Three Critical Measurements to Take Before Buying Appliances

Folding yard stick from East Coast Appliance

Three Critical Measurements to Take Before Buying Appliances

If there is one type of purchasing approach that results in more appliance returns than any other, spontaneous shopping has to be at or near the top of the list. While the return of appliances after this type of shopping spree can be motivated by a number of factors, the leading cause is that the newly purchased products are of a size that makes their installation impossible, expensive, or ill advised. If you are in the decision stage of the appliance purchasing process, the first thing to remember is that buying on impulse can be a hit or miss drill with the misses unnecessarily consuming time, effort, and money.

To avoid these issues, be sure to include these three critical measurements on each appliance before making your final decision:

  • The space where each appliance will be installed – Trying to “eyeball” or guesstimate the dimensions of the locations for each appliance may work, but it probably won’t. Even the smallest miss can either make the installation more expensive due to modifications of surrounding counters and cabinets or make the appliance look like a poor fit for the space.
  • The appliances under consideration – Getting precise measurements on the appliances you want to buy is as important as measurements of the space they will occupy. When measuring both the space and the products, don’t forget to measure depth, as an appliance that extends beyond or is recessed back from surrounding counters/cabinets will look misplaced.
  • Any tight areas on the path from the curb to the kitchen, laundry room, etc. – The fastest way to find out that an appliance isn’t going to fit is if the product can’t be delivered due to obstacles on the path, whether they are on the interior or exterior of the home. Obstacles that can prevent delivery include narrow walkways, doorways, and staircases, especially those with tight turns. Measuring these areas in advance can ensure that your new appliances can get where they are supposed to go while also speeding the installation if, for example, doors need to be taken off of their hinges to allow passage.

Spontaneous shopping can be full of temptations, so be sure to check your measurements before you head to the store and after you get the cut sheets from your salesperson.

Advertisements

Tips for Purchasing the Right Appliances for a Kitchen Remodeling Project

Image

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right appliances for a kitchen remodeling project while battling money versus love, or needs versus wants.

Generally speaking, selecting the right criteria for the purchase of new appliances for a kitchen remodeling project depends on whether the end objective is to personalize and customize the space for the household (love) or increase the resale value of the home (money).

Here are the criteria when remodeling for money:

  • The project’s budget should be based on two parameters; the appraised value of the home and the selling prices for similar homes in the neighborhood – The rule of thumb for setting your remodeling budget is that it should run between 5 and 10 percent of the home’s value. If your home’s value is approximately equal to other homes in the area, keep the budget closer to 5 percent. If its value is significantly less than other homes, the budget can be pushed toward 10 percent.
  • Appliances should be purchased with ruthless efficiency – While you definitely want to present an upgraded look, buying high-end appliances in this type of remodeling project will result in a lower return than going with base models.
  • Remodel for a broad market – To give your home the best chance of selling, you’ll want to go with neutral (white or stainless steel) appliances and basic cabinetry to appeal to a broader audience.

…and remodeling for love:

  • If the long term plan is to stay in your home, return on investment becomes a non-issue – While you don’t want be wasteful, the budget for new appliances and other features in the kitchen can be expanded to what you can afford.
  • Appliances can be purchased to deliver an optimal user experience – Again, you’ll want stay within your budget and buy only features that have utility in your kitchen. That being said, if you’re committed to cooking like a pro, for example, buy the appliances that will allow you to do what you want to do toward that end.
  • It’s your kitchen; show some personality – Designing the kitchen as an extension of your household’s collective personality can turn it into an exciting gathering area that also encourages culinary creativity.

While remodeling for money requires a more pragmatic approach to upgrades and buying appliances, a project that isn’t based on the sale of the home can be executed with creativity and flair. The key is to decide whether fiscal responsibility or wild creativity is in order before starting the project.

Tips For Buying a Dishwasher

Image

Tips for buying a dishwasher:

As dishwasher technology has continued to increase, so have the buying options for shoppers. Unfortunately, this has also led to confusion for the consumer. This article breaks down dishwasher shopping to its basics in an effort to help you sort through the myriad of options available.

The two main considerations to buying any major appliance are budget and needs. Please notice we used the word “needs”, not “wants”. After we have these two figured out, then all you have to do is marry the two to find your perfect appliance.

Dishwasher prices run the gamut from the budget sub-$300 group to the ultra-high-end plus-$1500 segment. Before visiting a major appliance dealer you should have your dishwasher investment pegged within an acceptable range for yourself. We find that most “needs” can be taken care of well within most budgets leaving room for some “wants” to be taken care of as well.

Enough with the budget, you get the idea. Here are some considerations when thinking about your needs.

If the dishwasher is located in a central area of the home where sound can travel and the dishwasher noise is bothersome, then you’ll want to put 50dBA on your list of needs. When you get above 55dBA you start entering the “I can’t hear you” realm and that’s no fun in the kitchen where the family inevitably ends up after meals. If you can swing for a sub-50dBA you’ll really notice the difference from your old, loud dishwasher.

Family size is a huge consideration for dishwasher buyers, and should rank with sound as far as important factors to consider. If you have a large family, or host a lot of parties then you should put 16 place settings as your goal. Small families can get away with 12 place settings just fine.

If you have a small family and your dishes consist mainly of small plates, cups, and utensils then consider a dishwasher with a “Top Rack” only option. This saves money, energy, and water by using only what is necessary to wash just the top rack, not the bottom. A double dish drawer is a great option here.

If you’re a baker then you’ll want to look for a dishwasher with a top rack that is adjustable in height so you can fit baking sheets on the bottom rack. You’ll also want folding tines to accommodate mixing bowls.

Once you’ve figured the budget, sound, and use, you can start looking at other features you may want to include. If you contact one of our stores, our professional sales people can help you break other features down in order to get you exactly what you want in the budget you have set.

How to get the Best Drying Results From Your Dishwasher

 

Bosch Dish

Our friends at Bosch sent out this great bit on how to get the best drying results from your Bosch dishwasher. If you follow these instructions and still have an issue with your dishwasher you can contact our service department by clicking this link for the numbers and locations.

Rinse Aid

To achieve proper drying, always use a liquid rinse aid, even if your detergent contains a rinse aid or drying additive.

Note: The dishwasher indicates low rinse aid by turning on the “Add Rinse Aid” indicator light. If this light is on, you need to refill the rinse aid dispenser by following the directions below.

Adding Rinse Aid

1- Add liquid rinse aid to the dispenser until it is full.

2 – Close the lid. Lid must be fully closed until it clicks in order to seal.

3 – Wipe up any excess rinse aid that may have puddled when the dispenser reservoir is full. The indicator light will go out a few moments after the dishwasher door is shut.

Setting the amount of rinse aid used

The amount of rinse aid dispensed can be set from “r:00” to “r:06”.

1 Press the [On/Off] button.

2 Hold down the “A” button (This will be the “Auto” button or “Normal” button depending on your model. See your Use & Care manual) and press [Start] until the display indicates “d:00”. Release both buttons.

3 Press the “A” button until the display shows “r:05”.

4 Press the “C” button to select the desired setting.

“r:00” = dispenser is OFF “r:04” = medium/high setting

“r:01” = lowest setting “r:05” = high setting

“r:02” = low setting “r:06” = highest setting

“r:03” = medium setting

5 Press [Start] to save the setting.

Note: Using rinse aid and setting the dispenser to “r:00” may result in longer cycle times.

Intensive Drying

The final rinse uses a higher temperature which improves the drying results. The running time may increase slightly.

To turn intensive drying on:

1 Press the [On/Off] button.

2 Hold down the “A” button (This will be the “Auto” button or “Normal” button depending on your model. See your Use & Care manual) and press [Start] until the display indicates “d:00”. Release both buttons

3 Press the “A” button until the display shows “d:00”.

4 Press the “C” button to turn intensive drying on or off. “d:01” = ON and “d:00” = OFF and press [Start] to save setting.

ExtraShine™

Used in combination with a wash cycle (except Rinse), the Extra Shine option raises the temperature and extends the drying time to further enhance drying results and provide a brilliant shine.

Sanitize

The Sanitize feature is available only in the Heavy, Auto and Normal cycles. Select one of these cycles, press the “Sanitize Option” button and then press Start to activate the Sanitation features. The sanitize LED will light when sanitation requirements are met. The technical sanitation measures may also improve the drying results.

Note: The dishwasher automatically defaults to Auto Wash when turned off and back on. If you used the sanitize option in your last cycle, the dishwasher will default to Auto Wash with the Sanitize option selected when you turn it on.

Loading the Top Rack

Ensure items do not protrude through the bottom of the racks and block the spray arms.

Note: When pushing the top rack into the dishwasher, push it until it stops against the back of the tub so the top rack spray arm connects to the water supply at the back of the tub. Do not push racks in using the door.

Loading the Bottom Rack

Place large items in the bottom rack. Load pots, pans and bowls upside down. Do not block vent with tall baking sheets. Load these items on the left side of the dishwasher.

Unloading the Dishwasher

When unloading the dishwasher it is best to unload the bottom rack first. Next, unload the silverware basket followed by the top rack.

How CEE Tier Information on Appliances can Help you Save on Water and Energy Consumption

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) is somewhat similar to the ENERGY STAR program in that its primary objective is to highlight and promote energy efficient appliances. This agency differs from ENERGY STAR in that it rates appliances that have already earned ENERGY STAR certifications with Tiers that define the most efficient appliances in each category. This intelligence can then be used by consumers to compare relative energy and water usage between appliances during the decision making process.

CEE Tiers are defined as follows:

* Tier I – This tier approximates the base level necessary to be ENERGY STAR certified, representing that the specific appliance is ranked in the top 25 percent of its category for energy efficiency and that it exceeds mandated standards by 20 percent. Much like ENERGY STAR rated products, these appliances are deemed to be cost effective due to accumulated energy and water savings and are widely available for purchase.
* Tier II – Appliances can earn CEE Tier II rankings by testing out with energy efficiencies that surpass benchmarks by 25%. While the CEE does not provide direct rebates, an increasing number of entities are making rebates available to consumers to ensure that the purchase of these appliances remains cost effective.
* Tier III – These appliances are considered to be the most energy efficient in each category. The purchase price of these appliances is typically at the high end of the range, and rebates are considered as a primary factor in making them cost effective. When available, rebates on Tier III appliances can be almost twice as much as those awarded for Tier II appliances.

CEE Tier information can reveal significant differences in the energy usage of appliances that have already earned ENERGY STAR certification. These energy savings, when combined with available rebates, can turn relatively expensive appliance purchases into cost effective investments that save money each month.

Tips to Help Your Dishwasher Function Its Best

Image

Every now and then you may find yourself having to run your dishwasher a second time or having to hand wash dishes that have already been run through the dishwasher. Here are some tips to help you avoid this and make your dishwasher run the best it can.

The easiest thing to check on your dishwasher is water temperature. To do this simply turn the water on at the faucet and see how long it takes for hot water to reach the sink. The longer it takes to reach the sink, the less efficient your dishwasher is during that same amount of time. Use your dishwasher when there’s already hot water at the sink and there’s no other hot water being diverted for showers or baths.

Dirty dishes may also be caused by a blocked or slow drain. Since the sink and dishwasher use the same drain you can run the garbage disposal before using the dishwasher to clear any debris.

Putting too much detergent in your dishwasher is another main cause of dishes coming out dirty. Too much detergent will leave a sticky film behind that can cause water stains and will require you to wash the dishes again. Too little detergent and your dishes won’t come clean. When it comes to detergents it’s best to consult your owner’s manual before use.

Something we often miss when loading our dishes are utensils that are too tall. The sprayer arm can hit the tall utensil and stop rotating. The holes in the sprayer arm can also become clogged with calcium buildup. Use a strong brush to remove the calcium buildup and wash tall utensils by hand or lay them across the top rack so they don’t interfere with the spray arm.

The last thing for a homeowner to check on their dishwasher is the condition of the dishwasher’s interior. Every 6 months you should run a cycle with no dishes and no detergent. Calcium, grease, soap and food particles can build up inside the dishwasher and dislodge during cycles to soil dishes. When running the cleaning cycle you should let the bottom fill with water and then add two cups of white vinegar, then continue the wash cycle. This will help loosen up and remove all the damaging particles.

For more information please consult your owner’s manual or give our service department a call to schedule a technician to visit your home.

How to Prevent Bad Tasting Ice Cubes

 

icecubes

Did you notice bad tasting ice cubes over the holidays? Did a friend, neighbor or relative mention your ice didn’t taste right?

Our service department gets phone calls weekly from customers complaining about bad tasting ice and water, but this is rarely a service issue.

Water filters need to be replaced every six months depending on usage and the cleanliness of your water supply. The more water and ice you use, and the harder your water, the more often you need to change the filter.

Water filters should be changed at least every six months so we recommend having a spare filter on hand at all times.

The icemaker water supply goes through the refrigerator before entering the freezer so food spills, unsealed food, and bacteria growth in the refrigerator can cause bad tasting ice as well. The best way to handle these situations is to regularly and thoroughly clean your refrigerator with a baking soda and water mixture. Do not use bleach or ammonia inside a refrigerator. Your owner’s manual will also have manufacturer’s recommended cleaning practices in the use and care section.

If you’ve completed these recommendations and still have bad tasting ice, please call our service department at 757-437-1100 for more recommendations or a service appointment.

Your Major Appliances: One Energy Saving on Habit on Each One that can Lower Utility Bills

Major appliances, even when a household has installed ENERGY STAR rated products, can account for 20 to 30 percent of a household’s energy bills. In temperate climates where heating and cooling are not required on a regular basis, major appliances typically consume an even greater percentage of total energy usage. Fortunately, there are energy savings habits related to each major appliance in the typical household that can reduce energy consumption even further.

* The refrigerator – Keeping temperatures too low in the refrigerator and the freezer can result in a motor that consumes far more energy than is necessary. The optimal temperature for the refrigerator compartment is 38 degrees while the temperature level in freezer should be maintained at 4 degrees. These temperatures can maintain freshness while consuming energy efficiently.
* The dishwasher – The heated drying cycle consumes energy unnecessarily, especially if there isn’t a need to pull dry dishes out of the machine at a specific time. Instead, use the air dry option which uses air blown by fans to dry the wash load.
* The washing machine – Opt for cold water washes whenever possible. In a hot water wash 90 percent of the energy consumed goes to heating water. Defaulting to hot cycles has become unnecessary as advancements in cold water washing detergents can now yield the same results as those of energy consuming hot water cycles. The advanced cleaning capabilities using cold water and cold water detergents now mean that hot water cycles need to only be used when greasy or oily stains need to be removed.

Each of these actions can capitalize on improved efficiencies of today’s appliances. By turning them into habits, you’ll be able to optimize your savings on a monthly basis.

Turning the Replacement of Appliances into an Investment with ENERGY STAR Products

Replacing appliances can be one of the larger expenditures you will make in your home, the planning of which can prove to be a daunting task simply due to challenges of setting a budget and deciding on whether the project is the best use of your family’s hard earned money. What if, instead of being an expenditure, the replacement of these appliances actually turned into an investment that allowed you to save money on a monthly basis? Better yet, what if the level of savings was enough to eventually cover a substantial percentage of the cost of purchasing the appliances that were a part of that project?

While it may sound too good to be true, buying ENERGY STAR rated appliances can do just that. Here’s how:

  • According to ENERGY STAR, a household would save approximately $148 per year by replacing a standard sized refrigerator manufactured in 1990 with an ENERGY STAR rated refrigerator. The savings jump to $200 per year if a refrigerator from the 80’s is replaced.
  • Replacing a dishwasher that was manufactured before 1994 can save about $40 per year, which covers saving in water and electricity usage. Replacing older models pushes savings toward $50 per year.
  • According to the Department of Energy the cost of running an old furnace, especially in the colder areas of the country, can amount to about to about $1,000 per year, or about half of a household’s total expenditures on utility bills. An ENERGY STAR rated replacement furnace can cut the yearly energy bill by half, or about $500 per year.

With yearly savings of approximately $700 on just replacing these three types of appliances, a planned expenditure can start to look like an investment. Better still, households can achieve even more savings with the replacement of old clothes washers, air conditioners, and other dated appliances.