Tips and Tricks in Our Educational Home Appliances Blog
Get the Best Kitchen Ventilation for Your Home
Cooking a great meal can be fun, but it can also create heat, smoke, and splatters that you certainly don't want in your home. That's why proper kitchen ventilation is so important. Proper kitchen ventilation removes smoke, heat, foul odors, and grease from the air while you're cooking. This not only makes cooking more pleasant, but it prevents grease from settling on kitchen surfaces, which makes clean up easier.
When it comes to kitchen ventilation, you generally have two options: a downdraft range or a hood fan. We've broken down the pros and cons of each kitchen ventilation option to help you decide what's best for your home.
What is downdraft ventilation?
Downdraft ventilation is built into cooktops and kitchen ranges. The vents remain hidden when not in use but rise to a height of 10 to 14 inches when you need them. These vents pull fumes and smoke downward and out, instead of being sucked up and out, as with a kitchen hood.
What are the pros of downdraft ventilation?
People like downdraft ventilation ranges for these reasons:
- No ductwork needed: You simply install the range and you're done. Range hoods require cutting into walls and installing ductwork if it's not already existing.
- Extra cabinet space: There's no need for a range hood with a downdraft cooktop, so it allows room for extra cabinets where you would typically place a range hood.
- Apartment friendly: If you live in a condo or apartment where outside ventilation isn't possible, then downdraft ranges are your only option.
What are the cons of downdraft ventilation?
However, there are some drawbacks to using downdraft ranges:
- Less powerful: In general, downdraft ranges are less powerful and less efficient than hood fans.
- Flame interference: The suction from the vents may disrupt the flames from your gas cooktop, which can get pretty annoying.
- Less effective on tall pots: The suction from a downdraft vent may not always reach the steam and smoke coming from taller vessels like soup pots or boiling pots of pasta.
What is a hood fan?
A hood fan, or a kitchen hood, is mounted directly above the stovetop area. It pulls steam, grease, smoke, and vapors up from the cooktop, passes them through a filtration system, and directs the filtered air outside or back into your kitchen.
What are the pros of a hood fan?
Hood fans are a more popular kitchen ventilation solution than downdraft ranges for several reasons:
- More effective: Hood fans are generally larger and more powerful and clean the air better, especially if you cook large meals often.
- Increased home value: Prospective home buyers expect to see range hoods in every home they look at. If you install even a mid-priced range hood, then you can up your asking price when it's time to sell your house.
- Visual interest: Today's range hoods are not only functional, but they are beautiful as well. Oftentimes, a stylish, stainless-steel range hood can be the focal point of your kitchen.
What are the cons of a hood fan?
But before you opt for a range hood, consider these drawbacks:
- Installation costs: If you're simply swapping out an old range hood for a new one, then the installation costs may be negligible. However, if you are putting in a range hood into a kitchen that never had one before then you'll need factor in the costs of installing ductwork.
- Reduced wall space: A range hood takes up valuable wall space where you might prefer cabinets, a pot rack, or shelving.
- Constant visibility: Downdraft ventilation systems can be hidden when not in use, but hood fans are always in sight. As mentioned above, some may like that visual interest, but others may not.
If you're still unsure what kitchen ventilation option is right for you, then come to Reno's Appliance in Paterson, NJ. A member of our knowledgeable sales team can help you determine what's best for your home.
Posted: April 23, 2019|
Should You Buck Up for Vintage Kitchen Appliances?
One of the growing trends in home décor is to opt for vintage kitchen appliances - in particular stoves and refrigerators - to create an old-time ambiance in your kitchen. We're not simply talking about purchasing modern appliances with a "retro-look", but truly antique appliances that were manufactured in the first half of the 20th century. Some say, in addition to providing classic charm, these models perform just as well as their current-day counterparts.
Before you jump head first into the world of vintage kitchen appliances, check out these six tips to make sure you know what's involved:
Decide on the Decades
Your best bet is to look for a stove or refrigerator from the 1930s to the 1950s. These appliances will most likely have solid construction, good oven temperature regulation, and built-in safety features and little extras such as clocks, lights, additional ovens, or food warmers. They're also surprisingly energy-efficient. Avoid anything made before 1910 because they tend to be highly inefficient and have none of the standard safety features you've come to expect in modern appliances.
Ensure Parts Exist
Make sure that you can still find parts for your vintage kitchen appliance. There were literally thousands of stove brand names by the early 1900s. And the number of companies making refrigerators went from 20 in 1910 to 200 by 1925. So if a stove or refrigerator part from that era is missing or broken, it can be hard to locate, and you’ll have to buy a new appliance. Parts for appliances from the 1950s forward are easier to locate.
Make Sure It Works
This is probably obvious, but it's important to hook up the appliance to make sure it works. Don't take the seller's word for it unless it's someone you know and trust. You can get stuck with a lemon if not careful. And if it doesn't work right away, don't panic. The simple task of cleaning and lubricating an old gas valve can bring a non-working stove back to life. If an oven is not heating accurately, then you just may need to adjust the thermostat.
Request a Restored Model
You want to make sure that your vintage appliance not only works, but has been restored and updated so that all safety features are in place. Ask if any insulation has been replaced as well, since that can degrade over time or even be destroyed by insects or rodents.
Be Prepared to Repair
Vintage kitchen appliance dealers will often offer repair services. However, if you think you'll be handling certain repairs yourself, then that may influence your purchase. For example, stoves from the 1950s are easier to repair because they are put together with screws, rather than riveted together like newer models. Also, by this decade many working stove parts were universal, and they can be fairly easy to replace.
Beware of Fridges From the 50s
While you might want to choose stoves made in the 1950s, it's better to choose refrigerators made prior to 1950. In the mid-50s, refrigerator finishes went from porcelain to plastic, cords went from cloth to rubber, and tubing went from copper to aluminum. The "frost free" feature that became so popular in that decade ate up a lot of the electricity so older fridges are actually more efficient. One good thing that did happen to fridges in the 1950s? The introduction of fun colors like avocado green, sunshine yellow, and robin's egg blue.
Ultimately, buying a vintage kitchen appliance is a lot like buying a used car - you have to kick the tires and shop around. If you're dedicated to true retro décor, then it may be worth the effort. However, if you simply want the retro look without the hassle of finding quality vintage kitchen appliance, then consider a modern appliance that has a retro look.
Stop by Reno's Appliance in Paterson, NJ to see all of our retro-inspired appliances as well as our extensive inventory of modern appliances from top-name brands. We have every appliance you may possibly need.
Posted: April 16, 2019|
These Small Space Appliances Are A Must
If you live in a small home or apartment, you might think that you have to forgo essential appliances because they take up too much space. However, many manufacturers make appliances that are specifically designed for small spaces. They work just as hard as their larger counterparts but take up less room. Here are a few small space appliances that are a must for any tiny home.
Just because your kitchen is tight on space, doesn’t mean you should be stuck doing dishes by hand. Consider any of these smaller dishwasher types:
- Compact: These space-saving units are 18", which is the size of a standard cabinet. They have all the wash cycles and features you need with the capacity to hold up to 9 place settings.
- Countertop: If you can spare 22" of counter space, then a countertop dishwasher may be the right small space appliance for you. It can wash up to 6 place settings, which makes it the ideal solution for those who live alone or with just one other person.
- Portable: Available in 18" and 24" widths, portable dishwashers can easily be hooked up to the kitchen sink so there's no special plumbing installation required. Best of all, portable dishwashers can be wheeled away when not in use.
Refrigerators are perhaps the biggest appliance in most kitchens, but if space is at a premium, then consider these more compact alternatives:
- Undercounter: These fridges fit seamlessly under the kitchen counter to free up precious kitchen space, which can help make day-to-day living much easier.
- Counter-Depth: These 24" wide models fit flush with the counter and integrate beautifully with surrounding cabinets, instead of jutting out into your kitchen.
- Apartment-sized: For truly space-challenged kitchens, an apartment-sized refrigerator is the perfect small space appliance. Typically 18" to 24" inches wide with 10 to 12 cubic feet of capacity, there's enough room to keep all the perishables you bring home from your weekly shopping trip fresh and flavorful.
Love to cook, but don't have room for a standard range? Check out these space-saving options:
- Slim-sized range: Standard ranges are typically 30" to 36" wide but you can get models that are 20" to 24" to save space. The smaller models include 4 burners and all the features of a larger range so you can cook great meals in even the tightest spaces.
- Compact cooktops: If you can't fit an entire range, then consider a compact cooktop. These are typically 12" to 24" and feature 1 to 4 burners depending on how much space you have.
- Toaster ovens: A toaster oven is the essential small space appliance, especially if you decide not to have a full stove to save space. You can use it to roast meat, broil fish, bake potatoes, roast vegetables, and so much more.
So far we've been focusing on kitchen appliances, but washers and dryers are just as important and typically take up lots of valuable space as well. But don't think you have to spend your time in the laundromat just because you live in a small apartment or condo. Consider these options:
- Washer Dryer Combo: These all-in-one units wash your clothes, then immediately dry them. It can really save you valuable storage space.
- Stackables: The ultimate small space appliance, the stackable washer/dryer is built to fit into most closets for easy access.
- Ventless dryers: If you live in an apartment or condo that has rules against installing vented dryers then you may want to look into getting a ventless dryer. Compact and efficient, ventless dryers have been popular in Europe for generations.
Living in a small home or apartment doesn't mean you have to give up on the convenience of appliances. Stop by Reno's Appliance to see all of the small space appliance solutions we have in stock.
Reno's Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno's Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno's sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our wide selection of appliances.
Posted: April 09, 2019|
My Ice Maker Is Slow At Making Ice! Help!
If you've got an ice maker in your refrigerator, then you know how convenient it is to have a steady supply of ice ready at all times. You may not realize how much you depend on it until the day you notice that your ice maker is slow at making ice, or even worse, not making ice at all. If your once-dependable ice maker isn't keeping up with demand, here are five tips for troubleshooting the problem.
- Turn down the freezer temperature: Ideally, your freezer should be set between zero and five degrees Fahrenheit. If your freezer is set higher than five degrees, then the water may take longer to freeze into cubes. Lowering the freezer temperature will help the incoming water freeze quicker so ice cubes are formed faster.
- Keep the freezer well-stocked: Most people don't realize this, but a near-empty freezer can cause your ice maker to be slow at making ice. Having the freezer at least half full makes it easier for the appliance to maintain the consistently low temperature needed to create ice quickly. Stock it with water bottles or ice packs if you need to add bulk. Of course, you don't want to overfill the appliance either, as this could restrict airflow and also cause the ice maker to be slow at making ice.
- Make sure the water line isn't restricted: Pull the freezer away from the wall to check the water line leading to it. Make sure it's not kinked, damaged, or blocked in any way. Also, turn the valve on the water supply line to the fully open position to ensure full water pressure.
- Make sure the chute isn't blocked with ice: Sometimes, cubes in the ice bin may melt slightly and refreeze, which creates large clumps of ice. It's impossible for new ice to push past these larger ice clumps so ice continues to back up and clog the chute. If this happens, then remove the ice storage bin and empty out the entire bin in the kitchen sink. Then put the bin back in the freezer. You should notice ice production start to ramp up after that.
- Replace the water filter: Ice makers come with filters that remove impurities from the water before the ice is made so the cubes don't taste funny. If your water filter hasn't been replaced in a while, then do it now. A clogged water filter could be blocking water flow and causing the ice maker to be slow at making ice.
If you check all the items above and your ice maker is still slow at making ice, then it might be time to call in a professional to repair it. Or, it may be time to treat yourself to a new ice maker. Reno's Appliance carries a variety of high-quality ice makers from top brands including Whirlpool and Electrolux.
We also have an extensive collection of refrigerators that come with built-in ice makers. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection of side-by-side, French door, bottom freezer, and top freezer refrigerators.
Reno's Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno's Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno's sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need.
Learn the Ins and Outs of How Induction Cooktops Work
When it comes to ranges and cooktops, Americans have always had two choices: gas or electric. However, induction cooktops, which have been popular in Europe for years, are now gaining a foothold in America and have become an attractive third option. But exactly how do induction cooktops work? At Reno's Appliance we are cooktop experts and wanted to explain the simple, but fascinating science behind induction cooktops.
How do induction cooktops work?
An induction burner consists of a ceramic plate with an electromagnetic coil beneath it. When you turn on the burner, an electric current runs through the coil, generating a fluctuating magnetic field, but no heat on the burner itself. However, once you set an iron or stainless-steel pan on the burner, the magnetic field causes many smaller electric currents in the pan's metal.
Iron is a poor conductor of electricity, so as all these small currents run through the iron pan, much of the energy is converted to heat. Thus, on an induction cooktop, the heat is coming not from the burner, but the pan itself. And, since it's the pan that’s providing the heat, very little heat is lost, making induction cooking more efficient. In fact, a pot of water will come to a boil on an induction stove twice as fast as it would on a standard gas stove.
Is an induction burner as powerful as gas or electric?
"Burner" is a bit of a misnomer with induction cooktops as it’s not actually the ceramic plate that's heating up. However, the short answer is yes, in general, induction burners are just as powerful as gas or electric burners. Induction burners are also quite responsive to adjustments in heat. They can achieve very high temperatures and reach the lowest temperatures of the three types of stoves for more precise cooking.
Are induction cooktops safe?
Induction cooktops are incredibly safe. After all, there's no open flame required. Plus, the cooktop itself never heats up. Once you remove the pan, an induction cooktop cools off faster than a conventional burner. So once you remove the pan, the cooktop will be safe to touch within a few seconds. You can't say the same about an electric burner.
Speaking of a cooler cooktop, another benefit is easier cleanup. Spills don't get cooked onto an induction cooktop’s quick-cooling surface. You can simply wipe them down with a damp cloth or use the same spray as you do everywhere else in your kitchen.
Is there a certain type of pan required?
Pans need to contain iron in order to work with an induction cooktop. For example, cast-iron, enameled cast iron, and some stainless-steel pans with magnetic-grade bases are ideal. Copper and anodized-aluminum pans won't work. How do you know if a pan will work with your induction cooktop? Here's a simple test: If a refrigerator magnet adheres to the bottom of the pan, the pan will work on an induction cooktop.
Are there any drawbacks to induction cooktops?
The main downside to induction cooktops is cost. They are the most expensive of the three options. Also, as stated above, you need to have pots and pans that contain iron for an induction cooktop to work. So be sure to include the price of a new set of cookware in your budget.
Now you know the answer to the question, "how do induction cooktops work?" If you're ready to take a closer look at induction cooktops, then stop by Reno's Appliance in Paterson, NJ to view our large selection of cooktops and range tops from top-name brands like Bosch, Jenn-Air, Whirlpool, and more.