Appliance Shopping Tips for National Salesperson Day

National Salesperson Day, celebrated on the second Friday in December, honors the salesperson and his or her dedication to their craft. Warners’ Stellian is lucky enough to employ more than 150 knowledgeable sales associates across our 10 retail locations. That’s some serious appliance know- how! Today we celebrate them and everything they do to make purchasing that new dream kitchen or laundry set as pain-free as possible.

Hear from some of our all-stars on tips and tricks they’ve learned over the years that will help you help us in your appliance search.

Buying a Top-Load Washer

Anita Gunderson at our Coon Rapids location recommends the reach-test when buying a new top-load washer.

“Be sure to practice reaching to the bottom of the drum. The newer machines have a much larger capacity, but that comes with a longer reach to the bottom. Think of the people in your family who will be using the machine and give them a ‘reach-test’ at one of our stores.”

Measuring for New Appliances

Just like Santa Claus, make your (measurement) list, and check it twice! Here’s what Shakopee  Appliance Specialist Jerome Strother has to say.

“Dimensions are always key when picking out new or replacing units. Even with direct replacement units, there can be small differences that make all the difference in the world. If you are remodeling or it is a new build, knowing the correct sizing can help us guide you in the direction of the kitchen of your dreams.”

Use our planning guides to measure for household appliances. Or if you prefer, Warners’ Stellian offers an in-home premeasuring service for $75.

Buying a Dryer

a standard outlet versus a pronged outlet

South Minneapolis Store Manager Kendre Niles says make sure you verify whether you need a gas or electric dryer. Guessing could cost you time and money. 

A gas dryer uses a standard 110V/120V outlet, whereas an electric dryer uses a larger outlet with three or four prongs.

Want more appliance shopping tips? Our Appliance Specialists love sharing their vast appliance knowledge with customers. Stop by one of our appliance stores to get your questions answered. And don’t forget to thank the sales associates while you’re at it!

Share your best appliance shopping tips in the comments section below.

How To Improve Indoor Air Quality This Winter

Dreaming of a warmer spring day with the windows wide open? Yeah, well keep dreaming. Winter is coming, and for Minnesotans that means a few long months until we fling open our windows again to welcome the fresh spring air. In the meantime, our houses remain sealed tight, keeping the cold out and the stale indoor air, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores and other winter allergens sealed in. Sound like something you’ve sneezed about in the past? We’re here to make it easy breezy to improve your indoor air quality at home while we wait for spring.

Change Your Air Filter

The first line of defense for good air quality in your home is a clean air filter! Check your owners’ manual for advice and directions on changing your air filter. Some should be changed every 6 months, others more frequently depending on your home environment. To ensure your HVAC system is firing on all cylinders, schedule a furnace tuneup.

READ MORE: Fall Furnace Maintenance Checklist

Add Some Humidity

Dry winter air, which is exacerbated by your furnace, can cause chapped lips, scaly skin and sore throats. The ideal in-home humidity level is approximately 45 percent. Adjust your humidity levels accordingly with a moisture or humidity gauge. To increase humidity, use a vaporizer or humidifier. Or you can add humidity to the air naturally by placing vessels of water on radiators or near vents.

Invest in Houseplants

kitchen with Thermador appliances

Image via Thermador

Clear the air of indoor pollutants using houseplants. Studies show that houseplants can filter VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air, helping you breathe easier. If you can keep them alive, this list of plants helps purify the air of common indoor pollutants that come from our carpeting, paints and cleaning products.

Vacuum on a Regular Basis

Invest in a quality vacuum that uses a HEPA filter. Dust/dust mites, pollen and chemicals trapped in your carpet can be sneaky culprits causing you to cough and sneeze. Check out our vacuum cleaner buying guide to see which vacuum at Warners’ Stellian is right for you!

When Americans spend on average 90% of their time indoors, especially in winter, improving indoor air quality conditions proves to be a worthwhile cause. Breathe easier and sneeze less this winter with the tips above.

What advice do you have for improving indoor air quality? Share it in the comments section below.

Featured image via Rheem

Kitchen Appliance Finish Trends to Consider

When remodeling the heart of the home, consumers spend much of their time choosing cabinetry, flooring, and backsplash options. But the appliance finish can also make or break the look of the kitchen. From statement colors or matte finishes to black stainless steel, finish options continue to expand, allowing homeowners to outfit their kitchen in appliances that perfectly complement their overall aesthetic and needs. If you need help choosing an appliance finish, consider the following trends our sales team is seeing.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel remains a top seller for nearly all brands. And it’s no surprise why; the shiny finish blends with almost any style. In addition, stainless steel mimics commercial kitchens, offering a clean, crisp and professional look.

Image credit: Frigidaire

Black Stainless Steel

Black is the new stainless. At least it seems that way. More and more consumers opt for black stainless steel. Andy Lindus, COO of Lindus Construction, says that while an overwhelming amount of homeowners remodeling their kitchen still request stainless steel, early adopters are starting to gravitate toward black stainless steel because of its modern look and its ability to conceal fingerprints. No matter the reason, black is back.

kitchen with GE black stainless steel appliances

Image via GE

Matte Finishes

While stainless and black stainless are here to stay, some customers are asking
for a less-than-shiny finish. In come matte options, such as
GE Slate, GE Black Slate, and matte black stainless steel selections from LG, KitchenAid and Whirlpool.

Fresh Finishes

While those are some of the current tried and true, some new finishes to the market are sure to make a splash. Whirlpool’s Sunset Bronze is a smooth, satin finish with (gasp!) rose gold undertones. With rose gold’s recent explosion, including to iPhone and hair dye, this color is anticipated to be popular.

Whirlpool Sunset Bronze Appliances in Kitchen

Image via Whirlpool

Stuck on matte? The new GE Café Series comes in matte black or matte white. In addition, buyers get to choose from four hardware options (brushed copper, brushed bronze, brushed black and brushed stainless) to make the appliances truly their own.

Image via GE Café

Image via
GE Café

If you tend to be more of a trendsetter than a fashion follower, don’t be afraid to break from the mold and try unique color options, offered by True Residential, American Range, Smeg and Elmira Stoveworks, among others. After all, you will be the one looking at the color during breakfast, second breakfast and midnight snacks!

What’s your favorite appliance finish option? Let us know in the comments section below.

Featured image via True Residential

Should You Turn Off Your Air Conditioner While on Vacation?

With the end of summer approaching and Labor Day right around the corner, vacation plans are in full swing. And often a hotly debated topic before hitting the road for your end-of-summer hoorah is whether you should turn off the air conditioner. And if you leave it on, what AC temperature should you set while on vacation? Our plumbing and HVAC services manager Joe Nguyen says if your primary goal is saving energy and money, then yes, turn off the AC (unless you’re leaving pets behind). But according to Nguyen, there’s more to it than that.

Vacation Length

If you’re making a quick weekend getaway, turning the AC off won’t realize big energy or cost savings. After all, the system will have to work harder to reach the desired temperature once you return. For longer vacations, consider the following.

Temperature and Humidity

When the temperature is mild, turning off your air conditioner isn’t a problem. However, high temperatures and humidity levels can quickly heat a home, causing other cooling appliances (refrigerator, freezer, etc.) to work overtime. And a malfunctioning refrigerator will cost more than leaving your air running.

Vacation Temperature Recommendation

Nguyen says the widely held recommendation is to just turn the air conditioner temperature up rather than powering it down. He recommends setting the thermostat between 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, using a programmable thermostat with WiFi capability, set the thermostat to cool the house to a comfortable temperature prior to your arrival home.

Nest thermostat on wall

Photo via Nest

Home Vacation Prep Tips

Now that the air conditioner dilemma is sorted out, protect your home appliances with these tips:

  • Close the curtains and blinds. This will keep your home cooler, giving your appliances a break!
  • Turn off the water to your home and home appliances. No one wants to come home to a leak or flood!
  • Put your refrigerator in vacation mode if you have that option.
  • Crack open the dishwasher and washing machine doors to air them out.
  • Turn your water heater down to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Last but not least, enjoy your vacation!

Do you turn off your AC before leaving on vacation? Why or why not?

How To Clean Your Washing Machine

From your yoga pants to your bedsheets, your washer carries a heavy load for you, delivering pristine clothes and linens week after week. But did you ever consider you may need to clean the machine that you use to clean your clothes? Vicious cycle, but it’s true, your washing machine should be washed every now and then. Whether you use a top-loader or front-loader, learn how to clean your washing machine.

Washing Machine Cleaning

Has your washing machine lost its shine? Start by cleaning the outside of your washer. Affresh machine cleaning wipes work wonders removing built-in grime from the exterior surface, controls, detergent tray and door.

Once your washing machine is looking so fresh, so clean from the outside, it’s time to think about what’s on the inside. Use a cleaner specifically formulated for your washer interior, such as affresh tablets. With affresh, you simply place one tablet in the washer tub, run the washer on a normal cycle with your hottest water setting and then wipe away any residue left once the cycle ends. The tablet dissolves slowly throughout the entire wash cycle to break up dirt and soap residue.

Bonus Washer Cleaning Tips

Anytime you have water, there’s a chance for mildew. To avoid a mildew smell in your washing machine, keep the door open after you run a load. This allows the machine to air out and dry. With front-load machines in particular, the gasket can be a common culprit contributing to the mildew smell. Wipe your gasket dry when you’re finished with laundry for the day.

black Samsung washing machine

Image via Samsung

Some newer washing machines come with a self-clean function. Samsung is well known for their self-cleaning washers, which remove dirt and bacteria through a combination of soaking, pulsating and high-speed spinning.

Now that you know how to clean your washing machine, there’s only one thing left to do. Give it a spin.

Do you have any washing machine cleaning tips? Share them in the comments below.

This is an updated version of an article previously published on Oct. 28, 2009.
Featured image via LG