Posts Tagged ‘refrigerator’

7 most popular appliance blog posts of 2011

December 28, 2011

A post on cleaning the dishwasher was a top dog.

Though not the most-read posts of all time on the Warners’ Stellian Appliance blog, these next 7 posts garnered the most views of those written this year.

7. HOW TO: clean a dishwasher

With more states banning phosphates in dishwashers without consumers possibly noticing, dishwashers got white film.

But a regular maintenance cleaning is always a good idea.

6. HOW TO: clean cast iron grates

If you’re lucky enough to have cast iron grates, you’re unlucky enough to handle cleaning them. The experts at Wolf Range weighed in.

5. DIY Network ‘Rehab Addict’ Nicole Curtis talks appliances

Old house lover/rehabber Nicole Curtis invited us into her “Minnehaha House” in Minneapolis for tips on fixing up kitchens and buying the right appliances.

4. Stove drip pans cleaning tips

Is there anything worse than the grime that builds up on the burner pans on your stove top? Not only do I include a deep-cleaning method, but I offer up the secret ingredient to easily keeping those drip pans shiny on a weekly basis.

3. How long does a dishwasher last?

2. How long does a refrigerator last?

1. How long does a washer last?

No, you’re right; they don’t make ‘em like they used to. (But believe me, that’s not all bad!) Unfortunately, gone are the days when you could expect your appliances to last a decade and a half. Find the new lifespans in each post above.

No. 1 cause of appliance returns

June 6, 2011

So you’ve fallen in love with a new appliance, and it looks great and has the features to do all the stuff you want it do.

And you plunk down a sizable chunk of change (appliances are no small expenditure!), and schedule the delivery.

So imagine your sadness when the only thing our highly complimented, professional crew delivers is the bad news that your beautiful new appliance won’t

  • fit through your doors
  • into your allotted space
  • work with your existing connections

This isn’t a rare occurrence that only happens to those with irregular house situations; It happens ALL the time because all houses are irregular.

Heck, my new refrigerator nearly didn’t fit because the width changed between the upper cabinet and lower cabinet, and I had only measured the latter! (Luckily, our guys are pros and made it work for me.)

Also, consider the space needed to use the appliance. For instance, is there enough room for the door to open? Not only was my space almost too narrow for the top of my fridge, but in switching from a top-mount refrigerator to a freezer-on-the-bottom model, I failed to consider that the freezer drawer would need to clear the window frame along its left side only a couple inches ahead. Again, our guys are pros and made my selection work despite all its challenges.

If you’re purchasing laundry, consider which side your washer and dryer are on and make sure that the doors will open appropriately.

Ideally, the machine on the left should have hinges on the left side of its doors and the machine on the right should have its hinges on the right side of the door.

Bottom line: Assuming you need “standard”-sized appliances is dangerous because standard doesn’t exist. And every house is different.

If you’re considering replacing any of your appliances soon, this checklist will help you prevent the expensive and time-consuming mistake of purchasing the wrong product for your space.

Our salespeople will qualify you, but as in the case of my refrigerator, even I didn’t measure diligently enough!

Measure the opening    

Measure the area where your appliance will be placed rather than the size of your existing appliance. And take it from me and measure along several spots of your opening.

Size up the pathway

Those living in older homes especially, take note! Ensure that your appliance it will fit through each hallway and doorway of the entire path to its final destination.

Of course, you can remove railings and doors if necessary, but you’ll want to do this in advance and remeasure to ensure that this too allows enough space. When in doubt, discuss the situation with your sales rep.

Check your connections

You need the appropriate electric outlet within 3-½ feet of the space you’ve selected for your new product. Make sure the outlet is grounded (accepts a three-prong plug), since most appliances require one. For electric dryers and electric ranges, be sure to check for a 240V electric connection.

Measure twice, cut once

Take another look at the pathway en route to the final destination of your appliance and ensure that your product will fit through the designated space.

It could save you more than 25% of the purchase price, your valuable time and (if you’re like me) your ego.
>>See our complete list of tips for buying appliances and having them delivered

5 ways to preserve food longer

May 12, 2011

With the opening of the Mill City Farmers Market last weekend and the start of many people’s summer CSA shares, the perennial topic of food storage becomes fresh again (see how I did that?).

Numerous ways to extend the life of fresh fruit, veggies, meat and dairy exist, but here are the 5 I could think of.

What do you do to try to make your food last longer?

1. Use your crisper

Those clear drawers in your fridge aren’t just for convenience. Many models allow you adjust the humidity of your crisper drawers to suit their contents. Consult your use & care manual for specifics on your model, but in general, set humidity to high for green, leafy vegetables and low for fruits and vegetables with skins.

2. Pick your spot

Brands might create the perfect space for gallon-jug storage on your refrigerator door, but consider how quickly you will use highly perishable foods before storing them here. Why? Consider the temperature fluctuations of this region of the refrigerator.

If you go through a gallon of milk every couple days, then maybe it doesn’t matter, but those of use who just use a sprinkle in our coffee should definitely select a cooler spot, like the back of the fridge, which is less affected when the door opens.

Accordingly, produce like broccoli, asparagus and apples benefit from colder temperatures located near the rear, while corn and berries — for example — benefit from the warmest spot in the refrigerator, so choose those for the front.

3. Use a paper towel to keep your greens…green

I love making big salads, but we all know that greens (especially leftovers) quickly become yellows and browns.

I arrange washed greens between paper towels to absorb excess moisture and seal them in punctured plastic bags. I’m not sure how “official” this is, but it’s allowed me to eat salad leftovers for two days before.

4. Don’t pass gas

Ethylene gas, that is. Foods like apples, peaches and pears produce ethylene, a gas that kick-starts ripening, which can cause premature aging in some fruits and damage in others. Avoid storing ethylene-producing foods near others sensitive to it (see list here) or keep them in a plastic bag to contain the gas.

5. Know what NOT to refrigerate

Sometimes the refrigerator can do more harm than good — as in the case of avocados, bananas, tomatoes, pineapples, mangoes, potatoes and squash — which should be stored at room temperature. Cold temperatures can dehydrate and damage these foods.

Plus, I think that refrigerating tomatoes sucks all the flavor out, doesn’t it?

Power out refrigerator tips: What to do when the electricity goes out

January 5, 2011

Rule No. 1: Don't open your refrigerator or freezer.

Here in Minnesota, we generally suffer a few power outages each winter season. But when the power goes out, your refrigerator is not cooling. So what should you do with all your food?

1. Call the power company
Find out how long the power will be out.

2. If the power outage is less than 24 hours:
Keep the doors shut on both the refrigerator and freezer compartments to keep food cold or frozen. If you’re experiencing a refrigerator power outage for more than 2 hours, you might want to pack dairy and meats into coolers (Styrofoam is fine) filled with ice, says the CDC.

3. If the power will be out for more than 24 hours:
Add 2 lbs of dry ice in the freezer for every cubic foot of freezer space, which will keep the food frozen for two to four days, according to appliance-maker Whirlpool Corp. Otherwise, you’re going to have to eat all that perishable food. Or try canning the food, if you know how.

Thought it seems counter intuitive, a full freezer stays cold longer than a partially filled one and a freezer full of meat stays cold longer than a freezer full of baked goods. A half-full freezer will keep food safe for 24 hours, and a full freezer will keep food safe for 48 hours, according to the CDC.

If food contains ice crystals, you can refreeze it, although the quality and flavor may be affected. Test meats to ensure the temperature hasn’t risen to 40 degrees. Use your gut. If it looks like it’s in rough shape, toss it.

Energy Star refrigerators save $50/year over 1990s fridges

December 13, 2010

This is an outdated picture of my kitchen, but you get the idea.

I’m replacing my 15-year-old refrigerator this month with a more roomy, smarter-designed and better-looking new fridge.

Best of all, it’s an Energy Star refrigerator, which means that it uses at least 20 percent less energy than a non-Energy Star fridge. Plus, although Energy Star refrigerators generally cost more upfront, you should consider overall cost of the appliance — which includes how much energy it uses compared to other models.

Energy Star estimates that over the lifetime of your refrigerator, you will cut your energy bills by $165 versus if you used an non-Energy Star model.

So think of how much you save when you unplug the refrigerator you’re using right now? Actually, see the handy chart below.

So my fridge from the ’90s costs about $97 per year compared to an Energy Star refrigerator, which uses an average of $48, according to this chart. (And actually, my new fridge is 10 percent better than the Energy Star standards; its energy use is estimated to cost about $43 per year.)

Obviously, I have to buy the new fridge, but I’ve budgeted for that. Now, what will I do with the $50? Better question: what will do with the $600 in usage cost savings I’ll realize over the average life (12 years) of my refrigerator?

Black Friday washers, dryers and other appliance deals

November 25, 2010

Note: this post refers to the 2010 sale prices. see my posts tagged Black Friday for current postings about Black Friday deals.


The Big Event, Warners’ Stellian Appliance’s 2010 Black Friday, starts tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. and runs through Monday.

As always, we offer free delivery and appliance recycling in the Twin Cities metro on purchases $499 and up. But we also now ship for free nationwide on orders $1999 and up. Plus, pay no interest if you pay in full within 12 months.

Here’s a preview:

LG 4.5 cu. ft front-load steam washer, only $499 (save $1000, usually $1499)

Frigidaire stainless steel gas range $399

GE 18 cu. ft. stainless steel refrigerator $499 (normally $899)

KitchenAid dishwasher $499 (on sale from $799)

LG 20 cu. ft. French-door refrigerator $899 white/black, $1099 stainless (usually $1199 & $1449)

LG steam washer and dryer pair, $1199 (reg. price $1999)

MN appliance rebate stimulus (part 2) gone; wait list filling up

November 17, 2010

A little after 10:30 this morning, the $717,000 of unused appliance rebate funds were fully claimed, according to http://www.mnappliancerebate.com.

Those who didn’t get one of the nearly 4,000 second-chance appliance rebates can take a spot on the wait list and hope that someone doesn’t cash in for the up to $200 being offered for a purchase of an Energy Star appliance.

From the website:

Thank you for your interest in the Minnesota “Trade-in & Save” Appliance Rebate Program. Currently, all rebate funds for this program have been reserved. However, you may choose to add your name to a waiting list. In the event additional funds become available, wait listed rebate applications will be processed in the order they are received. To add your name to the waiting list, complete the online reservation, print your confirmation page and follow the instructions listed on the confirmation page. Qualifying purchases made on or after March 1, 2010 are eligible for a rebate. Please note that you must make the appliance purchase before applying for the rebate.

That’s all she wrote.

I hope our customers got the lion’s share of these rebates. And being that they’re smart enough to buy from us, I’m confident that they did :)

Did any of you get one this morning? How did you find out about the relaunch?


Get a second chance at an appliance stimulus rebate

November 17, 2010

The State of Minnesota Trade-in & Save Appliance Rebate Program relaunched today to hand out about $717,000 in unused funds to customers who didn’t get a rebate reservation in March.

If you bought an ENERGY STAR appliance on or after March 1, you could be eligible for a rebate of up to $200 from the State of Minnesota!

To get your rebate, go to www.mnappliancerebate.com or call 1-877-230-9119. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, but you cannot apply for a rebate until you have made an eligible purchase. So you better hurry, before you miss out for the second time! (At the time of this blog, more than $500,000 in rebate funds remained, with about one-quarter being used.)

Kitchen appliance colors 2010

November 5, 2010

You won’t see color appliances outside white and black in many kitchens, but gee, isn’t it fun to look at pictures to get kitchen color ideas?

I’d pledge my firstborn Le Creuset to someone who could actually produce a photo with this combination of kitchen appliance colors, but for some Friday fun, I assembled a roundup of fall-inspired colored appliances.

Viking Colored Microwave

This little (Viking Pumpkin Colored Microwave) guy’s so festive, I’d like to carve him up and put it on my doorstep.

No, you can’t panel a microwave — and yes, lots of people ask — but Viking Appliances does let you choose among a bunch of colors:

Viking appliance colors

Red Wine never looked so good. (Actually, red wine looks good to me on a regular basis, but it’s still a very attractive range.)

Viking iconic pro-style ranges aren’t the only choice for cooking in colors.

Bertazzoni, an Italian cooking appliance-maker, uses the same paint as car-maker Ferrari to paint its appliances.

(What is it with appliances mixing with automotive design?).

In fact, one of its ranges is even called Ferrari Red.

This Bertazzoni colored range in Wine just seems so cold-weather inspired.

>> See other Bertazzoni range colors

Perhaps Plum is more of a winter color…but I couldn’t resist including a big purple refrigerator.

Back to Viking: Doesn’t your dream kitchen include a built-in colored refrigerator…in plum?

Those not in the high-end appliance market shouldn’t feel left out.

There’s always seasonal dishwasher magnets.

Refrigerator cleaning tips, anyone?

November 1, 2010

Not my fridge (you really think I'd embarrass myself like that) but not too far off either. How do you clean these things?

This weekend, I broke down and cleaned the refrigerator. The condiment shelves alone took a half-hour, because of a combination of leaky bottles and cold temperatures. I used a rag and some Seventh Generation spray cleaner, but because the cold air sucks moisture from the spills, they were condensed and hardened and impossible.

There’s got to be a better way. Does anyone have good tips for a clean refrigerator to share in the comments? How often do you clean your refrigerator, or do you just religiously clean messes as they happen?

I would normally just sic ‘em with some Bar Keepers Friend or Bonami, but not around my food. See other things to avoid (lifted from a major manufacturer’s site):

Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners such as window sprays, scouring cleansers, flammable fluids, cleaning waxes, concentrated detergents, bleaches or cleansers containing petroleum products on plastic parts, interior and door liners, or gaskets. Do not use paper towels, scouring pads, or other harsh cleaning tools.

Seriously, paper towels are “harsh?” Too funny.


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