Tip For When To Replace Your Mattress

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Mattresses can be rather expensive to replace and because of that too many of us hold on to them for far too long. By not replacing a worn mattress you sacrifice a good night’s sleep that can leave you tired, stiff and often in pain. Eight hours of sleep per night over 8-10 years is 23,360-29,200 hours of use. Consider what would happen to a chair if it was put through that type of use!

Here are some tips to help you determine whether or not you should consider replacing your mattress.

The first thing to consider is the age of the mattress and foundation. The mattress industry recommends replacing them every 8-10 years regardless of the condition of the mattress itself. The reasons for this is because over time mattresses become filled with allergens and dust mites that can lead to health issues and poor sleeping conditions. If you don’t use a mattress often, possibly because it’s in a guest room, then you can consider going longer than 10 years.

Even if a mattress is less than 8 years old it can stop offering the needed support for a good night’s rest. You should remove all linens from the mattress and give it a good look over. Inspect the mattress for damage like rips, sagging, drooping, bunching and protruding springs.

Sagging and drooping mean the mattress has lost its ability to support you so your sleep will suffer and you may have pain when you wake in the morning. Bunching usually happens only with pillow top mattresses and will create a pile of the pillow material in one area. This is uncomfortable to sleep against and will cause you to move around to avoid that area. Protruding spring can be a hazard as they can cut or scratch you. If any of these are present in your current mattress you should consider replacing it.

Another consideration is how comfortable you are on the mattress. If you find yourself moving around trying to get comfortable, if your arms or legs fall asleep while you’re lying on it, then you should also consider replacing your mattress.

Something many couples don’t consider when they come together is the size of the mattress. Many new couples will use a bed from one partner or the other, but a full size bed is probably not large enough for two adults to sleep comfortably on. Another factor for couples to consider is weight gain and loss. If one, or both, of you have put on or taken off a lot of weight the bed may not be right for you anymore. This can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

The last, but most important, factor to consider is your quality of sleep. Your mattress may look great, no rips, no sagging, and no protruding springs, but if you aren’t sleeping well then it’s time to go mattress shopping. The technology that’s goes into creating mattresses today is light-years ahead of just 10 years ago so you should give yourself plenty of time to educate yourself before shopping for a new mattress and then plan enough shopping time so you’re not rushed and can evaluate the different styles by actually laying on the mattresses for 15-20 minutes each.

The fact is, we spend too many hours on our mattresses to skimp on a good night’s sleep.

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Tips to Help Your Dishwasher Function Its Best

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Every now and then you may find yourself having to run your dishwasher a second time or having to hand wash dishes that have already been run through the dishwasher. Here are some tips to help you avoid this and make your dishwasher run the best it can.

The easiest thing to check on your dishwasher is water temperature. To do this simply turn the water on at the faucet and see how long it takes for hot water to reach the sink. The longer it takes to reach the sink, the less efficient your dishwasher is during that same amount of time. Use your dishwasher when there’s already hot water at the sink and there’s no other hot water being diverted for showers or baths.

Dirty dishes may also be caused by a blocked or slow drain. Since the sink and dishwasher use the same drain you can run the garbage disposal before using the dishwasher to clear any debris.

Putting too much detergent in your dishwasher is another main cause of dishes coming out dirty. Too much detergent will leave a sticky film behind that can cause water stains and will require you to wash the dishes again. Too little detergent and your dishes won’t come clean. When it comes to detergents it’s best to consult your owner’s manual before use.

Something we often miss when loading our dishes are utensils that are too tall. The sprayer arm can hit the tall utensil and stop rotating. The holes in the sprayer arm can also become clogged with calcium buildup. Use a strong brush to remove the calcium buildup and wash tall utensils by hand or lay them across the top rack so they don’t interfere with the spray arm.

The last thing for a homeowner to check on their dishwasher is the condition of the dishwasher’s interior. Every 6 months you should run a cycle with no dishes and no detergent. Calcium, grease, soap and food particles can build up inside the dishwasher and dislodge during cycles to soil dishes. When running the cleaning cycle you should let the bottom fill with water and then add two cups of white vinegar, then continue the wash cycle. This will help loosen up and remove all the damaging particles.

For more information please consult your owner’s manual or give our service department a call to schedule a technician to visit your home.

Washer Water Supply Line Maintenance

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When our East Coast Appliance Service technicians visit homes for laundry maintenance checks one of the first things they check is the washer fill hoses. When these hoses are rubber we’ll often find bubbles in the hoses. Over time these bubbles will burst and flood your laundry area. If you’re not home or don’t notice the flowing water then the damage could be catastrophic.

We recommend checking your rubber hoses every 6 months and to immediately replace them if you notice bubbles. We also recommend stainless hoses with the purchase of every washing machine because stainless water supply lines won’t develop bubbles.

You can purchase stainless steel water lines and any of our East Coast Appliance Super Stores.

How to Clean a Smooth Top Range

This time of year, after the holidays, East Coast Appliance gets many calls asking how to clean a smooth top range. In this video, produced by GE, you’ll see the proper way to clean your range top with the help of Cerama Bryte cooktop cleaner.

Cerama Bryte is the number one recommended cooktop cleaner and is available at all East Coast Appliance locations.

How to Clean a Dryer

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Keeping your dryer lint free is not just a dryer maintenance issue, it’s a safety issue.

The easiest part of the dryer to check is the lint filter and chute. This should be cleaned after each and every drying cycle. The area around and behind the lint filter should also be looked at after each drying cycle and any lint accumulation around those areas should be cleaned as well.

If you can’t reach or pick the lint with your fingers then use a vacuum with a long handle attachment and/or a soft bristle brush. Be sure to thoroughly vacuum the area after using a brush.

If it’s been a long time since you’ve moved your dryer, now would be a good time to do that. Pull the dryer out and look behind it. Clean and vacuum any lint on the floor and around the dryer vent hose and connections.

While the dryer is out from the wall you can take a look underneath the dryer. Have a friend or helper lend a hand by leaning the dryer back so you can vacuum underneath the dryer. Be sure to look up into the dryer cabinet and vacuum out any lint accumulation you see.

If lint in the dryer cabinet is exceptionally bad or difficult to remove, you can call our service department to schedule a technician to visit your home and take apart your dryer to clean it properly.

One area of dryer maintenance that often gets over looked by the homeowner is the dryer vent pipes. In most cases there are two pipes, or hoses. A hose usually goes from the dryer itself, to the wall or floor. After that point there is a pipe that runs out of the house.

Make sure the hose leading from the dryer to the wall is aluminum. White vinyl hoses no longer meet building codes and represent a fire hazard. If needed, you can stop by any of our super stores and purchase a new hose.

The long vent pipe that exits the house needs to be checked at least every 9-12 months. I’ve seen these cleaned with compressed air, brushes and very long handled vacuums. If you don’t have the right equipment, don’t risk packing the lint together, call a vent pipe cleaner specialist to do it for you.

Cleaning the vent pipe when replacing an old dryer with a new dryer is a very important step. New dryers don’t run the way old, inefficient dryers did. In order for new dryers to work properly, the vents must be clean.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to call our service department at 757-437-1100.

Why Your Detergents Don’t Work

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Every couple of weeks we get a service call or two from customers whose dishwashers or washing machines aren’t cleaning the way they used to. In some cases the dishwasher is at fault because the drain may be partially clogged and your rinse cycle is throwing dirty water around or maybe a washer arm is broken and not spinning. However, there are times when a new product is functioning the way it’s supposed to, but the soap isn’t.

By early 2010 seventeen states had banned detergents with trisodium phosphates (TSP) claiming they pollute our water systems, create algae blooms and starve fish of oxygen. In response to the bans, the detergent makers removed phosphates from all their products because it was cheaper than leaving phosphates in certain lines for the non-regulated states.

We’re not going to delve into the chemical properties of TSP, just understand that TSP, a natural element, helps the rinse cycle by lowering the surface tension of water so it can bind to dirt, grease, oil, stains and even leftover detergent during the rinse cycle.

“You know, this isn’t really a huge environmental win”, says Susan Baba with Proctor & Gamble, the maker of Cascade. P&G’s reasoning is simple, people are sometimes forced to wash dishes by hand before using their dishwasher or they run their washer twice to accomplish what they used to do in one wash. Both methods waste water and energy.

In 2009, Clive Davies, an engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency, was asked during an interview with The New York Times if we should “avoid detergents altogether”. His response was “Homemade alternatives and elbow grease will really do the job.”

In most instances, new washers and dishwashers are working exactly as the manufacturer has specified. Your detergent, on the other hand, is not.