Angie's List: Holiday appliances

The holiday season is a busy cooking season and before your guests arrive it is good to 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. These appliances are your refrigerator and oven.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away so you need to make sure the refrigerator and oven are in great shape for turkey day through the New Year’s holiday.

Going cold turkey on thanksgiving is something most people do not want to do. Angie Hicks from Angie’s list recommends, "My best tip for making sure your oven is in tip top shape this holiday season is to check the temperature. To do that, go out and buy a simple boxed cake mix and cook it to the specifications. If the cake comes out too dry or undercooked then you likely have a problem with the temperature and you want to have that checked out."

If you find there is a problem, give an appliance repair company plenty of time to order the appropriate parts from the manufacturer.

If you find the repair costs more than you'd like to invest, allow yourself enough time to go out and shop for a new appliance before the holidays.

Another word of advice, wait until long after the holidays to use your oven's self cleaning feature.

John Mathew, appliance repair company owner says, "The last thing you want to do is put your oven through a self clean cycle because that is when they will break. Then you have to find someone to come out and hopefully have the part two days before thanksgiving. If you are going to self clean your oven, do it in June so you've got plenty of time to get it fixed."

For the refrigerator, if it is not chilling right and things in the freezer are soft, do not wait to have it checked out. Keeping your fridge running right is easy.

Angie Hicks says, "Your refrigerator does require some very simple maintenance. It's basically cleaning. What people realize are the refrigerator coils can collect a lot of dust and dirt, especially if you have pets. Vacuum those weekly or even monthly to make sure your refrigerator runs efficiently."

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.

Nobody wants to buy a new oven or refrigerator around the holidays. A good rule of thumb if those appliances do need repairs is if an appliance repair will cost more than half the cost of the new appliance and the unit is more than six or seven years old, you are probably better off replacing it with a newer model.

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