ABC Blog

How to Lengthen the Lifespan of Your Washer and Dryer

Get more use out of your appliances with smart preventative maintenance

“They don’t make things like they used to” is a common complaint when something big like a washer or dryer breaks down. Although nothing lasts forever, a little care and diligence can help major appliances keep going for many years. Get the most out of the 12-year average life span of your washer and the 13 years expected from a dryer with these simple maintenance tips.

Be Clean

Prevent the buildup of detergent and lint by cleaning both the inside and outside surfaces of your washer and dryer on a regular basis. Empty the dryer lint trap every time you remove a load, and find out if your washer also has a lint trap that should be cleared to prevent poor drainage.

Aim for Efficiency

Follow manufacturer instructions to avoid overloading your washer and dryer. Learn which settings are appropriate for different load sizes … Read Full Post »

What’s New in the World of Smart Appliances?

Perpetual connectivity is coming soon to your home

Is your home as tech-savvy as the 4% of American households currently using smart appliances? If you’re still only thinking about connecting the entire house to the Internet, don’t worry; 70% of homeowners are also in the planning stages. Here’s a taste of what you can expect when the wave of the future hits your home.

Smart Refrigerators

Gone are the days when having an ice maker in the refrigerator door was a novelty. Today’s smart refrigerators are able to keep track of the food you store inside and find recipes on the Internet that use those ingredients. Some, like the models from Samsung, can even interact with social media, much to the delight of Internet foodies.

Intuitive Washers

When you just can’t get the stubborn stains out of your clothes, a smart washer can connect to its manufacturer and download instructions for a specific cycle to … Read Full Post »

Before You Bake: Is Your Heating Element Healthy?

Check your oven’s health before the holiday season

Austin families are preparing for the holiday season, which often means cooking and baking for parties and family gatherings. Before you head into the kitchen this winter, it pays to be sure that you have all of the ingredients you’ll need to make dazzling cakes, cookies, and party foods. Of course, it’s also important to be sure that your major appliances are doing their part in your holiday preparations.

Is Your Oven’s Heating Element Causing Baking Woes?

There’s no doubt that baking is a science. After all, it takes the perfect combination of ingredients to make stellar baked goods. Excelling as a baker also means having the right appliances. While many professional bakers swear by convection ovens, most homeowners still use standard electric or gas ranges in their homes. Thankfully, you can still get great results with these types of ovens.

However, you do need to … Read Full Post »

Often-Forgotten Care Tips for Your Washer and Dryer

Save money and stay safe by maintaining your appliances

The National Fire Protection Association reports that America’s washers and dryers sparked nearly 17,000 fires during 2010. The flames destroyed property worth over $230 million. Laundry appliances will operate more safely and last longer if you set aside time to maintain them. These care tips can prevent serious water leaks, fires, explosions, and clothing damage:

1. Inadequate dryer cleaning causes the majority of fires. People often check lint filters but neglect other components. It’s best to disconnect the exhaust duct every 12 months and remove any debris that has accumulated. Clean around the dryer’s motor with a vacuum cleaner.

2. Most importantly, remember to remove lint from the external dryer vent at least once every 180 days. Clean it more often if you have a large family. This will prevent lint fires and ensure that your dryer doesn’t overheat. You can find this vent … Read Full Post »

5 Signs of a Malfunctioning Dishwasher

How to tell if your dishwasher is on the fritz

Like all appliances, dishwashers experience difficulty from time to time. If you encounter any of these common problems, it’s a good idea to have your machine looked at right away.

1. You washed the dishes but they’re not clean

There’s nothing worse than opening up the dishwasher after a cycle only to find that everything inside is still dirty. Though the problem could simply be that you didn’t stack the dishes the right way, it could also be due to a clogged spray arm or filter. The easiest way to figure out the problem is to reload the dishes and run another cycle, making sure to use enough detergent.

2. The floor around the machine is soaking wet

Poor dish stacking can also contribute to leaks, especially if you’re trying to put too much into the dishwasher at once. If your floor becomes one big … Read Full Post »

Warm Fridges and Wet Clothes: Common Appliance Issues

Avoiding major problems with timely appliance repair

Everyone has the occasional issue with a load of dishes that doesn’t wash properly, but there are definitely several warning signs that you should keep an eye out for in order to ensure that a small problem doesn’t end up developing into a catastrophe. After all, the cost of a serious repair or a necessary replacement will be unpleasant enough to deal with, and this issue can easily be exacerbated by additional problems such as spoiled groceries.

What Are Some of the Most Common Appliance Issues?

1. Water leaking inside of a refrigerator

If you’ve recently discovered water underneath the crisper drawers, it’s imperative to get your freezer’s defrost drain unclogged. This can easily be accomplished by one of our service specialists, and it will help protect you from ending up with ruined food and the possibility of water leaking onto the floor.

2. Flakes in your ice

Having … Read Full Post »

10 Things You Should Never Put Down the Garbage Disposal

Save them for the trash bin—and save your garbage disposal’s motor

If you were fortunate enough to have a garbage disposal when you were growing up, you probably weren’t very careful about what you threw into it. After all, that scary motor seemed to take care of just about anything. Over time, though, you may have learned that garbage disposals are just as susceptible to clogs and breakdowns as other appliances. Now that you’re older and wiser, take care not to throw these 10 items down yours.

1. Non-Organic Trash

It might seem obvious, but plastic and metal can seriously damage your garbage disposal blades. Even smaller items like paper and cigarette butts can wreak havoc.

2. Grease and Animal Fat

Once it passes through the disposal, this stuff can congeal in your pipes. This often has devastating effects for your plumbing system.

3. Rice, Pasta and Other Starches

This stuff expands dramatically when soaked and is … Read Full Post »

Put Down the Bleach: How Cleaning Compounds Can Kill Your Dishwasher

You count on your dishwasher to cut down on your workload. If your dishwasher doesn’t seem to be providing the same level of service as it did before, it’s time to evaluate the products you’ve been using. After all, some dishwasher problems are caused by using the wrong types of detergent or cleaner. Thankfully, avoiding these issues is as simple as making sure that you’re selecting the right products to care for your dishwasher.

Are You Using the Right Cleaners in Your Dishwasher?

No matter how new or old your dishwasher is, using the right types of detergents and cleaning products is key to ensuring its efficiency, performance and longevity. When choosing a detergent, you should always look for a product that’s clearly labeled for use in dishwashers. These may take the forms of liquids, gels, powders or self-contained packs. All of these types of detergent are completely safe for use in … Read Full Post »

How Many Years Do Your Household Appliances Have Left?

We’ll help you make an educated guess

Major appliances aren’t cheap, and some units take considerable effort to install. It makes sense to keep them running as long as possible. You can accomplish this by reading the manual and taking various steps to boost the longevity of your equipment. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to estimate how many years each appliance will survive because it may help you save the right amount of money for replacements.

Refrigerators

Medium and large refrigerators typically last between 10 and 18 years. Small models conserve space and electricity, but they remain less reliable. These units often fail after about eight years. Refrigerators will last longer if you keep your kitchen below 70 degrees and clean any exposed condenser coils. When you unplug it, prop the doors open to prevent mold.

Ovens, Ranges

Most cooking appliances have very few moving parts, so they usually perform well for 11 to 21 … Read Full Post »

Don’t Let Dishwasher Problems Get the Best of You

Dishwashers take the hard work out of cleaning up after dinner and keeping your kitchen tidy. These convenient appliances are so common that most homeowners take them for granted, but you could be in for a big surprise if your dishwasher stops working and you’re stuck washing everything by hand. While you can’t stop all appliance breakdowns from happening, knowing the signs that your dishwasher is wearing out will help you make the right repair and replacement decisions.

Is Your Dishwasher Wearing Out?

Like most Austin homeowners, you rely on your dishwasher to help you tackle kitchen cleanup tasks. Keeping up on maintenance and monitoring your dishwasher for any signs of trouble will help to ensure that you’re not stuck scrubbing pots by hand. Remember that most dishwashers are designed to last for about 10 years, so you’ll need to take your washer’s age into account as you evaluate its condition.

It’s important … Read Full Post »