Maintaining Business Relationships During COVID

When in-person meetings become zoom meetings, building and maintaining new and old business relationships is necessary more than ever.

Before COVID, our sales reps were constantly traveling. We were supposed to attend over 60 trade shows in 2020, the majority of which got canceled. Outside of trade shows, our sales team travels to visit customers, conduct training with distributors and their sales teams, sometimes they even go on-site (hotels or college campus) to assist with any issues or installs. So when being in person with others comes to a halt, the question becomes how do we still build, maintain, and strengthen these business relationships?

Here is what our reps had to say:

Kristine Wagner – Academic Key Account Leader- Mid West

I’m a people person and always feel I have a better relationship when I can be in-person vs. virtual. COVID changed that. I had to create a personal environment through team meets, zoom, or on the phone. I made sure I took extra time talking about real-life challenges and positive moments before jumping into the work talk. Most of my contacts were having the same challenges and concerns as I was. It kept it “real”. I made it my goal to find something positive with what they shared to reflect on and congratulate them. Finding a bright spot in the dark world truly helped my day.

Lisa Farrell – Academic Key Account Leader – West Coast

It’s all about relationships, and successful ones are rooted in security and trust. During a time of such uncertainty, you want to do business and partner with a company you know and trust. Through technology such as MS Teams and Zoom meetings or even via a good old-fashion phone call, we have and continue to respond quickly to questions, provide product guidance, and effectively communicate to our university partners what to anticipate and when.

Here at MicroFridge, we have always customized programs based on customer needs, and this year was no different. This past year many, if not all higher-ed institutions, had to pivot in multiple aspects- on campus, student housing, and dining. Our namesake MicroFridge combination appliance, which was once an amenity in student rooms, is now necessary due to safety guidelines, quarantine restrictions, and demands for students to have individual appliances. Schools knew to call us for their appliance needs, and we were able to meet them. The key besides anticipating needs is to have the ability to respond quickly to our customers, especially in times of crisis.

Tim Bales – Business Development Manager 

Outside of the airline and cruise industry, no industry was hurt more by COVID than hospitality. The key to keeping these relationships strong is to stay connected. New hotels that had not broken ground may place the project on hold with an unknown re-start date. These hotels have thousands of items they will need to purchase when they decide to build, and currently they are all are on hold. The good suppliers stay current with these hotels, updating the hotel team on inventory levels, lead times, and possible price increases. I assure them that MicroFridge will be ready when they are ready.

The key is being ready when these hotels open more guest rooms. Some hotels decided that now would be the ideal time to renovate their hotels. With guest stays down to 20%, they decided to renovate and be ready for the recovery. Typically, these renovations would be floor by floor and only need refrigerators for the renovated rooms. With COVID, many hotels decided to close and renovate every room. Now they need all the refrigerators. The refrigerators then need at the proper time the installation process. The key is to be in touch so that the correct number of refrigerators are at the property when they need them.



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Make The Most of Your TradeShow Budget With These Marketing Tips

With tradeshows cancelled for the foreseeable future, you may be wondering what you should do with your tradeshow budget and how to reach potential new customers?
Our reps were supposed to attend about 60 shows this year. That’s 60 opportunities to get in front of potential new customers or even those that might’ve been customers in the past. You may be asking yourself “What Now?” Don’t worry because we’ve got you covered with some tips that wont be overwhelming to carry out!

Virtual Shows

As an exhibitor you may be wondering if you should participate in a virtual show – the short answer is yes! IF you’re willing to put in the work. It’s more than creating/building your virtual booth, it’s about developing show specific content, show specials, and reaching out to potential attendees to schedule times to connect during the “show”. Just like with in-person shows, you don’t want to stand around at your booth all day in hopes that someone will stop by. Location, location, location has become preparation, preparation, preparation…you’ll get out of it what you put into it.


Videos have been highly requested as of late from our distributors and retailers; so if you’re able to invest in creating videos for your company to showcase your products- do it! It may seem scary but we promise it’s not as daunting as it may seem, and it will only help your company in the long run. Start simple, a 360 video showing the features of your product, or a product lineup video (as shown below) will answer your customers questions and provide them with the information that may need.
Check out the MicroFridge and Danby YouTube Channel for video inspiration!

Email Your Leads

You spent your budgeted money on lead retrieval, ensure that you’re utilizing that list. Maybe you launched a new product or service, made some upgrades, or you have product that is in stock and is ready to ship, if your updates are something a customer can benefit from send the email. The leads that you captured were individuals who had a real genuine interest in your product or service, reach out and contact them, it doesn’t matter that the list is from 2019 shows.

In Summary

  • Virtual Shows – You’ll get out of it what you put into it, the prep work is the most important part
  • Videos – Start small is doesn’t have to be a huge production
  • Send out updates and utilize your leads from past shows
Inspiration for this blog was taken from Skyline

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Energy Star “Most Efficient” Rated MicroFridge Products

At MicroFridge by Danby, we believe it’s important to Do the Right Thing. That’s why we constantly innovate and work towards reducing our environmental impact, by helping to reduce waste and our carbon footprint.

One of the ways we do this is through our commitment to growing our line of Energy Star compliant products. The benefit of ordering through MicroFridge is that we not only carry our namesake brand and combination appliance, but we also offer Danby products. We’re proud to say that our ALL of our MicroFridge branded fridges are Energy Star compliant.

Take a look at full list of MicroFridge and Danby products that have received an Energy Star rating here.

Not only have we earned an Energy Star rating but some of our 10.3 Cu. Ft. Fridge and Combination Units (in all styles) were named “Most Efficient” by Energy Star as well! We’re extremely proud to have earned this rating.

How a Product Earns the ENERGY STAR Label

ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

The ENERGY STAR label was established to:
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy; and, make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.

How Does EPA Choose Which Products Earn the Label?

Products can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth by ENERGY STAR product specifications. EPA establishes these specifications based on the following set of key guiding principles:

  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.

How Does EPA Decide When to Revise Specifications?

Generally, a market share of ENERGY STAR certified products in a particular category of 50 percent or higher will prompt consideration for a specification revision. However, there are other factors that weigh into the decision, such as:

  • A change in the federal minimum efficiency standards
  • Technological changes with advances in energy efficiency which allow a revised ENERGY STAR specification to capture additional savings
  • Product availability
  • Significant issues with consumers realizing expected energy savings
  • Performance or quality issues
  • Issues with test procedures

Use the personalized tool to help you save more energy in your home.

Assistance on Energy Star for commercial building can be accessed here.

Learn more about the Energy Star Certification, how you earn the label, and more certified products by clicking here.


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Before Buying an Air Purifier – Ask Yourself These Questions!

Summer has officially packed its bags, moved out and Fall came right on in and said “IM HERE!”

With the change of seasons comes seasonal allergies, ragweed, mold and if you have a pet their fur sheds. This year has also added new concerns with COVID and air pollution. While we can’t control the air outside we do have control over the air we breathe in our homes. It can be as simple as buying an air purifier.

Why an Air Purifier?

Indoor air pollution has been consistently ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Because of quarantining, the masses have been staying inside more than ever before. With all of these factors effecting the air we breathe, both outdoor and indoor; it’s important to take full advantage of the preventative measures available to us especially for our health.

Using an air purifier will help create cleaner, healthier air in your home or office, so you can enjoy better indoor air quality. Answer these questions before you purchase one:

  1. General or Specific Need?
  2. What Size Air Purifier Do I Need?
  3. What Features Do I Need?

1. Do You Have a General or Specific Need?

Air purifiers are the best way to clean your air indoors, which can be polluted and full of triggering particles, like pollen and dust. They also help maintain a healthy environment by removing pet dander, mold spores, ragweed and and more. If you have specific needs for wanting an air purifier, like allergies, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right model and that its made to filter your irritants.

Specific Needs 

  • Allergies: If you have allergies, you should choose an air purifier designed for allergy relief. They typically have multiple filters, including HEPA filters, to remove indoor allergens.
  • Asthma: If you suffer from asthma or if your symptoms are triggered by odor and chemical pollutants, you’ll want to consider an asthma air purifier or an odor and chemical air purifier. These air purifiers contain added odor and chemical filtration as well as HEPA filters for allergen particle removal.
  • Smoke: Smoke air purifiers are specifically designed to remove smoke, fireplace soot, and other associated fumes that could aggravate existing respiratory conditions or cause unpleasant odors in your environment.
  • Pets: Select air purifiers are designed specifically for handling pets–they remove pet dander, odors, and hair.
  • Chemical Sensitivities: If you are extremely sensitive to chemicals, you might consider an air purifier for multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). These models contain even more odor and chemical filtration and are often manufactured with materials that will not off-gas chemicals into the air and aggravate your symptoms.

2. What Size Air Purifier Do I Need?

Air purifiers are not a “One Size Fits All” item, consider the square footage of the room you want to purify.

Units will come with a recommended room capacity (sq/ft), along with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). CADR is how fast an air purifier can clean the air in a room, more specifically this rate shows the ability to filter tobacco, smoke, dust and pollen. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers runs tests on units in independent laboratories and the CADR is assigned as a result of these tests. The U.S. EPA called CADR “The most helpful parameter for understanding the effectiveness of portable air cleaners”.

Use these guides when knowing what size is right for you:

  • Small: These air purifiers are designed for personal space or rooms up to 299 square feet.
  • Medium: For rooms between 300 and 699 square feet.
  • Large: Use these air purifiers in rooms between 700 and 1,900 square feet.
  • Whole-House

3. What Features Do I Need on My Air Purifier?

After choosing the type and size of air purifier you need, consider whether or not you’d like any special features.

Features include:

  • To save money and conserve energy, look for air purifiers that are Energy Star-rated by the EPA.
  • If keeping additional noise to a minimum is a concern, look for air purifiers with silencing technology
  • Other features can include: timer, sleep mode, caster wheels, handles for easy mobility, remote controls, multiple fan speeds, and filter change indicators.

The below video highlights the features and benefits of our DAP120BBWDB


In Summary

Before buying an air purifier make sure you:

  • Get one that will clean and filter out specific irritants – dander, allergens, odor, mold
  • Get one that is equipped for your room size – look at sq/ft capacity and CADR score
  • Filters out the particles in your home
  • Easy to use.

Air Purifiers are also ideal for offices, dorm rooms, assisted living residences, and extended stay rooms; clean air isn’t limited to only your house!

Danby Air Purifiers can be found here.

Check out the full original blog on Sylvane’s website here!

FAQ about Indoor Air and COVID-19

For more information about Association of Home Appliance Manufacturer’s can be found here.

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Healthy Eating for College Students

As colleges and universities finalize if and how students will be returning to campus, we all can agree it will be different this fall.

One thing we do know is that students will still have a microfridge in their dorm room. Whether your school hasn’t made drastic changes or you are just wanting to err on the side of caution, we’ve complied a list of recipes for you to try this upcoming school season, regardless of your diet or budget.

Thinking back on the food I consumed in my college days, it was not the pinnacle of health, at all! From eating uncooked ramen with the seasoning sprinkled on (by choice), Valveeta Shells & Cheese, and my all time favorite – sandwiches. Fruits and vegetables? Yea didn’t know those too well.

Understanding the basics of nutrition and what our bodies need is crucial to making it through college and pulling all-nighters. These tips from dietitian Malia Dunn help breakdown how accessible and simple this can be, while also debunking some myths (hangover cures and Freshmen 15).

Now for the good part – the recipes! Regardless of your dietary choices we have recipes and food ideas for you!

If you don’t have any dietary restrictions or are open to different foods these are for you:

Vegetarian Recipes

Vegan Recipes:


Keto Recipes:

Additional Resources:

If you try any of these recipes please let us know!

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The Future of Buying Kitchen Appliances

There’s no doubt that the future of how we buy for our homes, kitchens specifically, will look different when the world opens back up, post COVID-19 lock down. So far, there have been 3 major kitchen-related changes that we have had to adopt on a moment’s notice.

First, we have been forced to alter the way we shop, store, and prepare food. Second, we have more time at home to get organized, work on our “to-do lists” projects, and sanitize our homes. Finally, we have had to change the way we interact and socialize with family, friends, and colleagues.

Here are some of the long-term ways COVID-19 will change kitchen designs in 2020.

  1. Purchasing Home Appliances, Furniture, Cabinets, and Fixtures Online

If you weren’t already an avid online shopper, the stay at home order probably changed that. Online retail sales is the wave of the future. For over a decade we have grown more comfortable ordering everything online. Now many consumers don’t have a choice. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of online retail sales.

When nearly all stores had to close their doors, one of our MicroFridge and Danby retailers, AJ Madison was able to handle the new economic change. AJ Madison is still completing deliveries everywhere in the continental US. Customers can browse the industry’s largest selection of appliances with over 140 brands to choose from. Simply order online, or set up an appointment with an appliance professional by phone, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Facetime.

  1. More Refrigerator and Freezer Capacity

Weekly grocery trips have turned into bi-weekly or longer and even delivery windows are multiple days out. Limited trips means having to stock up, and you’re going to need extra space to keep all that extra food. Refrigerators are essential for short term fresh food storage and leftovers. Freezers are important for longer term preservation and frozen goods.

Moving forward, we’re going to pay more attention to refrigerator and freezer capacity. Here are a few pro tips for getting more refrigerator and freezer capacity in your kitchen:

Full Depth Refrigerators

Full depth refrigerators are freestanding refrigerators with a case depth of 28 to 30 inches. They come in all the popular configurations like top freezer, bottom freezer, side-by-side, and French door styles. Full depth refrigerators can give you anywhere from 18 to 30 cubic feet of storage space. Full depth refrigerators give you more cubic capacity than counter depth and built-in styles, and they’re less expensive. Danby offers a variety of different size refrigerators for all your home needs.                                                                                                                                                                               Model shown is 18 CU. FT. Danby Frost-Free Refrigerator with Top-Mount Freezer

    • All-Refrigerator and All-Freezer (Columns)

Columns are a more upscale way to add extra storage space to your kitchen. If you’re going for a luxurious look, consider these all-refrigerator and all-freezer towers that can be mixed and matched to give you an optimal amount of storage space. Install them side-by-side or separated, whichever works best with your design.                                       Models Danby 8.5 CU. FT. Upright Freezer and Danby Designer 11 CU. FT. Apartment Sized Refrigerator shown side by side

    • Under Counter Refrigeration (beverage centers, refrigerator drawers, freezers)

Under counter refrigerators are tremendously popular already. Under counter refrigerators are a stylish addition to any kitchen, pantry, living area, outdoor entertainment space, master suite, or home office. If your main refrigerator isn’t enough, you can get some extra capacity under the counter.                                                                                                   Model shown is Silhouette 24″ French Door Beverage Center

    • Extra Freezer Space (chest freezers, upright freezers)

Our CEO, Jim Estill, gave his thoughts to the Washington Post on how COVID-19 has permanently changed the demand and need for freezers. Getting an extra freezer, if you can find one, can come in handy. Whether you want to stockpile extra frozen dinners, chicken, bread, ice cream, or leftovers, you can keep extra meals handy. An upright freezer or small chest freezer can tuck into a large pantry. If you need more storage space, get a bigger freezer for your garage or basement.                                                                                                                                                                             Model shown is Danby 3.8 CU. FT. Chest Freezer

    • Garage Refrigerators

Many households have an extra refrigerator to accommodate extra food storage. Whether it’s your old refrigerator, or an inexpensive scratch and dent piece, adding an extra refrigerator to your garage, basement, or bonus room can come in handy. See if you have a Danby Outlet Store near you for some great deals on scratched or refurbished appliances.

3. Easy-to-Clean Appliances, Kitchen Cabinets, Countertops, and Fixtures

Over the last few weeks, we have been more mindful about cleaning our homes and the items we bring into them. We are taking extra time to disinfect heavily trafficked areas such as our kitchen, bathroom, car, and work spaces. We’ve been reminded that germs, bacteria, and viruses linger on door knobs, keyboards, refrigerator handles, buttons, and knobs. The majority of our Danby and MicroFridge appliances have flushed handles which make for easier cleaning.

New kitchens will be designed with easy cleaning in mind. Low maintenance cabinet finishes, faucets, tile, and fixtures will be a top priority. For appliances, that means coated finishes like smudge-resistant stainless steel will become more popular. Consumers will look for countertops that are non-porous, scratch resistant, stain resistant and even antimicrobial.                          Models shown are part of our Full Sized product range

4. Focus on Outdoor Living, Self-Sufficient Gardening

With our daily schedules on hold for the past few months we have found the need for new hobbies. Whether it was baking bread (banana bread was king of quarantine for the greater part of COVID) or people trying out to see if they have a green thumb (plants and gardening). The weather is getting warmer and if you’re lucky you may have enough outdoor space to start a garden. If you’re tight on outside gardening space look into the Danby Herb Grower, which isn’t just for herbs, you can grow vegetables and fruits as well.

In some parts of the country, consumers are running supermarket shelves dry. COVID-19 proved that our food supply is limited. Starting a home gardening project is a great way to get home grown veggies and save money. You can store your homegrown produce with a long-term food preservation technique like flash freezing or canning.

If you’re planning a home improvement project, you will want to also upgrade your yard to spend time outside with your family and friends. Consider adding a barbecue grill, outdoor furniture, lawn games, a patio heater, fire pit, or even a home garden.                                                                                                                                                                                Models shown Danby Fresh Eco 24″ Home Herb Grower and Silhouette Outdoor Keg Cooler

5. Investing in High Quality Home Appliances Built to Last

Where and what you spend your money on has been important prior to COVID-19 and will continue to be as the world opens back up. All of your large appliances serve critical roles in your home. They’re made to make our lives easier.

Quality and longevity will be the foundation for purchase decisions, this is why warranties on your appliances are vital. Over the years, most appliances will require maintenance. If your appliance needs service, it pays to have a warranty in place. Investing in a warranty at the time of sale will give you peace of mind, and will save you hundreds of dollars.                     Model shown is Silhouette 24″ Dual Zone Wine Cellar


Inspiration for this blog provided by Jess P of AJ Madison. Original content and the full list of tips can be found on their blog.

To find a retailer near you that sells MicroFridge and Danby appliances click here

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Safe Plug Technology

MicroFridge combination units are staples in college dorms and military barracks. False fire alarms can also be a part of the college experience. Which is why, when creating our appliances, we kept fire safety in mind.

We’ve created not 1 but 2 patented ways to aid in fire safety and prevention, as well as minimize false fire alarms:

  1. 1st Defense Smoke Sensor
    • If smoke is detected while the microwave is in use, the microwave will automatically shut itself off until the smoke dissipates.
    • Check out our blog post to learn more about the smoke sensor.
  2. Safe Plug
    • The Safe Plug is patented technology that conserves electricity and reduces potential fire hazards that can be caused by overloaded circuits. 

How it works? 

  • Our combination appliances are engineered with a unique One-Plug to the wall operation. When assembling the combination unit the blue plug on the back of the refrigerator gets plugged into the back of the microwave, and the plug for the microwave is the only plug that goes into a wall outlet.  
  • The Safe Plug technology is built into the microwave itself. When in use the microwave will temporarily shut off the power to the refrigerator and charging outlets, to prevent the circuits from overloading. When the microwave is no longer in use the power to the refrigerator and charging outlets will resume.  



  • This technology is patented exclusively to MicroFridge.  
  • Institutions won’t have to worry about overloaded or blown circuits, and high energy consumption. 
  • All units that have the Safe Plug are Energy Star Rated. 
  • This technology controls the microwave, refrigerators, the extra outlets and charging station on the microwave. 
  • Never draws more than 11-15 amps of current. 

ipod in outlet    charging station

Our full lineup of combination units can be found here. If you’re looking for units that have this technology, look for the Safe Plug logo safe plug logo .

Click here if you have additional questions or would like more information on the Safe Plug or check out this video to see the Safe Plug in action.

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Safety Comes First with the 1st Defense Smoke Sensor

Most of us have a college memory that includes having the fire alarm in the dorm going off…. and usually at the most inconvenient time. The fire department then has to come out for what was most likely a false alarm and the college/ university is left with a bill.

This is where the 1st Defense Smoke Sensor comes in.  Our MicroFridge microwaves are designed to help prevent fire alarms from going off by shutting down operation once smoke (not steam) is detected, it benefits both your students and you as an institution.

How It Works:

  • The smoke sensor is built internally into the microwave, it cannot be tampered with or turned off.
  • When smoke is detected the microwave will automatically shut down and will read “ERROR” to alert the user.
  • Once the smoke dissipates you can open the microwave, clear the settings and resume using the microwave.


  • Students won’t have to be concerned about burning food or setting off the fire alarm for the dorm.
  • Institutions won’t have to worry about the safety of the students cooking or when fire alarms go off.
  • You wont accumulate a bill from the fire department for false alarms.

Our full lineup of combination units can be found here. If you’re looking for units that have this technology, look for the 1st Defense Smoke Sensor logo 1st defense smoke sensor logo.

Click here if you have additional questions or would like more information on the 1st Defense Smoke Sensor or check out this video to see the smoke sensor in action.

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Your Guide to Buying a Stand-Alone Freezer – If You Can Find One

The next morning, retailers arrived to an unexpected surge of orders. “There was an immediate reaction,” says Ryan Turner, director of merchandising and contract sales at Bray & Scarff Appliance & Kitchen Specialists. “We had already seen a little bit of an uptick in freezer sales, but that opened the floodgates.”

Within a few days, the lowly freezer, an appliance often relegated to the basement, was as hard to get ahold of as hand sanitizer. Now, waiting lists for freezers are growing as consumers seek the comfort of knowing that they’ll have plenty of food at home throughout a shutdown of unknown length.

Jim Estill, chief executive of Danby, which makes 20 different types of freezers, thinks the pandemic will permanently change this market. “Now people who are single want freezers, and people in apartments think they need a freezer,” Estill says. “Households who already have two refrigerators with freezers also want a separate freezer.”

Freezer shipments for the month of March were up 45 percent over the same period in 2019, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Frozen food sales skyrocketed, too: American Frozen Food Institute figures show a sales increase of 94 percent in March compared with a year ago.

“At first, covid-19 caused a bit of panic-buying and turning to freezing for a longer shelf life,” says Adrienne Seiling, vice president of strategic communications at the American Frozen Food Institute. Now, she says, it’s all about the “level of satisfaction and comfort” of having a full freezer.

A stocked pantry is a big concern when there is no way to know what a trip to the grocery store will yield, says Michael Ruhlman, food journalist and author of “Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America.” Some shoppers are checking out the variety of goods in the freezer cases for the first time. “As this period unfolds, we will become better and better freezers and more organized freezers,” Ruhlman says.

Jessica Petrino, editorial director at AJ Madison, a national appliance dealer, says the industry did not foresee the ferocity of the pandemic and was not prepared for the spike in demand. “These were not hot-ticket items,” Petrino says. Because many freezer parts are sourced in China, some manufacturers are having difficulty getting more freezers into stores. Hundreds of thousands of freezers are on back order, she says.

“Everyone is rethinking how they purchase food. In parts of the country, going to the grocery store is a scary event,” Petrino says.

Coming to love frozen foods

Clarence Birdseye introduced flash-freezing methods for fish and vegetables in the 1920s. His company was eventually sold and became the Birds Eye division of General Foods. In the 1930s and 1940s, more Americans replaced their ice boxes with electric refrigerators, which had small compartments for ice trays and other frozen items. By the late 1940s, the country’s postwar boom brought busy families more selections of frozen fruits and vegetables to make meal planning easier. Because more women were now working outside the home, the appeal of frozen meals as a timesaver grew. Hunters and farmers, too, used chest freezers for storing large quantities of meat and farm products.

In the 1950s, with the invention of fast-cook foods such as frozen fish sticks and TV dinners, frozen meals became an important part of Americans’ meals, and separate freezers were in demand. Victoria Matranga, design programs coordinator at the International Housewares Association, says the use of free-
standing freezers closely correlated to the mass production and lower cost of frozen foods.

There are still basically two types of freezers, but according to Jill Notini, vice president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the variety of configurations, sizes and features has grown.

Buying tips

Stand-alone freezers might not be as buzzy as the latest smart fridges, but there are some new features to be aware of, including LED lighting, door alarms to let you know when the temperature is not being maintained, reversible doors, security locks and better organizational compartments. Some uprights have built-in ice makers.

The majority of freezers are white, but you can find stainless and black finishes. Make sure the one you choose is manufactured to be “garage-ready” if you plan to keep it in your unheated or uncooled garage; some models aren’t made to withstand extreme heat or cold. Also decide whether you are okay with a model that needs to be defrosted (usually once or twice a year) or if you prefer one with auto-defrost.

David McCalpin, vice president of refrigeration at GE Appliances, says to consider the space you have available and how much money you want to invest. (Most freezers cost between $300 and $1,500.) Most stand-alone freezers range in size from about three cubic feet to about 22 cubic feet. Upright freezers generally will have a smaller footprint than chest models. Manufacturers make freezers that work for smaller households and apartments, such as Danby’s Diplomat, a compact chest freezer available in four sizes, from 3½ to nine cubic feet. The seven-cubic-foot model, at 33 inches high and 35 inches wide, is similar to the size of dishwasher.

Chest freezers tend to be less expensive than uprights, and they could be harder to organize; look for models with storage baskets. Think about whether you will just use it for storing bagels and lasagnas for the long term, or want your kids to be able to easily grab Popsicles on a daily basis. Features to look for in uprights include glass shelves and transparent door bins, McCalpin says. These allow you to keep an eye on your inventory. “Uprights give you better storage and visibility than a chest style,” McCalpin says.

Freezers used to be known as energy hogs, but no more. According to the Energy Star website, freezers manufactured today use a lot less energy because of improvements in insulation and compressor design. Models with the Energy Star designation save the most in energy use and costs. About 38 million separate freezers are in use in the United States, according to the website. More than 17 million of those freezers are more than 10 years old, costing consumers $1.3 billion per year on their energy bills. Replacing your old freezer with an Energy Star model could save you $195 over the next five years.

Usage tips

There is an art to loading your freezer properly and keeping your food from developing the dreaded ice crystals or freezer burn. Consult your freezer’s manual for specific information.

Electrolux, which has been making home freezers since 1929, has a number of best practices for freezing, says Eloise Hale, a spokeswoman for the company.

●Let hot foods cool. Wait until hot foods get to room temperature before placing them in your freezer. Overloading the appliance with hot food forces the compressor to run longer. Foods that freeze too slowly may lose quality or spoil.

●Freeze items flat. Putting items in freezer bags and placing them flat in the freezer allows you to stack them in bins once completely frozen.

●Rethink packaging. Boxes are bulky. If possible, remove items from packaging before storing, and recycle the packaging.

●Ensure cold air is circulating. Shelves and baskets should not be lined with aluminum foil, wax paper or paper towels. Liners interfere with cold air circulation, making the freezer less efficient.

For information on recommended length of freezing times, go to (For example, a refrigerated, cooked rotisserie chicken should be consumed within four days; if stored frozen, it should be consumed within four months.)

Ruhlman says it’s important to know what you have and to label it with the date so you don’t waste food. His household keeps a roll of blue painter’s tape and a marker at the ready. Keep a master list of your freezer contents to help in meal planning and shopping. “We keep a list of foodstuffs taped to our freezer,” he says. “We cross off what we take out.” Among the things in there now: four jars of Mom’s tomato sauce, chicken stock, lentil soup, meatballs, a bag of artichoke hearts, peas and six Klondike bars.

Thinking your household could use a freezer? McCalpin says GE is trying its best to keep up with demand. “We have the factories running flat out. Typically, we have excess capacity, but not to meet this kind of a surge,” he says. “Be a little patient right now. There are a lot of them on their way, and I expect supplies will improve over the next few months.”


Article written by Jura Koncius of the Washington Post. Click here for the original article.

Published May 13, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. EDT


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Black inventors who have improved our everyday lives

February is Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of black people who, throughout history, have done so much to make North America the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous place it is today.

MicroFridge is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting black inventors whose inventions and contributions have improved all of our lives and directly impacted our business & products.

The transition from Negro History Week to Black History Month occurred in 1976, when President Gerald Ford officially recognized it as such. Since transforming from a week to a month every American president acknowledges the month of February as Black History Month and picks a theme. The theme for the year 2020 is “African Americans and the Vote” which honors the 100 years since the 19th Amendment which granted women the ability to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment which granted black men the ability to vote.


Carter G Woodson PictureCarter Godwin Woodson (1875–1950)

Known as the “Father of Black History”, Woodson was an author, editor, publisher and historian. His philosophy about history was that it is more than just facts and that it’s essential to know the social conditions of the time to truly understand. He started Negro History Week in 1926, which took place during the 2nd week of February to honor both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays fell during this time. Woodson was also one of the founders of the Association for the Study of Negro Life, which was created to highlight African American contributions to history and society. Woodson’s life’s work helped legitimized black history and its place in American History.

Learn more about Carter G Woodson , NAACP- Carter G Woodson



John Standard
Invention: Improved Refrigeratorjohn standard picture

While the refrigerator was already in existence, John Standard’s patent was for improvements to the existing model. In the patent, Standard states his invention “relates to the improvements in refrigerators; and it consists in certain novel arrangements and combinations of parts”. These improvements included an ice chamber, separate doors, and air ducts. You could keep bottles of liquid cool , and due to the ice chamber being separate, along with the air ducts, it allowed for easy removal of the bottles without having to worry about losing the cold air. Without John Standard’s improvements to the refrigerator we would be without our freezers and fridges as one unit.

Learn More about J. Standard



henry brown fire safeHenry Brown
Invention: Receptacle for Storing & Preserving Papers

Henry Brown’s invention was essentially a safe. It had compartments to separate documents, especially carbon copy documents. The user of the receptacle could choose which compartment they needed to open and access. It later improved to what we now know as a strongbox and what we sell as the Intelli-Vault Safe which is used in both hotels and college dorms.

Learn More about:  Henry Brown




Philip B Downing (1857-1934)
Invention: Street Letter Boxphilip downing mailbox

Downing’s invention was  improvements to the existing mailbox. It allowed for people who needed to mail something to only have to travel to the street and not the postal service to drop off their items. Not only did this invention bring about convenience but it also made the collection of mail for the postal carriers simpler as well. All mail put into the box went into a bag that was fitted to the street letter box and there was a door for the mailman to retrieve it all, the current mailboxes still function this way. The Danby Parcel Guard wouldn’t be here to help safe guard your packages if it weren’t for John Standard’s improvements.

Learn More about Philip B Downing



marie van brittan brown picture

Marie van Brittan Brown (1922-1999)
Invention: Home Security System Utilizing Television Surveillance

Marie van Brittan Brown was a nurse living in Jamaica, Queens in New York and wanted to feel safe in her apartment. According to the patent on file “The system includes a video scanning device at the entrance door of the house to scan a visitor outside the door, and includes audio intercommunication equipment inside and outside the door for conversing with the visitor out of the door”. Through her invention we are able to have the security systems we have now, even the camera in the Danby Parcel Guard which allows you to see your package being dropped off.

Learn More about Marie van Brittan Brown




Fredrick M. Jones (1893-1961)
Invention: Air-Conditioned TransportationFrederick Jones Inventor

Jones received his engineering license in the state of Minnesota at the age of 20. He went on to serve in the army during World War 1 and was often making repairs to machines and equipment. Jones was constantly inventing, and in addition to  his inventions and patents for a refrigerator, he also had patents for improvements for sound equipment

He is most known for creating air conditioning in trucks that carried perishable food. This is how the  the U.S Thermo Control Company was founded. We are still benefiting from that invention to this day. U.S. Thermo Control Company continued to grow during World War II with inventions by Jones that helped to preserve blood.

Learn more about:  Frederick McKinley Jones


Learn more about Black History Month from and


Without these inventors and their ingenuity we wouldn’t have our refrigerators, Intelli-Vault Safes, Danby Parcel Guard, or the Danby Health models. Check out the MicroFridge and Danby websites for our full product lineup.


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