By Appliance Expert Blog | November 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM EST | No Comments
Be careful when the temps outside drop below freezing. This can have a negative impact on major appliances such as washers and refrigerators.
For washers, valves, pumps, and other components can freezer when the washer is located in parts of your home where heating doesn't reach, such as a mud room, utility room, added porch, or garage. Freezing can either make a component burst (causing a flood) or just not work (until thoroughly thawed). An open window or wall with low insulation can make matters worse.
For refrigerators, most units need a warmer environment to make the freezer and fresh food compartments reach correct temperatures. In colder environments, such as an unheated garage, temps within the two compartments will equalize to the fresh food temperature and contents in the freezer will thaw.
To solve these issues, make sure the environment where your major appliance is located is either heated, or the door is left open to a heated area. If there is no heat in the room, consider using a small space heater, if this can be done safely; the sealed radiator type is probably your safest option. For refrigerators, either operate the unit in a warmer environment, or simply don't use the freezer compartment in the winter. Whirlpool does make a refrigerator specifically designed for use in cold spaces, so that is one option to consider.
I am not one to turn water off when my washer is not in use, but if your washer is in a colder space, at the minimum, consider turning off the water when you are on vacation so that you don't get any surprises upon return. And remember that even if you turn off your faucet, the faucet itself and all your home's internal plumbing can freeze too, so keeping the heat on in the home is still important.