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New Generation of Appliances Offer Convenience, Conservation and Cleanliness

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Shop around before you buy

Creating a healthy home environment is one of the hottest topics today. Another is reducing the carbon footprint, and a third is cocooning. The healthy home can be defined as a combination of environmental consciousness, safety awareness and overall cleanliness or hygienic conditions, not to mention the positive emotional impact that comes when families gather together for a meal and companionship. “The home is our safety zone,” states Paul McCormack, director of public relations for Miele, a top-of-the-line German appliance manufacturer. “Everything comes to a point in the home.”

Partly due to the economic downturn and partly to the general 21st century feeling of being disconnected from family and friends, the kitchen is returning to its position of previous centuries as the gathering place of the home. In addition to time-saving, green appliances, non-toxic paint, and low-energy lighting, new home buyers and remodelers are seeking expanded kitchen space that includes more seating and cozy, tucked-away areas for reading, visiting or doing homework. The new kitchen furniture of choice is made from natural materials, adding to the warmth and comfort of the room. This often means a complete kitchen re-do. But, if that’s not in your budget, consider just replacing old appliances and brightening the kitchen for a friendlier, more welcoming feel.

“The kitchen has become the new living space, and it’s expanding in both size and comfort to accommodate everyday life and entertaining,” said Marc Hottenroth, manager of GE Appliance’s Industrial Design Organ­ization. “The attention to detail that once went into the selection of the leather sofa, plasma television and Oriental rug in your family room is now going into the selection of appliances, countertops and accent lighting.”

People are trading the once-popular home theaters and traditional dining rooms for bigger kitchens and open floor plans. “When people are entertaining at home, they want to be where the action is, and the party is moving into the kitchen,” Hottenroth said. “Even during the week, the kitchen is the hub of family activity.”

Appliance manufacturers have heard the cry from tired, multi-tasking consumers and are taking healthy living and efficiency into consideration when creating new products. For instance: steam ovens save on energy; low voltage lighting in refrigerators and kitchen backdrops puts out less heat than other light bulbs do; and speed cook ovens and induction cook tops save energy and prevent spills and burning, keeping indoor air fresh and clean-smelling.

New appliances can also give kitchens a fresh look. “Stainless is still trending as the chic finish of choice,” said Michael Starmer, merchandising manager, GE Appliances and Lighting, but many consumers are concealing appliances within cabinetry for a cohesive appearance throughout the kitchen.

If you’re thinking of a kitchen re-do that includes new appliances, here are some things you might want to consider.

Cooking Appliances

Steam has long been established as the healthiest method of cooking as it seals in flavors, color, texture, vitamins and minerals. And, because steam cooking doesn’t require fatty oils and sauces, meals are lower in fat and healthier for the entire family. Scientific studies prove that less vitamins, minerals and trace elements are lost in steam cooking than in any other conventional cooking method. This applies to fresh produce as well as frozen food. Miele’s convection steam ovens’ multi-level cooking chambers let families cook an entire meal simultaneously in about 20 minutes.

Induction cooktops are highly reactive for precision cooking, and they’re remarkably safe. The induction element stays cool, while the target object heats up rapidly. As soon as the pan is removed, the heat stops immediately. As an extra safety precaution, most induction cooktops have pre-programmed maximum operating times. The cooktop will switch itself off automatically if this duration is exceeded. The induction cooktop saves time by bringing water to a boil faster than gas or electric cooktops, and it saves clean-up time because spills won’t cook onto the stovetop. Turbochef’s Double Wall Speed Oven and single Speedcook Oven offer seven speed cooking modes: Bake, Roast, Broil, Air Crisp, Dehydrate, Toast and Favorites. These large capacity ovens operate as a standard convection oven, a food defroster or a micro-wave. Because of its efficiency, induction is growing in popularity with
consumers.

Dishwashers

For a home to be really healthy its dishware shouldn’t just look clean — it should be hygienically clean. Temper­atures must be high enough to remove germs from baby bottles, chopping boards or cutlery. GE’s new dishwasher with SmartDispense technology offers a steam pre-wash feature that eliminates the need for pre-rinsing and soaking. It also stores contents of an entire 47-ounce bottle of liquid or gel detergent and dispenses based on water hardness, cycle selection and soil in the load. With two months of washing before refills, this is great for families buying in bulk.

Refrigeration

Standard side-by-side and top/bottom refrigerator/freezers are growing in size and storage space as kitchens grow. While most consumers still purchase free-standing models, many are choosing built-in models that fit snugly into the wall and can be closed behind a door.

However, many modern kitchens have features that haven’t been seen much in the past including under-counter refrigeration drawers and wine coolers. With flexible appliances like these, consumers can create more custom spaces such as a baking island or wet bar. The True Under-counter Glass Refrigerator is compact and has a system that offers the same type of refrigeration used in fine hotels and restaurants. It keeps food and drinks at a steady 33 degrees, and low voltage LED ensures consistent temperatures throughout. The True Wine Cabinet, which also features balanced refrigeration, holds 53 bottles in state-of-the-art glide-out shelving for an elegant design in wine storage.

So, whether you are knocking out walls and doing a complete makeover of your kitchen space or just updating with new appliances, there is something out there to fit everyone’s needs and taste. All you have to do is shop around.

By Sandra Meineke

(clockwise) Jenn-Air, the original cooktop innovator, offers a side-by-side double oven and an extra-large cooktop with additional burners. • The Jenn-Air Fully-Flushed Refrigerator features a double door refrigerator above and freezer below. • The stainless steel GE wall oven contrasts beautifully with paneled walls. • This typical-looking GE dishwasher hides the extra features of a steam pre-rinse cycle and storage capacity for a two-month supply of dishwashing liquid.

The True Under-Counter Refrigerator and Wine Chiller are convenient and less noticeable than regular refrigerators.

v True Under- Counter Refrigerators and drink coolers can be used in an outdoor kitchen as well as indoors.


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