Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Pat has a well deserved vacation day, so the blog is done for the year. Next year, we will begin our fifth year of blogging...I didn't initially believe there was 5 months of posts

Happy New Year....we will return on Monday

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Be Quiet

So Many Dishwashers...

But which one is the quietest. Quiet is important, especially if you have combined living and dining areas into one room.

Is it the closely held, quality obsessed Miele?

How about the popular Bosch?

The old faithful KitchenAid?

The plucky Asko from Sweden?

The answer is all of them are quiet, but the difference are not detectable by the human ear...Thus none can make the claim as quietest.

3 Good dishwasher questions:

1. How many cycles. A cycle is time and temperature and can be designed for specific items like crystal. You pay for more cycles

2. European Vs American: European is more efficient, but has a filter...American has a shredder and is less efficient

3. Integrated: Controls on the top are sleeker, but more expensive

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Last Of The Mohicans

There has never been more choice in cooking. Want Induction, Gas, Dual Fuel, Pro, Slide-In, Freestanding? No problem.

Want a downdraft for your new island? Your choice is this.

JennAir is the last company producing downdrafts. GE, Thermador, Roper and Modern Maid have exited a long time ago. But should you buy a downdraft? Maybe. Downdrafts have proximity to the actual smoke and are certainly better than no vent.

I would prefer you bought this...

Although downdrafts are aesthetically more pleasing, hoods provide better ventilation for the following reasons:

1. Typically they have greater CFM or better blower speed to move air

2. They have better capture area. Smoke can be captured and channel in greater volumes

3. Gravity....smoke travels up

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fix it

Appliance service has become increasingly difficult. Gone are the days where your Maytag washer was a simple repair. Back then, Maytag was a primitive workhorse. It had zero electronics, was front serviceable and belt driven.

Flash forward 10 years and every appliance is gadget laden. With the exception of Miele, companies are designing from one place, procuring from many other places and assembling in yet another place. Thus complicating effective repair.

Still, appliances last 8-12 years, which is good in comparison to cars or any other durable good. If you actually want timely, competent repair, the following steps will help.

1. BEFORE you buy an appliance, understand who fixes it, especially with more exotic brands like LG and Samsung.

2. Know the model and serial number: Serial number is especially important, because companies will use different parts for the same model number.

3. Exact nature of problem: Better descriptions allows the repair company to properly diagnose the problem.

4. Get a rough estimate...

5. Due your diligence. Check the company on the BBB, Yelp or ask friends. There is very good and extremely bad....

Shaban, our service manager, probably has the least enviable, but most important job in the company.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Best Kitchen, Happy New Year

Before I wish you a happy holiday, the social marketing team wanted me to post about our Facebook Best Kitchen contest. Just send pictures of your kitchen and earn a chance to win a chef demo/catering event by Kurt Von Kahle. Simply email some pictures of your kitchen to contest@yaleappliance.com to enter, check here for the full rules (facebook link).

Happy Holidays....I love this time of year. It's good family time. I am servineg at Pine Street and then headed over my sisters for dinner. Should be fun

Be safe, healthy and happy, there isn't much else

Take care,


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pro Ranges...Basics

So many brands, Wolf, Capital, Viking, Thermador and JennAir. A professional range originated in the restaurant. It features high output burners, but unlike the commercial the pro can abut combustible surfaces like wood. It also will not scald your hands like a commercial range....

But how do you pick a 48"?

1. Burner ratings...Vary especially on the simmer

2. Second oven can be self-cleaning convection, but most are non self-cleaning

3. Price...big difference

4. Clock and timer

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Electric Ranges....Basics

Yesterday's post was gas ranges....seems only fitting we should cover electric. As a FYI, Boston is 65% gas 35% electric. As I have posted previously in the appliance industry, a better range really is about features.

Electric is a little different than gas, because of the advent of induction (magnetic heat).

So what is the difference between this,

and this for $800 more

and this for $2000 more

1. Fifth burner

2. Convection...Fan forced heat for a more even heat

3. Induction. Faster heat, better simmer, 35% more efficient, less required venting, virtually child safe

4. Second oven instead of storage

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gas Ranges...Basics

So many gas ranges and so many brands. 90% of what we sell is 30 inches wide. As I have said throughout the ole blog, appliances follow cabinet sizes. 30 inch is almost universal for cooking.

But what is the difference between a good range,

and a great one....

1. BTU: Better ranges will have a higher BTU burners and a better simmer option

2. Griddle/5 burner option

3. Convection....Fan forced heat to keep a more even temperature for better baking

4. Second oven instead of a warming drawer

5. Aesthetics: More metal less black

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rock, Walk And Frigidaire

Every year, WAAF features a great charity event called the Walk And Rock For Change. Their radio personalities walk to Boston over three days (usually in bitter cold) for the local Food Banks around New England. The listeners also request songs for donations. This event has generated over 1 million dollars since its inception.

I have always loved this event, since they charged me $500 for my Peaches N Herb request (it's a rock station). This is a great event and a worthy cause. If you have a few dollars, here is WAAF's website. Remember, $1 buys two meals...

Now to our regularly scheduled post:

Last week, Steve Shipley was our featured guest chef, and he loved using the Frigidaire hybrid induction cooktop.

The reasons:

Griddle burner: For bigger plates, etc.

Temperature readings: More precise cooking

Dual Zone induction: For fast boiling and simmering on larger pots

Secondary induction: For more of the above albeit owith smaller pots

Why you should like it: When induction was first introduced, the price was $3500 plus. This cooktop is $1389.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Made In The USA

Front loaders have certainly evolved. They started with the ill fated Maytag Neptune, but now all of them will be much bigger with greater efficiency to a standard washing machine. The payback is now only 1-4 years with an annual savings in electricity, water, detergents of $125-175.

But which ones are made in the USA? It is an important consideration since our economy was (and hopefully will be) based on a healthy manufacturing sector.

The answer is surprising...

Whirlpool/Maytag, after years of importing, have built their latest Duets in the country.

Bosch is a German company building appliances in North Carolina.

Frigidaire and Electrolux are built in Mexico, GE is made in China, LG and Samsung is produced in Korea. Miele is manufactured in Germany.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The $299 Stainless Dishwasher

Frigidaire's most popular dishwasher (by far) is $299 after $250 in rebates.

Have a look:

The 2433 model is integrated (controls on top) with every conceivable cycle.

This is, however, yet another another post about rebates. Often, as consumers we will time our purchases around tax day to save 6.25%.

You would be better off to watch for a rebate promotion like this....it happens every 90-150 days.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Wolves

You are looking for a 36 inch pro range, and see these two Wolfs (or Wolves). The price difference is $3000+....But what is the associated gain?

1. Electric convection instead of gas. Electric is a better baking oven

2. Self cleaning versus manual cleaning (aka you clean it yourself)

3. Clock and timer

4. Light up knobs..easier to set the temperature

Monday, December 13, 2010

Your Christmas Tree

This is the front of my home.

I would take credit, but its my neighbor Owen's tree. The lights are LED. Your tree's lights should be LED, because it emits zero heat. Incandescent heats to 300, so there is less of a fire risk with better light. LED will also last 20 years, which is forever in holiday years.

LED is much harder to buy for the interior of your house. Although the efficiency is off the charts, there are not many LED manufacturers producing a true white LED.

A couple of suggestions for buying LED:

1. Kelvin temperature of 2700-3400 degrees. This will insure the proper color. Our tree is 5000 degrees, which renders a bluish color.

2. Buy it with a Cree chip. Cree manufacturers the LED drivers for many manufacturers. In my opinion, Cree manufactures the most consistent LED

So place LED all over your decorations, but be very careful of buying it for your home.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Dish Draw

Fisher Paykel manufactured the revolutionary dish drawer, and people liked the design.

It is ergo-metric, quiet and the drawers work independently. You have to load the dishes differently though, which is the source of its love or enmity. We repaired 277 over the last 12 months. This far exceeds what we actually sold...an indication that repair is almost non-existent.

It's worth asking about if you are considering a purchase.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Compactor Monopoly

This will be my first post on compactors and probably last. Not that I don't respect the product. It compacts 4 bags of trash into one very neat bag. Compacting trash basically removes the air through weight, so it works...

There is another reason...Have a look.

They are all manufactured by Whirlpool...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


When I was a wee lad, faucets were designed to be utilitarian. Now they are created for form and function. It was almost a requirement, as the Europeans designed better sinks there wasn't enough room for a traditional faucet as well as a hot and cold controller on the sink itself...

Now look at faucets: Most are now designed with hot, cold and pullout spray manufactured so they can fit on a European sink.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

Time for your first quiz in the almost 4 year history of The Yale Blog.

Which is the hottest and fastest to boil (it's a semi-trick question)?

Wolf Pro

GE Cafe

Electrolux induction

Although Wolf has multiple power burners of 15k, the GE Cafe has 1 burner of 17,000. So the GE Cafe is technically hotter and therefore faster.

The induction (whether Frigidaire, Viking, Samsung, GE or Electrolux) will be considerably faster than the hottest gas burner.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Commodore

There is a great movie called Spinal Tap. It's a spoof about heavy metal bands. At one point the lead guitarist is asked why the amps go from 1 to 11 rather than the usual 1 to 10.

He says they have 11 for the extra boost when needed...

Which brings us to the Commodore disposer, the worlds only 1 and 1/4 horsepower disposer.

For that extra boost, when needed...

How to buy a disposer:

1. Disposers are available 2 ways: Continuous or wall switch activated or Batch which is activated by a cover for safety.

2. Faster is better. More horsepower will grind faster. Horse power ranges from 1/3 to 1.25

3. Warranties run the gamut from 1 year limited to lifetime replacement

Friday, December 03, 2010

Indirectly Speaking

A little blog extra today

Blasting away with tons of recessed lights is perhaps the biggest lighting design issue. You are probably thinking you need tons of light to light.

My Question is:

Are you still sure?

How to light a room (the basics)

1. What room? Kitchens and baths need more, everywhere else needs less

2. What are we lighting

3. Layer your lighting with elements of task, accent, ambient and decorative

Products To Consider

I have often posted about rebates, which can be enormous. Have a look at a few examples...

Frigidaire FDB2433 - This is Frigidaire's best selling stainless dishwasher, and it is $299 after $250 in rebates. Not bad for an integrated dishwasher.

Bosch SHE43P25 - This is the best selling Bosch dishwasher. It is all stainless, quiet and water saving. It is $649 after $150 in rebates.

Frigidaire FAFS4272 - The new Frigidaire washer is bigger, uses less water and has a steam option. It is $449 after $300 in rebates.

Bosch WFVC4400 - This is a great washer. It is big, water and energy efficient. It is $569 after $200 in rebates.

It must be end of the year, and companies have quotas to fill...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Its Whats Inside That Counts

Ever seen the inside of an appliance? How about a SubZero? This is a SubZero disassembled...

Service is the largest part of the company. I have been on the service vans once a week for awhile and have come to the following conclusion for people who want it fixed the first time.

Here is what is needed:

1. Model number

2. Serial number

3. The exact nature of the problem...what happens, when it happens, etc.

We pre-diagnose every call and have the largest parts company (Marcone) in our warehouse. Without the above information, it's like walking into a doctors office and saying I have pain...

BTW, this SubZero was a sealed system issue. Average sealed system repair is 4 -5 hours.