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Freezer Maintenance Pro Tips

Is your freezer is running constantly or isn’t getting cold enough? We can help put your freezer back in shape for the San Francisco summer!

Freezer tips:

  • Using a baking soda/vinegar solution to clean your freezer will help eliminate any unwelcome smells.
  • Storing a box of baking soda in your freezer can be a smell magnet that removes foul odors.
  • Cleaning and inspecting freezer door seals regularly will help your freezer to maintain a proper temperature use electricity efficiently.

Give us a call at (415) 831-1259 for more information or to schedule an appointment. You can also use our online form to start the scheduling process.

SHOPPING FOR REFRIGERATOR

refrigerator tricks1 Take a look at whatever you currently have inside your kitchen area.

Look at everything – how significant the area do you have inside your home? What do you intend on installing right there? Do you have any kind of ideas to finally alter? These are typically important items that you have to remember before buying your freezer or fridge. It will also help you actually when you shop. Be sure to take measurements of your own freezer or fridge for those who have definitely unmovable space which you won’t be able to do anything with. It will help a good deal when you go buying.

2 Have an idea what kind of fridge you need

Will you need something like 20 different smaller crisper compartments? Or maybe are you basically satisfied with one particular modest ice-cubes creator? These are everything to consider before you purchase something at a electronic devices vendors or maybe home appliances provider. You have a great deal to be aware of with what you wish to get, the idea will aid you to complete the ideal acquisition afterwards. Plus, let’s admit it … precisely how is it possible to make a mistake with simply figuring out just what you would like?

3  Take the time to have a look at an actual unit

Absolutely. Even if you get it on the internet, you have to just be sure you know very well what your own refrigerator needs to have or even feature so you find out what just you need for your family fridge prior to buying this. Speak with a marketing associates in the retail outlet that you simply examine and enquire  whatever they would certainly suggest and after that compare prices. You undoubtedly will not regret it in the long run! That’s beyond doubt!

4 Have fun buying new refrigerator or freezer

Deciding on a family fridge won’t really need to be a critical challenge. Yet, it really does should be finished with feeling of pleasure as well as feeling of ” This is the thing that I really want / absolutely need, i would buy it! There is hardly ever anything wrong with confidence, plus a electronics distributors and also kitchen appliances vendor undoubtedly won’t have any qualms over it! Take the time to choose something that you may absolutely love!

5 Purchase On the web!

If you buy your refrigerator online, you are going to be able to not simply save a certain amount of money, yet you’ll likewise be able to quickly and easily receive what you want, plus can be sure when will get present. It’s actually much better than impulse buying now with impulse buying, shoppers don’t have time so you can get your current cooking area set up! These are simply a few things that you need to take into account with regards to hoping to get a new fridge. You can find tons of great deals and also other fantastic points such as that if you just take some time to check on all of them out on the web nevertheless, be sure you see them personally first. Shoppers wont be sorry!

Refrigerator Problem?
Call Absolute Appliance Repair!

Call us to set your appointment now

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

 

The cool physics of ice makers

You might think that making ice is a simple business: just throw water into the freezer and it turns to ice. Simple, right? That’s true if you just want to make a single tray of ice, but most of us prefer to have ice available on demand. That’s why we have ice makers, devices that can make ice consistently for the many years that you will own your fridge. That takes a bit more engineering than a simple ice tray. Let’s take a closer look at how the humble ice maker creates the ice to keep your summer drinks cool.

The basic ingredient of ice is, as you might expect, water. But you can’t just throw any old water into an ice maker: good ice needs clean, fresh water. So, the first part of the ice maker is a filter that removes all of the solids (dust and dirt particles) and most of the dissolved chemicals as well. What comes out of this filter is crisp, clean, clear water that will make crisp, clean and clear ice. Assuming that you remember to change the filter, that is…

Now that we have clean water, we can start freezing it. Most ice makers are built around a tray that has semicircular or rectangular depressions in it. A valve above this controls the flow of water, filling the tray with enough water to fill the depressions, forming the shape of the ice cube. Because this tray is inside the freezer, it gets cold, and the water begins to freeze. Nearby is a sensor which is measuring the temperature of the water, waiting for it to reach a certain temperature (usually about -12°C/10°F).

Once it reaches this temperature, the water is solidly frozen and ready to remove. Ice is tricky, though: it sticks tightly to most surfaces, so you can’t just tip it out. Instead, ice makers use heat to loosen the ice. Under the ice tray is a small electric heating element, which is triggered to heat the the tray slightly, creating a very thin layer of water between the ice and the tray. This is not enough to melt most of the ice, but the thin layer of water provides enough lubrication to allow a motorized arm to push the ice out, into the ice holding bucket.

The tray is then filled again, and the cycle continues until the ice bucket is full. On most cheap refrigerators, a wire pokes down into the bucket, and the ice piling up pushes this triggering a switch that stops the ice maker cycle. When you remove some ice, the wire falls down again, disengaging the switch and restarting the ice maker cycle. More expensive refrigerators will use infrared or other sensors that don’t need a wire, but the principle is the same: they detect the level of the ice and disable the ice maker when it reaches a certain level.

Most of you will also be familiar with the curse of the cheap ice maker: you get a big block of ice because the ice cubes have stuck together. On the lower-end models that just dump the ice into a bucket, the ice cubes will stick together over time, eventually forming a solid lump of ice. This is a phenomenon called accretion, where the moisture in the air passing over the ice cubes bumps into the ice, and joins it. It’s the same phenomenon that makes icicles on tree branches on a cold night: moisture in the air freezes and sticks together, forming ice crystals that then pick up more moisture, and so on.

Inside your ice maker, the ice cubes that are in contact will join together as they accrete new ice, forming a solid block. If you have a particularly bad refrigerator (or an old one), the ice cubes may also be melting slightly as the temperature of the freezer compartment rises. This creates a thin layer of liquid water on the surface of the ice cubes, which flows together, only to be refrozen when the freezer.

More expensive fridges deal with this problem by including a stirrer, a metal rod that is turned occasionally inside the ice bucket, separating the ice cubes. This also explains the mysterious noises that you may hear from your expensive fridge in the middle of the night: it isn’t haunted, it is just stirring the ice. These more expensive fridges also separate the freezer and ice maker compartments, limiting the flow of cold air into the ice bucket so there is less moisture in the air to be captured.

So consider this the next time you grab a chunk of ice to chill your soda: the ice that you take for granted is the result of some sophisticated engineering and some basic science.

HOW TO USE A FREEZER

To successfully freeze foods, there are some simple rules you need to follow. The two most important bits of advice are to make sure you wrap the foods very well, and that you keep careful track of what is in your freezer. Freezer burn is dehydration of the food caused by improper packing, and wastes food. And if you don’t label the foods in your freezer and have a frequently updated chart of what’s in there, your freezer will be impenetrable in a very short time – which also wastes food.

The chart below will help with special instructions and the length of time foods can be safely frozen.

 

FOOD STORAGE TIME SPECIAL TIPS
BREADS, MUFFINS Up to 1 month
Cool completely before freezing. Do not frost. To thaw, loosen wrap and let sit at room temp 2-3 hours. To heat, wrap in foil, reheat 350 degrees 15-20 minutes. Heat frozen waffles without thawing first.
SANDWICHES Up to 2 weeks
Don’t make sandwiches with jelly, mayonnaise, cooked egg whites or raw veggies (especially lettuce). Choose peanut butter, cream cheese, meats, shredded cheeses, grilled and cooked veggies. Spread bread with a very thin layer of butter before layering.
FROSTED CAKES Up to 3 months
Buttercream frosting freezes well. Custards and egg white frostings do not. Cool completely. Place unwrapped cake in freezer to harden frosting before wrapping. Thaw loosely covered overnight in fridge.
UNFROSTED CAKES Up to 6 months
Cool completely before freezing. Place cakes, especially angel and chiffon, in cake container to avoid crushing. Thaw, wrapped, at room temperature 2-3 hours.
CUSTARD PIES, CREAM PIES, MERINGUES Do not freeze well
Not recommended
UNBAKED FRUIT PIES Up to 3 months
Before filling, brush bottom crust with egg white to prevent sogginess. Add extra tablespoon of flour to filling. Don’t cut vent holes in pastry. Cover with inverted pie plate until firm. To bake, unwrap, cut vent holes, bake at 425 degrees 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, bake according to recipe until center bubbles and crust is brown.
BAKED FRUIT PIES, NUT PIES Up to 4 months
Cool completely before freezing. Cover with inverted pie plate until firm. Wrap well. To heat, unwrap, bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes until warm.
COOKIE DOUGH Up to 3 months
Wrap well. Let thaw in refrigerator overnight before baking unless the recipe states the frozen dough can be baked. Shape into cookies before freezing for fastest baking.
BAKED UNFROSTED COOKIES Up to 1 year
Cool completely, wrap well in layers in freezer container and freeze. Thaw, wrapped, at room temperature. For crisp cookies, thaw unwrapped at room temperature.
BAKED FROSTED COOKIES Up to 2 months
Freeze uncovered on cookie sheets until cookies and frosting are firm. Then stack in layers in freezer container, wrap well and freee. Thaw, wrapped, at room temperature.
BUTTER Up to 9 months
Freeze in original packaging, placed into heavy duty freezer bags. Thaw in refrigerator or in microwave.
MILK, CREAM Difficult to freeze unless whipped
Milk, cream and light cream will separate
Whipped heavy cream will freeze well. Place dollops on cookie sheet, freeze until firm, then place in bags and freeze. Let thaw in refrigerator.
UNCOOKED EGGS, EGG SUBSTITUTES Up to 6 months
If freezing yolks separately, add 1 tsp. sugar or salt per egg yolk, depending on end use. Make sure to mark what you added!
COOKED EGGS, MAYONNAISE Do not freeze well
Not recommended
VEGETABLES Up to 6 months
Blanch before freezing. Remove as much air as possible from package before freezing. Vegetables with lots of water like salad greens and tomatoes do not freeze well. Do not freeze deep fried vegetables.
FRUITS Up to 6 months
Up to 1 year
Freeze loose small fruits in single layer on cookie sheet until firm; then package in airtight freezer bag or container and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator.
SAUCES Up to 3 months
Most sauces will separate after being frozen. If mixed with other ingredients, freezing quality will increase. Sauces with cornstarch and cheese lose quality fastest. Leave some head space for expansion when freezing in plastic containers.
CASSEROLES Up to 3 months
Cornstarch sauces can be frozen when mixed with other ingredients in a casserole. Slightly undercook casseroles, as they will finish cooking during reheating.
SOUPS Up to 6 months
Cool completely, skim off fat. Place in rigid plastic containers, leaving 1/2″ head space for expansion.
MEATS Fresh: 1 year
Cured: 1 month
Do NOT refreeze thawed meats. If you thaw frozen meat, cook it in some form, then it can be refrozen. Cured meats should be frozen for just one month. Do NOT freeze stuffed chicken or turkey. Make sure to reform ground beef into thin patties before freezing for quick thawing.
FISH Up to 3 months
Wrap tightly in heavy duty freezer wrap or plastic bags. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before cooking.
COOKED PASTAS Up to 2 months
Cooked pastas lose quality when frozen. Undercook and freeze in a sauce for best results. Thaw overnight in refrigerator before reheating.

 

Tips:

  • Your freezer temperature should be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Use microwave safe plastic wrap if you plan to thaw or cook the frozen food in the microwave.
  • Freeze in smaller portions so the food cools faster and thaws faster for best quality.
  • Freeze in thin portions.
  • You can freeze ingredients for a casserole in individual packets (chicken, vegetables, cheese), then place the smaller packets into one large bag. Label well, including thawing and baking instructions, then freeze.
  • Line casserole dishes with heavy duty foil before assembling. Fill casserole, freeze, then remove foil wrapped food and seal in ziplock heavy duty freezer bag. Place in original container to thaw and bake.
  • Remember that freezing will not improve foods, it will just keep them at their original freshness and quality. Freeze only top quality foods.

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

Phone lines

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

 

REPAIRING A FREEZER

Whether you have a refrigerator/freezer combination or a chest-style freezer — regardless of optional lights, ice makers or other features — the cooling system of any freezer works the same. The freezer compressor squeezes a refrigerant, typically freon, then transfers it to the condenser. Inside the condenser coils, the refrigerant changes from vapor to liquid as the heat in the refrigerant is expelled. This is the heat you feel blowing near the freezer when it’s in a cooling cycle. Next, the now-cooler refrigerant flows through an expansion valve and into the evaporator. There, the refrigerant absorbs heat inside the warming freezer and cools the contents even as the refrigerant turns back into a warm vapor. Finally, the now-warm refrigerant returns to the compressor to restart the cycle.

Even perfectly functioning freezers will not maintain frozen food if the door is left even slightly ajar, such as when an item sticks out enough to press on the door. Also, using a freezer to cool hot items or opening the freezer frequently will affect the temperature inside. Another common reason you may think the freezer is running but not freezing is improperly packing the contents. Situated behind a vent inside your freezer, typically in the rear, the evaporator fan circulates cool air. Pull the contents away from this fan vent and leave room around items so air can reach every point in the freezer. After you’ve done that, put a thermometer inside the freezer and check it after an hour or two. The temperature should read about zero degrees Fahrenheit.

The seal around the freezer door can be another problem when your freezer is running but not freezing. Test your freezer’s door seal by inserting a dollar bill between the door and freezer. Close the freezer door and see if you can pull out the dollar bill. If you can, something is interfering with the seal. A door seal that is dirty simply needs to be cleaned; if it’s badly damaged, replace it. Different seals vary, so follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. If your freezer isn’t level, it may also prevent a proper seal. Use a carpenter’s level to determine when the door is plumb — straight up and down — or level and adjust the legs as needed.

If you’re lucky, the temperature setting in your freezer was raised accidentally and the repair is obvious. There are a few other things to check when your freezer runs but fails to cool. Pull the freezer out and look for dust, debris or ice that might be smothering the coils. As chest-style freezers use internal coils, this applies to upright models or refrigerator/freezer combinations. A hair dryer quickly melts ice and a vacuum or soft cloth makes quick work of dust. With the freezer unplugged, locate the motor underneath the freezer and clean it. Defrost the freezer if it’s clogged with ice. If you notice water pooling on the floor when the freezer is running but not freezing, check the drain tube in the freezer’s floor or underneath the vegetable drawers in the refrigerator compartment. Insert a turkey baster of bleach water into the tube to clean it, or run a length of smaller tubing through it to push out the clog. Also, check for adequate clearance around your freezer and ensure it doesn’t sit in a sunny, hot and humid location or in an unheated area.

Internal component repairs generally aren’t DIY friendly. The cooling system involves dangerous parts and attempting to service them yourself can lead to injury. Some repairs also require specialized tools and in-depth knowledge. Among these repairs are bad evaporator fans that chirp and squeak or refuse to circulate cool air and lower refrigerant levels. A malfunctioning door safety switch is difficult to pinpoint but also prevents proper cooling even though the freezer is running. Likewise, a faulty defrost control timer, a bad thermostat and a failing evaporator will prevent cooling. Some repairs aren’t even practical; both a bad compressor or a faulty main control board cost more to fix than to simply replace the freezer. A loud thumping is a sure sign that the compressor is at fault. Consult a professional in these situations.

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

Phone lines

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