Integrated Fridges

For many homeowners, the ideal refrigerator in recent years has been a side-by-side, perhaps a stylish stainless steel fridge freezer. However, of late the new trend in kitchen renovations has been the move towards the ‘integrated kitchen’. The basic concept behind this is rather than having appliances matching each other; integrated appliances are instead used to match with the kitchen cabinetry. The popularity of this trend has led to the rise of integrated fridges.

A standard American refrigerator – no matter in white, black or stainless – is very hard to miss. When you walk into a kitchen the fridge stands out like a sore thumb. Integrated refrigerators, on the other hand, are custom designed to disappear in the kitchen.

A fully integrated fridge is usually custom designed for a particular kitchen, unlike traditional fridge freezers. The usual technique is to form a panel to be affixed to the appliance door. This panel will be made of the same type and tint of wood used by the kitchen cabinets. If properly designed, at first glance the door of the integrated refrigerator will look just like another cabinet.

To fully achieve this look requires more than just a door. The fridge must be designed to fit into the wall so it does not stick out further than the cabinetry. This may require modification to the wall to create a niche for the appliance to be placed. Also, if the kitchens cabinetry is somewhat ornate, it may be necessary to add trim to the door panel to fully duplicate the look of the rest of the kitchen.

As with traditional American fridges, an integrated refrigerator can be had in a wide range of styles. They can be a basic fridge or freezer, a fridge over freezer combo unit, or the classic favorite – a side by side unit.  Also popular, often as second fridges, is the use of an integrated under counter fridge to provide supplemental refrigerated storage for well equipped kitchens.

Since these custom built fridges are designed to be able to split tightly between cabinets, they do not require the traditional buffer space of air around them that other fridges do. This feature – plus their high stealth factor – makes integrated fridge freezers ideal for rooms other than the kitchen. The idea of an integrated bar fridge that blends subtly into the background appeals to many.

All good things come at a price, and the integrated fridge freezer is not exempt. You will pay a significant premium in having one of these units customized for your kitchen. There may also be additional cost in preparing an area in your kitchen for the installation. However, if you are renovating already, then some of that money is going to be a wash.

Another possible negative factor to consider is that integrated fridges are usually significantly smaller than traditional models. This is due to the requirement for the refrigerator to blend with the cabinets, and not stick out into the kitchen.

If you have the funds, and can live without the extra fridge space, then creating an integrated kitchen may be for you. If so, then you will definitely find yourself needing to purchase one of these integrated fridges.

Originally posted. May 30, 2010

Dyna Glo Propane Heater

A Dyna Glo Propane Heater is a great piece of kit for anyone who regularly takes camping, caravan or RV trips in cold weather.

The ‘Dyna-Glo Tag-A-Long Portable Propane Heater’ – the official title on the box – will allow you to take an easily powered heat source with you wherever you go.  If you are all familiar with the ‘Mr Buddy’ propane heater, this Dyna-Glo model is very similar.  So what are the features of Dyna-Glo propane heaters that you should be aware of?

This Dyna glo heater is powered by your standard 16.4 ounce propane bottles.  These are the regular Coleman type bottles you find at many stores, so finding fuel for your heater will not be difficult.  Inside the end of the heater is a compartment for tucking the propane bottle neatly away. The compartment also contains a special swiveling valve that allows you to first hookup the bottle, and then lower it into place in the holder.  Very handy!

Dyna Glo Safety Features

The Dyna-Glo Tag-A-Long has a few features to ensure maximum safety during use.  First it features a tip-over sensor.  This sensor will shut off the heater automatically if the heater falls over.  Also included are low-oxygen sensors which are also designed to shutoff the heater if it senses Oxygen is being intended.

While this is a great idea, I would still recommend anyone using one of these inside to ensure they have a cracked window for ventilation – you can’t be too careful. Finally the manufacture boasts of the units’ heavy duty safety grills.

Dyna Glo Propane Heating and Runtime

This adjustable propane heater can put out between 4500 BTU and 8000 BTU of heat, depending on how you set it.  One of the 16.4 Oz. Coleman canisters can power the unit for close to 5 hours, enough to provide heating – and residual heat – for a night.

Precautionary Note

Many people will buy a large 20lb propane tank and rig a hookup to power these type of heaters.  This is done to allow for extended run time.  It also reduces the cost of operation, as the small Coleman canisters are rather expensive.

If you choose to go this route, do so at your own risk, but please keep this caution in mind.  Before shutting of the propane heater, shut off the propane tank.  Let the heater keep burning until it uses all the remaining propane in the feeder house.  This will prevent the high pressure propane in the hose causing any damage to any of your equipment.

Dyna Glo Two Models

The Dyna-Glo heater is available in two different models.  The chief difference between the two being that the larger of the two dyna glo heaters is powered by two of the Coleman cylinders, and can produce a little more heat for twice as long as the smaller unit.

If your outdoor adventures require a mobile heat source in the form of a portable heater, then a Dyna Glo Propane heater may be right for you.

Originally posted. June 28, 2010

Engel Fridge Freezer

Without a doubt, an Engel fridge freezer is one of the greatest 12v car fridges available.  Anyone who has ever done any research into 12v fridges know that Waeco fridges, Norcold fridges and Dometic refrigerators are all good units;  but many car fridge owners swear by their Engel Fridges.  So what is it that makes them so popular?

Non Engel car fridges can be obtained very cheaply.  Portable refrigerators utilizing thermoelectric refrigeration can be had for fewer than one hundred dollars.  However these devices are very inefficient.  They draw a wasteful 5 amps of power but do not cool well; generally being able to cool only a limited amount below external ambient temperatures.  This type of refrigerator is very poorly suited for use in a car, where inside temperatures can get very high, and available power is limited by the vehicles battery size.

Better car fridges use compressor technology, which use a lot less electricity and are a lot better at cooling than absorption.  Any car fridge that you purchase should be a compressor model.  This technology is key to the excellent operation of the Engel freezer compartments.

While there are several manufacturers of 12v compressor car fridges, Engel fridge freezers stand out from the crowd.   Engel is powered by the renowned Sawafuji Swing Motor compressor technology which has several advantages over the competitors.  Many car fridges are made with other types of compressors – such as the Danfoss style – which while better than absorption models, do have some limitations.

Engel compressors have less moving parts than their reciprocating counterparts. They are specifically designed to handle the vibrations and shock that car fridges are subject to in rugged applications such as 4×4 off-roading.

The Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer – Engel MT45F-U1 is probably the most popular car fridge freezer in Engels’ lineup. It draws only 2.5 Amps and provides a generous capacity of 43 quarts for this lower power usage. Another plus is that its shape makes it a very efficent footprint for placing in the back of many trucks.

Another great feature is that the startup surge for an Engel refrigerator is a lot lower than for a reciprocating compressor.  This can avoid the need to customize your vehicles electrical system for your fridge – a potentially costly endeavor.

When you purchase an Engel fridge you also have the choice of some great accessories. One of these is the Engel Transit Bag for MT45 – Engel TBAG45G to help protect your refrigerator from the daily abuses of dust and bumps inherent to many forms of off-road travel. Even more importantly the transit bags inner layer of insulation reflects a lot of external heat back where it came from, thus reducing the workload of the fridge. While at first glance this bag may appear to restrict access to the fridge, it is still easily accessed simply by unzipping the cover.

A great accessory when it comes to mounting your car fridge is an Engel Transit Slide Lock for MT35/45 – Engel TSL530/540. By mounting your fridge on one of these easy sand resistant slides, you can have easy access to your fridge without having to clamber into the interior of your truck every time you want to grab something; you back is sure to thank you for the purchase of one of these items.

While reciprocating compressors are energy efficient, the compressors Engel uses are even more so.  Engel fridges are known to draw only about half the power of similar Waeco units.  They are also able to cool much more effectively, being able to provide a very deep freeze.

With all these great features, Engels refrigerators should be high the list for anyone purchasing a 12v DC car fridge for their vehicle.  It is rare to find an Engel fridge for sale, so you may pay a little more for their models than you would for some of their competition, but you will be able to rest assured that you have a vehicle designed for the toughest conditions.

Used from the Australian Outback, to African Safaris; an Engel fridge freezer is sure to be able to handle everything you throw at it.

Originally posted. June 20, 2010

Nugget Ice Machine For Home

For people who prefer small cubelets of ice rather than the traditional cubes, the option of buying a nugget ice machine for home use appeals.  These machines make small marble sized, easily chewable pellets of ice that are great for use in beverages.

Unfortunately finding nugget icemakers for residential use is very difficult, as most of the machines that produce this type of ice are designed for restaurant or commercial use.  Firms like Scotsman, Manitowoc and Hoshizaki make plenty of nugget style ice-machines, but they are generally too large and expensive to be practical for most homeowners.

One of the smallest units available is the HoshizakDCM270BAH Cubelet Icemaker from Hoshizakii DCM-270BAH, which produces almost 300 pounds of ice nuggets per day for a purchase price of a little over $3000. This countertop unit could be used in a home at a pinch, but it would be serious overkill for most people.

The reason for the paucity of cheap nugget ice makers is that production of this form of ice is a relatively expensive process.  It will be produced almost continuously by freezing water on the inner wall of a cylindrical evaporator. A rotating auger collects this ice as it forms on the wall of the evaporator, and extrudes the nuggets.  This is clearly a much more complicated process than simply freezing ice cubes for future use.

If a homeowner has their heart set on one of these nugget ice machines, probably the most affordable route is look into purchasing used equipment from a failed restaurant or similar business.  The food service industry is highly competitive and there will generally be a steady stream of restaurant quality refrigerators, freezers and icemakers available at bankruptcy auctions.

Some people report success with visiting their local Sonic Drive-in (a fast food retailer) and purchasing ten-pound bags of nugget ice.  While a little inconvenient this is a very affordable solution if an amenable location is nearby.

Another low-budget solution is to purchase a hand-cranked ice grinder.  This can be used – with some effort- to crush ice cubes into a shape that resembles the traditional marbled nugget.  Another option is to obtain a commercial snocone machine and icemaker; this will cost less than a real nugget ice maker for home but can produce crushed ice for home usage.

Finally, the truly frugal solution is to simply purchase an ice cube tray that makes very small ice cubes.

Originally posted. April 29, 2011

Engel Fridge Specials

Engel fridge specials are relatively rare.  These high quality 12v fridges are often considered the premium choice in car refrigeration solutions; anytime someone offers Engel fridges for sale they sell quickly.

Shoppers seeking the best 12v car fridges know that Engel fridge freezers have few rivals for quality – perhaps National Luna and Waeco have some competitive offerings, but Engels reputation is unparalleled.

Click here to buy Engel Fridges at Great Prices!

If you can find the Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer – Engel MT45F-U1 car fridge for sale you should promptly purchase it.  It is very unlikely to remain available at a discounted price for too long, deals on quality appliances like this do not come along often.

Likewise, one of the other two way Engel AC/DC Fridge Freezer – Engel MT60F-U1 are good quality appliances, and a great buy if they can found on sale. These units can be operated on both mains power and 12v direct current power sources.  This makes them ideal both for use as car fridges and in stationary locations.

More common than Engel fridge specials are Engel fridge accessory sales.  Sometime you can purchase an Engel refrigerator with accessories such as the Engel Transit Bag for MT45 – Engel TBAG45G thrown in at a discounted price – or maybe even free.

If you are lucky enough to find a dealer advertising Engel refrigerator specials it makes great sense to pull the trigger and buy, as you will likely be waiting a long time to see another discount Engel fridge sale.  Finding good quality 12v fridges for sale is not easy.

Engel refrigerators are great deals at their regularly recommended prices, but if you cannot afford to pay retail the most likely method of obtaining a cheap Engel fridge is on the pre-owned market.  These quality 12v car refrigerators are well regarded for their extreme ruggedness and durability, so a used Engel should be a relatively safe purchase for those on a budget.

Originally posted. December 26, 2010

4 Benefits of a Maytag Refrigerator Water Filter

Maytag refrigerator water filters point towards one of the most popular additions to modern refrigerators, which is the convenience of having a water dispenser right there to get either ice or water with a simple push of a button.  However many people still want the extra protection that can only come from having a high quality water filter.  Maytag water filters come with many refrigerator units, but to remain effective these must be changed and maintained on average of every six months.  So why should you look for a fridge that includes a Maytag water filter?  There are several good reasons why.

Maytag UKF8001 Refrigerator Water Filter#1: The filtered water is safer. Maytag refrigerator water filters enjoy a well deserved reputation for being some of the best in the industry.  These filters are NSF International certified to help reduce lead, sediment, chlorine taste, and other impurities from the water.

#2: Saves money. Filtered water serves the same purpose as bottled water: providing clean tasting and clear water for consumers to drink.  However the costs of bottled water can add up quickly.  Even the cost of replacing the water filter every six months will not come even close to what a one bottle of water a day habit will add up to money wise.

#3: Better for the environment. Speaking of bottled water, buying bottled water also means tons of empty plastic bottles.  The problem with this is that they often end up in landfills, as opposed to actually getting recycled.  Obviously taking fresh and clean water from a refrigerator right into a glass saves on all those plastic bottles which would otherwise end up as trash and pollution.

#4: Maytag water filters are inexpensive. One of the major benefits to this particular Maytag refrigerator part is that it’s relatively inexpensive, usually ranging from $30 to $40.  Even every six months, this leads to massive savings over getting bottled water.  These Maytag refrigerator water filters are like other Maytag refrigerator parts in that they are extremely reliable and a great value for the cost.

These four reasons help show why it makes so much sense to ditch the bottled water and trust a Maytag water filter such as the UKF8001 to get the job done.  Not only will they produce fresh tasting and clean water straight from the fridge, but they will help you to save money while enjoying all the benefits of delicious and clean filtered water.  There’s little doubt that keeping up to date with maintenance on the Maytag water filter in your fridge is a smart move.


Originally posted. May 4, 2011

LG Fridge Freezers

Established in 1958, LG is one of the best brands when it comes to fridge freezers, side by side refrigerators and fridges in general. LG fridge freezers are the ultimate American fridge freezer produced with true American standards in mind.

The LG refrigerator freezer is famous for its being energy efficient. Aside from that with the 606 liters of gross capacity of its side by side refrigerators, an owner of an LG does not have to worry about space. Thoughtfully designed for the needs of the individual and of families, side by side LG refrigerators and freezers have their own water and ice dispensers. There are 2 drawers for the freezer and a crisper drawer for items that do not need to be frozen.

Many of the fridge freezers LG manufactures come with the bioshield, which means that the gasket has anti microbial agents that prevent mold from growing on the outside or on the seal. Mold can destroy the seal of the fridge that is why LG had to find ways to prevent distortion on the gasket and to make the said appliance last for generations. Apart from that, the bioshield keeps the food inside your LG fridge safe from contamination.

The icemaker in LGs’ American style fridge freezers is built in and can be used from the outside, saving energy and space at the same time. Another great feature of this LG product is its moisture balance crisper. Unlike storage drawers or bins from other brands that destroy food because of moisture, LG fridges have a unique sheet that stops accumulation of water and maintains its temperature to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh. This also enables the fresh fruits and vegetables to stay as fresh as possible for a longer period of time.

When it comes to space, this LG freezer has added 10% more capacity, which means there is more space for your frozen goods. To be able to increase the space, LG thought that they should relocate the freezer to the door to increase the space in the icebox. Products like these include the GRP247JHMV, the GWL207FBQA, and the GWL207FLQA.

The GRP247JHMV is a side-by-side fridge that has a gross capacity of 673 liters, more than the regular LG side-by-side. This uber chic fridge is environmentally friendly and boasts a bar area where you can get your favorite beverages without having to open the door. The homebar as LG calls it also has can holders to hold those soda cans.  Like the regular LG, it also has 10% more space for the freezer and a moisture balance crisper. Along with these features, this model also has a filtered water dispenser and an ice dispenser to boot.  Like the other models, it has digital sensors that make it easier for owners to select the temperature within the fridge.

With a wide selection of quality fridges to choose from, LG is sure to have a model to suit your needs.

Originally posted. April 22, 2010

How to Find Igloo Cooler Parts

Igloo coolers come in all shapes and sizes and are designed for all sorts of purposes. From kid’s lunch packs, to professional five gallon seat top beverage containers, if you end up missing a handle, hinge, or buckle chances are you’ll want to replace it rather than live with an inconveniently broken cooler or contribute it to the local landfill. There are many sources for Igloo Cooler Parts, and also many resources to help you get your cooler fixed.

Igloo has been around since 1947, and claims to have a cooler in three out of four U.S. homes. They call themselves the  #1 brand in the cooler industry worldwide and have a warranty policy to back it up. Most Igloo cooler warrantees cover repair or replacement within one year of purchase; so make sure you have your original proof of purchase. Some limitations do apply, but you can call them directly at 800-364-5566 to get the details on coverage and submit a claim for defective material or workmanship. Should your year have passed and your looking to repair your investment yourself, you can also find parts on the Igloo website.

Replacement Parts
In addition to the Igloo websites there are many other websites to purchase parts. Since Igloo coolers are relatively straightforward with little to no mechanics, you shouldn’t feel shy about making a project of the repair yourself. One thing to be aware of is whether or not the parts you are ordering on alternative websites are actually Igloo brand, or just a cheap knock off. It’s risky to buy an imitation part, as sometimes the dimensions or locations of screw holes are slightly off, or the materials are of a lesser quality. The website is a good source for Igloo replacement parts, and they even carry parts for older models no longer manufactured.

Repairing an Igloo cooler is almost always going to be cheaper than replacing it, and may be easier than you think. Like I mentioned earlier, depending on the issue, you shouldn’t be shy to tackle the problem yourself. A broken buckle or hinge can be removed with a screwdriver and replaced the same way. Straps and wheels can be replaced simply the same way. Things get a little more complicated when repairing cracks.  If you don’t feel confident enough yourself to take on heat welding plastic (it does sound a little intimidating!) chances are a local handy man would be able to help you out in a snap for a reasonable price.

Even with a labor cost involved, it will still be cheaper than purchasing a new one, Igloo replacements parts are affordable and easy to find, and you’ll be doing the environment a favor by not adding to the growing waste we all throw in landfills every year.


Originally posted. May 30, 2011

Picking your Portable Fridge

When you are in the market for a Portable Fridge, it is well worth your time looking at the Engel product line.

Engel fridge-freezers have been manufactured for well over 40 years, and are popular throughout the world.  Engel portable fridges are widely used in the rugged Australian outback, where their solid Japanese engineering serves them well in rough dusty terrain.

Their smallest portable fridge is the 16 quart MT17.  This model can fit two dozen cans of the beverage of your choice.  It draws 2.5 amps of 12V DC, or 0.9 amps if run on 110V AC.

Middle of their size range is the 40 quart MR040, which can hold five dozen cans of soda or beer.  It’s power draw is very similar to that of the MT17, so if you have the room, this model could be a good choice.

The largest Engel portable fridge (although using the word ‘portable’ to describe it is a stretch) is the 84 quart MT80.  This Engel car fridge – which can also be used as a freezer – has room for almost ten dozen soda cans.  This is sufficient space for food for quite some time.  This model can be run on either 12V DC or 24V DC (this option might be good for setting the fridge up to run on Solar Power), or also 110V AC.  It draws a rather substantial 4.2 amps.

If you are considering the purchase of an Engel portable fridges, you are unlikely to regret it.  They have been used for decades as camping fridges and caravan fridges around the world.  They are not cheap, but should last you a long long time and provide many years of good quality service.

If the Engel line of products does not appeal, you do have some other quality manufacturers you can consider.

The recently combined Dometic/Waeco company is another major portable fridge brand.  Pioneers in the portable fridge industry, their portable fridges are popular in marine settings among the sailboat cruising set.

Another well known brand that caters to the camping fridge and caravan fridge market is National Luna.  The original pedigree of their portable refrigeration products was for transporting vaccines in third world African conditions.  Their advertising likes to utilize this to emphasize the toughness of their products.

Whether you choose Engel, Waeco, or National Luna as your portable fridge provider, you should be assured of a decent quality product.  Enjoy your purchase, and enjoy the cold drinks!

Originally posted. September 11, 2010

Sub-Zero BI-42S Side-by-Side Refrigerator/Freezer Review

If you’re looking for that just right, top of the line, side-by-side refrigerator and freezer combo to finish off your new dream kitchen, then you have to take a look at the Sub-Zero BI-42S Side-By-Side Refrigerator/Freezer. In this review we outline some of the features, pricing, and warranty info of the BI-42S.


Sub-Zero BI-42S Side-by-Side Refrigerator/Freezer Features
With 16 cubic feet of refrigerator capacity and 8 cubic feet of freezer capacity, the Sub-Zero BI-42S stands at 84 inches tall, 42 inches wide, and 24 inches deep. It weighs in at 582 pounds. Here are some of it other features:

  •      Dual refrigeration system to ensure freshness.
  •      An air purification system that tackles everything from odors and bacteria to viruses and ethylene gas.
  •      Water filtration.
  •      An illuminated control panel.
  •      Brilliant, balanced interior lighting, including in the storage drawers.
  •      Dairy compartment, door shelves, and spill-proof glass shelves that are easy to adjust.
  •      The crisper and deli drawers are soft-close, and they form an independent low-temperature zone.
  •      The flip-up grille is easy access.
  •      Freshness cards let you know the status of your foods.
  •      The classic stainless steel model has an estimated energy usage of 650 kWh, or about $69 per year
  •      The overlay model has an estimated energy usage of 520 kWh, or about $55 per year.
  •      UL approved in both the US and Canada.
  •      Star-K Kosher certified for Sabbath and holiday use.


The BI-42SD will give you all the above as well as a convenient ice and water dispenser. For something a little smaller check out the BI-36S for a side-by-side model that only spans 36 inches wide. If bigger is more your style, go for the BI-48S for a full 48 inches wide (also available with a convenient water and ice dispenser). Look to the 36 inch models for over-under, all fridge or freezer designs, and glass door refrigerator options. Also, BI stands for Built In, so if you’re looking for an Integrated design, try the Sub-Zero 700 club.

BI-42S/D Pricing
Sub-Zero has a convenient store locator on its website. Just plug in your zip code, and they will provide you with your nearest dealer. Overall, this may be your best option because it gives you the chance to go in and get your hands on the unit. You may also be able to arrange for delivery and installation through your local Subzero dealer. But whether you go brick and mortar, or shop online, expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000 for the Sub-Zero BI-42S/D side-by-side refrigerator/freezer.

Genuine replacement parts are available for this model in the form of the Sub-Zero Air Purification Cartridge, and their branded water filter.

Sub-Zero Warranty Information
Sub-Zero offers these three warranty coverages for the BI-42S: the Limited Twelve Year Sealed System Warranty, the Full Five Year Sealed System Warranty, and the Full One Year Warranty. Warranties start in the date of original installation.

The Sealed System Warranties only cover components deemed defective due to materials or workmanship in the sealed system. The Sealed System is described as the compressor, condenser, evaporator, drier, and all connecting tubing.

The One Year Warranty, however, will cover all parts and labor needed to repair or replace any defective components. You will want to read the entirety of the warranty information on their site in order to understand all the exclusions and conditions.

Offering 42 inches of stylish and powerful side-by-side refrigeration, the Sub-Zero BI-42S is hard to pass up. If the features meet your needs, and the price is within your budget, then a trip down to your local dealer may be in order.

Originally posted. May 10, 2011