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

Appliance Travels: My Visit to Ventahood

Hey Appliance Fans,

If you’re on the east coast, I’m sure you’re sick of winter.  I know I am.  It’s like the polar vortex decided to sit right over my house and chill out (every pun intended) for a couple of months.  It got so bad that I decided to trade in my car for one of these:

Me heading to work.

Me heading to work.

But I’m not here to brag about my awesome new Taun Taun (I named her Buffy).  I’m here to brag about my trip to Dallas, Texas to visit the Ventahood’s headquarters.  To answer a few questions: Yes, I’m a Philadelphia Eagles Fan.  Yes, I felt dirty arriving in Cowboy Country.  No, I didn’t hunt down Tony Romo just to make fun of him, but I wanted to.

Ventahood HQ Plaque

Ventahood’s History

For those not in the know about Ventahood, they only manufacture range hoods and trust me when I say that they make awesomely delicious range hoods.   Since 1937, the Woodall family has operated Ventahood and I had a chance to meet brothers Skip and Blake Woodall during my visit.  Side note, can their names be any more “Texas”?  I don’t think so.  In 1961 the company setup shop in Richardson, Texas and they’re still located there today.  In 2005, they expanded their factory by over 50 percent to accommodate the demand for Ventahood products.  Don’t worry America lovers, all of Ventahood’s products are made in the U.S.A.

Here's a Ventahood advertisement from back in the day.  Here's a little trivia: one of the boys playing in the field is Blake Woodall.

Here’s a Ventahood advertisement from back in the day. A little trivia: one of the boys playing in the background is Blake Woodall.

Ventahood’s Style

Ventahood offers plenty of hood styles from professional models and chimney style units to hood inserts and made-to-order hoods.  These custom hoods are hand made by two craftsmen in their factory and come in a variety of finishes and colors.  Talk about exclusive.

Pictured above is one of Ventahood's original range hoods.

Pictured above is one of Ventahood’s original range hoods.

Examples of Ventahood's Designer Series Hoods.  These are super customizable.

Examples of Ventahood’s Designer Series Hoods. These are super customizable.

Under the "Hood" of a Ventahood (get it?).

Under the “Hood” of a Ventahood (get it?).

Usually you see hood inserts encased in wood to match the surrounding cabinetry.  This insert is covered in plaster and I thought this was super cool.

Usually you see hood inserts encased in wood to match surrounding cabinetry. This insert is covered in plaster and I thought this was super cool and wanted to share it with you.

Ventahood’s Magic Lung

Setting style aside, the secret to Ventahood’s range hoods is the Magic Lung Blower System.  This exclusive design not only removes smoke and heat from the kitchen, it also liquefies a tremendous amount of grease trapped in the smoke.  Once liquefied, the grease collects in an easily removable, dishwasher safe tray positioned below the Magic Lung.  Don’t forget that the Magic Lung system is also one of the quietest blower systems on the market.  For more details about its functionality, check out this post I wrote about the Magic Lung.

Vent-A-Hood's exclusive Magic Lung.

Vent-A-Hood’s exclusive Magic Lung.

Ventahood University

I can go on and on about Ventahood, but it’s probably easier to check out this video they produced.  Hosted by my buddy Bob Seloff who just happens to be Ventahood’s Chief Engineer, Bob probably doesn’t realize he’s my buddy.  HEY BOB, we had lunch together so that makes us buddies.

I really can’t complain about my trip at all.  I ate a little too much beef; I swear that’s all they have down there and I don’t think Texans know what a vegetable is (just kidding).  More importantly, I learned that the employees at Ventahood are real, they work hard, and they stand behind their range hoods.  As I walked through the production floor, I was amazed to see people crafting hoods as opposed to robots mass producing product.  It’s a concept that the Woodalls hold dear to their hearts and it comes across in every hood they make.  So from the Kieffer’s Guy to all of the hard working people at Ventahood, thank you for having me down to visit and look forward to coming back!

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!

Vent-A-Hood

Hey Appliance Fans,

If you read the blog, you know that I don’t spend too much time on ventilation; mainly because it’s super boring.  I’m not saying ventilation isn’t necessary for your kitchen it is, but it isn’t sexy like Thermador’s Steam Range, La Cornue, or other luxury ranges/appliances.

I’m not saying that the different styles of hoods aren’t cool or sexy, I’m saying the functionality of a fan exhausting smoke and heat to the outside doesn’t really excite people when they are designing their dream kitchen.  There is a company, however, that does things a little differently than everyone else and I thought I’d share some info about them with you.  That company is Vent-A-Hood.

ventahood

Texas is More Than Cowboys, Cattle, and Cacti

Texas is also the place where Vent-A-Hood started and they are still located there today (in Richardson, TX to be more precise).  Back in the day, they literally went door to door to make a sale and then went back to their shop to build the hood they had just sold.  That’s a guerrilla-style business plan if I ever heard of one.  Well it worked and in 2005, Vent-A-Hood increased their production facility by fifty percent to keep up with demand.

I’ll leave it up to you to visit their website and check out all of the different hood styles Vent-A-Hood offers, but I DO want to talk about the technology behind their hoods; specifically their “Magic Lung” blower system.

Oh, Ho, Ho, It’s Magic….You Know

Sorry for the obscure Pilot reference.  Great song, though.  Anyway, Vent-A-Hood’s claim to fame is their “Magic Lung” blower system. I’m totally plagiarizing from Vent-A-Hood’s website, but I don’t think they’ll have a problem with it considering I’m writing about their product.  Attention Vent-A-Hood Legal: Please don’t sue.

From Vent-A-Hood’s Website:

The Unique “Magic Lung®”

Vent-A-Hood's exclusive Magic Lung.

Vent-A-Hood’s exclusive Magic Lung.

The patented Magic Lung® blower system sets Vent-A-Hood® apart. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than the Magic Lung® because it is:

Quiet

Turn on a Vent-A-Hood® and you’ll hear only a whisper of air movement, because the Magic Lung® system provides the quietest ventilation available. Vent-A-Hood®s with halogen lights also feature SensaSource® (see left). With SensaSource®, when full blower power is not needed, you can lower the blower speed for even quieter operation.

How quiet is a Vent-A-Hood®? The test results shown below were generated at a certified independent industry testing lab.* All tests were measured at full speed to demonstrate the most accurate sound rating (other manufacturers may use lower speeds for testing which don’t reflect accurate operating sound levels.)

300 CFM Magic Lung® Blower 5.4 Sones (At High Speed)*
600 CFM Magic Lung® Blower 6.5 Sones (At High Speed)*
900 CFM Magic Lung® Blower 6.3 Sones (At High Speed)*
1200 CFM Magic Lung® Blower 6.6 Sones (At High Speed)*

Vent-A-Hood’s® Magic Lung® “multi-blower technology” allows CFM to double, triple, or quadruple with very little effect on sound levels.

*Ratings in accordance with the Standard Test Code by the Energy Systems Laboratory of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station.

Efficient

The powerful Magic Lung® blower traps all cooking contaminants, liquefies grease vapor and removes heat-polluted air. Because the Magic Lung® blower combines sufficient air pressure and constant speed with centrifugal filtration—and because it doesn’t pull air through a filter—it is the most efficient kitchen ventilation available today.

Easy-cleaning

The Magic Lung® housing snaps apart for easy cleaning in the dishwasher or with warm, soapy water. Moreover, the Magic Lung® is the only ventilation system that collects the grease in the easily cleaned housing rather than in hard-to-reach areas behind a mesh or baffle filter.

Fire-safe

The Magic Lung® is the only residential ventilation system on the market today that prevents fire from spreading to the rest of the home. Constant speed creates centrifugal pressure that prevents fire from entering the ductwork. As needed, SensaSource® increases blower speed to its normal level to maintain this safety feature.

Powerful

Magic Lung® blowers can be configured to provide the power you need for even the most demanding cooking surface. Each highly efficient Magic Lung® blower supplies 300 CFM of air movement; you can combine multiple blowers in a single Vent-A-Hood® to create the perfect ventilation for your cooking surface.

<<End of Plagiarism >>

Cleaning a Vent-a-Hood

Cleaning a Vent-A-Hood is a breeze (breeze, get it).  They’ve redesigned their housing that collects the grease.  Rather than try and explain it through words, check on this video.  Everyone say hi to Eric:

That’s all for this week appliance fans.  Don’t forget to email me with your questions!  Also, be sure to check out our profile on Houzz for some ideas to make your dream kitchen a reality.  Until next time, America!

P.S. If you didn’t get my reference to “Magic” by Pilot, behold a great song with ridiculous 1970’s style camera shots and editing:

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!

Make Up Air SOLVED

Hey Appliance Fans,

We never see Uncle Sam and Colonel Sanders in the same room at the same time. Hmmmmmm.

I’m not going to lie.  Ventilation is super boring.  Not because it’s not vital to a kitchen, it is, but because there’s not much to talk about.  Of course there are styles galore when it comes to choosing the look of your hood (that’s an entirely different blog post), but the concept of ventilation is pretty basic:  a fan removes smoke, heat, and odors out of your kitchen and shoots it to the outside.  That’s pretty much it.  Snooze fest, right?  Well things just got more interesting:

The “leaky home” is a thing of the past; new homes are consistently being built more air tight to make them more energy efficient.  Proper ventilation pairs exhausted air (the range hood) with an equal amount of  “compensation air” from the outside (the make up air system).  This ensures that any exhausted air is immediately replaced.

Pennsylvania Building code now requires that any exhaust hood (for a venting cooking product) capable of exhausting in excess of 400 CFM (cubic feet per minute) shall require a makeup air system equal to the exhaust rate.  Many townships are beginning to enforce this requirement during home inspections.  Many builders are unaware of this requirement and have had to address this make up air system AFTER construction of the kitchen.  This leads to costly retrofitting in order to meet code.  It is advantageous to be proactive and plan for these systems before construction.

While states across the country were developing their own make up air codes, manufacturers were left without an answer and began scrambling to develop solutions to meet this new requirement.  Little by little, companies began to offer CFM reducer kits and Broan introduced their own make up air system that worked exclusively on their hoods.  Though these new products did help certain consumers meet code, there still wasn’t a universal make up air system on the market.  Not anymore.

Universal Make Up Air

Model #: MD8TU, Broan’s 8″ Universal Make Up Air system.

Broan has now developed a system that can be installed in any brand of hood and will solve any make up air issues.  The MD6TU (a 6” round duct solution) and the MD8TU (an 8” round duct solution for larger CFM motors) are now available.  This system is designed to balance pressure between inside and outside, while providing effective ventilation for a cleaner, healthier home.  Broan offers a simple solution for automatic and controlled fresh air into the home every time you turn on the range hood!  This is an interlocked, synchronized system that installs easily and requires only low voltage wiring to the sensor.  This is perfect for new construction or retrofit into an existing home.

How it Works

A sensor attaches to your new or existing duct work.  The sensor detects when the air pressure changes signaling, that your hood has been turned on.  This triggers the make up air damper to open, pulling fresh air into the home while the hood is exhausting smoke and odors outside.  This system can be installed in conjunction with any brand hood and will fulfill make up air codes throughout the United States.

Problem solved, right?  Now we can go back to cooler things like high output burners, steam ovens, and celebrity kitchens!

-The Kieffer’s Guy

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!

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!

Appliance Ventilation: Be Aware of Make Up Air

Hey Appliance Fans,

For the first time in the history of the Kieffer’s Blog, we have a guest writer: a REAL Kieffer.  Jace Kieffer wrote this article for the local Home Builders Association’s monthly newsletter.  If you’re not a Pennsylvania resident, check with your state and local government for the code in your area.  Enjoy!

The Pennsylvania Building Code:

An example of a make up air system.

Pennsylvania Building code now requires that any exhaust hood (for a venting cooking product) capable of exhausting in excess of 400 CFM shall require a makeup air system equal to the exhaust rate.  Many townships are beginning to enforce this requirement during home inspections.  Many builders are unaware of this requirement and have had to address this make up air system AFTER construction of the kitchen.  This leads to costly retrofitting in order to meet code, its advantageous to be proactive and plan for these systems before construction.

Why Make up Air:

The “leaky home’ is a thing of the past; new homes are consistently being built more air tight to make them more energy efficient.  An air tight home requires mechanical exhaust (the hood), as well as a means to let “compensation air” into the home to replace exhausted air to ensure proper ventilation.

Solutions:

Broan Make up Air Damper: Broan has a 6” and 8” round damper system that wires directly (or wirelessly) to the hood.  When the user switches the hood on, it will send a signal to the make up air damper to open simultaneously, allowing for replacement air to come back into the house.  This system can be used for hoods up to 1500 CFM in power; addressing the majority of range hoods on the market.  The cost of this system ranges from between $125- $300.

Any questions regarding make up air, please feel free to contact Jace Kieffer at Kieffer’s Appliances via phone 215-699-3522 or email: marketing@kieffers.com.

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!

Ventilation Problems? Check your filter!

Hey Appliance Fans,

Over the Range Microwave (OTR)

An example of an OTR Charcoal Filter

Do you have an over the range microwave in your kitchen?  If so, making sure your filters are clean is vital for the safety and proper operation of the unit.

Typically OTR’s have lower CFM’s (cubic feet per minute) and recirculate steam and smoke back into the kitchen after passing through a charcoal filter.  Though OTR’s won’t fully remove odors and smoke from your kitchen (and they won’t remove any heat), they will remove some of the grease and odor particles, but ONLY if you are changing the filter regularly (once a year).

Be sure to check with your manufacturer for the specific filter and its model number or contact one of our sales people to help you out.

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

-The Kieffer’s Team