Last month we outlined some of the most common issues caused by having a dirty oven.
This time round, the team here at Ovenu have put together a quick troubleshooting guide that will help you determine whether your electric oven is beyond repair, even after it has been cleaned.
By following these, quick and easy steps, you might just save yourself a fortune from having to shell out on a brand new cooker. (more…)
We’ve all become used to a disposable culture. If something is finished with or appears not to be working, we simply replace it. Of course the more expensive that particular item is, the more consideration needs to go into the process. After all, you don’t want to end up paying hundreds to get a new oven if your old one just simply needs a thorough clean. So how do you know if a drop in performance is a terminal issue or a sign that excessive grease is clogging up the thermostat?
Don’t Be Lazy, Inspect Your Oven
Sometimes the distinction can be pretty clear. For instance, if it’s pretty old and has been well maintained throughout the years, but is now starting to lose heat and ruining perfectly good meals, a thorough clean is unlikely to do the job. However, if you’ve been a little bit lazy, avoiding scrubbing the grease and grime out of your overused cooker for a number of months (maybe even years), there might be a case for getting it valeted before doing anything too rash.
Whilst ovens are pretty straightforward pieces of technology, it’s important that all the elements are able to function fully at all times. For instance, if your thermostat is unable to determine the temperature or the fan is suffering from a little too much wear and tear, things can become eminently more challenging.
A loss of functionality can be hugely frustrating. After all, if you’re waiting for the oven to heat up so you can put your dinner on but you always have to hang around for 15 minutes or so, it isn’t exactly ideal. Neither of course is the loss of the highest temperatures, which can mean a number of hasty revisions to cooking guidelines.
If you’re opening the door and finding yourself confronted with dense smoke, pungent aromas and visible signs of grease on the bottom shelf, the chances are it simply needs a good clean. You should be cleaning your oven within reasonable regularity, including a thorough once-over at least once a year. Chances are, if you are met with a scene like the one mentioned above, you haven’t done this. Equally, you may find that performance is slipping in the appliance. Even if you don’t have much time, you can always hire expert cleaners to carry out the work on your behalf.
However, if you’ve already tried cleaning and repairs but the appliance is still unresponsive, it may well be time to start looking at replacements. Not every problem can be fixed, some cookers simply reach the end of their functional life and need to be recycled in order to become useful again. They should provide many years worth of good service, particularly if they are well maintained, so don’t always be too quick to pull the plug on them for the last time.
Unless you own a bulletproof AGA, the likelihood is that at some point you’ll need to consider replacing your oven. This is often done when you carry out a full kitchen refit, but may become necessary if performance reduces significantly or it is damaged for some reason. How, though, do you know when it’s time to invest?
Electric ovens don’t last forever. Of course, they are built to last, but there will always come a day when it just doesn’t want to work any more. This might happen over the course of many years or it could just develop a fault in an instant. Where heat, moving parts and electronics are involved, there is always potential for issues.
Modern ovens are built to last though, particularly those that offer the highest specifications. But even these need to be looked after properly. If you don’t clean it regularly and fully, grease and other detritus can collect in the oven and cause damage, particularly if it’s left for too long. So by ensuring that all of this is dealt with and removed before it can build up, your oven is far less likely to encounter functionality issues further down the line.
Of course, comprehensive cleaning and the removal of dirt are beneficial in a number of other ways, not least when it comes to hygiene. So you won’t just be boosting the longevity of the appliance, but also making sure that your food isn’t given an unnaturally smoky taste too.
It is also possible to get a service for your oven. Some manufacturers will provide this as standard, along with any repairs that are covered under warranty, but this should ensure that if fans are damaged or filters need to be replaced that these issues are found and dealt with accordingly. Food spillages can easily clog any moving parts and quickly render an oven useless, so identify the issue and remedying it swiftly can help you to save the cost of buying a brand new appliance.
One of the telltale signs that your oven is on its way, is when getting up to temperature takes longer. Whilst this could indicate an issue with the seals, it is also indicative of more fundamental problems with the heating element and may point towards an irreversible decline in performance. This can obviously impact cooking times and energy efficiency, so whilst it may function to an extent, the continuing decline may prove to be more costly in the long run.
As we all know, prevention is better than cure, which is why it’s so important that your oven is kept in full working order throughout its life. So always ensure that repairs are made promptly, filters are changed when the manufacturer recommends it to be done and, easiest of all, make sure that it is kept clean at all times. If you don’t have the time, use professional cleaning services. This way you can enjoy all the benefits of a fully functional oven, but without any of the hassle of maintenance.