Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ban The Bulb

As of Monday August 30: 100 watt Incandescent bulbs will be banned in Europe. If this is the first time reading the blog, following are a few points about incandescent...

Invented in 1803

Mass manufactured in 1875 (give or take)

90% of the energy is heat, not light

Lasts about 7 months as opposed to 7 years for fluorescent and 20 years for LED

Banning this bulb will save a ton of energy, cut carbon emissions and waste disposal.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Outlet

Boston is amongst the toughest places in the country to deliver an appliance without question. As an example, I live on top of a three decker with 100 stairs to the roof. This begs the question: What happens when products can't fit or are ordered wrong due to customer misunderstanding?

At Yale, they end up in this outlet and are marked down 15-25%. Customer orders a new product and pays $69 to re-deliver....But what happens elsewhere? I am not extolling the virtues of Yale as most of you are not in our market.

Avoiding 33% restocking fees:

1. Measure all your areas. The hardest part about delivering a refrigerator is turning it on a stair.

2. Check the specs versus your openings.

3. If you have any questions, ask the store to send a representative to look. We have a person dedicated to this...so much cheaper than a markdown.

4. Check your slip and read the policies about returns. Bring up your concerns with the salesperson and have them noted on the slip.

Take precautions....33% of a 1,000 dollar refrigerator is a lot of dough and its legal if it is stipulated...So save yourself the headache.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Venting Part 9

So many vents...some of them can be up to 1500 CFM (CFM is cubic foot per minute or how many cubes of air are filtered in a minute), this does not guarantee proper venting.

Assuming the vent is specified correctly, the following is the best way to duct a hood.

Pardon the non industry terms...

1. Straight up...smoke is headed in that direction. This is the most efficient way to vent.

2. Straight back: Smoke is still going up, but is being redirected through the back of the hood.

3. Straight w/elbow: Right direction for the smoke, but adding an elbow decreases efficiency.

4. Downdraft: If you searched the blog for venting, you will find I am not a huge fan. Proper venting requires capture area, which is non existent in a downdraft...It is however better than nothing and can be useful in an island.


Too many turns/elbows: This decreases efficiency.

Long runs: same as above.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Its All About The Knobs

Bertazzoni has just started manufacturing a new range. At first glance, it looks like their other 30 inch model...

$300 price difference for knobs? Are they solid silver?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Products To Consider...Appliances

Part 2 of Thursdays post....

Front load laundry: You are probably tired of hearing this, but laundry is the surest way to lower your utility bills. Difference in price between an EnergyStar and conventional is not as profound either. A front load will save 2/3 water, 1/2 (at least) the electricity and will spin faster to accelerate drying...and is 66% larger on average.

Induction: 90% efficient versus 60% for pro gas...Cook faster with more precision and with no heat being added to the room. You can also choose a less pricey vent.

Power Gas burner: Almost every gas range above the standard can cook like a pro range with at least one burner of 15-16,000 BTUs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Products to Consider...Lighting

Yesterday was about mistakes...Today will be about considerations.

LED Recessed: 11 watts is equivalent to about 75 watts, with no heat output and a 20 year lamp-life.

Color rendering Fluorescents (in certain applications): Especially with white globes, these bulbs can actually accentuate fixtures. Second pic is 15 watt incandescent(yellow color) versus 5 watt fluorescent

Penadants: Guess what, if you have an informal kitchen/dining room, bar or other informal dining area, you will probably need a few.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mistakes To Avoid...Part 2

24 inch washers are versatile...They fit in small spaces, under a counter and can be stacked. There are a bunch; Bosch, Miele, Asko, Maytag and Whirlpool.

But don't run a gas line. They are exclusively electric...(A friend of mine made that error)

Mistakes To Avoid...Part 1

2 Posts today. More for your blog dollar. Lets take a look at some paneled shallow depth refrigerators...

There are a bunch: SubZero, Lehberr, Viking, Thermador, Bosch, Gaggenau and Monogram...But what about KitchenAid?

Good news: It is less expensive.

Bad News: It protrudes way more than the others.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Even More New Stuff

Go away for a couple of weeks and see the store change. Maybe they are telling me something. Anyway have a look at a brand new line for Yale called Liebherr:

I actually really like this line. First, Liebherr is the Greenest appliance company in the world. They were the first company to eliminate CFCs in 1993, and have virtually eliminated hazardous substances out of their manufacturing process.

Liebherr also fills a niche of people who want a little better piece than a built in without having to pay for a SubZero. Look at their french door bottom mount and 48 inch combination side by side.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tax Day?

Maybe the state was smart after all. Most retailers are having some kind of promotion in lieu of the state holiday. Some of them have gone overboard out of desperation of losing the only sure thing

My advice: Forget the claims of 10 to 20% off and just look at the final price whomever is cheaper, more reputable and service oriented wins....

Or next year we will have a 30% off sale(and mark it up 23.75% beforehand)

Have a nice weekend

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Something New...Finally

Finally, something new worthy of a blog post...The new GE Induction range.

Although its a tad pricy at $2699, this range is a great product with all electronic controls, induction burners, convection oven and a warming drawer.

To review, induction is the fastest (yes even faster than a pro), way more efficient, and emits zero heat, so venting can be conventional...great unit.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why My Ipod Still Works

My Ipod...faithful companion on every run and long walk. It was actually a present from my sisters, and has a wide spectrum of music from Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Old Thin Lizzy, Lady Gaga, U2, Cage The Elephant among others.

As you know, I was away for a couple of weeks, so I threw everything into my washer with two capfuls of detergent and fabric softener (to prevent wrinkles during the spin, try it). Everything in this case includes my Ipod...

So would it work. Answer is yes. Simply, I have a front load Miele washer. So it wasn't submerged under 42 gallons of water like a regular top loader..only barely damp with 10 gallons.

Brief review: Front load versus top load conventional: 25-30 less gallons per use, 1/2 to 1/3 the energy and 60% more capacity on average.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tax Free Weekend

Our best month for the last four years has been August, because of the tax free holiday. Now the Tax Weekend becomes the first month of a tax increase...Just because our state government doesn't want to, doesn't mean we can't

So this weekend select GE, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Maytag, Kitchenaid, Franke, Bosch, Schonbek Crystal, Hinkley, Rohl, Hansgrohe, Bertazzoni, Marvel, Uline and Blomberg will have full tax rebates of the 6.25%

August 15, 16 and 17

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why I Can't Shave

Back today....Anyway, my last leg was The Intercontinental Hotel in Manila...Nice place if you like armed security, etc...

Look at these two pictures and there-in lies the biggest bathroom lighting issues:

Two problems:

They centered the lights over the sink and slightly further off the wall. It is much harder to shave and probably harder to apply makeup because of shadowing....Meaning your face becomes engulfed in shadows.

Contrary to conventional thinking, you can place recessed in a bathroom area. Simply, place the lights on either side of the sink for more even lighting and no shadows....

Did you miss me?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Changing of The Bulb

We changed 214 bulbs in our wall sconce room from 15 watt incandescent to 5 watt color rendering fluorescent.

Have a look...

In addition to the fluorescent actually being brighter, it also expels less heat and lasts 10 times longer, but look at the energy difference.

Fluorescent - 214 times 5 watts is 1070 total watts

Incandescent - 214 times 15 watts is 3210 watts

Small tip: If you want good quality, buy it with a Kelvin temperature of less than 3000 degrees, so it looks like incandescent.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wall Ovens...Again

Let's end the wall oven quandry...

Wall ovens like most appliances fit cabinet specifications. New construction typically fits a 30 inch cabinet, and older sizes can be 27 or even 24 inch.

In 1975ish, convection became the new feature in high end cooking. Convection as you know is fan forced heat for more even cooking. 35 years later, there hasn't been much in the way of significant inprovement from the original design.

With this much easier task at hand, I would consider the following:

Super Premium:

Wolf and Miele - Wolf has two convection fans and a ton of cooking modes for people who want to cook. Miele has the best controls, which eliminate the guesswork out of almost any recipe.


Thermador and Electrolux - Both have good controls as their value proposition. Thermador has the best rebate program (yes a free dishwasher would help sway me as a consumer)


Bosch - I dont understand the marketing, but their products are attractive, functional and a great value.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Wolf vs Viking Part 2 - 48 inch

This is the biggest battle in cooking. Wolf, owned by SubZero, is the retooled newcomer vs the entrenched incumbant Viking. Viking at one time owned 50% share in the pro range market, but a funny thing happens when you spend your time opening culinary centers and hosting cooking tours. You become increasingly vulnerable to competition, especially from companies who plan well...

Viking woke up last year and launched a new range. Lets look at this versus the Wolf... But before, there are new products out as I look at this old post from the future. Have a look at the Pro Range buers guide

Buyers Guide

Wolf still has better simmer capabilities, convection and self cleaning in the second oven and a clock and timer unit....