When buying appliances, people often focus on two days of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas.
What matters at that moment to you is finding a range whose oven accommodates a massive turkey.
Or, thinking about overflow casseroles and Christmas cookies, you opt for double ovens.
But what about the other 363 days of the year? If you’re not a serious baker, that second oven sits cold. And warming up that range with the huge oven capacity for a couple of baked potatoes wastes time and energy.
Instead, a trend we’re seeing is assembling a team of appliances that can work alone during normal operations but also can multitask for occasional holidays and parties.
So instead of a giant range, combine a double oven range and convection microwave.
The smaller upper oven of the range can be used for one-dish meals. Come Christmas, you can bake a dessert up top while a roasts monopolizes the lower oven. The convection microwave can bake a casserole. My mom did this successfully for years with her Jenn-Air convection microwave (after she finally got rid of the old range she kept in the laundry room, only to be used during the holidays). A convection microwave also works overtime when paired with a single oven, perfect for those who won’t make enough use of a double oven.
Better yet, make that second oven a speed oven for the ultimate versatility.
This GE Advantium (model PSB1001NSS; Miele makes an upgrade if you’ve got the dough) cooks up to 4 times faster than your grandmother’s oven – covering all 4 bases: warming/proofing, true convection, sensor microwave (that can rotate a 9×13 casserole on its turntable!) and of course, speed cooking.
Until I can upgrade to a convection microwave, I use my Crockpot for anything that doesn’t need “crisping,” but I’d love to hear how others really make use of their multitasking appliances.
An independent laboratory confirmed that Miele vacuums capture and retain 99.99% of harmful pollutants – on average 21x better than the HEPA-filtered bagless rival. On average, the leading bagless HEPA-filtered vacuum emitted over 175,900 lung-damaging particles per minute during the test.
This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about my love for Miele vacuums. But truly, if air quality matters to you, you’ll appreciate Miele’s air-tight design. A spring-loaded collar locks shut when you remove Miele vacuum bags, trapping in particles and eliminating that dusty smell/taste — which means you and your kids aren’t breathing them in.
And perhaps this seems a tad dramatic, but what you’re breathing in (fine particulate matter) has been linked to bad health effects such as including chronic bronchitis and premature death, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Waiting until the last minute to do your holiday shopping? Avoiding the mall like the plague? Buy a vacuum online today, and we’ll send it to you for free by Christmas Eve — no codes, no coupons. Just free.
Warners’ Stellian joins about 700 other online retailers in Free Shipping Day today, Thursday, Dec. 17.
Along with Miele and Electrolux vacuums, accessories over $50 purchased today will ship for free with delivery guaranteed by Dec. 24.
OK, before I talk about HEPA, I have to confess that us Warners LOVE our Miele vacuums. Most of us, and a number of our sales associates, are believers — actively seeking converts, so please excuse my enthusiasm.
I never understood the whole $700-for-a-vacuum thing until I used my cousin’s Miele to vacuum her entire first floor without waking her twin babies. That thing is so quiet, you would think it’s broken if it wasn’t so darn powerful. Pennies, paperclips, short animal hair — just once over and it disappeared.
When I told my sister about this, she agreed but said it was really the HEPA filter that made the Miele great. And I nodded along, but admittedly, I didn’t haven’t a clue what HEPA meant.
So I asked our Miele rep on the phone the other day, “What is HEPA and why does my sister care about it so much?”
His response was pretty helpful (and humorous).
“First understand that I could put a HEPA filter on your shoulder and call you a HEPA person and it doesn’t mean anything,” he said. I had to laugh, but as I listened on, it made more sense. Miele vacuums are the only truly HEPA certified vacuums on the market.
HEPA, or high efficiency particulate arrest, was invented by the Army Corps of Engineers to combat chemical toxins. The U.S. HEPA standard requires 99.75% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter be filtered. That’s teeny tiny — about 1/200th of a strand of hair.
“Well, how many of these things are actually in my house?” I asked.
The average home contains about 250,000 particles per square foot (1 million in an industrial warehouse setting like mine). And when we breathe, “gross stuff” (i.e. pet dander, pollen and even dust mite fecal matter) enters our blood stream through our lungs.
Does this matter to you? Maybe. If you have allergies or respiratory health problems, it definitely should. There’s no question using a HEPA filter to trap particles improves your breathing. And if you live in a newer construction home, HEPA becomes important because the quality of the insulation and windows mean that “fresh air” doesn’t really get in and current air simply recycles itself.
And if you’re already using a “HEPA” vacuum, you might want to double-check it.
“Some vacuum cleaners spit out particles through their exhaust system instead of trapping them inside the vacuum,” he said. “Just about every brand has a HEPA vacuum. But those units aren’t necessarily making use of the HEPA. It has to be able to filter all those particles to 99.7%.”
HEPA filters are tested to 10 cubic feet of airflow per minute, he said. Even low-quality vacuums can move about 60 cubic feet per minute. So what happens when you put a HEPA designed for 10 cubic feet per minute on a vacuum that moves 60 cubic feet of air per minute? The air is going to go around the filter and basically recirculate the debris.
“There are many vacuums created with leaks to help the air escape,” he said. “It’s like putting your thumb on a hose.” And that was it. The thought of dust mites and their “gross stuff” shooting out of a vacuum was enough to make me really, REALLY care about HEPA.
Miele vacuum cleaners generate over 100 cubic feet of airflow per minute and the HEPA filter is tested on the vacuum to ensure it’s truly sealed and can contain the debris. For more info, read our vacuum cleaner buying guide.