Samsung Storm Wash is more of a passing shower

Samsung Storm Wash is more of a passing shower

The top dishwashers in Consumer Reports’ tests are aces at washing and drying your dishes, use less energy and water than earlier models, and run quietly. To distinguish one from another, manufacturers have been adding nifty new features such as the “Turbo Zone” in the Kenmore 15693, $ 850, which devotes extra energy and run time to clean especially soiled items. Now Samsung has introduced a dishwasher with a “Storm Wash” that promises to rain down extra water on stubborn … (read more)

Save by switching to a more efficient washer

Save by switching to a more efficient washer

It goes without saying that choosing a high-efficiency washing machine over a conventional model will save money on your utility bills. But you might be surprised to learn that the savings can exceed $ 100 per year, according to a white paper released this week by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Even better: Consumer Reports’ washing machine Ratings include a few dozen recommended high-efficiency models, including eight CR Best Buys that sell for as little … (read more)

Why your parents’ appliances cost more to run than yours do

Why your parents’ appliances cost more to run than yours do

If you’re shopping for new appliances, you might hear the argument that energy-efficient models don’t perform as well as their power-hungry counterparts. Or that you’ll have to spend more for maximum efficiency. A report out today from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project refutes both claims, and it does so with a deep analysis of real data, including more than 20 years’ worth of findings from Consumer Reports’ test labs.

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Before taking on more debt, head off these major home repairs

Before taking on more debt, head off these major home repairs

More shoppers are reaching for the credit cards–total consumer debt ticked up 0.3 percent in the final months of 2012, the first increase in four years, according to the New York Federal Reserve. That may be good news for the economy, but it could spell ruin for homeowners who get hit with an unexpected home repair. So before you rack up any more debt, read our checklist of problems not to be ignored.

Water infiltration: Runaway … (read more)

Blender injuries stir up more visits to the emergency room

Blender injuries stir up more visits to the emergency room

Earlier this week, the Consumer Reports TV crew was filming a segment on blenders, detailing the results of our recently updated Ratings of nearly 60 models. Our cameraman got too close to one of the blender blades and gave his thumb a pretty good gash. He’s not alone. More than 7,000 people were injured by blenders in 2011, based on emergency-room treated injuries reported to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The number has tripled in the last decade … (read more)

Gains in energy efficiency more than possible, report says

Gains in energy efficiency more than possible, report says

Energy efficiency awareness in the U.S. goes back at least to President Jimmy Carter in a cardigan sweater warning Americans of a global energy crisis back in 1977. In the decades since, much progress has been made, which could give the impression that we’re reaching the ends of our efficiency gains. But a report released this week finds that there are still significant savings to be had—many of which can be deployed on an individual level to lower household energy … (read more)

Zanussi QUADRO combi microwave creates more space

For those of us with smaller kitchens, this large, family sized 38 litre microwave oven from the new Zanussi QUADRO range will serve as both – a second oven and microwave so that we always have flexibility to cook more at the same time. The ZKC38310XK combi microwave is so versatile that it can be used as a traditional oven, a microwave to reheat food and as a combination microwave oven to cook food in half the time. The 1.0 kW combination microwave uses Thermaflow fan cooking to ensure that hot air spreads evenly … (read more)

Cooks covet extra counter space even more than cabinets

Cooks covet extra counter space even more than cabinets

When is the last time you heard somebody complain about having too much counter space or too many kitchen cabinets? Lack of space is why nearly 50 percent of homeowners say they keep frequently used kitchen items in other rooms—the food processor winds up in the laundry room, stockpots are stashed in the garage—according to the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence. If you have space, you can add an island but make sure the countertop you install can … (read more)