Read the Manual to Avoid Unnecessary Repairs
Most people wouldn't both to read the Use and Care manuals for their refrigerator. It's a simple appliance, right? However, making assumptions about a newer refrigerator based on past experience may lead to issues. Newer refrigerators work differently than old ones and they may not be used in the same way.
In Kansas City, a man recently voided his one year warranty by placing his refrigerator in a garage, KSHB reports. The four month old freezer broke. To repair the broken freezer, the man was quoted $50 for the part and $200 for the entire repair. The warranty didn't apply, the factory repairman said, because the Use and Care manual has requirements for the temperature around the refrigerator. The refrigerator can only be placed in a room that ranges from 55 deg to 110 degrees. Since the refrigerator was put in the garage, technically outdoors, the warranty was voided. The man was stranded with a broken four month old refrigerator until KSHB pushed the seller for a replacement. If he had read the manual and noted this warning, he may have been able to purchase a different model that was more suited to being placed in the garage.
Unfortunately, as appliances change to meet energy regulations, like the Energy Star label, homeowners cannot make the same assumptions about appliances. 20 years ago, no one would have worried about putting a refrigerator into a garage. There were no limitations (within reason) on what temperatures a refrigerator could handle. Now, refrigerators may be more finicky about the temperature in which they are placed. One potential reason is the need to meet the Energy Star certification. This U.S. federal label denotes the appliance as meeting energy efficiency standards. To be efficient, some refrigerators may only work in certain temperatures. Other restrictions may apply to other home appliances.
While many appliances may seem simple to use, as technology advances, the process often changes. Many homeowners have been caught unaware by how doing laundry changes with a switch to a high efficiency washer. Different cleaning techniques and settings are necessary to keep the washer running and mold-free. The same applies to a refrigerator. As the appliance develops with technology, the process for using it may change. Just think of how long the User's Manual will be when refrigerators are all internet-compatible! While it may seem like a waste of time to read the manual, finding a key piece of information could save $100's in repair costs.