Customer Kitchens: Part II

Hey Appliance Fans,

The Kieffer’s Guy is off today, and after much begging and brown-nosing, he let me have the honor of writing a blog post! So today’s post is brought to you by the Kieffer’s Intern! Please hold your applause until the end, and contain yourselves.

A couple of months ago  we asked our clients to send us pictures of their finished kitchens and you guys did not disappoint. As always, we will keep you anonymous while we showcase your before/after shots. Today’s kitchen re-model comes from Flourtown, Pennsylvania, and features some beautiful appliances. Let’s take a look.

Before Pictures:

 

Picture of old stainless steel double-oven in wooden cabinet

Historical records indicate that Abe Lincoln made hot pockets using this double-oven.

Past-model gas cooktop with under cabinet ventilation above

We received a call from the 70’s, asking us to return their funky-fresh tile work.

Older model stainless steel refrigerator sitting proud of the cabinets surrounding.

In the design world, there’s a concept called “Integration”. This is not it.

 

Now I know what you’re thinking, be nice. From what I understand, this was a very old house.  For the new kitchen, our client used a variety of brands such as Liebherr, Wolf, GE Monogram, Electrolux, Bosch, and Ventahood.  The transformation is nothing short of spectacular.

After Pictures:

Image of a GE Advantium Oven model ZSC2201NSS

Check out this Advantium Speed Oven, Model: ZSC2201NSS

 

GE Monogram is a wonderful brand and our client put it to good use. What you see here is GE Monogram’s built-in oven that features their famous Advantium Speedcook technology. This appliance can cook crescent rolls in less than 10 minutes!

An image of a GE Monogram Oven Model ZET1SMSS

Here’s a 30-inch convection wall oven from GE Monogram, Model: ZET1SMSS

 

In this picture, you see the 30” built-in wall oven from GE Monogram. The way it sits flush under that counter gives it a smooth, integrated look. Love it! Let’s talk about that fridge because it’s a beautiful example of integration.  What you see (barely) to the left of the oven is Liebherr’s 36-inch refrigerator with bottom freezer, model HC2061. Among a great number of features, this unit includes Liebherr’s patented BioFresh system, which calibrates the temperature of the refrigerator in one of its drawers to just above freezing which adds to the life of meats, fish, and other items.

 

Image of a Bosch dishwasher model SHX7PT55UC

Look at that sexy Bosch dishwasher, model SHX7PT55UC

You can’t just say “We have the quietest dishwasher in the country” and not have the data to back it up. This Bosch dishwasher clocks in at 42 dBA, making it about as loud as a whisper. Expandable wings on its flexible 3rd rack, also known as a cutlery tray, provides extra height to fit measuring cups and extra-large utensils.

Image of Wolf's 30 inch cooktop model CT30GS and a Ventahood, model SLH9130SS

Wolf’s 30-inch gas cooktop, model CT30GS with Ventahood’s 30-inch undercabinet hood, model SLH9130SS)

When it came to the cooktop and hood, our customer chose to keep the design the same, but she upgraded the hardware. This 30-inch cooktop from Wolf is fantastic. It has a dual stacked burner design that reaches upwards of 15,000 BTU’s, delivering tons of heat. You can also turn down for a simmer with no boiling or scorching.

Everybody knows the Kieffer’s Guy loves Ventahood, and for good reason. This unit, from their Emerald series, features Ventahood’s patented Magic Lung technology. Magic Lung technology allows Ventahood to have the quietest blower around. In stainless steel, it matches the cooktop perfectly, making for a beautiful cooking setup that is both functional and efficient. Great picks on the cooking and ventilation appliances!

Image of Electrolux washer EIFLS60LT and gas dryer EIMGD60LT

Titanium washer from Electrolux, model EIFLS60LT and matching gas dryer, model EIMGD60LT

Although not a part of the kitchen, the laundry appliances are very important. Here, our customer chose to go with an Electrolux pair.  These models feature Electrolux’s IQ-Touch Controls which lets you see all of your washing/drying options at all times.  The dryer boasts steam technology and the washer features a quick wash cycle that’s just 15 minutes long!

Well, that’s it for today, appliance fans! If you have any questions about any of the appliances in either one of the kitchens, give us a call at 215-699-3522.

Until next time, America!

-The Kieffer’s Intern

Sub-Zero’s 42-Inch French Door Refrigerator (BI-42UFD)

Hey Appliance Fans,

I always like sharing big news with you and I know you visit the blog for inside scoops on the appliance industry. Today, hopefully, I won’t disappoint.

Up until now, if you wanted to purchase a 42-inch wide, built-in French door refrigerator, KitchenAid was your only option. Well, those days are gone and after much anticipation, Sub-Zero has just released their own 42-inch French door built-in refrigerator (model: BI-42UFD).

The best part? We have one in the Kieffer’s Appliances Showroom!

Just like their other refrigerators in the BI series, you have a choice of finishes and handles. They break down as follows:

Sub Zero BI-42UFD with light wood panels to match kitchen

My Kitchen is TOTALLY that clean. (Sub-Zero BI-42UFD/O)

 

BI-42UFD/O:

This model is ready to accept a custom wood front (see the image above) and does not ship with any handles because the idea is to match the handles with the hardware on the cabinetry. If you want, you can purchase tubular or pro-style handles from Sub-Zero separately.

BI-42UFD/S/TH:

Same model as above, except this unit has stainless steel doors with tubular handles already on the unit.

Sub-Zero BI-42UFD/S/TH all stainless in kitchen with dark brown cabinets and hardwood flooring.

Like parking a Ferrari in your kitchen.

 

BI-42UFD/S/PH:

Again, this is the same model but with stainless steel doors and a professional style handle that matches Wolf ranges and ovens.

Sub-Zero BI-42UFD with pro handles interior

Those pro handles are extremely comfortable and handle great around tight turns!

No matter which refrigerator you choose, all of the 42-inch French door refrigerators from Sub-Zero feature 24.7-cubic feet of capacity (18.3 in the refrigerator and 6.4 in the freezer). The refrigerator compartment has six adjustable glass shelves, an air purification system, and two adjustable dairy compartments. The freezer features an ice maker with filtered water and a full-extension drawer with 2-tiered wire baskets.

Just like other Sub-Zero refrigerators, the 42-inch French door model is a dual-compressor system meaning one compressor cools the refrigerator and one cools the freezer; you never have to worry about flavors transferring from the refrigerator to the freezer or vice versa. Probably the best part about purchasing a Sub-Zero (besides longer lasting, fresher foods) is the extra year warranty you receive when our certified technicians install one of these bad boys in your kitchen.

Sub-Zero BI-42UFD with pro handles interior of freezer drawer

The pro handles are gorgeous and all… but where’s the bacon?!

Want to know more about the new 42-inch French door refrigerator from Sub-Zero? Give us a call and our staff will be happy to help you. Or come see it for yourself! Until next time, America!

-The Kieffer’s Guy

Large Capacity Refrigerators and Your Kitchen

Hey Appliance Fans,

28 cubic feet of capacity.  29 cubic feet of capacity.  30 cubic feet of capacity.  31 cubic feet of capacity.  Do you know where I’m going with this?  Yup.  I’m talking about refrigerators; specifically large capacity refrigerators.  The reason I’m bringing this up is because consumers don’t realize just how big these units are until they get them in their home.  Today’s topic is going to be about these behemoth appliances.  I certainly don’t want to talk you out of purchasing a refrigerator this size, but I want to make you fully aware of what you’re getting yourself into.

Bigger Is Better

And I've lost my appetite.

And I’ve lost my appetite.

As Americans, we assume this to be true on a daily basis.  If bigger wasn’t better, Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club wouldn’t exist.  I mean, how dare you tell me that I don’t need a fifty pound jar of beef jerky and a five gallon vat of relish.  But bigger isn’t always better such as a credit card bill, a leak, or Honey Boo Boo’s Mom.   Of course bigger isn’t always better when we’re talking about refrigerators and let’s list some reasons:

  1.  It doesn’t fit in your cabinetry giving you the look you want
  2. It blocks a pathway or work flow in the kitchen
  3. It won’t fit into your home

There’s no question that 28-31 cubic feet of capacity is enormous and will store lots of food.  In fact these refrigerators offer slightly more storage room than the Sarlacc which resides in the Great Pit of Carkoon (my very FIRST reference to Star Wars in the blog!!)  Do you really need that much room?  Probably not if you’re a family of two or three.  If you have a few teenage boys that eat their weight every two hours, then maybe you do need something with a larger capacity.  I want you to think about what’s in the back of your refrigerator right now.  Go ahead.  You probably don’t know what’s back there, do you?  Whatever is back there is probably more like a science experiment than a late-night snack.  My point is don’t be seduced by a bigger size refrigerator.  Try and figure out how much capacity your current refrigerator has now and determine if that capacity works for you or not.  If it does, why would you get a bigger unit?

The Sarlacc offers slightly less capacity than a 29 Cubic Foot Refrigerator from GE.

The Sarlacc offers slightly less capacity than a 29 Cubic Foot Refrigerator from GE.

It Won’t Fit Into Your Cabinetry

This isn’t entirely true.  As long as you have enough width and enough height in the cabinet cutout, then the unit will fit.  What people don’t realize is how deep these units actually are.  Adding depth is how manufacturers achieve super-large capacities.  If you want a particular look of an almost flush install with your cabinetry, these models are NOT for you.  I repeat:  these models are not for you.  If you want a flusher look, get a counter-depth unit.  In fact, we just put a 29 cubic foot GE Profile into cabinetry on our showroom floor to give customers a visual of what to expect:

No Flush Look For You!

No Flush Look For You!

It Blocks a Pathway or Work Flow In Your Kitchen

I’m piggybacking off of the whole won’t-fit-into-your-cabinetry idea.  Before you purchase one of these babies, take note of where its final resting place will be.  For example, do you have an island right in front of the refrigerator that might impede traffic flow with the added depth of the unit?  Because these refrigerators stick out more, ask yourself:

  • “Will it get in the way of an entrance into/out of the kitchen?”
  • “Will this unit interrupt traffic flow if more than one person is cooking or interrupt the general traffic flow inside the kitchen?”

The added depth may or may not affect your kitchen or cooking habits, but certainly double check.

That's a lot depth.  Make sure it doesn't impede the flow of your kitchen.

That’s a lot depth. Make sure it doesn’t impede the flow of your kitchen.

It Won’t Fit Into Your Home

Because of their depth, I can almost guarantee that our drivers will have to remove the refrigerator doors just to be able to fit these units through your front door; however, there’s only so much we can do on our end.  It’s important to measure not just the final destination of the appliance, but also the pathway our drivers need to use to get the refrigerator in place.  If you live in an older house, this could be even more important as doorways and hallways were narrower than they are now.  You might be dreaming of a refrigerator that can fit an elk, but we might not even be able to get the unit into your house let alone the kitchen. *

*Legal is requiring me to mention that I have not tested to see if an elk will fit in a large refrigerator.  I’ve used a literary device called hyperbole so back off.

We’re coming to a close for this week’s post, but remember these things before you purchase a large capacity refrigerator:

  1. Measure.  Will it fit in the desired area?  Will it fit through hallways and doors that lead to the desired install location?
  2. Will the depth of the unit affect any traffic/work flow in your kitchen?
  3. Will the refrigerator even fit through the front (or back) door?

Tip:  Having problems visualizing how much one of these refrigerators will stick out of your cabinetry?  Place a yardstick against the wall where the unit will rest and take note of where the yardstick ends.  Though there’s not one depth for all of these units, guesstimating a 36” depth is a good guide to go off of for a general idea of what you’re getting into.

That’s all for this week, appliance fans.  Until next time, America!

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!

P.S.  Here’s the awesome fight scene from Return of  The Jedi with the Sarlacc.  You’re welcome.

Viking D3 Knobs

Viking’s New D3 Line

Hey Appliance Fans,

Last post was all about my awesome trip to Viking’s Headquarters in Greenwood, MS.  This post is all about Viking’s brand new line called D3.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t much of a fan of the old designer series.  Not because of the performance, but more because of the styling.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt this way and Viking agreed.  So Viking went back to the drawing board and came up with a really fresh look.  And they made it super easy to personalize (more on that in a second).

The Best Part About D3

The warranty, period.  Viking has extended their Three Year Signature warranty to include ALL D3 products.  That’s right, I said ALL D3 products.  I can’t think of another company that offers a three year warranty on their freestanding refrigeration let alone their cooking products.

The Look

Viking D3 Knobs

You can choose any color you want for the knob inserts or you can use wood from your cabinetry.

Viking stayed true to some of the look from previous series (like the full width black glass on their range and oven doors).  One thing that was lacking from previous designs was the knobs.  To put it simply, the knobs were gross.  Not anymore.  Viking’s knobs on the D3 product are much beefier and more pro-style than previous models.  The coolest part about the knobs is how you can personalize them to match your cabinetry or other colors in your kitchen.  The inserts that are blue in the picture can be colored to match anything you want.  You can even insert wood into the slots to match your cabinetry perfectly.  Just a small change like this makes a HUGE difference in the overall appearance of the appliance.  Viking also changed the style of their grates for the ranges.   Less sleek, more beef.  Score.

The Product Line

Viking D3 Double Wall Oven

Up close shot of the knobs and handles on the new D3 wall ovens.

If you’re familiar with the overall product line of Viking, then you know that they offer about 1.2 billion appliances.  This can get REALLY confusing for consumers and for idiot salespeople like me.  The D3 line, however, has twenty-two models.  That’s it.  Now I’m sure they will introduce more products into the line, but for now it’s very streamlined and I think this benefits the consumer because it doesn’t inundate them with some many choices.  Some highlights of the line are:

30” Ranges (all self-clean): Gas, Dual Fuel, and Electric

30” Wall Oven: Double or Single

Microwave: One built-in option or two over the range options (one traditional and one with convection)

Cooktops: 30” & 36” Gas or 30”, 36”, & 45” Electric (no induction……yet)

Refrigeration: 36” Counter Depth French Door with internal water and ice– AWESOME refrigerator

Dishwashers: Two options

Ventilation: 30” & 36” Chimney Style (both with the option to recirculate).  30”, 36”, & 45” Downdrafts

Warming Drawer: One option at 30” wide

Performance

Viking D3 Gas Range

New grates, new knobs, all the power you need.

How about an 18,000 BTU power burner on their gas ranges?  Cooktops have a 17,000 BTU burner.  Is that enough power?  Plus D3 convection ovens boast the largest convection fan in the market (8 ½“).  Oh, and it’s bidirectional for maximum heat coverage in the oven.   Anyone impressed that I used the word bidirectional?  No?  Fair enough.

D3 at Kieffer’s Appliances

In the not too distant future, we’ll have a sweet display of the D3 line in our showroom.  I’ll be sure to tweet all about it and I’m sure write a quick post with some pictures.  In the meantime, get off your keister and friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kieffers.

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!

Food For Thought When You’re Not Thinking About Food

Hey Appliance Fans,

I brought my buddy Captain Obvious to help me out with today's blog post.

Long title to this blog post, eh?  I know.  If you’re looking to talk food, head over to www.kiefferscooks.com.  The “food” for thought today might seem a bit obvious, but I thought I’d develop a little checklist for all of you appliance shoppers who are looking to replace appliances or re-do their kitchens entirely.  By no means is this the complete list, but it should help point you in the right direction.  If I missed anything, which I probably did, send me an email and I’ll add it to the list.

The List

While you might have a list of likes and dislikes about your current appliances, write them down.  One of the many things I’m guilty of is making a grocery list in my head, going to the store, and getting everything EXCEPT for two items.  And they’re usually important.  Like toilet paper or deodorant…..or chocolate.  Some questions to ask could be:

  • Do I have enough space in my refrigerator and freezer?  If you’re looking for more width in your refrigerator, going with a side by side model might not be the best idea.  If you want a counter-depth refrigerator because of the look, but still need more space, maybe refrigerator/freezer drawers are for you or some under-counter refrigerator.  For the differences between standard and counter-depth refrigerators, check out this post.
  • How is the size of your cooktop?  Most people have a 30″ range or cooktop (if you have four burners, most likely you have a 30″ cooking surface).  Is this big enough?  We find that a lot of our customers step up to a 36″ range or cooktop.  Did you want to add a griddle or a grill to your range or range top?  Once you decide to go 36″ or wider, having the option of a griddle or a grill becomes a reality.
  • What do you like or dislike about your dishwasher?  If your dishwasher is 10-15 years old, YOU are in for a treat!  There are so many more features available now than ever before: cutlery trays, flexible rack configurations, adjustable rack heights, power wash zones, etc.  The list goes on and on.
  • How do you want your kitchen to “flow”?  Maybe you’re working with a kitchen designer, maybe you’re not.  Either way, ensure that traffic can still flow through your kitchen even when the refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven doors are open (not all open at the same time….I think you get what I’m trying to say).
  • Will the appliances fit in my house?  Don’t confuse this question with: will the appliances fit in the spaces I have set aside for them?  They are two different things.  Will the appliances fit in my house means can they fit through the areas to get the unit to its final home?  Make sure there is enough space in doorways, hallways, and other places that the appliance must fit through to get into your kitchen.  Our delivery guys work EXTREMELY hard, but they aren’t equipped with shrink rays to make the appliances smaller.
  • What color of appliances did you want?  Customers pretty much answer this question before they even step into a showroom.  Black, white,

    A "Dahlia Yellow" range from BlueStar.

    stainless, or bisque (aka almond)?  Remember that bisque is a color that is slowly being phased out of manufacturers’ production lines (it’s becoming the avocado color of the 1970’s).  Many companies still make bisque options, but the options don’t include their entire product line meaning there are fewer choices.  If your entire kitchen is bisque and you are just replacing the dishwasher, you might want to think about replacing the dishwasher in another color and then matching that color as the other appliances run their course.  Some range companies like Viking, BlueStar, AGA, American Range, and La Cornue offer a wide variety of color options.

As I mentioned before, this is just a list to get you started.  Many other questions will pop up as you dig deeper and deeper in the appliance world.  Notice, however, that I never mentioned specific products.  Customers get too pumped up about a particular manufacturer BEFORE they even know what features they want in their appliances.  Always determine what you want out of your appliances before you settle on a brand.  Match the brand to your needs, not the other way around.

That’s all for now, see you next time!

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!

Counter-Depth, Standard Depth, Panel/No Panel: Pass the Straightjacket

Hey Appliance Fans,

I’m guessing that if you’re visiting the blog, you’ve already decided to re-do your kitchen.  You’ve probably done a ton of research on a ton of appliances and consider yourself pretty savvy.  This week I’m going to pretend that you’re dumb (I said pretend– don’t get all offended) and discuss some fundamental aspects of free-standing refrigeration.  It can make a sane person crazy and since I’m already insane, I’m the perfect guy to write the article!  I’ll discuss built-in options at a later date.

Standard Depth Refrigeration:

A great angle shot of a standard depth unit next to a counter-top.

This is probably the size of refrigerator that you grew up with and you probably have this design in your kitchen now (although MANY homes are switching to counter-depth).  Standard depth models are deeper than your counter top (counter tops are 24″).  Typically the cabinet portion of a standard depth refrigerator (without the doors & handles)  is about 29″.  Keep in mind that every manufacturer is going to have slight differences, but this is a good number to go off of.  When you add the doors and handles to the equation, the refrigerator can have a depth of 35-36″.  Again, every manufacturer is different so give me a break if my numbers aren’t exact.

So what does this mean?  Well the refrigerator would stick out roughly nine inches from your counter top (counting the handles).  Depending on where your refrigerator is located, that’s not a bad thing, it’s just the reality of a standard depth refrigerator.  If you’re going for a built-in look without spending built-in prices,  then counter depth is for you.

Benefits of a standard depth refrigerator:

  • Price Point (less money than counter depth and built-in designs)
  • Bigger Capacity
  • Replacing an old standard depth model
  • Colors: Stainless, Black, White, Bisque
  • French Door, Side By Side, Top Mount, Single Door Bottom Mount

Counter Depth Refrigeration:

A fantastic example of a counter depth unit put in a cutout to give the illusion of a built-in model.

If a standard depth refrigerator isn’t for you, but you don’t want to spend the money on a built-in unit, then you have just entered the realm of counter depth refrigeration.  Counter depth provides a sleeker look and in some cases the illusion of a built-in model.  The cabinet portion of the refrigerator is going to match the depth of your counter top: 24 inches.  Because the depth is shallower, the capacity of counter depth refrigeration is less than standard depth.

The doors of a counter depth refrigerator will ALWAYS stick out of the cutout.  They have to because of the way the hinges are designed.  If you installed this refrigerator with the doors flush with the counter top, there wouldn’t be enough clearance for the doors to open.  Last time I checked, having doors that open is pretty crucial when dealing with refrigeration.

Panel Ready Counter Depth Units:

Every now and then, I have a customer who asks me about panel ready, counter depth units.  Yes they make them.  But it’s SUPER important to understand how they look. From the front, they look great.  REMEMBER though that the doors of the refrigerator have to stick out in front of the cabinetry for them to open.  So if  a panel is put on the refrigerator, the doors will be exposed from the side.  You can’t get a flush look with a free-standing counter depth model.  Many customers don’t realize that and in most cases, it becomes a deal breaker.  If you want a flush design, you’re going to have to look at built-in units (which I’ll cover on another day).

Paneled on the front, exposed on the side.

Benefits of counter depth refrigeration

  • Gives the illusion of a built-in model
  • Fits nicely next to counter tops
  • Side by Side, French Door, Bottom Mount styles
  • Colors: Stainless, Black, White, and Bisque

I hope I’ve cleared up some of the confusion between standard vs. counter depth refrigeration.  To get all of your questions answered, stop into our showroom and talk with one of our sales people.  I’ve commanded them to help you.  🙂

Crazy News! Insane News!

Hey Appliance Fans,

Raise your hands if you’re used to companies providing less and less and charging more and more for their products (excluding Kieffer’s of course, I go to bat for EVERY single one of my customers).  Remember when ice cream came in true half gallon sizes?  Restaurants used to pack up your leftovers for you.  Rebates were paid with checks not debit cards.  Realize that all of the sentences so far have started with the letter `R`.

My point is that we are always asked to do more with less.  From ice cream to our jobs.  Do more with less.  Every once in a while, however, a company does something so crazy that you almost have to pinch yourself to make sure that you’re awake.  Appliance fans, today is that day.  Make sure you’re sitting down for this:

Viking 3 Year Full Warranty

This could be yours, with a FULL 3 YEAR WARRANTY

Viking has EXTENDED their warranty to a full 3 years on all indoor Viking Professional Products!
(excluding under-counter refrigeration and ice makers)

Is anybody else with me on how insanely awesome this is?  When banks are failing and crying for handouts and manufacturers are sending jobs overseas, Viking thumbs their collective noses at the establishment  and does the opposite:  Still made in America (Greenwood, MS) and they stand behind their product more than any other appliance manufacturer out there.  To quote Emeril, “BAM!”

So what’s a person to do with this great news?  How about stop by our showroom and talked to one of our salespeople about filling your dream kitchen with Viking!  What a great idea!

Shameless Plug:

Have you checked out our cooking blog, kiefferscooks.com?  Written by our in house Chef, Brenda Kieffer, the blog covers her experience studying at the Culinary Institute of America, restaurant reviews, and recipes.  It’s a fun read, so check it out today!

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!

Ice Ice, Baby

Hey Appliance Fans,

I won, I won!

I’m proud to announce that you are now reading a blog written by an award winning blogger!  That’s right, my blog (I mean the Kieffer’s Appliances Blog) won a Home Builders Association of Chester & Delware Counties Pyramid Award.  The category was for “best use of technology, new media source, or animation”.  Clearly this blog uses technology, blogs are new media sources, and I feel that I’m VERY animated when I write so I’m guessing this blog was an easy choice for the awards committee.  Thank you to all the little people that helped make this all possible!

I promise I won’t let this go to my head, but I hear the natural progression in the awards circuit is winning a Pyramid award and then winning a Pulitzer.  So I guess I’m halfway there.  Score!  Next up: world domination!

And now, onto the show!

Ice Ice, Baby

Today, we are covering all types of ice.

A question that I get asked all of the time is: what’s the difference between clear ice (sometimes called bar ice) and regular ice?  Drum roll please…………….clear ice is clear whereas regular ice is cloudy.  I know what you’re going to say, “DUH, Kieffer’s Guy”, but there are some other differences too!

Blame the particulates

Duh, clear ice is clear.

The reason that regular ice is cloudy is due to particulates.  If you clicked on the particulates link, you probably got REALLY grossed out.  DON’T WORRY!  The particulates in your water at home aren’t going to harm you, so please stop freaking out.  I use regular ice all the time and I’m…..ok maybe I’m not normal, but it’s not because of the ice.  Particulates also help to absorb flavors.  That’s why your ice at home might taste like fish, onions, or whatever stinky food you store in your refrigerator.  The main reason that you don’t get flavor transfer, is because these clear ice machines are independent units.  Surprise surprise, if you put a clove of garlic in your ice maker, you’ll get garlic ice.  If you’re serving a Tuna Martini, maybe you want some fishy flavor in your ice, but I’m guessing that’s not what you want.

How do clear ice machines remove the particulates?  GREAT question.  Basically these clear ice machines make ice in a totally opposite way than your refrigerator does at home.  The moldings (chiller plates) for the ice cubes in a clear ice machine are upside down and the interior is set to an exact temperature of 32 degrees.  Water with a heavy amount of particulates won’t freeze at 32 degrees.  It actually freezes at a lower temperature.  The clear ice maker shoots bursts of water up into the ice cube molding and the particulates begin to, for lack of a better term, fall out of the water as the purer water above the particulates freezes.  Make sense?  Yes/No?  Email me with your questions.

Benefits of Clear Ice

First off, it’s really cool (every pun intended).  When you drop clear ice into a liquid, it seems to disappear within the liquid.  I discussed another benefit earlier in the post about the lack of flavor transfer into your ice.  Yet another benefit of clear ice is less “fizzing” when used with carbonated liquids (I would have said beverages, but I’m not a big fan of the word beverages and try not to use it unless I HAVE to).  Less fizzing makes every home bartender happy.

Final Thoughts

Indoor and outdoor clear ice makers are available.  In fact, there are some units that combine a clear ice maker on one side and a small refrigerator on the other side.  Just like every other type of appliance, you have choices.  Also, make sure to read the owners manual and check any routine maintenence procedures that must be followed.

Some brands to consider:

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!

Wine Storage

Hey Appliance Fans,

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream….wine!  That’s right folks, throw away that boxed wine and step up to some bottles.  And what better way to store bottles than with a wine storage unit!?!

Liebherr Tall Wine Unit

A storage unit that makes vineyards weep.

Here at Kieffer’s, we cater to the wine enthusiast.  And, like dishwashers, the options that the consumer has are nearly limitless.  How about some under-the-counter wine storage?  Maybe some storage columns?  Interested in storing wine and other drinks in one unit?  Check out our “beverage centers”.  My point is, there’s a perfect wine storage unit to fit your lifestyle.

I like wine, but I don’t like like wine:

Perhaps the model that holds 150 bottles is a bit much for what you need.  And the 45 bottle unit is too big as well.  This is where Liebherr’s HWS 1800 is perfect.  It holds 18 bottles and can be integrated into your cabinets just like an in-wall coffee system or steam oven.

Liebherr Wine Storage

24" wide for easy integration into your cabinetry. Model: HWS 1800

Featuring one temperature zone, the HWS 1800 is perfect to hold you whites or reds because  the temperature can be adjusted from 41 to 68 degrees.  Wood grid shelves ensure that your wine will remain stable and not be corrupted by any vibration from the compressor.  The door comes right hinged, but is interchangeable to accommodate any scenario.  It even has a charcoal air filter so fresh, clean air is circulated within the unit.

I could write a novel about the myriad of wine storage options, but it might be easier to stop in our showroom and have one of our salespeople show you all the ins and outs.  See you next week for another exciting blog post by yours truly!

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!

-The Kieffer’s Guy

Energy Star Appliances = Money in Your Pocket

Hey Appliance Fans,

By now, everyone knows how incredibly efficient energy star appliances are.  Washing machines and dishwashers are using less and less water and refrigerators are now cheaper to operate than ever.  Because of this, everyone is seeing their monthly utility bills shrink.  Did you know that the amount of money a consumer can save over the lifetime of an energy star clothes washer can cover the purchase cost of the dryer?!?

Purchasing Energy Star Appliances:

If you have an appliance that’s older than ten years, chances are it’s robbing you every time you turn it on.  Picture your washing machine, in a dark alley with a gun, sticking you up for your wallet.  If that makes you angry, it should.

Tips For Buying Energy Star Appliances:

  1. Determine the size of unit you need. For instance, if your children are grown, do you really need a 5.0 cubic foot washing machine or a 25 cubic foot refrigerator?  Less space.  Less energy.
  2. Check the Energy Guide Label. This label tells you how much electricity, in kWh, the unit will use in one year.  Keep in mind that energy rates will vary based on region, but this will still give you a good comparison between models and brands.
  3. Contact A Kieffer’s Salesperson. There are differences from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Don’t waste your time doing the research.  Let one of our sales staff give you all the information you’ll need to know.

Check out more information on purchasing energy star appliances.

Energy Star Rebates:

Buying energy star appliances doesn’t just save you money.  It also saves the utility companies.  In fact, many energy companies throughout the country are offering rebates to encourage consumers to switch from old, energy sucking units to sleek, efficient models.  Here in the Philadelphia area, both PECO and PP&L are offering rebates to consumers who make the switch.

PECO Energy Star Rebates:

  • Refrigerators……….$75.00
  • Freezers……………..$75.00
  • Clothes Washers…..$100.00
  • Dishwashers………..$50.00

Download the PECO Rebate form.

PP&L Energy Star Rebates:

  • Refrigerators………$50.00
  • Clothes Washers….$75.00
  • Dishwashers……….$30.00

Download the PP&L Rebate form.

As always, don’t forget to visit the Kieffer’s website for all of your appliance needs in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington DC!

-The Kieffer’s Team