Simple Tricks to Keep Your Appliances in Good Shape During the Winter
Getting cozy on a cold winter day can cost you thousands of dollars. If your appliances are not maintained and prepared for the winter season there may be severe damage that could have been prevented otherwise. For instance, if your dryer breaks, you can search for “dryer repair near me” and get it fixed. However, with proper maintenance and winter preparation, you don’t have to shell out the repair fee. Let’s check out how you can keep your appliances in good shape during winter:
Tips & Tricks
- Give the refrigerator and air conditioner some space – Like most homeowners, you may have pushed the refrigerator against the wall with little room in between. The back of your refrigerator may not be visible from the side. While it provides you with a clean and aesthetic look, this position isn’t good for your refrigerator. Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and allow a bit of room in between the wall and the back of the refrigerator. The back of the refrigerator has a compressor and other components that run hot and require good air circulation to dissipate the heat properly. If they are blocked, the cooling is inefficient and makes the refrigerator draw more power from the socket. Apart from a beefy energy bill, you can also avoid fire hazards by allowing some space between the refrigerator and the wall.
The same principle holds for the air conditioner. Your air conditioner also uses a compressor and similar components like the refrigerator to cool your home. If you have a split air conditioner that sits high on the wall, there is an external unit that probably sits in your yard. Make sure that you prune and trim any shrubs or bushes in front of that unit so that it gets proper airflow. If you have a window air conditioner, check that the back isn’t obstructed by plants or any other structure.
- Clean refrigerator coils – Most refrigerator service professionals usually have to deal with problems of clogged and dirty refrigerator coils on their refrigerator coils instead of actual technical issues. A dirty coil doesn’t just lower your refrigerator’s cooling performance but can completely bring it to a halt. To clean the coils, remove the front grille. Buy a coil cleaning brush from the hardware store and push it into the coils. Pull it back and forth to free all the stuck dirt and use a vacuum to clean everything out. If the coil is located at the back, you can pull the refrigerator and clean them. Clean coils won’t just prevent your refrigerator from breaking down, but also raise its efficiency and lower your power bill.
- Inspect the garage appliances – Most people have refrigerators or an extra freezer in their garage. Inspect them thoroughly during the winter season. Check the hoses that supply water to those appliances. If your garage isn’t insulated properly during the winter season, temperatures can dip drastically. That can turn the water inside the hoses into ice and damage your refrigerator. Moreover, the expanding ice can crack open the hoses. Check the hoses for cracks, leaks, or any signs of damage. Inspect your garage and reinsulate it if necessary. While refrigerators cool food and other things, they don’t work well in very hot or cold ambient conditions.
- Check the exhaust ports – Indoor appliances are full of exhaust ports. For instance, the microwave oven and stove have exhaust ports coming out of the kitchen. You may have forgotten about those ports, but service or installation technicians usually point them out to you whenever they come to your home. The laundry room also has an exhaust port for the dryer and washer. Go outside and identify the ports and vents coming out of your appliance. During the winter season, snow and ice can easily block these vents. The best-case scenario has your appliances breaking down while the worst-case scenarios can put you and your family’s health at risk. For instance, if you have a gas dryer, it has vents that push out moisture and carbon monoxide vapors. If those vents are blocked, your home may be filled with those gases and put your life at risk due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Vacuum the dryer lint – As useful as it is, a dryer is an appliance that can be very hazardous without proper maintenance. You need to keep it free from lint. Clogged filters and dryer vents reduce dryer performance and are easily flammable. A small spark is enough to light all that dry lint on fire. Even if you are a responsible homeowner who regularly cleans all the filters and vents in your appliances, residual particles can still get in through the vents. Use a long vacuum hose to suck out all those particles trapped under the dryer filter. There is no need to force the vacuum extension. Moving it around the interior walls should do the trick without damaging anything.
- Get preventive maintenance service – While you can keep the vents clean, clear the filters and replace the seals, there are a few things that may be out of your area of expertise. Those problems lie invisible to an untrained homeowner and rear their ugly head during the cold season. That’s why it’s a good decision to invest in preventive maintenance service. Companies who excel in such services send their trained professionals to your home to inspect and identify any heating or other problems before they escalate and bring your house down. Replaceable pros know what to look for and nip the problem quickly.
Now that you know how to prepare for the winter, you should get started as quickly as possible to keep your appliances in good shape. While outdoor chores may be delayed, there is no excuse for leaving your appliances unattended in your cozy home. If things still go wrong with your dryer or other appliances, you can search for “dryer repair near me” to get them repaired.