What Do Dishwasher Noise Levels Even Mean?

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When shopping for a dishwasher, there are plenty of factors to consider: wash cycles, adjustable racks, and energy efficiency. However, one of the most popular features is its decibel level. While most dishwashers tend to have similar decibel levels, just one decibel can make a huge difference: a single decibel increase is actually 30 percent louder.

When researching dishwashing appliances online, here are some features that will determine how noisy a dishwasher can be:

Insulation Quality

Insulation is installed along the sides, top and the door of the dishwasher. Proper insulation not only reduces noise but also improves energy efficiency. Look for dishwashers with an Energy Star rating and/or quiet operation features as these units have sufficient insulation.

Sound Dampening Material

There are additional sound-deadening materials that can be installed around a dishwasher to dampen the noise, especially if you own an older model. These materials can be attached with construction adhesive or silicone sealant along the sides and tops of the dishwasher.

Stainless Steel vs. Plastic Tubs

Stainless steel tubs are quieter than plastic tubs because the stainless steel absorbs noise better. While stainless steel models tend to have a higher upfront price than plastic models, you will save long-term costs due to its ability to better retain heat and increase the efficiency of the drying cycle.

So while a decibel rating above 60 could be deafening, dishwashers with a rating in the 40s are virtually silent. Here is an abbreviated list of the most popular dishwasher models currently available at Appliances Connection and their decibel rating:

 

Best Apartment Size Appliances Every Household Should Have

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Whether you live in a tiny 100 square-foot apartment or a starter home in the suburbs, appliances quickly fill up space that you may not have. However, just because you’re limited by space and size does not mean that you have to downgrade the quality of the appliances you use every day, from washers to refrigerators and dishwashers. Below are appliances that work great and efficient and won’t take up too much room.

Apartment Size Cooktop: Whirlpool G7CE3635XS

While a cooktop is great for reheating soup, you’re able to make your favorite meals on one as well. Whirlpool’s G7CE3635XS cooktop is a 36-inch ceramic glass cooktop that features two dual radiant elements to allow you the flexibility you need for the varying sizes of your pots and pans. Additionally, when making sauces, Whirlpool’s cooktop features an AccuSimmer for exact temperature control. What’s best about a cooktop, especially in small kitchens, is how easy it is to clean. Even the knobs are dishwasher-safe!

Apartment Size Refrigerator: Summit FF7BSSTB

A reliable refrigerator is vital to your kitchen; however, they tend to take up the most space. When you have a small kitchen or don’t have the need for a lot of cooling space, a smaller refrigerator is a great option. Summit’s FF7BSSTB compact refrigerator has deep shelf space, adjustable glass shelves, but will only take up 24 inches of space. It is perfect for any tight spaces in your kitchen and can easily fit underneath your countertop. Additionally, since the fridge was designed for freestanding use, it looks great in any spot of your home. An additional benefit with the Summit – and many other compact fridges – is it is energy-efficient. Not only will an apartment size refrigerator save you room but also money at the end of every month.

Apartment Size Freezer: Hoshizaki CRMF27

 

A compact freezer is a great addition to any household, even if you have the room for a full-size refrigerator/freezer unit. It will keep your frozen food more organized and allow you more space. Additionally, separate units look great in any kitchen redesign. Hoshizaki’s CRMF27 has a sleek stainless steel exterior and fits perfectly in any small spaces and/or under your counter. Most importantly, it keeps your frozen goods accessible, a problem that plagues many refrigerators when you have to reach down or kneel to the ground.

Apartment Size Dishwasher: Maytag MDC480PAB

When you may not have the room or the budget for a built-in dishwasher, a portable model is a great option to keep your dishes clean. Maytag’s MDC480PAB portable JetClean dishwasher is dependable and has all the features any built-in model would have: stainless-steel choppers to break down any food left on your dishes as well as a high-pressure jets to remove any tough food particles. This dishwasher is also Energy Star-qualified, so it will save you energy and water as well as lower your utility bill.

What’s Most Important in a Kitchen’s Design

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Kitchens are the heart of every home, so it’s important that the functionality of the kitchen is intact. It should be where everyone gathers to cook large family dinners, but also where your kids should feel comfortable working on their school projects.

If you are redesigning your kitchen, you should pay attention to how the layout of your kitchen affects your everyday life. Here are five areas that are most important to the design of your kitchen – as well as the everyday life of you and your family.

Counter Space

Bottom line: if you do not have enough counter space, you will not have a functional kitchen. However decorative you’d like your kitchen to be, it’s important that you have adequate space to prepare dinner as well as store your kitchen appliances.

Look at your everyday activities to determine what you need your counterspace for and how much you require. Additionally, make a list of the appliances you prefer to be permanently located on your countertops. These may include a toaster, coffee maker, food processor, or many other major kitchen appliances. If you don’t have a plan for your kitchen appliances, it’s very easy to start accumulating more than can fit in the space you’ve allotted.

The Triangle

In design, the kitchen triangle is the link between the sink, the stove, and the refrigerator.  The best designs have seamless access to and from all three locations. If your kitchen island or narrow walkways cut access to any of the three areas, any job done in the kitchen will take up more time and over time will become much more of a hassle.

Once the triangle is determined in your kitchen redesign, then you can focus on other areas of the kitchen to perform more specific tasks, such as garbage disposal and food preparation. Additionally, if you prefer to have in-kitchen seating for light snacks and/or dinner, it’s important to evaluate the space so that it best accommodates the members of your family and even guests.

Storage Space

As I mentioned, it’s easy to accumulate kitchen appliances as well as dry goods, spices, and many other items you use on a daily basis. Being able to properly conceal all these items will not only help in the flow of your kitchen design, but also look much more aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, pay attention to how these items are stored. It’s important your kitchen appliances are accessible. If you have to pull out a dozen pots and pans to pull out your waffle iron, I promise you won’t be keen on making waffles every morning.

Lighting

While most rooms have general lighting, it’s important to have the right amount of task lighting for the specific work areas of your kitchen. If you don’t have the right amount of lighting near your stove, it may be difficult to determine, for example, the amount of sugar you poured into a measuring cup.

Look at your design and allow that to determine where and what types of lighting your kitchen will require. As long as you have the right amount of lighting, your kitchen will be efficient – and will show off the excellent décor.

Garbage 

No one wants that garbage exposed, both literally and figuratively. Say goodbye to the old days of just sticking a bin under the sink. There is much more in planning the proper trash disposal.

Not only will you need proper space for trash, but also sections for recyclables. Most trash services segment glass, plastic, and aluminum, and some – especially apartments – ask to separate items such as baby diapers and cat litter. Not only is in mandatory in your area, but it’ll make your kitchen not only better-smelling but also more efficient when it needs to be.

Why Is My Glassware Cloudy?

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It’s happened to all of us. You’ve opened your newly ran dishwasher to find your glassware covered in a milky film. You may think something is wrong with your dishwasher or attempt to use several types of dish detergent, but the likely cause behind the scum on your glass is hard water deposits.

Hard water is water that contains a high number of calcium and magnesium. The deposits left on the glass, the “milky” film, is known as limescale, and these deposits are able to make many household cleaners less effective.

To test whether the issue is hard water, simply soak a glass in vinegar for a few minutes. If the limescale is removed, then hard water is the culprit.

How to Remove Limescale from Glassware

There are a few simple solutions to removing limescale from glassware.

  1. One that most households have lying around is black and white newspaper. The newspaper works as a reducing agent on the minerals and is removed by simply wiping the film off the glassware.
  2. Additionally, as previously mentioned, vinegar will loosen the mineral deposits when the glass is soaked.

However, the more efficient approach to dealing with limescale is to fix the issue from the source: in the dishwasher.

How to Eliminate Hard Water Deposits

There are a few approaches you can try to control limescale.

  1. Using more detergent may be effective in removing the deposits from your glasses. Fill both dish detergent cups and run the dishwasher.
  2. Your water temperature may simply not be warm enough. Detergent manufactures suggest a temperature of 130 degrees. Place a thermometer in a glass and run water to measure the incoming temperature. If your water temperature is lower than 130 degrees, you may have found the issue.

How to Remove Etching from Glassware

If vinegar did not remove the mineral deposits from your glassware, then the issue may be etching, which is the wearing away on areas on the glass. This commonly occurs when you have soft water.

If soft water is your issue, the solutions are fairly simple.

  1. Limit pre-rinsing as you may be removing the little bit of mineral deposits detergents actually need to work.
  2. Less soap will have a softer effect on your dishes, especially with soft water, and will not wear away at your glassware.
  3. No water softener. Especially with soft water, you will find that etching will occur more often.

How to Properly Install a Window Air Conditioner

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Summer is here, and that means it’s going to get warm outside and inside – fast. For small homes or apartments, especially rentals, where you are unable to install a central air system, a window air conditioner is a reliable and simple-to-install solution to keep your home cool when you need it most.

While a window air conditioner is easy to install, below are some common installation mistakes you should avoid, especially when installing a unit several stories up in an apartment building.

Cooling Capacity

Window a/c units come in various sizes, and one of the most common mistakes when installing a unit is that you have purchased the wrong size. To work effectively and efficiently, you need to calculate the size of the space you want cooled in square feet. For example, a 100 to 150 square feet space needs 5,000 BTUs per hour, while an area as large as 1,000 square feet needs 21,000 BTUs. If you purchase a window air conditioner with too little BTU power, not only will your room not cool but also your energy bill will skyrocket, as the unit will run continuously to try to cool your living space. There are other factors to consider when estimating the capacity needed, including ceiling height, sunlight, shade, and number of people. If you have a high ceiling or a sunny room, or are trying to cool a kitchen, you’ll want to increase your BTU power. With a heavily shaded room, you’ll want to decrease the BTU power.

Weight

Installing a window air conditioner is not just simply opening a window, sliding in the a/c unit, and closing the window. You’ll need to pay attention to how the weight is distributed and may need to apply a piece of wood underneath the window or L-brackets to help support the air conditioner’s weight.

Level

If a window air conditioner is not level when installed, water will leak out of the unit outside of the predesigned drainage areas. Air conditioners are built to drain the condensation produced on its own by the air conditioner through gutters and channels, and if the unit is not properly installed the water will drain into parts of the unit where it shouldn’t and may cause permanent damage.

Insulation

Window air conditioners are significantly cheaper than central air systems; however, if there are not properly insulated you run the risk of working the unit harder than it needs to and, ultimately, a higher energy bill. While units fill most of the open window space, there will be gaps inside and outside the house. Make sure to fill those spaces with insulation or accordion panels to ensure no loss air.

Freezer or Refrigerator — You Choose!

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CaptureMany homeowners can be reluctant to invest in a new major home appliance like a dedicated freezer; it may seem impractical, or inflexible, too much to justify the cost. After all, what some people really need is more fridge space; for large families or households, sometimes even the biggest standard refrigerators can start to feel cramped. And sometimes what you really need is flexibility, but you can’t justify the cost of both an additional dedicated refrigerator and dedicated freezer.

Frigidaire has found an ingenious solution to this problem: a unit that’s both 100% a freezer, and 100% a refrigerator. Far from being a 200% mathematical impossibility, this unique home appliance instead is a convertible unit capable of performing both refrigerator and freezer duty. That means you get twice the appliance for the cost of one, letting you double both your fridge and freezer capacities simultaneously. The additional capacity it offers can save you an average of $750 a year in food costs by letting you purchase in bulk and store for the long-haul.

With the flick of a switch, it turns from a fridge to a freezer and back, and additionally features frost-free operation, clear crispers with humidity controls, and adjustable door bins. And thanks to its attractive Classic Slate color, you’ll never have to hide it away in the garage; this can truly be a showcase piece for any luxury kitchen, with a finish that complements any decor.

The Frigidaire FKC17F7QT will be available at Appliances Connection in June 2014.

The Benefits of Buying Kitchen Appliance Packages

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Have you ever tried to find a complete appliance set for your home that coordinates the brand, color, and features you need? It’s a hassle! Instead of scouring appliance stores and websites to find certain appliances to match your kitchen renovation, a simpler and cost-effective route is a kitchen appliance package.

It’s not easy choosing the perfect package, but doing the proper research and/or properly planning with your contractor, you can make your redesign easier since each of your appliances will coordinate in style and size.

So, what is a kitchen appliance package anyway?

Depending on the manufacturer, most major appliances can be bought as part of a package, including:

  • Dishwashers
  • Freezers
  • Microwave Ovens
  • Ovens
  • Range Hoods
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves / Ranges
  • Washers and Dryers

By purchasing appliances as a package, you will save money making it easier to afford the more expensive and high-end appliances. Additionally, most retailers will allow you to pick-and-choose appliance packages, which involve more coordination but still will save you money in the end.

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Appliance Package

A kitchen set will influence the design and layout of your kitchen, so it’s essential to know what is really important to you and your family.  Even simple questions will help weed out your options, like the number of people that live in the house and what kind of food you usually cook.

You should also know what kind of budget you are able to afford, because it’s easy to spend thousands of dollars on kitchen appliances, especially when you’re looking at high-end models. Go to a department store or browse online to see what the average prices are for kits and individual appliances. Once you have an established budget, you’ll be able to refine your choices.

Most importantly, go with what feels right for your home. There are so many different styles and colors when it comes to appliances, it’s difficult not to find something that fits perfectly in your kitchen.

Have you ever bought a kitchen appliance package? If you have, how did you decide which package would be best for your kitchen?

To Steam, or Not to Steam?

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To steam, or not to steam – that is the question. Steam technology can be valuable in reducing wrinkles and eliminating tedious ironing. It loosens and opens the fabric and prevents it from developing creases that you have to work out.  And the truth is that you only steam with LG. LG TrueSteam cares for your clothes and fabrics in ways conventional dryers can’t. Their patented system penetrates your clothes for a richer, deeper clean. Where other dryers may spray water into the load periodically to attempt to emulate steam cleaning, only LG maintains a reservoir of dedicated water to produce large amounts of real steam. That means a better clean every time.

Steam is a powerful tool capable of even more than reducing wrinkles. The Allergeine steam cycle detects and uses ultra-high temperatures to eliminate common household allergens like dust mites and pet dander. And full steam cycles let you sanitize non-washable items such as decorative pillows, stuffed animals, and more.  Only LG can offer this sort of functionality and this level of performance. And since steam uses less power and consumes water than conventional models, steam can over quick, light cleaning at a fraction of the cost of traditional machines.

So if you’re wondering whether to steam or not to steam, the final answer is that, either way, the only real steam system in laundry today is with LG.

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memorialdayOriginating after the end of the American Civil War, Memorial Day has long been marked as a day of rest, celebration, and recreation as the unofficial first day of the summer season. To celebrate the beginning of this long-desired season of beautiful beach weather (especially after this long and bitterly-cold winter), Appliances Connection is pleased to announce a comprehensive Memorial Day sale running through May 27.

This extensive sale features deals on top-ranked name home appliance brands including LG, Samsung, Maytag, Bosch, Frigidaire, KitchenAid, and Whirlpool.

What else is Appliances Connection offering in this great sale?

  • Up to $2,500 in Savings!
  • Up to 50% Off!
  • 0% Financing available
  • No sales tax (where applicable)
  • Free Nationwide in Home Delivery

 

Find sale pages below for specific brands!

LG

Samsung

Maytag

Bosch

Frigidaire

KitchenAid

Whirlpool