September 20, 2014

Mom Can Win New Appliances

Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer hhgregg (NYSE:HGG) announced that it will be celebrating Mother’s Day by inviting customers to enter its Frigidaire kitchen appliance package giveaway. From April 26th-May 5th, one contestant will be selected daily to receive $100 hhgregg gift card and all contestants will be registered for the chance to win the grand prize; a kitchen appliance package that includes a refrigerator, range, dishwasher and microwave.

hhgregg’s Mother’s Day giveaway will also support the heart health of moms everywhere. For each Facebook “like” hhgregg receives during this time frame, the company will donate $1 to The American Heart Association’s “My Heart. My Life” fund, up to $20,000. A minimum of $10,000 will be donated.

“We wanted to honor mothers everywhere this year by not only hosting an exciting giveaway, but by giving back to the American Heart Association, a wonderful organization that promotes healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Jeff Pearson, Vice President of Marketing, hhgregg.

To register for the Mother’s Day Giveaway, please visit www.hhgregg.com/hhgives.

To “like” hhgregg on Facebook, and have $1 donated to The American Heart Association, please visit www.facebook.com/hhgreg

Recall: Liebherr Built-In Refrigerators Due to Injury Hazard; Door Can Detach

Name of Product: Liebherr Built-In 30-Inch Wide Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Units: About 5,702 units

Importer: Liebherr-Canada Ltd of Ontario, of Canada

Manufacturer: Liebherr-Hausgeraete Lienz GmbH, of Austria

Hazard: The refrigerator’s door can detach, posing an injury hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Liebherr has received ten reports of doors detaching. No injuries reported.

Description: This recall involves Liebherr built-in 30-inch wide bottom freezer refrigerators with model and index numbers listed below. The refrigerators were sold individually or as side-by-side companion units. The refrigerators come in stainless steel and various custom finishes and are built into the kitchen cabinetry. “Liebherr” is written on the top interior control panel. The model number can be found on a label located behind the bottom drawer on the left interior side of the single door refrigerator.

Model Number Index Number
C 1600
16 / 137
16A / 137
C 1601
15 / 237
15A / 237
15B / 237
15F / 237
15G / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
CI 1600
15G / 137
16 / 137
16A / 137
CI 1601
15 / 237
15A / 237
15B / 237
15F / 237
15G / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
C 1650
15 / 137
15A / 137
15B / 137
15C / 137
15D / 137
15H / 137
15I / 137
16 / 137
16A / 137
16B / 137
C 1651
15A / 237
15B / 237
15C / 237
15D / 237
15H / 237
15I / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
16B / 237
CI 1650
15 / 137
15A / 137
15B / 137
15C / 137
15D / 137
15H / 137
15I / 137
16 / 137
16A / 137
16B / 137
CI 1651
15A / 237
15B / 237
15C / 237
15D / 237
15H / 237
15I / 237
16 / 237
16A / 237
16B / 237
CI 1700
14A / 137

Sold by: Appliance and specialty retailers nationwide from February 2004 through January 2011 for between $4,400 and $5,000.

Manufactured in: Austria

Remedy: Consumers with recalled refrigerators should contact Liebherr immediately to schedule a free in-home repair. Consumers should check their refrigerator immediately to see whether the door hinge pin has become loose as indicated by a popped up hinge pin at the top or bottom. If the hinge has not become loose and the door is functioning properly, consumers may continue to use the refrigerator until it is repaired.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Liebherr toll-free at (877) 337-2653 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT or visit Liebherr’s website at www.liebherr.us

Truth in Appliance Energy Labeling

Those yellow energy guide labels we all rely on to pick energy efficient appliances, have come under scrutiny from the US Department of Energy (DOE). As we wrote about in November, manufacturers covet the EnergyStar label and use the yellow sticker to entice buyers.

Those labels may not be as accurate as you think. A review of previous filings for the labels found instances of missing or incorrect information.

The DOE addressed the problem this month by giving manufacturers 30 days to provide accurate information on their products’ energy use. Also, it promised to take a tougher stance to enforce energy-efficiency standards.

The agency said makers of such products as refrigerators, dishwashers and air conditioners have until Jan. 8 to provide the information, which is primarily used to certify that the appliances meet minimum energy-efficiency standards

Whirlpool’s New Latitude French Door Fridge

Ever wonder why a family of four needs seven kinds of juice? Whirlpool brand knows different lifestyles call for different tastes. Now, playing the balancing act with groceries, leftovers and gallons of milk are a thing of the past with the new Whirlpool Latitude French door refrigerator.

The Latitude refrigerator was developed with consumers’ needs in mind, offering 10 percent more space in the refrigeration compartment compared to similar size models while maintaining the same external dimensions. With 27 cu. ft. of capacity, the Latitude refrigerator is expansive, boasting the industry’s most usable interior refrigeration space based on shelf and door bin surface area, including deeper door bins, extra shelf space and an easy-to-access in-door ice maker with removable bucket. The Latitude refrigerator also includes an option to drop the refrigerator and/or freezer temperature to accommodate new food additions, all while garnering an ENERGY STAR qualification.

A recent survey commissioned by Whirlpool Corporation found that 53 percent of adults believe the refrigerator is the appliance that uses the
most energy in their home on a day-to-day basis. However, according to ENERGY STAR, a new ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator saves enough energy to light the average household for more than 4.5 months (when replacing a refrigerator bought before 1990).

“We know that consumers want more room in their refrigerators to help manage the varying tastes of their families. With that in mind, we have designed the Latitude refrigerator to not only hold several jugs of juice and milk in each door bin, but to help make consumers’ daily lives just a little bit easier with smart solutions like an exterior dual pad dispenser with measured fill. It gives consumers the ability to dispense the exact amount of water needed for a recipe or morning coffee,” said Carolyn Torres, Whirlpool refrigeration brand manager. “Even with the added interior space and intuitive features, such as a power outage alert, the Latitude refrigerator helps conserve energy and saves money on utility bills, without sacrificing performance.”

The Latitude refrigerator brings consumers’ kitchens several innovative
features, including dispensing an exact amount of water, measured in cups, liters or ounces with a rotating faucet that allows consumers the ability to fill tall and odd-shaped containers with ease; a power outage alert that notifies consumers that there has been a power outage and the duration so they know whether or not food is safe to eat; and, the Fast Cool option, which immediately drops refrigerator and/or freezer temperatures to accommodate new food.

The Latitude refrigerator is available in white, black, stainless steel and Satina finish with an MSRP starting at $2,599.

Should You Buy a New Refrigerator?

You can find good information about appliances in large and small news outlets. I recently found a clear, simple explanation in the Cape Cod Times of why it could be worthwhile to replace a refrigerator even if it seems to be running perfectly.

Thanks to updates to federal energy appliance standards, all of today’s major home appliances do use much less energy. If you’ve got a product you use often like a refrigerator, washing machine or other major home appliance that is 10 to 15 years old or more, you’ll probably offset the purchase price of a new one by saving enough money on its energy use in the coming years.

I know it might not seem to make a lot of sense, especially in today’s economy, to replace a major appliance that seems to be working well just because it’s old. But this could cut monthly utility bills substantially.

Just like the purchase price of a new car is actually what you pay the dealer to buy it, pay the mechanic over time to maintain it, and pay the gas station over time to fuel it, appliances also need to be viewed as having the same types of actual costs.

A new refrigerator, for example, that carries the government’s ENERGY STAR designation showing that it greatly exceeds current minimum standards will probably save $1,000 or more over its lifetime compared to an older model.

The yellow EnergyGuide labels that come with major appliances show the estimated annual energy consumption of the model and other information regarding its energy efficiency. They also show where the appliance fits into the range of energy consumption of comparable products.

Most new appliances probably will last for many years, and energy-efficient models will continue to pay you back with lower energy costs over their lifetimes.

Check out the ENERGY STAR Web site that gives information on special offers, sales tax exemptions or credits, rebates and other discounts on energy-efficient products in your area at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction rebate.rebate—locator.

You also ought to look around your home to see how many products you’ve got plugged into electrical outlets. About 20 percent of the average family’s utility bill goes toward powering these home appliances. It’ll help you appreciate the importance of buying efficient products.

One shopping tip that can help save money is to buy only the features you need. If you figure a certain-sized refrigerator is best for your family, don’t be tempted to get a bigger one. Will you use the through-the-door water dispenser or the ice maker? If so, they can be great features. If not, they add not only to the purchase price but to the unit’s energy use as well.

The bottom line is simple. When buying an appliance for your home, keep in mind that the cost of the energy to operate it over its lifetime will very likely be more than you’re paying for it. Purchasing an energy-efficient model makes a lot of sense.

Refrigerator Shopping Guide

Be sure you get the refrigerator you need – one that will serve your household well for years. Ask yourself these questions before you set out to buy a new fridge.

What configuration of refrigerator do I want?

There are three types to choose from. The most popular model is the two-door, top-freezer design which offers a wide range of models and tremendous storage versatility. Side-by-side models have doors opening in the center, generally have more storage capacity, and offer easy access for people in wheelchairs. Bottom-freezer units put the fresh food at eye level, and the freezer below for those who don’t use it frequently.

How much space do I have for a refrigerator?

Refrigerators vary in size and in the clearance space they require. Measure the height, width and depth of the space for your refrigerator, and take the dimensions with you shopping. Most models are 30-36″ wide. Depth is important to avoid purchasing a model that extends into the kitchen, blocking traffic flow or a doorway.

What size refrigerator do I need?

Capacity ranges between nine and 30 cubic feet. The average household refrigerator in 1992 was 20 cubic feet and is getting larger. As a rule of thumb, a family of two needs eight to 10 cubic feet of fresh food space in a refrigerator. Add an extra cubic foot for each additional family member. Refrigerators can last 10 to 15 years or more, so remember to plan for expansion or contraction of your family.

How much freezer space do I need?

As a rule of thumb, a family of two needs 4 cubic feet of freezer space. Add two more cubic feet for each additional person. Freezer needs vary widely, so increase the freezer space if you buy a lot of frozen products. Top and bottom mounted freezers offer the most storage flexibility. Side-by-side models may offer more storage space, but sometimes have difficulty holding a pizza, a turkey or other large items.

What features are important to me?

Features vary across refrigerators. Use catalogs, flyers and the Internet to identify the two or three features that are most important to you. Popular features include adjustable glass shelves, large adjustable door bins, and spacious crispers.

Do I want an ice maker?

Ice makers are a popular, convenient feature for your freezer. Some models already have ice makers built into the freezer. For other models, ice maker kits are widely available and can be quickly installed.

Do I want an ice and water dispenser in the door?

Through-the-door ice and water dispensers offer easy access to cubed or crushed ice and chilled water. They are especially useful for children or people who are frequently getting ice from the freezer.

What color do I want?
White and almond are the most popular colors. Black is offered for a limited selection. Trim kits and decorative panels are available for some models. Also remember that panels matching the cabinets can be used to create a custom look for your refrigerator in your kitchen.

Ask these questions when you are in the store to help you quickly and confidently identify refrigerators that meet your needs:

How flexible is the storage space in this refrigerator?
Look for adjustable shelving in the refrigerator and freezer which makes food storage much easier. Check how much storage space is available in the door and if the door shelves are adjustable. Consider whether this refrigerator can store the kinds of groceries that you buy — will it hold your milk cartons, vegetables, apple pies?

Is this refrigerator easy to use?
Check to see if you can reach products at the back of shelves — pull-out shelves can be particularly useful. Look for clear drawers and shelves so that you can quickly see everything. Make sure you can easily reach the temperature controls. Does the door swing open the right way? If not, ask the salesperson if it can be changed.

Is this refrigerator easy to clean?
Glass shelves may be spill-proof to reduce the amount of cleaning necessary. See if the shelves can be pulled out to be easily cleaned in the sink. Some models have adjustable rollers on the bottom of the cabinet, so it’s easy to pull out the whole refrigerator and clean behind.

How energy efficient is this refrigerator?

Check the bright yellow Energy Guide label attached to the refrigerator. Look at the kWh per year and use that to compare the energy efficiency of different models — make sure the models you are comparing are the same size, as larger models do use more energy than smaller ones.

How quiet is this refrigerator?

Refrigerator technology has changed over the years, so your new refrigerator will probably not sound like your old one. Ask the salesperson if they can turn refrigerators on to hear the sounds of different models. Remember that the noise will be quieter in your tiled or carpeted kitchen compared to the large, cement sales floor.

How reliable is this brand of refrigerators?
Consult consumer magazines to hear how other people rank the performance of different brands. Try calling the manufacturer’s 1-800 number and ask for information about their service reliability.

What is the warranty on this refrigerator?

Most refrigerators come with a one-year warranty on everything and a five-year warranty on the sealed system. Ask the salesperson for the warranty terms on the refrigerator. Look for quick, convenient in-home service rather than pickup and delivery warranty service.

What are the delivery and installation terms on this refrigerator?

Ask the salesperson for delivery and installation details. Will they take away your old refrigerator? Will they install the water line to the ice maker?

Good luck and enjoy your new refrigerator!

MicroFridge-Sized and Designed for the Dorm Room

MicroFridge, the industry leader in compact specialty appliances, today introduced the next generation in small space convenience. The new product line includes patent-pending Safe Plug® technology and also features a Dual Outlet Charge Station that enables people to safely and conveniently charge a range of popular electronic devices such as laptop computers, MP3 players, cell phones, digital cameras and more.

Combining a spacious refrigerator, freezer and microwave in a single unit, a MicroFridge appliance is perfect wherever space is limited and there’s a need for food and refreshments – including hotels, college residence halls, assisted living residences, military housing, offices and at home too. The compact MicroFridge refrigerator features over two cubic feet of storage space, while the separate freezer boasts a 0.75 cubic foot capacity. For food preparation, there is a fully programmable 700-watt microwave oven. The refrigerator’s Smart Store Door allows the upright storage of two-liter bottles or half-gallon containers to eliminate leaks and spills that can result when storing tall containers on their side. And the roomy zero-degree freezer ensures that items like ice cream stay perfectly frozen.

The microwave features three, distinct “Express Cook” settings, along with pre-programmed recipes for soup, beverages, pizza and popcorn; the beeper volume is adjustable and can also be set to mute.  The patent–pending Safe Plug power management system technology is another feature that makes MicroFridge truly unique, automatically shutting off the refrigerator and charging station when the microwave is on, limiting the maximum electrical draw of the unit to just 11 amps.
“This reduces utility expenses and is good for the environment,” said Jim Russo, Vice President Product Sales of Intirion Corporation – the makers of MicroFridge. “Traditional refrigerators and microwaves can pull nearly twice that amount, potentially overloading electrical systems and creating costly problems.”
MicroFridge’s Safe Plug technology also enables users to operate both the refrigerator and microwave utilizing only one electrical socket. The blue plug on the refrigerator unit plugs into the back of the microwave with only the microwave plug required to power the unit. This oneplug-to-the-wall operation saves valuable outlet space as well.
The new Dual Outlet Charge Station makes MicroFridge the only company to offer this design and technology, providing exceptional convenience to safely charge personal electronics.  Located in the front of the microwave, busy consumers can power up their laptops, MP3 players, cell phones, digital cameras, or any device that draws four amps of power or less. This eliminates the need to reach into inaccessible places to plug and unplug devices that require charging. And the integrated Cord Clip prevents cables from getting tangled or caught in the doors of the fridge or freezer while the Dual Outlet Charge Station is in use.

MicroFridge is ENERGY STAR rated and has achieved the highest rating for energy efficiency: CEE Tier 3 status. In addition, the Safe Plug technology further enhances the products’ energysaving benefit by temporarily shutting off the refrigerator when the microwave is in use.

Price and Availability
The MicroFridge combination appliance is used by college students across the U.S., and is also found in hotel and motel rooms, assisted living residences and on U.S. military bases. Models are available in classic black, white and stainless steel. The MicroFridge 2.9MF-7TP model combination appliance retails for $425.00 and is available for purchase, along with other models, direct from the manufacturer online at www.microfridge.com.

Time to Replace That Old Refrigerator

Is your refrigerator more than ten years old? If so, replacing it can save you some serious money. The problem is can it save you enough to warrant shelling out the money for a new unit? A new refrigerator isn’t cheap, but an older one accounts for anywhere from 5-8 percent of your household energy.

The nonprofit advocacy group Alliance to Save Energy estimates that if the older refrigerators were replaced, Americans would save $866 million a year in utility costs. In general, a new efficient refrigerator uses about half the energy of its 10-year-old cousin, federal statistics show.

If you plan now, you might be prepared when the new federal stimulus bill funneling $300 million into rebates for energy-efficient appliances, is enacted. But be ready to act because with 112 million households in the country, that $300 million won’t go far.

How to know when to buy? Uncle Sam’s efficiency program, Energy Star, has a refrigerator calculator on its Web site: www.energystar .gov. All refrigerators manufactured in the United States must meet minimum efficiency standards, but Energy Star-certified models are at least 20 percent more efficient.

If you’re thinking of buying a new refrigerator, here are some tips from EnergyStar:

• Start with the calculator at www.energystar.gov.

• When shopping, factor in the appliance’s yellow “EnergyGuide” label listing the energy use and approximate annual operating cost.

• Go smaller. Larger models cost more to operate, and a full refrigerator is more efficient than a half-empty one.

• Models with top freezers are the most efficient, using 10 percent to 25 percent less energy than side-by-side models.

• Consider doing without the ice-maker and dispenser. These increase energy use by 14 percent to 20 percent.

To get the most out of any refrigerator:

• Position it away from heat – an oven or dishwasher. Leave room at the back and sides for air circulation.

• Keep the air intake and condenser coils clean.