Maintain Your Refrigerator in the Summer

The kids are home from school. It’s hot outside, and they’re in and out of the refrigerator all day long. Why? The refrigerator has the same contents now that it did fifteen minutes ago. Then they keep the door open while they stare inside. What are they doing – taking inventory? When they finally close the door, teenagers seem to think they need to be especially forceful in slamming appliance doors shut.

What does this mean for your refrigerator?

  • Every time your refrigerator door is opened cold air goes out, and the interior temperature of the refrigerator goes up.
  • Your refrigerator must run longer to reach and maintain the proper temperature.
  • Repeated opening and closing of refrigerator doors, causes wear on the hinges and of course, the latch itself.

It all adds up to more energy usage, more wear and tear, and shorter refrigerator life.

What can you do?

  • Set a good example yourself.
  • Make rules. Set times that the kids aren’t allowed in the kitchen, or at least not allowed in the fridge.
  • Set out some fruit and snacks so they don’t need to open the refrigerator.

Here are some tips to maintaining your refrigerator in the summer:

  1. If your refrigerator has coils that need cleaning, be sure to keep them clean by brushing the dust off the coils. You may need a special brush to reach the coils. If so, visit your local appliance parts company, or order online from the refrigerator manufacturer.

  2. Many refrigerators have a vacation mode. Engage the vacation mode before your leave on vacation. Don’t forget to go back to normal operation when you return.

  3. If you are going on a long vacation, consider saving up empty gallon or half gallon containers. Fill them with water and put them in the refrigerator before leaving. When the containers get cool they’ll help keep the refrigerator cool and it will not need to work as hard.

  4. Turn off your ice maker while you are on vacation.

Remember, when it’s time to replace your refrigerator call or visit the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center.

Today’s Favorite Recipe: Shrimp Scampi Recipe

This garlicky, lemony shrimp dish is a classic best served with plenty of crusty bread to sop up the sauce. The cooking process moves as quickly as a stir-fry, so you’ll want to have all your ingredients prepared in advance and ready to go.

Preparation Method

Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat until it shimmers, 1Photo-20170518105155286 to 2 minutes, then add the shrimp. Cook, stirring often, until the shrimp start to curl and turn pink, 1 to ½ minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds more. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vermouth. Add the butter, stirring it into the sauce until it melts. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley over the top and serve.



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (21 to 25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vermouth or dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Can a splash of color brighten up your kitchen?

Can a splash of color brighten up your kitchen?

Selective Use of Appliance Colors

Brighten Your Home with Colorful Appliances

We’ve written often about appliance colors and finish. Trends such as stainless steel appliances, and now black stainless steel appliances are regular topics throughout the industry. Most of what we see is buyers considering matching kitchen suites, e.g. range, refrigerator, dishwasher, and vent hood.

However, there are some bold and daring ideas out there about using a colorful appliance to brighten a kitchen. Here’s an example from Bertazzoni, an up and coming appliance brand from Italy:

Can you picture having a bright spot like this in your kitchen? Is it too daring? Certainly, bright colors are not new when it comes to kitchen appliances. Here’s a retro appliance package below in a newly remodeled kitchen.

I do remember when appliance colors found their way to the laundry room. Colorful, big, front-load washing machines helped make front-loaders popular. Buyers got so caught up in their bright red washing machine, they didn’t seem to care about the brand or the features. “What the heck? All washers are going to get my clothes clean. THIS ONE IS RED.”

Buying Appliance Packages

Save with a One Brand Package

UAKC is the Best Choice for Appliance Solutions

Here’s an idea for saving money on your next appliance purchase. When you’re purchasing more than two appliances at once, you should seriously consider the package savings that you can now get from several of the top brands.

Let’s use Thermador for an example. For several years Thermador has been offering a 1-2-Free appliance promotion. For example, buy a qualifying Thermador cooktop and oven and get a dishwasher FREE, or buy a qualifying Thermador range and get a dishwasher free, but you get the idea. It’s not tricky either. Not like those promotions that are designed to hook you, so there’s no way to really get the free product. There are numerous variations available.

Thermador is not the only brand that offers this type of deal. Fisher and Paykel as well as their sister company DCS have similar offers with a double drawer dishwasher as the free appliance. GE’s offer is buy 3 qualifying appliances and get a free dishwasher valued up to $1000. Buy qualifying products from Jenn-Air and you can earn over $3,000 in credits to complete your kitchen purchase, plus up to $1000 towards your appliance package installation.

Well, there is one tiny, tiny catch to all these FREE appliances, credits, and installation appliances. They only work when you buy a single brand of appliances. So, if for example, you want a Sub Zero refrigerator, a Viking Range, and a Miele dishwasher, you may just find yourself out of luck when it comes to getting anything free.

But don’t despair, there are some workarounds if you want to get creative. For example, I have a friend who was very happy to purchase a complete Thermador kitchen…why not, they’re great appliances…but she had wanted a Miele dishwasher for many years, and felt that this kitchen remodel was her only chance to get the dishwasher of her dreams. So, she bought the the Thermador package, and a Miele dishwasher. She took the free Thermador dishwasher and sold it, still in the box, for a decent price.

Whatever you have in mind, when it comes to saving money on appliances, you need to talk to the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center. They’ll help you figure out how to get the appliances of your dream at the best price possible.

Using Consumer Reports® for Appliance Purchases

Using Consumer Reports® for Appliance Purchases

Trustworthy Appliance Advice

Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center Sales Advisors

A friend recently purchased an older home in a retirement community, and I’d offered to help him with his appliance selections. In spite of my many years in the appliance industry, my friend wanted to go his own way. He researched refrigerators on Consumer Reports®, and chose to shop at one of the big box home improvement chains (you know, their sales associates wear orange or blue aprons).

My friend stuck with the exact model that CR ranked #1, and he found it On Sale at the big box store. Later, when I visited him in his new place, he proudly showed me his new kitchen appliances.

It was a small galley kitchen with the door from the garage going directly into the kitchen. His new fridge was right next to the door. Since he had purchased a full-depth refrigerator instead of a counter-depth refrigerator, the refrigerator prevented the door from the garage from opening fully. You had to turn sideways to enter from the garage. Similarly, there wasn’t quite enough space for the refrigerator door to open all the way,

While I was viewing his new kitchen and dutifully admiring his modest remodeling, I suddenly heard a buzzing sound coming from his refrigerator. It lasted a short time and then went quiet.

“What was that, I said?” He replied, “It does that every once in a while.” I thought for minute and said, “It sounds like the ice maker.” He said, “I don’t have an ice maker.” I pulled opened the freezer and pointed. “This is an ice maker!” He remaked, “Oh.” There was no water line nearby to hook up the ice maker.

Obviously, this is not a rap on Consumer Reports®. But, my friend religiously followed the CR ratings and wanted exactly the model rated #1, without considering his specific needs. This is one very good reason to deal with an appliance company that has sales professionals who know their product, and will understand your specific needs. How will they know your needs? They will ask questions so that they will be able to help you select the product that best satisfies your requirements. That’s why you should deal with experts like those at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center.

Call or visit the professionals at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center today for the professional help you need along with the best prices on major appliances and decorative plumbing fixtures.

Guideline for New Kitchen Appliances

Preferences, Necessities, and Budget

There is lots of online advice on choosing new kitchen appliances. But honestly, this can be a difficult process. Some will say, “Start with your budget.” Makes sense, doesn”t it? But if you haven’t purchased appliances in years, and don’t know for sure what you’re going to need or what things cost, it’s like trying to hit a bullseye wearing a blindfold!

On the other hand, just going out blindly looking for appliances seems rather foolish also. You don’t know what you don’t know, so where do you start? Here is how you might proceed.

  1. What is your current status? Building new, remodeling, or just a straightforward appliance update. Make a tentative timeline from now to completion. Eventually, you’re going to need a hard schedule. Get started now.
  2. Think of the end state. How do you picture your new kitchen in your mind? It’s totally OK to to dream a bit. Close your eyes and think of what you hope your new kitchen will look like. Check your favorite home magazines, and clip photos of what you like! My favorite online site for new kitchen ideas is Houzz.
  3. Think about a budget. Whether it’s $10,000 for a built-in refrigerator, or for all your kitchen appliances, you’re going to need to start with a number. Here are the basic product categories you’re likely to consider. The categories are necessities. Make sure you get the features that are important to you, eg. refer icemaker and dispenser, self-cleaning oven, quiet dishwasher with sani-cycle.
    Kitchen package
  • Refrigerator > built-in or freestanding > side-by-side, top freezer, or bottom freezer?
  • Dishwasher > conventional or dish drawers
  • Cooking > range or separate built-in oven and microwave, built-in coffee maker, steam/convection oven, etc.

If you can, think of a dollar amount for each product category. Click the link below to go to UAKC website for pricing examples.

Go to home page below and scroll down:


At this point, you’ve got a good beginning. Take some time to narrow the field of your preferences. Now, you need to go shopping. Call or visit the experts at Universal Appliance and Kitchen Center today.

P.S. Getting a new kitchen full of appliances can be a lot of work, and also a lot of fun. See if you can apply some of your savings to treat yourself to that built-in espresso machine!