Improving My Appliances

How And When To Clean Your Kitchen Stove

Posted by on April 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How And When To Clean Your Kitchen Stove

If you are living on your own for the first time, or are just starting out in married life, you may have questions about when and how to clean your kitchen appliances. How to clean your stove and oven is likely to be one of them. Follow this simple routine to keep your stove clean. Daily Cleaning Cleaning cooking spills and splatters after every use will keep your stovetop looking good and operating as it should. Here’s what you need to do. Wipe up spills immediately with a soft cloth. You may need to use an all-purpose cleaner or degreaser to handle tough jobs, but a damp cloth will remove minor spills. Allow the burners to cool after cooking and wipe out the drip pans to remove any bits of food or drips from cooking. Wipe down the exterior of your stove with a damp cloth. You may need to use a degreaser to cut grease and banish fingerprints, too. Wipe up any spills in the oven as soon as the oven is cool. Monthly Cleaning Your stove needs a more thorough cleaning at least once a month. Here’s how to tackle it. Burners: Remove the burner coils or grates following the instructions in your owner’s manual. Gas grates lift off while electric coils must be disconnected and removed. Make sure your electric stove is turned off and unplugged before removing the coils. Wipe the coils or grates down with a damp cloth and avoid getting water on the electrical connections of electric coils. If stuck on food resists your efforts, use a non-abrasive cleaner and an old toothbrush to get them clean. Rinse the soapy residue away with clean water and dry them with a soft cloth. Check that the electrical connectors are completely dry and put them back on your stove. Ovens: There are many commercial oven cleaners available, but if you prefer a non-toxic cleaner, you can make one at home with baking soda and vinegar. Remove the oven grates from the oven and set them aside. Mix approximately ½ cup of baking soda with enough water to make a smooth paste. Coat the inside of your oven with the paste and allow it to set overnight. Wipe the baking soda out of the oven and scrape any food particles or stuck on debris from the oven. You can use a plastic spatula to scrape the oven. Fill a spray bottle with white distilled vinegar and spray down the inside of the oven. The vinegar will react with the traces of baking soda left in the oven and begin to foam. Wipe the oven with a damp cloth until you have removed all the baking soda and vinegar residue. You may need to rinse the cloth in clean water several times. Oven Racks: Oven racks are easy to clean if you don’t mind tying up your bathtub for several hours. Here’s how. Spread two or three bath towels in the bottom of the bathtub. These will cushion the bottom of the tub and prevent the oven racks from scratching the tub. Lay the oven racks on top of the towels. Fill the tub with enough hot water to completely cover the oven racks. Add about ¼ cup of dish detergent to the water and swish it...

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The Importance Of Matching Your Central Air Conditioner

Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Importance Of Matching Your Central Air Conditioner

A typical central air conditioner is actually made up of two main components – the indoor air handler that contains the blower fan and evaporator, and the outdoor cabinet that contains the compressor and condenser coil. When one half of this dynamic duo conks out, you’ll need to replace both halves. Considering the average cost of replacing a central A/C system, that could be a rather hard pill to swallow. However, the cost of replacing only half of your cooling system could cost you more than you’d realize. Mismatched A/C Systems Offer Poor Performance Both halves of your current central A/C system basically work together as a single unit, making it important for both halves to be installed together as a pair. Each half is perfectly matched in terms of refrigerant type, cooling load and other essentials. Replacing just one half of this team seems like a penny-wise move, but it’s often foolish for a variety of reasons. For starters, installing one brand-new half of a split central A/C system to an older half often results in degraded performance. The remaining older half of the system may struggle to keep up with the upgraded performance of the newer half, resulting in an overworked component that becomes failure-prone in a short amount of time. That is, if you can get the two mismatched halves of your central A/C system to operate at all. For instance, if the older half of your system still uses R-22 refrigerant, then you won’t be able to link it with newer components that rely on the latest in hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. Mixing two different refrigerants in the same system can quickly ruin both halves of your central A/C system. Mixing and Matching Won’t Save You Money Replacing only half of your A/C system seems cheaper than a complete replacement, but deliberately mismatching your system could cost you plenty. According to HomeAdvisor, the majority of A/C repairs throughout the U.S. cost between $167 and $495. Since a mismatched system often needs increased maintenance, you could find yourself spending thousands of dollars keeping a poorly matched system alive – money you could have kept in your pocket by purchasing a properly matched central A/C system. While working overtime just to keep up with normal cooling demands, mismatched central A/C systems also consume far more energy than a properly matched A/C system would. The resultant energy waste can add up to more costly utility bills throughout the year. Worst of all, a mismatched system can throw a wrench in your A/C replacement schedule. Replacing half of a central A/C system with a projected 12 to 15-year lifespan after 8 years of service won’t extend the older half’s service life. When the older half reaches its end, you may find yourself paying more to have both the newer and older half replaced with a properly matched system, even if the newer half still has a few years left in it. Mixing and Matching Also Affects Your Warranty In most cases, your central A/C system’s warranty is only effective when you use matching A/C equipment. Using mismatched components may void your warranty, since the manufacturer can’t be sure whether a defect or failure was limited to just the newer half of the system or caused by the older half. It’s...

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