Dehumidifier Maintenance Tips: How to Clean, Maintain & Troubleshoot Your Unit

Owning a dehumidifier can be extremely beneficial for a homeowner in a number of ways. The main purpose of the dehumidifier is to remove the excess moisture in the air, thereby reducing the humidity in the room in which it is located. Removing the excess moisture in the air helps to prevent mold and mildew buildup, and it may also help in controlling allergies, asthma, and other health issues that relate to respiration.

Dehumidifier

Additionally, having a dehumidifier in your home also makes a room more comfortable and free from any musty smells that may arise, particularly during seasons that have high humidity.

Given all of the benefits that a dehumidifier is able to bring, it is important to understand how to clean and troubleshoot your unit, as well as these basic dehumidifier maintenance tips that can help in generating a deeper understanding of how you can keep your unit working smoothly for years to come.

Keeping Your Dehumidifier Clean

It should be obvious that it is important to keep any appliance clean in order to ensure its proper and continued function. Dehumidifiers are no different, and the water collection tank, air intake, and exhaust grilles should all be cleaned on a regular basis. The water tank should be emptied frequently, and cleaning only requires the use of a disinfectant or the simple use of soap and warm water. If the tank is left unclean, mold and mildew may develop, dispersing through the dehumidifier and into the air.

In addition to cleaning the water collection tank, both the air intake and exhaust grilles should be vacuumed at least once every season. The buildup of dust and debris can impact how efficiently your dehumidifier is able to run, and blockages may result in damage and deterioration.
[Read more...]

5 Maintenance Tips for Window Air Conditioners

In order to prolong the life of your air conditioner and to ensure its continued and efficient function, it is important for you to take the proper steps to take care of the unit. There are several maintenance tips for window air conditioners that will help you keep your unit functioning properly for many years to come, while also ensuring that it continues to operate at optimal efficiency. Understanding how to maintain your window air conditioner at the beginning and end of each operating season will benefit you and your air conditioning unit in a significant way.

Here are five maintenance tips you should keep in mind for your window air conditioning unit.

1. Cleaning & Replacing the Air Filter

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of air conditioner maintenance relates to the air filter. The filter plays a very important role in your air conditioning unit, and it needs to be either cleaned or replaced on a relatively frequent basis.

If the air system becomes impeded due to an air filter past its prime, significant stress may be placed on the entire system. This causes serious inefficiencies in function that should be easily avoided, especially given the fact that changing out an air filter is very simple. Some units have air filters that can be cleaned and reused, while others must simply be replaced.

Consult the information provided by the manufacturer to determine which type of air filter your unit uses. If it can be cleaned, check the filter once a month to clean all of the debris from the filter. If it must be replaced, it is generally ideal to replace the filter once every two to three months. Of course, the presence of pollen or allergens will influence the frequency with which you should replace or clean your filter.
[Read more...]

Wine Coolers 101

built-in wine cooler

Mention a wine cooler, and my mind wanders to the French countryside, maybe say… Burgundy. A beautiful wine country, just south of Paris, Burgundy grows fine grapes to make exceptional Pinot Noir red wines and Chardonnay white wines. Yes, I have actually visited there once.

A bit of brie, a picnic basket and a beautiful smile….ok, I have to get back to work!

EdgeStar carries a wide variety of wine coolers, both the thermoelectric, or TE coolers, and the more familiar compressor-based ones. It is very important to note that no matter which one you choose certain guidelines must be observed.

The first item of note is which way the door will swing. Factory configurations usually have it set to open from left to right,  and occasionally, customers want the door to swing the other way, from right to left. Happily, the vast majority of the EdgeStar wine cooler line allows the customer to do exactly that.

The next consideration will be placement of the unit. Most customers prefer to place the unit in such a fashion that it appears to have been built in, under a counter, or in a cabinet. The compressor-based units are preferred candidates, because they vent from the front at the bottom of the cooler. With that in mind, I present a bit of advice for the value minded customer that purchases one of our fine EdgeStar thermoelectric coolers to reproduce the exact same look in their kitchen…

The thermoelectric series of wine coolers are an excellent product, but if you build them in, or put them under a counter, they will overheat, and will live a very short life.

This is due to the fact that they generate a LOT of heat from the back of the unit, and although the cooling is fan forced, they absolutely must be installed in a free standing environment. We mean it, folks, no joke.

Leveling is very important when installing one of our wine coolers, especially the compressor-based ones. An unbalanced compressor will be noisy and will fail early. Use a bubble level to make sure the leveling is done correctly, and try to use a level that has a magnetic strip attached, that’s handy for not only horizontal level, but vertical leveling as well.

Regular cleaning of both the intake and exhaust grills on both types of coolers is also very important, I recommend doing a complete cleaning at least once every 6 months. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment for best results.

Last but not least, I recommend using a surge protector on all of our wine coolers, but especially the thermoelectric units. Most kitchens these days have outlets that are GFCI protected (think wine cooler falling in the pool), but not surge protected. Surge protectors can be picked up at most retail electronic stores at reasonable prices. The really good protectors will stop passing power when they are worn out.

That’s all for this week. See you later!

Dave

Portable Dishwasher Basics

Portable Dishwasher

Ah, the portable dishwasher…that lowly box that resides on your countertop. Daily, it does it’s job without complaint, swallowing whole dirty dishes, and returns them sparkling clean in just an hour’s time. Over time though, your machine might start to seem sluggish, so here are some tips to help you get the most out of your dishwasher.

 

How to Help Your Portable Dishwasher:

Pre-wash those dishes! I know it’s easier to rinse it off a little bit, and shove it in the washer, but if you can get just about all of the food particles off the plate, it’ll clean much easier.

Use a good quality detergent. Cheap detergents contain lots of filler, mostly silicates, which scrub the dishes, but do nothing to disinfect. I’m not partial when it comes to brands, but Cascade ™ is a proven detergent, and tough to beat among liquids and powders.

Make sure the incoming water is sufficiently heated. 118 degrees F-125 degrees F is a good range. Low temp water will not sanitize during the rinse cycle, and detergents don’t work well in cold water. They tend to clump up and leave residue on dishes.

Run an empty cycle once a month with a 50% solution of vinegar and water through the washer. Hard water clogs spray arms and filters, and coats the inside of the wash chamber, making it tough to properly clean those dishes. By the way, most dishwashers today have stainless steel interiors and will easily discolor, so don’t use harsh chemicals as they can permanently damage the finish.

 

That’s all for this week, follow these tips, and let your dishwasher work harder, so you don’t have to!

Dave’s Tip of The Week: Clean your appliance’s air and water filters on a regular basis; your appliance will thank you for it.

Simple Tips for a Great Appliance

In this installment, I will be covering some basic tips to help appliance owners maintain their products for a long and trouble-free lifespan. These are simple tips that anyone, including you, can do!

Lets get started…

Unpacking

So, you just took delivery of your new appliance from Living Direct…and you’re so excited! It’s new, shiny, and just what you wanted! There you are, the product is unpacked, and ready to install, so…

STOP!!!

Folks, let’s grab a cup of coffee and sit back with that new owner’s manual. I know, it’s easy to say that you don’t need to, the product is so easy to use, so why do I need to waste time reading the manual?

Because it will help familiarize you with all of the controls, installation, maintenance, and perhaps just as important, it gives you the chance to read through the warranty, so if, in the unlikely event that you have a problem with the unit, you know who to call, what information to have ready when you call, and it gives you an understanding of what to expect when you speak with the service agent.

We really do value you as a customer and we want a good rapport with you.

Installation

Make sure that you follow all of the installation instructions provided with the unit. That is a vital step. Just like building a home, the foundation is the most important part. A good installation sets the stage for a long product life and a happy customer. If you have the right skills to install the product, go for it! If not, you’ll want to contact a qualified appliance tech to help you do it right.

Product Usage

Make sure you are familiar with the product controls, menu functions, and understand just exactly what the unit is designed to do. Again, the manual will come in handy. If you have further questions, contact us. We’ll have a friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful agent waiting for you!

Maintenance

Each and every unit, no matter how often it is used, will eventually need some sort of maintenance. It’s a fact. Air conditioners need regular filter cleaning, have the water accumulation drained from it’s storage tank, and set up correctly for maximum performance. Dishwashers need a good supply of hot water, good quality detergent, and the right voltage to do the job right. Wine coolers need regular cleaning to remove dust and debris from internal parts, and good airflow to keep that wine cool. Power surge protection is highly recommended!

Conclusion

So, as you can see, there are things that you can do to make your purchase a wise investment. I wanted to give you an overview first, and in my next blog post, we’ll start to focus on individual products, and we will get down to the nuts-and-bolts of each. I have lots of tips to help you “keep ‘er humming” day after day for years to come!

Dave’s Tip of the Week: “Safety First! Unplug that unit before doing any maintenance!”

Previous Post: Appliance Terminology Overview

What is a small appliance anyway?

Toasters     Mini Kegerator     Compact Refrigerator

Well, a small appliance could be just about anything… a toaster, for example, or a wine cooler, or a kegerator, or a portable air conditioner… ok, you get the idea. These are not major appliances, and only have lifespans ranging from 2-10 years, on average.

Primarily, I will be focusing on some of the more popular kitchen, garage and man-cave must-have appliances in my posts. My job is to help with set up of the appliance and care for it, so it lasts much longer than the warranty does. I will not have many pictures in my posts, due to the fact that there are so many different models on the market, and the instructions that come with your new unit will supersede anything here, so this is meant to be generic in nature.

I’m sure there will be questions, comments and advice from everyone. Great! I’ll answer some of them in my posts, and later, I’ll set up a Q & A to help answer some of the more common ones, if I can do that.

I should have a new post up every week. I look forward to posting and seeing what people have to say, along with the good, the bad and the ugly.

Stay tuned!

Dave

Editor’s Note: Dave S. is an EdgeStar Technician and product specialist with Living Direct. He will be writing a weekly column on this blog to explain technical terms used when dealing with appliances, product guides and general helpful information when it comes to purchasing and using appliances. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments and Dave will do his best to help you out.