Out with the old, in with the new — appliances

A New Year turned into new appliances for my family – some planned and (of course) one big one unplanned. New to our household for 2013 are:

Black & Decker Toaster OvenA toaster oven. Our old toaster oven was white, stuck out like a sore thumb in our kitchen, was 20+ years old and had all of the numbers on the dials worn off. To replace it, I purchased the Black & Decker TRO480 Toaster Oven, regularly $49.99 at Macy’s for a Black Friday price of $19.99. So far, it’s nice to be able to see the numbers of the oven settings instead of guessing, and I love using a toaster oven to warm up a small snack for the kids, leftover pizza or toasting a bagel. Hoover Pet Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner. For my wedding 11 years ago, my aunt gave me her used Kirby because she had purchased a new one. I don’t know how long she had it before me, and it came with a huge box of attachments that we may have tried once and then kept in a closet. However, after many years of use, the front cracked and was being held together by duct tape so none of the funky stuff from the carpets would shoot back out. I replaced it with the Hoover Pet WindTunnel T-Series HEPA Bagged Upright Vacuum. Do you know how hard it is to find a vacuum cleaner with a bag? I tried a bagless once and I hate cleaning out the chamber – it seems like you can never get all of the dog hair out. I prefer the bag type but they are getting harder to find. I’ve only used it once and my only complaint is that the lever on the side will push down and then pop up to get wedged under a bed or a coach. I’ll need to make sure I vacuum near those things in the other direction with the lever on the outside.

Keurig Special EditionA coffee maker. We have some funky coffee at work and many people there have a coffee pot in their office. I bought the Keurig B60 Coffee Maker on Black Friday but have not taken it out of the box yet. Should I keep it for home and take my current pot-type to work or vice versa? I drink coffee during the week at work and weekends at home. Still deciding on this one but wanted to try a Keurig to reduce waste. Amana Distinctions Furnace

And finally, the major unplanned appliance was a new furnace. We came home from our Florida work/vacation trip the first week in January to find our house at 40 degrees – when we had set the thermostat at 60. Fortunately, the furnace was out but no pipes burst and we had no major damage – except to our bank account. We ended up with a shiny new Amana Distinctions furnace that is 96.1% efficient. The good news is, it comes with a Federal tax credit and a rebate from our electric provider. Not enough to make me want to buy more furnaces but I’m glad to have some money coming back to us eventually.

One thing that I’ve never thought about until it changed was how a furnace makes your house sound. With a new furnace, the house sounds are slightly different. When all is quiet, new noises, however normal, still sound different.

So that’s what’s new in our household for 2013.

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