When to Repair Vs. Replace Your Large Home Appliances

How to Spend Your Money Wisely When Repairing or Replacing Appliances

Large home appliances are some of the most expensive items to a person’s name, right behind their car and the deed to their house. But many homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about or caring for their appliances until the damage has already been done. Suddenly, the refrigerator or the oven stops working, and the person has no idea whether they should repair or replace one of the biggest items in their home. This is a common dilemma for many homeowners. A person can save a lot of money when dealing with a broken appliance if they’re willing to do some homework.

Know the Life the Appliance

When dealing with a broken appliance, it’s important to understand the lifespan of the item. This will tell the person how much longer their appliance will last and whether or not it’s worth spending the money to have it repaired. The National Association of Homeowners recommends using these numbers as a reference:

  • Air conditioner: 15 years.
  • Dishwasher: 9 years.
  • Dryer: 13 years.
  • Garbage disposal: 12 years.
  • Refrigerator: 13 years.
  • Stove: 13 to 15 years.
  • Washer: 10 years.

These numbers can vary a bit based on the brand and whether the appliance has been well maintained over the years. If an appliance is getting towards the end of its lifespan, it’s probably best to have it replaced.

Check Your Warranty

Homeowners should also take the time to check their warranty information. If the appliance is still covered by the warranty, the person should have it repaired while they still can. Most manufacturers offer long-term warranties, so there’s a good chance that the item is still protected. Homeowners should also get in the habit of keeping a copy of their warranties in a safe place.

Consider Your Current Financial Situation

If the appliance isn’t covered by a warranty, the homeowner should contact an appliance repair company in their area to get an estimate. If the repairs will cost around 50% of the item’s total cost, it’s best to start from scratch and buy a new one.

If the person doesn’t have a lot of money when their appliance breaks down, they might have to have it repaired just to get by in the short-term. It all depends on what the person can afford. It usually makes more financial sense to replace the broken item sooner rather than later instead of spending money on intermittent repairs over the next several years.

Those looking for a company that provides appliance repair in Marin should contact Absolute Appliances Repair for the best customer service in town!

 

The Benefits of Luxury High-End Appliances

The possibilities when it comes to integrating convenience and appliances in today’s tech-savvy world cannot be overstated. These days, the finest ovens take cooking commands from smartphones and the top-of-the-line refrigerators can text you to pick up a dozen eggs. Every so often, manufacturers entice buyers with all kinds of new features and options for luxury kitchen appliances – some prove to be valuable and others – well, not so much. It might be hard to imagine life without your self-cleaning oven, but what about the refrigerator that has a television installed in its door?

Luxury Appliances for All Generations

Some of the most popular new appliances are those that have features that make life a little more convenient for more than one generation. Today’s modern family often includes people spanning at least a couple of generations, and oftentimes up to three.

For example, Bosch Appliances brand manager, Micaela Shaw, says that the company’s new best-sellers have features and designs that consider young hands, aging eyes, and middle-aged backs. Many control panels have larger numbers and letters that are easy to see, one of its dishwashers shines a light on the floor to relay the current status of the appliance, and one of Bosch’s ovens has a side door that eliminates the need to bend over a door to pull out that Thanksgiving turkey.

Another benefit of many luxury kitchen appliances is their smaller sizes; BlueStar features a 24” oven that easily fits into tiny spaces (perfect for the adult child or in-laws in the attached suite at home) and Blomberg offers a refrigerator/freezer that, at just 22” wide, fits easily into small kitchens.

The Wireless Revolution Comes to Luxury Appliances

“Smart” appliances that interact with you in new ways are rapidly infiltrating the scene, and they include everything from refrigerators that tell you when you are running out of an item to ranges that remind you to turn them off or clean them. Manufacturers seem to be moving along with the idea that people want to be able to connect with their appliances for everything – anything that offers a glimmer of the possibility of more convenience.

Nowadays you can find refrigerators with several different doors, freezers with compartments that offer individual temperature controls, fridges that let you re-order items right from their screens, dishwashers with new bottle-washing jets built right into their top racks, and more. Do you have any luxury appliances with new, modern features that make your life easier?

For Bay Area large home appliance repairs, contact Absolute Appliances Repair!

How to Care for Your Outdoor Appliances

If you’re one of the many folks who enjoy evenings on the back deck, picnics out in the lawn, or afternoons enjoying a cold drink on your front porch, you already know how convenient outdoor kitchen appliances can be! While most people keep a fairly regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for their indoor appliances, too many forget about the ones they rely on for their outdoor refreshment. Whether you own an outdoor stove, an outdoor refrigerator, or anything else, you’ll want to care for your outdoor appliances so that you’re able to enjoy them for many years. Following are some tips to help you do exactly that:

  1. Maintain Regularly: The appliances you have outdoors are no different than those inside your home; they need regular attention in order to function properly for as long as they should. If you discover a problem, be sure that you don’t wait to call an appliance repair expert; the sooner you take care of a problem, the better your chances will be of warding off even larger, more expensive issues down the road.
  2. Cover and Protect: While we really don’t have to worry about the effect weather has on our appliances indoors, the outdoors presents a different problem. You’ll want to make sure that you provide covers for your appliances, whether it be a specially designed cabinet, an overhead roof covering, or even a fabric and plastic drape. Should foul weather approach, you won’t have to worry as much about hail, debris, or the like damaging your outdoor kitchen appliances.
  3. Secure: Mother Nature is anything but predictable, so you want to make sure your appliances are secured in place to prevent them from “wandering off” one way or another. Different items require different means of securing them, so you’ll want to check the owner’s manuals or ask your appliance installer what the best ways to secure them will be.
  4. Clean: Finally, be sure that you don’t neglect to clean your outdoor appliances. Be sure that you also keep coils, cords, and other parts in good condition so that you can enjoy the very most out of your outdoor freezer, stove, cooktop, or refrigerator. Check moving parts and working parts regularly to ensure they remain in good physical shape.

Should you notice anything out of the ordinary with your outdoor appliances, whether it be a cord that’s been chewed by a critter or a coil that’s been hit with the leaf blower, stay safe and be sure to contact a professional right away. For all of your large indoor appliances, contact Absolute Appliances Repair. We’ll be happy to help you maintain and repair your kitchen appliances properly, affordably, and safely.

Keeping Your Appliances Safe When Moving to a New Home

So, you’re moving to a beautiful new home and you want to take all those hefty appliances with you. But before you load everything into the truck, you need to make sure that your appliances are ready for the big move. All that rattling around on the road can damage some of your most valuable items like the refrigerator, stove, automatic dishwasher and your washer and dryer. If you’re not careful, some of those big-ticket items might not work properly when you arrive at your new home. Protect your appliances with these moving tips from Absolute Appliance Repair, your local home appliance service company.

Packing Up Your Fridge

Before you pack up the fridge, make sure that you leave it unplugged for at least 24 hours. This gives the fridge some time to defrost. As soon as it’s unplugged, throw out any perishable items and thoroughly clean all surfaces including the bottom drawers, shelves, and the walls. Make sure that you’ve removed all the water from the freezer where large chunks of ice tend to form, unless you want to unpack a fridge full of mildew. Lastly, take out the shelves and drawers and secure them separately before you load the fridge onto the truck.

Clean Out the Stove/Oven

Just like your fridge, start by cleaning out the inside of your oven and wiping down the stovetop. Pack up and clean all the loose pieces, including the racks and knobs. Finally, you’ll need to unplug the stove from the wall. Make sure that the gas has been turned off before you try to unplug the stove. Unless you have experience installing and uninstalling your stove, you should contact the manufacturer or your local gas company for assistance or more information.

Removing the Dishwasher

To start, remove any dishes and the utensil rack. While most dishwashers are pretty good at keeping themselves clean, take a moment to examine the inside. Wipe down the sides, top and bottom if you notice any splashes or stains. Leave the door open and let the interior air dry for at least 24 hours to prevent mold and mildew.

Before you remove the unit, you’ll need to disconnect the power and water supply. Unless you have direct access to the power cord, you can switch off the electrical circuit. Once the power and water have been turned off, disconnect the water supply hose, let it drain, and dry it off with a towel.

Prepping Your Washer and Dryer

Washers and dryers tend to be extremely sensitive. Before you start tinkering with either machine, contact the manufacturer or the user’s manual for detailed moving instructions. You’ll need to disconnect the hoses and pack them in a separate container. The most vulnerable part of the machine is the drum, which is usually located at the back of the washer. Make sure that you’ve secured the drum before you begin handling the machine.

Final Preparations

For all appliances, make sure that all the doors have been tapped shut. Any loose items need to be packed separately or physically tapped to the inside of the machine. Secure all power cords with a zip tie or some tape. If you have any questions along the way, contact the manufacturer or your local appliance home service company for assistance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with such large, valuable pieces of equipment.

If you discover that some of your appliances have been damaged in the move, contact Absolute Appliance Repair for all your home and kitchen appliance repair needs!

Getting Your Large Appliances Ready for Cooking during the Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, there are plenty of reasons to take a few minutes to look at your home – at your appliances, specifically. We all know it’s vital that everything runs as smoothly as possible while the turkey, dressing, and pies are cooking, whether you’re throwing a giant dinner for the masses or you’re getting a small feast for two together. Here are some tips you can use to get your appliances ready to operate at their best this holiday season:

    1. Refresh the Fridge

First and foremost, you’ll want to clean out your refrigerator before you do anything else, because so much of your holiday fixings will go into it. As part of your refrigerator fix, get rid of old condiments, condiments that hardly have anything left in the container, and anything you know darn well no one is going to eat. (Leftovers, anyone?) Be sure to wash shelves and drawers with warm soapy water and rinse well to get rid of any bacteria and germs.

    1. Crank Up the Ice Maker

You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of ice at the ready for your guests, so while you fix the refrigerator up for the holidays, turn up the ice maker settings on your freezer. Don’t have an ice maker? Not a problem – go to any store and buy an ice bin and get cubed up the old-fashioned way with ice trays. If you live in an area where the temperature is chilly, you can also keep drinks outside (in the garage, etc.) to help keep them cool.

    1. Clean Your Dishwasher

Once you get past the idea that it’s weird to clean an appliance that exists to clean, you’ll want to remove stains that can prevent your dishes from becoming truly clean. No one wants to eat off scale-ridden dishes, and no one wants to serve on them, either! Grab some specially formulated dishwasher cleanser or use lemon and vinegar to dissolve scale and freshen your appliance.

    1. Avoid Cooktop Repair Charges

Avoid disaster and the cooktop repair phone call that follows by cleaning your range, stovetop, and oven before all the cooking commences. A cooktop that isn’t clean is one that won’t function at its best, and we all know how important it is for this appliance to work properly for holiday cooking!

    1. Take a Look at Washer Hoses

This may not cross your mind right away with all the business of the season, but the last thing you need is a flood from a washing machine that’s leaked. Make sure there are no cracks or tears in the hoses that are in the rear of your washing machine and if there are, you can easily and quickly find new hoses and replace them.

If you find that any of your appliances are in need of some attention before the holidays arrive, or if you want our experts to check them out before a problem rears its ugly head, contact Absolute Appliances Repair. We can schedule a time for us to come out and make sure your appliances are in proper, safe, efficient working order to make your holidays the best yet. Contact us today.

Energy-Saving Tips for Large Home Appliances

Simple Ways to Use Less Energy in the Kitchen

The kitchen tends to be a hotbed of energy consumption. Large appliances such as your automatic dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven are some of the biggest energy hogs in your home, right after your air conditioner. If you’re looking to cut down on consumption, use these tips from the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce the amount of energy your home uses in the first place.

Shopping for Savings

Buying energy-efficient appliances is one of the best ways to reduce consumption in the long-term. Instead of adjusting your behavior on a day-by-day basis, energy-efficient appliances do most of the work for you. When shopping for appliances, look for the EnergyStar label. These products are designed to use a fraction of the energy that some older models require. When shopping for a refrigerator, look for models with a top-mounted freezer. They use anywhere from 10 – 25% less energy than side-by-side models and those with bottom-mounted freezers.

Reducing Energy Consumption by Changing Your Behavior

Let’s face it: most people don’t have the money to buy new energy-efficient appliances. Instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars at your local appliance store, you can reduce consumption by being mindful of how you use your existing appliances.

Stove and Oven

The best thing that you can do for your stove is to keep it clean. Messy burners and stovetops become barriers for heat, boosting the amount of energy needed to heat up a cup of soup or boil some water. Make sure that you use pans that match the size of the burner. Using a small pan on a large burner is a massive waste of heat. Using lids and kettles instead of open pots also helps to lock in the heat.

Dishwasher

Most of the energy used to power your automatic dishwasher comes from your home’s hot water heater. Check your user manual to see if you can lower the water temperature. Try to scrape off your dishes as much as possible instead of rinsing them before you load them into your dishwasher. Make sure that your dishwasher is full and not overloaded. And, lastly, try air drying your dishes by laying them out on the counter instead of using the dry cycle.

Refrigerator

Operating 24/7, the refrigerator is a major energy hog, generally the second biggest consumer in your home. Keep an eye on the internal temperature of your unit. You should be able to control the temperature using a knob in the back. Your refrigerator should be set at around 36°F and your freezer should be at, you guessed it, 0°F. If you suspect that your internal temperature monitor is not accurate, which is often the case, fill a small glass with water and a thermometer and let it sit overnight. Compare the readings with what’s on the internal monitor. If the readings are off, the doors on your fridge might not be sealing properly. If that’s the case, it might be time to replace your fridge.

You can also reduce consumption by covering liquids and wrapping foods. You should also clear away spills, crumbs and any built-up frost that might be collecting in your fridge or freezer. All that extra gunk is just one more thing that your refrigerator needs to keep cool.

If you’ve noticed a major uptick in your utility bill, some of your appliances might be the culprit. Make sure that your large household appliances are working properly by calling Absolute Appliances Repair, your number-one choice for San Francisco Bay Area appliance repair.

Easy Ways to Clean Your Stovetop

Just about everyone is familiar with the struggle to keep traditional cooktops and conventional stovetops clean; even if you don’t cook on the stove every day, the remnants of boil-overs, drops, and over-zealous flips can create quite a challenge for us when it comes time to clean. Even with a daily wipe-down, the chore of keeping up with a spotless stovetop can seem endless. As you probably already know, just one pot that boils over can easily create a mess worthy of a scrubber commercial. Keeping the surface clean will not only help it to look better, but will also stave off the need for premature stove repair in San Francisco.

Tips for Cleaning Your Stovetop

If you’re searching for some new cleaning ideas to try that don’t include harsh, dangerous chemicals, read on. There are plenty of products and substances that can tackle even the toughest job with impressive results:

  1. Salt and Baking Soda: Just take one tablespoon of each ingredient, and add to one tablespoon of water and mix to form a paste. Dip a rag into the paste and it naturally scours grime and crud away. You can also pour the mixture on stubborn spots to soak; it also absorbs liquid, making the clean-up quick and easy.
  2. Ammonia: While it’s true that this strong solvent isn’t great for cleaning everything, what it is great at is cleaning stovetops. You can use it to wipe up those dried-on, caked-on spills, and you can also remove the burner tops, soak them in a sandwich bag of ammonia on your porch overnight, then rinse in the morning to reveal super shiny burner tops.
  3. White Vinegar: White vinegar is hailed by many as the ultimate cleaner, and it’s a useful product to have around to clean your stovetop. It’ll easily loosen up stains and streaks, so you’ll want to mix one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle. It’s the acidity of the vinegar that helps remove all the grit and grime. Be sure to label your spray bottle for quick access next time, too.
  4. A Razor Scraper or Scour Stick: Both of these items can be held at an angle while you gently scrape away at residue. Simply wipe away residue as it comes off, and you can even rinse with an ammonia or vinegar solution. Just be careful not to press to firmly, or you will scratch up the stovetop quite a bit.
  5. Lemons and Baking Soda: Baking soda has tiny fine particles that make a great substance to help scrub off grit and grime, and lemons contain natural grease-cutting characteristics. What’s great about this solution is that it’s powerful enough to really break up tough stains, but still won’t scratch the top of your stove. Sprinkle the baking soda over stains on your stovetop and rub the surface using lemon slices, and wipe away remnants with a damp cloth.

Before you start cleaning your stove top, regardless of which method you use, you’ll want to make sure that all burners are off and that the stovetop is cool. Try to clean the surface every day in order to keep up with the task; regular buffs will make it easier to deep clean. You’ll want to regularly clean off those burners to prevent build-up and oils from damaging your appliance, and you’ll also prevent having to contact us for stove repair that could’ve been prevented.

For more tips on caring for the appliances in your home, and for appliance repair in San Francisco, contact Absolute Appliances Repair today.

Stoves vs. Cooktops: Which is Best?

One of the most important appliances in your kitchen is your stove, and for very good reason. It’s the centerpiece for cooking a good, wholesome meal. If you’re in the market for something new or new-used, there are two options for you to choose from — ranges and cooktops.

Whether you’re making your choice through appliance repair in San Francisco or through other means, it’s crucial to know the difference between a range and a cooktop before making your final decision. But what exactly are the differences?

What You Should Know

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing between a range and a cooktop is the biggest difference between the two appliances.

A cooktop functions much like a regular stove, but does not contain the oven portion — it’s burners and the knobs to operate them, and it is installed into a countertop. A range contains the burners and function knobs, but also includes an oven.

While there is really only this one difference, it’s obviously an important one. You’ll need to understand your cooking needs before making your choice between the two, of course. For an even bigger decision-making influence, let’s look at the benefits of ranges and cooktops.

The Benefits of Choosing a Range

A range is a great choice for large or small kitchens, as it is the hub of the cooking area. It also gives you what you need — burners and a stove — in an attractive, simple package. Deciding on a range gives you numerous options when deciding on size, finish, cooking style and much more. You’re even able to choose from a slide-in or drop-in range, a freestanding range, or even dual-fuel option — all of which have their own distinct benefits.

Ranges come on a spectrum of price points, which is a huge benefit if you’re working on a budget. Because sizes and other options vary, you’ll be able to find an option that’s perfect for your home without spending a boatload of money.

The Benefits of Choosing a Cooktop

  • Cooktops are much smaller than a range and therefore are easier to install. Because they are only a set of burners, you’ll also have extra space below for a cabinet or other item.
  • When choosing a cooktop, you’ll have plenty of options for burner size and finish. Plus, glass and smooth cooktop options make cleanup much easier.
  • A cooktop stove has its controls on the countertop, making this option a safer choice if you have children in your home. They won’t be able to reach the controls as easily as they might with a range.

Purchasing a new appliance can be exciting, but it’s important to remember that doing your research beforehand can make the process easier. When you know what you need to create meals you can be proud of, it’s easier to narrow down your options. You’ll want to do everything possible to make the process quick and painless so you can get back to cooking!

If ever (or whenever) you’re in the need for stove repair, call Absolute Appliances Repair!

COOKTOPS HELP YOU CREATE BEAUTIFUL MEALS

Without your cooktop, you couldn’t create your beautiful stocks and sauces that you use in so many recipes every week. One sauce alone can be the basis to several amazing meals. But when your cooktop is broken, you might have to settle for a less than stellar meal. Your family has comes to expect great meals from you and your cooktop. The good news is you don’t have to let them down another day.

Just call Absolute Appliance Repair during regular business hours and we will send one of our professional repair technicians to your house on the same day you call.

Our technicians receive ongoing training and are up-to-date on all of the latest industry trends and cooktop repairs that you may need. They also carry all of the most common replacement parts for all domestic brands of cooktops and even many foreign models, not to mention all of the specialty tools they could possibly need.

At Absolute Appliance Repair, our technicians use only factory replacement parts. Those parts come with a full warranty and we guarantee our work. This means you have no worries if, for any reason, something should go wrong. You are fully covered for parts and labor for the extent of the warranty. So don’t go another day without your cooktop. When you enjoy cooking, it is one of the most important appliances in the kitchen. Call Absolute Appliance Repair today and we will have you back to creating amazing dishes with your own homemade stocks and sauces again quicker than you can boil water.

CHOOSE A COOKTOP

When choosing a new cooktop, keep your needs and lifestyle in mind. Cooktops have come a long way from the basic four-burner models. With all of the available features, deciding which cooktop is best for you will depend on the features you want and your budget. Cooktops are now available with smooth tops, grills, different burner configurations and much more.

General Cooktop Features

Many models of both gas and electric cooktops have the exact same countertop cutout, so planning and designing your new kitchen has never been easier:

  • Cooktops today are easier to clean, better looking and offer more cooking flexibility (more precise temperature control, for example) versus the cooktops from only a few years ago.
  • Ceramic cooktops are available in gas and electric.
  • The edge of the cooktop is frameless, so it won’t trap food and be difficult to clean.
  • Cooktops have available accessories, such as interchangeable burners and grids for grilling.
  • Downdraft exhaust is available on some electric and gas models. A downdraft cooktop is perfect for a kitchen island with no overhead exhaust.

Electric Cooktop Features

  • Smooth ceramic cooktops have a sleek appearance and offer easy cleanup.
  • Ceramic cooktops are available in a variety of colors to complement any kitchen design.
  • The ribbon elements on a smooth top cooktop heat as quickly as the old coil elements and some are adjustable in size. For example, an adjustable element can accommodate either large or small pans. A triple element can heat a large 9″ x 19″ griddle or casserole dish.
  • Some sealed ceramic cooktops can be recessed so they are virtually flush with the countertop.
  • An electronic touch-control cooktop is available with no knobs. The electronic touch-control makes this cooktop a great addition to your kitchen’s decor. This type of cooktop offers other features as well:
  • If an unoccupied element is left on, sensors in the cooktop will turn off the element.
  • Sensors adjust the size of the element to the size of pan being used.
  • The control-lock feature for the elements is a safety feature to prevent accidental activation.
  • A digital reminder timer alerts you when the cooking time has expired.

Gas Cooktop Features

  • Sealed surface burners contain spills for easy cleanup. Many cooktops are designed with the sealed burners recessed below the surface of the countertop.
  • Models are available with “gas-on-glass” where the sealed burner is mounted directly on the ceramic cooktop, offering easy cleaning of an electric smooth top with the performance of gas.
  • Sealed “simmer” burners allow you to cook delicate foods without using a double boiler.
  • Precise temperature controls allow you to control the temperature for every cooking need. You can even cook items at very low temperatures without scorching.
  • One or more sealed “high power” burners, up to 15,000 Btu’s, allow you to boil quickly or do other high temperature cooking like frying or cooking with a wok.
  • Cast-iron, porcelain enamel-coated grates are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

 

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