Your oven is the centerpiece of your kitchen, but like most appliances that are used every day, it can suffer from mechanical issues that negatively affect its effectiveness and efficiency. Understanding some of the most common symptoms associated with a worn-out or failing oven can help you understand when you should talk to an appliance repair specialist about either repairing or entirely replacing your oven.
One of the first signs that your oven is not working as intended is if your unit begins to give off strange sounds while it is turned on. Ovens are supposed to be relatively quiet, with the sole exception of a fan or oven vent in some cases. Any sort of noise coming out of your oven at all can indicate that there is something wrong with the internal mechanisms. Listen for ticking, banging, or buzzing sounds, all of which can indicate issues with the oven's heating elements or the internal wiring — or, in the case of gas stoves, with the lighter and gas line as well, which are slightly more serious problems that represent serious safety risks for your home.
Perhaps the most noticeable sign that your oven is not working as intended and should likely be inspected by an appliance repair specialist is if you find that your food is not cooked evenly, with different parts of your dish burned or undercooked depending on where they were located within the oven. In some cases, your oven may produce too much heat or too little heat, which can leave your entire dish burned to a crisp or still raw. All of these things indicate that your heating element is either on its last legs or completely broken, and you should avoid cooking until your unit has been looked at and repaired.
Longer Preheating Times
Finally, one last thing to watch out for is an increase in preheating times for your oven. If you were previously able to preheat your oven to 350 degrees in a matter of fifteen minutes but now find yourself waiting double the time or longer before you are able to put your food in the oven, you should talk to an appliance repair specialist. While your food may still come out properly cooked, the increase in preheating times can increase the amount of wear that your oven experiences and also increase your monthly energy usage, which will increase your utility bills.