#1 – How to take care of your Freezer to avoid costly repairs
To avoid your freezer from going out and you loosing all of your frozen contents, there are a few things you should do to increase the longevity of your appliance.
Freezers sitting unused can sometimes experience a phenomenon called “sweating”. This is when the moisture in the air turns to ice and then melts into a puddle of water underneath or around your appliance. This free liquid build up can cause permanent damage to your freezer if it sits there long enough.
To avoid this, simply plug it back in every few months (make sure not to run on empty!) for about 3-4 hours. This will allow all of the moisture from inside the unit to warm up, evaporate off and then make its way outside through condensation pipe. If you already have some sort of dehumidifier set up in your home that could suffice as well!
If you live in a very humid climate or have a very old freezer it might be best to remove it from your kitchen and store in a nearby closet/basement. The longer the unit sits without being plugged in-the more likely you are to experience long term damage.
#2 – Don’t force anything closed that WON’T close!
If you ever run into a problem where something gets frozen shut, don’t forcefully slam the door or try to pull hard on the door trying to get it to open. All this will do is break off your hinges or crack the seals around your freezer’s door. If some thing has become lodged inside of your appliance, simply unplug your unit and wait for everything inside freeze solid again (should take overnight). Then, try to gently pull the item out. If it is still stuck you can use a flat head screwdriver to pry it open from inside.
#3 – Give it some space!
Most modern homes are small enough for your fridge and freezer but there are several reasons why you should give your appliance as much room as possible:
If you have limited counter space in your kitchen or never use that extra area under your sink then move your freezer to another part of the house where there is more room (a pantry, closet, basement). This will not only prevent damage from doorknobs or other objects being slammed on/into the unit while it’s sitting next to a wall but also increase its longevity by allowing more circulation in the air around it.
#4 – Cut down on condensation!
If your freezer is located in a very humid part of your home, such as near a bathroom, walk-in closet or humid basement then there are some steps you should take to reduce the amount of moisture being absorbed by its walls. Every appliance has an air vent which allows hot gases to escape from inside. Air Venting is also used for dehumidifying and circulating heat throughout the kitchen area of your home (which means that it will be pulling cold air from outside). The problem with this system is that when water reaches these hot vents it turns into steam and evaporates into the open atmosphere (creating an ice-cold draft!). If you have a very warm/hot vent located next to your freezer you are going to be sucking in more moisture than normal. To fix this problem, simply wrap a towel or some sort of insulation over the vents.
#5 – Keep it moving!
All freezers have fans which circulate the cold air throughout the entire appliance and make sure everything freezes evenly. This is done by having two separate areas- one that is actively cooling and then another part of the unit that has already been cooled off so it can continue working on maintaining perfect temperature. If there is no movement created inside an appliance (like when its sitting still) then ice crystals start to form around each chilled section making them colder while everything else sit melting. In order for this system to work properly, every freezer needs to have a sliding shelf or base that allows the unit to move up and down. This simple feature also helps prolong the life of your appliances compressor by providing it with more time between jobs.
##6 – Keep it COLD!
Just like getting out in the cold winter air makes us feel better after spending all day indoors-the same concept applies for food inside your freezer when it gets too warm. Higher temperatures will cause your foods moisture content to rise faster and therefore cycle through its prime much quicker than if was stored at a much lower temperature (dropping below 32 degrees Fahrenheit). The best way to prevent this from happening is making sure that you don’t keep something sitting out on top of your freezers evaporator coils or condenser fan. This will allow the cold air to circulate through out any and all compartments in your appliance (which is exactly where you want it to be).
#7 – Don’t forget about food safety!
“I don’t keep raw beef, chicken or eggs in my freezer because I heard that can cause bacteria growth.”- Everyone on the internet ever! If you take the time to read this whole article you should understand by now that freezing meat, fish and dairy products is actually safer than leaving them out at room temperature for an extended period of time. In fact its best if you only defrost WHAT YOU PLAN ON EATING rather than using up a whole day’s worth of energy by running your entire freezer at once. The refrigerator section of the appliance is actually harder for micro-organisms to survive in than the frozen food part (this is because its maintained below 40 degrees which is very cold). A much better option would be to store meat in a sealable, zip top bag then place it into the upper lefthand corner of the freezer where humidity is lower and temperatures are more stable. Poultry should always be stored in an airtight bag inside a cooler full of ice or on a shelf directly above the freezing coils so any liquid from raw meat does not drip onto other products within your appliance. For best results, buy one pack of regular plastic bags for everyday use/storage and keep a special box withFreezer Safe Bags for storing meat, seafood and poultry.
#8 – Don’t forget about the Freezer’S RULES
There are a few simple precautions that need to be taken when working around any type of freezer. The first rule is always remember where you put your food in case there is a power outage- otherwise you’ll have a hard time digging through frozen hams trying to find that chocolate cake (or visa versa). Secondly, NEVER EVER store anything highly inflammable inside your appliance because it can catch fire at temperatures as low as -17 degrees Fahrenheit (-28 Celsius) or less depending on what its made out of. Next time someone asks you why their potato chip bag melted into their ice cream-tell them its because they had cigarettes inside their freezer. Finally, keep in mind that certain items go bad at different temperatures (listed below). Be sure to avoid using the following for storage purposes:
- Lettuce – 31 degrees Fahrenheit -(0 Celsius)
- Mushrooms – 38 degrees Fahrenheit – (3 Celsius)
- Broccoli – 41 degrees Fahrenheit – (5 Celsius )
- Beans and Peas -46 Degrees Fahrenheit- (-2 Centigrade)
Please contact the Lake Charles Appliance Repair professionals at Appliance Pro to schedule your appliance repair service today – (337) 313-2066