Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Buy This Not That

The Yale Blog is not about us telling you what to buy. We point out features, benefits and let the reader/customer decide. It has always been our selling philosophy to inform rather than to coax.

Except in this case.

Until about 10 years ago, if you wanted to buy stackable laundry, this type of unit is what you would purchase


The washer and dryer unitized as one piece. It has the distinction of being more expensive to buy, less featured and more difficult to install. The Frigidaire shown is the best of this lot.

With front loaders becoming more prevalent, you can stack every unit except full size Bosch and Miele...Like this Maytag EpicZ

Maytag Epic Z

You can even stack this Frigidaire for under $1,000


Thursday, February 28, 2008


I actually was in Germany at the Miele plant two years ago. Its an interesting experience watching a vacuum being tested by being pulled into a wall over and over again...

The main consideration in buying a vacuum is the flooring. Seems like an obvious point, but the vac should change based on hardwood, shag, oriental and berber carpeting.

We sell just Miele at Yale. It has variable speeds, a sealed system and different tools. The main differences between them is the flexibility of the wand and the head size and type. The better vacuums will have an electronic head, which is better on the oriental and deeper types of carpets....


Before You Hit Buy Part 3

Our last hit buy post focused on the cost of delivery. The price seems to be good until the delivery screen. Delivery and logistics are the second hardest part of really any business. Outsourcing what should be a core compentency to a third party and shipping over long distances can be very risky.

But certainly not the riskiest.

You have checked the social blogs, the BBB, CitySearch, Angies' List, Yelp, Bizrate and others. You are comfortable with the store ratings, delivery policies and customer service.

One last consideration: Who will service it when there is an issue? Its worth a call for that specific bit of information

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Replacing Your Range

So you are considering replacing your range....Lets review an upscale Frigidaire at $1150(less rebates) versus a 10 year old range



10 year old: 4 burners..Output 12,000 BTU for 2 and 8,000 BTU for the other 2

Frigidaire:5 burners high burner is professional grade at 16,000, 1 12,000 BTU, 2 9500 BTU and a dedicated simmer burner at 5,000


10 year old: Radiant...elements top and bottom

Frigidaire: Convection, fan circulating around the oven for more even cooking


10 Year old: Well, its a storage drawer

Frigidaire: Second oven

Ranges, free standing in particular, have upgraded over the last 10 years. It is almost a completely different product, and with the commodization of the industry a really great range can be fairly reasonable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cool Microwaves....

Its Renaissance time for microwaves....Stop here for a moment. You can buy a microwave, which will suit your needs for under $100. Microwaves, however, can be so much more than say...a microwave. Remember for planning purposes start with cooking first, and then other appliances are easy to accommodate

Lets look at a few

The Dacor/Sharp microwave drawer...Great for islands, the microwave slides out hydraulically...


The GE Advantium: It is a microwave, which can also speed cook 8 times faster than a conventional oven. Fantastic product, but then again at around $2000, it should be


Sharp Micro Convection: An old standby....Can cook as microwave, oven or both at once. Reasonable at $550(depending on color)


KitchenAid micro convection: Love the look and is easy to operate, but kind of expensive.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Boston.com And CFLs

Following is an article written on Boston.com about the potential dangers of compact fluorescent. Below is my response, which was written nearly a month ago.

Boston.com article

YaleAppliance Blog response

I am not minimizing any threats to you and/or your family, but lets be realistic...

Which Wall Oven?

Do you remember when microwaves were first marketed in the late 1970s. Well the original ardor has diminished somewhat, but it still is crucial in kitchen planning, especially in built in designs...

There are two choices for microwave placement for this type of configuration.

Microwave over the actual wall oven:


Double wall oven and the microwave separate:


Consider these questions before committing to a design:

A. How much do you use the microwave
B. How much do you use the ovens
C. Will children be using the microwave
D. How much space do you have

A and B may seem obvious, but if you are a die hard user of a microwave, you can buy Advantium and other very interesting convection microwave combinations. If you are hitting the popcorn button, buy a double oven and build in an inexpensive microwave.

If children are using the microwave consider building it into the island as there are plenty of options.

For more info please take a look at our Electric Cooking Buying Guide.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Daren and Bobby

I have my 5 blogs a week done....Its now time for a little fun

Take a look at that picture of Daren and Bobby

Daren and Bobby

Could it really be?

Bert and Ernie

Have a nice weekend.....

Who is Candice Olson?

Meet Daren and Bobby. They are in charge of orchestrating the display of the 4,000 plus lights in the store. Every year, we buy the new styles and display based on analytics, customer attitudes, the change in styles and home decor.

Daren and Bobby

Somehow we went on gut emotion on this one. I actually like these lights, which is unusual, because contemporary lights, except pendants, are tough to amalgamate into the whole room.

File this under light contemporary. Its unique, but not enough to be overly dramatic.

Candice Olsen AF Lighting

Candice Olsen AF Lighting

Designed by Candice Olson...I guess she must be famous?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Death Of The Side By Side?

I still like the side by side. It still is an elegant refrigerator. However, consumers seem to be buying more bottom freezers. Simple reasons really.

Side by Side Refrigerators

Bottom freezers afford more lateral storage and better access to the refrigerator than any other configuration in the market. After all, according to industry estimates, we are in our refrigerator 81% of the time.

Side by Side

And our industry would never lie

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

LED Tape

For review, LED lighting has a 20 year lamp life and at present is about 20 times more efficient than incandescent. The downside to LED is color, which until now was really more blue than white.

The other issue for now is price...Except for this new product. At $30 a foot, it is the most reasonable and not much more than a halogen piece...

Led Tape is secured by either double sided tape or by channels(similar to a track)

Have a look:

LED Tape

Available in the middle of March

LED Tape

Fluorescent Depot/Spring Warehouse Sale

A couple of clarifications:

First, you can now drop off your dead fluorescent bulbs at Yale. We have a bulb bin right next to customer service on the second floor. There is no charge, and we will pay for the recycling.

Secondly, the Spring Warehouse clearance has been moved to Match 15 and 16. People on the mailing list receive an early invitation....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What to Buy in February...Washers and Dryers

No, I have NOT sold out and turned this into a selling blog. There are, however, so many rebates sloshing around these days. Certain products become even more compelling at certain times(certainly).

The following are the best washer and dryer pairs for February, and yes rebates are national not just at Yale. Better yet, most of these rebates are instant.

FTF2140/FEQ1442: This Frigidaire is a closeout of an incredibly popular series. It does not have the fancy controls or window for the dryer, but the 3.5 cubic foot size and water usage remain the same. It is now under $1,000

WFW8300/WED8300: The Whirlpool Duet Sport is now $1099 for the month of February due to $150 in rebates. The Duet Sport is the best for second floor and above installations due to their 6 point suspension. Good capacity and water use as well.

Bosch WFMC8400/WTMC8320: Bosch is the most Eco Friendly washer and dryer with huge capacity at 3.81 cubic feet, yet it uses very little water..Great company and the 8400 is their best piece. The price is(or should be) $1699

Good values....Now take the numbers and shop them...BTW, I have blogged about these items just the price has dropped recently

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Latest And Greatest

Following is my presentation on the latest and greatest in appliances and lighting....With one correction the Diva was $3500 and now is $2999. As always, any questions will be answered quickly

Friday, February 15, 2008

Latest And Greatest

Just a reminder, I will be teaching a class on The Latest And Greatest In Appliances and Lighting at 10:30...Could be interesting

Mirror, Mirror on The Wall

Who is the fairest cooktop of all? Man, it must be Friday.

Thermador Induction

You are looking at Thermadors new induction cooktop in a new mirror finish. My thoughts are mixed:

I like different products as you know, and this does distinguish itself from the sea of black induction cooktops.

However, what is the match from a countertop and cabinet point of view(beside a mirror)...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Steam Laundry

Steam is the new feature in the appliance industry. You can even buy a steam wall oven(next post or so)

But what does steam actually do? After all, a by-product of heat is steam.

Steam assists in cleaning by blasting at tough stains. Another lesser known function is refreshing clothes without ironing.

There are two manufacturers actively producing steam laundry

LG: The first involved with steam. Great controls and capacity

LG with Steam

Whirlpool/Maytag: Similar to the above, but Whirlpool has recently added steam to the dryer. Of the two, this pair would be my preference.

Whirlpool with Steam

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I have posted about this company much to the consternation of their initial customers. Turbochef is basically a new technology of speed cooking. I was at a trade show 3 years ago when it was first launched. At that time, I was convinced that people would love this product.

Unfortunately, so did Turbochef. There seems to be a mentality amongst companies of sending products into the market and worrying about the problems later. It stems from the software industry where being first is critical. After all, software can be fixed via the internet. Stoves can not.

Almost 3 years later(actually August of last year), Turbochef has finally learned its lesson.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to Plan Your Kitchen

This powerpoint to last weeks seminar on how to plan your kitchen appliances and lighting. Please feel free to ask questions, because it is just an outline.

Next Saturdays seminar will be Latest and Greatest Trends in the appliance and Lighting industry:

Subject matter will include:

LED lighting
Speed cooking
New Lighting styles

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Induction Versus Pro Gas

This is the Yale Test Kitchen. We will compare a commercial wok at 24,000 BTU against a high speed induction burner....

Guess which one is faster?

Thermador Wok

Gaggeneau Induction

Induction is still noticeably faster than the most powerful gas unit. It is also child safe with a much better simmer. At 90% efficiency versus 60% for gas, induction expels less residual heat which also eliminates the need for oversizing the vent.

So if you are planning a big professional cooktop, you might want to consider induction

A video for your viewing pleasure...I actually like this one

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hoods of Wood

Lets look at a picture

Viking Kitchen

Quick question: Where is the hood? Over the range is the easy answer, but when the blower is enclosed in wood, it is hard to distinguish from the rest of the cabinets. A wood hood is simply the blower and the liner. There is a plethora(great word) of manufacturers: Vent A Hood, Zephyr, Faber and Best

Best Power Pack

But be careful, installation hight and depth are the same as regular hoods. Our hood shell is only 19 inches deep in this installation and as such the blower can not exhaust the smoke properly

Thursday, February 07, 2008


A public Yale Service announcement: Our next architect, builder and designer event of the year is February 13. Topics will include installation of all types of cabinet fronts. Of particular interest, are the new intelliflow switches. These pesky, but needed switches shut off water in certain applications. We will show how to install and integrate the intelliflows so your clients will have the flood protection while still being able to wash dishes.

This seminar has CEU eligibility, and the proceeds from this event will go to charity.

inteGREAT Event

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Lighting...Lots of it

In previous posts, I have showed you a small, yet random sample of products... In the first ever Yale slide show, we reveal all 147 purchased products last month in Dallas...My favorites are the multi colored pendants and childrens lights.....


Choose This or That...Front Load Washers and Dryers

As any long time reader can attest, front loaders have been a frequent topic of mine since the beginning. I started the "choose this or that" format to highlight different options to consumers. You do not have to spend a fortune to buy very worthwhile products in this industry....

For first timers to the Yale Blog, the benefits to a front load are many: 62% greater capacity and energy savings, less detergent, better spin for less drying and an agitator less wash, which is better for clothes.

Lets look at a few:

The Miele W4840/T9800: It is expensive at $3000, but Miele does have many proprietary features. A honeycomb drum for gentler washing action, intuitive controls and great repair record distinguishes this product....

Miele W4840/T9800

Bosch Wfmc8401/Wtmc8521: Bosch is just a great piece...3.81 cubic feet and incredibly low water use really sets this company apart in the 1,000-2,000...It currently sells at $1699

Bosch Laundry

Frigidaire FTF2140/Gleq2152: At 3.5 cubic feet and 17 gallons per wash, it is not as efficient as either of the above....BUT at $999, Frigidaire is the best value

Frigidaire Laundry

How To Plan Your Kitchen...February 9

Well by the count of 21-12, I will be teaching the first ever how to plan your kitchen 10:30-11:30...For those interested, the topics for discussion:

1. Starting...Before the contractor, appliance and lighting store

2. The one sentance to emancipate your decision making....(I am serious)

3. Cooking...The various options

4. Refrigeration: New design solutions

5. Ventilation: Important part of the design

6. Lighting: More specifically, light layering, (and yes I will show you how to lay out your recessed)

7. Plumbing: A few moments on understanding sizing and filtration

8. Short dissertation about Green

9. Q&A

I will try to keep this fun and interesting. I personally guarantee you will receive your moneys worth.....

BTW, on a different subject, I have been promising new lighting pics for about three weeks...Here are a couple(for entertainment purposes)

Jesco Lighting

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Buying Appliances

Buying an appliance is an easy purchase rendered complicated by the vast amount of information available.

Let us simplify:

Price: What is the price as most companies hide it behind 15% off. It actually is not that hard. Find the desired items and total. Of course, you have to total the extras: Delivery, Removal of old units and even power cords are additional. Be careful these extras can add $100-120 to the bottom line.

Customer Service/Support: If you are buying a kitchen of appliances, you will shop at the store 2.8 times and call another 2.3 times before the purchase. After the purchase, the tradespeople will call twice and there will be calls to schedule delivery. With all that information, will the store be able to handle the transaction?

Service: The hardest part of the appliance business is product service. Many stores have deemphasized or eliminated this component completely. The number 2,3 and 4 volume stores do not employ a single technician. If the store does not offer service, then ask who the service agent is. Appliances have about a 18% chance of a service call within the first year, so you will probably need some type of service within the lifetime of the product

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bottom Line

I have a friend who calls me about promotions at another store. Last month, it was 20% off at one place. This months deal is save the sales tax. All are interesting ways to methods to drive traffic(the industry term for people) into stores.

The simple fact with the economy being less than robust is the manufacturers are offering unprecedented rebate programs. How good are these rebates? They average about 16% for 4 pieces in Frigidaire, Bosch, GE Cafe, JennAir and KitchenAid(GE and JennAir start the February 10)

At the end of the day, pricing is about the bottom line, and buying from any store is about price, product charges such as Delivery, removal and power cords as well as after product service.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

How To...Differentiate a White Kitchen

White kitchens are making a comeback. ...Lets look at ours as there are a few good appliance and lighting ideas as well.

White is quite simply the easiest to match and accessorize...In this example, it was matched with green undertones, granite, sink base cabinet and the lighting, which is Geometrix by Schonbek.

White Kitchen

Geometrix by Schonbek

If we look at the tiling, it is multi colored and thus contemporary. A more tradition adaptation would have, for example, the white subway tile and a couple of more traditional pendants.


Fisher Paykel manufactures single drawer dishwashers as well. Although more space is required, the single drawer allows for less bending. The Fisher Paykel can be panelized, so it is great for bars and other point of use areas within your house

Fisher Paykel Dishdrawers

Definitely consider white for timeless yet adaptable style. This kitchen was designed by Diane Auchello of Metropolitan Cabinets in Natick....

Friday, February 01, 2008

Wall of Confusion....Good Confusion, That is

Love that tune....Lets look at a wall at Yale.

Thermador Freedom Columns

Except it is not really a wall. There lies the feature and point of this post

Thermador Freedom Columns

This wall is actually 5 integrated refrigerators. An integrated product differs from regular counter depth refrigeration, because even the door fits within the cabinet. This is a hot new trend and brands like SubZero and Thermador are the main players, because it is seamless and thus hidden from sight. Even though I am the ultimate appliance cynic, I really find this style attractive.

This picture is the Thermador Freedom columns, which allow the refrigerator and freezer to be placed anywhere independently in the kitchen....(hence the name)