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AHAM Members at CES 2016

AHAM members will be out in force to reveal their latest innovations at CES 2016 this week in Las Vegas. Connected and smart appliances will have a prominent place in this year’s show, and AHAM staff will be on hand, visiting with members and highlighting the latest trends.

A day before the official opening of the show, appliances are already grabbing media attention. Major appliances drawing some of the early buzz include are refrigerators that send shopping lists straight to your phone, washers and dryers that can order more detergent when supplies run low, and ovens that can be controlled via smartphone. We’re also hearing about innovations in the portable and floor care spaces, including a robotic vacuum that allows the owner to check on its work via video.

Throughout January, AHAM will be focusing on the growing trend of connected appliances and the potential it has to introduce consumers to new levels of convenience and efficiency.

Want to keep up on the action at CES 2016? Follow AHAM on twitter @AHAM_voice for ongoing updates from the CES exhibit hall.

Stainless Steel Continues to Grow in Popularity

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If you’ve been shopping for appliances lately, seen a home improvement program or browsed a design magazine, you’ve probably noticed a lot of appliances with stainless steel finishes. There’s a simple explanation for that: it’s become the most popular finish for the “core?? kitchen appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers and ranges). Ten years ago only 20% of core appliances had stainless steel finish but by 2014 that number had grown to 49%! Stainless is also a popular finish for vent hoods, microwaves and even portable appliances such as coffeemakers and toasters.

What used to be a finish reserved for mostly higher-end models now extends to more budget-conscious  models. Many consumers are attracted to the finish’s sleek, contemporary appearance, especially those of us who grew up in a time when every kitchen we stepped into had appliances that were white, beige or even avocado green or harvest gold!

For someone who is thinking about redesigning their kitchen or simply replacing their existing appliances, the appliance’s finish is one of the top concerns. Some questions to consider include “How will stainless steel integrate with my current or new cabinets???, “How can I avoid having a cold, industrial look in my kitchen??? and “How easy is stainless steel to keep clean??? AHAM has assembled a few resources to help you. HGTV has some suggestions from designers on how consumers can take advantage of the benefits of stainless steel and other materials:

You can soften the cold shine of stainless with granite and ceramic, says Karen Sciascia, designer for A Matter of Style in Cheshire, Conn. In a traditional or contemporary kitchen design, Karen favors cream-colored granite counters to offset the cold shine of stainless appliances. “The mica in the stone really picks up the soft gray color in the stainless,” she says.

Read the complete article here. SFGate also has some tips on what colors blend well with stainless. Finally, Bob Villa tells you how to keep those new stainless steel appliances looking like they just came out of the showroom.

What is induction?

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If you’ve shopped for a new range or cooktop recently, you may have seen some are induction. Although induction has been around for quite a while, it’s only recently started to catch on as home chefs look for an alternative to electric burners. In fact, 15 percent of electric cooktops shipped last year included an induction burner! This is a three percent increase from 2013.

So what is induction and how does it work? An induction burner looks very much like an electric smoothtop burner and is heated using an electromagnetic field whereas a conventional electric burner uses radiant heat. Unlike cooking with a conventional electric burner, induction burners only transfer heat to magnetized pans so you could place a chocolate bar directly on an induction burner without it melting! Therefore, you’ll need to make sure your cookware is induction-capable and you can do this by simply holding a magnet to the underside of the pan or pot. Additionally, induction is also highly energy efficient since heat is only transferred directly to the pan

If induction has piqued your interest, you can learn more  through any manufacturer’s website or, CNET’s website has additional information behind the science of induction. Lastly, several years ago The New York Times published a detailed article about the pros and cons of induction.