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.  

 

Benefits: 

  • 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.

Benefits:

  • 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 foodsafety.gov. (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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Best Danby Mini Fridges

Mini fridges have tons of uses, whether for convenience in your office, to give your guests the small comforts of home or to keep your food cold in your university dorm room. When choosing a new mini fridge you want to select the best fridge for your money.

MicroFridge by Danby is part of the Danby Family Brand; we here at MicroFridge provide Academic, Hospitality, Senior Living, Government and Office/Industrial industries with MicroFridge and Danby branded products.

Danby has a wide variety of mini fridges , with different looks, specifications and price points for all your needs. Our mini fridges are consistently rated 4+ stars anywhere Danby products are sold. To find the best Danby Mini Fridge for whatever your need, check out this blog post on Kitchen & Home Advisor.

 

 

For more information on Danby Mini Fridges click here to check out our full product line or search “Danby mini fridge” for a retailer near you!

 

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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 Biography.com and History.com

 

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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