Appliances

Decorative refrigerators made by heartland appliances

Kitchen Remodeling For Dummies has released a list of the top refrigerator manufacturers. After analyzing available research from various investigative organizations this list was compiled. The following top refrigerator manufacturers have been given high marks for energy efficiency, space, accessibility, cooling performance, and long lasting quality.

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A red microwave

Kitchen Remodeling For Dummies has released a list of top microwave manufacturers. After analyzing available research from various investigative organizations this list was compiled. The following top microwave manufacturers have been given high marks for energy efficiency, heating ability, price range, convenience of use, and aesthetic value. 

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Kitchen Remodeling For Dummies has released a list of the top dishwasher manufacturers. After analyzing available research from various investigative organizations this list was compiled. The following top dishwasher manufacturers have been given high marks for water conservation, accessibility, Energy Star ratings, cost effectiveness, and quietness. 

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Warranty

Working with Warranties

All major appliances come with some sort of manufacturer’s warranty. Most extend for several years on both parts and labor. The exact length of the warranty varies among manufacturers. Be wary, however, if a major appliance has a warranty only good for one or two years. Remember, a manufacturer usually issues a warranty for as long as they know a product will last. The more moving parts, the more likely the warranty will be shorter. With so few moving parts to break, refrigerators usually have the longest warranty time period. Refrigerators last for 15 to 20 years, easily. A dishwasher, on the other hand, with all of its moving parts, pumps, motors, and valves, usually carries a much shorter warranty- sometimes only a few years. But whatever your choice, if you go with a known, brand-name manufacturer, you’ll probably be happy with product performance. And if you ever have to use their warranty should a problem arise, the major players know how to provide good customer service. That’s why they’ve been in business for some many years.

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A kitchen compactor

Taking Out the Garbage: Disposers and Compactors

Garbage disposers are found in most kitchens today. They come in a range of sizes, based on the horsepower of the motor. For most families, a disposer with a 1/2- or 5/8-horsepower motor performs well and should last for years. One-quarter-horsepower units are also available, but because they’re not as powerful as the slightly larger units, they don’t last as long. And spending the money for a 1-horsepower unit is, in my option, a waste of money, unless you throw away an awful lot of food waste every day.

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A dishwasher loaded with dishes

Getting the Dish on Dishwashers

Okay, if you have kids you have ready-made dishwashers, right? Well, you’d like to think so. But most kitchens today include a dishwasher as one of the must-have appliances. Built-in units take the place of a base cabinet, so you do lose storage space. But the time you save by not washing dishes by hand is worth the storage space you sacrifice.

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A microwave oven

Moving in on microwave ovens

When the microwave oven was first introduced, it was billed as the do-it-all oven of the future. Well, it never quite achieved that high status, but it did become and still is a handy appliance to have in the kitchen. Most folks use their microwave ovens for thawing or defrosting frozen foods, and to quickly reheat leftovers. But finding the best place for a microwave oven can be a perplexing dilemma. Just think through your family’s needs and capabilities when deciding where to install a microwave oven.

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An oven range hood

Sizing up your range hood

Simply opening a door or window to provide ventilation in the kitchen doesn’t cut it these days. With the amount of smoke, grease, and especially moisture released into the air while cooking, you must remove as much as possible to reduce possible damage to your home. Also, as you peruse your options, keep in mind the fact that the range hood should be considered as a key element in the look of your kitchen, because it’s a fairly large appliance that is prominently positioned over a very busy area — the cooking area.

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A self cleaning oven

No-hassle cleanup options

One oven option that makes life in the kitchen easier is a self-cleaning feature. Most ovens, except for the least expensive models, are self-cleaning. The continuous-cleaning feature, however, is even nicer because the oven does what the name implies: it continually cleans the oven box whenever spills and splatters occur so you can say good-bye to spray-on oven cleaners, scrub brushes, rubber gloves, and nasty fumes from the cleaner.

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A convection oven

Ogling your oven options

I remember learning how to bake from my mother. We’d turn on the gas to preheat the oven. While it was heating up, we’d mix up the batter for whatever we were making, pour it into pans, and put them in the oven. Oh, how times have changed. It’s no longer gas or electric, there’s convection, microwaves, or combination units. And lots more.

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