How to Update Your Inefficient Fridge Rather Than Buying a New One

How to Update Your Inefficient Fridge Rather Than Buying a New One

Your refrigerator is probably the hardest working appliance you have in your home. From the time you bring it home and plug it in, it works for you 24 hours a day year-round. It is likely the most reliable appliance in your home. So, it is understandable that there is some reluctance to buying a new one when it starts to give you problems. It would be like trading in an old and trustworthy friend.

If you are starting to notice that your fridge is not as efficient as it used to be, don’t think it is time to throw in the towel. Most refrigerator problems are relatively simple fixes. It is only when those problems are neglected that you are looking at a major repair. If you are noticing that your fridge is not working as it should, here are a few updates that may make all the difference.

 

Replace the Seal

Most likely, the number one cause of a refrigerator’s inefficiency is a cracked or broken door seal. When the seal is compromised, warm air from outside can seep in keeping the fridge from maintaining a cold temperature. Even if the seal appears to be good with no visible cracks or breaks, there may still be a small gap that is allowing external air to get into the cabinet. If you find that there is a hole or a crack in the seal, it might be smarter to replace it rather than invest in a whole new fridge.

 

Clean the Coils

Often, when a refrigerator is not performing well, it could be because the coils are clogged. Over time, they can get clogged up with hair, dust, and other particles that naturally accumulate in the air. Simply checking the coils and cleaning out any of that accumulated debris can give the coils breathing room to work.

 

Replace the Water Filter

Sometimes, the ice maker or water dispenser stops working. This may be a problem with the water filter, which can be a pretty easy repair to make. By replacing the water filter, you can give your fridge a whole new life. You can also check to make sure that the ice maker hasn’t been turned off by accident.

 

Clean Door Gaskets

Sometimes the refrigerator can’t keep its temperature because the door gaskets are dirty. Over time, a build-up of sticky residue from different foods can accumulate in the doors. This makes it harder to open the door, which can eventually tear the gaskets. Cleaning them with a little warm water might be your best option when it comes to avoiding expensive repair bills or having to replace the refrigerator altogether.

 

Nothing can be more disappointing than opening the refrigerator only to find semi-soft ice-cream in the freezer or milk that has gone bad because of the low temperature. But, the idea of having to replace an old fridge doesn’t have to be the only solution. Often, the problems are minor enough that you can handle them yourself. If not, call our refrigerator experts at Absoluteappliancesrepairs.com to help you upgrade your appliance and avoid the cost of replacing it.

refrigerator appliance repair

Is Your Refrigerator Using Too Much Electricity?

Refrigerators have become essential in our day-to-day lives; however, not all of them are the same. In today’s world of high energy usage and high prices, you’ll certainly want a model in your home that provides you with the most use for the least amount of power. There are things you can do yourself to increase your unit’s energy-efficiency so that you can make sure that it doesn’t use too much electricity; however, if you ever need assistance with your refrigerator, you can always contact us! In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind:

Keep Your Fridge Well-Stocked

The more your fridge has to run, and the greater the air displacement is, the more power it will use and the harder it’s going to have to work in order to cool your groceries down. When a refrigerator is empty, that air displacement is going to be high. Do be aware though, and be careful not to jam pack your fridge – having far too many items within it will limit the air movement too much, damaging energy efficiency.

Keep the Door Closed

More and more power is used every time someone opens the refrigerator door, because warmer air from the outside replaces some of the cooler air on the inside. It takes extra power and extra work for the fridge to bring the temperature level back down. Try to make a habit of opening the door only when necessary; take all ingredients out all at once rather than separately.

Watch the Temperature Setting

There is a small dial in refrigerators that control exactly how cold the temperature is set at; if you have it set too high, you’ll end up with a bunch of spoiled food. If you set your unit too cold, your food will be semi-frozen and you’ll waste money because your fridge will run too often. The recommended temperature for refrigerators according to Samsung is 37.4 degrees.

Maintenance is Crucial

It might be easy to just plug in your refrigerator and largely forget about it, letting it run until it dies years later. However, if you keep your eyes on a couple of things, you’ll find that it won’t use too much electricity and won’t die prematurely. Once every six months, unplug your unit so you can safely brush the condenser coils; if too much dust accumulates on the coils, it can cause your appliance to overheat, causing damage.

It’s important that you keep watch over your refrigerator in order to ensure that it never uses more electricity than it should. When your unit uses the least amount of energy possible, it will also cost you less money on your energy bills and will provide you with many years of good, energy-efficient service. For more information on energy efficiency and your refrigerator, or if you are ever in need of quality appliance repair, contact our experienced professionals at Absolute Appliances Repair.

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.

What to Do When Your Refrigerator Dies

The refrigerator is one of those appliances that’s pretty hard to live without—even if it’s for few hours. So when you’re refrigerator suddenly dies, or is in the process of dying, it can be really nerve-wracking. Fortunately, there are signs that tell you when your refrigerator is dying so you can address the problems before it completely gives out. Read on for more information.

Signs your refrigerator is dying

Your food keeps expiring before it’s supposed to

A faulty fridge can cause food to go bad before its expiration date. This could mean that the thermostat isn’t working properly, the condenser coils are covered in dust, or the motor is working overtime because condenser coils are too hot.

Your energy bills are increasing

If your energy bills are going up, it may be a sign that your kitchen appliances are using too much energy. And because your refrigerator and freezer are on all the time, they may be to blame. The thermostat, motor, or compressor may be on its way out.

The interior feels relatively warm

Ideally, the interior of your refrigerator should be 35˚F at all times, with the freezer being at 0˚. If your refrigerator isn’t staying at the correct temperature, it may be dying. Check the door seal to make sure it’s not loose and make sure the condenser coils are clean.

The compressor or motor is constantly running

Your refrigerator will always emit a soft humming sound; however, when the internal temperature rises above its set level, the compressor and the motor will turn on to lower the temperature. This increases the noise level for a short time. If the sound doesn’t decrease, though, this may be a sign that something is wrong with the refrigerator.

There’s a puddle of water around the fridge

This could mean that the door isn’t closing all the way, the drip pan is broken, the fridge is filled with frost, or hoses from the fridge to the drip pan might be loose.

If your refrigerator is showing signs of imminent death, don’t panic. Help is usually just a phone call away. If you live in the San Francisco area and you’re in need of refrigerator repair or freezer repair, contact Absolute Appliances Repair for professional, reliable service.

Keeping Food Safe When the Fridge Dies

How to Avoid Food Contamination without a Fridge

Keeping food safe during a power outage is about being prepared. If there’s a major storm headed to your neighborhood, you need to take certain precautions to avoid getting stuck with a fridge full of rotten food. Losing all that food isn’t just about wasting money; it’s about protecting your family from harmful bacteria and pathogens. Prevent a worst-case scenario and use these tips to keep your family’s food as fresh as possible.

Prepare for a Major Power Outage

Sometimes it’s impossible to predict the weather or when your fridge is going to fail. But if you have a warning such as a major storm, you can make a few preparations ahead of time. Start by making sure that you have a working, accurate thermostat in your refrigerator and freezer. If you’re not sure if your thermostat is accurate, leave a new one in the fridge and then compare the readings. Your goal is to keep the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0 degrees or below. The next step is to fill plastic bags with water and keep them on hand in case you need to keep certain foods cold while the power is out. If you have ice packs or freezer packs, keep those cold as well. You should also have a store in mind that’s nearby in case you need to run out and buy ice.

What to Do When You Lose the Fridge

Whether you’re facing a power outage from a storm or your fridge bites the dust, you need to act fast if your fridge is no longer working correctly. Keep the doors on the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible. If you need to reach in and grab something, think carefully about what you need and where to find it. Your fridge will maintain its current temperature for about 4 hours. Your freezer should stay frozen for about 48 hours if it’s full of food. It will only last for about 24 hours if it’s half-full. If the temperature starts to drop, you can add bags of ice from a local store. Stuff the ice around sensitive items like meat and produce. You can also bundle items around or on top of each other to help them maintain their current temperature.

To prevent cross-contamination, place any meat in separate plastic bags and place them on one side of the fridge or freezer. If any juices from the meat start to leak out, you’re better off throwing the meat out rather than exposing your sanitary food to harmful contaminants.

When you finally get the fridge working again, be cautious when deciding which foods to keep and which to throw out. If you’re not sure, don’t take a risk. Be safe and toss it in the trash.

If your family’s fridge or freezer is on its last leg, contact Absolute Appliances Repair for appliance repair in San Francisco, San Rafael, Mill Valley or Marin County.