Smart Connected Appliances in 2018

Arizona Wholesale has the most complete selection of smart connected appliances for Arizona home builders and their customers. All of the major appliance brands used by production builders have appliances that fit the definition of smart connected appliances. 

SMART APPLIANCES

It’s important to note that all smart appliances are not necessarily connected but all connected appliances are also smart.

Without getting carried away with complex definitions, smart appliances have automatic operations and some type of programmability, usually through some type of user interface. Connected appliances are smart appliances that can be operated or monitored remotely. An oven that you can program to cook a 3 pound roast to medium rare is an example of a smart appliance feature. Of course, appliance manufacturers are continuing to add more advanced smart features to make their appliances more desirable than competitors.

SMART CONNECTED APPLIANCES

If you can open an app on your phone and set your oven to preheat to 350 degrees and then cook your roast to medium rare, then you have a smart connected appliance. 

Today, some connected ovens can communicate with Nest brand thermostats so that Nest will begin to lower the temperature in the kitchen as an advance response to the added heat from the oven. This is just one example of devices communicating with each other with no human involved.

Using devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, a simple voice command, “Alexa preheat the oven to 350 degrees”, can save you the effort of even reaching for your smart phone. So clearly, there are benefits to having smart connected appliances.

However, suppose you program your oven from your office twenty miles away to preheat to 350 degrees so that you can put a roast in the oven as soon as you get home. To your dismay, you arrive home to a smoke filled kitchen because of the leftover pizza slices that you left in your oven last night.

And it’s not just your actions that should concern you. If you know how to say, “Alexa, preheat the oven to 350 degrees,”  how long will it take before your 3 year old says, “Alexa, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.” Beware of unintended consequences. Just like any new technology, it pays to think things through. Make smart connected appliances work FOR you by thinking through your use case.

For more information on major appliances, floor coverings, window coverings, water purification, or other needs for your home or project call the Arizona Wholesale location near you.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

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

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Should you repair your major appliance or buy new?

Link

I recently wrote a blog about my experience getting a dishwasher serviced vs having it replaced. In this case, it was an easy decision because of my specific circumstances.

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However, there remains the general question, when should you choose to replace an appliance versus having it repaired? Depending on the product category, most major appliances today should last from 8 to 15 years. For example, refrigerators and ranges usually last longer than dishwashers and washing machines.

If your appliance breaks down in the first year, it’s likely to be under warranty so you definitely will want to have it repaired. In some cases, appliance parts have longer warranties, such as the 5 year parts warranty on my dishwasher’s control panel. In that case, it was worth it to pay the labor for the repair even though the dishwasher was 4 years old.

However, if you are on the hook for an expensive repair for a 5 year old appliance that has only an 8 year life expectancy, you might be far better off purchasing a new appliance, even if the repair means your old appliance is good for another 3 years.

Here’s why:

  1. How confident are you that your repair job isn’t going to be the first of many? Too often, one repair leads to another, and this is a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down.
  2. Are there additional costs or burdens associated with an appliance that isn’t working or is likely to fail soon. Suppose your refrigerator is beginning to act up. You may want to replace the refrigerator sooner rather than later so that you won’t also have to replace all the food. At a minimum, a broken washing machine, creates major inconveniences.
  3. A newer appliance may have advanced features that you find desirable. New “smart” appliances may tip the scale and make your decision easier to replace rather repair your existing appliance.

Either way, the folks at Arizona Wholesale are ready to help. Not only do they provide great service, but they also have the best selection and prices on major appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

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

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I hope your new appliance fails.

Yes,  I hope your appliance fails. Here’s why:

Four years ago, my wife and I moved into a nice bungalow in Westbrook Village (Peoria). The house we purchased was a complete gut job inside. We added new paint, new floors, new fixtures, new baths, and a complete new kitchen including new appliances.

Arizona Wholesale outfitted us with new KitchenAid refrigerator, range, microwave oven, and dishwasher. We love our kitchen. However, we recently began to experience problems with our dishwasher. Then, it quit working entirely.

After a call to Arizona Wholesale, we set up a service appointment. Sergio, the technician, showed up in an Arizona Wholesale service van, a clean Arizona Wholesale shirt, and a well-organized tool box. He asked a few questions, and proceeded with a detailed diagnosis process. It was a thorough check of the machine, so it took a while, and when completed, Sergio informed me the diagnosis indicated that the dishwasher needed a new control panel.

“Oh no!” I knew that this was going to cost big bucks. I had already decided that rather than spend a small fortune on repairing the dishwasher, I’d replace it with a new dishwasher. Then Sergio told me that the dishwasher parts were covered under a 5 year warranty! My only cost would be the service call.

Fortunately, the parts were in stock locally, and we set up an appointment to have them installed the following week! Voila’, my new best friend, Sergio, showed up on time and with the needed parts.

Now, my KitchenAid dishwasher is up and running, and life is good!

But, you need to know more. From beginning to end, my dealings with Arizona Wholesale’s service department were first rate. They were friendly and courteous. Appointments were scheduled and kept on time. Sergio, was friendly, and polite, but at the same time he was businesslike and efficient.

So, I HOPE YOUR APPLIANCE FAILS, so you can find out for yourself what it is like to have such excellent service from Arizona Wholesale Supply.

Placement of New Appliances

Giving Your Appliances Some Space of Their Own

Bad things can happen if you don’t give your appliances the space that they need. Here are the most common occurrences of crowding an appliance.

1. You should not install a range or cooktop flush against a side wall. For sure, you don’t want to do this with a gas range or cooktop. Manufacturer directions are going to warn against it because of the fire hazard resulting when the flame from the gas burner is that close to a flammable wall. I’d argue that it’s also a bad idea to install electric ranges or cooktops against a side wall. Even if there isn’t a safety issue, it makes the two elements next to the wall not so useful for larger pots and pans.

2. Make sure that refrigerator doors swing open more than just 90 degrees. They need to open wide enough not only to give you access to the refrigerator’s contents, but also to allow inside drawers or compartments to slide out. Take into account that a protruding refrigerator handle bumping up to an adjacent wall may prevent a refrigerator door from opening far enough to grant full access to the refrigerator’s contents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Corner installations of appliances can prevent adjacent doors or drawers from opening. For example, the dishwasher below might have worked just fine in this design if it had a recessed handle. However, the adjacent drawer cannot be opened in this instance.

I once showed this dishwasher quandry to a designer friend of mine. She quickly pointed out the cause of the problem. “This is the reason we have CKD’s. It’s a designer’s job to make sure that this doesn’t happen.”

Of course, there are sometimes tradeoffs to be made. Consider the refrigerator below. The refrigerator protrudes into the kitchen aisle. A counter-depth refrigerator could have been purchased instead of the full-depth model shown below, but they cost more and do not store as much food. It’s up to the customer, but it’s the salesperson or designer’s job to advise the consumer and let them make the decision.

 

 

 

 

 

For the best advice on purchasing major appliances consult a professional such as the sales advisors at Arizona Wholesale.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

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

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Colorful Appliances in 2017

Choose Stainless Steel Appliances or GO BOLD

Red Bertazzoni

We've been following and reporting on appliance colors for years. Here's one from 2015:

Appliance Colors Over a Lifetime

And now here's an update for 2017:

Modern major appliances trace back to the Post WWII era. In the 50's nearly all major appliances were white. Later pink and turquoise began to make their mark, and were popular throughout the 60s. In the 70's Harvest Gold, Avocado, and Coppertone were popular. They eventually morphed into Harvest Wheat, Fresh Avocado, and Coffee. Almond was added and became very popular through the 80's though appliance manufacturers tried to mix things up with 2 new colors that failed miserably – Silver and Sand.

Harvest-Gold

Harvest Gold Drop-In Range

Now, we're in the middle of a resurgence of color choices in appliances. BlueStar, a specialty cooking products manufacturer offers over 250 colors and finishes. Italian appliance manufacturer, Bertazzoni, also has a wide selection of appliance colors. Meanwhile, Viking Range Co. offers a smaller, manageable selection of colors.

To keep things in perspective, here are the results from a 2016 survey by Houzz:

“A whopping 75 percent of those surveyed were going with stainless for the new appliances in their updated kitchens. (White came in at 10 percent and black at 8 percent.)”

Most new appliance sales come from either new home sales or one off replacement sales. Buyers purchasing from production home builders are offered a very limited selection of popular colors. For individual appliance replacement sales, buyers will try to match the appliance color with their existing kitchen appliances.

We might be able to go with White, Black, or the popular Stainless Steel, including some smudge proof Stainless Steel options. GE offers a very interesting and competitively priced appliance finish, Slate. KitchenAid and now some other brands are offering a new appliance finish/color Black Stainless Steel. Mostly black in color, but with the grain and hue of stainless steel Black Stainless Steel is gaining steam. Samsung's Black Stainless Steel is somewhat shiney gray/black and others are more black with the stainless finish visible through the black..

The Big Three appliance manufacturers: Whirlpool, GE, and Frigidaire/Electrolux don't build appliances in Ferrari Red, or Pantone's color of the year for 2017 Greenery. But, if we only looked at the top 5-10% of appliance sales we'd likely find luxury brands that offer more variety in color selections.

BlueStar Range

BlueStar Range

Here are some colorful finshes on Houzz:

Colorful Finishes

Check out all the latest colors and finishes in person by making an appointment with one of the appliance consultants at Arizona Wholesale.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

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

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New Appliance Ideas that Flopped

*Three Appliance Industry Epic Fails

During a career in the major appliance industry I've witnessed the introduction and growth of many great new products such as microwave ovens, convection ovens, induction cooktops, steam washers and dryers, french door refrigerators, and professional ranges for the home.

There have been a number of product flops, too. Here are three notable failures over the last two decades.

Continue reading “New Appliance Ideas that Flopped” »

Tips for Selecting Appliances

Appliance Help for New Homebuyers

Arizona Wholesale Supply is Arizona's Leading Builder Distributor

Appliance-Package

New homebuyers have to make a lot of choices when selecting all the finishes, and products that go into their dream home. Fortunately, production home builders preselect options and upgrades that are suitable for their homes. Even so, making appliance selections can be very challenging. Here are a few tips in choosing appliances:

  1. Narrow the field. If your builder has a list of models and packages that are available to you, part of your work is already done. Don't waste time looking at brands or models that aren't available for the home you are purchasing. Even If you are building a custom home, there will still be some constraints based on the size of your kitchen, location of gas, water, and electric lines, etc.

  2. Budget and plan accordingly. If it's been a number of years since you purchased major appliances, get prepared for some sticker shock. Today's appliances will save money on energy usage, and still are a very good buy when factoring inflation over the years. However, when you want a built-in refrigerator, combo ovens, and other premium appliances such as wine storage units, built-in warming drawers, steam ovens and coffee makers, you're going well into 5 figures ($XX,XXX.XX).

  3. Consider brands. At Arizona Wholesale Supply, we carry the popular priced major production brands GE, Whirlpool, and Frigidaire (Electrolux). We also are your supplier for upscale brands, such as GE Profile, Electrolux, KitchenAid, and Bosch, as well as a host of luxury brands such as Jenn-Air, Monogram, Viking, SubZero-Wolf, Thermador, Miele and many more. Most production home builders offer selections from only a single brand or two, and even semi-custom builders usually stick with a few preferred brands. For that matter, new home buyers tend to pick most or all their appliances from a single brand that they prefer. It not only narrows choices to products that the buyer is going to be comfortable with, appliance brands tend to have matching handles, knobs, etc.

  4. Work with a professional. Arizona Wholesale Supply consultants have many years experience with home builders, designers, and new home buyers. If your builder or design professional is one of the many that we supply, you can make an appointment at one of our locations to select your appliances.

Arizona Wholesale Supply is a family owned company, based right here in Arizona, and we've been at this for over 70 years.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

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

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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

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New Appliances from Jenn-Air

New Jenn-Air Induction Downdraft Cooktop

New Jenn-Air Cooktop Coming to Arizona Wholesale Supply

The industry's first downdraft induction cooktop will be shipping from Jenn-Air later this year. Equipped with powerful induction elements, and the legendary Jenn-Air center downdraft system, this innovative cooktop builds on Jenn-Air's cooking legacy.

A pioneer in induction cooking, Jenn-Air, had an induction cartridge for its modular downdraft cooktop back in the '80's, and later a hybrid four element glass cooktop with two induction elements and two radiant elements.

Jenn-Air's all new 36″ downdraft induction cooktop offers all the benefits of twenty-first century induction technology combined with the advantages of proximity downdraft ventilation. It's literally two appliances in one.

Jenn-Air-Cooktop

With no overhead vent hood, sight lines are open, smoke and odors are captured at the source, and island installation is straightfoward. For those, who don't have the option of venting an island cooktop through the floor, Jenn-Air offers a duct-free kit as an option. Duct-free downdraft can be a real life saver and open up more possibilities for kitchen design.

Jenn-Air's new induction downdraft cooktop has a powerful center vent rated at 350 CFM, perfect for a vent system that captures smoke and odor at the source before it escapes into the room.

The flexible induction cooking areas on each side are controlled by an electronic touchpad, and have built-in sensors that detect pans and will not operate absent a correctly sized pan. The cooktop can accommodate up to six pans as well as oblong pans, griddles, or Dutch ovens. When selected, a Performance Boost setting will provide a brief (up to 10 minutes) boost of power higher than the maximum setting.

For more information on this Jenn-Air cooktop or other appliances contact your designer or builder, and make an appointment with one of the consultants at Arizona Wholesale Supply today.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

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

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How Long do Appliances Last?

When Should I Replace My Appliances?

It's complicated

Many years ago, I used to carry around a chart from AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) which itemized the expected life spans of various appliances: washing machines 15 years, ranges 20 years, etc. I've long ago disposed of this, but I did find this current version. Here is a look at today's appliance lifespans from Consumer Reports:

Dishwasher – 9 years
Dryer (electric and gas) – 13 years
Microwave oven – 9 years
Range electric – 13 years
Range gas – 15 years
Refrigerator – 13 years
Washing machine – 10 years

We all know that the life expectancy of appliances is not what it used to be, but let's not confuse quality with durability. Today's washing machines use less detergent, energy and water than their predecessors. They are more gentle on clothes, and get them cleaner than ever before, but have a life expectancy of only 10 years, compared to 15 years or longer from grandma's Maytag.

Today, manufacturers seem to be on a never ending quest to reduce costs, and as consumers we shop until we drop to get save every hard earned dollar we can on appliances. Moreover, we don't seem to care if our kids inherit the family refrigerator, and we are quick to get rid of a broken appliance to avoid paying a stiff repair bill.

I recently read that in upscale neighborhoods it is not uncommon for kitchens to be remodeled about every 10 years, and that includes new appliances. So, even though appliances don't last as long as they used to, we tend not to even keep them for as long as they last.

The truth is that we don't expect our appliances to last as long as they used to…but we do expect that they have the latest features and look great in our house. I once asked a customer if she had a brand preference for her new washer. She replied that it didn't make a difference as long as the washer was red.

So, don't feel guilty about replacing your 15 year old agitator style topload washing machine with a shiny new front loader. The old machine is at the end of it's life, and the new one could actually pay for itself in energy savings….plus, it's red!

To get more information on appliances, floor coverings, and more be sure to consult your design professional or builder, and make an appointment with 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

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