Caring for Your Appliances: Winter Tips and Tricks

Appliances

Keeping your appliances in good working order helps you save money, time, and frustration. It’s also a way to keep your family safe and comfortable. Though this is important at all times of the year, having appliances run smoothly during the winter takes on even more importance as the cold can have significant impact on your home. Here are some tips to care for your appliances when the bitter temps arrive.

Make Sure Your Oven is Working Properly

What does the winter mean to you? Most people are quick to point out that the winter months are for gathering family and friends together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. These celebrations usually involve lots of home-made dinner and treats, so it’s important to make sure your oven is working well before the festivities. Test your oven out by running it through the high-temp cleaning cycle a few weeks before your first get-together. This will reveal any problems you might run into so you can get them taken care of prior to your parties. In addition to running the cleaning cycle, you should also ensure it’s heating accurately by cooking something basic and sticking a cooking thermometer in it. If the food doesn’t heat to the temp the oven is set to, you can make adjustments or get your oven serviced before you attempt to cook a meal for your entire extended family.

Check Your Vent Covers

Vent covers on appliances such as your stove and dryer have flaps that keep the cold air and pests from getting into your house. Once the cold weather hits, insects, birds, and other critters try to find a warm place to burrow and can damage flaps and allow the cold and unwanted guests to infiltrate your home. Check all your flaps before the first freeze to make sure they are in place and not damaged.

Watch the Placement of Appliances in the Garage

Do you have refrigerators or freezers in your garage? Are you aware that they aren’t covered under warranty because of the extreme temps in your garage? To keep these appliances running smoothly, position them as close to your home as possible and avoid putting them near the garage door.

Give Your Fridge the Once-Over

You’ll be storing a lot of ingredients as you prepare for the big holiday meals (or just to feed extra family and friends who pop in around the holidays.) To make sure your refrigerator is up for the task, vacuum the coils so you can ensure the best airflow possible. You should also check the seals, test out the ice maker, and change your water filter. If you see any red flags during this routine maintenance, give one of our pros a call to fix the issue.

Clean Out That Dryer Lint

Did you know that dryer lint is the most common cause of house fires? A clogged lint trap or vent not only is a fire hazard, but it can also ruin your dryer. Clean out the lint trap after every load of laundry and check your vent outside to make sure it’s blowing out air. If it’s not or if the air coming out doesn’t seem to be sufficient, you could have a clog that needs to be addressed.

You have enough hassles to deal with once the ice and snow hits. Don’t add failing appliances to the list! By doing some routine maintenance and checks now, you can spot red flags early and address them before the coldest months and holidays hit.

Most Commonly Asked Plumbing Questions and Answers

Your home’s plumbing can be baffling. From unexplained leaks to strange noises and even stranger smells, plumbing issues can range from mildly annoying to downright dangerous. Knowing what the source of plumbing issues are and then understanding whether you can tackle them yourself or need to call in a professional such as those at ASAP Appliance, Plumbing and Drain Service is important for the health and safety of your family and home. Here are some of the most commonly asked plumbing questions and their answers.

Why isn’t my garbage disposal working?

There are a few different reasons why your garbage disposal may not be working. The first is that it needs to be reset. To do this, simply disconnect it from its power source. While it’s disconnected, it’s a good time to stick your hand down there and make sure nothing has become lodged in it. It’s easy for small objects, silverware, and other items to fall into your disposal when you’re not looking. If there isn’t a blockage and the reset doesn’t solve the problem, it’s probably time to call a pro.

Why do I have to jiggle the handle of my toilet to make it stop running?

We’ve all experienced the ever-running toilet and know the most common way to stop it: jiggle the handle. This happens because the handle gets stuck, causing the flapper to remain open and for water to continuously flow into the bowl. To fix this issue, you can tighten, oil, or replace the handle on the toilet. Water still running? Give us a call.

Why is my faucet dripping?

There are plenty of reasons why your faucet may be dripping and we won’t go over all of them in this blog. Instead, we’ll just cover the four most common reasons. This first is that a washer on your faucet is the wrong size or was installed incorrectly. The second is that the washer has simply worn out and needs replaced. A third reason has to do with the valve seat, the connection between the faucet and its compression mechanism. If there is any type of sediment or debris accumulated here, it can corrode the valve seat and cause a drip. The final reason is that the O ring on the handle has begun to corrode or is not sitting in place. Most of these issues can be tackled by a handy homeowner. If they don’t stop the leak, call a plumber.

Why would I need a water softener?

It’s likely someone you know has a water softener and has told you you must have one. But do you really need one? We think that answer is yes. Hard water contains minerals like magnesium and calcium and can cause harmful buildup. A water softener removes these minerals so they can’t damage your pipes, wear out your clothes, or dry out your skin. Soft water is cleaner than hard water and won’t leave unsightly stains in your sinks or bathtubs and you can generally use less detergent and shampoo when you’re rinsing with soft water.

Why is my tap water cloudy?

There’s a pretty simple explanation when it comes to cloudy tap water. Tiny air bubbles form in your water distribution system, causing the cloudiness. This is why cloudy water is more common in the colder months because cold water traps air easier than warm water. If it’s not air, the reason could be sediment or other particles that are settling in your water. If you have this issue, it’s a good idea to get a water quality test performed to make sure your water is clean and safe to drink. If you have water quality issues, you can treat it with a water conditioning or filtration system.

Many plumbing issues are pretty easy to fix once you identify the cause. Knowing the answers to some of these commonly asked questions will help you figure out your own plumbing issues and decide if you want to tackle them yourself or call in an expert. If you do need help, give our pros a call at ASAP. We’d love to help you out!