Posts Tagged ‘refrigerator’

MN residents: You can get WI stimulus money — now!

January 5, 2010

"Wisconsin Welcomes You"...to get our state stimulus money!

It seems strange, but stick with me here. If you are a Minnesota resident with a second home or cabin in Wisconsin, you also qualify for Wisconsin’s appliance stimulus rebate for appliances you purchase for that property.

Call our Woodbury store at (651)714-9790 to order. We deliver free to Hudson with a $499 purchase and to several other Wisconsin cities for $49.95. Other deliveries can be negotiated, and we ship appliances nationwide.

Wisconsin’s program began Jan. 1. Here are the details of the program, as they differ greatly from Minnesota’s program (which doesn’t start until probably March 1):

  • With mail-in application, rebates available on Energy Star-rated
  • Limited amount of rebates available on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Purchases cannot be made before Jan. 1
  • Applications must be submitted with proof of purchase within 30 days
  • Unlike in MN, rebates aren’t limited to one per household
    • Additional rebates government/utility co. rebates can be found at http://www.dsireusa.org (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency)
  • Refrigerators and freezers must be recycled to qualify for a rebate (many utility companies have programs instituted for appliance recycling)
  • Rebates only offered on existing homes, not new construction

If the program runs out of money before February 2012 (I would be shocked if it didn’t), Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy — which is administering the program — will announce a new end date. From its website: “All qualified purchases made prior to the program end date and submitted within the required time frame will receive a Cash-Back Reward.” Allow 6-8 days to receive a check.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jason-riedy/ / CC BY 2.0

Minnesota’s appliance stimulus rebate program approved

December 15, 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy finally approved Minnesota’s “Trade In & Save Appliance Program” (aka Dollars for Dishwashers, Cash for Appliances, etc.) with a target start date of March 10, 2010.

Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the program will offer approximately 25,000 rebates for consumers who buy an Energy Star-rated replacement for the following appliances:

Energy Star appliances use 20 percent less energy than the standard model. As shown above, refrigerators and freezers must be recycled to receive the full rebate amount. The reason for this is to encourage consumers to take these energy-suckers completely off the grid, rather than using them as spares or selling them. A fridge purchased in the 1990s carries more than double the energy costs of a new Energy Star model.

Warners’ Stellian recycles (and delivers) appliances for free with minimum purchase ($499).

Rebates are limited to one per household and cannot be applied to previous purchases. Check the Energy Star Web site and the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for additional rebates.

Don’t overlook the money saved by replacing sooner. A refrigerator, washer and dishwasher bought in the ’90s cost $207 more per year in utility costs than current, energy-efficient models.

Warners’ Stellian has officially partnered with the state Office of Energy Security to offer in-kind services that help keep administrative costs down to ensure the maximum amount of rebates for the approximately $5 million our state will receive.

Sign up for our “Cash for Appliances” e-mail list and we’ll keep you informed of the latest state and federal news about the rebate program.

To sign up, simply e-mail me at stimulus@warnersstellian.com with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

10 tips for making the most of your kitchen on Thanksgiving

November 24, 2009
Thanksgiving cooking can be confusing. Especially for those who don’t cook often*. Here are some ways to use what you already have to make the day go a little smoother.

1. Calibrate your oven

Your oven’s temperature could be off, causing you to over- or undercook. If you still have it, check your manual for specific instructions on making sure that your oven’s 350 degrees is really 350 degrees.

EHow’s guide “How to Calibrate an Oven” is also good if you ditched your literature.

Use all three racks without rotating.

2. Load up your oven with convection baking

Many people buy a convection oven with holiday cooking in mind, and then forget to use it! If you have true convection or settings that allow multi-rack cooking (the bake and broil element shut off after the preheat), you can put a dish on each rack without having to rotate them.

Just remember to set the temperature 25 degrees below what’s recommended for normal baking.

3. Use convection — in your microwave

If you have a convection microwave, you have a second oven. The 25-degrees-below-normal-bake-temp rule applies here, too.

4. Think beyond popcorn

Many microwaves come with a sensor you can use to automatically adjust cooking power and temperature based on the amount of moisture in the food. Try it on meat, potatoes and vegetables to save time and ensure a perfect dish. Again, check your manual for instructions of how to use your model’s specific features.

Allow 24 hours for an icemaker to refill.

5. Make extra ice

Empty out your icemaker bin into a large, plastic bag and keep it in the freezer 24 hours before your guests arrive. By the time they do, you’ll have a bin full of ice and a cheap refill once that’s gone.

6. Turn on the oven light

The temptation to open the oven and check on your goodies is high, but the temperature won’t be if you do. The oven temperature can drop 25 degrees in just seconds, increasing cooking times and wasting energy. So keep that door shut, already!

7. Remember that meat probe? How ’bout that warming drawer?

Hopefully just reading this jogs the memory of that stuff you have but never remember to use. Many ranges now come with metal probes to stick into a turkey or ham to monitor the temperature, which should hit 180 degrees.

(Note: The probes usually come packaged next to the manual, so they’re probably waiting for you in that same junk drawer filing system where you left them.)

And, are you sure that drawer under the oven you use to store pots is only for storage? Some range models include warming drawers, which work great to keep early bird guests’ dishes ready while you finish up the bird.

8. Match pots and pans to burners

Having a tiny pot on a large burner wastes energy and a big post on a tiny burner slows cooking time. Cook smart on the stovetop to shorten cooking times and save energy/money.

For those who "only know how to grill" comes a way to contribute to holiday cooking. (Ha!)

9. Fire up the grill

Grilled turkey tastes great and frees up your oven for everything else. Get creative and use your grill for potatoes, biscuits and pie — and I can vouch for the deliciousness of pie made on the grill.

(Bonus tip: We all know those who don’t cook, but only grill. Now there’s no excuse to not help!)

10. Adjust your refrigerator’s shelves

Remember that shelves can be moved up and down to fit tall items like 2-liter bottles and frozen turkeys. And consider making a short shelf for platters that can’t be stacked. That way you won’t be wasting all that space above the trays.

I’d love to hear more tips if you have them. I just really like the number 10.

*Nearly 4 out of 10 say they use their oven only once a week or less throughout the year, according to a poll of about 1,100 Angie’s List members.

DAJTNVKMETZH

A visit to the Idea Farm

November 20, 2009

This Tuesday I had the pleasure of touring architect/builder/remodeler Peter Vujovich‘s Idea Farm in Afton.

A view of the Idea Farm's kitchen

Peter built the Idea Farm — his home — to combine sophisticated architecture with global responsibility. He achieved the highest rating from green building standard and certification program MN Greenstar, but explained to me that he wanted to achieve that Gold Star rating in ways more accessible than just buying solar panels and a gray water recirculating system.

Can you believe that his energy bill is only $300 — for the entire YEAR? And I wish you could see the grounds, because although Peter and his wife, Jill, only finished the house some months ago, the landscape and the age of the trees — which were simply “moved” to accommodate the construction — would indicate that this house has been around forever.

I was absolutely blown away by the simple and smart design of the Idea Farm, but you have to see it to understand. So here’s a video clip from the “Blueprint for Green” interview with Peter and Jill.

(BTW, on an appliance geek note: I was so excited to see that Peter had a Liebherr BioFresh refrigerator, because it’s the perfect pick for him. Not only is it the leanest, greenest fridge, BioFresh stretches the life of his homegrown produce weeks past what a normal fridge could.

This is especially helpful to him because when a certain crop is ready to pick, there’s just a massive influx. So, he is able to stretch that harvest unfrozen over about four weeks.)

Other highlights: petting the horses, hearing Peter recount his moments earlier 5-mile bike race against a horse — seriously,  eating his homemade pickles, my co-worker taking home a pumpkin for Thanksgiving pie, finding out that Peter generally showers outdoors (probably through December, he guesses) or inside (with his plants, which sit on shelves in the shower), the laundry basket that slides through a hole in the wall from his bedroom to his laundry room. The last item, I’m seriously obsessed with — so smart.

Want Dollars for Dishwashers?

November 17, 2009

Though it lacks a pithy catchall like Cash for Clunkers, the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program — or Cash for Appliances as I like to call it — is close to being approved for the state of Minnesota.

Administered by the state Department of Energy Security, the program likely will offer one rebate per household while supplies last of $100-$200 for the purchase of a qualifying appliance beginning around March 2010 (or later; it was first expected to begin this fall!)

Qualifying appliances mean Energy Star-rated models of refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dishwashers. So waiting until March to replace your stove, microwave or dryer is NOT smart. Though, neither is waiting in general.

You’re thinking, “I bought my kitchen only 12 (or something) years ago. It can’t be that bad!”

Consider this: A refrigerator, washer and dishwasher bought in the 1990s cost an average $207 more per year in utility costs than current, energy-efficient models.

A washer purchased in this decade still costs an average of nearly 3x more to run than a 2009 Energy Star model.

So in the months waiting, you’re actually spending more money, not saving it.

Brands like Frigidaire are offering up to $150 in Energy Star rebates, which end in November. And many utility companies already offer incentives to replace your appliances with Energy Star models. For example, Shakopee Public Utilities offers $60 to replace a dishwasher and $65 for refrigerators, freezers and washers.

$150 + $60 + ($65 x 3) = $405 in rebates.

See DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) for a full list of residential incentives.

The state was granted about $5 million from the federal government for the program, and about $400,000 of that will be used towards administration, such as rebate processing. So only an estimated 25,000 rebates will be available.

Warners’ Stellian and other retailers were asked to commit our own in-kind funds for serivices like consumer education, which is exactly what you see going on here.

If you’d like to receive news alerts related to the Cash for Appliances program, e-mail stimulus@warnersstellian.com with the subject SUBSCRIBE.

Friday Caption Contest

November 13, 2009

The Appliancist blog outdid itself by using this beauty to feature a Daewoo refrigerator with black mirror doors.

I have so many ideas, New Yorker-style, for this full-of-potential blank canvas. But you all are so much more clever…

daewoo-refrigerator-frs-t20fam

appliancist.com

Please add your caption in the comments. If responses are good enough, I might have to supply a prize.

Would you paint your appliances?

October 5, 2009

Anyone who follows Warners’ Stellian on Twitter knows that I have a slight obsession with DIY projects. So many of our customers are in the middle of their own DIY remodels and as a hopefully soon-to-be homeowner, I plan to pump a lot of sweat equity into my investment too — especially the kitchen.

While I consider myself open-minded — and certainly cheap enough — but perhaps not adventurous enough to try an idea from “This Old House”: Update an old fridge with a faux stainless steel finish.

I downloaded some before and after shots from the company that makes the paint, Thomas’ Liquid Stainless Steel:

rangeb4 rangeafter

The idea is innovative, and some people seem to really dig the idea, but all I can think of good intentions gone wrong.

Sure, $56 a can is palatable for most anyone, but the paint seems better suited for smaller projects. A white, black or bisque fridge generally carries a textured finish, which will never match the look of a contemporary stainless steel refrigerator. (Don’t know what I mean? Watch them paint a textured fridge in the promotional video.)

I’d love to see pictures if anyone has painted or knows someone who has painted appliances — with or without success.


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