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A Buyer's Guide to Home Appliances

Ranges, Ovens, Refrigerators, Microwaves and Vents

A Buyer's Guide to Home Appliances A Buyer's Guide to Home Appliances

Ranges

FUEL TYPE: GAS, ELECTRIC, DUAL FUEL

GAS- COOKING - on an open flame. This fuel type has better temperature control and is more responsive. It also has an electric starter to make ignition easy and runs off propane or natural gas. Requires a 120-volt connection.

ELECTRIC - The best choice for precision baking. Electric ovens are better at maintaining constant temperature and convection heat. Requires a 208/240-volt connection.

DUAL FUEL - The best of both worlds. More expensive but comes with a gas cooktop and an electric stove. Providing the best experience for cooking and baking. Requires a 240-volt connection.

Ovens

OVEN TYPE: SINGLE OVEN/DOUBLE OVEN, STEAM OVEN

DOUBLE OVEN - A model that contains two separate ovens. Both can be worked independently so temperature and cooking times can be different. Works well for large family gatherings such as Thanksgiving or other holidays. Roast a turkey in one, start the sides in the other.

CONVECTION OVEN - Circulates heat better in the oven to provide faster cooking times with food that is more evenly cooked.

STEAM OVEN - An oven with the ability to add steam at precise times while cooking. This can help to develop crisp and browned skin on meats.

INSTALLATION TYPE: FREESTANDING, SLIDE-IN, DROP-IN

FREESTANDING - These ranges can fit directly between your countertops or be by themselves. Finished on all sides, they allow the most flexibility in fitting with any kitchen design. Depending on the model, the bottom area might provide storage, a broiler, or a warming/proofing drawer. Oven touch controls are usually on the backsplash of the unit.

SLIDE-IN - These ranges are designed to fit snuggly and flush between your countertops. This gives the home a more customized built-in appearance. The bottom drawer is like the freestanding range where different models will have drawer functions. Oven touch controls are usually on the backsplash of the unit.

DROP-IN - These ranges are dropped in between your cabinets and float off the ground, giving it the most customized look. Generally, does not come with a bottom drawer and needs to be professionally installed.

COOKTOP TYPE: GAS BURNERS, INDUCTION, ELECTRIC

GAS BURNERS - Use propane or natural gas to cook on an open flame. Output is measured in BTUs in the thousands. The higher the BTU the bigger and hotter the flame. Some models have BTU’s as high as 18,000 which can be used to do things like boil water faster.

INDUCTION - The fastest way to boil water. These cooktops use an electromagnetic field that transfers the heat directly to the cookware. These ranges have a similar glass look, much like electric cooktops, but are faster, more responsive, and more expensive.

ELECTRIC - The most cost-effective cooktop. Electricity is used to heat the element and then that heat is transferred to the cookware. Although it is not the most responsive or quickest way to cook, a glass cooktop surface makes cleaning easier than scrubbing around gas burners.

COOKTOP OPTIONS: GRILL, GRATES, GAS BURNERS, SIMMER BURNERS
 

GRILL /GRIDDLE - A grill or griddle in the middle of the range provides the perfect surface to make steaks like you would outside or make the perfect pancakes.

GAS GRATES - Depending on the model, some gas ranges will have grates that are separated or continuous. The continuous grates allow you to slide cookware around the range without having to pick it up in between burners.

SEALED GAS BURNERS - These gas burners are sealed all the way to the surface of the range making cleaning easier because there are less cracks for crumbs to slip into.

FLAME FAILURE - Automatic shutoff that will turn off the burner if there is gas coming out, but no flame. Helping to keep your kitchen safe.

SIMMER BURNER - Allows for very low heat on gas burners. Perfect for simmering soups or cooking greens.

FINISHES: STAINLESS-STEEL, BLACK STAINLESS-STEEL, BLACK, WHITE, SLATE
SPECIALTY OPTIONS: SELF-CLEANING, SMART ENABLED, PROOFING & WARMING DRAWERS

Oven Features

FINGERPRINT RESISTANT MODELS - These models are made with a special finish that helps hide fingerprints and makes cleaning easier.

SELF-CLEANING - A high temperature mode that burns away all the mess without the need to get on your hands and knees to scrub the oven.

PROOFING/WARMING DRAWERS - The perfect place to proof loaves of bread or keep other dishes warm while you finish dinner.

TIMED START - A feature that allows you to program your oven to start and stop at certain times.

SABBATH MODE - During the Sabbath in Judaism there may be restrictions on how appliances can operate. This mode is designed to turn off lights, controls, and noises while keeping the refrigerator running. Allowing you to be able to use the fridge during the Sabbath.

LED LIGHTS - Lights added to your front knobs so you can see from a distance which burner is on and at what temperature.

EFFICIENCY RATINGS – ENERGY STAR - Energy information can be found on a products page or generally on a yellow tag hanging off the range on the show floor. This Energy Guide will tell you on average how much energy the range will use and the estimated yearly cost. One of the best ways to know if a product is energy efficient is to look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating. This rating is given to models that meet the EPA’s efficiency guidelines.

 

Refrigeration

SIZE / CAPACITY - The most important factor to help you buy a new refrigerator is size. Determining the right size that fits in your space is critical. Measure the length, width, and height to make sure your new fridge will fit. Depth is also a critical measurement – essentially how far does it come out from the wall. Do you want it to stay flush with your countertops or do you have more clearance for it to come out into the room?

HINT: It is important to leave an inch in between the sides of the fridge to allow for proper airflow and door clearance.

Also consider your food-buying habits. How much food do you buy, the types of food you buy, and how often you visit the grocery store? These factors can impact the cubic size of the refrigerator as well as your priorities for certain features. If you buy more frozen food, then you will want a fridge with a big bottom freezer. If you buy more fresh food, you’ll want something with crispers and extra drawer storage.

While the outside size of the fridge is important, the inside capacity can really determine what fridge is best for you. Most manufacturers recommend a fridge with a capacity between 19 to 22 cubic feet for a family of four. Although if you do big grocery trips, you may want more space.


REFRIGERATOR TYPES: COUNTER-DEPTH, STANDARD, BUILT IN

STANDARD-DEPTH REFRIGERATORS - These come in a wide array of different styles but are generally larger and offer more capacity than counter-depth refrigerators. These fridges will offer you more space and storage but won’t sit flush with your counters like the counter-depth or built-in models.

COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATORS - Counter-depth refrigerators offer the sleek look of sitting flush with your cabinetry, while having a standard installation price. These fridges are less deep than a standard model but make up for it by generally being a bit wider. Depending on your needs, the shallower depth can be a benefit to those who cannot reach the back of a standard fridge.

BUILT-IN REFRIGERATORS - These are high-end appliances that are customized specifically to your choosing. These fridges sit flush with your cabinets and can include panels to blend in. These models do require special installation that our team is more than happy to provide.

REFRIGERATOR STYLE: FRENCH DOOR, BOTTOMFREEZER, TOP FREEZER, MINI FRIDGE

BOTTOM FREEZER - Instead of the freezer being at eye-level (like it is for traditional top-freezers), this model reverses that and makes it easy to see and reach your more accessed items. Traditionally coming with a single swinging door on top and a pullout freezer on the bottom.

FRENCH DOOR - Like a bottom freezer, but with two swinging doors on top rather than one. Having 2 doors on top for the fridge allows for fitting into shallower spaces while still having the full width inside for refrigerated goods. However, having two doors gives you less storage on the inside of each door. The freezer at the bottom also requires less bending over to get into the fridge, like you would do with a top freezer.

BUILT-IN - This is the priciest and high-end option. These fridges come in a wide variety of styles from bottom-freezer, side-by-side, or French door. Often, they will come with optional front panels to match your cabinets and have a whole other slew of optional customizations.

TOP FREEZER - This is the traditional fridge, designed to get the most storage out of tight spots. Good for apartments, townhouses, or garages. However, you will have to bend over to get your refrigerated goods from the lower shelf.

MINI FRIDGE - Made for offices, dorm rooms, or small kitchens. Can come in a variety of styles from top freezer units to models with small freezers built in. Generally built for snacks and beverages, not something you would want to keep perishables in for too long.

FINISHES: STAINLESS-STEEL, BLACK STAINLESS-STEEL, BLACK, WHITE, SLATE

ENERGY SAVINGS - One thing to consider when shopping for a new fridge is the energy savings. Energy information can be found on a products page or generally on a yellow tag hanging off the fridge on the show floor. This EnergyGuide will tell you on average how much energy the fridge will use and the estimated yearly cost. One of the best ways to know if a product is energy efficient is to look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star rating. This rating is given to models that meet the EPA’s efficiency guidelines.

OTHER COOL FEATURES

SMART REFRIGERATORS - Some companies offer Smart Refrigerators that have a variety of features depending on the brand. Certain models may have touchscreen interfaces on the door that you can use as a calendar, a grocery list, look up recipes, or show family photos. Almost all have a smartphone app that allows you to see what is inside the fridge without opening it.

IN-DOOR WATER AND ICE - This is one of the most useful features for shoppers. You will sacrifice some door storage for the ice maker, but overall, it is one of these most used items in the house.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL - These fridges come with drawers that have specific temperatures for different items. Whether you’re storing meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, or drinks, you can select and change the drawer’s temperature at any time.

DOOR-WITHIN-DOOR - Allows you to open one door on fridge without having to open the entire fridge. Not only does this save energy, but it allows for easy access to popular condiments and beverages.

FINGERPRINT RESISTANT REFRIGERATORS - These models are made with a special finish that helps hide fingerprints and makes cleaning easier.

SABBATH MODE - During the Sabbath in Judaism there may be restrictions on how appliances can operate. This mode is designed to turn off lights, controls, and noises while keeping the refrigerator running. Allowing you to be able to use the fridge

ACCESSORIES YOU’LL NEED

WATER FILTERS - Water filters help to remove things like chlorine, rust, and iron from your drinking water. It is recommended that you change your water filter every six months. Depending on the brand of your fridge, the water filter will be in a different place. You can find the model number on the inside of your fridge and use that to find the specific filter.

Local independent retailers like ourselves offer the consumer the best shopping experience. Not only do we carry a more feature rich variety of products, but our staff has more experience with all the new innovations in the refrigerator category. Our staff is focused on providing you the best possible shopping experience by taking care of all your needs.

Ready to Shop!

Microwaves and Vents

OVER THE RANGE MICROWAVE - This option frees up counter space by easily mounting the microwave above the range. Also this is a 2 in 1 unit where the microwave also has a vent function that will blow steam and smoke out of your kitchen.

RANGE HOODS - These vents are placed above your cooktop to help ventilate any smoke, steam or heat from your kitchen. A typical range hood uses updraft ventilation to grab the air and exhaust it out of your house via a duct.

MICROWAVE TECHNOLOGY: COOKING SPEEDS, WATTAGE, FRONT PANEL CONTROLS, SMART ENABLED

Microwave’s can range from 600-1200 watts. Usually in categories of

• 600-800 Watts – Small and the cheapest microwave. Good for small meals, lunches, and warming up drinks.

• 800-1000 Watts – Traditional microwave size. Good for family meals. Comes with popcorn, pizza, reheat, and defrost settings.

• 1000-1200 Watts – Commercial grade microwave.

VENT HOOD TYPES: UNDERCABINET, WALL-CHIMNEY, ISLAND, DOWNDRAFT, DUCTLESS

UNDERCABINENT - These are mounted under a cabinet that is over your cooktop. They exhaust smoke and steam via a duct like a regular hood but are more concealed.

WALL-CHIMNEY - These hoods do not have cabinetry over them and the whole vent duct is exposed.

ISLAND HOODS - These are mounted to your ceiling and come down over your island cooktop. They are finished on all sides because they will be suspended above the middle of your kitchen island.

DOWNDRAFT HOOD - These are mounted next to your cooktop and suck the smoke down into the floor and exhaust through the ducts below your house.

DUCTLESS HOODS - Blows the air out the top of the hood. Does not require any ductwork and can be under-cabinet, wall, or island mounted. They come with filters to filter out grease and smoke from being blown back into your kitchen.

AIR SPEEDS, TIMERS, THERMOSTAT CONTROLS

AIR SPEED - Air flow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher the CFM the more air flow the vent has.

TIMER - This allows you to set certain times that the fan will run.

THERMOSTAT CONTROLS - Automatic control sensor that will change the speed of the ventilation fans depending on how hot the cooktop gets.

VENT DIFFERENT WIDTH AND DEPTH SIZES TO MATCH THE RANGE

Hoods come in sizes varying from 24” to 70”. Your vent hood should match the width of your cooktop and depth will depend on the size of your kitchen and model.

HOW FAR ABOVE THE RANGE DOES IT NEED TO BE?

Hoods are installed 28” to 36” from the top of the cooktop to the bottom of the hood. Any closer than 28” may damage the hood from the heat of the cooktop and further away than 36” will hurt the hoods ventilation efficiency.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HOME IS SETUP FOR A VENT?

Installing a hood for the first time requires drilling and ductwork that may not be setup in your house initially. Check with your local appliance dealer for installation. If your home already has a vent, you should be able to swap out with a compatible type.

FINISHES: STAINLESS-STEEL, BLACK STAINLESS-STEEL, BLACK, WHITE, SLATE