June 22, 2017

Archives for January 2010

High-Tech Transparent Toaster

Have you heard the phrase “It’s as exciting as watching paint dry?”
Well this toaster has that activity beat. Now you can sit and watch your toast brown.

Bread is placed between two sheets of heated glass and cooked in full view so you can eject your slice at the perfect moment. No more burnt toast, or re-toasts (You know those – when the toast is not quite done enough so you put it back in and end up with charcoal.)

A traditional timer dial caters for users who are too busy to keep an eye on their bread. The kitchen appliance has a chrome base and neatly cut glass, meaning it should not look out of place in any modern kitchen.

The design allows for only one slice to be toasted at a time and the glass might be difficult to keep sparkling clean.

But it’s a better use of time than watching the grass grow.

Daewoo Sale

(Reuters) Creditors of South Korea’s Daewoo Electronics have chosen five candidates including Electrolux (ELUXb.ST) and Ripplewood to buy the appliance maker in a preliminary bidding, a local media report said.

It is the fourth attempt to sell creditors-owned Daewoo Electronics, once a flagship of the failed Daewoo Group.

MoneyToday said that Daewoo’s creditors shortlisted five viable candidates among those who submitted letters of intent — Sweden’s appliance giant Electrolux, U.S. private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings, South Korean cooking appliance maker Tong Yang Magic (023020.KQ), a Middle East firm and an appliance player in Mexico.

An official at Daewoo’s leading creditor Woori Bank confirmed creditors had received multiple letters of intent but declined to identify any preliminary bidder. The final bidding will take place in March, MoneyToday said, citing industry sources.

After earlier sale attempts had failed, Daewoo Electronics sold off its non-core businesses to focus on its profitable washing machines and refrigerators businesses.

In the previous rounds, Ripplewood was the latest contender but talks with the U.S. firm collapsed in January in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Prior to that, creditors also held failed negotiations with a consortium of India’s Videocon Industries (VEDI.BO) and RHJ International (RHJI.BR), the holding company for Ripplewood, as well as a private equity unit of Morgan Stanley (MS.N).

Unlisted Daewoo was placed under a debt rescheduling program after its parent group went bankrupt in 1999. It competes with bigger local rivals Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and LG Electronics (066570.KS) as well as low-priced Chinese producers, and generates more than 80 percent of its sales abroad

Bosch at 2010 International Builders Show

Bosch is taking part in the International Builders Show 2010 with a live, full-kitchen installed with cooking and cleaning products. This real-installation will demonstrate how Bosch appliances can help any home project achieve higher standards in water- and energy-efficiency.

Bosch is the only US appliance manufacturer with entire product lines of ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers, washers and refrigeration. Bosch appliances featured in the IBS home include:

    800 Plus Dishwasher: The 800 Plus uses as little as 2 gallons of water per cycle, 70 percent less than the average dishwasher, and operates on only 180 kWh/y of energy, an industry best.
    800 Series Vision Laundry: Vision features the most energy- and water-efficient brand of full size front-load washers in the U.S.
    800 Series Linea Refrigeration: The ENERGY STAR-qualified Linea side-by-side refrigeration features Eco and Vacation cooling modes to help reduce energy costs compared to continual operation in standard mode.
    800 Series Gas Cooktop: 24% of all Bosch gas cooktops are made of recycled materials, the highest amount among all steel suppliers in the industry. Additionally, 95% of the cooktop can be recycled when retired.
    800 Series Double Wall Oven: make the most out of energy and time with Genuine European Convection®, which allows for the cooking of an entire meal all at once without the transfer of flavor or aromas.

Bosch is also launching its “Green Technology Inside” initiative at IBS. While Bosch takes great pride in its green manufacturing practices, the reality is 90% of the environmental impact from a home appliance occurs in the home from use. Bosch is launching the Green Technology Inside icon and designation to make it easier for appliance shoppers to identify its most water- and energy-efficient appliances.

“The ‘Green Technology Inside’ program quantifies energy and water savings to give shoppers the confidence that the Bosch appliance they are purchasing delivers the ultimate in efficiency,” said John Farley, senior brand and environmental marketing manager, Bosch.

Appliances achieving the Green Technology Inside designation include:
Vision washers, which utilize EcoSmart™ sensors to continuously monitor and adjust the cycle for optimized operation. Combined with the ActiveWater™ system, Vision washers uses just 13 gallons of water per load while delivering the cleaning power of 400 gallons.
Bosch dishwashers, which are the most efficient available in each price class Bosch offers product. In fact, Bosch recently launched the 800 Plus – the most energy- and water-efficient dishwasher in the U.S.

Use Appliance Cash For Clunkers or Repair

So many people have been looking forward to replacing their appliances with new ones using the government’s appliance rebate program, but a new appliance may not be your wisest choice according to Angie Hicks of angieslist.com.

Under the new program, consumers will receive a rebate – expected to be between $50-$200 per appliance – in return for getting rid of old energy-consuming appliances and purchasing new appliances certified as energy efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

“A good rule of thumb to determine if you should repair or replace an appliance is to look at the age factor and the cost of repair,” Hicks said. “The average price of a service call is between $60-100 before parts and labor. Many companies will deduct their call charge from the total bill if you hire them to make the needed repairs. However, if a repair will cost more than half the cost of the new appliance and the unit is more than six or seven years old, you’re probably better off replacing it.”

That’s when the Cash for Appliances program could really benefit those in need of an upgrade. In addition to the Cash for Appliances rebate, some states and local utility districts already offer rebates for purchases of energy efficient appliance, leading to even more savings.

States have the flexibility to select which appliances to include in their programs and the individual rebate amount for each appliance, however, the Department of Energy recommends that states and territories focus on heating and cooling equipment, appliances, and water heaters, which offer the greatest energy savings potential. States had until Oct. 15 to present the DOE with a plan for how they want to implement their respective programs. The rebates were to go into effect in late November.

The distribution formula for the $300 million program is about $1 for every resident in a given state. California, for example, would receive about $35 million to allocate to the program, while Wyoming would receive about $500,000. Unlike the popular “Cash for Clunkers” vehicle rebate program, consumers will not be required to trade in their old appliances. The DOE, however, is encouraging states to develop recycling plans in their proposals.

“This program is designed to help spur economic growth, create jobs, make homes more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Hicks said. “Part of being environmentally friendly is to use products as long as possible, so we’re not filling up landfills with unnecessary waste. So, if your appliance is worth fixing and you can get several more years out of it, repair might be the way to go.”

Angie’s 10 questions to ask to determine whether to replace or repair an appliance:

    Is it really broken? The trouble may be a short in the plug, a tripped circuit breaker, or a bad surge-protector outlet. Check the troubleshooting section of the unit’s instruction manual for the most common problems and solutions.

    How old is the appliance?

    Have you had trouble with the unit before?
    If it’s performed well, it might be worth fixing instead of replacing with something unproven.

    How much will it cost to repair the unit?

    What would a similar appliance cost?

    Are there any hidden costs to purchase (removal, installation, disposal, tax, etc.)?

    How difficult is it to replace the appliance (Is it a built-in)?

    What additional features will I get with the new appliance?

    What energy savings will I get with the new appliance?
    Will they offset the cost of a new appliance vs. repair?

    What tax credits are available for purchasing an energy efficient unit? Will they offset the cost of a new appliance vs. repair?

Angie’s List went to the experts for their estimates on the average life of major appliances:

10-15 years for refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers.

10-20 years for ovens, ranges, and water heaters.

15-20 years for central air-conditioning unit

Sears Introduces Next-Gen Laundry Line

Sears is launching a redesigned line of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite high-efficiency front load washers featuring “smart motion” technology that’s gentler on fabrics while improving cleaning performance.

The smart motion feature is based on an agile direct-drive motor that creates five unique wash motions by precisely controlling the action of the drum. The motions are custom combined for each wash cycle, providing the proper amount of cleansing agitation for each garment type, whether it’s lingerie, denim or rugged work wear.

The five motions include:

tumbling, a conventional wash motion where clothes are moved from the bottom of the drum to the top of the drum in a large, circular motion;

rolling, in which clothes are gently moved in a small circle along the bottom of the drum, keeping them immersed in water;

scrubbing, in which the drum alternates direction causing friction between the clothes, creating a scrubbing effect while keeping clothes immersed in water;

swinging, in which clothes are gently tossed side-to-side for a delicate hand-wash effect, and;

stepping, in which clothes are lifted to the top of the drum and then dropped sharply to the bottom of the drum.

The system also incorporates an innovative square door design, new curves, intuitive controls using color and sound cues, and new designer colors including ginger and chili pepper. The line, which is rolling out now through December, features seven washers (with matching dryers). Retail price will range from $800 for a 3.6-cubic-foot drum with eight wash cycles, to a 4.5-cubic-foot capacity unit with 14 wash cycles at $1,600.

Dishwasher Lasagna

If you read our post on cooking a turkey in the dishwasher and you tried it, we have a second cooking adventure for you: A Lasagna!

A man named Pete at The Warp and The Weft has the whole project mapped out. We’ll share some of it here for you:

The basic steps are as follows and can be found at wikihow.com:

Ingredients:
* 1/2 jar of favorite pasta sauce
* 3 fresh lasagna pasta sheets (or ‘oven ready’ lasagna sheets)
* 1/2 16.8 oz container of Ricotta cheese
* 1/2 package of mixed grated cheese
* 1 cup freshly chopped spinach
* Garlic
* Onion flakes
* Fine herbs

Steps

1.
Cut three 24-inch x 12-inch sheets of aluminum foil and lie flat.
2.
Take first lasagna sheet and place flat it in the center of the aluminum foil.
3.
Spread a thick layer of pasta sauce over the sheet, covering the entire surface.
4.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese and spinach and layer half the mixture on top of the tomato sauce.
5.
Layer desired amount of grated cheese, along with fine herbs, garlic, and onion flakes.


6.
Top with second lasagna sheet and repeat all layers.
7.
Cut third lasagna sheet into strips about 3/8-inch wide and layer on top of lasagna in a criss cross fashion. Top with herbs and spices.
8.
Wrap lasagna tightly in the foil by taking the longest sides of the foil and bringing them to meet above the lasagna.
9.
Fold the edges of the foil together to make a ‘paper bag’ effect (like that you would when folding a brown paper lunch bag)above the lasagna. Begin to fold the edges together downward until you are just above the lasagna.
10.
Flatten the foil out above the lasagna and fold in the remaining sides like a present, first the sides, then the middle.
11.
Place the wrapped lasagna flat in your dishwasher on the bottom rack.


12. Set dishwasher to normal cycle and select ‘heated dry’ and ‘sanitize; settings for maximum heat.

13.Wait for the cycle to complete, then carefully remove lasagna from foil and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Pete ran into a couple glitches, let us know how yours turns out!

New Refrigerator Design Reflects Consumers’ Attitudes

As stated in Twice, consumers are starting to emerge from their economic doldrums, and the renewed optimism is beginning to be reflected in more colorful and eclectic kitchen designs.

According to Thom Filicia, award-winning interior designer and host of Style Network’s “Dress My Nest,” who put his observations into practice with a recently rolled-out refrigerator line for Amana, “People are feeling more confident, and they want color that’s fresh and optimistic but still grounded and earthy.”

What’s more, the mixing and matching of favorite colors and patterns, which is a given in apparel and other rooms of the home, has finally migrated to America’s kitchens. “Consumers are no longer necessarily buying their kitchen appliances in matching suites,” Filicia observed. “People like eclecticism, and they’re mixing it up by bringing more personality and an emotional connection into the kitchen.”

“Appliances don’t have to match,” he said. “They just need to coordinate and look good.”

Filicia, who gained national celebrity as a member of the personal makeover squad in TV’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” said examples of this new kitchen eclecticism can be found in appliances from Viking, Jenn-Air and Amana, which employ a host of finishes and colors.

His own refrigerator collection for Amana includes such designs as Green Tea, a leaf pattern inspired by room color; Mojo, a striped design with bold colors; Inked, an etched pattern suggestive of body art; and Corduroy, which was inspired by classic fashion and textured like fabric.

“The refrigerator has become part of the fashion of the home,” Filicia said.

The kitchen connection was underscored by a recent Amana survey of 1,000 consumers, who identified it as the No. 1 room they would most like to see get a design facelift. The majority of respondents also identified the kitchen as the hub of their home, and while nearly a third chose the room as the best for entertaining, only 17 percent believe their kitchen best represents their sense of style, suggesting new opportunities for appliance manufacturers.