The holidays are a busy season in the kitchen. Before your guests arrive, now is the time to make sure your appliances are ready for the holiday rush. Taking care of your appliances will extend their life and cut down on costly repairs.
"Now is the time to pay attention to your appliances," says Angie Hicks of Angie's List. "If you're fridge has been acting on the fritz or your freezer isn't keeping things frozen it's time to get them taken care of because want you don't realize is a lot of times an appliance repair company is harder to come by right around the holidays."
The best bet for checking your oven is to make sure it's clean. Excess grease buildup on the interior will make it work harder and use more gas or electricity. And try to avoid using the self-cleaning option, especially this time of year.
"The last thing you want to do is put your oven through a self clean cycle because that is when they will break," says John Mathew, owner of an appliance repair compnay. "Then you have to find someone to come out and hopefully have the part two days before Thanksgiving. If you are going to self clean your oven do it in June so you've got plenty of time to get it fixed."
You'll also want to make sure the temperature is right. According to Hicks, the best way to do that is buy a box of cake mix and cook it according to the directions. If the cake isn't perfect in the time frame laid out on the box, your oven'ts temperature is off and you'll need someone to check it out.
Once you've cooked up those big holiday dinners, you'll have plenty of leftovers to stuff into the fridge. So how do you make sure it's running effeciently? The answer is to clean it.
"What people don't realize is the refrigerator coils can collect a lot of dust and dirt, especially if you have pets," says Hicks. "Vacuum those weekly or even monthly to make sure your refrigerator runs efficiently."
Making sure the seal on the door is tight is as simple as taking a sheet of paper and closing the door on it. If the paper slips, your fridge is wasting energy and your money. You'll need to replace the seal or adjust the door latch.
Now that dinner is over, you'll need to wash all those dishes. Before you do, clean your dishwasher's filter. You should be doing this twice a year. And make sure you're using the right detergent for your dishwasher. Often, homeowners use too much soap or even the wrong kind. That leads to problems like the pump locking up. Powdered soap tends to be better than liquid because it's less likely to clog up the uspply lines.
If you find problems with any of your appliances, you need to give the repair company plenty of time to order the right parts from the manufacturer. If those repairs are more than you'd like to pay, give yourself enough time to shop for a new one before the holidays. And remember, if the repair will host more than half of the new appliance and the unit's more than six years old, you're probably better off replacing it with a new model.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
INVESTIGATION | We uncovered 170,000 records containing personal information including Lifeline applications and records containing social security numbers, birth dates, social security cards, drivers licenses and food stamp cards.