It's that time of year when you're reeeeally dependent upon your refrigerator and freezer to keep things ice-cold. Cold drinks, cold ice, cold leftovers (so they don't spoil!), frozen popsicles, the whole nine yards! It's not a bad time of year to stick your head inside and take a look around inside, see what you can clean out, and find what you can do to make sure your appliance is running as efficiently as possible.
What are some of the top tips and tricks to cleaning out your refrigerator and freezer? And while you're at it, what do you need to know to make sure they are both running as efficiently as possible? Imagine: colder drinks AND a lower electricity bill. It's possible and we at World Class Cleaning are here to help you realize that dream!
After poring over many different articles and many different lists of tips, tricks, and ideas... It looks like thesimpledollar.com really hits the nail on the head in terms of getting all the key points. Check out what they have to say:
- Clean the coils regularly.
The coils on the bottom and the back of your refrigerator tend to gather dust over time. As that dust builds up, your refrigerator doesn’t run as well as it used to. The condenser kicks on more often, it has to work harder, it eats up more energy (costing you), and it wears out quicker (costing you). So, do a little bit of maintenance once a year or so. Pull out your refrigerator and dust the coils in the back and underneath the device. Use a low-power vacuum to make sure there’s no excess dust floating around in the place where the refrigerator normally sits. Doing this little thing will cause your refrigerator’s condenser to work more efficiently – it won’t kick on as often (trimming your energy bill) and it won’t wear out as quickly (saving on your repair and replacement costs).
- Fill your empty milk or juice jugs with water, then stick ’em in the freezer.
A freezer, whether it’s a deep freezer or a freezer housed in the same appliance as a refrigerator, functions best when it’s really full, as the cold items help keep other items cold and maintain the low temperature. But how can you keep it full without stocking it with a bunch of food that you may or may not eat? If you’re not into filling your freezer with food, fill it with water. It’s simple. Take an empty milk jug (or juice jug), rinse it out, then fill it about 75% full with tap water. Stick that jug in the freezer and just leave it there. It’ll freeze, then it will help keep the temperature of your freezer low over the long haul, causing your freezer to kick on a bit less often to keep your items cool. Even better, you can directly use these jugs when you need a lot of ice. You can either stick the jug entirely in a cooler or smash it open and use the broken ice pieces to your desire. Works like a charm – we do it all the time!
- Pull the fridge forward an inch or two.
In many kitchens, refrigerators are pushed back as close to the wall as possible in order to eke out a few more inches of floor space. Those few inches are really expensive. If your refrigerator is pushed back as far as possible, pulling it forward one inch can reduce the energy usage of the refrigerator by as much as 40%, and you’ll barely notice the difference in your floor usage. Subsequent inches help, but aren’t quite that effective.
- Stick a thermometer in your fridge.
Ideally, the temperature in your refrigerator holds pretty steady around 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (3-5 C). We keep ours at almost exactly 38, and it’s almost perfect for us.
If you keep it below 37 degrees, you’re pushing up against the freezing point of water, which can affect food quality and burns a lot of extra energy. If you keep it above 40 degrees, it can affect food quality in a different way, leading towards spoilage. The range between the two is optimal – and it’s also optimal for refrigerator efficiency, since devices are designed to run in this range.
How can you be sure you’re hitting that sweet spot? Get out a thermometer, put it in a glass of water, then put that cup in your refrigerator for 24 hours. Check the temperature afterward – that’s the true temperature of your fridge. Adjust upward and downward as needed – you might be surprised how much your temperature is off.
A freezer has a different optimum temperature – 0 to 5 F (-18 to -15 C). You can get this temperature by putting your thermometer between two frozen items for 24 hours.
- Chuck your old leftovers.
Ah, the refrigerated leftover. Inevitably, some of those items wind up getting pushed to the back and forgotten, left there to slowly decompose, become a potential breeding place for yeasts and molds, and potentially contaminate other foods.
So chuck ’em. One easy way to do this is to have a handful of washable markers near your fridge. Doodle on any new item with a color for each day – say, purple for Monday, red for Tuesday, etc. Then, when you’re glancing in the fridge on Sunday, you know you can chuck anything with a red or purple mark on it without thinking at all.
Just mark on the Saran wrap, aluminum foil – even on the rim of a plate. Once you get into the routine, it works really well, makes leftover cleanup really easy, and keeps nasty things from growing in your fridge.
Howdy, folks! We've got some great quotes and a bit of background on each of our "authors" of today's cleaning quotables. Something fun and enlightening for this Friday morning!
- Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. —Phyllis Diller
Phyllis Ada Driver, better known as Phyllis Diller, was an American actress and stand-up comedienne, best known for her eccentric stage persona, her self-deprecating humor, her wild hair and clothes, and her exaggerated, cackling laugh.
- My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. —Erma Bombeck
Erma Louise Bombeck was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers.
- I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. —Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Cherrie Barr is an American actress, comedian, writer, and television producer. Best known for her sitcom Roseanne.
- There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse. —Quentin Crisp
Quentin Crisp was an English writer and raconteur. From a conventional suburban background, Crisp enjoyed wearing make-up and painting his nails.
- The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. —Agatha Christie
Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE was an English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright.
Thanks for joining us! We hope these quotes made you crack a smile! But, if any of them made you think, "Oh, my! I need to go home and do the dishes! I need to go home and vacuum!" Or anything like that... Please keep in mind you can always give us a call and we'll do the dirty work for you; we'll help you take back your weekends!
Well, folks, it's that time of year... It gets hot as a dickens outside, you break out the popsicles for your little one... and BAM!, just like that, everything is so STICKY! We've got some tips for you on a) how to prevent that stickiness and b) how to clean up after said stickiness.
- 1) Give your child one of these!
These "popsicle/ice cream cone holders" catch all the drip instead of you wiping it off of literally every single surface in the house (how do children get everything SO dang STICKY?!) These can be picked up for 2/$1 at your local dollar store. Note: These "holders" flip over and have a much larger opening to accommodate an ice cream cone.
- 2) Do you make your own popsicles? Well then make 'em with a cupcake liner attached to the bottom!
- 3) Ok, what about other sticky foods? Like bananas?!
Crush up cheerios in a sandwich bag and then toss the banana chunks in the bag and give it all a shake! Sticky-fingers: solved! You could also do this with other sticky foods like avocado... maybe spaghetti?! Note: please do not attempt with spaghetti.
- 4) Ok, World Class Cleaning, I didn't follow any of these tips and now I have a sticky mess everywhere. What's a good way to clean things up without using harsh chemical cleaners?!
Well, we're here for you! According to thekitchn.com, all you need is a 16-ounce glass bottle with spray attachment, 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 cup water, 3 drops tea tree oil, and 3 drops grapefruit essential oil. Gets you out of those sticky situations and allays any worries of harsh chemicals floating around your home.
Hope your summer is treating you well! Thanks for joining us for this latest article and as always... Let us help you take back your weekend! Give us a call and let us do the clean-up for you, while you enjoy that well-earned free time.
Well, it's official: summertime is HERE. Summer is a great time to relax and kick back and just *enjoy* yourself. With that in mind we've decided to take a break this week from writing about various ways to keep one's home clean and tidy and instead... Well, we all know how humans clean themselves. Showers, baths, etc. Nobody wants to read about that because we've all been there, done that. But, how do birds clean themselves? Is it true that certain species of shrimp clean other fish? Now THAT is something interesting! Dive in and we hope you learn a thing or two!
- How do dogs clean themselves?
Ahhh yes, dogs! We've all seen dogs grooming themselves and this may come as a surprise --especially if you've got a big, stinky hound-- but dogs are overall considered to be fairly clean animals. Always licking themselves --especially after doing their business-- and always cleaning their paws, these pups try to keep CLEAN!
- Ok! Now what about cats?
These purr-ty felines are built to CLEAN (themselves)! According to petfinder.com, "When it comes to personal hygiene, cats are the epitome of cleanliness. They are naturally equipped with the implements to groom themselves: a barbed tongue with which to lick, forepaws they moisten with saliva and use as a surrogate washcloth, and teeth to dig out tougher debris. Believe it or not, adult cats may spend as much as half of their waking hours grooming themselves, their relatives and friends." The article goes on to talk about a cat's "licking pattern," "if you’ve ever watched a cat groom her face, you’ve probably noticed the highly stereotyped manner in which she does it: first saliva is applied to the inside of one paw, then, using an upward circular motion, the cat begins rubbing her nose with her paw from back to front. The cat will then reapply saliva to that paw and, using semi-circular motions, groom behind the corresponding ear, the back of the ear, the forehead and over the eye." Goodness!
- Cool! But how do birds clean themselves?
Now... Birds are a little bit different. They aren't licking themselves clean like your dog or your cat. Sometimes, they're not even using water! In order to fly it is vitally important for birds to keep their feathers clean. According to besgroup.org, "Bathing involves fluffing the feathers and vigorously beating the water. At the same time the head is dipped into the water regularly. The bird then shakes off the excess water and flies off to dry. The feathers need to be preened. Each feather, particularly the wing feathers need to be passed through the beak so that they are cleaned and the separate filaments put back in place." But what if there is no water around? "If water is not available, some birds will take sand or dust bath. They roll about the loose sand or dust and shake vigorously about. The sand or dust particles are believed to absorb excess preen oil as well as remove dry skin and ectoparasites. These include lice, mites, fleas, ticks and what have you that damage the feathers or even suck the blood of the birds. Evidence of dust bathing is the presence of bowl-shaped hollows on the dry ground."
- Wow! What about everyone's favorite maid-crustacean, the scarlet cleaner shrimp?!
Ahhhh, yes, the scarlet cleaner shrimp! What a cute and friendly fellow, offering its cleaning services to fish passing by. According to washingtonpost.com, "Coral reefs are home to 'cleaning stations.' In Hawaii, the scarlet cleaner shrimp swim crawl around their hosts like a five-star maid service tidying up your house. The larger fish recognize the cleaners by certain behaviors and let them remove parasites, bacteria and dead skin cells from their bodies." They even let the shrimp crawl around inside their mouths! Wow!
- Ok! Last one, how do elephants clean themselves?
According to that same Washington Post article, "elephants, rhinos, and other mammals take baths by rolling in dust and mud. Like birds, shaking the dust or caked mud off their bodies removes dead skin and many unwanted critters. Elephants have the added ability to spray their skin with dust or water, using their trunks like built-in garden hoses."
Whoa! Happy summer, folks. Hopefully the next time you see a cat or dog grooming itself, or a scarlet cleaner shrimp inside the mouth of a much larger fish... Well, hopefully you'll think of us! If you've got a fun summer vacation coming up and LOVE the idea of coming home to a very clean, very tidy home -- please give us a call!
Hey there, folks! Today we're gonna talk about HOME A/C FILTERS. Question: Can you remember the last time you replaced your filter? If you have to stop and think about it, or, even worse, cannot remember... It's time to replace those filters! A lot of us have the disposable kind, some of us have the type that you can take out and clean -- we'll be discussing both in this article.
Pictured below, two air filters; one new and one absolutely filthy! Summer is FIVE days away and it's time to make sure your home HVAC system is ready for the heat!
That dirty filter on the right... is that what you want all the air in your home passing through before you end up breathing it in?!
According to serviceexperts.com,
How often to change your air filters can depend on the following:
- the type of air filter you are using
- the overall indoor air quality
- how many pets are in the home
- the number of people occupying the home, and
- the level of air pollution and construction around the home
For basic 1"-3" air filters, manufacturers usually direct you to change them every 30-60 days. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them [even more often|more frequently|every few weeks. Or, if you're in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be often enough.
Here are averages that might help you know how often you should change the air filter at home:
- Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
- "Average" suburban home without pets: every 90 days
- Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
- Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days
That's right! Approximately every 90 days you need to be replacing those filters!
There are a few different types of home air filters. They are, according to thefuntimesguide.com,
Fiberglass air filters are very thin and they have a simple flat panel surface for trapping particles from the air. They were originally developed to protect your heating and air conditioning equipment, not to improve your indoor air quality. They can often be purchased for less than $1 apiece. Unfortunately, they remove less than 10% of the air pollutants from your home. They have a MERV rating between 1 and 4.
Pleated air filters remove up to 45% of the air pollutants from your home. The number of pleats per foot impact their overall efficiency. They usually cost around $10 each. They have a MERV rating of 10 to 13.
High-efficiency air filters are the most practical air filters for most residential HVAC systems, removing up to 85% of the air pollutants from your home. They have a MERV rating between 14 and 16.
Now what if you have the type that is cleanable? WELL, the steps to getting that bad boy cleaned are easy-peasy! Simply take the filter outside, use a brush to remove a lot of the big chunks of debris and dust, and then use a hose with a spray nozzle on a lighter setting and hose that filter down! Let it dry and you're good to go!
What are the benefits of knowing all of this information, and using it appropriately? Well... not only will you be breathing in cleaner air, but your likely to save a bit of money on your monthly utilities bill (cleaner filters means a more efficient HVAC system means a lower bill) and not only that but you might be saving yourself a few hundred dollars that results from a technician making a house call to repair your system that's become clogged with dirt, dust, and debris.
Happy almost-summer, friends! Go ahead and take care of your air filters and while you're at it, give us a call and let us take care of all your other home-cleaning needs!