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February 02, 2017
Trends in DishwashersIs it time for a new dishwasher?Houzz has published its 2017 Kitchen Trends Survey. For homeowners planning kitchen renovations, dishwashers are the most likely to be first on the list for replacement. It really isn't a big surprise considering all the changes in dishwashers over the years. Here are the top trends in dishwashers in our view.Sani-CycleHomeowners are increasingly concerned with sanitation, particularly in the kitchen. Some new dishwashers have sani-cycles that are certified by the NSF which requires that the water is heated to 155 degrees fahrenheit and kept there for a certain amount of time. This feature can be particularly important when someone in the home is sick, or if there is a baby to care for.Energy and Water SavingsWhile dishwasher manufacturers are all keen on having the EnergyStar label, some dishwashers are more energy efficient than others. They work with smaller highly efficient motors that run quieter (and longer) to get dishes clean while running at whisper quiet sound levels.In addition, though dishwashers may have long run times, they actually use far less water. That's one reason why they are more energy efficient because a big part of a dishwashers energy usage is the cost of heating the water.QuietToday's open kitchens make it critical that dishwashers run quietly, and appliance manufacturers tout their "whisper-quiet" dishwashers. In my opinion, to be considered quiet, a dishwasher would have to operate at a decibel rating in the 40's. The really quiet dishwashers are often in the low 40's with a
October 23, 2016
New Kitchen Appliance TrendGet trending appliances at Universal Appliance and Kitchen CenterBuilt-In Coffee MakersThe booming business in built-in coffee makers has caught many industry experts by surprise. Built-in coffee makers have been around for quite a while, but there has been limited demand until recently. European luxury appliance brands such as Miele, Gaggenau, and Thermador have had built-in coffee makers for many years. But now, U.S. competitors in the luxury space such as Wolf have added coffee makers, and other super premium brands such as Jenn-Air and Bosch have also entered the space.While built-in coffee makers are hardly a necessity, customers are stretching their appliance budgets to acquire automatic coffee makers in many kitchen remodels, and new semi-custom and custom homes. There are a host of feature differences from one device to the next. Some models can be connected to plumbing while others have water tanks that require filling by hand. One built-in coffee maker even stores your whole coffee beans and grinds them on demand. Other options may include automatic cleaning features, one or two cups simultaneously, frothing features, cappuccino option, and more.It's a good idea to do your research, or consult the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center.
October 07, 2016
Small Appliances are BoomingThinking Small (small appliances) at UAKCDeluxe 24" Appliances Now Available in SouCalUniversal Appliance and Kitchen Center has long been known for having the best selection of major appliances in all Southern California. That selection has been growing with all the new European sized 60cm. wide appliances that have been launched in the U.S. (60cm. is approximately 24 inches).For decades the standard size for U.S. ranges, cooktops, ovens, and hoods has been 30", and most single family homes today include 30" wide base and upper cabinets. However, for various reasons, there are large numbers of housing units in Southern California that have 24" wall and base cabinets that need 24" wide appliances. All the popular U.S. brand 30" wide ovens, ranges, and vent hoods won't fit in these cabinets, so only basic 24" apartment models have been available. That's all in the past, as new products are now available for 24" cabinets at a variety of price points and with a variety of features. For example, here is a new Bertazzoni stainless steel 24" wide gas range, a nice upgrade from a U.S. standard model. If you're looking for a full suite of built-in appliances in this category, you might start with Bosch, a European appliance manufacturer with a great reputation. Bosch is a premium brand, that has great quality, and at a price below the luxury category. Miele is also a European brand with a good selection of European size (60 cm) wide appliances.
June 10, 2015
New Bosch Compact Major AppliancesBosch launches new line of appliances for small spaces We've written before about the challenges of a tiny kitchen (see below), but whether you live in a cottage, a small condo, or a compact add-on unit, you've got choices in supplying your living space with appliances. Click on the link below: Smaller Appliances for Smaller Kitchens Bosch is launching a new line of compact kitchen and laundry appliances designed for space deprived living units. Their offering includes: Laundry Appliances:Compact Front-Load WasherCompact Condenser Dryer (no venting required) Kitchen Apppliances:24" Electric Cooktop24" Gas Cooktop24" Electric Oven18" Dishwasher24" Refrigerator/Freezer These Bosch appliances may be small in size, but they come fully-equipped with the same popular features you'd expect to find on Bosch's German engineered full-sized appliances. In fact, you might say that the European heritage of Bosch gives them a distinct advantage in the small-sized appliance category, since standard sized European appliances are 60 (mm) = approximately 24" wide. In the laundry category, Bosch's washer and dryer can be installed as a stacked pair freeing up additional space. Dryers often present a challenge because they need to be vented out. However, the Bosch compact dryer has a condensation dry system that is designed for ventless operation. Scheduled for July 2015 availability, Bosch will be offering 3 different models to choose from. In kitchen appliances, the Bosch dishwasher is a fully featured dishwasher, but comes in at only 18" wide, 6" slimmer than standard dishwashers. The 24" wall oven will fit underneath the cooktop,
May 17, 2015
Kitchen Design TrendsFrench Kitchens vs. Open Kitchens Appliance manufacturers grind out tons of PR information about their products trying to capture our attention. It can be difficult to sift through the all the bombast and hype to find meaningful content. In a recent press release by a big appliance company describing kitchen design trends, the author conflates "European Minimalistic Design" with "open kitchen design". The pinnacle of interior design, open-concept, European-style minimalism is very trend-forward. They're two very different concepts. Open kitchen designs which have become so popular are not European at all, but an American trend. In fact, the French term "cuisines américaines" refers to a kitchen without a door. French kitchens have doors that can be closed to the rest of the residence.If a Parisian invites you to their home for dinner, you will be served in a dining area separate from the kitchen. You certainly won't get an opportunity to "help with the dishes" and your offer might be considered odd or even an insult. Typically, you'll find Parisian kitchens small and crowded with perhaps a microwave, but no room for the many countertop appliances we consider standard. The refrigerator is quite small since fresh food is purchased daily, but a washing machine is quite common in the kitchen. You'll be amazed at the incredible food that comes from a kitchen that seems to have almost no counter space at all. Of course, things are changing as American trends are spreading to Europe. Even
April 02, 2015
Smaller Appliances for Smaller KitchensMore Appliance Choices for Small Spaces Small homes and condos can find more room in the kitchen with space-saving appliances. Fortunately, the field of smaller appliances has expanded greatly with appliance brands from Europe entering the field. Full size appliances in Europe are made to fit 60mm (24") cabinet widths rather than the 30" dimensions for most U.S. brands. In addition, many "apartment-sized" appliances have typically been de-featured and low-end models. No more. You can now choose from a wide-spectrum of brands from entry level to luxury brands made in more compact sizes. For example, standard dishwashers are designed to fit in a 24" space. However, there are a number of dishwasher brands that offer full-featured dishwashers that fit in an 18" space, such as the Bosch dishwasher. Click on the link below for a full description: Bosch 18" Dishwasher For those, that can't accommodate a full height dishwasher, Fisher & Paykel, as well as others, offer a space-saving dishwasher drawer. In cooking appliances, there are even more choices. Standard widths for ranges are 30", but choices abound in 24" or even 20" sizes. Here's a Bluestar range built for a 24" opening. Many cooktops, and ovens are 30", but here again there are many choices in 24" cooktops and ovens. UAKC, can even help you with a 2 burner cooktop if needed. Take a look at this Italian made Bertazzoni oven and cooktop made to fit a 24" opening. Click on the links below: Bertazzoni 24" Oven Bertazzoni 24"
March 11, 2015
New Professional Home Appliances UpdatedPro-Style® Cooking Appliances are Changing The Pro-Look Gets a Sleek Update As professional looking appliances have gained popularity in luxury kitchens, they have often been mixed with sleek flush European style appliances. A Bosch or Asko dishwasher featuring a flush matching cabinet panel disappears into the cabinetry while nearby there is a Sub-Zero integrated built-in refrigerator with hidden hinges and door panels that match the adjacent cabinets. They're invisible as appliances and fit right in to the wall. Though it's not possible to do this with cooking appliances, manufacturers have made their cooktops and ranges much more sleek and contemporary-looking. This has become particularly noticeable recently, as even Professional Style appliances have become more flush, but still keep their Pro heritage. Check out the three entries below from Jenn-Air, Wolf, and Miele. Jenn-Air Jenn-Air's new 30" and 36" Pro-Style® cooktops have undergone a complete redesign. Not only have they added more power and new brass burners, but the surface of the cooktop itself is as near to flush as you can get without being inset into the counter. The heavy duty knobs still have a Pro look and feel, but they are somewhat less obtrusive. By the way, the term Pro-Style® is a registered Jenn-Air trademark. Wolf Wolf's new "M" Series Professional Oven still sports their signature red knobs, but also has touch electronic controls that work in conjunction with the knobs. Wolf has worked their magic by producing a jumbo oven with twin convection fans, yet it all fits
September 02, 2014
Convection Cooking? Is it just hot air?Cooking with Convection How do convection ovens and ranges work? Wikipedia A convection oven (also known as a fan-assisted oven or simply a fan oven) is an oven that has fans to circulate air around food. Conventional ovens, which do not have fans, rely primarily on radiation from the oven walls, and to a lesser extent, on natural convection caused by temperature differences within the oven, to transfer heat to food. Depending on the brand and type of convection (see below) the benefits of convection cooking include: More even baking Cookies on multiple racks will come out perfectly cooking regardless of where they are placed. Faster roasting Your Thanksgiving turkey may be done 1/3 to 1/2 sooner than cooking conventionally. More flavorful The fan driven air circulation and speed of convection quickly browns roasts and other foods giving them a nice crust and sealing in juices and nutrients. True or European Convection European convection or "True" convection has an element surrounding the convection fan versus regular ol' convection that has a fan only - no third element. There is about a 50 year debate still going on about the differences and advantages of these two systems, and we're not about to step in it here except to say that you get to choose...and that's a good thing! Some ovens such as Wolf have DUAL convection meaning two fans. Jenn-Air's unique V2™ dual fans are stacked vertically.Just about all of the premium brands offer the convection
August 13, 2014
New Dacor 4-Door RefrigeratorDacor's Unique Refrigerator Available at UAKC Dacor is a Southern California based manufacturer of luxury cooking appliances. In addition to their high end cooktops, ranges, and wall ovens, Dacor offers a complete array of luxury kitchen appliances including dishwashers, refrigerators, microwave ovens, and ventilation. Dacor has recently launched a Four Door French Door refrigerator. By itself, the four doors is an unusual configuration.However, what really makes this Dacor refrigerator different is that with the flip of a switch you can convert one of the lower compartments from freezer to refrigerator and back. Just think about the flexibility that gives you. Suppose you suddenly need some additional freezer space when a family member comes back from a fishing trip, or perhaps you need to keep that turkey frozen for a few days more. On the other hand, you may need additional refrigerator space after stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables from the Farmer's Market. Just switch that lower compartment from freezer to refrigerator and voilà - extra refrigerator storage. There's more. Dacor's new European built fridge has some space-age technology to keep food fresh longer: The Distinctive refrigerator utilizes BlueV™ lights in the crisper sections to preserve the freshness and vitamins of fruits and vegetables. MAIN FEATURES 2014 ENERGY STAR® Qualified Three-zone settings - refrigerator with either one or two freezer sections. IonFRESH technology eliminates airborne bacteria and odor forming molecules by producing natural negative ions. Humidity controlled crisper drawers with BlueV™ lighting
August 04, 2014
Small Major Appliances for Urban LivingHeadquarters for Compact Major Appliances Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center There's a trend in major cities towards small living quarters to accommodate young urban millenials who want urban living that is also affordable. In major appliances, brands from GE to Viking have begun to address this unfulfilled need. GE Launches Small Appliance Lines As cities grapple with housing shortages, the trend toward smaller living spaces is already a reality. Shrinking living spaces necessitate products and services that simplify, optimize and economize. "As we watch what’s happening in the U.S., there’s a clear trend toward smaller, more efficient living spaces," said Lou Lenzi, director of industrial design for GE Appliances. "There will always be a need for larger appliances for existing homes; however, we can’t ignore the growing need in urban environments. At Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center, you don't need to wait to address your space constraints. Compact appliances are available from a variety of manufacturers to fit a wide spectrum of needs and budgets. Here are a few examples: Refrigerators Danby 3 Cu. Ft. Dual Door Compact Refrigerator: Black With Stainless LookModel: DCRM31BSLDDThis dual door Energy Star rated compact refrigerator includes a separate fridge and freezer section. The 3.0 cu. ft. capacity provides enough room to keep small meals, snacks, leftovers, drinks and frozen fare handy. This miniature version of larger models is ideal for dorm rooms, the recreation room or the office. Features: 3.0 cu.ft. (84 litres) capacity refrigerator Energy Star compliant