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TIPS N TRICKS

Heating And Cooling

What can I do before calling someone to service my system?

  • Disconnect and reconnect your indoor and outdoor switches.
  • Make sure your circuit breakers are in the ON position.
  • Make sure your filters are clean.
  • Open supply and return vents and make sure they are unobstructed.
  • Check the settings on your thermostat. 
  • Make sure the system switch is on the appropriate COOL or HEAT setting and that the thermostat has batteries, when applicable.

Other tips for maintaining comfort in your home: 

  • Always be sure to change filters regularly.
  • Keep the outdoor condensing unit free of debris and brush.
  • Draw blinds or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
  • Close vents in rooms you aren't using; be sure to open the vents in rooms you are using.
  • Don't run kitchen and bath exhaust fans longer than necessary
  • Don't place lamps, TV sets or other heat-producing devices beneath a wall-mounted thermostat. Rising heat from that equipment may cause the air conditioning system to overcool your house.
  • Locate the thermostat on an inside wall away from windows and doors.
  • People generate heat. So lower the thermostat a degree or two when expecting a large group of guests.

 


Refrigerators

The party's in full swing, unfortunately your icemaker isn't:

  • See if the icemaker actually got turned off by checking the arm alongside the icemaker assembly. If it's raised, the icemaker is off. Lower the wire to turn the icemaker back on.

Your refrigerator is cycling on more frequently than normal:

  • The condenser coils underneath the refrigerator are both a dispenser of heat and a magnet for dust--especially in homes with dirty kitchen floors or lots of pets. Clean the coils with a vacuum. You can keep further cleanings to a minimum by cutting a section of discarded pantyhose or a piece of lightweight filter material to fit inside the vent panel beneath the door, which should prevent most debris from reaching the coils.

Consumer Reports' Happy Refrigerating Tips:

  • Keep gaskets on the refrigerator and freezer doors clean with mild detergent and water, not bleach. This will ensure a good seal and prevent wasted energy.
  • Check the gasket seal by closing the doors on a dollar bill; replace the gasket if the bill falls out or can be easily removed without opening the door.
  • Be sure the refrigerator is level; if not, the door might not close properly. Most refrigerators have adjustable feet or casters.
  • Before you open the door to retrieve items, decide what you want. Every time you open the door, up to 30 percent of the cooled air can escape.
  • To maximize the storage life of your food and use the least energy, keep the refrigerator temperature at 36º to 38º F and the freezer at no colder than 0º to 5º F.
  • Clean the compressor coils every few months or so.

Washing Machines

Washer Vibration

  • The possible causes for washer vibration may include an unbalanced load of laundry or the washer may not be level. Be sure the washer feet are locked and in contact with the floor.

Leaking Water

  • Leaking water can happen due to simple issues. Before you panic, be sure the washer is level and loaded properly, the hoses are attached, and drains are unclogged.

Weird Noises

  • Clicking noises may be objects caught in the washer drain. Always check and empty pockets before washing. Close zippers and snaps and remove any unattached belts or embellishments. If you hear unusually loud gurgling as the washer drains, it may indicate the washer drain line is partially clogged.

Dryers

Clothes Take Forever to Dry

  • Clean the lint filter. A filter loaded with lint reduces the air flow necessary for quick drying.  
  • Reduce the size of each load. An overcrowded dryer does not allow clothes to tumble freely and receive heat evenly.

 

Dishwashers

Tips For Cleaner Dishes

  • Don't overload the dishwasher. You need to leave room for the water jets to spray onto the dishes.
  • Face the dirtiest part of the dishes toward the spray jets, which usually come from the center. 
  • Use the dishwasher at a time of day when pressure is high, such as late at night. The dishwasher will clean better if you're not using a lot of water for something else, like washing clothes.
  • If your home has hard water, use slightly more detergent.
  • Use a rinse aid to avoid spots and help your dishes dry more quickly.
  • Don't pre-clean dishes. Dishwashers actually depend on the bits of food that cling to dirty dishes to maintain an appropriate ph level inside the dishwasher. 

Microwaves

Tips For Cooking in a Microwave

  • Cut meats and vegetables in uniform sizes to make sure they cook evenly.
  • Remove large bones from meat before microwaving because the dense bone may keep the area around it from cooking.
  • Paper towels around sandwiches, rolls, or other baked goods will absorb moisture that would otherwise make the food soggy.
  • Potato chips that have lost their crunch can be placed on paper towels in the microwave and heating briefly. The towels will absorb moisture and restore the chips' crispness.
  • Thick-skinned foods, such as potatoes, squash, and tomatoes, trap steam during microwave cooking. Pierce the skins before cooking to allow steam to escape.

Source: http://home.howstuffworks.com, http://goodmanmfg.com, http://popularmechanics.com, http://www.consumerist.com