Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen may be the hardest-working room in the house, so it runs the risk of looking overworked. Give your kitchen fresh appeal with these quick and easy updates, including solutions for your windows, floor, pantry, and more!

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Freestanding Pantry Ideas

Short on storage and space? No worries. These stylish go-anywhere pantry designs house everything from baking pans and cooking staples to party supplies -- exactly where you need them most. As a bonus, many of these units are transportable so they can travel with you when you move.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Drab to Fab Makeover

See how a basic kitchen received a fresh face on an affordable remodeling budget.

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Guide to Cabinetry

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Countertop Ideas

Countertops are big part of your kitchen. Consider these up-and-coming materials to make a statement in your space.

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Subway Tile Backsplashes

When it comes to a classic backsplash, nothing beats the traditional subway tile. Subway tiles make cleaning up kitchen messes a quick and easy task, plus the variety to choose from seems almost infinite. One thing is for sure, subway tile will never go out of style.

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Refrigerator Repair Guide

Learn what refrigerator repairs you can do yourself and when it's time to call a professional.

Refrigerators work hard day and night to keep food cold. So if yours stops functioning properly, don't give up on the old model right away. Try these tips for repairing it, first.

Obviously, the most common sign your refrigerator or freezer isn't functioning properly is food that isn't as cold as it should be. According to Pete Argos, an appliance repairman and author of the e-book Appliance Repair Made Easy & Cheap, the first step is to find out if the problem is the result of a compressor, defrost, or air circulation issue.

"If both the refrigerator and the freezer are getting warmer, then it is most likely a thermostat or compressor issue," Argos says. "If just the refrigerator is getting warmer, it is most likely an automatic defrost or air circulation issue." A defrost failure will also cause ice to build up on the freezer walls or floor.

If you determine the problem to be a defrost issue, Argos recommends unplugging the refrigerator and leaving the doors open for 24 hours. (For food safety, be sure to remove the contents and find an alternate storage place that will keep foods at refrigerator temperature.) Then reset both temperature controls to middle settings and plug the refrigerator back in. "The refrigerator should resume normal temps within a day," he says. "If the defrost problem reoccurs within two weeks, you will need to call your service tech."

Argos offers these tips for keeping your refrigerator functioning properly:

  • Clean the condenser coils, located under or behind the refrigerator, on a regular basis with a brush and wet/dry vacuum.
  • Check the condenser cooling fan, located behind the fridge near the bottom, for any obstructions.
  • Clean door seals with warm, soapy water and inspect for large cracks or tears. Replace if necessary.
  • Keep food and packages away from air vents. "An over-packed refrigerator or freezer could restrict proper air flow," Argos says.

Keep in mind, do-it-yourself fixes vary depending on your handiness level. If you are uncomfortable working with electricity, limit yourself to mechanical issues such as a clogged drain or stuck motor fan. Refrigeration problems, such as low gas, a clogged capillary tube, or a bad compressor, are typically only for professionals because they require special knowledge and tools.

If you've tried the suggestions provided here and your refrigerator is still not cooling properly, give your local service technician a call.

Organized Refrigerator


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