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The GE Cafe Series refrigerator now with a built-in Keurig brewer.

Even people who don’t love to cook seem to get excited about high-tech kitchen appliances. Combine that with people who love coffee, and I’m pretty sure that covers nearly the entire population. Or at least all of us geeks here. If you count yourself among us, you’ll be interested to know that GE and Keurig have teamed up to release a first-of-its-kind refrigerator with a single-serve brewing system built right into the door.

Crazy, right?

The new GE Cafe French door refrigerator is an evolution of a previous model with a hot water dispenser built in. I love the idea of being able to make hot drinks on demand, since I’m not a hot water with lemon kind of girl.  Apparently, GE Cafe fridge owners felt the same: Their repeated requests to turn the hot water dispenser into a tea or coffee dispenser inspired the partnership between GE and Keurig.

 

While I haven’t tried the fridge myself yet, I have to admit that my first thoughts as a parent went right to safety. I kept imagining that my little one would burn himself and my older son would have wayyyyy too easy access to hot chocolate. However given the hot water dispenser in the existing model, I’m going to guess that scalded little hands haven’t been a major issue. But if you’re seriously considering this fridge, I’d definitely look into child safety features. The lock control button on the console seems like a good indicator that GE has looked into it too.

As for having hot chocolate on tap, Willie Wonka style, you might want pretend those Swiss Miss K-Cups don’t exist; at least if you want the Keurig to be all about your morning joe.

The next question I had was about the waste factor of K-Cups in general, since I’m new to that world. If you didn’t know (I didn’t!), K-Cup pods are not recyclable through municipality programs, and Keurig doesn’t currently offer their own recycle program–though they do say that they are working on one. Which makes sense considering how huge the market is.

In the meantime, our editor Liz found these awesome refillable Ekobrew cups that work with some K-Cup brewers. There are also biodegradable coffee pods from San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee. I’m really hoping either of these options will be compatible with this fridge’s Keurig brewer, since I know how much busy families all love our kitchen time-savers, and we’re sometimes willing to turn a blind eye to the eco trade-offs of our choices. So whatever GE can do to help us on that front would be great.

 

 

REPAIRING A REFRIGERATOR

A refrigerator is one of the few appliances in your home that runs continuously, day or night, keeping your food cold. If you consider how hard a refrigerator has to work, it is actually quite amazing that they break down so infrequently. On the rare occasion your refrigerator does stop working, you may face a high repair bill and the expense of replacing all your lost food. Have no fear! This article is here to tell you everything you need to know about repairing your refrigerator and freezer yourself. You might be surprised to learn that repairs are actually quite easy, requiring only a little knowledge about the appliance and a little patience. Let’s get started with some basic information.

Refrigerators and freezers consist of two basic components: a condenser coil and an evaporator coil. A liquid coolant is circulated through these coils by a compressor and a motor. The refrigerant liquid is cooled in the condenser; it then flows to the evaporator. At the evaporator, the air in the unit is cooled by contact with the liquid-filled coil. The condenser of a refrigerator or freezer is the coil on the outside of the unit; the evaporator is the coil on the inside. The coolant is circulated through the system by a compressor.

Most refrigerators and freezers are frost-free. In this type of unit, a heater is automatically turned on by a timer in order to melt the frost inside the unit. Frost is melted by the heater at several different spots in the unit, starting with the coldest and most frosted areas. When the frost is completely melted, the thermostat automatically switches to a cooling cycle in order to maintain the standard freezing temperature. Because this process is automatic, frost does not build up inside the box.

The unit’s compressor system, which forces the coolant through the coil system, is driven by a capacitor-type motor. Other basic parts of the cooling/defrosting system include switches, thermostats, heaters, condensers, and

fans. A do-it-yourselfer can test and replace many of these refrigerator components. However, there are exceptions, as explained later, that are best left to a professional repair person.

Caution: Before doing any work on a refrigerator or freezer, make sure it’s unplugged. After unplugging the unit, check to see if the motor/compressor has a capacitor; this component is located in a housing on the top of the motor. Capacitors store electricity, even when the power to the unit is turned off. Before you do any work on a capacitor-type refrigerator or freezer, you must discharge the capacitor, or you could receive a severe shock.

 

Call Absolute Appliance Repair NOW if you have any problems with your refrigerator!

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