There are few appliances in your home as vital to the health, well-being and happiness of your family as the refrigerator! On average, refrigerators last about 14 years, and they account for approximately 8 percent of your monthly utility bill. Properly cleaning and maintaining your refrigerator will ensure it continues to run smoothly and efficiently, as well as extend its lifespan. The following refrigetator maintenance tips will help you avoid losing groceries to spoilage as well as the inconvenience of a service call and costly refrigerator repairs or replacement.

1. Clean the condenser coils. If you only have time to do one thing on this list, make this your No. 1 priority. When condenser coils are dirty or dusty, the fridge has to work harder to keep cold, which means higher power bills and shorter life expectancy. So, clean condenser coils at least every three to six months (more often if you have pets). They are located either on the back of the unit or underneath it, behind a grill on the bottom front of the fridge and can be cleaned using a cloth or vacuum. By simply cleaning the coils, you can improve your refrigerator’s efficiency up to 30 percent.

2. Check and clean the door seals and gaskets. Inspect gaskets for cracks or rust and seals for rips, tears or brittleness. The seal should be tight every time you close the door. If it’s not, then you have cold air leaking out and warm air seeping in, which makes the refrigerator work harder to do its job and vastly decreases its efficiency.

To test door seals, close the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If there is little resistance, you might need to adjust the latch or replace the seals. To clean seals and gaskets, use an all-purpose cleaner or use vinegar to prevent mildew growth. To make the seal glide smooth at points of contact, use a spray such as PAM on the gaskets.

3. Clean the drain hole and drip pan. The drain hole removes condensation, which helps the unit run more efficiently. Food particles and mineral deposits can build up in the drain hole and should be removed according to directions in the owner’s manual. After that, you should clean the drip pan.

4. Maintain recommended temperatures. For the refrigerator, the ideal temperature is 38° to 42°F. Check your unit’s temperature by placing an appliance thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator for 24 hours. For the freezer the ideal temperature is 5°F. To check it, place a thermometer between frozen packages for 24 hours.

5. Change the water filter. If your refrigerator/freezer has a water dispenser or ice maker, you should replace the water filter every six months or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Homeowners should also consider having a Home Protect Home Warranty plan to ensure costs are affordable and home maintenance is provided by a reputable service contractor.

Disclosure

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.

 

 

Although you might not be feeling the winter chill yet, preparing your house can give you peace of mind. Below are some tips to help you winterize with the best of them. Then you can sit back and relax with a cup of hot chocolate!

Start with the basics: your home’s heating and plumbing systems. A broken furnace or frozen pipes are winter woes that can be easily avoided with routine heating and plumbing maintenance. Test your heating systems by running them for about 30 minutes, which is just long enough to hear unusual noises that may indicate a problem that may need further attention. If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly, and when water appears, close them again.

Don’t neglect filters! Dirty filters can lead to dire problems. Whether you have a central heating unit or furnace, be sure to clean and/or change them on a regular basis – usually monthly while the unit is in regular operation, depending on the type of filter it takes.

Heat is a master ‘escape artist.’ So, it’s a good idea to check out all the ‘usual suspects,’ such as doors and windows, before it gets really cold. You’ll know if they’re in such bad shape that they need replacing, but often weatherstripping can be an effective and much less pricey solution to keeping your family warm this winter. Another culprit when it comes to heat loss can be your home’s chimney and fireplace. Make sure that the damper-flue system opens and closes fully, and that it can be locked in the closed position. Smoke should draw upward cleanly. If it doesn’t, make sure that birds, rodents or other small animals aren’t nesting up there. If it has been several years since you’ve had your fireplace chimney cleaned, you may want to have it done by a professional chimney sweeper — definitely not a job for amateurs.

When it comes to plumbing, insulation is king. Pipes, especially the ones that are most likely to freeze, like those near or against an outside wall or in areas of your home that are not heated like the basement or crawl spaces — need to be properly insulated. Outside faucets can also freeze easily, so make sure exposed plumbing fixtures are protected as well. Everyone in the household should know where the shutoff valve is in case a pipe bursts and you need to turn off the water for the whole house. Finally, you may want to consider buying a Home Protect Gold home warranty plan, a bit of preemptive planning that can save you money in the long run and help to ensure you stay warm and toasty in your house all winter long.

Disclosure

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.

There was a time when appliances and systems within the home were reliable for decades, but those days are long gone. Today, regardless of the manufacturer, many of these items do not enjoy the durability that they used to. This is discouraging for people purchasing a home with older equipment, and this knowledge is often a prevailing thought of consumers considering buying brand new products. Because age can no longer dictate the reliability of these necessary home items, many homeowners are turning to the affordable protection offered by the HomeProtect Home Warranty.

This dynamic policy provides 24/7 live customer service support to assist policyholders with all of their needs. They understand that things tend to break down at the most inopportune times, and, therefore, getting attention for service is never a problem for customers. Claims can even be filed online, which offers the ultimate in convenience. The company has a network of pre-qualified, experienced professionals to assist with repairs or replacements that is 40,000 members strong, and any work provided by them is backed up with a six-month guarantee.

When it comes to coverage, the HomeProtect policy is superior. It covers the majority of the home’s primary systems, including any heating and cooling devices, electrical wiring, and plumbing systems. These are some of the priciest items within the home to contend with when they break down; but, with this enterprise’s home warranty, homeowners will generally only need to contribute a preset deductible of $100 per claim.

Both old appliances and new appliances are covered under this service protection agreement. As long as the devices are properly maintained and fail during normal operating conditions, they should qualify for service. Appliances that qualify for coverage under the plan include:

• Refrigerators
• Clothes washers and dryers
• Built-in microwaves
• Garage Door Openers
• Water heaters
• Ovens
• Dishwashers

By no means is this list comprehensive, and the policy provides protection for many more household items. Such amazing coverage may sound costly, but this warranty is so affordable, that it costs less than a cup of convenience store coffee per day. A small price to pay for the peace of mind it affords policyholders.

Recently, the National Bureau of Economic Research performed a fascinating study of a number of individual’s financial situations. The results were quite surprising and display the extent of the financial burden people are weighted down by today. Through their study, they discovered that the majority of Americans could not come up with $2000 to make a major repair if faced with this situation, even within a 30 day period.

Fortunately, there is good news for homeowners and lenders that find themselves in possession of a home that requires costly repairs or features old appliances and major systems that are on their last leg. Some of the inclusions in a Home Protect Home Warranty are:

• Furnace warranty
• Refrigerator protection
• Water heater coverage
• Plumbing systems
• Electrical wire protection
• Dishwasher service
• Range implements
• A/C warranty
• Heater protection

These are only a few, and this comprehensive protection plan covers a host of others. Home Protect has been helping homeowners, realtors, and lenders avoid unexpected repair or replacement costs for many years and the company is widely respected.

To receive service on any covered device, usually all that is required is a $100 deductible, regardless of the entire cost of the service and this amount stays the same even if a full replacement is necessary. Contacting customer service is a breeze and knowledgeable representatives are available 24/7. They will expedite your claim quickly and efficiently without hassles.

The service technician network that is employed by the company features top-notch staff members who are ready to come out and evaluate any problems, and they will often begin repairs or replacement the same day. There is no need for policy holders to bother will trying to find the ideal technician because Home Protect has everything covered, and they back any performed work for six months after service.

The Home Protect Home Warranty comes at a minimal cost, and most policies pay for themselves within the very first use. This is a small price to pay when one considers the complete peace of mind gained when in possession of this protection plan to supplement a primary insurance policy. Get a quote for this dynamic company’s service today, and see how they help policy holders avoid unexpected repair or replacement costs.

Long time home owners understand how finicky a home’s systems and appliances can be, and when something breaks down unexpectedly, it can create financial havoc. According to a recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, more than half of American’s are in such a state of financial fragility that they could not afford to make a $2000 repair within a 30-day period if they were faced with this dilemma.

Avoid unexpected household or replacement expenses by looking into a Home Protect Home Warranty. This program offers refrigerators service, dishwasher protection, a hot water heater warranty, and coverage for washers and dryers, too. The biggest expenses in home repair are typically incurred concerning the major systems within the home. Never fear, the coverage offers a heating and cooling warranty, major plumbing service, and even electrical wire protection.

For a fraction of what one repair could run, these home devices and much more can be completely protected by one of these comprehensive agreements. If at any time, one of these devices fail due to mechanical issues, then a home owner will not have any reason to hit the panic button.

All they need to do is click a few buttons on the web or the telephone to be connected with a simple method to file a claim. Customer service representatives are standing by 24 hours a day, 365 days per year to handle and questions, concerns, or claims that Home Protect customers may have. All associates are highly trained and knowledgeable about the issues that home owners have from day to day regarding their systems and appliances.

As soon as the claim has been quickly processed, the company will send out one of the members of their professional repair network to come out and evaluate the situation at the home. With normallyonly a $100 deductible required for each service or repair claim made, even home owners on the tightest budget can afford to get their devices back in working order.

The Home Protect Home Warranty is also a great addition to homes on the market, especially those in a state of foreclosure. Potential buyers are extremely enthusiastic when they know their purchase will include a year of this solid coverage. Repairs and replacements for any preexisting conditions will be covered under the policy, and the home can go on the market with devices that are 100 percent functional.

Major systems in the home including plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, and heat sources, can fail at any time. Repairs to these components can be one of the most costly repairs within a home. In this tough economy, not many families have several thousand dollars in the bank to spend on repairs or replacement for these essential home systems. By protecting the home with a Home Protect Home Warranty, owners will generally only have to pay a small deductible for these services, regardless of the total cost of the service.

By no means is this all that this home warranty offers, and the coverage additionally includes:

• Refrigerators
• Water heaters
• Dishwashers
• Stoves
• Built-in microwaves
• Ceiling fans
• Garage door openers
• Built-in trash compactors

Amazingly, there are several more benefits and this list only details the majority of covered components. Regardless of the age of the home or appliances within it, they are covered by this protection. Policyholders that enjoy this coverage will have peace of mind, knowing that if anything fails due to a mechanical malfunction, that a simple phone call or email will get things started towards remedying the situation.

Representatives that handle claims for owners of a Home Protect Home Warranty are available every day of the year, 24 hours a day for the ultimate convenience of policyholders. These components do not adhere to a schedule when they fail, and this company understands how frustrating it is to feel helpless until the morning or for Monday to come around to start a claim. That is why their professional staff is on hand anytime, to get your claim process started immediately.

Homeowners will not need to diligently search the phonebook or internet to find a qualified and reputable service provider, because they will receive services from one of the pre-screened and highly skilled members of the Home Protect Home Warranty Network. All work performed by network technicians is completely under warranty for six months after services are rendered.

As an added bonus, customers will be allowed to have access to the company’s Appliance Buyline, which provides the most popular name brand appliances to policyholders at a discount of up to 30 percent, permitting them to purchase new appliances whenever they desire. Protect the home and the bank account, by checking out these policies today.

There are many benefits to having a Home Protect Home Warranty, besides the most obvious one. If you have a Home Protect Home Warranty, your homes systems and appliances will be protected in the case that they break down or malfunction. All you have to do is pay a small deductible to have a trained service technician come out and either replace or repair the existing appliance. There is also another benefit that many people do not know they receive when they sign up for a Home Protect Home Warranty. That benefit, Appliance Buyline, is that you get appliance discounts on any new appliances that you purchase.

Say that your stove is very old, but it hasn’t broken down, but you want a new one anyway. Now, HomeProtect isn’t going to outright buy you a new stove (it isn’t broken), but they will offer you up to a 30% discount towards any new appliance that you purchase. In addition to that, they will also pay a slight discount towards the installation of your new appliance!

I will give a little example to help clear up any confusion that you might still have. Bob owns a home, and inside his home he has 10 appliances. His stove is fairly old, but in good working order. He decides he wants to upgrade his stove so it is more hi tech and can cook more efficiently. He simply uses the Appliance Buyline feature of the warranty, savings up to 30%, plus he gets a discount for the installation as well.

As illustrated by the example above, buying new appliances using your HomeProtect Home Warranty is the guaranteed way to save you money and keep your appliances up-to-date.