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Home Hunter, September 8, 2013

Home Hunter, September 8, 2013

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Published by Aiken Standard
Home Hunter, September 8, 2013
Home Hunter, September 8, 2013

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Published by: Aiken Standard on Sep 06, 2013
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Sunday, September 8, 2013
 
CYAN-AOOOMAGENTA-OAOO YELLOW-OOAOBLACK 012908
Living Smart:
Large appliances — repair or replace?
By Angie Hicks
http://www.angieslist.com/ (MCT)
When the fridge goeswarm or the washing ma-chine stops spinning, youmay face a crucial question:Is it worth spending timeand money getting an appli-ance repaired, or would it bewiser to replace it?The answer depends onnumerous factors. Our consumer-services researchteam, in talking to top-ratedappliance repair profession-als from around the country,recommends these guide-lines for deciding: —Check the troubleshoot-ing section of the instructionmanual. You may discover 
an easy x that might ne
-gate the need to call a repair  person. —Consider the age andhistory of the appliance.Has it broken down before?If you’ve not had prior  problems, it may be cost-
effective to explore repair options rst.
 —In many cases, it can beworth the money to call arepair pro out, even if youhave to pay for a service
call. A reliable appliance ex
-
 pert can examine the deviceand explain your options.
 —If a repair is estimatedto cost more than half the price of a new appliance andthe unit is more than 6 or 7years old, it may be time to buy a new one.When comparing a repair estimate to the cost of re- placement, be sure to fac-tor in all costs, includingwhether there will need to
 be retrotting or other ac
-commodations if a replace-
ment doesn’t easily t in
your kitchen. Consider anycosts for removal, instal-lation and disposal. Also,determine how soon any en-ergy savings will offset thecost of a new appliance.Our researchers hear fre-quently about situationsin which a repair saved a
consumer signicant money
over the cost of replacement.
One recent example featured
a Maryland member of An-gie’s List who consideredreplacing his 15-year-old re-frigerator when water leakedfrom the bottom.The top-rated repair ser-vice he hired found thatthe leak was caused by aclogged defrost drain in thefreezer, easily repaired for $99. The service provider estimated the fridge would
last another ve or six yearswith the x, compared to
a cost of $1,500 or more to buy a new fridge.Other common problemsthat can be affordably re- paired include dishwash-ers or washing machinesclogged by too much re-sidual soap, and appliancesin need of new fan motors, belts and electronic controls.
More extensive, expensive
repairs that might signifythat replacement is a better option include issues withthe refrigerant system or compressor with fridges, or  broken motors on washersand dryers.If you don’t know a reliableappliance repair profession-al, check with neighbors,friends or online reviewservices to see who’s locallywell-reviewed. Check howlong the company has beenin business and how muchinventory its workers carryon trucks, as well as howquickly a technician can besent out.One way to reduce theneed for hiring appliancerepair services is to takegood care of your large ap- pliances. Our team suggeststhese tips for keeping appli-ances running longer: —Clean refrigerator con-denser coils annually. —Don’t overload dish-washers or washing ma-chines. —Clean the dishwasher’s
lter to remove debris and
hard-water deposits. Makesure spray holes in the spin-ning arms are debris-free.
 —Clean the dryer’s lint l
-ter before each use. Inspectand thoroughly clean the
exhaust duct annually.
 —Don’t allow grease to build up on your stove or oven.
 —Check air lters monthly
and replace as needed. ——— ABOUT THE WRITER Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resourcefor local consumer reviewson everything from homerepair to health care. Fol-low her on Twitter at @An-gie_Hicks.
2 |
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Home Hunter 
 
CYAN-AOOOMAGENTA-OAOO YELLOW-OOAOBLACK 012908
Home style:
Stagnant rain-barrel water; fabric design book; telescoping ladder
By Mary BethBreckenridge
 Akron Beacon Journal/MCT 
Q&A: WHAT’S CAUS-ING RAIN BARREL WA-TER TO STAGNATE?Q: I’ve had rain barrels for years and the water qualityhas always been great, butfor some reason, this year  both barrels are stagnant andsmelly. The water is whitish,
cloudy and lmy. Is there
anything I can or should doabout this?A: It’s hard to pinpointthe cause, but somethingmay have washed into the barrels from the roof or gut-ters, said Katie Giacaloneof the Clemson UniversityRestoration Institute and co-author of the guide “Rain-water Harvesting for Home-owners.” Or water could be backing up at the exit, shesaid.Giacalone said it wouldn’thurt to put a capful or two of chlorine bleach in the water,although she wouldn’t rec-ommend that if you’re wa-tering a vegetable garden or if some of the water will gostraight into a storm sewer.She recommended clean-ing the barrel with somecastile soap and water at theend of the season. Inspectall the screening and piecesto make sure the barrel isstill protected from mosqui-toes and the parts that areattached with silicon will allstay in place with no leaks.Since you told me your  barrels are in the shade, it’sunlikely you have a problemwith algae. But it’s worthmentioning an algae-preven-tion tip from Victoria Mills,executive director of theDoan Brook Watershed Part-nership in Shaker Heights,Ohio. She said homeownerswhose barrels are in the suncan paint them a dark color to block out the light and in-hibit algae growth. ——— ON THE SHELF: BOOK TEACHES FABRIC DE-SIGNFiber arts take on a newlevel of creativity when youdream up your own fabricdesigns.Artist Cheryl Rezendesshows how in her book,“Fabric Surface Design.”Rezendes teaches a number of decorative techniques for fabric — painting, stamping, printing, marbling and more.She offers guidance on fab-ric selection and on settingup a work area, along withinstructions and photos of the methods she covers.
Proles of ber artists are
sprinkled throughout the book, along with photos of their work to give you inspi-ration.“Fabric Surface Design”comes from Storey Publish-ing and sells for $29.95 in paperback. ——— WHAT’S NEW: TELE-SCOPING LADDERSCOLLAPSE TO COMPACTSIZEXtend+Climb telescopingladders work like exten-sion ladders but collapse
small enough to t into a car 
trunk.The aluminum ladderscome in home and pro seriesthat range in height from8 ½ to 15 ½ feet. The lad-ders can be adjusted to anyheight at 1-foot intervals.A handle is integrated intothe design to make the col-lapsed ladder easy to carry,and thumb releases are po-sitioned to prevent pinchingwhile the ladder is beingcollapsed.The ladders range from 16½ to 36 pounds. Prices rangefrom $149.99 to $309.99 onhttp://xtendandclimb.com.The ladders are also avail-able on Amazon.com andfrom many big-box retailers. ——— (Have a question abouthome maintenance, decorat-ing or gardening? AkronBeacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge
will nd answers for the
queries that are chosento appear in the paper. Tosubmit a question, call her at 330-996-3756, or sendemail to mbrecken@thebea-conjournal.com. Be sure toinclude your full name, your town and your phone num- ber or email address.)
Fiber arts take on a new level o creativity when you dream upyour own abric designs. Artist Cheryl Rezendes shows how inher book, “Fabric Surace Design.” (MCT)Xtend+Climb telescopingladders work like extensionladders but collapse smallenough to ft into a car trunk.(MCT)
Home Hunter 
Sunday, September 8, 2013
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