Product Profile: 5-Door Refrigeration

Interest and demand for 3-Door Refrigerators (also referred to as “French Door” models) has continued to grow since their introduction. We were recently invited back to visit the Whirlpool® plant located in Amana, Iowa to see first hand the facilities and smiling faces who make all bottom-freezer Whirlpool®, Amana®, Maytag®, and KitchenAid® refrigerators. This plant in Amana, Iowa is full of industry “firsts”. The first Amana® Radarange microwave came off the lines at this plant.

Whirlpool Amana, Iowa | VillageHomeStores.comThe first French Door, French Door with ice and water dispenser, and 4-Door Refrigerator models all have an origin story that begins in Amana, Iowa as well. Now you can now add 5-Door Refrigeration to that list.

Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®
Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®

Which brings us to our product profile of the new 5-Door Models. We will focus on the KitchenAid® KRMF706ESS (Stainless Steel) and EBS (Black Stainless) models. Let us begin by saying YES! We do have this refrigerator in-store so you can come see all of what we are showcasing here on the blog in person. The first thing worth mentioning is this model is available in KitchenAid®’s new fingerprint resistant Black Stainless finish! Yes you read that correct fingerprint resistant! Don’t believe us? Stop in the store and test it out. This gorgeous new finish option pairs Stainless Steel and chrome accents with a true Stainless Steel in a black finish. 

Of course with this 5-Door Refrigerator launch there are so many features to talk about but we want to share a few of our favorites:KitchenAid 5 door refrigerator KRMF706ESS

Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®
Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®

Herb Storage, why would you need that? Have you ever thrown away half of an unused container of basil just because you didn’t get a second or third chance to use it? These clever little boxes have an angled center section for you to fill with a bit of water so that the cut edges of your herbs are in water and the herbs rest above the water but still sealed in the box. We attended a Whirlpool® training event and noticed that the mint in the herb storage area looked amazing while the plastic container with a few remaining sprigs of mint in it was already looking unappetizing (we were only day 2 of training). After just one day there was already a noticeable difference.

Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®
Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®

What really stood out to us with this new 5-Door Refrigeration launch is that left-hand Drawer With 5 Preset Temperatures. This drawer is a champion of many tasks! Preset temperatures for meat/fish, drinks, greens/herbs, deli/cheese, even thaw/marinate each available with a touch of a button. Did you know there was an ideal temperature for marinating? KitchenAid® knows (and it is 39 degrees by the way). The 5-Door configuration allows for you to customize your use depending on your own lifestyle. Maybe this drawer is where you store all of your deli meats and cheeses, or your canned beverages? You can give it a new task every day. 

Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®
Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®

Speaking of customizing your storage, the 3-Tier Freezer Drawer on these models does that very well. We used to ask customers when deciding between a Side x Side model and a Bottom Freezer style “Do you want to pile or do you want to file?” To “file” items in a Side x Side freezer, or “pile” them all into one drawer below. The 3-Tier Freezer Drawer is the best of both worlds! Organize frozen items on three levels, making them easier to access and see. The lower basket comes with a storage divider to help keep smaller items in place.  Those two top drawers are perfectly sized for organizing frozen meals and smaller pre-packaged items.

Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®
Photo courtesy of KitchenAid®

These 5-Door Refrigerators have two independent cooling systems within. One is for the dedicated refrigeration to help keep food fresh longer. The second is a separate system for frozen food. This technology paired with The FreshFlow™ Air Filter (helps minimize odors) and the FreshFlow™ Produce Preserver (helps delay over-ripening).  All together these elements create the all-star team that is the Perserva® Food Care System. You can’t see it doing the work but you will see the results of the work. The Ethylene gases that come off from your food is taken into the Preservers and extends the life of your food by up to 4 days. That means less spoiled food waste.

Two of our other favorite features on the new 5-Door Refrigerators are the L.E.D. Lighting and In-Door-Ice System. The LED lights in these models use less energy, are maintenance-free and never need to be replaced. There is even under-shelf lighting so you will see every single item in your refrigerator. Come see this in person and while you have those doors open note the Platinum interior finish and In-Door-Ice System on the left door.  This design takes up less space in your refrigerator and makes the ice bucket very accessible when you need ice in larger quantities.  If you have any questions about what you have seen here on the blog feel free to contact us online or better yet stop in to see us. The Black Stainless Steel is reason enough to come in and check out these new models. KitchenAid_quad_cities

 

 

The Electric (and Gas) Slide: Whirlpool’s New Full-Depth Ranges

Last week we blogged about our recent trip to the Whirlpool facilities in Amana, Iowa. New product launches were on site for us to get added training and first looks at some products still set to launch later this year. We are excited to announce after many years of development Whirlpool has launched their new slide-in range models!

new whirlpool slide in rangeWe actually already have the new style on display for you to see up in our new showroom space. In the picture above you see a comparison of the old slide-in style of range and the new full-depth premium front-control model. That’s right FULL-DEPTH!

whirlpool slide in range newWhat’s the difference between an old slide-in range and these new “Premium Front Control” models? It means that these new ranges can fit into any existing opening for a freestanding range, even on the end of a run of cabinets! No more “bridge” of counter top along the back edge means the back of the unit butts right up against the back wall.

whirlpool fit systemJust like the wall ovens from Whirlpool these new models come with a Fit System Guarantee to fit your existing freestanding range cutout space. There is even a labor reimbursement program in place until 3/2015 for current slide-in counter tops still installed with the back “bridge” of counter to be modified and removed.  This means current standard-depth freestanding ranges can be upgraded to a premium look without the installation hassle and replacing an existing slide-in unit with a new model is more affordable as well.

You might have notice the sticker on the front of our display model shown above that reads “skip preheating for frozen favorites” Yeah, that is our favorite new feature as part of this product launch!  This means that for 5 types of frozen foods you can skip preheating all together!

skip preheatingPreset “Frozen Bake’ settings for Lasagna, Pizza, Chicken Nuggets, Fries, and Pies allow for your oven to adjust its temperatures to bake while it preheats. This technology has been developed to save you time and get you consistent baking results. When we asked a Whirlpool rep they said items baked with these preset temperatures actually came out better (i.e. pizza crust was the perfect amount of crispy without burning the top).

The new design’s look has been upgraded as well and now includes full-width grates and current Whirlpool controls and handles. As we previously mentioned we already have one of these new models on our showroom floor. These models are available in gas or electric models in a variety of finishes. Don’t hesitate to stop by and see it in person. As always, you can call our knowledgeable and friendly appliance sales staff at 309 944 1344

Invested in America: Our Trip to Whirlpool in Amana, Iowa

We recently had the privilege to visit the Whirlpool factory located just a few miles away from us in Amana, Iowa to get a first-hand look at the location where all bottom-mount refrigerators are manufactured for the entire Whirlpool family of products. We also got to see some of the great new features on many new products being launched right now.

appliances made in the USAWhirlpool is the largest manufacturer of household appliances in the world. Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid are among the Whirlpool family of products we proudly sell here at Village. Did you know over 80% of the products Whirlpool sells in the US are manufactured right here in the US? That is a huge investment into American jobs and is more than all the other competitors combined. Facilities are in Tulsa,OK (freestanding ranges); Clyde,OH (washing machines); Cleveland,TN (built-in cooking and double ranges); Marion,OH (dryers); Findlay,OH (dishwashers); Ottawa,OH (freezers); Greenville,OH (stand mixers) and the refrigerator plant we visited in Amana,IA.

In addition to our tour of the facilities we also got to see some of the new features being launched on new Maytag, Whirlpool and KitchenAid models. Here are a few highlights from what we saw:

dishwasher silverware sprayNot only are dishwasher models coming out of Findlay, OH quieter and quieter they also work harder for you. Case and point is the new Silverware Spray feature on models like the WDT720PA we show on our salesfloor. 40 spray jets aimed directly at the newly designed silverware basket gets even the most stickiest messes cleaned off your flatware. See it is action over on our You Tube channel here.

We got to see the entire manufacturing and building process of refrigerators first-hand on our factory tour but we also got to see new products fresh off the assembly lines just across the parking lot. We have the Whirlpool WRF997SDDM refrigerator in our showroom and about a month ago played a little prank on one of our designers to show her the awesome new CoolVox™ audio system watch the video here. Stop in today and let us show you this amazing feature that we now convinced every home needs.

The brand new Maytag MFX2875DR french door refrigerator set to ship any day now is quite a powerful model to see in person. Like all new 2014 Maytag appliances models launched it has a 10 year limited parts warranty. On a refrigerator that means the compressor itself has a 10 year warranty. With Maytag we have learned that what’s inside matters and so one of our favorite features that you can see are the new Artic Steel Shelves inside this model.

maytag steel refrigerator shelvesPremium style you can see and feel. These shelves are powder-coated and can hold up to 70 lbs. of weight! No glass in the shelves means you can’t light the whole interior…right? Wrong! These adjustable shelves have LED lighting along the underside of the front edge. This means you can see everything within.

The Whirlpool family of products represents over 23,000 American manufacturing jobs. That is something we truly value here at our store. While we were not allowed to take any photographs or video footage of the factory facilities themselves, we did get to put on a hardhat, vest, and safety goggles to tour the factory. As part of a new product launch training program we were invited in to see and meet some of the many smiling faces that are making the products we sell. We could talk to you all day about the parts and innovation that go into the refrigerators we sell but they are in the simplest of forms, a box that cools things right? A representative from Whirlpool reminded us of this. He also mentioned another very important thing that really struck me, Mike said “there’s people behind these boxes.”

We know a huge reason our customers seek Village Home Stores out is a personal connection from our staff. While we can offer the same products and prices as a “big-box” store we have something that we excel at and it is the largest benefit to you, a real person to connect with you and help you learn about and select the right products for your projects. That same person at Village Home Stores is just a phone call away when you have any questions about your purchase. We got to see some of the people behind the Whirlpool products we sell and trust us when we say you have a lot to be proud of when purchasing items from this Amana, Iowa plant.

whirlpool_service_quad_cities

Use & Care: Stainless Steel Appliances

One of the most common questions we get when showing Stainless Steel appliances to customers is but doesn’t it show fingerprints? The short answer to this is yes, but we usually then walk that same customer over to a Black appliance. With the industry change to a smooth and glossy finish in place of a texture, Black appliances can actually shows fingerprints pretty clearly. Stainless Steel can be a great look for many projects. That being said, there is a small amount of maintenance for your Stainless Steel appliances.

stainless steel wipesAlways use a cleaner that is labeled specifically for Stainless Steel. There are a great number of these available. Village sells products by “Affresh” that are manufactured and approved by Whirlpool for use on their appliances. Many Stainless Steel cleaners come in spray and wipe form. While wipes can be convenient for quick touch up, they can dry up easily if the container isn’t closed properly after use.  If you have a busy kitchen you may prefer the wipes because they are a one-step process and are perfect for touch-ups and frequent use.

affresh for stainlessSpray or lotion-form cleaners require an extra step but can give a great result of you are cleaning your appliances less frequently and want the best results. Use spray-on products about every other month or as you see they are needed. In the showroom we are constantly using Affresh to keep things looking great. Follow the directions on the label. In most cases you apply with one cloth, let the product set, then return with a clean cloth and buff. The best tool you can keep handy for daily cleaning is just a clean, dry microfiber cloth. This can be used to wipe smudges and prints quickly.

We do want to mention a few things to avoid when cleaning your Stainless Steel appliances. You want to be sure to protect your investment and not let certain things come in contact with the Stainless so your appliances look great for years to come!

magnets on stainless steel

  • You want to be sure to avoid using Magnets on your Stainless panels. The reason for this is the reaction that happens over time where the metals make contact. These marks can be difficult to remedy once they happen. Magnets also can become a cause of scratches to appear on your appliance.
  • Abrasive Cleaners, Pads and Clothes can be damaging to the surface of Stainless Steel.
  • Bleach or any kind of Hydrochloric Acids need to be avoided. These materials can cause a harmful reaction to your Stainless Steel.
  • Lysol cleaners contain ingredients that fall into the category listed above and should be avoided.
  • Long exposure to Table Salt or Salt & Vinegar Mixes can be damaging as well to Stainless Steel.

alternative cleaners for stainless steelBut what alternatives can be used? We do recommend using the Affresh products or others approved for use on Stainless Steel. If needed, there are some alternative methods you can try as well. WD-40 can be used on stainless and is said to be helpful in repelling prints and smudges from happening. The smell however is not to appetizing so you may want to stick to another method. Baby Oil can also be applied to Stainless and certainly smells more pleasant than WD-40.

Village-Home-Stores-AppliancesJust because you see Stainless appliances on magazine covers at the grocery check out or all over Pinterest does not mean the look is your taste. White and Black kitchen appliances remain very popular and even the now-discontinued “Bisque” finish is very sought-after in our region. Both Whirlpool and Maytag have recently introduced combination finishes that offer a Black or White appliance with Stainless hardware and accents.  These can be an excellent option for a customer who may not want full panels of Stainless Steel in their space.

There are some “matte finish” or “fingerprint-proof” appliances available in the market but they can be very limited in features and models as the finish is not universally available on all products. It can also be difficult to put together a full kitchen of models in these specialty finishes. The look is slightly discolored from true Stainless so be aware of that when selecting models and locations. These “fingerprint-proof” finishes can be a fantastic choice if, for instance, your refrigerator is separated from the other appliances and won’t be near another appliance. The combination Black-with-Stainless and White-with-Stainless finishes have become very popular and are now available in many many models. That list of combination models continues to grow as the false-stainless look is becoming less popular in purchases.

Talk to your salesperson about what appliance finish is right for your lifestyle. Don’t have a salesperson yet? Call or contact us today to get started. You can always shop appliances online anytime here. but seeing these models in person is the best way for us to show you all of your options. See you soon!  (309) 944-1344