Tips to expand your oven’s lifespan
Choosing the oven that is right for you
Our lifestyles vary and consequently we all use appliances in the home differently. To meet our lifestyle needs we choose appliances that meet with our disposable time requirements. Looking after the appliances in our homes is no different. When we go shopping for new appliances there is a lot more to selecting an appliance than simply prices and features. It is also important to consider maintenance and long term repair costs. There are three main types of oven that will influence these decisions.
Ovens that require manual cleaning are overall the most durable and will last the longest. As a homemaker you will have the greatest control over how often you clean the oven and how effective the cleaning is. To ensure the longevity of your manual oven it is advisable to clean it after every use. By doing this you will save yourself a long and exhausting task when the residue continues to burn into the oven surface every time you turn it on.
Self cleaning ovens cost more but will save you time and effort. These ovens have been designed with self cleaning cycles that effectively burn off the food residue that remains behind. This happens at very high temperature and if implemented regularly after purchase the difference in performance will be noticeable too. If your lifestyle simply doesn’t allow for the additional time to get down on your knees and clean the oven yourself, it is well worth the extra cost.
Continuous cleaning ovens are the least durable and the most expensive. They are also the most expensive to repair. Because they use a catalytic method to burn off the splatter and food on the surfaces during the cooking process there is a lot more that can go wrong. This is because they burn off food at normal baking temperatures. These ovens experience a lot more ear and tear than the first two and don’t last as long. Your lifestyle may dictate that this is a viable expense since the cost -durability ration will be higher than average. The upside is that its unlikely that you will have to do any cleaning chores.
Apart from the necessary cleaning regime there are several other things that you can do to care for oven. Basic measures will keep your oven going for an extra few years saving you additional cost over a lifetime.
Avoid foil – don’t lay foil
Foil has been used in ovens for generations. Although old habits die hard, ovens have evolved. It is generally not a good idea to use foil in a modern oven. The foil can disperse heat in a way that the oven wasn’t designed to handle. This in turn can damage the thermostat. Foil will also stop the air from circulating within the oven when place across oven racks. This in turn can lead to other failures within the oven, particularly with the fan.
Specialist oven liners
There are both manufacturer specific and generic oven liners available. These have been developed to capture spillage with affecting the function of the oven. Easy to peel and throw away they capture food spillage and make cleaning and caring for the oven easier.
Scrape with plastic
On some occasions it may become necessary to scrape off any remaining grease, grime and food residue. Do not use metal scrapers for this as you will damage the heating elements and the protective coating in the oven. A plastic scraper like the one used for clearing the windows of a car is perfectly adequate. These are less likely to cause any damage.
Remember to wipe down after every use, whether it is the hob or the main oven. Removing grease and grime before it becomes embedded will save time and money later on. Use disposable oven liners and replace the filters in the cooker hood regularly. If you bake frequently use another baking tray to catch additional spillage.
If you bake and cook a lot, it may also be an effective strategy to do so in bulk. Using the oven once to cook multiple meals and then freeze them means that you will save on energy bills as well as the wear and tear of your appliance.
Treat your oven with respect. Open and close the door gently and don’t slam it or hang anything heavy on the door. Be careful when placing large cooking vessels in the oven space too. Doing things a little slower and with a little more care will prevent breakages and unnecessary accidents.
Finally, when a repair becomes necessary don’t delay it. A minor repair that won’t cost much can become a major repair or a replacement very quickly when ignored. Always use a qualified and reputable engineer and ensure that they are familiar with your brand of appliance.