WHEELING - Modern technology in household appliances is focused on doing things faster and better and with less energy consumption.
Sara Davis, manager at the Sears Hometown Store, located at The Highlands, said innovative features are available in laundry machines, refrigerators, ranges and microwaves.
"We are now seeing washers and dryers with the largest capacities available without going to a laundromat," she said.
She said laundry machines now have timers allowing the user to determine cycle times.
"They are great for people who may not have time to wait for a full wash/dry cycle," Davis said.
She said some front-loading washers can accommodate comforters and other bulky bedding.
"We also have units with steam cycles, eliminating a need to pre-treat stains," Davis said. "They include a sanitize cycle that eliminates 99.9 percent of bacteria without harsh chemicals."
Some new dryers, she said, have steam technology that reduces the need for ironing. They also have sensors to stop the units when clothes are dry.
According to Davis, freestanding electric ranges offer convection technology to lessen cooking time, with dual fans circulating heat evenly throughout the unit to ensure uniform cooking. Other range features include a 5-element cooktop with triple-element warming zones and a turbo boil flex system that brings water to a boil more quickly. "Over the range" convection microwave ovens offer the ability to do everything from heating food to making cookies or roasts.
"They have a special 'evenness plate' that works together with the unique diamond-patterned back wall to enhance the distribution of microwave energy throughout the oven," Davis said.
Leading the way in refrigeration are the new "Grab-N-Go" French door bottom freezer units. Davis said the unit has a door within a door to allow easy access to often-used items and an in-door ice maker that frees up more fresh food storage area. "They also have split, adjustable shelving and LED lighting that are brighter and more energy-efficient than standard light bulbs," she said.
The Sears Hometown Store is a franchise business owned by Eric and Lisa Jack of Wheeling. The store offers a complete line of Kenmore and other quality products.