Angie's List: Holiday Appliances

The holiday season is a busy cooking season. Before your guests arrive, you better make sure your appliances are ready to handle the holiday rush. There are two appliances that folks really count on around the holidays.

We rely on them every day, but probably the worst time to have a problem with them is during the holidays. We're, of course talking about your refrigerator and your oven. And with the heart of the holiday season right around the corner, you need to make sure all your appliances in tip-top shape.

Holidays can be hard on a lot of things, including appliances like your oven, refrigerator, dishwasher and garbage disposal.

"When it comes to appliances, homeowners oftentimes take them for granted,” explains Angie Hicks of Angie’s List. “We don't take proper care of them and then we end up disappointed when they don't work right. We over stuff our freezers so proper airflow can't get through or we overload our dishwasher so it doesn't even have a prayer of being able to get the dishes clean."

It's not uncommon for an appliance to go south for the holidays.

"If you're going to be hosting dinner over the holiday season be sure to do a test run before the big day,” says Angie. “Do it at least two weeks ahead of time of time. Cook a nice meal to make sure the oven is working properly because the last thing you want to do when guests are there is serve them frozen turkey."

Your refrigerator runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so simple maintenance is key.

"There is only thing you can do besides wiping it down and keeping it clean,” explains Rick Cantlebery of Appliance Repair Company. “Your kick plate down here, you can pull it off. If you have coils underneath there you can vacuum them and keep them clean. Some are on the back behind the back panel and you have to pull out and take the back panel off to do some cleaning, but be sure you unplug it when you do that. If they are on the back wall, if the condenser coils are on the back wall, just dust them off, that's all you got to do."

Your dishwasher will also be working overtime this holiday season. It's best to scrape plates, bowls and pans to make sure they're free of chunks of food because it's not a garbage disposal and will clog.

"A basic service call on an appliance is going to cost anywhere from $60 to $100,” says Angie. “Keep in mind that does not include parts and labor. That will be added onto the bill but a lot of times you're going to get a credit back for that service call fee. Sometimes people think "wow, do I want to spend that kind of money," but when compared to the amount of money it would take to replace that appliance - it can be money well spent."

So you can have time to spend on those things that make the holidays special.

Before you stock your fridge with holiday leftovers, make sure the seal on the door is tight. This is an easy test, close the door on a thin sheet of paper and if the paper slips, your fridge is wasting energy, replace the seal or adjust the door latch.

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