Essential Appliance Maintenance for Stressless Holidays

Appliance MaintenceWhether you’ll be welcoming family to stay in your home or will be entertaining friends throughout the holiday season, your essential appliances must be ready for the holidays. Admittedly holidays may look different this year, but as a homeowner, taking the time to inspect everything from your kitchen equipment to your furnace will help to limit any stress while ensuring you can comfortably relax and enjoy the festivities.

Countertop Appliances

If you’re thinking of finally buying that dreamy kitchen mixer, grab one at a discounted price during Black Friday sales or early December as many retailers offer deep discounts in prep for the holiday season. This will also give you a few weeks to explore all the fun features. Clean out the crumb trays in your toaster/toaster oven and shake out the rest over your garbage or sink. Put away any countertop appliances you won’t be using during the holidays. Run a manufacturer-recommended cleaner (or a 2-to-1 solution of water and vinegar) through your coffeemaker. Steam clean your microwave for about 10 minutes with a 1-to-1 solution of vinegar and water in a bowl, then simply wipe down with paper towels; be sure to add a precautionary item such as a popsicle stick or even a toothpick to help prevent the liquid from exploding. Clean your can opener by putting it into the dishwasher. If your blender could use a little freshening up, run some lemon rinds and water through a cycle so it smells clean and will be ready to go.

Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is your greatest ally in the kitchen as it performs the tough work so you don’t have to. But if the interior drains become clogged with food particles, it won’t function well, so be sure to dispose of excess food into your garbage but don’t over-rinse as many of today’s detergents actually require stuck-on food to activate the special enzymes. Who knew? The same goes for overloading your dishwasher, it’s better to do two loads to ensure the rotation sprayers don’t get damaged. Regular maintenance includes:

  • clean and inspect the dishwasher strainer, pump, and spray arms
  • inspect the hose connections for any signs of water leaks
  • run a manufacturer-recommended dishwasher cleaner through an empty cycle to dissolve any build-ups

Furnace

As a homeowner, inspecting and replacing your furnace filters monthly or as the manufacturer recommends is extremely important. Power outages/surges can easily happen during the winter season so it’s important to know where your furnace fuse is, and to have spares on hand, in case the fuse is tripped. If you have an oil-burning furnace, make sure you schedule a fuel delivery well before the cold sets in.

Oven/Stove

Do you really know your stove? A little preventative maintenance can go a long way. Besides cleaning up any spills as they happen, you should clean the knobs and the cooktop with manufacturer-recommended products as needed. This is especially true for glass-top stoves as they can scratch easily from scouring tools or abrasive cleansers. If you’ve got a gas stove, regularly check to ensure the pilot lights are working and there’s no debris blocking any of the burner jets. You should also clean or replace the filters in your overhead vents frequently.

Simple oven upkeep includes ensuring the hinges, door seal, and light bulbs are in good working order. If you think your baking time is off, check the temperature of your oven for accuracy with an inexpensive oven thermometer. Remove any racks and give them a good cleaning with dish soap and hot  water, while rinsing well to avoid any unwanted odors when your oven is turned on again. You can clean your oven wall by applying an eco-friendly paste of baking soda and water, then using a spray bottle of vinegar to activate and wiping away with paper towels. If you’ve got a self-cleaning oven, appliance repair professionals recommend using the self-cleaning function at least two weeks before the holidays as sometimes this causes an oven to malfunction. We also recommend using a low-heat setting over the standard 800-degree self-cleaning temperature which may take up to six hours to complete the cycle.

Refrigerator

There’s no doubt you’re going to have a lot of leftovers to deal with as well as the new food items you’ll continue to generate throughout the holiday season, but it’s important not to overfill your fridge as this will limit the airflow, which makes it work harder and could ultimately decrease its lifespan. Purging old ice cubes and getting rid of expired condiments and/or food will help clear the way in your fridge for your yummy leftover baked ham and Grandma’s questionable Jello salad. When you’re no doubt jamming more containers into your fridge, it’s good to know that it’s most likely anything at the back of the shelf could freeze over those foods placed at the front. And with guests and family visiting, it never hurts to make sure your fridge door is closed completely whenever you happen to pass by. Condensers located under the front kick plate should be cleaned regularly to remove debris, as with vacuuming the coils on the back of the fridge to remove dust.

Washer/Dryer

No doubt there will be a lot of dreaded laundry involved in your holiday plans. Keep your washer in tip-top shape by regularly inspecting hoses for leaks and by running a cleaning product through a cycle as necessary. Always leave the door ajar after washing clothes to help prevent any mildew buildup and clean the dryer vent after each load.

While stress-free holidays are probably just a dream for most of us, you can help to prevent any unwanted mishaps by ensuring your appliances are ready to go, even if YOU aren’t. DomiDocs helps to take the worry out of being a homeowner by putting you in control. Our user-friendly digital platform automatically reminds you of any maintenance that requires attention and supplies a list of trusted service providers should the need arise. Thinking about purchasing new appliances? Read our blog on the Best time of year to make purchases for your home

Author – Connie Motz