Column Refrigerators, Freezers, and Wine Storage

While there are no official criteria or definitions for column refrigeration units, we’re going to define them as full-height, *built-in refrigerator, freezer, and wine units.

The main advantages to columns are the flexibility of capacity and location. Depending on the appliance brand, column widths include 18”, 22” (Miele), 24”, 30”, and 36”.  Smaller families might prefer an 18” wide freezer and a 30” refrigerator, while a larger family may want a 24” freezer and a 36” wide refrigerator. The two units may be placed next to each other in a side-by-side configuration below, or they may be used as bookends perhaps with workspace, a dishwasher, and a sink separating them. 

In the configuration below, an appliance wall features separate wine storage, freezer, and refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

Early on, European brands Miele, Gaggenau, and Thermador brands dominated the column refrigeration category. While all are made in the same factory in Turkey, the three brands have different features. Sub Zero, with their massive new refrigeration launch beginning in 2013, quickly became a major factor in column refrigeration. More recently, Bosch (parent of the Gagganau, Thermador brands) has added column refrigeration, as has GE Monogram. Other brands promoting columns are  Marvel, and the commercial oriented refrigerator brand Perlick.

As you might expect, purchasing separate units is likely to cost more than a single refrigerator/freezer unit. Nevertheless, columns are becoming increasingly popular. It appears that to be a member in good standing in the luxury category, brands must offer column refrigeration. Hence, Dacor and Jenn-Air have recently entered the fray with refrigerator columns, and GE Monogram has just announced a 120,000 square foot expansion at its Selma, Tenn. refrigerator plant for new column refrigerators and freezers.

*Frigidaire/Electrolux needs a mention here, because of their “all refrigerator” and “all freezer” configurations. However, they are not true built-ins, but what the industry considers counter depth models. This means that they can not be installed flush with the cabinet fronts.

COMING SOON:  Part 2 of this series on refrigeration focuses on key features of specific column refrigerator brands.

Be sure to visit Arizona Wholesale for all of your appliance, flooring, and window treatment needs.

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.


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New Appliance Color: Sunset Bronze

Stainless steel has been the dominant finish for appliances for some years now. Recently, appliance firms have added black stainless steel with some success. Now, Whirlpool is launching something new to their lineup Sunset Bronze appliances.

Whirlpool Sunset Bronze Refrigerator

The new color is described by Whirlpool as a brushed, satin finish with rose gold undertones. Observers have remarked that the appearance is indeed akin to the popular rose gold iPhone.

It’s a warm tone. You might even describe it as a subdued or even neutral tint. While referred to as a modern look, the subdued color seems to me to fit well in nearly any environment. It should be compatible with many different kitchen cabinet, countertop, and flooring choices. As an added benefit over older traditional Stainless Steel finishes, Sunset Bronze is a fingerprint resistant finish.

While the new finish will be initially available only in select models, there will be enough choices in each category so that homeowners can have a complete kitchen with matching Sunrise Bronze appliances.

Product is being produced now, and will be availalbe for consumers this spring. Contact Arizona Wholesale Supply now, and make arrangements for your own preview of Sunset Bronze.

Column Refrigeration

New Appliance Trends at Arizona Wholesale

Column Refrigerators, Freezers, and Wine Storage

What's a column refrigerator? Columns generally refer to refrigerator, freezer, and wine storage units that can be integrated into standard 24″ deep surrounding cabinets, i.e. fully flush with no hinges or grillwork showing. They are sometimes described as disappearing refrigerators because when installed with matching cabinet panels they cannot be distinguished from surrounding cabinets.

Disappearing-Refrigerator

Columns were first introduced in the U.S. by Miele and Thermador for use in high-end kitchens with sleek European kitchen cabinets. A few years ago Sub Zero launched a complete line of column refrigerators, freezers, and wine storage units.

Today, most of the major full line premium appliance brands offer columns in their lineup. With the flexibility that columns offer, they have appeal in many applications, and locations. Refrigerator and freezer columns can be installed together to create a side-by-side unit. Because these units are different *widths 18″, 24″, 27″, 30″ and 36″ you can customize by matching different width freezer and refrigerator columns. For example, if you don't need a lot of freezer space, it might make sense to install an 18″ wide freezer next to a 30″ wide refrigerator column.

Dacor recently launched its new Modernist appliance collection in Black Stainless Steel. The lineup includes new column refrigerators and freezers. The refrigerator can take a photo of your contents when you open it and email the photo to you so you can check its contents when you are shopping.

Dacor Columns

One of my personal favorites is Sub Zero's unusual configuration of a combination refrigerator over freezer unit below. It comes in both a 30″ and 36″ version:

Sub Zero Column

For more photos of column units take a look at our projects page on Houzz:

Columns

Call one of our showroom locations today, and make an appointment with one of our appliance consultants to view and learn more about column refrigeration.

*All sizes are not available in each brand.

Note: As of this date (May 20, 2017) our Phoenix showroom is undergoing a complete remodeling and is not open for visitors. Look for our grand re-opening later this year.


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Choosing a Built-In Refrigerator

Built-In Refrigerators at Arizona Wholesale

Types, Styles, and Look

In the early days of built-in refrigerators there were very few choices. Sub-Zero gets credit for creating this category in the mid-late fifties. It took a while for the category to grow into what it is today. At one point Sub-Zero was synonymous for built-in refrigerator, and even today they are clearly a market leader. However, many other brands now offer a variety of choices in built-in refrigeration. Here are a few:

Bosch, Dacor, Electrolux, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Miele, Monogram, and Thermador

Sub-Zero pioneered the traditional built-in refrigerator which, for our purposes, is a refrigerator with a cabinet depth no more than 24″. Early on the brand offered a choice of stainless steel fronts or models that would accept slide-in cabinet panel fronts to match adjacent cabinetry (overlay models).

Eventually, built-in refrigerators were developed that had hidden hinges and accepted cabinet panel fronts that were flush with adjacent cabinets. These refrigerators were fully-flush “integrated” refrigerators.

Sub-Zero-Fronts

Sub-Zero Fronts

Click below for a short discussion on integrated appliances from Houzz:

INTEGRATED APPLIANCES

Today, column refrigerators with cabinet panels have doors that go from bottom to top (no horizontal panel at the top), and when the doors are closed are truly not discernible from the adacent cabinets.

Columns

Columns

Configurations of built-ins includes side-by-side refrigerator/freezers, bottom freezer refrigrator/freezers, and separate column refrigerators, freezers, and wine coolers. In addition, some brands offer built-in under counter refrigerators and wine coolers; as well as under counter refrigerator and freezer drawers. The configurations for your kitchen are endless.

Click on the link below to review some of the choices in built-in refrigerators on our Houzz page:

Arizona Wholesale Houzz

For all your contract appliance, floor covering, window treatment, water systems, grills, and other builder-designer needs contact the professional 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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Smart Appliances for 2017

Have internet appliances finally arrived?

Smart Refrigerator from Samsung

In 2000 at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), LG Electronics introduced the first internet-enabled refrigerator. The refrigerator had a color TV screen on the outside along with many hi-tech features, and a price tag around $20K. About the same time Electrolux launched the ScreenFridge. In 2006, Electrolux tried again with a more deluxe version, and in 2007 Whirlpool showed a new CentralPark Connection, a data hub and entertainment center that plugs into the refrigeration. While none of these were successful, appliance manufacturers have not given up, and the new improved versions show a lot of promise, and a much lower price. Here's one model from Samsung that appears to be gaining steam.

Samsung Refrigerator

Samsung Family Hub
RF28K9580SR/AA
28 cu. ft. 4-Door Flex™ Refrigerator with Family Hub™

1. Built-in cameras for food management, calendars, notes and photo sharing

2. Food Management
Wherever you are, see what’s in your Family Hub™ thanks to three built-in cameras accessible from your mobile device. Or stay home, find new recipes and shop online using your Family Hub's™ 21.5″ touchscreen.

Internet Enabled

3. Entertainment
Don’t miss a beat – stream music to the Family Hub’s™ built-in speakers or mirror your smart TV* on the stunning, 21.5″ touchscreen. And with apps like Pandora and Tune-in Radio, your kitchen truly becomes your command center.

4. Family Connection
Share your family’s calendars, photos and notes from your mobile device or directly on the Family Hub.

Learn more about this high-tech wonder, make an appointment with your designer or builder to visit one of our showrooms for a personal demonstration. The future is here today at Arizona Wholesale.

*Visit the Arizona Wholesale Houzz page and view our Project Section with a Samsung Kitchen.


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Jeff Smith in Phoenix, AZ on Houzz

 

 

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” »

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.


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Appliances that are practical

Intuitive Innovation in Appliances

Major Appliances that Just Make Sense

There's a lot of talk these days about smart appliances. That usually refers to an appliance that can be connected and operated through bluetooth or wi-fi to an remote electronic device such as a smartphone. Most innovative appliances these days, are all about this connectivity. However, most of the great innovations in appliances over time had nothing to do with high-tech designs.

We often trace the history of modern appliances to the early 1950's when a deluge of convenient major appliances became popular in the post WWII expansion. Automatic washers and dryers replaced wringer-type washing machines and clothes hanging on a line. Frost-free refrigerators, self-cleaning ovens, and dishwashers all began to show up in our kitchens. These were all products that had demonstrable work-saving benefits, and the American public gobbled them up.

In the mid to late 90's, full-sized front loading washing machines took the country by storm. But there was also another appliance that caught the attention of many appliance buyers, The Double Oven Range.

I've always referred to this as the perfect example of “intuitive innovation”. Created by Maytag, and called the Gemini Range, the innovation was evident just by looking at it. In the space below a range's cooking surface, Maytag added a small oven/broiler, with a full-sized oven below the small oven.Viola, two ovens in a range that used to have only one oven and a storage drawer. The Gemini Range was a big success for Maytag, and was soon copied by all the competitors in this category.

Today, you can find double-oven ranges by these major brands: Frigidaire, GE, GE Café, GE Profile, Maytag, Samsung, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid. Of course, all are available at Arizona Wholesale Supply. Ask your builder or designer and call Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment today.


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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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