Spring Cleaning: Four Easy Tips for Cleaning your Dishwasher

 This is the first article in a series that we’ll be doing to celebrate the coming of Spring: Spring Cleaning for your Appliances!

Appliances need spring cleaning love, too, and cleaning an appliance thoroughly can extend its lifetime significantly.  Spending a small amount of time cleaning the gunk and goo out of your appliance could save you massive amounts of cash in the long run.

Aggh! My arms are too short!

 This week’s article is about cleaning out your dishwasher. Since most people don’t properly rinse their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, this appliance can get clogged by food. You’ve seen when old dishwashers don’t clean properly: bits of food stuck to the underside of your dishes and inside your glasses even after the wash cycle is over. It might be that all you have to do is clean it.

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Samsung Rated Highest in Consumer Satisfaction for Sixth Year in a Row

RF4287HARS Model has fully customizable shelves and 28 cu ft of shelf space to store your food.

The RF4287HARS has customizable shelving with pop-out door shelves to fit all your favorite foods. Image courtesy Samsung.

What makes a great refrigerator? Samsung knows. According to J.D. Power and Associates, Samsung was rated highest in Customer Satisfaction with Refrigerators for the sixth year in a row this year. The highest ranking factors were ease of use, performance and reliability (which includes how well the refrigerator works, how noisy it is and energy efficiency), and features.

 J.D. Power and Associate’s study was based on responses from almost 6,000 consumers who purchased Samsung Refrigerators in the last two years, and what did they like most? Samsung did particularly well in the Side-by-Side and French Door refrigerator categories.  Samsung’s French Doors are unique and stylish, as well as very user-friendly.

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New LG Refrigerator Technology Benefits Consumers, Planet

At a recent trade show in Berlin, LG unveiled its new plan for its line of refrigerators: better Linear Compressor technology. It allows refrigerators to free up space inside while making them more energy efficient, a focus that LG has taken seriously this past year.

 
The new LG LBC20514TT

The LG LBC20514TT refrigerator features the new linear compressor technology in the bottom-mounted freezer. Image courtesy LG.

New Refrigerator Technology Saves Energy, Saves Money, Saves Food
The third-generation designed Linear Compressor in LG’s new bottom-freezer units controls the cooling power of the refrigerator, which makes it 45 percent more efficient than the average A- rated refrigerator in Energy Star’s certification program. Energy Star officially gave the technology an A++ rating in Europe.

All around, the refrigerator is more efficient at preserving food, as well. It includes an Opti Temp Zone which optimizes the temperature in the refrigerator depending on the type of food, and their new Vita Light Zone technology provides internal LED lighting which helps food retain vitamins and nutrients in vegetables and fruit. According to LG, their refrigerator-freezers were also designed to preserve meat’s texture and taste when frozen, and maintain the flavor of foods for longer periods of time, which in turn saves you money on grocery bills.

LG Pushes for Green Appliance Development
This is the first of many products that LG is researching and developing in order to reduce their impact on the planet. LG plans to spend $18 billion in the next 10 years on “greening its operations,” as well as reducing their green house gas emissions by 40 percent, practicing electronics recycling (especially for refrigerators) and producing more efficient, ecofriendly appliances.

Shopping Green Saves You Money in More Ways Than One
LG’s new refrigerators now meet and even beat Energy Star certification thanks to the improved technology as well as other various features. The company offers a 10 year warranty on the third-generation linear compressor inside of their refrigerators, and you can find many of the new bottom-mount and French door styles for brand new at Appliance Factory Outlet. LG is also offering a $100 rebate for purchasing one of their new energy efficient refrigerators, so there’s never been a better time to upgrade your appliance.

New Electrolux Laundry Highlights: Wave-Touch & Largest Capacity Washers & Dryers

Electrolux Wavetouch Colours

The new line of Electrolux Laundry. Courtesy Electrolux

Electrolux is a kingpin in the laundry appliance market—they develop & produce washer/dryer sets that are not only efficient, ingenious and quiet, but they look fabulous, as well. Front load washing machines have been an increasing trend in the market and this is one brand that is leading the pack—and doing it very well.

Front-loading washers used to be the standard in the 1940s and 50s, but were phased out with top-loaders because they caused massive vibration and had to be anchored to the floor to keep them from moving all over the place. Electrolux’s new Perfect Balance System, showcased in their new line of laundry appliances, is the solution for just this problem. This state-of-the- Continue reading

The Subtly Stunning Bosch Dishwasher: Ecofriendly, Clean, Quiet

Bosch Integra 800 Series / courtesy Bosch.com

You’re in the kitchen, grabbing an after-dinner-snack, and question whether or not you forgot to put the dishes in the dishwasher. You look over at the empty kitchen sink and your eyes glide to the dishwasher, and then back to your sink. The dishes aren’t in the sink… but it’s virtually silent in your kitchen. The swish-slosh-swish-slosh sounds you’re used to hearing don’t echo throughout your house anymore after dinner time.

This ain’t your mother’s dishwasher. It’s a Bosch.

And it’s the quietest dishwasher in the world. Continue reading

Going Green with Serta: HGTV Green Home Mattress Collection

These days it is important for everybody to be environmentally conscious, especially businesses. In an effort to offer green products, Serta and HGTV have partnered together to provide a mattress collection that delivers high quality using technologies that recycle materials, cut back on pollution and use organic materials while still remaining affordable. 

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Appliance Dumping: Bad for the Environment, Bad for Taxpayers

Dick Blume / Post-Standard file photo - from Syracuse.com

Dumping an appliance may seem like an easy fix for someone who wants to get rid of their old fridge, but it has some pretty hard consequences not only for the environment, but for you too. Refrigerators are one such example- refrigerants like ammonia, Freon and methane are used in the refrigeration process. They become hazardous when an old, worn out appliance begins to deteriorate in an open environment. Heavy metals like iron and copper make up 50-60% of a fridge’s total weight leaving a huge risk if those heavy metals were to leach into local water systems or rivers. Continue reading

Going Green Part IV: Lighting

Updating to energy efficient lighting is a great way to save money on your energy bill and save you time. In Part IV of Going Green: Lighting I’ll introduce some innovative options to turn your lighting “green”. 

Courtesy of energystar.gov

 

 Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Only 5-10% of the electricity flowing through incandescent bulbs is converted into light, the rest is converted into heat, wasted energy. CFLs use 75 % less energy as an incandescent bulb, and lasts 10 times longer. The bulbs are higher cost but use less energy and have a longer life span. CFLs were commonly used to replace outdoor lighting but now can be used in dimmable or three-way light fixtures. 

Courtesy of energystar.gov

 

LED lights are the most efficient type of bulbs. They are 90% more efficient than incandescent and considerably more efficient than CFLs. LED lights have the longest life out of all bulbs but are also the most expensive. A great application for LED lights in a kitchen is under cabinet lighting. 

 Updating your light bulbs not only save you money in energy usage, they also save on your cooling costs. CFLs produce 75% to 80% less waste heat and LED produce 90% less waste heat compare to incandescent bulbs, resulting in the decrease demand of your air conditioner. 

 Life of a Bulb: 

Incandescent lasts 750 to 1000 hours 

CFL lasts 8000 to 10,000 

LED 6xs longer: 60,000 hours Continue reading

Going Green Part III: Countertops

“Green” countertops are becoming extremely popular in both residential and commercial spaces. Home owners are adding unique green countertops anywhere from custom bars to standard kitchens. In Part III of “Going Green: Countertops” I’ll introduce a selection of sustainable countertop materials of concrete, metal, paper composite, terrazzo, and reclaimed wood, that will meet both your environmental and design needs.
Reclaimed Hardwood Countertops courtesy of http://antiquewoodworks.com//countertops.shtml

Reclaimed Hardwood Countertops courtesy of antiquewoodworks.com

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Going Green Part II: Kitchen Cabinetry

There are many things to keep in mind when renovating your kitchen cabinets. In Part II of “Going Green: Kitchen Cabinetry”, I’ll break down what to look for when considering sustainable cabinetry. Remember to check out Part I of this segment, “Going Green: Sustainable Flooring” for ideas on “green” flooring material.

Green Cabinetry

Courtesy of www.lyptus.com

Courtesy of www.lyptus.com

When looking at installing “green” cabinetry, there are four basic categories to think about: Continue reading

Going Green Part I: Sustainable Flooring

More and more people are renovating their homes and turning to more environmentally friendly products and practices. With the popularity of “going green” gradually increasing there are many more options for homeowners to choose from.

Courtesy of armstrong.com

Courtesy of armstrong.com

In this “Going Green” series I will go through different options from floor to ceiling for achieving a sustainable kitchen.

Flooring

Green flooring has come a long way from the typical linoleum or cork material. With tons of options to choose from, homeowners have the freedom to design the perfect interior space without limiting their flooring options.  Continue reading

How To Make a Holiday Wreath

Garland: A wreath or festoon of flowers, leaves, or other material, worn for ornament or as an honor or hung on something as a decoration.

Create your own Holiday Wreath this Christmas Season

Create your own Holiday Wreath this Christmas Season

Garland is a common holiday decoration, draped upon mantels, wrapped around banisters, or more commonly seen to create holiday wreaths. I took this traditional Christmas embellishment and added my own touch to create a classic looking wreath. Here’s how to make one of your own for under $10: Continue reading