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Monday, 14 July 2008

Weee Directive for Kitchen Appliances

The Distributor Take Back Scheme Customer and Compliance Statement
Recycling household electrical equipment With effect from July 2007, the UK's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations require that all producers of electrical equipment are now obliged to pay for recycling of household electrical goods, where previously this bill was met by councils or items were not recycled at all.
These regulations also require that all retailers both actively assist in delivering a UK wide WEEE collection infrastructure and encourage the participation of consumers in recycling electronic equipment. So that you can get your waste electrical goods recycled, we have contributed towards a national fund to assist local councils to further develop their existing waste electronics collection facilities, which will in turn allow producers of this equipment to meet their obligations Not all council sites are suitable to collect all types of waste electrical goods but to find out your nearest participating site (including other collection facilities that may not be operated by the council) and for advice on all aspects of recycling at home, please visit your local council website.
Electronic waste, and in particular integrated appliances is one of the fastest growing waste streams and much of it can be recycled and resources recovered to make new consumer goods. To remind consumers of the collection methods available, which in turn allow recycling to take place, all electrical items sold now carry the crossed out wheeled bin symbol.
To ensure your waste electronics don't contribute to damaging the environment, please use and recycle today View more information, and a range of Kitchen Appliances at Weee directive for kitchen appliances.
Kitchen appliances have not been screened properly for waste purposes before and many see this as long overdue.

Built-in Ovens Buying Guide

Single or double cavity built-in ovens are available to build into or under kitchen units. The choice is between built-in to a cabinet at a higher level or built-under which means underneath the work surface. Double cavity ovens can have either 2 main fan ovens, or one main oven and a seperate cavity for grilling only. Make sure you check this when doing your research.
After this the main decision is whether to have a single or double oven. Some double built in ovens have only one real oven, the second being a cavity with a grill. Here is some more information on features of built in ovens:
Conventional ovens can be gas or electric. In a conventional gas oven, the heat comes from the gas burner at the rear bottom of the oven. In a conventional electric oven, the heat comes from elements under the base and at the top of the oven. In a conventional oven, heat rises to give a hotter temperature towards the top of the oven, and a slightly cooler temperature towards the bottom of the oven. The heat zones in a conventional oven make it ideal for cooking a number of dishes together, where different cooking temperatures are required. Conventional ovens are perfect for traditional cooking for things like cakes and roast meat.
Electric grills consist of either single or dual elements, and may have fixed or variable heat settings, depending on the model. The heat output of variable grills can be controlled by turning up or down, between low heat and high heat settings.
A fan assisted oven has an even cooking temperature throughout the oven as the fan circulates the heat. This makes it perfect for batch baking. Heat comes from the element in the back of the cavity, beit in the middle or top of the oven, and the hot air is circulated around the oven cavity so that an even cooking temperature is achieved throughout the whole of the oven.
A multifunction oven is an electric oven which has many cooking functions. These functions will include a selection of the following; fanned oven cooking, conventional oven cooking, grill, fanned grilling, base heat only, top heat only, fan plus base heat, intensive bake and defrost.
The main manufacturers of built-in ovens are Neff, Bosch, Siemens, Whirlpool, AEG, Zanussi, Smeg, and Baumatic. Look at for the warranty periods, 2 years is really the minimum you should expect now, and some manufacturers like De-Dietrich and Fagor offer 5 years as standard on various models.
Colous and trims are usually stainless steel and black, but the more traditional white and black remain popular. Stay clean liners are a feature many cooks don't ever want to live without - they help burn away the excess food that sticks to the sides and top of the oven. This is by using a certain kind of catalytic material that lets the food evaproate or burn, leaving a residue that can be wiped away.
Installation should be via a qualified electrician, although some basic conventional ovens are 13 amps and can be plugged straight in to the mains. Please take advise before fitting your new oven.

Electric Hobs Buying Advice

Electric hobs are more popular then ever before, partly due to the shift in living trends and cooking styles. With more of us living in apartments it seems that electric hobs are the safest option for housing developers. The regulations and responsibilites involved with fitting gas hobs is no longer practical.
Hobs are becoming a style point in modern kitchens, and are accordingly available in all colours, materials such as stainless steel and interesting designs. The traditional shape of the kitchen hob is changing. Usually they are 60cm wide and have 4 cooking zones, but now the extra wide models are offering cooks the chance to have more flexibility. The extended cooking zones give a cooling off segment, helping to time the preperation of food to perfection. The touch controls give fine temperature control, and the timer allows you to concentrate on other things and leave the hob to control the cooking time.
A halogen hob cooking zone is located beneath a ceramic glass hob. Heat comes from a halogen element, which has a fast response time.
A ceramic hob is newer technology, and the most popular electric variant. This is mainly as it offers the best value for money (induction is still relatively exspensive). Choose from touch controls or dial, and trim or no trim (reffered to as bevelled edge or frameless).
With induction, the metal pan completes the circuit, giving fast heat and prompt switch off when removed. Boiling point for a pan of water comes quicker than with most kettles - around 90 seconds for a pint of water. Because the heat is only supplied where the pan sits, the spillage doesn't burn onto the cooking surface, meaning easier cleaning after finishing using the hob.
Wide hobs with five or six zones offer flexibility but consider your usage before choosing – if your kitchen accommodates more than one cook at once, position the hob away from the oven. If you cook for a large family, more than four zones may be useful, and if you have young children it may be worth considering paying a little extra for a hob child lock.
Remember these basics about electric hobs:
Ceramic hobs are not supplied with a cable and require installation by a qualified electricianCeramic hobs are very tough, but it is still possible to scratch them in normal useMake sure you have the correct power feed for the hob
Energy efficiency should always be remembered when using your hob. There are a few easy ways to save energy when cooking which can also speed up the amount of time you spend over a hot stove. Always use the correct size pan, and when heating water only use the amount you need so the electricity is not burning unnecessarily to heat the excess. If only using a small pan, then use a smaller zone.
For new developments, the organisation NicEic helps regulate and control the trade industry on installation of electric hobs. NICEIC is the electrical contracting industry’s independent voluntary body for electrical installation matters throughout the UK. They offer industry-leading certification services, Building Regulations Schemes, products and support to electrical contractors and many other trades within the construction industry.

Gas Hobs for Your Kitchen - a Quick Guide

Gas hobs have always been popular as they give more control and quicker heating than electric hobs. It is rare you find a modern chef cooking on anything other than gas as they offer an instant change in temperature.
A good kitchen layout will help hob safety, and this should be considered before placing the hob in your kitchen design. You should be able to transfer a pan from hob to sink without going through any obsticles or crossing people.
Try to allow room to place the hob down either side of where it is installed, as this gives the chance to take the pan off the hob in complete safety, rather than having to pull backwards to find space. Dont place the sink to close to the hob - hot fat reacts badly with every liquid such as water and juice. Also refrain from having the Hob near a window incase you need to open it.
Choose from a vast array of gas hobs from the leading manufacturers of appliances. We are spoilt for choice compared to a decade ago, with new shapes and designs as well as sizes and colours.
The smallest gas hobs are referred to as 'domino hobs' and are usually 30cm in width. They can be just a single wok burner or a 2 burner gas hob. Domino models are designed to offer the best of both worlds, as you can combine them in a worksurface with an electric ceramic or induction hob.
Traditional gas hobs are 60cm in width and have 4 burners. One is often a rapid burner at around 2.5 kw of strength, or some models have a rapid and a wok burner. Wok burners are about 3.5-4 kw.
The latest and most popular finish is glass with a stainless steel trim. This combination looks terrific and has an easy to clean surface, but shows up grease very quickly compared to steel or white hobs.
Must have technology for the family kitchen is the 'flame failure' or 'safety cut out' feature. This means a heat sensor knows if the flame has gone out so automaticall cuts out the supply of gas, preventing leaks and possible explosions.
The main brands for gas hobs in the UK are Neff, Bosch, Smeg, Whirlpool and Hotpoint. Baumatic and CDA offer a huge selection at a lower price point, but the most popular are Indesit and Electrolux. Price varies with the kind of pan stands on the hob. Enamel is a smooth metal gloss finish, and cast iron pan supports are much chunkier and have a rougher texture and hold the pan in a more secure fashion.
A minimum of 750mm clearance is required above a gas hob to a cooker hood. The gap maybe reduced to 727mm above a gas hob but the hood must be cleaned regularly to prevent a fire hazard.
Wall units either side of a hood must be at least 366mm above. A minimum of 300mm clearance is required either side of the hob if installing next to a larder unit or flammable material.

Go Green With Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances

Using environmentally friendly cleaning products, recycling and using biodegradable bin liners are just a few ways families are going green in the kitchen. However one of the most important, and significant changes many households are making is buying and using energy efficient kitchen appliances.
For many families, the kitchen is the room in the house where the most energy is consumed. Refrigerators, cookers, ovens, dishwashers and other kitchen appliances can account for nearly 40% of the total energy consumed in some homes. Buying energy efficient appliances, and changing the way kitchen appliances are used on a daily basis can easily make the kitchen a greener place.
Once you make the decision to buy kitchen appliances, for your new eco-friendly kitchen, it's important that you consider the size of the kitchen appliances. Many families buy oversized kitchen appliances that they don't need and end up wasting energy in the process. Larger kitchen appliances with lots of features can be very tempting. However if you have a small family, it's best to buy energy efficient kitchen appliances that will fit your family's needs, rather than opting for larger models. You'll save space, money and you'll be helping to save the environment too.
Dishwashers are great for convenience, but it's important that you use them wisely. Did you know that many of the newer, more energy efficient dishwashers use less water than old models? Additionally, many of them are engineered so that you don't have to waste additional water rinsing your dishes before you place them into the dishwasher. When buying an energy efficient dishwasher, choose a compact model, and remember to run it only when it's full to help save both energy and water.
It's imperative for families that cook often to use energy efficient appliances. Using kitchen appliances such as cookers and ovens can require a great deal of energy. When possible, use microwaves or other smaller kitchen appliances to prepare or heat food. And if you need to boil water, try using more practical smaller kitchen appliances such as a cordless kettle, rather than utilizing the cooker.
Do you still use an oven that requires preheating? Most newer models have made preheating a thing of the past, thus just one of the ways energy efficient ovens can help you reduce energy consumption. And remember, when it's time to use the oven, always try to cook more than one dish.
Another great kitchen appliance to consider when going green is a range hood. A range hood can help with the ventilation in your home, and keep the air in your kitchen cleaner. Clean air is essential in any eco-friendly environment.
When considering buying new kitchen appliances, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the price tag. While purchasing energy efficient appliances can be a significant investment initially, you'll see the savings instantly on your energy bill and save even more in the long run. Energy efficient appliances can save you between 10 - 50% in monthly energy costs. So in reality, by purchasing energy efficient appliances you're not only doing your part to help protect the environment, you're also saving a substantial sum on energy costs too.

Which Do I Choose - Integrated or Freestanding Kitchen Appliances?

For many years this question didn't really come into play. Go back over a hundred years and you wouldn't find a kitchen in the world with built-in appliances. Freestanding cookers, clay ovens and, well, a hole in the wall with a fire was the normal arrangement.
Over the last few decades the entire world has taken a real shine to the more space efficient and neater looking integrated kitchen.
What are we losing if we don't have freestanding appliances? The simple answer is flexibility. You cannot change the layout of your kitchen, and you can't clean behind the appliance either. Also, if an integrated model goes wrong or is damaged, then you have to have an engineer come out to install a new model - this wouldn't be the case if you had a conventional freestanding fridge or microwave for example.
Where would I benefit having a fitted kitchen with built in appliances? Design is a big thing for some families, and in a consumer driven market we have plenty of options nowadays. Dishwashers can be completely hidden in your kitchen, as can washers, dryers and refrigeration units. This helps keep simple and attractive lines in your kitchen, the same colour scheme (by having matching doors), and also help keep the noise levels down through further cladding.
Built in ovens can be placed into a tall column or underneath the counter, depending on space and personal preference. If they are under counter you can still have room to place a cooker hob into the work surface, but be careful as some modern induction hobs have a deeper base and can be too intrusive.
Obviously if you decide on a built in cooker, then you must have a separate hob, unlike a freestanding cooker or range cooker which has a hob already. This means you have the option of keeping your hob and oven in different location is the kitchen, giving more space to cook if you have more than one budding chef in the family.
The built in fridge freezers do cost more than their freestanding counterparts, not just because they need the cabinet (furniture) door on the front, but also because there is slightly more technology involved in the manufacturing process. Unfortunately there are a lot less options though, mainly because the housing for them is limited by the kitchen manufacturers, and are usually just 55cm in width, meaning less space than a 60cm freestanding model. The height is also restricted to around 178cm, whereas freestanding models go past 2 meters tall.
The American and European markets have a big affection for coffee, and this means there are now several options for built-in coffee machines. They take up much more space, and require a whole space from the tall cabinets you will have designed, but they look good, have plenty of features and are a must if you are a coffee lover. Look out for other features that make it easier to justify the higher price - some will make up to 8 types of coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and some models are fully automatic (bean to cup).
So it really is down to personal preference on looks, budget and flexibility. This means we still have the choice, which makes it even more fun buying new appliances and kitchens.

Why Decide to Have a New Kitchen?

If it has been a while since your kitchen was installed, or you've never gotten round to it, then why take the plunge and spend £1000's on a new kitchen? Well spending time in and around the kitchen is a modern habit, and not just because we eat all of the time. The truth is that we take make time eating and preparing our food than ever before, and new kitchens and appliances will continue to be as important in peoples lives as new cars and other luxury items.
Many people are now deciding it's more important to spend money on a new kitchen than other popular luxury items, such as a car upgrade or a tropical holiday. Family life is more social now than ever, and that's why it's easier to justify the big purchase price of a new fitted kitchen.
In the past decade kitchens and the modern family have come on leaps and bounds, with a more traditional latin take on life when it comes to food.
In the UK especially, gone are the days when a young family are prepared to accept the smaller L-shaped kitchen. Could you get past anyone cooking without knocking a pan from their hands, or at least brushing past them? It was seen as acceptable to have a very narrow kitchen and then eat your dinner on your lap watching TV, or in silence in the dining room. Now families welcome the larger plan living space come kitchen, where it's possible to talk and cook and relax at the same time. It also means the cooking process is enjoyed by all and all can participate. This is no doubt helping our younger generation to cook from an early age and get used to making the kitchen the hub of the household.
Once you have decided on a new kitchen, there are a number of important basics to consider. For example, the layout is extremely important, as is the whereabouts of your cooking appliances and the electrical points. What about access to other rooms? Don't have the doors too close to where the cooking action is, ie. next to the stove.
Also consider where family or friends would be sat while the chef is hard at work. Will they be isolated or integrated so as to join in the conversation?
American fridge freezers units are very popular now, and the depth is sometimes an issue. Make sure the doors open freely and that the fridge is not out of place if sticking out from the worktops. A popular remedy is to have a cabinet built around the unit.
Mr Heneffe has worked in the kitchen appliances industry for over 10 years. The experience includes designing kitchens and buying appliances in bulk for large organizations. His company, Internet Kitchen Appliances sells to the public and trade industry throughout the UK. They specialize in products from leading kitchen appliance brands.