Posts Tagged ‘FAQ’

Cleaning your washer – 3 tips on how to clean a smelly washer

October 28, 2009

frigaffinityFront-load washers earned the reputation for being high-efficiency, eco-friendly machines with outstanding cleaning power … that smell bad. (My sister/salesperson Angela Warner actually talked to WCCO-4 about the problem with smelly washers about a year ago.)

So why do front-load washing machines sometimes smell? For many of the reasons that they’re generally better machines, ironically enough.

High-efficiency washers use MUCH less water, so more residue and detergent can be left behind after the cycle. Both front- and top-load washers that are high-efficiency can suffer from this, but high-efficiency top-load washing machines are less common.

Constant cold water cycles can also contribute to the stink, as they don’t always fully dissolve dirt and grease from the interior of the wash tub. Also, the tightly sealed door, left closed after a wash cycle, might not dry completely, which leads to the growth of odor-causing bacteria (Think: when you leave wet clothes in the washer for too long).

Luckily, the solution is as easy as 1-2-3. I know it’s cheesy, but if you remember these three easy steps, yo nose will be in the clear.

1. Keep the gasket dry

The crevasses of your washing machine gasket, which is the rubber seal that runs the perimeter of the door and opening, is a favorite place for moisture and residue to hang out. Keep a rag handy to quickly wipe this area dry after you’re done with laundry for the day.

2. Keep the washer door open

After you wipe down the gasket, fight the urge to shut the door. Don’t you hang a wet beach towel out to dry? Same thinking. Let the washer air out so there’s no opportunity for the mildewy smell to develop.

3. Use a washer cleaner

Use a cleaner formulated specifically for the interior of the machine, such as Affresh, once a month to prevent odor. And if your washer already smells, you should use Affresh three times to get back on track. Read more about how Affresh works.

These steps have become second nature for us in using our front-load laundry pair. And it’s worth it for the money savings in utility costs, the huge capacity and the superior cleaning. Are any of you still struggling with this? If not, what worked for you?

Why 300 CFM, Energy Star audit and the upcoming appliance stimulus

October 23, 2009

Faber Rangehoods: Kitchen Ventilation 101, CFM – what is it?

Behold the Faber Inca Smart. A 28" 250 CFM Hood Liner (#630006288)

Behold the Faber Inca Smart. A 28" 250 CFM Hood Liner (#630006288)

Another of the most frequently asked questions in our stores is “What is the maximum CFM I can have on my hood/over-the-range (OTR) microwave before I have to look into a make-up air system?”

The answer is 300 CFM, but why (other than it’s Minnesota code)?

Faber Rangehood‘s blog answered that question, plus offered a good explanation of the misunderstood CFM.

Also, a situation of negative pressure could also occur when too much air is pulled out of the home and it is not replaced by air from the outside. In today’s construction the homes are becoming more and more air tight and when too much air is pulled out of a home, you need to sometimes “make up” for that lost air by pumping outside air into the home. In colder climates this is a huge issue, in most parts of Canada there are laws in place about maximum cfm’s before a make up air system has to be installed (typically 300 cfm is the threshold).

Faberhoods.blogspot.com

Faberhoods.blogspot.com

Sub-Zero / Wolf Drastically Cuts Carbon Output

Rumor mill blog Appliance Advisor reported that Sub-Zero and Wolf ditched their carbon- and platinum-finish lines, along with several handle options. I previously blogged about the distinctive look of carbon.

I know it doesn't look colorful, but look at how much this family loves the distinction of Sub-Zero's carbon stainless steel finish! It's a departure from the ubiquity of SS, yet it retains the much-beloved sophistication. Call it compromise.

I still can't get over how happy this family is about its carbon Sub-Zero appliances.

Guess it’s not for everyone.

Energy Star Appliances May Not All Be Efficient, Audit Finds

energystarThe New York Times reported an internal audit conducted by the Deparment of Energy concluded the Energy Star program needed tighter tracking of appliance manufacturers using the energy-efficient label.

Some believe this wakeup call will lead to tighter standards and perhaps will supply the push needed to create a “super star” program IDing the top 5% of energy-efficient appliances.

Warners’ Stellian, in cooperation with Minnesota Greenstar, already promotes distinction of appliance energy use by tiers.

Declutter and Purge Your Kitchen to the Necessities, the Checklist

Do you really need two garlic presses? If you think you do, you need some serious help. I found just that help on Hello Kitchen (via Lifehacker). Print out the cute and practical kitchen checklist to separate necessity from redundancy. Pull each item to a quilt spread near your kitchen, and donate what remains.

hellokitchen.com

hellokitchen.com

Minnesota to get $5 million for rebates on appliances

Details are still being hashed out by the Minnesota DOE on the $5 million “dollars for diswashers” Energy Star-rated appliance rebate program, funded by federal stimulus program.

Our own operations director/co-owner Robert Warner helped advise the team responsible for state’s plans for the money (which appliances if replaced would make the biggest energy dent, etc.)

The program, which is expected to begin in March, has yet to receive approval, but it probably look something like this:

  • $200 for refrigerators/washers
  • $150 for dishwashers
  • $100 for freezers

The program limits one appliance rebate per household, meaning about 25,000 households will get a rebate.

Some say the months-away start will delay appliance purchase, but with the energy savings lost in waiting several months to purchase (see Energy Star’s savings calculator) and the current low prices characteristic of this season, buying now could be an even better deal — with less-crowded showrooms :)

If you’re contemplating a purchase and you don’t know what to think or if you just want to know more about the program,  please call me at our corporate office (Google it) or contact me at jawarner (at) warnersstellian (dot) com (sorry, don’t want any spammers!) with any questions about the forthcoming program. I’ll e-mail/call you with more details as they’re finalized.

Dishwasher troubleshooting: Dishes not drying

October 21, 2009

So you go to take your dishes out of the dishwasher and they’re completely wet. Sound familiar?

howtodrydishes

If your dishwasher has a stainless steel tub, you probably need rinse aid. Sure, your dishwasher could be the best, highest-efficiency model. It still needs rinse aid. Rinse aid helps dry dishes by reducing water droplet formation. (Note: If you have a plastic tub and your dishes aren’t drying, you might need a service call on the heating element.)

If you’ve added rinse aid to your dishwasher and your dishes still come out wet, check if you’re washing a lot of plastic dishes. Sometimes these can exacerbate the problem. Have you ever noticed that plastic dishes often come out with droplets of water while all your glass and porcelain dishes are completely dry? That’s because plastic does not hold heat the same way regular dishes do.

Why does that matter? It throws the dishwasher off its drying mojo. Here’s how the dishwasher drying process works:  The final rinse water reaches a very high temperature (at least 157 degrees on European models) — and the final rinse temperature is really important to the drying process. By now, the dishes ideally hold a lot of heat. But the stainless steel tub (hopefully you purchased a model with a SS tub) is a cooler surface, so the moisture collects on the tub and condensation naturally occurs.

Other things that throw the dishwasher off its drying mojo:

  1. Washing all the dishes before you load them. Scrape off large food pieces, but just say no to washing your dishes before you wash them! If the dishes are clean, your smart dishwasher cuts the wash time down. If this happens, the dishwasher may not have time to get hot enough. The water is heated to more than 40 degrees higher than the hot water being piped in. There are other reasons to not wash your dishes before you wash them, but I’ll save those for another post…
  2. You’re using the light or quick wash cycles for everyday stuff. It won’t usually wash or dry as well.
  3. You’re not using rinse aid (shame on you). Rinse aid is a key element in drying and it will keep everything sparkling as well.

So retire that dishtowel, OK?

Photo credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/weelakeo/ / CC BY 2.0

Ice maker troubleshooting

October 7, 2009
Isn't it beautiful? But with great beauty, comes great responsibility...

Isn't it beautiful? But with great beauty, comes great responsibility...

Ice makers built in to your refrigerator are super handy (and pretty darn impressive when you have that dispenser on the door — it’s actually known for blowing people away).

However, if something on a fridge requires troubleshooting, more often than not it’s our frosty friend over there in the freezer. The good news is you can probably diagnose and treat the most common problems without a service tech.

I’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions from ServiceMatters.com about ice makers for you to print, save or bookmark  (or frame).

Click on links below to jump to a section or scroll down and read the post in its entirity

How do ice makers work?

Troubleshooting

Still having problems?
How do ice makers work?

JennAir.com

JennAir.com

Water constantly runs over a freezing plate in your ice maker. Meanwhile, minerals from your water are rejected; this mineral water, if you will, is drained with each ice-making cycle.

When the ice is thick enough, it slides down into a cutter grid that separates the sheet into cubes, which fall into the storage bin. A sensor determines when the bin is full and the ice maker shuts off until more ice is needed.

JennAir.com

JennAir.com

Key takeaways: The bin isn’t refrigerated so some melting will occur, especially if you take your good, sweet time loading the freezer after a trip to the grocery store. Also, higher temperatures in the freezer mean fewer cubes. So shut that door! Likewise, if you want more ice, dial your freezer to a colder setting, wait for 24 hours and see what happens. Wash, rinse, repeat — ice cubes!

If your freezer is completely cooled, you should get a batch of cubes every three hours. Note: It takes 24 hours for a newly installed ice maker to start making ice and 72 hours for it to swing into full operation. So be patient and remember to be supportive of your new fridge as it reaches its full ice-making potential.

Troubleshooting

Ice makers vary from model to model, but here are the most common issues and how to make them go away.

Ice maker not/barely producing ice

Is the control set to “ON”? It should be.

Is the water supply properly connected and turned on? It should be, also.

A loose drain cap can leave you with thin ice because water will empty from the water pan, so tighten that drain cap!

The drain tube could be clogged from sediment. Shut off the water line, wait, and turn it back on. This should help flush the sediment out. And speaking of the drain tube, make sure there are no kinks in it as they could prevent the flow of that rejected water out.

Make sure the metal arm on your ice maker is DOWN. (Remember: There’s no “on” in UP, but there’s “on” in dOwN.)

JennAir.com

JennAir.com

My ice cubes are small/hollow

You probably have low water pressure. You need a cold water supply with pressure between 35 and 120 psi to properly operate the ice maker. If you have a water dispenser, you can test the pressure by filling a measuring cup for 5 seconds. If you end up with fewer than 3 ounces (a little more than 1/4 cup), your pressure is likely low.

Do you have a water filter in your fridge? It could be clogged or installed improperly. Remove the filter and see if your water flow improves. If it does, try reinstalling the filter. If that doesn’t work, buy a new filter.

My ice dispenser isn’t working

Is your dispenser locked? It might sound stupid, but that’s probably why you didn’t check it before you checked this. Press and hold the lock button for several seconds to unlock.

Has there been a recent power outage? If power goes out for more than one hour, some models disable the dispenser. Press and hold the reset button to fix this. (Some models beep when they’re finished resetting.)

Check the ice chute for large clumps or cubes that are blocking it (continue below)

My ice cubes clump together

Pull any clumps out out of the dispenser and wipe the area out with a warm, wet cloth and then make sure to give it another once-over with a dry cloth. Ice clumps in the bin could also be your problem, so give the bin a good shake. If the clumps don’t separate, empty it and clean it out. This is also the solution is ice has formed around the auger (that usually-metal spiral thingy in the middle of the bin). Remember: It’ll take 24 hours to the bin to refill.

Ice clumps aren’t always because of melting. Even if freezer temperatures stay well below freezing, water molecules can condense and refreeze back together where the cubes are touching each other. So naturally, clumps can be lessened with more frequent use of the ice dispenser (i.e. don’t ignore it for a week).

Ice cubes can clump because of increased moisture due to a bad dispenser seal or gaps on in the freezer-door gasket (the rubber that seals to the freezer cabinet — try rubbing Vaseline on its face if it’s not sealing.) You’ll know bad seals are the culprit if there’s frost on the cubes. Unwrapped fresh food in the freezer can also be releasing the extra moisture.

Still having problems?

Call us at (651)222-001, option 4. We have a group of real, customer service women that answer the phones right here in our St. Paul headquarters/warehousenot in India — from 8:30-5:30 Monday through Friday.

Or you can contact the manufacturer directly, if you prefer.

Take some time to leave your own maintenance tips in the comments. What’s gone wrong? What works to fix it and what doesn’t?

Photo credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/01-17-05_t-m-b/ / CC BY 2.0

Dryer not drying? Check the vent

September 24, 2009

If your clothes still are damp after a dryer cycle or you’re increasing the drying time, you probably need to check your dryer for clogs or damage that slow moist air from leaving the dryer.

Run your dryer and go outside to check the air coming out of your exhaust hood.  If you feel less air movement than a blow dryer on its highest setting, the dryer’s exhaust hood or interior vent could be clogged.

First, clean dried lint from your exhaust hood and make sure to clear any blockages such as leaves or overgrown plants. (Or squirrels…)

If your air movement still seems subpar, clean the lint from the entire length of the system. You should do this about every two years to keep your dryer running its best and to prevent risk of fires.

(See “How to Clean A Dryer Vent” video on YouTube.) If this seems involved, consider replacing your venting — it’s relatively inexpensive.

Also, replace any venting that’s been kinked or crushed (see example below) with rigid or flexible heavy metal venting at least 4 inches in diameter. NEVER use plastic or metal foil venting.

dryervent

whirlpool.com

To prevent clogs in the first place, clean your dryer’s lint filter after each use and keep your exhaust vent unobstructed.
Info source: ServiceMatters.com

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