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
April 2, 2013
When it comes to purchasing a high-end refrigerator, many consumers cringe at the high price tag. And who could blame them? Costing in the upwards of $8,000, a high-end appliance is no small purchase. When we started to think about the advantages of high-end refrigerators, we wondered what the appeal was from a consumer’s perspective. Why would someone want to pay double the cost for a high-end appliance? We examined Consumer Reports data for refrigerators ranging in price from $5,000 to $9,000 to see what the high-end models had to offer. If you plan on purchasing a luxury appliance, take the following into consideration:
Overall Best Quality High-End Refrigerators
The below refrigerators represent units that make an overall ‘good’ purchase. According to Consumer Reports, these brands represent the best overall bang for your buck.
- Thermador Freedom Collection (Model Number T36BB820SS). With a price tag of $7,400, this refrigerator has it all. The Thermador Freedom has very good energy efficiency with an average energy cost of $59/year. It also has excellent temperature control with features such as dual compressors, dual evaporators, a door open alarm, a built-in water filter, and digital controls that show actual temperature. Plus, the built-in design makes it seamlessly blend into your existing cabinetry.
- Jenn-Air (Model Number JS42PPDUDB[SS]) This Jenn-Air model has a price tag of $7,200, slightly lower than the top choice. The Jenn-Air offers a built-in side-by-side design with through-the-door ice and water dispensers and an ice bin on the freezer door. With excellent temperature controls, food stored in this unit will stay fresher longer.
- Sub-Zero (Model Number BI42S[S]) Priced at $8,000, this Sub-Zero refrigerator has many luxury features including a chemical air-scrubber, dual compressors, dual evaporators, a built-in water filter, spillproof shelves, and digital controls. Energy efficiency on this unit is still good at about $79/year. The excellent temperature controls make it an ideal choice for people who store large quantities of fresh food.
Best High-End Refrigerators for Temperature Performance
If you store a lot of food for longer periods of time, temperature performance is likely going to be a valuabe feature for you. This is especially true if you eat a lot of parisable items such as whole meats and fresh vegetables. Food without perservatives need optimal temperature settings in order to be stored for longer periods of time.
- KitchenAid (Model Number: KBFC42FT or KBFO42FT). Costing around $6,800, these KitchenAid models boast the best temperature control performance of all high-end refrigerators. The overall quality of the unit ranks fairly low, likely because of its lower rankings in noise and energy efficiency.
- Sub-Zero (Model Number: 736TC[SS]). With a price tag at $7,600, this unit has excellect temperature control. It’s energy efficiency, however, is rated only fair with average energy costs running about $89/year.
- Miele (Model Number KF1901Vi). Miele is a great choice with features that earn it excellent rankings in both temperature performance and noise level (it’s nice and quiet). The energy efficiency is good at $65/year, and the price of the unit is around $7,200.
Best High-End Refrigerators for Energy Efficiency
When considering the efficiency of a refrigerator, the Consumer Reports compares energy consumption to usable storage space. High energy efficiency along with increased usable storage space is what sets these units apart from the rest.
- Jenn-Air (Model Number JS42PPDUDB[SS]) This Jenn-Air model has a price tag of $7,200. Your energy bill will run around $74/year, which isn’t bad considering that temperature control is excellent and you’re cooling 17.3 cu ft of usable storage space.
- Thermador (Model Number KBUDT4265E[S]) With a price tag of $8,750, the Thermador is definitely on the high side of the high-end product line. Considering the amount of usable space, 16 cu ft, this refrigerator definitely stores a large amount of food with great efficiency.
- Sub-Zero (Model Number BI42S[S]) Priced at $8,000, this refrigerator cools 18.3 cu ft of usable storage for about $79/year.
March 29, 2013
This brief Infograph shows some basic features of commonly purchased refrigerators. Your purchase decision will depend greatly on the needs of your family and your price range. Refrigerators priced over $5,000 are generally considered "high-end" and have more features such as dual refrigeration and a built-in design. Refrigerators under $5,000 often offer similar features to their high-end counterparts, but lack in the sleek aesthetics. Refrigerators offering dual refrigeration will hold temperature better, keeping your refrigerator and freezer independently at ideal settings. In most cases, as you see in the chart below, the more expensive "High-End" refrigerators offer this feature.
April 16, 2012
Here are just a few of the many issues that Fleet Appliance Service technicians are trained to diagnose and repair:
- Refrigerator makes noise
- Refrigerator isn’t cold
- Refrigerator leaks
- Refrigerator freezes
- Icemaker doesn’t work
- Water won’t dispense
Join other satisfied Fleet Appliance customers and call for refrigerator repair today
When an important appliance in your home (your refrigerator for example) isn’t working it can affect your daily routine. Fleet Appliance Service refrigerator repair service can help maintain the performance of your appliance. Fleet Appliance Service refrigerator repair service is performed by qualified Fleet Appliance professionals who are also Fleet Appliance employees and who are experienced in repairing both new and used appliance models. Whenever you need us, Fleet Appliance Service refrigerator repair service can be scheduled by phone or online.
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?
October 12, 2011
Caring for your refrigerator is important, especially if you have just upgraded your old refrigerator to a brand new one. While the new refrigerators are much more advanced and much less likely to break down, it is still essential that you do your part to care for your fridge if you want it to last as long as it is meant to. You can actually do a few simple things to care for the fridge, and DIY maintenance is a great way to ensure that your fridge lasts as long as possible.
1. Refrigerator Maintenance: Defrost the Freezer
Caring for your fridge means that you will need to defrost your freezer fairly regularly, no less than every month or two. The reason for this is that the ice tends to accumulate as you open and close the door to your fridge, and the ice can cause the door to not close properly and can even break the inside of your freezer. Letting the freezer defrost takes all of a day or so, and you can plan to defrost it regularly by ensuring that all of the items in your freezer are used so as not to let them spoil. Simply unplug the fridge, open the door, and let the ice melt on its own.
2. Refrigerator Maintenance: Wash Gaskets
The seal of the freezer and fridge doors will tend to get covered in a thin layer of grime due to the constant moisture of the interior of the fridge. It is essential to keep these clean, as they may cause the door to seal improperly when they are dirty. When they don’t seal properly, they can let the cold air escape and increase your electric bill. Using a cloth and detergent to clean the gasket is a matter of minutes, but will help to ensure that your fridge stays clean.
3. Refrigerator Maintenance: Clean the Drip Pan
The condensation from the fridge drips into the drip pan beneath the fridge, and dust from around the kitchen tends to accumulate there as well. When this happens, you will find that the drip pan is full of a thick greyish liquid that looks awful and could clog up the system. Make sure to wash it once in a while to keep it free of blockages.
4. Refrigerator Maintenance: Clean the Coils Frequently
The coils of the fridge will usually get dusty quite quickly, as they are behind the fridge and are rarely cleaned. It is best to wash the coils at least once every two or three months, and you can do so with a vacuum cleaner to ensure that they operate as efficiently as possible.
5. Refrigerator Maintenance: Replace Water Filters
If your fridge has a water filter, make sure to replace it to prevent the spout from getting clogged. Replacing the water filter will also prevent bacteria from growing in the spout, bacteria which will get into your cup of ice water and could upset your stomach.
April 14, 2011
Like many people you may find yourself short of refrigerator space. You may also wish to find a solution to the hassle of interrupting your meal preparation to walk to your full size fridge every time you need something from it. A mini fridge offers you extra refrigerator space. The size makes it convenient to place virtually anywhere you want to. It is great for a small apartment or an office, as it is for a family home.
Undercounter refrigerators are an asset to every kitchen. They are also great to place under the counter at a bar or a restaurant. Such an appliance allows you to use the available space under a counter in an efficient and versatile manner. There are several issues that you would need to keep in mind when shopping for a mini fridge.
The first and most important, of course, is how you expect to use the refrigerator. Do you intend to use it to store beverages, fruits and vegetables, or do you want to use such a fridge for extra freezer space? If you are looking for additional freezer space then you need to shop for a freezer that can be accommodated under the counter. Do choose a model that doesn’t open outwards as you would find it difficult to open and access.
Your choice of refrigerator and the brand would depend on your requirements and your budget. You also need to consider the space where you intend to place the undercounter fridge. It is important that the size of the fridge is such that it can be easily placed under the counter, with some space to spare.
You would need to think about which side the door of the refrigerator would open from. You don’t want to risk banging the door against a wall when you open it to take out or put food in. Some brands offer undercounter refrigerators that allow the door to be installed on either side, while others don’t have such a feature. Others have drawers. So, you would need to make your choice rather carefully.
It is best to choose from frost free undercounter refrigerators. This would ensure that you don’t need to defrost it to clear it of excess ice. A refrigerator that doesn’t offer such a feature would be difficult to clean and defrost. You would need to take it out from under the counter in order to drain away the water from the melted ice. It is recommended that you do an online research that will help you choose the model and brand that meets your specifications.