What is an Induction Cooktop?

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection

You’ve probably heard of an electric or gas cooktop, but induction cooktops are fairly new. These cooktops resemble the newer flat electric cooktops, but they work in a completely different way. While it does run on electric, the heating mechanisms and features are completely different.

In this article, we’re going to break down the benefits, let you know what’s different about it and why so many cooks are choosing to use them.

Identification

In a nutshell, induction cooktops work by turning the cooking vessel into the heating source instead of the cooktop offering the source of heat. On an electric cooktop, the electronic heating component sends heat through the sleek cooktop surface and the pot or pan is then heated up. On a gas cooktop, the flame causes the cooking vessel to reach the temperature set. However, induction cooktops do not use thermal conduction; instead, it uses a process called magnetic induction.

This magnetic induction is created by placing a copper wire beneath the cooking vessel, which allows a current to flow through it.  This causes something called magnetic flux. Magnetic flux treats the cooking vessel as a magnet and uses it as the magnetic core.  This redirects the currents to the cooking vessel and heats it.

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(I know that was a lot to take in. Luckily you really don’t have to know this, but I just added it in for those who want a summary of how it works. And believe me it really was a very small summary. )

For this process to work, the cooking vessel must contain or be completely made up of ferromagnetic material. Examples of these kinds of cooking vessels are cast iron and stainless steel.  If you place a cooking vessel that’s made out of another material such as glass, aluminum or copper, it will only keep it warm. It won’t heat it to boiling.

Pros and Cons

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(Do not try this at home)

One of the biggest pros of an induction cooktop is a lower risk of fire. Even if you sit newspapers on the surface and place a pot on top, the heat will only heat the inside of the vessel with the paper remaining untouched. This means that items accidentally left on the surface such as cooking mitts and utensils will not catch fire. This is good for people who do a lot of cooking and for families that have a lot of children.

Another benefit to using an induction cooker is that it will never overheat. The heat literally reaches the heating point of the vessel itself, so this way it will never overheat or cause anything to burn. Burning occurs when the cooking vessel has been heated beyond what’s necessary.

For people in a wheelchair, induction cooktops are perfect. They can have them installed at just about any height and be able to easily reach them. There are no rings or racks covering the rings so the surface is flat enough to easily access.

The biggest con is that you must use compatible cooking vessels, or they just won’t heat. This is bad news for cooks who need to use multiple cooking vessels. Currently, you can only use ferrous pots and pans. If you sit a vessel of another material on the rings, the cooktop will act as a hotplate.

In addition, Induction cookers are not as silent as electric cooktops. This is because induction cooktops generate current, which could cause a little bit of buzzing.

So, if you need to cook at precise temperatures, you own ferromagnetic cooking vessels and you don’t mind a slight buzz, an induction cooktop may be perfect for you.

At Appliances Connection we carry a variety of induction cooktops from top brands like Bosch, Electrolux and GE. Head over to our online store to choose the induction cooktop that’s best for your family and specific cooking needs.

Introducing the Whynter MF-310DB Dry Erase Refrigerator

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection

Whynter’s arsenal of teeny refrigerators has invaded the hearts and homes of many students, office professionals and couples nationwide. Their latest model, the MF-310DB is predicted to do the same, but there’s more to this particular model than meets the eye. In fact, there’s so much to say about this 33 inch cutie that we decided to dedicate an entire blog post to it. So without holding you up any further, let’s get right into why this little gem is so perfect.

Jot and Store

Whynter wanted to make this refrigerator as fun to use as it is practical, so they added one aesthetic feature that sets it apart from the others – the ability to write on it. The entire exterior of this tiny black refrigerator is made from dry eraser board material, making it easy to jot down recipes, notes or cute messages. It’s also equipped with a neon blue marker to make the experience a lot more fun!

Mood Lighting

Get your food in the mood with soft lighting. The Whynter MF-310DB evenly distributes light across all compartments and shelves. This lighting is perfect since it gives a showcase feel to the interior while also cutting energy usage.

Star Rated

Speaking of energy usage, The Whynter MF-310DB is Energy Star Certified, which is great for those who need to cut expenses. Normally refrigerators of this size are found in dorms, college housing, offices, studio apartments and hotel rooms.  Logically, energy usage in these dwellings are already on the pricey side, so investing in Energy Star certified appliances is definitely the way to go.

Easy Access

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This model was designed to fit seamlessly into most kitchen layouts without taking up too much or too little room. Measuring in at 33 x 18.5, the Whynter MF-310DB sits flush with most counter tops and cabinets. It also has a flat back that enables you to scoot it all the way to the wall, which keeps it from protruding out beyond the surrounding structures. And speaking of flatness, the handles on this refrigerator model are recessed making opening and closing a breeze.

If you plan to change the location of this refrigerator,  the door reverse to fit any layout.

Plentiful Storage

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Don’t let the size fool you. This refrigerator holds 3.1 cu ft. of food. There are two shelves (one glass, one wire) and both are removable. This makes cleaning super easy. And no more storing beverages in the main gallery (which is the only choice you have in most refrigerators this size).  Whynter made storage a priority by allocating areas within the door for bottles and cans, saving the shelves for food items.

Tempting little guy isn’t it? We know it is! If you’re ready to own this petite fridge/freezer, head over to our online store! We have the Whynter MF-310DB and many more Whynter products on stock!

 

The New and Improved Samsung Washer

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection

If you’re in the market for a new Samsung washer, you may want to have a look at this one.

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If you ask around the tech community, they’d say they aren’t really surprised at Samsung’s latest unveil.  Samsung is always looking for new ways to make tedious tasks simpler. This latest smart washer couples everything we wanted with everything we needed and didn’t think we could have.

On top of being a top loader, this Samsung washer with ActiveWash has all kinds of cool gadget-y contraptions on its dashboard and a sink (yes, a sink) under its lid.

ActiveWash

The main feature of this winning Samsung washer is its Activewash sink feature.  This heavily textured sink gives you the ability to not only pre-soak your clothes without running an entire tub of water, but also to scrub clothes that need to be hand washed. It incorporates the same ridges that are found on washboards and a nice sloped design that allows excess water and soap to flow from the clothing.

And speaking of water, this basin lets out a steady stream of water when you’re hand washing your clothes. This makes it unbelievably easy to handwash your items before popping them just under the basin and into the wash.

Super Speed Technology

Another great feature on this particular Samsung washer is it’s high-powered fast wash cycle. Because the water pressure is so strong, cleaning an entire load of clothes takes less than 36 minutes. This includes presoak and all.

AquaJet Deep Clean

This Samsung washer comes equipped with high power jets. Think of it as a Jacuzzi for your clothes. These jets are capable of removing the toughest stains without the need for a presoak. And don’t worry, the jets won’t tear your clothes apart. It’s strong enough to knock out stains and loosen debris, but gentle enough to keep your fabrics in tip-top shape.

Keep the Noise Down with VRT

VRT is Vibration Reduction Technology and it’s integrated into this newest Samsung washer. In this particular model, the VRT is much needed. Could you image how loud a powerful washer of this size would be without VRT? The high power jets in this model will shake the stains apart, but the machine won’t move a bit. Great news for new parents and college students who often need to run a load at night or in the wee hours of the morning.

 Preset Washing Cycles

Samsung washers in general are easy to program, but this model is even easier. As expected from a smart machine of this caliber, wash cycles are preset and ready to press. All you have to do is select from the 11 preset cycles available and watch this machine do the rest.

Self Cleaning Drums

No more adding chemicals to your washing machine to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. This Samsung washer cleans its own tubs. How? It uses high power streams of water and the same movements that it uses when washing clothes. The shaking and vibrating movements remove all unwanted particles from the drum and sink.

Oh…and it’s Energy Star Rated! We didn’t want to leave that out.

If you’re looking to save a little money on your energy bill, an Energy Star rated Samsung washer is definitely worth it.

What do you think of the new Samsung washer? Would you buy it? We definitely would!

Do you have one of these new Samsung washers? If so, we’d love to hear your experience in using it.

Choosing the Right Range for Your Home

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection

So you’re in the market for a new range! Congradulations! At Appliances Connection, we carry a variety of new ranges suitable for all household sizes and cooking types. Whether you want to grill, broil or sautee, we have the perfect range for you. We understand that there are literally hundreds to choose from, so we created this guide to help you choose.

Electric Ranges

Electric ranges, which are also referred to as coil-type burners, are made of a heat resistant alloy that is comprised of nickel, chromium, and steel wire, and are coated with a high-temperature magnesium oxide powder and a stainless steel sheath. Electric stoves with coil burners typically have removable drip pans to ease the cleanup process of spills, although they can become dull and dirty with frequent use. Electric ranges may also have self-cleaning options. One of the more popular styles of electric cooking range tops consists of a smooth layer of tempered glass that covers the electric heating elements, and this style is known as a smooth top range. This type of range requires a 240-volt power supply.

Smooth Top Range

A smooth top range is a range that lacks traditional range burners and is instead perfectly flat, with all of the burners located directly underneath a glass or ceramic top. This type of range offers several benefits and drawbacks. Many buyers prefer the smooth top range to traditional electric range burners because it is easier to clean and maintain since spills have nowhere to drip. However, smooth top ranges must be cleaned with special solvents in order to avoid scratching the surface of the range.

Food that is spilled on the range must be immediately wiped up in order to decrease the chances of permanent stains. Cookware must also be carefully selected in order to avoid damaging a range’s surface. The use of cast iron pots and pans should be avoided as these types of cookware can easily scratch the surface area. Smooth top ranges also provide instantaneous heat from their burners, although they do cool very slowly. The energy is directed into the cooking receptacle this way, which means that less heat is wasted. This results in a cooler kitchen when compared to one that uses a basic electric or gas stove.

Induction Range

Induction ranges are growing in popularity due to their energy efficiency, their safety, and their relative ease of cleaning. This type of range features a series of burners called induction coils, which are based on magnetic principles. The coils generate magnetic fields that induct a warming reaction in steel-based pots or pans. Unlike traditional ranges that use stove elements to heat the food, induction ranges utilize the cooking vessels themselves to warm the food. Because the surface of the cooktop is only heated from contact with the vessel, the possibility of burn injury is significantly less than with other methods. This type of cooktop heats up faster than an electric range does, allowing for quicker cooking times and thus, energy savings. Much like the smooth top range, induction ranges feature a flat and continuous surface, allowing for easy cleaning. They also offer convenient safeguards. For example, the range turns itself off it a pot has gone dry and if there is a spillover, and the cool surface prevents burning and hardening of spilled food. Induction ranges vary in magnitude from a one-unit hot plate-type to the traditional four-burner size.

Gas Ranges

Gas ranges use a separate, sealed gas-fired burner under iron grates that hold pots and pans. The sealed burner is designed to reduce the mess on a cooktop if something spills. Similarly to electric ranges, gas ranges may also feature a self-cleaning option. Cooking with gas is often a more precise method of cooking, allowing the cook to control the exact amount of heat underneath the pot or pan. Gas ranges are generally more expensive than electric ranges are, and a homeowner may need to have a gas line installed if they do not already have existing gas service in order to use a gas range. Many gas ranges have an electric ignition option, eliminating the need to physically light the burner with a match.

Types of Range Hoods

A range hood is a device containing a mechanical fan that hangs above the cooktop in the kitchen and acts to remove airborne grease, combustion products, smoke, heat, odors, and steam from the air by elimination and filtration. These hoods are comprised of three main components: a capture panel to restrain the rising gases, one or more grease filters, and a fan for forced ventilation. There are also two main configurations of range hoods: vented and ventless.

Vented Range Hoods

Vented range hoods are designed to be used above stovetops to remove steam, smoke, fumes, and other vapors from the kitchen during the cooking process. These vapors are then carried outside of the home through the use of a ventilation system. Range hoods make a great addition to any kitchen and can be found in various types. When purchasing a range hood, buyers should consider both the location of their range, as well as the amount of available kitchen space. Within the vented range hood category, there are three common favorites: the under the cabinet range hood, the high-performance range hood, and the chimney range hood.

Under the Cabinet Range Hood

Under the cabinet range hoods are designed to fit under a small cabinet, reducing the amount of kitchen space that is used. These are the most popular type of range hood and work best when the range top is propped against the wall. Under the cabinet range hoods typically feature a light and a fan with multiple speeds, and many newer models offer electronic controls to better suit a user’s needs. These ranges come in a wide array of colors and sizes, making it easy to find one that will match almost any kitchen. Under the cabinet range hoods are typically not as powerful as other varieties of range hoods are, but they work well for the average cook.

High-Performance Range Hood

High-performance range hoods are made of a more durable material than under-cabinet hoods are, and they also offer more power. These range hoods often come equipped with grease trays, heat lamps, and different fans that can be used either separately or together.

Chimney Range Hoods

Chimney range hoods are most often utilized in restaurant settings, although they do exist in some home environments. These hoods feature a main hood that is connected to its own chimney that reaches up through the ceiling and into a vent. Chimney hoods are often paired with island ranges and are available in a wide assortment of shapes, sizes, and materials.

Ventless Range Hood

Ventless range hoods do not require a vent in order to operate and remove vapors that are caused by cooking. These hoods are beneficial in situations where the range may need to be relocated due to complete remodeling or rearrangement of the kitchen space. The ventless hood works by employing the use of a filter or filters for particle collection. There are several different types of range filters that differ in nature. While electrostatic filters use air or other gases to produce an electric charge that then attracts particles to it, a charcoal filter can be utilized to help eliminate odor. When used in conjunction with one another, these two filters can offer similar quality to that of a vented hood. Unlike vented hoods (which require no to little upkeep), ventless hoods require periodic air filter replacement.

Are you sold? If you know know what range to order head on over to Appliances Connection to see what we have on sale.  We’re currently running our Memorial Day Sale so you can enjoy up to 65% off select name brands! Hurry, shop while supplies last!

Purchasing a New Stove: What to Consider

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection

When a stove stops working, no longer suits the owner’s needs or when the owner is remodeling his or her kitchen, one thing becomes clear; a new stove  is often necessary. When deciding on what stove to purchase, many considerations need to be made. Some of these considerations are what type of stove  to purchase, what fuel types are desired, and what features to consider in the new stove .

Stove Types

A few different stove types exist and should be carefully considered when making a new purchase. Each type has a different stylistic characteristic and usability. Purchasers should carefully consider these options prior to making a purchase. Additionally, depending on the configuration of the kitchen the stove is being placed in, purchasers will need to consider the new stove’s dimensions and layout requirements.

Freestanding Ranges

In today’s housing, freestanding ranges are the most common stove available. Found in both apartments and homes, freestanding ranges combine the baking oven and the stove cooktop into a single unit. These stove ovens are completely self contained and well insulated; they can be surrounded by cabinets or they can stand alone against a wall.

Freestanding ranges are typically the least expensive option for a new stove for a number of reasons. First, because this option is the most popular and most common option, they are inexpensive to build as manufacturers can build them en masse. Second, installation is very easy; purchasers can just place them in the necessary location, hook them up, and begin cooking. Unless the purchaser is getting a larger or smaller stove, no carpentry or remodeling work is required unless desired. Repair prices are typically low compared to other stove options, because of the wide availability of parts and ease of access to any part of a freestanding range. Additionally, repair needs are fairly rare for these stove.

Cooktop and Wall Oven Set

Cooktop and wall oven sets were very common for new home installations from the 1950s through the early 1970s. Because the cooktop stove is separate from the oven, this option offers the greatest range of flexibility in installation options. This allows the oven to be placed at a higher location so that cooks do not have to bend over to remove items from the oven. Additionally, the oven and the cooktop stove do not have to be anywhere close together, providing a greater range of cooking flexibility in the kitchen; something that holiday cooking with multiple cooks can benefit from.

Cooktop and wall oven sets are more expensive than freestanding ranges. Cooktop and wall oven sets are still mass-produced, but not nearly in the quantity that freestanding ranges are. Because of this, the cost of manufacture is slightly higher. Additionally, installation is often difficult and may require new cabinet work. For this reason, adding a cooktop and wall oven set to a kitchen is often done during a remodeling project. For this same reason, repair can be expensive. Parts are widely available, but accessing various parts of the oven and stove can be difficult, adding to the labor costs of repair. However, repair needs are rare for these stoves.

Commercial Style

Commercial stoves and commercial ovens are the largest of the various stove  styles. While other ranges have four or five burners, commercial style stove  can have four to twelve burners. These stoves generate quite a bit more heat than consumer style stove, which often requires more skill in the cook. Recently, the rise in home chefs and professional cooking in the home has increased the sales of commercial style stove ovens in the home. Additionally, commercial style stoves  come in both freestanding range style and in the separate cooktop and wall oven style.

Commercial style stoves  are the most expensive style of stove available. Costs of these stoves can be more than 20 times higher than an inexpensive consumer style freestanding range, but the performance of these stoves  is exceptional and quite worth it for many in-home professional chefs. Because of the high heat output, these stoves may require more regular maintenance and repairs than a consumer style stove will. Additionally, these stoves are very heavy and often require professional installation services.

Fuel Types

When purchasing a stove, two of the primary considerations are location and space available. Once that is determined, the next most important consideration is the type of fuel available in the home, as this needs to be matched with the stove’s fuel use. Two fuel options are typically available: gas and electric. However, some models do offer “dual fuel” capability.

Gas

In urban cities, especially in North America, natural gas is plentiful and inexpensive. Most urban locations, and many rural areas, have gas line infrastructure to almost all houses. Because of this, for most applications, gas is the primary fuel choice for stove ovens. Its low cost and availability make it an obvious choice for most urban consumers. This wide availability is partly responsible for the slightly lower cost that gas stoves have over electric stoves. Additionally, most consumers prefer the finite control that gas stove burners provide over electric stoves. Gas stoves can also run off of propane for rural areas without gas line infrastructure. However, this is generally far more expensive than using natural gas.

Electric

In many rural areas without gas line infrastructure, electric stoves offer convenience and cost savings over using a gas stove with propane fuel. This style of stove is slightly more expensive than an equivalent gas stove. However, where electric stove ovens shine is in baking. Bakers prefer the electric ovens over gas ovens because of the even heating that is provided. This allows baking of bread goods, pies, and other confections to be done quickly, evenly, and with consistent results; something that gas ovens have difficulty matching.

Dual Fuel

Faced with the conflicting desires of individuals who are both bakers and cooks, manufacturers have created stoves that use both kinds of fuel to offer the best of both worlds. These are commonly referred to as dual fuel stoves. Typically, these are available in freestanding range styles and commercial styles, as cooktop and wall oven sets naturally give this flexibility when purchasing. With dual fuel stoves, cooks have the fine control offered by gas cooktop burners and the even heating of an electric oven. These stoves do cost more than their single fuel counterparts, however.

In another series, we will go over the different features available on today’s stoves, and how to choose the features that are right for you.

If you’re ready to purchase a stove now, head over to Appliances Connection. We’re currently running our Memorial Day Sale so you can enjoy up to 65% off select brands! 

Small Kitchen Space-Saver Ideas

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection

Here are the ingredients for more space that won’t cost more than a third of the $19,226 that “Remodeling” magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Report” says you could spend on a minor kitchen remodel.

Hang ‘em high. Put wire racks on the wall above your sink, add S-hooks, and hang cooking utensils. It’ll free up a drawer or two. The backsplash area—the wall area right above the sink and countertops—is often underutilized and a great place for easy-to-clean, stainless steel racks and shelves. Cost: $50 to $200.

Nooks and crannies. Bare walls above a phone nook or cabinets, and underneath windows, beg for storage. Make use of that open space above your cabinets with store-bought shelves and brackets painted to match the cabinets. Cost: Less than $200.

For a built-in look, build a soffit above the shelves. Cost: Less than $2,000.

A freestanding window seat stores rarely used kitchen gadgets and provides additional seating. Cost: $200 to $500.

Cool it already. Do you really need a behemoth 36-inch-wide refrigerator that looks like an entertainment center? Downsize to an 18-cubic-foot refrigerator. If your refrigerator stands at the end of your cabinets, as most do, downsizing could save a foot of space—enough for shelving to store dishes, canned goods, and supplies. Cost: Less than $500.

Don’t need much room for perishables in your small kitchen? Try an under-the-counter 5.7-cubic-foot fridge. Cost: $1,200.

Nuke the clutter. Get the microwave off the counter and into a drawer. Cost: Less than $800.

Pull-outs. Cutting boards that hide inside your cabinets do double-duty as small kitchen tables or a bill-paying station. Caution: It’s tough to add these to existing cabinets. Consider them as a custom add-on when ordering new cabinets. Cost: $300 or less, plus the cabinets.

Some custom cabinets offer a “drawer” that actually hides a 36-inch extension table. Cost: About $1,000.

Borrow some space. Pantries are easy to create from a nearby closet using shelves and roll-out wire bins from a home improvement center. Cost: $200 to $500.

For a fancier solution, architect Sarah Susanka of Not So Big House suggests using store-bought shelving units and building them into a hallway space. Cost for a 10-foot hallway: $5,000 to $7,500.

Looking for new kitchen appliances to fill up those gaps of empty space? Try Appliances Connection! We have everything you need to get your kitchen in tip top shape. Visit us now for deep discounts on top name brands such as Whirlpool and Samsung.

Refrigerator Buying Tips

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By April Khan, Appliances Connection

Refrigerators are long-term appliance investments so you’ll want to carefully consider the main aspects of buying this refrigerator to ensure that it meets your family’s needs and you’ll be able to enjoy the refrigerator for the next few years.

Whether you’re buying a refrigerator for the very first time or replacing an older refrigerator model, these tips will help you be better prepared to start shopping for a refrigerator.

Are There Installation Limitations for the Refrigerator?

The first refrigerator consideration – measure the area where you will position the refrigerator. Is there sufficient room for full door swing/opening? Measuring is especially important when replacing a refrigerator to ensure the new one fits between counters or under overhead cabinets like the previous one.

Take the maximum measurements when you shop for a refrigerator and allow space for hinges and leveling. Review your home’s entry to the kitchen to be sure you’ll be able to get your purchase in. You’ll need an electrical outlet and also plumbing if you are buying a refrigerator with ice and water dispenser.

What Type Of Refrigerator Can Be Installed?

While reviewing where you to install your new refrigerator, you can decide what type you prefer or would fit into your kitchen layout and budget.

Types of refrigerators require different installations. A counter-depth model is usually wider than a same-capacity freestanding unit and can give your kitchen a custom look for less outlay than a built-in model. Available types:

  • Freestanding full size
  • Counter Depth (will be flush with counter)
  • Built-in
  • Compact or Under Counter
  • Professional Built-in Refrigerator & Freezer Pair

What Style or Model Do You Prefer?

Refrigerator style is a matter of preference and convenience, but you should consider installation limitations when choosing a style since clearances may vary. An All refrigerator model does not have a freezer but has the best capacity. This may suit your home if you have a freezer close at hand. A Top Mount model has an upper freezer, with or without a separate door.

A Bottom Freezer model has either a drawer/bin or shelf style freezer on the bottom. A Side by Side has a freezer on one side and refrigerator on the other. A French Door model has two refrigerated top sections with a freezer on the bottom.

What Capacity Does Your Family Need?

Once you’ve established installation, type and style, you can decide on capacity. If this will be your main refrigerator, size this appliance to meet your family’s needs. Buying an overly large refrigerator which may remain partially empty will only use more kitchen space and increase purchase and energy costs.

If you’re buying a spare or beverage refrigerator, a compact model under 11 cu. ft. may be sufficient. A 14 cu. ft size can be adequate for a family of 4, but a 18 – 22 cu. ft or higher would be better for a large family. If you have a vegetable garden, a larger refrigerator would be very convenient.

Refrigerator Finishes & Existing Kitchen Decor

You should give some thought to whether you are looking for white, colored, stainless or other exterior finishes. What finish will fit better into your existing kitchen decor? Do you prefer the same brand as your range?

You may want to compliment your existing appliances by choosing a similar finish. If you have small children, finishes that are easy to keep clean or limit fingerprints may be more suitable. A pebbly white finish is easy to keep clean and can help to ‘hide’ scratches rather than a smooth glossy white exterior.

Choosing Refrigerator Features

The best feature is Frost-Free operation and do not assume that every refrigerator today is frost-free but confirm before purchasing. Here are other available features:

  • Humidity and Temperature Controls
  • Energy Star qualified for best energy savings
  • Ice maker and dispenser
  • In-door Water & Ice Dispenser
  • Reversible door
  • Adjustable shelving to accommodate high items or slide-outs to assist in retrieving food
  • At least 2 but preferably 3 drawers/crispers
  • Glass shelving to contain spills
  • Removable door bins
  • Deli or meat keeper
  • Enclosed back coils
  • Quick cool compartment
  • Freezer shelving
  • Freezer interior light
  • Gallon Jug Bin
  • Butter Keeper

When Considering Refrigerator Features

A base model refrigerator generally has 1-2 drawers, wire shelving, non-adjustable shelves/bins and may only have a partial shelf in the freezer. Although a base model will provide sufficient refrigeration needs, features are really nice to have but greatly influence the price.

If you would seldom use a Through-the-Door Water & Ice Dispenser, why pay more for this feature? On the other hand, it could encourage your family to drink water more often, but this feature will influence the price and require plumbing hook-up. Replacing with a taller model may require custom re-building or removing overhead cabinets.

Enhanced Features & Other Considerations

Some models have customizable digital displays, flat panel TV mounted on the door front, or built-in filtration for the water dispenser. Bottom freezer models have various designs such as slide-out drawer/bin or interior shelving.

Built-in models may have optional panels to blend with your decor. You may want to consider purchasing an extended warranty for a higher priced appliance investment, and you’ll need to make disposal decisions for the old model. Landfills generally have rules in place regarding preparing refrigerators and freezers for disposals as well as tipping fees for large appliances.

To purchase a top brand refrigerator at an affordable price check out our extensive selection on Appliances Connection!

Tips for Choosing a Wall Oven

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By April Khan

For home cooks, a wall oven means flexibility and convenience that boost kitchen function and home enjoyment. We give you food for thought so you can pick the best model for your household’s lifestyle.

First Things First: Gas or Electric?

Typically, the type of power you use in your home determines whether you go with a gas or electric wall oven. If you can go either way, budget and cooking preferences will drive your final decision. Here’s more to chew on:

  • Electric wall ovens heat foods more evenly than gas and are considered easier to clean, according to Consumer Reports.
  • There’s a much larger selection of electric units than gas to choose from.
  • Budget and standard ovens that run on gas generally cost $100 or more than their electric counterparts.

Types of Wall Ovens and Costs

Here’s a breakdown of models and standard features. All are usually available in a black, white, or stainless steel finish.

1.  Conventional electric

Budget wall ovens are the least expensive available, with a price range of $700 to $1,000.  Either dials or electronic touch pads control oven settings and cooking temperatures. Stainless models usually cost $100 more than black or white units.

Standard wall ovens come with self-cleaning features which add $200 to $300 to their price tag ($1,000 to $1,300). Most have electronic touch pads for oven settings and cooking temperatures.

Double ovens come with self-cleaning features and electronic touch pads for oven settings and cooking temperatures. They cost $1,500 to $2,100.

Single ovens with microwave have one built-in oven and one built-in microwave. They come with a steep price tag ($2,100 to $2,500). Most have self-cleaning features and are equipped with electronic touch pads for oven and microwave settings.

2.  Electric convection

Standard convection wall ovens use fans to distribute heat, which speeds up baking and roasting times. Most models come with self-cleaning features. On average, they cost $300 more than standard electric wall ovens without the convection feature. All have electronic or digital controls for oven settings and cooking temperatures. Cost: $1,400 to $2,100.

Double convection wall ovens come with self-cleaning features. The most expensive units ($2,150 to $3,700) are Wi-Fi enabled so you can control temperature and cooking times via a smartphone or mobile device.  All have electronic or digital controls for oven settings and cooking temperatures.

Single convection oven and microwave combinations come with one oven and one microwave. They typically have a steep price tag: $2,500 or more. Most combo ovens have self-cleaning features and electronic or digital controls for oven and microwave settings.

3.  Gas ovens

Budget gas wall ovens are the least-expensive, with prices ranging from $800 to $1,100.  They come with either dials or electronic touch pad controls for oven settings and cooking temperatures. Stainless units start at $1,000.

Standard gas wall ovens come with self-cleaning features and a lower broiler, which add $400 to $500 to their price tag. Most have electronic touch pad controls for oven settings and cooking temperatures. Cost: $1,300 to $1,500.

Convection gas wall ovens do exist. But consumer models are almost as rare as dodo birds since you won’t find them at most big box stores. Fans of these ovens appreciate the moist heat gas generates (a byproduct of gas combustion is water vapor). Luxury appliance retailers typically sell pro-styled gas convection wall ovens.  Units start at $3,500.

Size Does Matter

Wall units offer plenty of flexibility when it comes to kitchen placement. They can be installed at any convenient height, putting an end to the bending and stooping that comes with a conventional kitchen range.

Wall ovens are available in widths of 24, 27, and 30 inches. Keep in mind some styles may skew an inch or two bigger or smaller; check oven specs before you buy.

You’ll also need to make sure your oven’s interior space is big enough for your cooking needs:

  • 2 to 3 cubic feet will accommodate households with one or two people.
  • 3 to 4 cubic feet will accommodate households with three or four people.
  • 4 cubic feet and up and more will accommodate households of four or more.

Features, Functions, and Extras That Have the Biggest Payback

We think the features that pack the most value will boost convenience and ease of use. Here’s a list of tasty picks:

Control lockout prevents little hands from playing with the oven by disabling the control panel.

Double ovens are a win-win for hardworking kitchens. They let you simultaneously bake and roast multiple items at different temperatures.

Electronic controls are featured on most wall ovens (except a few budget models and lower-priced double ovens). Unlike old school oven dials, electronic controls allow you to set precise cooking temperatures.

A self-cleaning cycle makes cleaning your oven less of a chore.

Removable oven doors allow quick and easy cleaning and wiping.

Sabbath mode settings allow observant Jews to preprogram oven settings during the Sabbath so they can heat foods. If you’re not in the know, the Sabbath is a day of rest and using modern appliances during this time is forbidden.

Features You Shouldn’t Pay More For

Warming drawers keep prepared foods warm prior to mealtime, but they’re sold as separate units and come with a chilly price tag: $1,000 and up.

Delayed-start and other Wi-Fi features allow you to control your oven when you’re not home. However, the National Fire Protection Association says you should never operate your oven when you’re not home to check on it.

To purchase a top-branded wall oven at an affordable price, visit Appliances Connection!

Introducing the GE Cafe French-door Wall Oven

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By April Khan

Oh la la! It’s unveiling time again — and this time we’re revealing something shiny and French!

No, not a new Eiffel tower silly, we’re an appliance company, not miracle workers ( :) ). It’s a French-door oven! Yes, you read that right. If you love French-door refrigerators, you’ll love this oven.

GE has just recently announced the new Cafe French-door wall refrigerator.

This humungous wall oven features Wifi Connect technology, which allows you to wirelessly control your oven from your smartphone. One look at the GE Café kitchen and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported behind the scenes of your favorite casual dining experience. Each appliance has been meticulously designed to create an atmosphere where people like to gather and love to cook. Tough stainless steel and powerful elements complement their robust appearance.

Here are some of the great perks of owning this Cafe French-door wall oven:

  • 5.0 cu. ft. oven capacity allows you to cook more dishes at once
  • Glass touch display and ergonomic control electronic dial knobs are easy to operate and clean
  • Hidden Ten-pass bake element provides even baking with heat that covers more surface area
  • True European Convection with Direct Air bakes evenly as warm air blows from the top in and around bakeware
  • Ten-pass dual broil element – Large and small dishes brown evenly with two, full-coverage elements
  • Control lockout prevents unintentional or unsupervised use to promote safety
  • Self-clean with Steam Clean option enables you to clean your oven the way you want
  • Large oven window in each door lets you monitor cooking progress without opening the oven doors, maintaining a consistent oven temperature
  • Progressive halogen oven lighting helps you see what you’re baking with lights that slowly illuminate the oven
  • French door design – Inspired by commercial kitchen designs, precision engineering allows for one-handed opening of both oven doors at the same time
  • Two Self-clean heavy-duty roller rack allow you to easily access items with a rack that glides smoothly and one self-clean oven rack provide baking flexibility
  • Bread proofing function provides a smart alternative to a bread maker and allows you to save valuable counter space
  • WiFi Connect – Wirelessly control oven functions from your smartphone
  • GE Fits, Guarantee – GE wall ovens are guaranteed for an exact fit to make replacement easy

I know, I know, say no more right? You’re ready to install this bad boy right away and we’ve got you covered. Head on over to Appliances Connection to get your GE Cafe fix!

Are You Washing Laundry the Right Way?

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By April Khan

The chemical industry and ‘throw-away’ culture have turned our laundry routines into giant wastes of time, money, and energy, not to mention the questionable safety of the chemicals in the plethora of laundry-related products we’re encouraged to buy. Turns out, you don’t need to buy half the stuff you use on your clothes.

Luckily for me, my parents never bothered with a lot of the extras, and my mom had several clever ways of DIY fixes and time-savers that I learned as a kid. So when I got to college and saw fellow students wasting their time and money on their laundry. What is a college student doing paying for frills like dryer sheets?! Why does anyone make their laundry more expensive and tedious than it needs to be?

Today, you’re gonna learn some things about doing your laundry, the smart way.

Brand Name Laundry Detergent vs. DIY Laundry Detergent

Why you’re doing it wrong: Unless you’re able to pay extra for brands like Seventh Generation that contain less chemically junk, you’re washing your clothes with stuff you can’t even pronounce. If you have dry or easily irritated skin, your store-bought detergent may be contributing to your skin issues as most of them contain ingredients known to cause skin irritation. But most of all, laundry detergent is expensive when it doesn’t need to be.

What to do instead: Make your own laundry detergent. First of all, you’ll actually know what you’re washing your clothes in if you make your detergent yourself. And second, it’s WAY cheaper to make your own, and super easy.

Dryer Sheets vs. Dryer Balls

Why you’re doing it wrong: Dryer sheets are extremely wasteful because they’re one-use items. Add to that the fact that because they’re disposable, you have to keep buying them, adding an additional expense to your budget. Perhaps the most worrisome thing about dryer sheets is that there is no law requiring dryer sheets to be labeled with chemicals/ingredients used to make them, so you have no idea what you’re heating up with your clothing. Research has shown that exposure to many industrial and otherwise toxic chemicals, the regulation of which is poor in the U.S., are linked to dementia and other neurological disorders. Don’t gamble with items that don’t even say what’s in them.

What to do instead: Buy dryer balls. These guys are reusable, so you buy them once and you’re done — they’re not even that expensive too. You can buy wood, wool, plastic, or rubber dryer balls, and many brands specify that they are free of harsh chemicals. If you want, you can even make your own.

Expensive Stain Removers vs. DIY Fixes

Why you’re doing it wrong: Again, this stuff is full of weird chemicals, and it doesn’t come for free. So you’re buying one more thing that you don’t need to buy, and the harsh chemicals run you the risk of damaging your clothes as you desperately try to get out clothing stains.

What to do instead: Use a homemade or natural method before you resort to the store-bought stuff. It’s convenient and cheap to use products you already have and many products work on their own without requiring you to make some kind of mixture. Hand sanitizer and hairspray work wonders on ink and some other kinds of stains; use some lemon juice or ammonia on armpit stains before tossing in the wash; and club soda, salt, or milk on red wine spills.

Washing Items After One Use vs. Making Them Last

Why you’re doing it wrong: Unless you have an absolutely inhuman sweat/B.O. problem (which you should definitely schedule a doctor appointment for, by the way), you don’t have to toss most of your clothing in the laundry basket after one wear. Not only does this give you more laundry loads and therefore more energy/water usage that hurts your wallet and the environment, but you run out of outfits and delicates a lot faster.

What to do instead: There are several items you can make into a spray to keep clothing fresh through a few uses. These include white vinegar, lemon juice, and vodka. Distilling these items with some water and putting into a spray bottle gives you quick and effective fixes for odorous clothes, and saves you some time and money on extra laundry loads. You’ll never resort to a “laundry day” outfit again.

Fabric Softener vs. White Vinegar

Why you’re doing it wrong: Another popular laundry item that people waste money on is fabric softener. Again, like many of the items above, this stuff contains chemicals that add to the toxic soup of laundry products we use.

What to do instead: One good alternative is white vinegar. It works well as a fabric softener, it’s cheap, and it’s natural. You don’t need to spend money on Downy to get soft clothes.

Constant Ironing vs. Hanging Clothes to Dry

Why you’re doing it wrong: Ironing is time-consuming and an additional cost on your energy bill. The time it takes to iron can be a real problem when you forgot to iron your work/dress clothes and suddenly need them when they’re a wrinkly mess.

What to do instead: Some items will dry relatively wrinkle-free if you hang them up, shortening ironing time or forgoing it altogether. If hang-drying doesn’t stop the wrinkles, a steam dryer is a great way to quickly de-wrinkle clothes, and even treat some “dry clean only” items at home, saving you time and money. Now that’s a deal.