Appliance designers work very hard to make user's lives more pleasant. You can notice it yourself by going around to a large appliance department store. Sometimes, new technologies and functions will be eye-catching, other times you will have to talk with the salesperson to notice them. One thing is certain: if you haven't purchased appliances in the past years, you will see that manufacturers offer a wide variety of added values to their appliances. While certain additions are just for show to give you the impression of buying the latest fully equipped model, others can truly be useful. You just have to be sensitive about your own needs to know it.
My personal trick is to evaluate if the options will be useful to me is to pay a particular attention to my habits and movements for a few days before my excursion to the stores. For example, if I want to purchase a refrigerator, I will take notes (mental ones of course) as to what bothers me, what is cumbersome, what slows me down during tasks, or even what I like about my current refrigerator, what I wouldn't change for anything in the world. I also observe the way in which foods are "naturally" stored every day, what type of staple I find there the most frequently, how I lose or win in storing space, if I need more freezer or refrigerator space, etc. Then, I think about what would be susceptible to changing my daily experience, to ease its maintenance, optimise the storing, etc. And finally, because I am not alone using this appliance and that we don't all have the same preoccupations, I observe and question the other members of the family in order to know what would be most likely to improve their satisfaction. For example, would they drink more water if there was an integrated water fountain? Would they eat more fruit and vegetables if they were more visible, more accessible? Etc.
To help you visualise a few novelties that could improve your everyday life, here are some examples of new functions that have retained my attention during my last shopping spree...
The interior fresh water fountain
Firstly, because drinking a good quantity of water every day is very beneficial to your health my first glance was at the interior fresh water fountain. Much more practical than buying jugs at the market, this is the perfect solution to always have very cold filtered water at your fingertips and to save storing space. Moreover, if you are like me and appreciate a design with simple lines, you will be delighted to see it disappears when closing the refrigerator door. The exterior models can unfortunately contribute to making your refrigerator go out of fashion quickly. I opt for durability! And as for the maintenance, you will only have to change the filter about once a year and that does the trick!
You can find this type of water distributor in manufacturer's models such as Jenn-Air (JFC2089HES), Kitchen Aid (KBFS25EVMS00) and Viking (VCFF036SS).
Removable compartment bottoms
What is more unpleasant that having to scrub dried condiment drippings in inaccessible places such as the compartment bottoms in the door of the fridge? Well you can thank a few manufacturers who have looked into this recurrent cleaning problem. They have equipped their new models with removable rubber bottoms that go to the dishwasher. With their soft cold colours (such as blue and grey), these pieces will replace temporary paper towels that gave a messy look to your kitchen which was actually really clean.
You can find them in models from the Amana brand (ABR2227FES) and Frigidaire (6LHS37EHSB6).
Cool zone for cold drinks
Each time you open the refrigerator door, the hot air that comes in deteriorates your food and drinks. Unfortunately, it is a reality that is hard to change and persists even more during the summer. However, because foods that are touched by this the most often are the ones in the door, some manufacturers have created tempered zones. The functioning is very simple and efficient: it is a small trap of tempered air that is directly directed into a closed compartment of the door. It is perfect to put drinks that are served very cold. And the most wonderful thing in all of that is that you won't change the temperature in the rest of the fridge. In other words, you are the master of this zone. So go ahead and make that Perrier frost if you feel like it, the salad won't hold it against you!
You can find the "chiller control" zone for drinks in certain Maytag models (such as MF12266AES and MFI2569VEM).
The levitation of the milk
Then, if this optimises a space usually lost in the refrigerator, I like the idea of suspending milk bags under one of the glass shelves. Moreover, placed on this support, they are more visible so you can have a more regulated control of the stock management. The function can also be interesting for those who prefer putting cans there, because the width of each furrow is adapted to greet them in a horizontal position.
You can find this type of support under various forms from a refrigerator model to the other. However, this grill model that I found in a GE Profile is interesting because contrarily to the plastic model, its metal stems seem more robust and let the light shine through. Moreover, thanks to an efficient rail system, it is possible to withdraw the support to have a better access to its contents. So there won't be any more excuses for being messy...