Refrigerator and Freezer Tips

fridgeIs your refrigerator not cold enough?

  1. Check to make sure that your refrigerator doors are closing tightly, and that there is nothing on the refrigerator doors getting in the way, or that the refrigerator shelves are not hitting the doors and causing them to remain ajar.
  2. Check your door seal (the rubber gasket around the refrigerator door). When the door is shut, check it to make sure the gasket is remaining in contact with the refrigerator with NO gaps.  Check for rips or tears where the black magnet may be hanging out. This happens most commonly on the lower door seal or the hinge side of the door.
  3. Vacuum out the condenser coil under the refrigerator. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and give it a good cleaning. If you can, use a long brush (coil brush) to help vacuum up dust. If you can’t reach all of the coils – blow the dust out by reversing your shop-vac hose.
  4. Make sure the lights are shutting off when the door is closed (work the light switch with your hand).
  5. Make sure your freezer or fresh-food sections are not packed too tightly. The refrigerator needs airflow around the vent and needs to be clear of plastic/freezer bags.  Look for ice build-up or just too much food being packed in. Also in the upper shelf in the fresh food section – that should be used for milk or bottled drinks. This gives the vent (at the top of the fresh food section) 10”-12”of space for better venting.

All of these tips will help your refrigerator work less – giving it a more even temperature and will cost less to run it!

Oven and Range Tips


Do NOT self-clean your oven the day before the big party you are hosting.  Some of the most common service calls for oven repair are caused by the self-clean getting stuck or dying during the extremely high heat cycle of the self-clean (where ovens can get up to 800-900 degrees).  By doing the self-clean cycle two weeks before your party, you will avoid that panicked call to your friendly appliance repair man.

To self-clean your oven, follow your oven’s self-cleaning section.  Never use oven cleaner on the self-clean process. The combination of the extreme high heat with some of the over the counter cleaners can etch your oven’s porcelain enamel and you can end up with spider cracks.

Wipe up any major oven spills with hot water and liquid dish soap or make a paste using baking soda and hot water. Cleaning the heavy spill areas will also reduce the burning smells during your oven’s self-clean cycle.  Check your self-cleaning section to see if the drips trays from under your top burners can also be cleaned during the self-clean cycle – which will save your time and energy.

But DO NOT leave your house once you have started your oven’s self-clean cycle.  It is better to be safe than sorry – and this is one cycle you don’t want to just set it and forget it.

Dryer Tips

dryer-lintMake sure built-up lint doesn’t cause big problems or repairs later.

During the winter months – especially if there is a lot of snow – when shoveling, sometimes the dryer vent to the outside gets buried. Make sure to keep the snow build up clear from your outside dryer vent.

Also if you are not sure about a funny noise your dryer may be making, do NOT put off calling for service. Dryer support wheels or the front glides are much easier and less costly to replace then having to replace the dryer tub or worse yet – having to buy a whole new dryer.  Sometimes, by waiting and not calling for service right away, it may cause more damage to your dryer, or end up being a more costly repair.

So if something does NOT sound right – pick up the phone and call for service sooner rather than later. It could end up saving you money in the long run.

Get your air conditioner ready for winter

acRaking leaves, holiday decorations, football games.  There’s a lot to do in the Fall, but one thing you definitely don’t want to ignore is getting your air conditioner units prepped for a cold Connecticut winter.  It doesn’t take a lot of time to winterize your equipment, but it will save you a few headaches down the road and maybe a few visits from me!

Make sure it’s still warm enough to have a working hose.

Large outdoor A/C units:

Here’s what to do :

  • Clear the outside unit of any obstructions. Twigs, branches, leaves, and plant debris should all be cleared.  You want to make sure there is plenty of room around the unit.
  • After turning off power to the unit, take the a sponge and wash the outside of the air conditioner.  Be careful not to bend any of the fins.  Just get as much dirt off as you can.
  • A lot of people cover up their air conditioner units or wrap them, but this is one thing you can skip!  The units are built to take the winter and snow and rain won’t bother them.  Wrapping them may also be inviting small critters in to nest in the unit and do some damage inside.

Of course, one thing that is important is to schedule tune ups regularly so the system can be inspected.  This way, you will be less likely to be without cool air in August.

Small Window Units:

You really should take them out of their windows if possible.  Leaving them in place all winter may cause heat to escape through the gaps around the A/C and the harsh weather could damage the unit prematurely.  If removal is not possible, make sure you get a cover that protects it.  The covers are available at most home centers.

Here are a few tips to keep your window A/C problem free:

  • Make sure you have help when removing the unit.  They are awkward and heavy, especially if they are making a trip to the basement!
  • Give the unit an quick inspection.  If you see anything damaged or wires that are frayed, be sure to call the manufacturer (if under warranty) or a professional.
  • Check out the manual that came with the unit to see if they suggest any special maintenance tips.
  • Replace or clear the unit’s air filter.  This is usually done during the summer as well.
  • Clean the condenser coils, removing dust and dirt.  This will help ensure your A/C doesn’t work harder than it needs to.  The unit’s instruction manual will provide information on removing the cabinet so you can access the coils.  Clean them with warm water, being careful not to damage the delicate fins.
  • Clean the condensation pan and make sure it’s dry before storing.
  • Store the unit in a place where small critters can access it.

Of course, you can always contact us at (860) 870-8679 to come by and service your air conditioning units.