December 18, 2014

The Way to a Woman’s Heart is Through the Kitchen – Yours!

Hey guys – if your Valentine’s Day didn’t turn out as planned you may want to consider wooing your girl with a new kitchen.
The way to a woman’s heart is through your kitchen, according to the research by luxury appliance brand Thermador.

Its survey showed that 83 percent women fall for suitors with a luxury kitchen in their bachelor’s pad. Just 17 percent women go for guys with a fancy car in their garage.

Red convertibles may impress your friends, but they won’t make your Valentine’s heart race and cheeks flush like a top-of-the-line gourmet kitchen, said the luxury appliance maker on the findings of its survey.

In fact, 61 percent of women said a beautiful kitchen would better help them decide whether to ‘heat things up’ in a relationship than a romantic bedroom (38 percent ) or flashy garage (1 percent),” said the statement.

Steve Preiner, director of marketing for Thermador, said, ‘Not only is a well-designed and outfitted kitchen a great way to impress your date, it will also help strengthen your home’s resale value. ‘You can knock thousands of dollars off the value of a new car as soon as you drive it out of the dealership, but investing in a beautiful kitchen with quality appliances will only increase the beauty and the value of your home.”

If you are looking for a first date to turn into a second, then renovating your kitchen and installing luxury handcrafted appliances is the way to go, according to the survey.

But having an impressive kitchen is only part of the story, said the survey, adding that a lover also needs to be a good cook to impress his girl.

Forty-six percent women ‘swoon over men who can cook” and 44 percent over ‘who are fit, ” according to the survey findings.

Just one percent women are impressed by the guys who drive nice cars.

Dishwasher Buying Guide – Special Features You May – Or May Not Need

Dishwashers come with many options to help you get sparkling clean dishes. Some come standard on a basic machine and some will add considerably to the price of your new dishwasher. Read on to see what Consumer Reports had to say about these features.

Adjustable racks and loading aids
Racks that adjust up or down, adjustable tines, and silverware and stemware holders let you reconfigure the interior and organize the contents. Those devices increase flexibility, especially when you cook for a crowd, and they can help accommodate large and oddly shaped items.

Dirt sensor
It adjusts water use and cycle length to soil level. A dirt sensor can improve efficiency, but not all work well.

Rinse/hold cycle
It lets you rinse dirty dishes before you’re ready to start a full cycle. This cycle can reduce odors and prevents soil from setting while you accumulate enough dirty dishes for a full load.

Filters
These keep wash water free of food that could be redeposited on clean dishes. There are two types: self-cleaning and manual.
Most filters are self-cleaning; a grinder pulverizes the debris and flushes it down the drain. That’s convenient but noisy. Some models have a filter without a grinder. It’s quieter, but it needs periodic cleaning, a job that takes a few minutes. It’s your choice.

Special wash cycles
Most dishwashers come with at least three cycles: light, normal, and heavy (pots and pans). Some offer pot-scrubber, soak/scrub, steam clean, china/crystal, or sanitizing cycles as well. The three basic cycles should be enough for most chores–even for baked-on food. A sanitizing option that raises water temperature above the typical 140° F doesn’t necessarily clean better.

Stainless-steel tub
Steel is more durable than plastic, but models with a plastic tub tend to cost far less. While light-colored plastic might become discolored, gray-speckled plastic should resist staining. Even a plastic tub should last longer than most people keep a dishwasher.

Hidden touchpad controls
Controls mounted along the top edge of the door are strictly a styling touch. They’re hidden when the door is closed. You can’t see cycle progress at a glance. (Partially hidden controls are a good compromise. They show that the machine is running and often display remaining cycle time.)

Appliance Prices Are Going Up

Top appliance makers Whirlpool and Electrolux are raising prices to pass soaring raw material costs on to customers, but their attempts may not pass muster with bargain-hungry shoppers.

According to Reuters, both companies reported quarterly profits that fell short of estimates as they grapple with tepid demand in major markets like the United States and Europe.
Many analysts questioned the timing of the move, especially since consumers in the developed world continue to look for incentives to buy expensive goods like appliances.

Korean manufacturer Samsung has not announced increases and appears to be planning to hold existing prices. Still, Whirlpool’s chief executive, Jeff Fettig, insisted it was not “economically feasible” for Whirlpool to remain indefinitely in the promotional mindset it adopted for the holiday season and last year in general. “For 2011, we expect positive but uneven demand levels around the world,” Fettig said, adding the company still hoped to expand operating margins in the year through price increases and boosts in productivity.

LG Electronics does plan an increase as well. The planned price increase matches moves announced earlier by Whirlpool and Electrolux.

Whirlpool has shut plants, cut jobs and moved some manufacturing to lower cost centers like Mexico. It has also started using common parts across its lineup of dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines.

Electrolux, which sells under its own name as well as the Zanussi and Frigidaire brands, is planning to raise prices by 8 percent to 10 percent in North America starting in April and gradually in Europe and other markets. The move comes as manufacturers around the globe plot price increases to offset higher materials costs and regain ground lost in the recession. Electrolux Chief Executive Keith McLoughlin said the rise in raw materials’ costs had been across the board.

Dacor Introduces the Distinctive 24″ Microwave and the Epicure 36″ Raised Ventilation System

Dacor has just introduced two new products – the Distinctive 24” Microwave and the Epicure 36” Raised Ventilation System.

Available in stainless steel, the Distinctive 24” Microwave is a classic combination of form and functionality, with an affordable price that has become a signature of the Distinctive Series. Equipped with state-of-the-art Sensor Technology the Distinctive Microwave takes the guesswork out of cooking by detecting the moisture and humidity level of the food inside and cooking it accordingly. A built-in electronic sensor automatically sets the time for cooking or reheating and then “senses” the vapor emitted from the food to determine the duration and power level needed to thoroughly cook the food.

In addition, the Menu Label is clearly displayed on the inside of the oven door, providing a functional list of automatic settings to assist in meal preparation and take the guesswork out of cooking. Users no longer have to worry that food is burning or remains cold in the center. The Distinctive Microwave also comes with pre-set options for recipes that can be made directly in the microwave. Complete with recipe cards so home chefs can prepare the ingredients, the Microwave display prompts users on the recipe’s next step. During the cooking process the microwave displays recipe instructions and pauses automatically to allow users to stir, season, or add ingredients as necessary. The Auto Start option allows users to program the oven to begin cooking at a pre-set time and power level. Food can be placed inside, and the menu used to set the appropriate time and power level.

Additional features of the 24” Distinctive Microwave:

Keep Warm – keeps hot foods heated up to 30 minutes after cooking is finished with no loss of quality

Four Defrost Options – quickly defrosts meats and poultry by weight. Specific programs for each category assure excellent, even results

Minute Plus – provides users one minute of high power cooking with a single touch

36” Epicure Ventilation System

An efficient, high-quality ventilation system is essential to improving air quality in the kitchen. Ventilation Systems not only eliminate kitchen odors, but also help to control the humidity in a kitchen, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. The 36” Epicure Ventilation System offers a stylish solution for homeowners who need a ventilation system but do not want the look of a large hood hanging from the ceiling. Designed in stainless steel, this innovative ventilation system is installed under the counter and remains out of view when not in use. When needed, the system rises 15” above the countertop to efficiently remove smoke and other cooking odors. When finished, the touch of a button lowers the system back into the surface of the counter for a clear, uncluttered countertop. The ventilation system’s slim profile makes it versatile and allows it to be installed behind an oven/cooktop combination.
Dacor specially designed the Epicure Ventilation System to compliment the Distinctive Cooktop and Distinctive Rangetop. The system has an infinite speed blower control and must be vented with a Remote Blower or In Line Blower, which reduce kitchen noise, or a Cabinet Blower. Powerful and efficient design allows Dacor blowers to easily remove the most persistent and dense kitchen pollutants – from heat and odor to steam and smoke.

The Distinctive 24” Microwave rolls out to authorized Dacor dealers in February 2011 with UMRP starting at $459 while the Epicure 36” Raised Ventilation System will be available to dealers in March 2011 and has a UMRP starting at $979.

New GE Profile and GE Café Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators

Dining in can be delicious. And it’s a good thing, because in these money- and health-conscious times, many of us are doing it more often.

Nearly half of Americans, or 46 percent, say they’re dining out less frequently, according to a 2009 Nielsen survey. Also reflecting a trend toward meals served at home, household spending increased on deli items, fresh seafood and meat, and produce for the year ending September 2009. And, as any kid will tell you, some meals at home include leftovers — at least once a week in 77 percent of households, according to a 2010 report by the National Grocers Association.

Regardless of what you’re putting on the dinner table, a key ingredient is convenient food storage. New GE Profile and GE Café bottom-freezer refrigerators not only help preserve your favorite foods for home cooking, they also make it easier than ever for your family to serve themselves — thanks to convenient storage features and an improved ice-and-water-dispenser.

Refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom are increasingly popular, in part because of the convenience they offer in organizing and accessing both fresh and frozen foods. Having the fresh food compartment at eye level allows family members to easily help themselves to frequently used fruits and vegetables, deli items and drinks. In the freezer compartment, slide-out drawers and baskets allow a variety of frozen food packages to be seen at a glance and quickly retrieved.

“Another advantage is that the freezer is wider than in a side-by-side refrigerator,” says Dan Capelle, GE Appliances product manager. “The freezer area is the full width of the refrigerator, providing room for larger items, such as a whole turkey, pizzas, a tray of frozen appetizers, or extra bags of ice.”

Sales of bottom-freezer refrigerators increased more than 40 percent in 2010 alone, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. “Consumers love not only the convenience, but also the style and appearance of these models,” says GE’s Jeff Cooksey, marketing manager for refrigeration.

The new line of GE Profile and GE Café models also features more capacity for ice storage, thanks to a new design that places the water and ice dispenser in the door of the refrigerator. In addition, this frees up more usable space in the fresh food area.

The new line of GE Profile and Café bottom-freezer refrigerators will be available to consumers on May 11, 2011.

Models are available in freestanding, counter-depth, and armoire styles.

LG’s Android Wants to Control Your Appliances

LG, in a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, showed examples of web-connected washing machines, refrigerators, ovens and a robot vacuum substantially improved with Android apps on tablets or smartphones.

“This is the first time the industry has actually had the infrastructure to support the technology for smart appliances,” said Patrick Steinkuhl, head of LG’s home appliances division.

Steinkuhl explained that Wi-Fi connections and apps would enable appliances to be much “smarter” than they are now. On an oven equipped with an Android tablet, you could download a recipe that instructs the oven to automatically change temperatures to provide optimal cooking results for a turkey, for example.

“Imagine an oven that is so smart that on the day of the big game it’s able to send you a text message saying ‘Hey, your roast is about done. Better get to the kitchen,” Steinkuhl said.

Another example he raised was a robot vacuum that could use an Android app to learn the precise dimensions of your home to know exactly which points have and haven’t been cleaned yet.

Apps could also improve energy efficiency in refrigerators, Steinkuhl added.

LG said it plans to sell some of these new appliances this year, but the company hasn’t yet disclosed a price. The question is – are they worth the money?

Ten Money Saving Tips – Read This Before You Buy

Here are some handy tips to consider if you really want to save money on your next appliance purchase:

1. Buy Last Year’s Model
If you don’t mind owning last year’s model, you can shave hundreds of dollars off of your appliance purchase. Best time to shop: September and October when stores are under pressure to clear space for the new arrivals.

2. Shop the Scratch and Dents
A small scratch or dent could become your best friend if you’re on a tight budget. Ask the sales associate if they have any damaged appliances for sale. Then, survey the damaged models to decide what you are willing to live with – even the smallest blemish can net big savings.

3. Buy What You Need
Have you ever noticed how the most expensive appliance models are typically the first that you come to in the store? No coincidence, I assure you. To keep yourself from falling for the latest bells and whistles, make a list of what you need before you venture into the stores. Then, buy the cheapest model that meets those needs. Just remember: that refrigerator with the built-in TV isn’t going to keep your food any colder.

4. Do a Trade-In
It’s no secret that trading in your car can save you money on a new car purchase, but did you know that you can sometimes do the same thing with your appliances? Check with appliance dealers in your area to see if any accept trade-ins. Then, find out how much your current appliance is worth. It could just be your ticket to a bargain.

5. Shop the Sales
Find something you like, but not thrilled with the price? Ask a sales associate when your pick is scheduled to go on sale. Waiting a week or two could be all it takes to reduce your purchase price by 25%. September and October are the best months to make major purchases but the second-best time is during the holidays. Merchants offer deep discounts at Christmas, when consumers want to spiff up their homes for the holidays. Also keep an eye out for sales on the less-celebrated weekends, like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and Labor Day.

6. Look for a Package Deal
Need a washer and dryer or all new appliances for your kitchen? If so, an appliance package could be your biggest source of savings. Retailers frequently bundle appliances to boost sales, and these packages can offer significant savings over the price of purchasing each item individually.

7. Buy a Floor Model
Do you mind if your new appliance comes without a box? If not, consider purchasing a floor model. You’ll enjoy the same warranty that you’d get with a new-in-box item, without the new-in-box price. Sacrifice a little cardboard and save a lot.


8. Shop Box Stores

Shopping warehouse and box stores can be hit or miss. Sometimes you get a great deal and other times you may pay more. When it comes to appliances, however, you may be surprised at the bargains you can find. Such stores don’t usually honor price matches so what you see is what you get. Before hitting these cut-rate stores, research prices and quality online.

9. Avoid Rentals
It’s tempting to pay just $20 a week for a new refrigerator, but the interest you’ll pay for a rent-to-own appliance means you end up paying much more than the purchase price. These retailers thrive on consumers who pay the minimum amount each month or end up reneging on payments and losing the appliance.

10. Surf Craigslist
Keep an eye on the appliances section for low prices on brand new appliances. Dealers sometimes advertise their overstocks on Craigslist. Look for “dealer” notations to know if you’re working with a store and not a private seller. Realtors and remodeling contractors also offer new or nearly new appliances. You’ll likely have to manage your own delivery and installation, however.

Credit to about.com and couponshepa.com

LG Electronics Debuts New Four Door French-Door Refrigerator

LG’s new four-door refrigerator, with an ultra-large capacity of nearly 28 cubic feet, is among the largest in the industry. This LG model offers the most refrigerator shelf space available, even more than refrigerators with a larger claimed capacity. The refrigerator compartment can accommodate up to 47 gallons of milk and provides ample space for the entire family’s favorite foods, as well as keeps them conveniently organized and within reach.

Innovations such as the Slim SpacePlus Ice System allow for more shelf space providing greater organization and access for consumers. This innovation moves the icemaker from the top shelf of the refrigerator to the door, which is compact enough to also include door bin shelves, allowing for maximum refrigerator shelf space.

Additional convenience features of this four-door model include two bottom freezer drawers. With these two separate freezer drawers, consumers have easy, organized access to the things they need often—and an ample lower compartment that is perfect for larger items or longer-term storage.

The refrigerator’s upgraded Four Compartment Crisper System is designed to help keep fresh foods organized and ensure every fruit, vegetable and soda has its place. With three top drawers – two of which are humidity-controlled – and a fourth Glide N’ Serve drawer below, there is greater organization and easier access. The extra tall ice and water dispensing center, measures 12.6 inches, among the tallest in the industry. A slide-out pitcher rest makes filling uniquely shaped and assorted sized pitchers and glasses easy, including coffee pots and sports bottles.

LG’s Four-Door French-Door Refrigerator Evolution…Converta Drawer

With this latest model, LG has transformed the concept of the four-door refrigerator with a unique Converta Freezer Drawer, which allows the top freezer drawer to be used as extra refrigerator space if needed. This delivers new flexibility options previously unavailable to consumers, and is especially helpful for entertaining at home when extra space is often desired. Additionally, this drawer can operate at numerous temperatures, including at a “soft freeze” setting to safely thaw meat and poultry. With the Converta drawer set to refrigerator mode, this model can accommodate up to 53 gallons of milk, nearly 13 percent more than the already-spacious refrigerator section alone. This is more fresh-food storage space than any other freestanding French-door refrigerator on the market.

In addition to the convenience of Converta Drawer, this refrigerator includes an auto open/close freezer drawer option. This enables users to automatically open and close the bottom freezer drawers with the touch of a button, making it easier to access food items or unload groceries. The drawers also have an assisted open/close function; a slight push or pull on the drawer will prompt it to open/close by itself. A Safety Interruption feature stops automatic closing if a child’s hand or any obstacles are in the way.

Stainless Steel Never Looked So Green…Linear Compressor Technology

To achieve maximum efficiency, LG redesigned the refrigerator’s compressor, the element that uses the most energy. Typically, the refrigerator’s compressor is either running at full capacity or off completely; however, LG’s Linear Compressor can vary output depending on need, saving eight to 17 percent in energy usage compared to previous models with conventional compressors. This technology leads to fewer temperature swings, which means consumers use less energy and spend less money. LG’s Energy Star rated refrigerator is 20 percent more efficient than the minimum federal standard. The compressor is backed with a 10-year warranty, so consumers can be confident their home will be environmentally friendly for years to come.

LG’s new French-door refrigerator (Model: LMX28994) is available at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $3,299.