and clothes—eventually causing them start to smell. You can test if you are using too much soap by washing clean towels. Do not add any soap to the washer. During the wash cycle, open the door or lid. If you find soapy suds inside, you have been using too much detergent. You can get rid of this excess detergent by washing your items in ammonia. Only add ammonia to the wash load; do not add anymore soap! It may take a couple of times to get this buildup out of your clothes and/or towels. Once dried, your clothing will not smell like ammonia. Cut back and you should notice a difference in the smell of your washer, towels and clothes, and you’ll double the amount of loads you get out of your detergent bottles or boxes!
For front-load machines, only use H.E. Detergent (H.E. = High Efficiency). Be aware some top-load washers use H.E. Detergent also.
Do not use stainless steel cleaners or certain types of chemicals on your front-load washer door seal. The door seal can severely deteriorate and wrinkle if it comes in contact with chemicals like baby oil and acetone. This will ultimately cause a leak around the door glass and front panel. In addition, if using stainless steel cleaners, do not let them contact the door seal. Door seals that exhibit this type of damage are not covered under the product warranty (if it’s still in warranty).
Check your dryer and vent for lint buildup. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 15,000 fires are sparked every year by clothes dryers. Dryers build up lint and other debris, which reduces airflow, backs up exhaust gases and can create a fire hazard.
Some signs that your dryer or vent may be clogged up:
- Your dryer stops drying your clothes in one cycle
- There is a musty odor in the clothing after the drying cycle
- Clothes are unusually hot to the touch
- The outside vent flap is not opening properly during operation
- Debris within the outside opening of the vent
- Very little amount of lint accumulated in the lint trap during operation
During the fall and winter, outside critters are trying to finding warm places to stay. Look for signs of nests built by chipmunks, squirrels and mice.
It’s important to have a professional service technician complete the cleaning as we have the proper tools. We are equipped to handle short runs—10 feet and under. But if your venting is quite long, we can refer you to a service company who can handle those much lengthier runs. It’s also important to know whether your dryer vent meets proper specifications. If it doesn’t, we have the supplies to update your vent on our trucks.
You should only have flexible aluminum, solid aluminum or steel venting. NEVER use plastic as this could help spread and fuel the lint fire to the home should one start. AND NEVER LEAVE THE DRYER RUNNING WHEN YOU’RE AWAY FROM HOME.
- Clean the filter once a month.
- Check for animal and insect nests.
- At the start of the season have the condenser coils cleaned.
- Clean the water pan to prevent mold or mildew from forming.
- If you need to leave the unit in the window or sleeve during the cold months, make sure to place the outside cover on it to protect it from animals and insects.
Brands we service: Admiral, Amana, Bosch, Caloric, Coldspot, Dacor, Estate, Frigidaire, GE, Gibson, Hardwick, Hotpoint, Jenn-Air, JC Penney, Kelvinator, KitchenAid, LG, Magic Chef, Maytag, Norge, RCA, Roper, Samsung, Sears/Kenmore, Speed Queen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, U-Line, Westinghouse & Whirlpool. We are also an in-warranty Authorized Speed Queen Servicer, residential and commercial.
Warranties: Make sure you read your warranty policy and/or extended warranty (from whichever company you choose) and make sure you understand what is and what is not covered under the policy. Warranty coverage is limited to failures which are the result of a defect in material or workmanship.
Not covered by warranties are damages caused by abuse, misuse, transportation damage, improper servicing, inadequate or improper installation, exposure to the elements, consequential or incidental damages, vandalism or chemical damages.
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