Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Clean Electric Coil Burners

Even the most careful cook sometimes finds that they've drizzled a little something on the burner. Usually the smoke and smell are the first indication that a spill has happened. So how do you clean an electric coil burner that's been drizzled on?

What You Need:
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Mild dish soap
  • Water
  • Baking soda
Here's How:

1. Remove the completely cooled burners
Once the burners have completely cooled, remove them from the cook top area. Most burners unplug from the main part of the stove. If you have questions about how to remove your burners, refer to your manufacturer's instructions for best practices.

2. Begin with dish soap and water
Use a cleaning cloth and a mild dish soap and water to try to remove residue at first. Because the burner coils cook off most food that comes into contact with them, a mild wipe down is often all that is needed. Don't submerge the burners or any electrical portion in water.
3. Remove stuck on food
If mild dish soap and water wouldn't remove stuck or burnt on food, try making a baking soda and water paste to gently scrub residue off of the electric burner coil. Really tough stains may benefit from allowing the baking soda paste to sit on the burner for up to 20 minutes, before scrubbing. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.

4. Clean the drip pans
If your cook top has removable drip pans, this is the time to remove and clean those as well. Dump out any charred remnants of food. Wipe them down and replace them before replacing the burners.
5. Maintain the burners
For regular maintenance of electric coil burners, just wiped down the burners at the same time you wipe down the top of the stove.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

8 winter home maintenance to do's

Mid-winter is a good time to check for ways to reduce home energy consumption and prevent appliance and equipment breakdowns. Here are eight home maintenance tips to improve energy efficiency and keep appliances and heating systems running well.

1). Pay attention to changes in appliance and heating and cooling equipment performance.

Changes in appliance and equipment performance are often warning signs of larger problems. Troubleshoot and complete repairs as needed to improve energy efficiency and avoid costly repairs later.

2). Change the furnace or air handler air filter.

This should happen every three months, or more frequently, depending on the region. A clean air filter is critical to home air quality and to the proper furnace or air handler operation. Homeowners should periodically check the condition of the furnace or air handler's filter to determine the frequency necessary for changing the filter in their homes.

3). Clean or replace the humidifier filter, if equipped.

4). Make sure registers are obstruction free.

Drapes and furniture should be positioned at a considerable distance from the registers to enable proper air flow. Rugs should not touch the registers.

5). Seal the exterior.

Gaps and holes in a home's exterior will cause drafts and increased heating costs. Use expanding foam to seal exterior holes. Seal gaps around window and door frames with weatherstripping and caulking.

6). Clean out dryer venting.

Use a long dryer vent cleaning brush to remove lint buildup from inside of the dryer through the outside venting. Lint buildup in dryer venting is an extreme fire risk. A thorough venting clean out should happen at least once annually.

7). Thoroughly clean the refrigerator's condenser coils.

Use a bristle brush to clear dust and dirt from the condenser coils. Dirty coils will cause the refrigerator to have to work longer and will lead to premature wear of key components.

8). Replace the refrigerator water filter, if equipped.

Refrigerator water filters should be replaced every six months or more frequently.