June 17, 2013
Sink an ice cube into a lukewarm drink and in moments it will be gone. Chances are, you will not consider it something valuable lost. Your freezer is full of ice, your local market sells it by the bag full, and every year factories pump billions of dollars of it into the market. It’s hardly apparent that only 200 hundred years ago millions of man hours were spent annually to harvest fresh ice.
The history of ice production is an oft overlooked element of civil development, a period of transition between salting proteins for long trips and most of the world storing goods in their own refrigerator for weeks, months, sometimes even years. For a while, the ice industry was one of the world’s largest, but the popularity of ice became its industry’s downfall. Though fairly short, it’s an exciting glimpse at industrial evolution and the way lifestyles grow with appliance technology.
To recognize the value of advancements in ice maker technology, Fleet Appliance Corp presents to you The History of Ice Production.
The Ice Maker Timeline
|Approx. 1000 BC||Early records show that, thousands of years before the modern ice maker, the Chinese harvested ice from frozen waters. They are even attributed with some of the earliest ice cream receipes, though no official record of these would come for centuries.|
Ancient Egyptians were some of the earliest to have made their own ice. They did it by placing shallow clay trays filled with water upon straw beds at evening. As the water evaporates it also freezes causing a cascading effect that culminates into ice by morning, just in time to battle hot north African afternoons.
Not so far away, the Greeks imported snow from the Alps in such vast quantity that it became a common part of their culture, and often more valuable than the finest wines. To make ice, which was more expensive and valuable, snow would be placed in deep pits atop straw so that it would melt then refreeze into a solid layer. Ice and snow were commong enough to be accessible even to the common classes, and many Greeks were quite fond of a mixture not unlike sorbet consisting of blended ice, honey, and freshly chopped fruits.
By around 400 BC, Persians began storing ice in the desert using specially-designed underground refrigerators called yakhchal. The walls were made of a special material resistant to heat transfer while a series of windcatchers would funnel air into the space, greatly reducing the temperature even on the hottest days.
Around the same time, the Romans were building some of the earliest ice houses. Here they would store enormous blocks of ice with food and drink for preservation. This made chilled goods and ice treats fairly common throughout what is now the Italian region of western Europe, perhaps partly explaining the region’s exceptional culinary affinity.
Ice houses became popular around the world by the 1600s and the typical method of ice production was simply to import it. To extend the lifespan of the imported ice, it was insulated with straw and cloth, slowing the melt speed.
Most ice houses were communal or commercially owned, but the wealthy could afford to build them on their own property and even into their own homes. They often used their ice to chill wine and preserve fine imported delicacies, as well as for the production of fancy cold treats.
American William Tudor quips to his brother Frederic that their iced drinks would make them the envy of West Indian colonists, giving Frederic the idea to begin exporting ice to warmer regions. Initially, the market is not conducive to his investment in ice.
It costs decades, a number of failures, lost fortunes, luck, and many damaged limbs before Frederic Tudor finally proves ice to the world and makes his fortune. American author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau remarked in his famous Walden that the inhabitants of Madras and Bombay drink at his well, referring to Walden Pond from which Tudor’s men would harvest their ice for transport to India. About this time, many homes in industrialized nations around the world find themselves equipped with their own ice box.
The mid-19th century was the most competitive era for ice harvesters. Anyone with access to a frozen body of water was in on the action, creating regional boomtowns not unlike the Gold Rush. In America, the popularity of frozen goods becomes an expectation of quality, making ice a necessary part of everyday American life.
Around the same time the first commercial ice making machines begin hitting the scene, led by manufacturer Columbus Iron Works leasing a patent from inventor Andrew Muhl. The industrial ice makers revolutionize the meat and food production industries improving the quality of food across the nation and then the world.
By the turn of the 20th century, ice had become an integral part of the world economy. Many in America had it in their home and everyone who didn’t wanted it; this would be the downfall of the ice harvesting industry.
In the early 1900s electric freezer/coolers began to hit the consumer market. At first they were expensive and often unreliable, but they only got better with time.
By the 1940s, electric ice makers and refrigerator appliances were reliable and affordable enough that just about any home could make ice any time it wanted. The market for industrial ice shattered, although not completely. Ice production still generates billions annually thanks largely to summer vacations and the party scene, but it hardly compares to the scale of the era past.
Fortunately, ice is more accessible than it ever has been which is a great boon for countless obvious reasons. These days, most households contain one or more cooler units capable of producing ice. It’s certainly great to be able to refresh a drink with just a short trip to your kitchen rather than the Alps.
Fleet Appliance Corp regularly blogs about appliances, appliance repair, and the appliance industry. To read more exciting facts about appliance, the brands we service, or the areas we serve, visit FleetAppliance.com
If you’d like to learn more about Ice Makers and the history of Ice Production and Harvesting, try some further reading with these links:
- Ice Makers on Wikipedia.com
June 8, 2013
Summer envelops us more and more every day. It’s time to break out the light clothing, inflate the inner tubes, and stock our freezers with ice cream. Your cooler is likely to be a big draw through these warm summer months; expect to buy popsicles and cold beverages quite frequently. Yet a freezer offers so much more than just snacks.
With some creativity, supplies, and a few minutes time, you can use your freezer to do all sorts of things. In the spirit of summer fun, Fleet Appliance Corp presents some creative things you can do with your freezer!
Festive Ice Cubes
Water isn’t the only thing that freezes. For a delicious take on the old fashioned ice cube, try freezing juices in your ice trays. You can use small amounts of powdered mix for simple coloring, fruit juices for a splash of flavor in a cold glass of water, or even mixers for a cool twist in your late-night cocktail. For the more practical, try freezing chicken broth into cubes, which makes it easy to portion flavoring while cooking.
Saving Produce for the Off-Season
Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, melon, and many other fruits are at their absolute best during a few short months each year. To preserve your favorite produce for smoothies and other treats well outside the normal time limit, simply freeze them in vacuum sealed or specially-made freezer bags. Don’t forget to remove inedible parts and clean everything before sealing. This is also a good way to preserve snacks for birds and reptiles.
Harden Wax for Easy Removal and Extended Burns
Placing candles inside your freezer for a few hours gives you a longer burn than normal. As it hardens wax, this is also a good way to remove it from various objects. If your candlesticks are coated in melted wax, place them in the freezer for a short time then simply peel the wax right off. This helps with chewed gum, too. Just a little freezer treatment can save you money and time cleaning up all kinds of goop.
Temperatures are on the rise, but you can turn the tables on summer and confuse a few friends with a simple trick using little more than ice from your freezer. Place the ice into a household blender and run it for 30 seconds to 1 minute and you will get snow! Crushed ice works best, and higher settings tend to make finer snow. Pack it and pelt a bewildered colleague or add flavored syrup for tasty snow cones!
Do you know of other creative uses for the household freezer? Share them with Fleet Appliance and we’ll add them to this list! Send your tips and ideas to email@example.com. Visit our appliance repair blogs weekly for fun new articles!
If you need Long Island’s best appliance repair technicians to fix your home or commercial appliance, then give us a call at (631) 286-7899 or Schedule Service online. To learn more about our appliance repair services, visit our Services page.
April 18, 2013
With Earth Day just around the corner, it’s time to consider how we can do our part to reduce pollution and preserve energy. Every appliance, albeit helpful, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, but we can substantially reduce pollution by managing our habits and maintaining our equipment. To that end, Fleet Appliance offers some useful tips that will help curb climate change while yielding savings on every energy bill.
Purchase Energy Star Compliant Appliances
The Environmental Protection Agency developed the Energy Star program in 1992 to promote energy efficiency. Energy Star appliances typically reduce energy consumption by 10-20%. A home full of them will enjoy substantial savings over those without.
Change Filters & Clean Vents Often
Clogged vents and filters reduce appliance efficiency. Obstructions make appliances work harder, leading to accelerated component wear and eventually breakdown. Regularly replace filters and clean vents to avoid this. Some appliances can even be upgraded with accessories that remind you to change filters.
Appliances that may have filters include:
- Air Conditioners
- Air Purifiers
- Humidifiers / Dehumidifiers
You also want to keep refrigerator condenser coils clean. Condenser coils dissipate heat, but if they’re dirty the compressor struggles to keep pace. To learn more, read our refrigerator maintenance tips.
Upgrade Older Components & Replace Broken Ones
Old parts cannot compare to new ones that take advantage of recent advances in technology. For example, a thermostat from the ‘70s will not control temperature as well as one made within the last decade. Replacing old parts can also go a long way in improving the lifespan of your appliance.
Broken components should also be replaced as soon as possible. Faulty fridge seals reduce internal temperatures, punctured tubes reduce washer flow (on top of leaking), and malfunctioning door latches prevent coolers and dishwashers from sealing properly; these are but a few of problems you may encounter. Replacing faulty components is the only way to fix them. For replacement parts, visit our Parts Store.
Use Appropriate Settings
Most appliances operate on expectations encountered in an “average” household, but they may not reflect your own usage habits. To avoid excess energy consumption, configure your appliance to run at the minimum setting necessary to complete the job. Hot water devours energy, so use cold water cycles in washers and dishwashers when possible. Also, consider the following tips:
- Fridge & Freezers
- If frost builds in your freezer, or liquids in the fridge come close to freezing (or actually do), you may want to slightly reduce the temperature.
- Use lower water levels with smaller loads.
- Avoid heated drying if dishes will idle long enough to drip dry. Leaving the door open may also help.
- Use shorter spin cycles for lighter loads.
- Avoid over stuffing which reduces the efficacy of your detergent, may necessitate additional cycles, and can even damage components.
- Try reducing thermometers by a few degrees. Every degree can yield substantial annual savings.
- Reduce or disable heating in unoccupied rooms and close doors to prevent heat loss.
- Cooking Ranges
- Use lids, which reduce cooking time.
- Use burners that fit your pots and pans.
- Use a microwave when reasonable, as they consume far less energy.
We hope these tips help you save money on top of their great positive effect for the environment. To learn how Fleet Appliance can help you reduce energy costs and extend your appliances’ lifespan, call us at (631) 286-7899.
April 16, 2012
BEFORE YOU CALL FOR SERVICE
AUTOMATIC ICE MAKER
• Ice maker wire signal arm is in the “up” or OFF position.
• Ice maker power switch is Off.
• Ice maker has small cube caught in mechanism.
• Saddle valve on cold water pipe is clogged or restricted by foreign material.
Move wire signal arm to the “down” or ON position. (side mounted)
• Turn power switch to On (“I”) position. (rear mounted)
• Remove small cube from ice maker. The ice and water filter cartridge may be clogged. Replace filter cartridge.
• Turn off household water line valve. Remove valve. Ensure that valve is not a self-piercing saddle valve. Clean valve. Replace valve if necessary.
• Ice maker is producing less ice than you expect.
• Check to see if water dispenser is dispensing slower than normal.
• Side mounted ice maker should produce 4 to 4.5 pounds (approximately 4 quarts) of ice every 24 hours. A rear mounted ice maker should produce 3 to 4 pounds (approximately 3½ quarts) of ice every 24 hours. Quick Ice option should produce up to 50% more ice every 24 hours.
• If it is, replace the ice and water filter cartridge.
• Ice maker wire signal arm is being held down by some item in the freezer.
• Move item and release wire signal arm. Remove any ice cubes that are frozen together over the wire signal arm.
April 16, 2012
Is your refrigerator in Defrost mode?
- If interior lights come on and nothing seems to be working, the refrigerator is in Defrost Mode. The refrigerator and freezer sections automatically defrost. Wait 30 minutes for your refrigerator to resume normal operations.
Temperture Control Setting
Are your temperature controls set properly?
- Your refrigerator should not be placed where temperatures will exceed 110°F (43°) or drop below 55°F (13°).
- For your convenience, your temperature controls are preset at the factory to "mid setting" which should be correct for normal household use. However, your controls may need to be adjusted. If so, adjust the temperature one setting colder and wait 24 hrs for the compartments to cool. Repeat until desired temperature is reached.
- The best indicator of refrigerator temperature are beverages. If you are not satisfied with the beverage temperature, adjust the refrigerator control to the desired setting.
- The best indicator of freezer temperatures is ice cream. Ice Cream should be frozen but spoon able. If you are not satisfied with the ice cream temperature, adjust the freezer control to the desired setting.
- Note: temperatures of items in the door bins are less cold than interior shelf items.
- Refer to your Use and Care Guide for instructions on adjusting the temperature controls for your model
Is the cooling control turned on?
- Given that the refrigerator is equipped with a "Cooling On/Off" feature, there will be a "Cooling On/Off " button located on the control panel at the top of the refrigerator compartment or the feature can be activated using the control panel on the exterior dispenser. If cooling is turned off, neither your refrigerator nor freezer will cool. make sure Cooling is turned on.
Refer to your Use and Care Guide for instructions on using the Cooling On/Off feature.
Have you increased usage? Are the doors opened often?
- If your doors have been opened frequently, doors have been opened for long periods of time, or your refrigerator was recently installed, wait 24-48 hours for the refrigerator to completely cool.
- Be aware that the refrigerator will warm when doors are opened often. In order to keep your refrigerator cool, try to limit continuous opening of doors.
- Adding a large amount of food warms the refrigerator. It could take several hours for the refrigerator to return to the normal temperature
- In order to ensure proper temperatures, you need to permit airflow between the freezer and refrigerator compartments.
- Cool air enters and exits the refrigerator compartment from the freezer compartment through vents. Depending on your model, these vents are in different locations. Refer to the illustrations below.
- Once you’ve located your vents in both sections, ensure that there is nothing blocking the air flow.
- If vents are blocked, airflow will decrease. This may cause temperature and moisture problems.
Freezer on Bottom
Freeze on Top
Side by Side
April 16, 2012
Your refrigerator is designed to run more efficiently to keep your food items at the desired temperatures and to minimize energy use. The high-efficiency compressor and fans may cause your refrigerator to run longer than your old one.
There are several factors that can affect how long and how frequently your refrigerators runs.
- The motor will run longer under warm conditions or if the refrigerator is receiving direct sunlight from a window or door. At normal room temperatures, your motor will run about 40-80 percent of the time. Under warmer conditions, it will run even more.
- A new refrigerator will initially run more while cooling. Allow 24 hours for the refrigerator to completely cool.
- When large quantities of food are added, the refrigerator has to run longer to cool the new items.
- The motors will run longer when the doors are frequently opened. Conserve energy by getting all items out at one time, keeping food organized, and closing the door as soon as possible.
- The best indicator of refrigerator temperatures is a beverage. If you are not satisfied with the beverage temperature, adjust the refrigerator control to a cooler setting.
- The best indicator of freezer temperatures is ice cream. Ice cream should be frozen, but spoonable. If you are not satisfied with the ice cream temperature, adjust the freezer control to a cooler setting.
- temperatures of items stored in the door bins are typically not as cold as interior-shelf items.
April 16, 2012
Refrigerator or Freezer Not Cooling?
December 20, 2010
|THE BAD VENT WARNING SIGNS|
|THE FLEET TECHNICIAN KNOWS WHY|
|WHO NEEDS DRYER VENT CLEANING?|
|YOUR DRYER VENTS ARE ALL-IMPORTANT|
|There are many things that contribute to the proper operation of a clothes dryer. The venting is perhaps the most critical. Below we describe a dryer’s functions and how its venting plays a part.|
|One of the most important functions of a dryer is the elimination of moisture recovered during the heating of damp clothing. This moisture is held in the warm air produced by the dryer as humidity, and is normally expelled to the outdoors through the dryer’s vent. If this air can not be adequately removed, poor drying will result.
This moisture can also condense into pools of water in the dryer vent, eventually leaking out. Any moisture accumulation inside the dryer ducting is a sign of poor venting which should be looked into. Schedule the Dryer Vent Wizard for a dryer vent cleaning and inspection.
November 21, 2010
A Little Help Goes a Long Way Changing Children’s Lives Around the World.
McHappy Day continues to be McDonald’s® signature fundraiser benefiting RMHC and other children’s causes around the world.
This fundraiser is just one more way McDonald’s, its employees, owner/operators, suppliers, and customers demonstrate how small contributions can add up to make a huge difference in the lives of children. Since 2002, countries around the world have raised more than $170 million during McHappy Day® events. Here are some examples of how McHappy Day will be celebrated this year around the globe:
McHappy Day and “Give A Hand®” in the U.S.: Bringing Hope and Happiness to Families in Need
McHappy Day is November 10 and kicks-off McDonald’s annual “Give A Hand” fundraiser to support RMHC. The fundraiser will be in participating U.S. restaurants November 10 – 20, for customers to show their support for the Charity by purchasing a paper Hand for $1, $3, or $5. All proceeds from the paper Hand sales will be donated to RMHC. And, with every purchase of a McDonald’s Happy Meal® or Mighty Kids Meal® throughout the year, a donation is made to RMHC. These fundraisers are a few ways McDonald’s encourages customers to give back and help bring happiness to families in need.
McHappy Day Hong Kong: Run for Fun, Run for Love
To raise awareness among children and families about RMHC Hong Kong, McDonald’s Hong Kong hosted the seventh annual McHappy Day Kidathon on November 6, 2011. This signature fundraising event not only raises money for the Charity, it also encourages children to not just run for the love of running, but to run with a purpose; running for children who are sick and need support from their families. Children trained for the event with the help of a partner athletic club and they also were able to join in other fun runs.
McDonald’s Hong Kong has been supporting McHappy Day events for years. From 2007 onwards, McDonald’s customers and the Company have collected and donated almost US$2.7 million for the organization. Year-round Happy Meal donations, in-store promotions, RMHC Donation Boxes in restaurants and merchandise sales have also been implemented to raise funds for the Chapter. RMHC Hong Kong has served over 1,000 families for the past 15 years through their Ronald McDonald House program.
McDia Feliz Brazil – Exceeds 2010 Record
Some countries like Brazil have already celebrated McHappy Day in true style. McHappy Day, coordinated nationally by Instituto Ronald McDonald, the RMHC Chapter in Brazil, surpassed the record set in 2010 raising US$10.8 million in 2011.
On August 27, one hundred percent of proceeds of Big Mac sandwiches sales were donated to support children and adolescents with cancer. McDonald’s restaurants sold 1.6 million Big Mac sandwiches in one day throughout Brazil. Proceeds will benefit 59 institutions across the country whose mission is to fight cancer in children. It’s estimated 30,000 children will benefit from the money raised.
McDia Feliz in Guatemala: Turns BigMac Sandwiches into Smiles!
McDia Feliz in Guatemala is considered a national celebration, a holiday, and every year citizens anxiously wait to participate and make a difference. This year, McDia Feliz took place on October 5 and presidential candidates along with celebrities, celebrities, journalists, sports personalities and national media actively supported the Day by promoting it and volunteering at McDonald’s restaurants. From the time that the doors opened at 9 AM till they closed at midnight, a total of 438,513 Big Macs were sold, raising US$1.2 million to benefit children and families served by the Fundación Ronald McDonald Guatemala. McDia Feliz certainly turned Big Mac sandwiches into smiles!
For the past 13 years, McDia Feliz has raised US$6.5 million benefiting children and families in Guatemala. Funds raised this year will support the operations of two Ronald McDonald Houses and a Ronald McDonald Family Room benefiting over 11,000 children and families.