Got Water? The Complete Water Cooler Buyer’s Guide

What is a Water Cooler & Why Would You Need One?

We all know it’s true – we read about it in the news, feel the consequences when we don’t have enough, and reap the benefits when we’re fully hydrated – water is essential for our bodies to function. Apart from needing water to survive, maintaining hydration has many benefits which can improve your life on a daily basis.

Avanti Water Cooler

Consuming 8 ounces or more of water daily can help increase your energy, flush out toxins, improve complexion, maintain regular digestion, enhance the immune system, promote a healthy weight, and even relieve headaches.

Having a water dispensing system in your home, office, gym, or business has many benefits as well. They produce clear quality water, are convenient, encourage everyone to drink more, save money, eliminate waste and reduce your carbon footprint by using less bottled water. Some people may need a water cooler due to lack of sanitary drinking water while others may shop for a dispensing system out of water taste preference. Whatever the reason, here’s everything you’ll need to know to choose the best water cooler option for you.

What to Consider While Shopping for a Water Cooler

If your area is limited or you’re looking for a large capacity system with refrigeration for an office, there is a perfect option for your space. First in your search, it is important to understand the difference between a water cooler and a water dispenser. While both options technically dispense water, one uses electricity to cool the water as the other simply dispenses from the bottle. Additionally, here are a few other water cooler application types:
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FAQs: Built-In / Undercounter Ice Makers

Here at CompactAppliance, we know ice makers. We also know that as you look for that perfect match, you may have a few questions. We’re hoping to answer those questions even before you know what to ask.

Undercounter Ice Maker

Here are the most frequently asked questions we receive for undercounter ice makers, as well as their subsequent answers.

  1. Do I need a water line for my built-in ice maker?
  2. How do I install an undercounter ice maker?
  3. What type of ice do built-in ice machines make?
  4. What is the difference between ice production capacity and ice storage capacity?
  5. Do I need to use a water filter with my undercounter ice machine?
  6. Do I need a drain for my undercounter ice maker?
  7. What should I consider when shopping for an undercounter ice maker?
  8. How do I clean and maintain my undercounter ice maker?
  9. Should I use a gravity drain or a pump drain with my built-in ice maker?
  10. Can I use my undercounter ice maker in the garage?
  11. Do I need a special plug or dedicated power line to run my ice maker?

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BUYER’S GUIDE: Tankless Water Heaters

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless Water Heaters, often referred to as Instantaneous or Demand Water Heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed. Traditional storage water heaters produce standby energy losses that cost you money. We do not leave our homes heated while vacationing. We only heat our homes when there is a demand for heat. In the same way, a tankless water heater is used only when there is a demand for hot water.

How do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Tankless water heaters work by heating the water directly, without the use of a storage tank. Therefore, they avoid the standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit.
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How to Select the Right Size Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are rated by the maximum temperature rise possible at a given flow rate. Therefore, to size a demand water heater, you need to determine the flow rate and the temperature rise you’ll need for its application (whole house or a remote application, such as just a bathroom) in your home. It is important to note that you should never try and save money by undersizing your tankless water heater.
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Radiator Heaters 101: Your Complete Guide

In the spirit of the season, over the last few weeks we have been breaking down the pros and cons of different types of heaters that you may come across. The next heater on our list is the radiator heater, an old-fashioned way to keep your family warm.

Invented in the mid-1800s, the concept of radiator heaters has a long history of keeping people warm. Over the years, this type of heater has slowly evolved into the low-maintenance, energy-efficient heaters that we know today.

While it’s definitely not the most popular type of heater nowadays, it still works great at keeping you and your family warm. Let’s take a look at how a radiator heater works, the pros and cons of owning one, and whether it’s the right fit for you.
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Find the Perfect Ice Type for You

Whether you’re looking for the perfect companion for your cocktails, a new best friend for your blender or just something to chew on, the type of ice you use can make all the difference. From nugget ice to gourmet, each type has its own benefits and uses. When choosing an ice maker, be sure you take into account what you’re looking for in an ice commitment. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the most common ice types, their ideal uses, and our ice maker recommendations for each.

sonic iceNugget

Commonly referred to as “Sonic Ice”, this ice is well known for its soft and chewable texture and its ability to retain the flavor of any beverage it’s mixed with. Nugget ice is great for any foodservice establishment because it cools drinks rapidly and for a longer period of time without foaming or sticking together. This makes it the perfect choice for all beverage dispensers as well as those who love to chew ice. It is sure to enhance the enjoyment of any and all fountain drinks. Our favorite nugget ice maker is the Ice-O-Matic 85 lb. Nugget Ice Machine.

Ideal for: Carbonated Beverages • Blended Cocktails • Salad Bars • Produce Displays • Therapeutic Uses – Health Care

Flakers

Similar to the ice found in snow cones, flake ice is most commonly used in food and beverage displays. Flake ice is ideal for the presentation and preservation of seafood, produce and other perishable food items. It extends the food’s shelf life and appearance by maintaining hydration for longer and more consistently, which makes for a fresh display that will help increase sales. Flake ice is also perfect for use in bakeries, perishable food transport and various healthcare applications. For perfectly flaky ice, try the Great Northern Ice Cube Shaver.

Ideal for: Produce, Seafood, Meat Displays • Blended Cocktails • Salad Bars • Therapeutic Uses – Health Care

Bullet Ice

Bullet ice, perhaps the most versatile ice available, is round and hollow in the middle. This is the type of ice typically found in portable ice makers and can be used for everyday ice needs,bullet ice such as cocktails or iced tea. For bullet ice in an attractive countertop machine, try the award-winning EdgeStar Portable Stainless Steel Ice Maker.

Cubers

Cube ice, the most common and recognizable ice form, is available in two sizes, allowing you to choose the size that best fits your customers’ needs. Cube ice is perfect ice for any occasion and compliments all of your favorite beverages by both cooling your drink and preserving its flavors. This style of ice is most popular in restaurants, bars and convenience stores. Our best-selling cube ice maker is the EdgeStar Undercounter Clear Ice Maker.

Ideal for: Mixed drinks • Carbonated Beverages • Ice Dispensing • Ice Displays • Ice Retailing • Banquet Services

  • Full Cube ice cubes melt slowly and cool beverages quickly, making them ideal for usage in beverages and food services. These are also ideal for large-volume applications like bagging and bulk cooling.
  • Half Cube ice is half the size of a traditional full cube and is shaped like a pat of butter. Their easy-to-handle size makes them perfect for blending drinks with a smooth finish. Because of its size it dispenses very easily, making it a perfect choice for self-service dispensing machines, as well.
full size ice cube

Full Ice Cube

half cube ice

Half Ice Cube

 

half-moon ice

Crescent Ice
Crescent Ice is shaped like a half-moon and moves freely in any liquid without packing together. Its unique shape allows for excellent displacement and allows liquid to flow over it more easily, so there’s no messy splashing and less waste. For a fabulous crescent ice maker, we recommend the EdgeStar Built-In Ice Maker in stainless steel & black

gourmet iceGourmet Ice

Uniquely shaped, crystal clear, slow melting and odorless, gourmet ice won’t dilute the flavor of drinks. Gourmet Ice is known for its high quality and is comprised entirely of water. Gourmet Ice adds an elegant touch to beverages and ensures your cocktails won’t be tainted by melted ice. Gourmet ice is ideal for enjoying your favorite whiskey or concocting the perfect old fashioned. The Scotsman Gourmet Ice Machine is one of the most attractive gourmet ice makers on the market.

Ideal for: Bar Use • Upscale Restaurants • Waitress Stations • Banquet Service

 

What is a Halogen Oven?

Morningware Infrared Halogen Oven

I think everyone who knows me, knows that I am not a cook. I don’t enjoy cooking and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m terrible at it.

When I saw this halogen oven from Morningware at the Housewares Show a few years ago, I was intrigued mostly because I had never seen anything that looked like it before. When we stopped at the booth to learn about this product, I knew it was something we had to add to our website. I also knew it was something I had to have for myself.

The convenience of this oven is amazing! It cooks 50% faster than traditional ovens and can heat up to 400 degrees without pre-heating. It uses convection, conduction, halogen and infrared technology to cook. You don’t even have to defrost your meat, you can put it in frozen and it will cook in about 30 minutes!

The Morningware oven also comes with a cooking chart so you’ll never have to guess how long your different meats and vegetables need to be in the oven. It’s so fast and easy that even I can cook using this!

Immersion Blender Recipe: Garlic Mashed Fauxtatoes

Immersion Blenders

Immersion blenders are a product that I have recently fallen in love with. They just take the hassle out of blending. In a previous life, I would often burn myself while I was trying to transfer whatever hot mixture I was cooking up into the blender while making soups. And it never failed that I would splatter ingredients all over my kitchen and my shirt while I was trying to use a hand mixer to whip up some mashed potatoes. Then, one glorious day, I came across an immersion blender (also known as a stick mixer) and I have not looked back since.

Now, when I am cooking soups or whipping up mashed potatoes, I just get out my immersion blender and stick it right in the pot that I have been cooking the ingredients in, flip the switch and that’s it. It makes for less mess which means less clean up and less time.

The latest thing I have been whipping up with my immersion blender is No Potato Garlic Mashed “Fauxtatoes.”

No Potato Garlic Mashed “Fauxtatoes”

Ingredients

1 Head of cauliflower
2-3 Tablespoons of sour cream
3-4 Laughing cow cheese wedges
3-4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Teaspoons coarse ground pepper
Salt to taste

Directions

1. Steam the cauliflower and drain water from the pan.
2. Add all other ingredients to pan with cauliflower.
3. Take an immersion blender and blend until desired consistency. (I enjoy my “fauxtatoes” smooth, so I blend until there are no chunks left.)
4. Enjoy!

What recipes do you make with an immersion blender?

Who Says There is No Room for a Kitchen?

tiny kitchen

Are you living in a space that doesn’t come equipped with a kitchen but you would spend a lot less money if you could just cook from home?  Are you converting a portion of your home into an apartment or other living area but just don’t know how to equip the space with a kitchen without spending an arm and a leg?

In this day and age people have all different kinds of living arrangements that don’t necessarily cater to the typical idea of a kitchen; however, if you equip your space with the following items, you will be cooking in no time.

Let us know in the comments how you save space in your small (or large) kitchen!

 

Saving Space with Multi-Function Cookers

Kalorik 3-in-1 Breakfast Maker

Who wants a cluttered kitchen? It seems everyone I talk to is complaining about the lack of counter and/or storage space that they have in their kitchen. There are so many different appliances out there and they are great until you realize you don’t have a place to put them in your kitchen. Many manufacturers have become aware of this struggle and have answered with the multi-function cooker.

Multi-function cookers come in many different varieties from the breakfast makers that include a coffee maker, griddle and toaster all-in-one to the toaster ovens with burners on top. Though they come in many different varieties, one thing holds true with all of them: They save space. What was once 2, 3 or even 4 separate appliances is now in a single appliance. Isn’t technology grand?

Check out our multi-function cookers:

Sunpentown 3-in-1 Breakfast Maker   Nostalgia Electrics Breakfast Toaster   Kalorik 3-in-1 Mini Toaster Oven with Coffee Maker and Griddle   Avanti Multi-Function Countertop Oven