Household appliances remain in good condition when they are installed appropriately, you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when using them and you clean them regularly.
Refrigerator and freezer
All Heka apartments are equipped with a refrigeration appliance. Its size and equipment level vary between apartments.
How to keep refrigeration appliances in good condition
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer sufficiently cold but not too cold. The suitable temperature is +2–6 °C for the refrigerator and -18 °C for the freezer.
- You should also keep the refrigeration appliance appropriately full – an appliance that has been stuffed overfull consumes a great amount of electricity. Place the products you need often at the front of the refrigerator, so that you do not need to keep the door open for long after opening it.
- Do not let frost accumulate on the inner surfaces of the refrigerator, freezer compartment or freezer. Doing so significantly increases electricity consumption.
- If frost or ice does accumulate, here is how you can defrost it: Empty the refrigeration appliance, turn off the power and leave the appliance’s door open. The frost will defrost by itself. Do not remove ice with a knife or other sharp object, as this can easily break the appliances beyond repair.
- If your refrigerator is equipped with an automatic defrost feature, check every now and then that the defrost drain pipe is not blocked. A blocked pipe leaks the water onto the floor and may cause water damage, which is why you should not avoid checking for blockages.
- Automatic defrosting does not work on the refrigerator’s freezer compartment, which has to be defrosted separately.
- Clean the condenser behind the refrigerator and freezer of dust at least twice a year. You can move the refrigeration appliances for the duration of the cleaning. Take care not to scratch the floor when moving an appliance.
Clean the cooker carefully from the outside from time to time, taking care not to scratch the surfaces. You should also clean the back of the cooker and under it at least twice a year. By choosing a hotplate in such a way that it is as close to the same size as the pot or frying pan you are using, you conserve electricity and protect the hotplates from wear.
Roughly 5,000 Heka apartments use gas and are therefore equipped with a gas cooker and oven. Most of these apartments have been using gas since the 1950s or 1960s, when it was common for gas piping to be installed in Heka apartments.
How to clean a gas cooker
- You can remove and clean all gas cooker parts that can be removed without tools.
- The parts can be washed in the sink. Dry them before reinstalling them.
- When cleaning, be careful of the thermocouples (metal pins) next to the burner assemblies. If they are damaged, the supply of gas is interrupted, and the burner no longer works.
- Also remember to clean the surfaces below the removed parts and check whether there is any dirt at the end of the gas pipe or on the flame spreader.
- Regular cleaning of the gas cooker ensures the cooker’s functionality and long service life. Uncleaned nozzles blocked by boiled-over food are the most common cause of gas cooker malfunctions.
If your gas cooker is not working
- If the burner fails to turn on, check that the safety valve is open and the tube connected to it is not twisted.
- If the flame burns unevenly, check that the burner cover is properly in place.
- If the electric ignition does not function and the oven lamp does not turn on, check the fuse.
- If the oven lamp does not turn on, but the electric ignition works, check that the lamp is not broken.
- If the knob is stiff, check that it is clean.
The tenant is responsible for maintaining the cooker hood and extractor fan. Check the cooker hood’s grease filter once or a few times per month and clean it when necessary. A greasy filter prevents the air in the kitchen from being replaced normally and causes a fire hazard.
You should wipe the oven with a damp cloth regularly, as grease and food splatter stick to the oven walls. A mild dishwashing liquid may be needed. If something drips into the oven through the gaps in a springform pan, for example, clean the oven as soon as possible. The longer you allow stains to burn on and become fixed in the oven, the more difficult they are to remove. You will need oven cleaner for the most stubborn stains.
Baking trays can be washed with dishwashing liquid and by soaking them. Scrubbing with a scouring pad improves the results. If the baking trays do not fit into the sink, you can wash them on the bathroom floor, for example. To keep the oven cleaner, use baking paper or oven bags.
Installation and use of washing machines
If there are no water supply connections for a washing machine or dishwasher in your apartment, you can have them installed at your own expense after receiving written permission from the building management. You should leave the installation and removal of a dishwasher in particular to a professional HVAC and plumbing technician. Even if it seems like an easy project, it may cause water damage that is not even covered by home insurance if you do it wrong. Breakage of washing machines, connections and hoses often causes water damage. The water pipes and drains connected to a dishwasher must be plugged appropriately when the machine is removed.
Tips for washing laundry
- Moderation is a virtue in the use detergent. Excess washing powder accumulates inside the machine and causes damages when it dries. Putting excess powder in the dispenser drawer may also block the detergent dispenser hose.
- Use the 60 or 90 degree wash cycles every now and then. Hot water rinses the appliance, removing dirt and detergent residue and helping to keep the appliance in good condition.
- Liquid detergents that do not contain zeolite dissolve into the water more efficiently and are flushed out of the laundry and appliance.
- The water in Helsinki is soft, so dose detergent according to the smallest amount instructed.
Safety instructions for using washing machines
- Do not leave a washing machine running without supervision.
- Use the appliance according to the instructions and monitor the condition of the appliance and connections.
- Turn on the tap of the hose attached to the machine before starting a wash cycle.
- Turn off the tap and power to the appliance after each wash.
- The best place to dry your laundry is in the drying room connected to the laundry room in your building. If you dry your laundry in your apartment, ensure sufficient ventilation. Avoid drying laundry on top of furniture, doors, windows and radiators, as wet laundry may cause moisture damage.
If a household appliance stops working
You can return small individual electrical devices (less than 25 cm in size) and energy-saving lamps to the largest stores that sell them (specialty stores, department stores) without the obligation to buy a new device. Stores accept large appliances when you purchase a similar new appliance as a replacement. Broken household appliances can be taken to a Sortti station, where they are accepted for a fee. You can also order a pick-up service to come and take away your broken household appliance for a fee.
Heka replaces broken household appliances that are part of the apartment’s basic equipment, i.e. the refrigeration equipment and cooker.