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Major APPLIANCE BUYING TIPS

A major appliance is a major purchase. Be smart before you shop with these often-overlooked tips.

Think of it this way: Unlike a rug, lamp, or hat, you can’t take it back—or at least not easily. That’s why it’s called a major appliance. Here are 13 ways to avoid major buyer’s remorse.

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Home Appliances Maintenance Tips

Your household appliances represent a significant investment, usually totaling thousands of dollars in money spent for the appliances you need. Appliances don’t just cost money to buy, either – it also takes big bucks to use them day after day to wash clothes, cook food and keep your home comfortably warm or cool.

With five home appliance maintenance tips, you can keep your appliances in tip-top condition and make sure they serve you well for a number of years.

    1. Regular Cleaning

      Your household appliances represent a significant investment, usually totaling thousands of dollars in money spent for the appliances you need.

      One of the most basic aspects of appliance maintenance involves keeping the unit clean. Perform regular cleaning to remove dirt, dust and grime from surfaces. For example, if you allow the shelves and interior of a refrigerator to become soiled with food and debris, these areas may become permanently stained. If you don’t keep the gasket of the refrigerator clean, the seal may stop performing correctly to keep cool air inside the refrigerator. Similarly, if you allow the interior of a washing machine to become soiled and dirty, you may notice that your clothing does not emerge from the washing machine as clean as it should.

    2. Electrical Maintenance

      Appliances that operate with electricity need regular maintenance to ensure that they operate safely. Check cords for frayed or visible wires. Look at the prongs carefully – if you see evidence of fraying, melting or burning, don’t plug in the appliance because it could be a fire hazard. You must either fix the appliance or dispose of it to avoid the risk of fire.

    3. Filters

      If an appliance has a filter design, change it as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Appliances such as air conditioners, furnaces, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and dishwashers usually have filters designed to trap and hold contaminants and debris to prevent them from moving through the appliance system. If these filters become too full of debris, the appliance won’t work effectively anymore. This can reduce the power or effectiveness of your appliance or it could even lead to damage because of improper filtering.

    4. Hoses

      Appliances with hoses, such as washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners and refrigerators, need regular examination to make sure the hoses are in good condition. Over time, hoses may crack, bulge or become clogged. If your appliances suffers a hose malfunction, the results can be devastating – usually involving a significant mess of water where you don’t want it. Generally, plan to replace appliance hoses every five years for optimal performance and to avoid problems.

    5. Professional Maintenance

      Some appliances need a little more in-depth maintenance than what the average homeowner can give. For example, your air conditioner should have the Freon level tested and charged to keep it running at peak efficiency. This requires a licensed professional with the proper training to work with these chemicals. It’s also a good idea to check belts, filters, motors, airflow and lubrication of the system to make sure that everything is running properly. While you may be able to perform some of this maintenance – filters, for example – you probably don’t have the training or expertise to service your system completely.

Dishes Done Right

How to properly load the dishwasher has long been a matter of discord in many a household. Cutlery handle-up or down? Cram the dishwasher full or let each plate and bowl have its space? These questions and more are answered in our definitive dishwasher guide!

After you learn the basics of using a dishwasher, such as not putting regular dish detergent in the dispenser, it is time to move on to the more nuanced techniques of loading up. Make sure to angle your cups and mugs so that water doesn’t pool on top of them, and place large items like plates and cutting boards on the bottom rack, away from the spray arm so that it has room to rotate. Consider which items do and don’t belong in the dishwasher. Stainless steel, non-stick bakeware, and wooden items are all best washed by hand.

A dishwasher may seem like a luxurious indulgence, particularly if you have access to one for the first time. But improvements to the efficiency of this appliance have made it so that using a dishwasher is actually more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand! Dishwashers with an Energy Star rating use a maximum of 5.8 gallons of water per cycle.

Not many people know this, but dishwasher detergent actually has a fairly short shelf-life. Resist the temptation to buy more than you can use in two months. Also, check out our life hacks to see which foods and household items can be cleaned in there. After reading this guide, you’ll be a full-fledged advanced dishwasher. Have fun lording your new-found knowledge over family members!

dishes-done-right

BUYING MAJOR APPLIANCES

What to Look For:

  • A machine that heats only the water it needs. “This is the most important thing that people overlook,” says John O’Meara, manager of Standards of Excellence, an appliance showroom in San Rafael, California. The feature saves energy by heating only the necessary water, not the entire household water tank. In general, “washers made now are one-third more efficient than those made seven years ago,” says Jill Notini of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, in Washington, D.C.
  • A speedy spin cycle. The faster the cycle, the more water will be extracted, and the less time clothes will spend in the dryer. Look for “a high rpm [rotations per minute], which adds up to energy-efficiency,” says Alex Cheimets, editor of applianceadvisor.com. Go for at least 900 rpm. To save even more energy, pair the washer with a dryer that has a moisture sensor, which shuts off the unit when the clothes are dry.
  • Minimal water usage. Most conventional washers go through 40 gallons of water per cycle, so “if you do a load a day,” says Audrey Reed-Granger of Whirlpool, “that’s more than 14,000 gallons a year.” Check the labels; some machines consume as little as 14 gallons a cycle.
  • Pedestals. Some washers (and dryers) can be equipped with pedestals ($100 to $200), which sit underneath the appliance and raise it for easier loading and unloading. Many include drawers for stashing detergent, bleach, and stain-removal sticks.
  • An additional rinse cycle. This option, which dispenses extra water during washing, is great if you need to fight a stubborn stain or want to remove excess detergent that can irritate allergy sufferers or babies. But it will increase your water bill.

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

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(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County

(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

Appliance Science: Dishwashers

dishwasher-1We tend to take things in our home for granted, casually accepting the miracles of chemistry, physics and biology that our appliances involve. Take your dishwasher, for instance: a device which cleans all manner of foods from a huge pile of dishes, quickly and efficiently. When you actually stop and think about it, the amount of work this involves is impressive, and the physics of this process are more complex than you might first think.

So how does a dishwasher use the power of water to wash dishes? Let’s take a look at the physics of water and how dishwashers use these forces to scrub your dishes.

Although the specifics differ, all dishwashers have the same fundamental design: a sink at the bottom that fills with water, a pump that moves this water and spray arms, sprayers and other devices that squirt this water onto the dishes.

When you look inside any dishwasher, one of the most obvious things you’ll see is a wash or spray arm, a rotating bar that sprays water onto the dishes, helping to dislodge the food. The dishwasher pumps water through this, but there is no motor to rotate the arm. Instead, the dishwasher uses the pressure of the water to spin it around.

The water jets on the spray arm are angled, so the water sprays out at an angle, usually about 45 degrees off the vertical. The force of this water pushes the arm, and it rotates. This shows the third of Newton’s laws of motion. As the man himself said in Latin in his 1687 bestseller, “Actioni contrariam semper et aequalem esse reactionem.” To translate: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

So, as the water sprays out of the spray arm, it pushes the spray arm back again, sending it spinning. It’s the same principle that rockets use: hot gas gets pushed out of the bottom, forcing the rocket up, up and away.

To save water, all dishwashers recycle water. After it has been sprayed over the dishes, it collects in the sink at the bottom of the dishwasher, where it is then pumped it back up to wash the dishes again. A filter catches most of the large waste, but the smaller waste particles remain suspended in the water. So, how does the dishwasher know when the dishes are clean?

Older dishwashers ran for a set amount of time, depending on the program you chose. You would set them to a shorter wash for lightly soiled dishes and longer for pots and pans. Most modern dishwashers have an automatic mode, where they can tell when the dishes are clean, thanks to a device called a turbidity sensor.

This neat device allows the dishwasher to see how clean the water is by measuring how much grunge is in the water as it is pumped out of the sink: if the water is dirty, grunge is still washing off the dishes. If the water is clean, all the dirt has been washed off the dishes, and the wash is done. It works by shining a light (usually an infrared, or IR, light) through the water onto a sensor that measures how much light reaches it. As the water passes through, the grunge dissolved in the water and larger particles reflect it away. So, if the water is clean, most of the light passes through. If the water is dirty, less light passes through and is detected by the sensor.

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your dishwasher!
Phone lines
(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

TIPS FOR TAKING CARE OF YOUR HOME APPLIANCES

Just like your car, your home systems and appliances all need periodic maintenance checks to make sure they’re operating safely and efficiently. A professional preventative maintenance program can help homeowners when it comes to the upkeep of their heating and cooling system, plumbing, electrical system, and most major appliances. Having professional preventative maintenance services performed is key to ensuring tasks are done right and can save you time and money in the long run.

Here are some tips to help keep your home’s systems and appliances in great shape:

Air Conditioning

  • Check filters every month. Clean or replace as needed.
  • Keep the condensing unit free of debris.
  • Trim shrubs and plants near condensing unit to ensure proper air flow and circulation.
  • Bent condensing unit fins can often be easily straightened with a fin comb.

Washing Machine

  • Inspect cold and hot water supply hoses for cracks and deterioration.
  • Look for signs of water or oil leakage.
  • Check to make sure the machine is level, and adjust it, if needed, by turning the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.

Dryer

  • Clean the lint screen after each load of clothes has been dried.
  • For gas and electric dryers, check and tighten supply connections.
  • Check to see if the dryer is level; if it’s not, the drum may vibrate and damage the unit. To adjust the level, turn the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.

Water Heater

  • Drain and flush sediment from tank twice a year.
  • Check pressure-relief valve once a year to make sure this crucial safety device is not clogged.

 

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

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

APPLIANCE CARE TIPS

Regular Cleaning

Your household appliances represent a significant investment, usually totaling thousands of dollars in money spent for the appliances you need.

One of the most basic aspects of appliance maintenance involves keeping the unit clean. Perform regular cleaning to remove dirt, dust and grime from surfaces. For example, if you allow the shelves and interior of a refrigerator to become soiled with food and debris, these areas may become permanently stained. If you don’t keep the gasket of the refrigerator clean, the seal may stop performing correctly to keep cool air inside the refrigerator. Similarly, if you allow the interior of a washing machine to become soiled and dirty, you may notice that your clothing does not emerge from the washing machine as clean as it should.

Electrical Maintenance

Appliances that operate with electricity need regular maintenance to ensure that they operate safely. Check cords for frayed or visible wires. Look at the prongs carefully – if you see evidence of fraying, melting or burning, don’t plug in the appliance because it could be a fire hazard. You must either fix the appliance or dispose of it to avoid the risk of fire.

Filters

If an appliance has a filter design, change it as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Appliances such as air conditioners, furnaces, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and dishwashers usually have filters designed to trap and hold contaminants and debris to prevent them from moving through the appliance system. If these filters become too full of debris, the appliance won’t work effectively anymore. This can reduce the power or effectiveness of your appliance or it could even lead to damage because of improper filtering.

Hoses

Appliances with hoses, such as washing machines, dishwashers, air conditioners and refrigerators, need regular examination to make sure the hoses are in good condition. Over time, hoses may crack, bulge or become clogged. If your appliances suffers a hose malfunction, the results can be devastating – usually involving a significant mess of water where you don’t want it. Generally, plan to replace appliance hoses every five years for optimal performance and to avoid problems.

5.Professional Maintenance

Some appliances need a little more in-depth maintenance than what the average homeowner can give. For example, your air conditioner should have the Freon level tested and charged to keep it running at peak efficiency. This requires a licensed professional with the proper training to work with these chemicals. It’s also a good idea to check belts, filters, motors, airflow and lubrication of the system to make sure that everything is running properly. While you may be able to perform some of this maintenance – filters, for example – you probably don’t have the training or expertise to service your system completely.

Protect your appliance investment and get the most out of the units you choose for your home. With the right care and attention, many appliances should last for years. A refrigerator or freezer could last up to 20 years and a washing machine could last for about 15 years with the right care.

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

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

 

APPLIANCES TIPS

Healthy Appliance Tip #1: For best dryer performance and to prevent possible fire, inspect outside vent weekly for lint obstruction and good air flow.

Healthy Appliance Tip #2: For best dishwasher performance, run water at the kitchen sink until hot just before starting your dishwasher.  It’s also best to use soft water for improved washability as well as increasing the life of your appliance.
Healthy Appliance Tip #3: Using a small nylon mesh laundry bag for small articles, such as childrens socks, etc can prevent such items from entering your wash pump and causing damage.  Always carefully check pockets and remove all items before washing such as keys, hair pins, safety pins, coins etc.
Healthy Appliance Tip #4: Using too much fabric softener can cause a build up over time that can actually affect your dryer’s performance. If using liquid fabric softener in the washer, use a very small amount, diluted. If your choice is a dryer sheet,  appliance manufacturers now recommend cutting the dryer sheet in half. Not only will your dryer be happier, you’ll save money, too. 

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

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica

 

3 Essential Washing Machine Tips

Washing Machine Tips from Absolute Appliance repairThe five most important household appliances in everyone’s home would have to be the washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher and oven/range. Absolute Appliance Repair has useful tips for your appliances. If you follow each of these tips, you will make fewer calls to your appliance repair service & you’ll be able to keep these appliances around for a while.

Washing Machine Tip:

Always empty everything out of your clothes pockets

Before loading your washing machine, it is very important to check all the clothes pockets. Leaving items like coins, nails, screws, pens, etc., in your pockets, can damage your clothes and your machine. It is not uncommon for drain pumps to fail prematurely because of a foreign object getting stuck in the impeller. A forgotten fountain pen can destroy your favorite shirt.

NEVER OVERLOAD YOUR WASHER! If you want your washing machine to last a long time, don’t try to get your laundry done so quickly. Heavy loads & off-balanced loads will put a strain on the moving parts of your machine & wear them out. Over-loading & off-balanced loads destroy your washing machine! Don’t be in such a hurry.

Never start your machine and leave the house or go to bed.

It is very convenient to start a load of laundry before leaving the house or going to bed but what if the machine never stopped filling? Believe it or not, this happens more than you would think! A faulty inlet valve or water level switch can cause a washing machine to keep filling until someone notices the water leak on the floor and turns it off. If no one is around to notice, the damage to your house can be overwhelming!

 

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

Phone lines

(415) 831-1259 San Francisco
(415) 388-0690 Marin County
(650) 525-0512 South SF / Daly City / Pacifica