Spring Cleaning: Four Easy Tips for Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Welcome to part two in our Spring Cleaning for Appliances series. This week we’ll be showering our spring cleaning love on refrigerators.

Meaty

That fridge better be clean.

Chances are you clean the inside of your refrigerator every once in a while, but have you ever cleaned the condenser coils? If not, chances are they are so dirty that your refrigerator might not be cooling properly. Dust, pet hair and other gross things can get caught in the compressor fan and cause your refrigerator to get too hot. The coils will either be on the front or behind the fridge, covered by a vent plate. You can clean it with a special condenser-coil brush (found at hardware stores) or a vacuum hose. Unplug it or cut the circuit breaker first.

The door gasket can be wiped down with a mixture of hot water and detergent, as well. For the insides, use a wet sponge to pick up any food residue first. You can use white vinegar to wipe down all the dirty old food spills and then use a dry towel to make it squeaky clean.

If you’ve got a Side by Side fridge with an icemaker/water dispenser, wipe down and clean any residue off the dispenser itself to remove any lime residue. You can also use approved ice-maker cleaner to clean out hard water deposits inside the machine. This will be a good time replace your water filter, too (here’s a video on how).

Next it’s time to defrost the freezer. Again, make sure the power is off. Frost isn’t always bad, but sometimes it can actually make the freezer too cold and cause freezer burn. Empty the freezer’s contents and then wipe down the interior with a solution of 2 tbsp baking soda in 1 quart of hot water. Wipe it down with a dry towel and don’t forget to put all the food back in the freezer.

The refrigerator is fairly easy compared to the dishwasher, huh? There are less moving parts. Do you have any refrigerator cleaning tips that I missed?

Kitchen Appliance Measurements

One of the most overlooked steps in buying an appliance is getting the right measurements. Not all kitchen appliance brands have standard measurements, so getting your kitchen’s specific space requirements should be one of the first steps you take when deciding on a good investment. Some important factors to consider:

  • Keep appliances size-appropriate. Large-capacity models in small kitchens lack visual appeal and practicality.
  • Measure your home’s entry ways so you can be sure you’ll be able to get your new appliance inside the house.
  • Remember to take measurements of width, height and depth of where your appliance will sit.
  • Be aware of the space an appliance will need to open and close.

This is what a counter depth fridge looks like. Photo from TinaRobinsonDesign.com

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Bosch: Pro-Environment Since the Beginning

Bosch has always been energy efficient, and has been committed to environmental protection and resource conservation for 25 years. Being a German company, their appliances have always been engineered to European standards, something that American consumers may not know. Now, however, Bosch is making it known. They’ve recently introduced their “Green Technology Inside” symbol to help consumers identify the most energy efficient appliances they produce.

Green Technology Inside According to the Bosch website, the logo “symbolises our commitment to developing the most efficient home appliances and producing them according to our strict ecological guidelines.”

 Their newly developed product line has dropped energy usage all across the board, without sacrificing performance. The biggest reduction in energy usage was for their line of Refrigerator-Freezers, which use a whopping 61% less energy than their older versions. Their laundry had a 46% drop in energy usage, and their dishwashers, what Bosch is best known for in the U.S., had a 25% drop.

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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 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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Induction Cooktop

When looking for a new cooktop or range there are a lot of things to consider. Probably the most important is what type of heating technology is best: gas, electric, or induction. Traditional cooking technology of radiant heat or gas is common in today’s households but what about induction? What exactly is induction technology?

GE Profile 30" Induction Cooktop

GE Profile 30" Induction Cooktop

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Thanksgiving Recipes

picture courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com

picture courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com

The Holiday Season’s upon us and in celebration we thought that we would share some of our favorite recipes. From turkey dishes to desserts and drinks, we’ve collected various receipes your family will love. These personalized Appliance Factory Outlet cards are designed to add some festive color to your recipe book! 

Beverages:

Main Dishs:

Side Dishs:

Desserts: