Every apartment has a refrigerator but not all apartments have a freezer. Hoas will not install a freezer in the apartment if there is not one already. All Hoas apartments have a stove, but not all of them have an oven. Usually the kitchens lacking an oven are called mini-kitchens.
Keeping the refrigerator, freezer and stove clean is the tenant’s responsibility. It is also tenant’s responsibility to change light bulbs to refrigerator, stove and range hood. If the refrigerator or freezer does not work, always check the fuse first.
Microwaves are very rarely included in Hoas apartments. If you have just moved into an apartment with a microwave oven already present, and you wish to have it taken away, please submit a fault report. If you keep the microwave and it breaks down, you have to either get it repaired or dispose of it in the appropriate manner. Hoas does not service any appliances owned by tenants.
Defrosting water from refrigerator
If water keeps accumulating in your refrigerator, you should check if the drain hole for defrosting water is clean. The drain hole is in the back of the refrigerator. You should also check that nothing inside the refrigerator touches its back wall.
If your refrigerator is self-defrosting, you do not need to defrost it. The drain hole at the bottom of the defrosting basin on the back wall of the refrigerator must be kept clean by the tenant. The drain hole is easy to clean with a cotton bud. Clogged drain hole causes the water to flow inside the refrigerator and on to the floor, which could, in a worst case scenario, cause water damage.
Defrosting the refrigerator or freezer
The refrigerator and the freezer must be defrosted regularly. Ice build-up causes the refrigerator to run inefficiently and consume a lot of power. You should also defrost when the layer of frost is thicker than half a centimetre. The ventilation gaps at the top of the refrigerator must not be covered.
Defrosting and cleaning instructions
- Turn off the refrigerator and/or freezer and empty it.
- Cover the floor with a few towels to absorb the water.
- Do not use a knife or other sharp tools to remove the ice and frost, as they may damage the cooling system. If the refrigerant leaks out, the refrigerator cannot be fixed anymore. The damage will be charged from the tenant. You can speed up the defrosting process by placing a bowl of hot water in the refrigerator/freezer. Do not defrost the refrigerator/freezer without monitoring the process, as it may cause water damage.
- Remove and wash the shelves. Wipe also the inside walls of the refrigerator with a damp cloth and a mild detergent (for example, diluted dishwashing liquid). Do not use abrasive, soda-based or acidic cleaning agents, or chemical solvents, as they may damage the plastic surface.
- Check that the defrosting water drain hole is not blocked.
- Let the refrigerator dry. Turn the refrigerator/freezer back on and but the items back in.
- If you are defrosting when you are moving out, leave the door open after defrosting is complete to let air circulate in the refrigerator in order to avoid mould growing inside it.
If you have just defrosted the freezer and turned it back on, the red warning light on the freezer will usually light up. The warning light will stay on until the freezer has reached the set temperature. Turn the freezer on and keep an eye on the warning light. It should turn off once the freezer reaches the below-zero temperature you have set. The cooling time will depend on the product, but it should not take longer than overnight. If the light does not switch off, the freezer could be faulty. You can speed up the cooling process by using the quick freeze function on the freezer.
A self-defrosting refrigerator should also be cleaned often enough. Vacuum clean the condenser behind the appliance regularly. Dust and poor air circulation around the appliance could even cause a fire.
Most freezers have a quick freeze function. Generally, an orange light will light up on the control panel of your freezer to indicate quick freeze mode. You can use the quick freeze mode after defrosting the freezer, in order to reach the required temperature more quickly. You must, however, remember to turn the switch off once the desired temperature has been reached. If the quick freeze switch is left on, the thermostat in the freezer is overridden and the freezer’s motor will be running continuously, using electricity and shortening the appliance’s lifespan.
If your freezer tends to form ice in large amounts over a short time or if it is always much colder than it should be, you should check that the quick freeze function has not been left turned on.
New refrigerators no longer use CFCs as refrigerants. They use other, more environmentally friendly compounds. This is why the noise level of new appliances may be higher than before. To earn a Nordic Ecolabel, the refrigerator’s noise level has to be below 40 decibels.
If the refrigerator makes a noise, you should consider the source and type of the noise when you decide what to do about it. Is it a hum, a buzz, a clunk when the fridge motor stops, the sound of running water, or something else? For the most part, any noises a refrigerator makes are not signs of a fault, but rather a feature of the appliances and their refrigerants. When you hear the sound of running water, a hiss or a puffing sound, it is most likely caused by the refrigerant flow within the appliance.
If the rubber pads the refrigerator stands on are worn out, the sounds of the refrigerator may be amplified as it vibrates against the floor. You could try adding more cushioning between the refrigerator and the floor. It may also help just to change the refrigerator’s location or position a little. If the pipes in the back of the refrigerator vibrate, you may be able to stop it easily by shifting them a little.
If the appliance runs as expected and the sound level is acceptable, the appliance will not be replaced.
Cleaning the oven
When you clean a cast-iron stove, you should take care to dry the rings – otherwise they may rust. Please do not break the surface of the stove with abrasive cleaning materials. A scratched surface will only gather more dirt. You may have seen brown stains around the cooking rings. This has most likely been caused by excessive force while cleaning. The stains do not affect the use of the stove or require the stove to be replaced, as they are simply an esthetical problem. The oven window can have stains that make the glass brown. This dirt can be so ingrained that you cannot remove it however much you clean. The stains do not prevent you from using the oven.
The use of baking paper and oven trays is recommended, because then food will not spill to the bottom of the oven, where it burns and is difficult to remove.
Range hood, fan and how to clean them
The range hoods and fans in Hoas apartments are almost always connected to the ventilation system. In practice, this means that the range hood is always on. It runs at full speed in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. You cannot adjust the power of the ventilation system yourself.
If the range hood doesn’t seem to extract cooking vapours properly, you should check the grease filter. You are responsible for cleaning the grease filter.
Instructions for cleaning the grease filter:
- Turn the power off and detach the grease filter.
- If the filter is made of metal, wash it in hot water with dish washing liquid and brush it with a soft brush.
- If the grease filter is made of a soft, porous material, soak it with water and detergent, squeeze it a few times and then rinse and dry it.
- Wipe the hood above and below with normal dish washing water.
- Allow the grease filter to dry and then insert it back in place.
Hoas has installed leakage and moisture detectors in the plinth of the kitchen waste collection cabinet of some properties.The purpose of the detectors is to sound an alarm if water is leaking into the plinth of this cabinet.
If the leak detector sounds an alert or develops a fault, please get in touch with Hoas. If the service centre is closed, please contact the 24 hour maintenance number.