Archive for the 'Appliances' Category

A glass-door refrigerator for a change of pace

Yes, it’s a bit unusual. But why not? This is a commercial refrigerator from Frigidaire that is being used in a home. It costs from $1,400 to $1,700 depending on what kind of deal you can get. The light can stay on or off. You decide. Some people like to leave it on during the [...]

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Quiz: Which is the biggest energy hog at home?

Before we start generating energy onsite with solar panels and geothermal, we should cut down on any needless uses of energy in our homes. That way, we’ll need fewer solar panels to give us all the energy our homes need. But we are mostly in the dark (pun intended) when it comes to energy use. [...]

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Laundry rooms of the rich and famous — their secret

So I’m sitting here watching HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” with Larry David, one of my many guilty pleasures, and Larry is in one of his typical fixes. He’s offered to let the residents of a battered women’s shelter use his washer and dryer when theirs has gone on the fritz. Of course, if you know [...]

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Laundry room appliances too cute to hide

When Kristina Johnson and David Franke remodeled their California kitchen and laundry room, they did a surprising thing: left the door off the laundry room. Of course, I had a question about that missing door: “Why?” You might have to love appliances as much as Kristina and Dave do to understand the reasoning: The high-end, [...]

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Before & After — Ikea kitchen island on steroids

This is one of the best budget kitchen remodels I’ve seen. While you can see a dramatic change from before (bottom) and after (top), notice that the cabinets are the same, the window is in the same place, all the appliances are in the same locations and the floor and ceiling are the same. So [...]

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During a hurricane, wishing for another chance

With a hurricane on the way, you have a long list of things you wish you’d done earlier. They include: • Installed some kind of shutters or hurricane-resistant windows • Bought a generator to avoid the long lines at Home Depot or Lowe’s • Bought a small air conditioner and small refrigerator to run off [...]

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Why should buildings cause 39% of greenhouse gases? That just ain’t right

What is the most critical, dangerous, life-threatening problem of our time? Carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Everything else — political discord, economic downturns, loss of freedoms — can be changed fairly quickly. But once those greenhouse gases become trapped in the atmosphere, they will be there for a long, long, long time. And [...]

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Air conditioner on the fritz? Maybe it’s been stolen

Here’s an embarrassing situation: Your air conditioner stops working so you call out the repair company. When they arrive, they’re puzzled to see a bare concrete slab where your air conditioner used to be. Your AC has been stolen. This happens and not infrequently, unfortunately. Thieves can sell the copper in an AC unit for [...]

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4.8 million box fans recalled

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product. Name of Product: Box fans Units: About 4.8 [...]

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A new kitchen for an older woman

Outside of Charlotte, N.C., Judy Hammill moved back to the farmhouse where she grew up and that her own father built. But the kitchen was dated and would not work as Judy settled into retirement and got older. She won a makeover from AARP and an aging-in-place specialist to make the kitchen accessible. The new [...]

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The greenest remodel in America?

If you can’t sell your parent’s former home, why not turn it into a showcase for green remodeling? That’s exactly what Jay DeChesere and his wife did with a ranch style home in Wilmington, N.C. that his parents moved out of and into an assisted living facility. You could say the collapse of the housing [...]

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1.5 million dishwashers recalled

Name of Product: Maytag Dishwashers Units: About 1.7 million in the United States Manufacturer: Maytag Corp. of Newton, Iowa or Maytag Corp. of Benton Harbor, Mich. Hazard: An electrical failure in the dishwasher’s heating element can pose a serious fire hazard. Incidents/Injuries: Maytag has received 12 reports of dishwasher heating element failures that resulted in fires and dishwasher damage, including one [...]

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2010 Trends — Is contemporary out? Already?

In 2008, I posed this question in a poll: Is contemporary style on its way out? My theory was that hard economic times would propel people into the comfort of traditional styles. I used this June 2008 photo from Architectural Digest to illustrate the shift. Notice the farm style table and warm floors to balance [...]

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Refrigerator makeover

Before After See how it’s done from CNN

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Where to put the microwave? 14 tips

Another winning piece by kitchen designer Susan Serra: Honestly? Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, finding a place for the microwave drives me crazy! It’s not always such an obvious, easy, appliance to place. In fact, I could write a book on placing the microwave alone. First, determine how “much” microwave you need, and by that [...]

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The dangers of laundry detergent overload

From Kathy at DIY Life: After we bought our new high-efficiency washing machine, I was warned by a few different people not to use too much detergent. High-efficiency washers use less water and require less detergent to do their job (hence, the efficiency.) I didn’t give it too much thought, though. What’s the worst that [...]

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The Future: Machine makes toilet paper from recycled office paper

The Japanese are at it again in the bathroom. This time, we see a large machine that shreds recycled office paper, mixes it with water to make a pulp and then turns it into rolls of toilet paper. This newfangled contraption is currently as large as a bathroom, but I can see a day when [...]

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Don’t miss out on cash for clunkers for appliances rebates in your state

From Consumer Reports: While a few states started doling out rebates to consumers as part of the $300 million cash for clunkers for appliances program at the end of 2009, the launch date for most states will occur throughout the first several months of 2010. Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois (phase 1 only), Kansas, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, [...]

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Whirlpool smells profit in new washer with anti-odor, smart grid features

It may feel a little creepy to think of your washing machine talking to the power company, but that's among the bells and whistles appliance manufacturers are coming up with to perk up a market that's been smacked down hard by the recession.  For now, Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) wants to get an edge by protecting [...]

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Economy wins, environment loses? Survey finds consumers now would rather make their homes prettier than energy-efficient

A new national survey released today finds Americans once again prefer aesthetic home improvements – a refinished kitchen or bathroom – over money-saving improvements, such as energy-efficient windows or a high-efficiency furnace.   The survey, the fifth annual Energy Pulse survey conducted by Shelton Group, found that consumers are reverting to their old priorities as the [...]

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