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Refrigerator Maintenance Tips
Get Rid of Smells in your Refrigerator
To get rid of smells and dried-up spills inside your refrigerator, remove the contents, then sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the sides, shelves, compartments and then rinse inside the fridge with a clean, wet sponge. To help prevent further fridge odors remember to place a fresh box of baking soda inside when you’re done.
Clean the condenser coils
A lint filled condenser coil can cause a refrigerator to work harder; this can cause an increase in energy bills and can shorten the life expectancy of your refrigerator. Periodic maintenance by vacuuming and brushing the coils at least twice a year is recommended. Condenser coils on refrigerators are located outside the unit and are easily accessed. You may have to pull the unit from the wall and remove a cover. This cover is important for proper airflow, so be sure to reinstall the cover, when you have completed the cleaning.
Keep your door gaskets clean! If you experience excessive rime ice on your refrigerator walls or food, you could have a bad seal allowing warmer air to enter the refrigerator. Regularly clean the gasket with hot soapy water and wipe it dry. Periodically, check the gasket to see if there are any areas that are cracked or otherwise damaged.
Now this can be tricky on some models to locate, but if you can, insure that the defrost drain is clear. Periodically, a defrost cycle will be initiated and the water will be drained to a pan usually located a the bottom of the fridge. If this drain is clogged you could experience water dripping on the floor or excessive ice buildup.
Water filters need to be replaced on an annual basis. Some manufacturers suggest every 6 months. This information is usually located in your owner's manual.
Some refrigerators will have a reminder light that illuminates when it is time to change the filter. Each manufacturer has different procedures to reset this light. Refer to your user manual for instruction.
Washer Maintenance Tips
Your washer spins so fast that when it is not level, it can vibrate excessively during the spin cycle. If your washing machine is not perfectly level (with all four legs touching the floor), it can bang around and rock back and forth. The machine can also "walk" across the room. This can be detrimental to the machine if action is not taken to correct it.
Many washing machines have adjustable leveling legs. You can adjust the leg to the proper height, and then tighten the lock nut up against the body of the machine to keep the leg from moving.
Some machines may have rear self-adjusting leveling legs. Keep the machine as close to the floor as possible. The lower it is, the less likely it is to vibrate. You can set these legs by tilting the entire machine forward onto its front legs (with the rear legs 3 to 4 inches off the floor) and then setting the machine back down. The legs should adjust automatically. If they do not, you may need to tilt the machine forward and tap on the rear legs with the handle of a hammer to loosen them. The lower the machine is to the floor, the lower the center of gravity of the machine, resulting in less vibration.
To reduce vibration even more consider using Shake Away Pads. These pads are engineered to absorb the vibration transferred from the machine to the floor.
Cleaning out/Removing objectionable odors
Once a month you should run a cycle of hot water with 2 cups of chlorine bleach through your washer. At the beginning of the wash cycle, add the bleach directly to the washtub and not through the bleach dispenser. This routine maintenance will help remove any soap deposits and will also help keep germs from accumulating in the airtight parts of the washer. Some newer machines have a 'clean' cycle. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions regarding this cycle. For front load machines, use Affresh to clean out the interior of the washer.
Water fill hoses
It is good preventative maintenance to check the washing machine hoses from time to time for wear and/or weakness. As the hoses age, they lose resiliency and may develop small blisters which could burst. A broken hose can cause a lot of damage to your home. Replace the hoses if there are any signs of wear. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the hoses every 5 years. For more peace of mind, one alternative is to use high quality stainless steel hoses.
Dryer Maintenance Tips
Airflow is the most important factor of a dryer's operation. Your dryer venting should be made of metal, preferably straight walled venting rather than flexible venting. Several years ago, the white vinyl duct that was commonly used in dryers no longer meets building codes. Vinyl ducts are more likely to contain a vent fire versus a metal vent.
Check the dryer vent if you experience longer than expected drying times. Restricted venting will cause air flow problems and fires. Check the entire length of the vent pipe for lint build-up at least once a year or more often if the dryer gets a lot of use. Remove any lint from the duct using a vent brush. Do not push the lint back into the dryer or let it clog any part of the vent.
By cleaning your dryer vent, drying time will improve and energy consumption increases since the dryer is not running as long to dry the clothes.
Care and cleaning lint filter
Check and clean the lint filter after every drying cycle. Replace the lint filter if it has any rips or tears in it. If the filter gets clogged with fabric softener residue, you can easily clean it with a soft-bristle brush and a little detergent. We also recommend cleaning the area that the lint filter fits into. If necessary, use a vacuum cleaner to reach into the duct and clean out any lint.
Cleaning the interior of the cabinet
The lint produced by clothes tumbling in a dryer is normally trapped by the lint filter. However, some lint will escape the filter and accumulate on the inside of the dryer cabinet. At least once a year, remove and check the inside of the cabinet, and clean it as needed. Do this more frequently if the dryer gets a lot of use.
Dishwasher Maintenance Tips
Clean the filters! Many brands of dishwashers have filters that must be cleaned – often with a bristle brush – or you will start noticing crud left on your dishes. Check your user’s manual.
Use good detergent! Unfortunately, eco-friendly detergents and cheaper gel-types can lead to long-term performance issues in your dishwasher, and actually shorten its life. Our favorite detergent is Finish Quantum (either regular or Power and Free). Most stores carry this.
Are you having “wash ability” problems? In other words – are your dishes not getting as clean anymore? Clean your filters, if you haven’t, and then run a dishwasher cleaning product such as Glisten or Affresh in your washer. Then switch to Finish Quantum. Most of the time these steps will improve the wash ability. If not, then there may be a functional problem with the dishwasher and you should contact us.
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