Prepare Appliances for Your Vacation

5 Steps to Prepare Your Appliances for Vacation

It's that time of year again. You're getting ready to take your vacation, but you haven't really thought about getIng your appliances ready for your extended absence. Here's a list of what you should do to make sure your appliances will not flood your house, spoil your food, or otherwise create havoc while you're away.

  1. Some appliances, such as your water heater or refrigerator, may have a Vacation Mode. If so, utilize this handy setting. It makes some internal energy saving adjustments.

  2. Run an empty load through your washer and dishwasher. Use whatever cleaner you normally use for cleaning that appliance such as Affresh or LemiShine. For vacations of 2 weeks or longer, prevent odor build up by leaving the door or lid on the washer and dishwasher open while you're away. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. This will keep the dishwasher free from odor, and the rubber seal in the bottom of the dishwasher moist.

  3. Turn off the water supply line to refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher. (I'm paranoid about water leaks).

  4. For vacations that are more than just a long weekend, remove perishables from the refrigerator, and turn the icemaker off. That usually means just lifting the metal bar in the ice maker to its highest/off position. In some refrigerators only the ice bin is accessible, not the ice maker itself. For these models, there will be a separate on/off switch for the ice maker (see below example).

    Refrigerator-Icemaker

  5. Your refrigerator is going to be on while you're away, and it will use more electricity if it is empty. So, if you've removed most or all of the food from your refrigerator, fill a few empty plastic gallon jugs with water, and place them in the refrigerator.

*Most of the tips are for vacations of a week or longer. For those long 3 day week end trips, I'd just turn off the water lines and turn off the ice maker.

For questions about your specific appliance, check your use and care manual. For information about appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more home products consult your designer or builder, then call Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment with one of our consultants.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

Laundry Room Remodeling

Laundry Room Advice from Houzz

New Washers and Dryers from Arizona Wholesale

Modern laundry rooms are no longer after thoughts. Today's laundry rooms are designe for both function and aesthetics. Not just an anteroom from the garage to the living space, modern laundry rooms are workspaces for getting clothes clean and sometimes much more. Here are 5 questions posed by Mitchell Parker in his Houzz article:

Homeowner's Workbook: How to Remodel the Laundry Room

  1. What are you hoping to achieve?
  2. How do you want the space to function?
  3. How do you do your laundry?
  4. What kind of appliances do you want?
  5. Special features?

Of course, we're focusing here on #4 – The Washer and Dryer. Choices include:

Front-Load-Pair

Electrolux Front Load Pair

  1. Front load washers and matching dryers. Full-sized front load washers were launched in the mid-nineties by Maytag and Whirlpool and over the years have become very popular even though they are a pricey alternative to the traditional top loaders of the past. These units may have optional pedestal bases, and may even be configured so that the dryer is stacked on top of the washer.
  2. High efficiency Top Load washers and matching dryers. HE top loaders are for customers who want to load and unload their wash loads from the top, but also want the efficiency and water conservation of the tumble action front load machines.
  3. Traditional Top Load washers and matching dryers. Traditional top load washers have the high-post agitator in the center. While “old school”, some consumers still prefer them, and newer models are available with energy saving features.
  4. Combination washer and dryer. Combination units can be a single front load washer that can also double as a dryer, or a washer with a connected dryer on top configured and sold as a single unit.

HE-Toploader

HE Top Load Washer

Of course, for help choosing what's right for you consult your designer or home builder, and then hurry over to Arizona Wholesale Supply to get the best selection and pricing on washers, dryers, other major appliances, and much more.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

 

Buying Appliances to Save Energy

Making Sense out of Energy Savings Appliances

Question. Can I justify buying new appliances based on energy savings alone?

Answer. Maybe. If your current appliances are old energy hogs, you may be able to justify replacement for energy savings alone because the savings will pay for the replacement. This applies more to washers, dishwashers, and refrigerators than it does to ranges, ovens, cooktops, and dryers.

Here are three specific recommendations:

  1. Topload agitator-type washing machines are real culprits. In general, the older they are the more water they use, and the more water they use, the higher the energy costs, because of the cost to heat the water.

  2. Here's a quick way to find out if your dishwasher is an energy hog. If you have a porcelain tub dishwasher which has no filterbasket, it's very likely a big energy user. Energy saving dishwashers are likely to have stainless or polystyrene tubs and often use a wash system with a filter basket vs. a built-in food chopper.

  3. Does your refrigerator make a loud clunking sound when the compressor turns on? That's a good clue that this has a traditional compressor that runs a long time at high speed to provide cooling and then shuts down for a long period. Most refrigerators today have smaller more efficient compressors that do not cycle on and off but slow down and speed up based on cooling demand.

Another test you might use is age. If an appliance is over 15 years old, consider it suspect. If the appliance is working well, not service prone, and you just love it, then keep it. But, when you have the next service call on old Bessie, it's time to say goodby. The combined cost of repair and potential energy savings of a new appliance make a compelling case for replacement.

GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

GE Monitor Top

There are other reasons to replace appliances such as a kitchen remodel or a move into a new house, but use the above recommendations to think through your appliance replacement needs. Of course, consult your builder or designer, and count on the professionals at Arizona Wholesale Supply for all your appliance needs and more.

For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

 

Energy Efficiency

Making your home energy efficient will not only save you money but will also contribute to helping the environment. Depending on how much of an investment you want to make in your home’s energy efficiency, there are things you can do that are small enough or big enough to fit any budget. Don’t forget to take advantage of the tax incentives are aimed at encouraging energy efficient home improvements.  Make sure to see if you qualify for any of these incentives before you start!

 

Some less expensive improvements you can make may seem so simple you can’t believe you don’t already do it. Try to use your appliances efficiently. When you leave the house for extended periods of time, unplug your devices as they draw small amounts of power even when they are off. Set your water heater in the warm range, which is 120-140 degrees — you may not even notice the difference in your water temperature! Switching from incandescent to LED light bulbs can save on electric bills.  These lightbulbs are worth the investment because they last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. This also means changing hard-to-reach lightbulbs less frequently — this is definitely a win for the one changing the bulbs!

 

Other improvements that will help with energy efficiency may be a little bit more expensive but with the benefit of the possible tax incentives, they may be worthwhile. Most older appliances much less energy efficient. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, the savings in energy may actually pay for most of the cost of the appliance.

 

Even larger improvements exist.  Although they will cost more, they are worth the investment over time. Solar panels can be installed on your roof to produce own electricity from the sun — an especially smart investment if you live in a sunny location. Replacing windows is a worthwhile investment as well, since this is one of the places in your home where the largest heat transfer is seen. 

 

Finally, make sure that your home is properly insulated. Make sure you are not losing any heat or cooling through your walls or roof, essentially throwing money outside every month.  Insulation prevents the cold from getting into your home during the cooler months and help keep the cold air from escaping during the warmer months.

 

Any effort you put into energy efficiency in your home will pay you back each month, and you will experience the satisfaction of knowing you are doing your part to help our planet.  

NEW Whirlpool Heat Pump Dryer at AWSCO

Arizona Wholesale introduces NEW Whirlpool heat pump dryer

Whirlpool-Dryer

WED99HEDW


7.3 cu ft. HybridCare™ Ventless Duet® Dryer with Heat Pump Technology

Heat pump clothes drying system from Whirlpool

Whirlpool has launched a new Energy Star® dryer that uses heat pump technology to help dry clothes, saving energy and eliminating the need for outside dryer venting. The energy savings is substantial, and considering that your dryer can be responsible for 10% or more of your total electric bill, it's worth looking into if you're buying new laundry equipment.

If you're building a new house, additional savings comes from not needing duct work and venting for a dryer since the dryer recirculates the air eliminating any outside venting.

Finally, this makes finding a location for a laundry pair much easier since installing duct work is not a concern.

While dryers using some or all of this technology have been around in Europe for quite a while, European dryers also tend to be quite small. This new dryer from Whirlpool has a giant 7.3cu. ft. dryer drum. Also, this drying technology does take somewhat longer to dry. But ror those who can't wait, Whirlpool has included a 5500 watt heating element and a quick dry cycle. Otherwise, consumers can use the balanced cycle, or the eco cycle.

For a quick video from Whirlpool showing how this technology works click on the link below:

Hybrid Heat Pump Dryer Benefits

 

Here is a list of features from Whirlpool:

  • Our Most Efficient Dryer
  • Installs in More Places
  • Gentle Care
  • Advanced Moisture Sensing
  • Quad Baffles
  • HybridCare Energy Options
  • ENERGY STAR(R) Qualified
  • Tap Touch Controls with Memory
  • SingleSwipe Lint Screen
  • 7.3 Cu. Ft. Capacity
  • Stainless Steel Dryer Drum
  • Wrinkle Shield Option
  • Quick Dry Cycle
  • Bulky Cycle
  • Heavy Duty Cycle
  • Designed, Engineered and Assembled in the U.S.A

Other brands and models are quickly following suit with heat pump dryers of their own. Check with your sales associate at Arizona Wholesale Supply for more information on this new product.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

 

Introducing Energy Star Dryers

Why get an Energy Star dryer?

Surprising truth about dryer energy usage

 

Energy-Star

Energy Star has been around for over twenty years, but until now there has never been an Energy Star rating for dryers. Evidently, there just wasn't enough difference in energy use among different dryer models to make a significant difference in operation costs. Now, it appears that has changed and Energy Star ratings are appearing on new dryers.

“Dryers are one of the most common household appliances and the biggest energy users,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a recent statement.

First, if you have a choice between a gas or electric dryer, you should choose gas. It's much less expensive to run a gas dryer than electric. However, if you have no choice between fuel types consider one of the new heat pump dryers. They'll save you money on electricity and they need no venting, but they are pricey. We've written about Whirlpool's heat pump dryer. Click on the link below to go to that blog:

New Whirlpool Heat Pump Dryer

Here are a few other considerations when choosing a dryer that can help save energy:

  1. Auto-termination. Dryers that shut off when they determine your clothes are dry rather than basing cycle termination on a specific run time will save energy.

  2. Moisture-sensing. Dryers that have a moisture sensing capability and shut down based on moisture in the drum, rather than time or heat sensing will save even more energy.

  3. Insulated dryers. Some dryers have insulation which does a better job of keeping the heat inside the dryer. This also contributes to energy efficiency.

  4. Reverse tumbling. Dryers that have reverse tumbling do a better job of separating the clothes which allows clothes to dry thoroughly and more quickly.

  5. Improved vane design and tumble action. Some dryers include redesigned drums and vanes that create more lift in the clothes and reduce drying time.

By getting matched Energy Star washers and dryers you get the most energy savings. For new homes or remodels work with your builder or design professional and make an appointment with the professionals at your nearest Arizona Wholesale Supply to learn more about Energy Star appliances.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

More Highlights from PCBC 2015

New from the Pacific Coast Builder Conference

PCBC-2015

PCBC 2015

For 50 plus years the West's leading builders have gathered at the PCBC for an informative and educational confab. Here is just one interesting product that we noticed at this year's confererence. Arizona builders and designers can contact Arizona Wholesale Supply Co. for more information on this and more products from the 2015 PCBC. We'll continue to highlight products from the PCBC on this blog, so continue to check back often.

WHIRLPOOL HEAT PUMP DRYER

Did you know that Energy Star appliances have been around for a couple of decades, yet until recently, there has never been an Energy Star category for dryers. It's a big surprise to many people, because dryers are one of the big energy users in household appliances. A major reason for no Energy Star rating for dryers is the lack of differentiation in energy usage on most full-sized dryers.

However, it's a new day for dryers. Condensate dryers from Europe have become popular, AND there are now new “heat pump” dryers available that use a system similar to heat pump air conditioners that saves up to 50% of the energy used in traditional dryers; about $150 a year on average.

In addition, and this is a BIG DEAL, these new dryers are ventless. You can locate the laundry nearly anywhere. No need to run a vent through the walls, and no risk of fire. Clogged dryer vents are considered the number one cause of house fires.

Whirlpool received a Parade of Products award from the PCBC for its Whirlpool® HybridCare™ Heat Pump Dryer. Of course, you can learn more about this product from your Arizona Wholesale Supply account manager.

For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

 

Myths About Appliances

Researching Appliance Energy Claims

Major-Appliances

Do Appliances Use Significant Power when they're not running?

I like to do some research when I post blogs that make claims or contain data. Unfortunately, many online blogs and posts seem to mislead us rather than enlighten us. Recently, I came across a blog from an appliance “expert” (an appliance parts house), referring to myths about appliances. Here is the author's claim regarding one of the appliance myths he purports to expose:

MYTH

Appliances don't use power while in stand-by mode: FALSE. Almost all home appliances and electronics continue to consume power when in “stand-by”. Check out these stand-by power consumption rates:

  1. Microwave oven: up to 6 watts per hour
  2. Ranges: up to 4.1 watts per hour
  3. *Telephone: up to 5 watts per hour

In some cases, appliances in stand-by mode can consume as much as 15-30 watts per hour – that's a lot of power usage day after day, week after week.

Not so Fast

OK, let's assume that leaving all our appliances in “stand-by mode”, whatever that means, will consume as much as 15-30 watts per hour, BUT to say that “that's a lot of power usage…” doesn't ring true to me.

Let's do the math:

30 watts per hour = .03KWH (kilowatt hours)

Let's see how much it costs to keep our appliances in “standby mode” for a month.

.03KWH X 24 hours = .72 KWH per day X 30 days = 21.6 KWH per month. X $.12** per KWH = $2.59 per month.

Now, this estimate is at the very high end. Using the author's own data, this could be 15 watts rather than 30, making the cost per month under $1.30. I'm not happy that my “standby” appliances cost as much as a couple bucks a month to keep running, but I can live with it.

Conclusion

HE-Topload-Washer

Let's put all this in perspective. Your major appliances are going to cost you far more in energy costs (electric and/or gas) than $1.30 per month. If you really want to cut down on appliance energy costs, unplugging your microwave when it's not in use is quite trivial. It's also a pain to reset the clock each time you plug it back in. However, replacing an old agitator-type washing machine with a new high-efficiency washer will get you significant savings. Maybe as much as $130 a year according to Lifehacker.

* When did a telephone become an appliance?

** $.12 per KWH = national average cost of electricity. Electricity costs vary greatly across the country.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona-Wholesale-Logo

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

 

Review of K+BB Criteria for Choosing a Cooktop

Kitchen and Bath Business Drops the Ball

Advice for choosing a cooktop according to the “experts”.

I regularly read the articles in Kitchen and Bath Business (K+BB) for the latest news in appliances. It’s generally quite informative. Sometimes articles appear to be written by folks who are writers, but not necessarily SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). While there is nothing wrong with this, when they don’t conduct thorough research and fact-check their information, the advice they give can be misleading. Consider the recent article:

Bertazzoni-Cooktop

Five Criteria to choosing the right cooktop

Here are my comments on the above article’s content.

1. Size considerations.

The author proclaims that if you need extra counter space, you should consider an electric smoothtop or induction top because you can use it as counter-space. Think about this. Your cooktop is a big investment. It’s obviously heat resistant and durable, but it is not a cutting board, nor is it a work surface. Yes, you might put down a bag of groceries on it now and then (carefully), but really it’s not a food prep station or general use countertop. If you drop something on it, your cooktop can break, costing you hundreds of dollars.

2. Cooking habits.

Again, the author’s advice is generally OK, but could be more useful – until she trips up with this doozy.

“..please note, though, that induction cooktops only work with cast iron, enamel cast iron or stainless steel cookware.”

Just about everyone in the industry knows that there are many stainless steel pots and pans that will not work on induction cooktops. The test is to place a magnet on the bottom of the pan. If the magnet sticks you’re OK, if not, the cookware is not usable on induction.

3. Energy usage.

It’s a big mistake to make energy usage a deciding factor in purchasing a cooktop, but the KB+B author jumps right in with her recommendations. Though I’m a big fan of saving energy, it’s unwise to decide among a gas vs. electric vs. induction cooktop based on energy usage. The total difference in energy cost among the various cooktops will not amount to much at all. Worry instead about the energy usage of an air conditioner or water heater – even washer, dryer, and refrigerator. The difference in energy costs on cooktop types is just not significant.

4. Safety considerations.

Here the author begins by stating that if safety is your concern then you should only choose electric or induction. WOW! Millions of us cook with gas. Are we disregarding the safety and well-being of our families? Seriously?

5. Maintenance and Care.

There’s an opportunity here for lots of good advice on cooktop maintenance and care, but alas the author just can’t seem to provide informed content even here.

Here’s my advice to K+BB: You have a stable full of great designers who write articles for you, and there are also many specialists available to you who are expert on appliances, cabinets, countertops, and other topics. There’s nothing wrong with using a writer (in this case a PR person) to produce your content, but at least have a subject matter expert review his or her content before publishing.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter

 

 

3 Myths about Self-Cleaning Ovens

Exposing online myths about self-cleaning ovens.

Myth #1 – Self-cleaning your oven creates a high risk for a service problem.

One blogger advised that when you use the self-clean cycle on your oven there is a great risk of the oven failing. She knew this because people often complained online that their oven failed after self-cleaning.

Think about this for a minute. Online is a place where people often go to express their dissatisfaction. There are millions of self-cleaning ovens in use. Suppose that the overwhelming majority of those ovens have been cleaned a number of times with no problem. How many of those successful cleanings do you think get reported online? “Oh, I just cleaned my self-clean oven and it worked. I better go online and post this to the world!” No – you expected it to work. That's not news. But if it fails, you want EVERYONE to know what a bad oven you got from XYZ.

Self-cleaning ovens are designed to be cleaned. If there was a serious performance problem on self-clean ovens manufacturers would be all over it because they absorb the warranty expense. There's simply no supporting evidence to the notion that using the self-cleaning cycle in an oven will cause the oven to fail.

Myth #2 – Self-cleaning ovens are big energy wasters.

It is true that when you put your oven through a self-clean cycle it does use some electricity. One electric utility figured about a dollar for each cleaning. Another quoted $0.35. However, others maintain that because of all the heat during a cycle, self-cleaning ovens do have more insulation than non-self-clean ovens and therefore use less energy during normal operations. In any case, the cost of self-cleaning an oven appears to be less than the cost of a can of oven cleaner notwithstanding some of the outrageous claims made by the uninformed.

Myth #3 – Self-cleaning ovens are health hazards.

If you happen to be a tropical bird, this is true. Birds cannot deal with the fumes coming out of a self-cleaning oven and should be taken outside or to a room away from the kitchen during the self-clean cycle. Humans are safe, but the kitchen does warm up so I cleaned my oven in the middle of the day when there wasn't much going on in the kitchen and opened a window.

For information on cleaning your self-cleaning oven, check out the You Tube video below:

 

We'll also be posting videos on ovens that come with a steam-clean option and those with Whirlpool's new AquaLift cleaning mode.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

facebook twitter