The Need for Winter Appliance Maintenance
You might assume there’s nothing special you need to do in the way of winter appliance maintenance. You appliances, after all, aren’t sitting outside in the cold and the rough weather. They’re inside your house.
You might be surprised, though. The cold season can have an effect on them even though they’re indoors, and in any case, with holiday entertaining in the offing, you certainly don’t want them breaking down at this time of the year. With that in mind, then, here are some appliance maintenance tips to get your appliances through the winter in good condition.
Winter Appliance Maintenance: Refrigerator Maintenance
Winter is actually the ideal time for fridge maintenance. Comprehensive refrigerator maintenance involves cleaning the door seals, the drain, and the drain pan. It also requires looking for component failure and vacuuming the coils if your particular refrigerator requires that form of appliance maintenance.
Winter Appliance Maintenance: Dishwasher Maintenance
If your dishwasher is located on an outside wall, it’s particularly vulnerable to having its water supply lines freeze and burst. This is even more the case if you live in an older home; older homes often don’t have as much insulation as newer ones. To help prevent this freezing, open the adjoining cabinet doors when it’s really cold outside.
Winter Appliance Maintenance: Dryer Maintenance
Dryer lint can easily catch fire. In fact, it’s the leading cause of house fires. So you certainly don’t want to let it accumulate. You should clean the lint filter every time you do a load of laundry. Someone should also periodically check in the vents for lint clogs and clean up the lint that accumulates inside, behind, and below the dryer. There a good chance the dryer needs cleaning if it gets hot when in use and clothing comes out damaged, the dryer takes longer to get things dry, or you notice noise or steam at the wall vent outside the house while the appliance is in operation.
Winter Appliance Maintenance: Oven Maintenance
Checking your oven temperature guarantees that the oven is actually heating to the temperature you set it at. This in turn ensures that food cooks properly as per the recipe. Box cakes provide a good rough-and-ready test as they remove the variability that can come into play with cooks preparing food from scratch.
You should also check the oven’s vent cover flaps. Colder weather can prompt insects and small animals to seek the warmth coming from the oven, which, obviously, you don’t want lest they come all the way inside the home and cause damage. There’s a flap that’s supposed to keep them out and cold air along with them, but something cam jam it open. If it’s near the ground, maybe you bumped it with the mower and dented it, or maybe a bird built a nest in there. If a flap is stuck open, clear the problem and then test to see if the flap now opens and closes freely as it should.
Cleaning the oven is a form of appliance maintenance that you can accomplish by hand, preferably with a natural oven cleaner. It’s a good idea to clean it about a month before preparing a big holiday meal. Of course, many modern ovens have a self-cleaning function. For better or worse, this function creates very high temperatures and can damage components that were getting ready to fail anyway. If you’re going to use the self-cleaning function in advance of that big holiday meal, it’s a good idea to do it several weeks before. That way, on the off chance that the oven malfunctions thereafter, you’ll have ample time to get it serviced.
We at A Dischristopher Appliance Service hope that all our Tampa Bay customers found these winter appliance maintenance tips useful. We invite you to share them with friends and family up north, where winter appliance maintenance may even more of an issue. We also invite you to call us if you don’t have time to deal with winter appliance maintenance, aren’t comfortable with it, or would simply rather not have to bother. Our expert technicians will be happy to assist you.