Kitchen Appliances Tips

ENERGY STAR® Refrigerators Are Cool! ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerators use 15% less energy than non-qualified models. Models with top-mounted freezers use 10%-25% less energy than side-by-side or bottom-mount units.

You can save energy in your kitchen through more efficient use of your dishwasher, refrigerator and freezer, and other common appliances.

DISHWASHERS

Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. The EnergyGuide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water based on the yearly cost of natural gas and electric water heating.

DISHWASHER WATER-SAVING TIPS
  • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120° F).
  • Scrape, don’t rinse, off large food pieces and bones. Soaking or pre-washing is generally only recommended in cases of burned- or dried-on food.
  • Be sure your dishwasher is full (not overloaded) when you run it.
  • Avoid using the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3-7 gallons of hot water each use.
  • Let your dishes air dry; if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.
LONG-TERM SAVINGS TIP

When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR label to find one that uses less water and energy than required by federal standards. They are required to use 4.25 gallons of water per cycle or less — older dishwashers purchased before 1994 use more than 10 gallons of water per cycle.

REFRIGERATORS

The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators tells you how much electricity in kilowatt-hours (kWh) a particular model uses in one year. The smaller the number, the less energy the refrigerator uses and the less it will cost you to operate. In addition to the EnergyGuide label, don’t forget to look for the ENERGY STAR label. A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR label uses at least 15% less energy than non-qualified models, 20% less energy than required by current federal standards, and 40% less energy than the conventional models sold in 2001.

REFRIGERATOR-FREEZER ENERGY TIPS
  • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 35°-38°F for the fresh food compartment and 0° F for separate freezers for long-term storage.
  • Check the refrigerator temperature by placing an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. Check the freezer temperature by placing a thermometer between frozen packages. Read it after 24 hours.
  • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you may consider buying a new unit.
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
LONG-TERM SAVINGS TIP

Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying a new refrigerator. Select a new refrigerator that is the right size for your household. Top freezer models are more energy efficient than side-by-side models. Features like icemakers and water dispensers, while convenient, do use more energy.

OTHER ENERGY-SAVING KITCHEN TIPS

  • Place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the hot position draws hot water even though it may never reach the faucet.
  • Look for a natural gas oven or range with an automatic, electric ignition system, which saves gas since a pilot light is not burning continuously.
  • Look for blue flames in natural gas appliances; yellow flames indicate the gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment may be needed. If you see yellow flames, consult the manufacturer or your local utility.
  • Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you will save energy.
  • Use a covered kettle or pan or electric kettle to boil water; it’s faster and uses less energy.
  • Match the size of the pan to the heating element.
  • Use small electric pans, toaster ovens, or convection ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster or convection oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a full-sized oven.

How much electricity do my home appliances use?

This chart shows how much energy a typical appliance uses per year and its corresponding cost based on national averages. For example, a refrigerator/freezer uses almost five times the electricity the average television uses. Appliances account for about 13% of your household’s energy costs, with refrigeration, cooking, and laundry at the top of the list.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT APPLIANCE REPAIR SERVICE

  1. Ask your friends for a referral. The very best way to find an Appliance Repair Service is by “Referral”. When someone you know recommends a company they were completely happy with(which includes service, price, professionalism, etc.)then you already know you’re getting a good company. Just be sure you trust this person’s opinion!
  2. Look for license and insurance. The ad you’re looking at should say “Licensed & Insured” and should have the company’s state license.
  3. Check to make sure their license number is valid and their insurance is current.
  4. Check the length of time the company has been in business at the same location, under the same name. A company with a long local history is a better bet than a recent startup with no history in the area.
  5. Look to see that they are in the major business internet directories.(yellowpages.com, superpages.com, google maps, yahoo local, etc.)
  6. Be aware that companies who spend a lot of money on advertising have to get that money from somewhere... usually in the higher fees they charge you.
  7. Weigh the benefits of the personal attention you will receive from a family-owned business vs the unknown technician a larger company will send. A local person has a reputation to uphold locally. A representative of a large national chain however, may or may not be concerned about giving you the best deals or service.
  8. Ask the name of the technician they are sending and ask to speak to him/her. It’s ok to ask them how long they’ve been repairing appliances and see if they will talk to you about your problem. If they are honest, they will discuss your problem with you. If you explain the symptoms you are experiencing with your appliance, they should be able to give you some possibilities of what type of repairs you may need. If they won’t talk to you about it, you should consider that a red flag.
  9. Ask a specific question. For example: “Hello, I have a Kenmore gas dryer that was working fine until today. It still runs fine but there is no heat at all. If all I needed was a new igniter replaced, which is part number 279311, how much would the total repair cost me? I understand that you may find other things wrong and the estimate you give me over the phone could change, but all I’m asking is how much would it cost me if all you had to do was replace the 279311 igniter?” If they won’t answer that question, it should be a red flag to you.

With over 15 years of experience Absolute Appliance Repair company prides on Superior Appliance Repair Service in San Francisco Appliance Repair! Absolute Appliance Repair is your source for all of your appliance repair needs.

San Francisco Appliance Repair offers top-quality appliance repair service for business and residential appliances and refrigeration.

Our high-skilled appliance repair technicians are capable of handling any job that comes their way.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your appliance!

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WASHING MACHINE TIPS

Water Drips Into My Washer When It Is Not On

If you have water dripping into your washing machine when it’s not running, you may have a bad water inlet valve. This is what the hoses to the washing machine attach to at the back of the washer. To check this washer part:

1. Disconnect the hoses from the washing machine.

2. Turn on the faucets to clear any blockages in the hoses.

3. Inspect the filter screens on the water inlet valve. This washing machine part may have some debris built up that interferes with proper operation. Be very careful with the screens, as they aren’t replaceable.

4. Open the washer and find the coil shaped solenoids. You will need to test them with an ohmmeter or multitester. If these washer parts are bad they should be replaced.

5. The water inlet valve may have failed mechanically instead of electronically. Replace this washing machine part if none of the above seems to work and you still have water dripping into the washer.

Washing Machine Problem?
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Refrigerator Basics

There are three basic appliances that go into every kitchen or else you really can’t call it a kitchen. These are a sink, a stove and a refrigerator. The first household refrigerators were referred to as ice boxes. This was because that is essentially what they were: boxes that contained a huge block of ice to keep food cold. Ice men would travel through neighborhoods selling big blocks of ice that they would insert into your “ice box” until it melted the following week. With the advent of electric refrigerators, the ice man was put out of business and the “ice box” became self-sufficient. Modern Refrigerators Today, buying a new refrigerator is not unlike shopping for a new car. With both of those items, you’re basically making an investment in a product that needs to last you for several years. It’s not like buying a pair of shoes that you know are going to wear out with constant use. Your refrigerator should be maintenance-free (or as close to that as possible!). It needs to have a roomy capacity to meet all your food storage needs and needs to look good in your kitchen alongside your cabinets and other appliances. And today’s refrigerators ofter many time and effort saving extra features. Types of Refrigerators If you haven’t shopped for a refrigerator lately then you don’t know what you’ve been missing.

Companies like Amana, Frigidaire, Electrolux, GE and KitchenAid have poured all their engineering genius into the next generation of refrigerator design. Isn’t it time you checked out the market for yourself? The classic refrigerator design often meant that you had a double horizontal door. The lower portion was for the main refrigerator storage area and the upper for the freezer zone portion. There are many great refrigerators that still feature this comfortable layout. In fact, people who have grown up with this design often prefer it over other models. Some designs have reversed that classic horizontal lay out by flipping the freezer section with the main storage area. This makes the main refrigerator area more accessible. You can even have a horizontal refrigerator with vertical doors for the main storage area.

Think of it as half a side-by-side refrigerator and half a standard model. This type of refrigerator is perfect for singles and small families. Then there is the line of vertical door refrigerators. These side-by-side models have a large portion dedicated to the main storage with the smaller side containing the freezer. One of the great benefits with the vertical door models is that they often come equipped with a fresh water and ice dispenser. This is a very nice feature that provides filtered water and ice (cube or crushed!). No more messing with clunky ice trays or tap water. With these units you’ll have to replace an interior water filter every six months but this is as easy as changing a light bulb. Refrigerator Features If you are going to make the investment in a new refrigerator then one of the determining factors should be the capacity. Varieties of fridges can range from 18 cubic feet up to 27 cubic feet. If you are replacing your current model you want to make sure you take specific measurements to insure that your new fridge will fit in the proper place. Inside the refrigerator you’ll be presented with many shelf and storage options. This is where your particular taste and eating habits come into play.

You might prefer deep door trays to hold a gallon of milk or liter bottles of soda. You might like a deli meat and cheese drawer to keep those particular items fresh. And of course you need a decent size compartment designed to keep your veggies crisp. Don’t think that the refrigerator you are buying can be adapted. The shelves and drawers should all be adjustable to allow you to move them around for what suits you best. With all the particular designs also come the wide variety of styles and finishes on refrigerator. You could design your entire kitchen around what your refrigerator looks like or find the perfect fit for your current environment. Purchasing a New Refrigerator You might have grown accustomed to shopping on the Internet for smaller items like clothing, books and DVDs but there is no reason why you can’t go for the big ticket items like a refrigerator.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SMART APPLIANCES

Some manufacturers are now offering “smart” appliances — appliances that can be connected to smart electric meters or home energy management systems to help you shift your electricity use to off-peak hours. Air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances may be available as smart appliances.

Smart appliances don’t just turn off during times of peak electricity demand — instead, they use subtle ways to shift energy use. You might not even be aware of it. For example, your air conditioner may run slightly less often. Or your refrigerator might delay it’s defrost cycle until the middle of the night. If your utility charges lower rates for electricity at night, also called time-based rates, you could save on your utility bill.

Such changes may be unnoticeable to you, but could add up to significant savings for your utility — savings that can be shared with you. Your utility provider can tell you more about the availability of smart grid technologies and time-based electricity rates in your area and how they can benefit you.

 

Refrigerator buying guide

GE-Cafe-French-refrigerator-with-built-in-K-Cup-brewer-Cool-Mom-TechRefrigerators have long been thought of as the boxy, boring behemoths of the kitchen, and buying one used to be as simple as choosing between eggshell and off-white. But times have changed, with manufacturers increasingly thinking outside of the icebox to try to redefine what the modern refrigerator is really capable of. Today’s shopper will find an ever-increasing range of color and style options, cleverly-designed units designed to disappear into your decor, and a wide variety of new smart features, including ones aimed at transforming your kitchen itself into an entertainment hub. It’s enough to make you wonder if the ol’ fridge might be going through a bit of an identity crisis.

This reinvention of the refrigerator comes with a daunting new reality: finding the perfect model for your needs and budget is no easy task. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place — a handy overview designed to help you narrow down the countless options and come out confident that the refrigerator you’re buying will give you the most bang for your buck.

In the end, finding the right fridge is all about understanding your own needs and asking the right questions, so let’s get started with:

What type of refrigerator is best for me?

Style-wise, you’ve got four options to choose from, and each comes with its own pros and cons. Figuring out which one is best for you is the first, most obvious step towards making a final buying decision.


Top freezer

When I say the word “fridge,” chances are good that this is the style that pops into your head. With the bottom two thirds dedicated to fresh-food storage and the freezer unit sitting on top, most of us probably struggled to reach the Popsicles in a top freezer unit when we were kids, or we at least used one in our first apartment. Tastes have moved forward since then, so if you’re looking for something modern, high-end, and feature-rich, then a top-freezer model probably isn’t for you. If, however, style isn’t as much of a concern, then you’ll find that top freezers offer some of the best bargains on the market. Plus, there are still enough being made to offer a solid variety of choices.

Bottom freezer

If you’re looking for something on the simpler side, and would enjoy slightly easier access to your fresh foods, then a bottom-freezer unit might be right for you. Bottom-freezer units aren’t much different from top-freezer units except for the fact that the freezer is located — you guessed it — on the bottom. This means that you won’t have to hunch over while rooting around for commonly used ingredients. However, it also means that frozen foods will be located down around your ankles — though a majority of models now come with drawer-style freezer doors, which can make getting the ice cream out a little easier. Bottom freezer units tend to be just slightly bigger than top freezers, but there’s also less variety of models to choose from.

 

Side-by-side

Side-by-side units split your fridge right down the middle, offering you frozen foods on the left and fresh foods on the right. Some models offer equal real estate for both sections while others allocate an extra couple of inches for the fridge. This can make for an especially narrow freezer section, so frozen-pizza aficionados might want to consider something a little less limiting. Side-by-side units come in a wide variety of models and tend to showcase more features than their horizontally minded counterparts. Many of these features are aimed at saving space, especially when it comes to the shelving inside the doors. Side-by-side units also require much less clearance to open the doors, making them ideal for narrow kitchens. Due to the vertical split, you’ll probably want to go with the widest model that will fit into your kitchen, and your budget.

French door

Highly popular, French-door models combine the drawer-style freezer of a bottom-freezer unit with the low-clearance doors of a side-by-side unit. This means that you’ll have a full-width, double-door fridge with plenty of storage space. With your refrigerator door effectively split into two, it also means that you won’t be letting as much cold air out when you’re opening just one door to grab the milk. Some models come with two separate freezer drawers, with the top one located about waist-high. This will keep you from bending down quite as far as you would with a bottom freezer. With the high demand for French door refrigerators, you’re sure to find a huge variety of options, including models with top-of-the-line smart features you won’t find with other styles. You can also upgrade the look of your fridge to match your kitchen or even camouflage itself entirely among your cabinets, but be aware that you’ll likely be tacking a few thousand dollars onto the already steep price tag.

10 tips to extend the life of appliances

Replacing a refrigerator or oven range can take a bite out of your budget, as can buying a new washer or dryer. To make sure your appliances stand the test of time and continue to perform, follow these pointers:

Keep your fridge and freezer clean.
In general, appliances operate best when spick-and-span. Besides regularly cleaning up leftovers in the fridge, keep condenser coils clean, says Bud Eader, manager at Bettar Appliance in Kensington, Md. Do so by using a condenser coil brush.

To clean the freezer, unplug it, remove all food, wipe it down with a baking-soda solution, use water to rinse it, and then dry the freezer with a towel before plugging it back in.

Defrost your freezer. Many freezers today are frost-free. However, if you have a manual defrost freezer, plan to defrost it at least once every year, before frost gets to about a half-inch thick. Use a plastic or wooden scrape — no knives or other sharp instruments — to remove the frost layer.

Scrub your oven and range, too.

Clean inside your oven often and never let food debris stick around on burners, even if it requires a bit of elbow grease to remove. Don’t spray cleaning fluid directly on control panels though, which could cause them to short circuit. Instead, apply a little onto a rag to clean that surface.
Don’t foil your oven. Experts debate whether you should use the self-cleaning feature if your oven comes with one, but they agree you shouldn’t use aluminum foil under the baking element.
Replace filters. Whether it’s a charcoal filter in an oven, a filter in some dishwashers or refrigerators or the one in your furnace, follow manufacturer guidelines to clean and/or replace them as directed.

Don’t use dish soap in the dishwasher. This can hamper the machine’s performance by creating gunky buildup. Use only dish detergent.

Scrape off plates. Food debris can clog dishwasher pumps.“It’s going to stop up the spray arms and, in the case of emptying the water out, it’s possibly going to make the pump fail prematurely.

Don’t overload your clothes washing machine.

Doing so adds strain on the motor, tub bearings and other parts, besides not getting your clothes clean if water and detergent can’t swish between them. “You shorten the life of the machine,” Eader says. Instead, follow the owner manual instructions on how much to load. Hint: If your machine is banging around under the weight of all of your laundry, you’ve gone overboard.
Improve your dryer’s circulation. Often forgotten, the lint screen needs to be cleaned regularly. Failing to do or allowing your dryer vent to become clogged will force your dryer to work overtime (read: retire sooner) and can present a serious fire hazard. Plan to have your dryer’s exhaust system cleaned annually.
Watch where you apply stain removers. Spraying it on top of washers or dryers can corrode painted or plastic parts.

HOW MUCH ENERGY APPLIANCES USE

Appliances account for about 13% of your household’s energy costs, with refrigeration, cooking, and laundry at the top of the list.

When you use electricity to cook a pot of rice for 1 hour, you use 1,000 watt-hours (1,000 Wh) of electricity! One thousand watt-hours equals 1 kWh. Your utility bill usually shows what you are charged for the kilowatt-hours you use. The average residential rate is 11.04 cents/kWh. A typical U.S. household consumes about 11,800 kWh per year, costing an average of $1,297 annually.

appliance-energyThis chart shows how much energy a typical appliance uses per year and its corresponding cost based on national averages. For example, a refrigerator uses almost five times the electricity the average television uses. Appliances account for about 13% of your household’s energy costs, with refrigeration, cooking, and laundry at the top of the list.

KITCHEN TIPS

10 Simple Kitchen Tips You Wish Someone Told You Earlier

1.Use tongs to cooking pretty much everything

Spatulas are awesome for anything that needs to be flipped or scraped, like eggs and pancakes. For everything else, tongs are the way to go. They’re much more nimble and less awkward to use, and you’ll find far fewer things jumping from your pan onto the floor. If you have non-stick cookware, be sure to use tongs with nylon tips.

2. Store everything in tupperware

As much as I’d like to be the kind of person who trims their herbs, puts them in an vase then wraps them in a damp paper towel so they last a week, I’m way too lazy for that. The good news though is that tupperware keeps almost everything fresh for much longer than your crisper, including berries, salad greens and produce that has already been cut. Because it is reusable, it is also more ecofriendly.

3. If you own a knife, don’t use a garlic press

Peeling and pressing garlic is a huge waste of time. To use a clove of garlic, set it on a cutting board and smash it with the flat side of a big knife . The papery skin will come right off, and you can mince it real quick right there in about 10 seconds. Done.

4. Keep a separate cutting board for things you don’t want flavored with garlic and onion

Assuming you follow any recipe ever, you’ll probably be using your cutting board for cutting onions or garlic. If so, I recommend getting a separate board you keep aside for cutting fruit, cheeses and other things that you’d prefer didn’t absorb the odors of previous meals.

5. Herbs that are supposed to be green should be purchased fresh, not dry

With the possible exception of dried oregano (great in Mexican, Greek and Italian foods), herbs are always better fresh. They’re also cheap and available almost anywhere. In particular, always buy fresh parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, tarragon or chives if you can help it (a few should be in your fridge at all times). The dried versions are OK if not too old, but they’re very delicate and the jar will probably go bad before you use it twice.

6. Don’t bother with pre-filled spice racks

If you want spices to serve their purpose (making food taste better), you shouldn’t own a pre-filled spice rack. Spices go off quickly, and when their color starts to dull they’ve lost a lot of their flavor. There are several dried spices that are invaluable in my kitchen (cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, etc.), but you should purchase them as you need them, and in small quantities unless you use them frequently.

7. Overcooking is probably your biggest kitchen mistake

Overcooked vegetables are mushy and flavorless, overcooked meat is tough and chalky, overcooked grains are soggy and fall apart. In other words, overcooked food is bad food. Learn the art of taking food off the heat just before it is done, and let it finish cooking with its internal temperature. You can always cook it more, but you can never cook it less.

8. If it tastes OK but not great, it probably needs salt—and maybe some vinegar or olive oil

If you think you’ve added enough salt but something is still off, try a small splash of vinegar or lemon (any acid) to brighten the flavor. If the food is dry or sticky, try adding a touch of olive oil. These three things can fix almost any lackluster meal.

9. Don’t buy regular big onions, use shallots or leeks

For most everyday cooking, milder onions will enhance your dish and give it more nuance. Big, strong onions certainly have their place in cooking (soups, roasts, etc.), but most kitchen experiments will be improved by more subtle onion flavor.

10. Fruit (other than berries) shouldn’t be stored in the fridge

Refrigerators dull the taste of most produce, so if you bought something that doesn’t need to go in there leave it out. Most fruits including apples, oranges, pears and bananas don’t belong in the refrigerator unless you’re not planning on eating them soon. I don’t refrigerate tomatoes, avocados or peppers either. Very hot climates are an exception, however.