This is among posts I pre-wrote to be published in my absence while I’m on vacation. I will respond to all comments when I return. Thank you!
By now thousands in Minnesota have begun using the new clothes washers they bought as part of the state’s Trade-In & Save program.
But that $200 check isn’t the only sign of money savings hitting your mail box.
Just wait until you see your utility bill. New Energy Star washers save an average $135 in water and energy costs.
Don’t stop there, though. These guidelines will help you save energy, water and money:
DON’T use too much detergent
You’re only helping Proctor & Gamble when you pour in those heaping cups of laundry soap. The owners’ manual provides instructions on the proper amount of soap to use. Using too much soap also can shorten the life your clothing, which could get expensive.
DO keep venting dry and clear.
We recommend cleaning your dryer vent a few times a year (see Dryer not drying? Check the vent). Otherwise, it could get blocked up, causing your dryer to take longer to do its job. And remember to clean your lint filter after every use.
DO switch to cold-water washes
About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes in an average washer is for heating the water. Need I say more? If you have tough, oily stains, even switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. Otherwise, you’d be surprised how well cold water cycles clean these days.
DON’T over-dry your clothes
Instead, use a moisture sensor (if you have one) to automatically stop the dryer once it’s finished. Note: Dry towels and heavier cottons separate from lighter weight clothes to ensure proper drying when using a sensor. If you don’t have a moisture sensor, use the cool-down cycle to finish drying clothes using the residual heat.
DO put full loads in the washer and dryer.
Full loads of laundry mean fewer loads of laundry, which mean less energy, water and money used, too. If you must wash a small load, remember to set the water-level to match.
While quantities last, we have three pairs of laundry that have been priced to move:
(gas dryer extra on first and third pictured pair)
And those looking for a new refrigerator have the chance to get a LG French-door refrigerator at rock-bottom prices.
But, quantities are limited, so deals can only last as long as your fellow customers allow them to.
We’re getting A LOT of calls from people with specific model numbers in mind, wanting to know what products would be included in our sale.
He was very understanding when I explained to him that we have more than 2,000 products on display for this sale.
And truly don’t know what’s down there until we see it all Saturday morning!
But with more than 2,000 products, we generally have something for everyone, or at least for the majority of the nearly 2,400 groups of customers that came out for our last warehouse sale.
Other big discounts include an Energy Star Maytag dishwasher in stainless steel for $349 and a stainless steel Fridgidaire self-clean gas range for $499, while quantities last (both pictured below).
A selection of brands that “never go on sale” will be available (again, while quantities last), including Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking, Liebherr and Electrolux. Customers can save up to 80% on professional-style built-in models. Jenn-Air wall ovens, for example, will start at $599 and you can save $1,000 off Electrolux French-door ice & water refrigerators.
We’ll have some of my personal favorite, steam laundry, at the sale for $1499 for a washer/dryer pair.
Maybe your kitchen and laundry room is all set, but you’ve got your eye on a grill or wine refrigerator. We’ll have those, along with Miele vacuums starting at $329.
This blog post, originally published last November, remains one of my most-viewed posts. So I’m reposting it — with a few edits — because like I say, this ain’t no Macy’s clearance rack.
What is it with us Midwesterners and our deal-bragging? You know: upon receiving a compliment, we gloat about the gasp-worthy low price we got it for — unsolicited. Perhaps it’s because we fancy ourselves pro deal hunters.
But our Extreme Warehouse Sale this Saturday (7-5:30) and Sunday (10-5) is no Macy’s clearance rack. I’m talkin’ big-ticket items at huge discounts: you need to prepare a bit. The savings are so hot, all sales are final.
Luckily for you, I’ve compiled the secrets of the pros — tips that will prepare any appliance rookie for the big league.
Before the sale
Don’t be a fool; Use this tool.
Measure your space
Don’t learn the hard way: there is no “standard” in appliance sizes. Use a measuring tape on the available space — not the existing appliance — and write down dimensions to bring to the sale.
Also, measure the width of the doorways and staircases the appliance will need to travel through.
Know your fuel type
You’ll need to know whether you have a gas or electric hookup when buying a dryer, a range or a cooktop.
Consider your hinges
For example, some refrigerators on sale will be left hinge only. Wouldn’t it be terrible to find a great deal on a fridge only to get it home and not be able to open it? Also know what side you want the hinges on a front-load washer and any type of dryer, in case there’s an option.
Do some research
We’ll have more than 2,000 appliances available at the start of the sale, so have something in mind to avoid frustration. The best tip? Know what you like and don’t like about your existing model. Check out our Web site for more ideas on what features are important to you.
If you’re purchasing as part of the Minnesota Trade-In & Save Appliance Rebate Program, check out qualifying Energy Star models.
The day of the sale
Buy a MN rebate-qualified product
If you’re shopping for a refrigerator, freezer, washer or dishwasher to submit a state appliance rebate, let your salesperson know that so they can help you find a qualified Energy Star model.
Bring a hauling vehicle
Usually, we offer free delivery on purchases $499 and above, but this sale is anything but usual. Our warehouse is full of products, so we encourage customers to take their purchases with them the day of the sale. We’ll help you load it up and everything.
If you’re picking and a new refrigerator or freezer as part of the MN rebate program, bring your old refrigerator or freezer for us to recycle as well as your “Proof of Demanufacturing” forms for us to sign.
If you do choose to have it delivered, it’s $75 and you must take delivery within 30 days. Application forms for the state rebate program must be postmarked within 30 days of your rebate reservation date.
Know your schedule
We’ll arrange for delivery and any installation for built-in appliances (available for additional charges) at the time of sale. We’ll call you the day before the delivery with an AM/PM estimate and our crew can call you before they arrive if you need to meet them at your house.
Pack a stroller
Our warehouse is a warehouse. It’s clean and safe, but it’s also big and crowded and without a play area. Strollers work well to keep small children nearby when you’re shopping the selection. We’ll have cookies and water on hand, as well as children’s areas with movies and coloring books near the checkout areas.
After the sale
Submit state rebate application If you have a rebate reservation or waiting list reservation for a dishwasher or clothes washer, you can send in your application form along with a copy of your receipt immediately after the sale. Those who purchased a refrigerator or freezer and dropped off their old unit should have our warehouse crew sign their “Proof of Demanufacturing” form and send that in along with their completed application form and receipt.
Those receiving delivery of a refrigerator or freezer for the rebate program should have our delivery crew sign their “Proof of Demanufacturing” form when we haul away their old unit for recycling. That form then should be sent in with the rebate application and receipt.
Receive delivery/install time estimate
You’ll receive a call with an AM/PM estimate the day before your scheduled delivery and/or install.
Apply for manufacturers’ rebates
You could qualify for even more savings by manufacturers’ rebate. Once you receive your product, you can fill in the serial number (the delivery crew can help you locate this) on your rebate forms and submit them promptly, as they expire. Be patient, as rebates can take 12 weeks to process.
Read your manual
Knowing your new product can help you save time and improve the quality of your cooking and cleaning. Stow it somewhere memorable to refer to for troubleshooting and general operation questions.
Don’t ignore accessories
If you get a dishwasher, buy rinse aid to help dry your dishes. If you buy a smooth-top electric range, you’ll want cooktop cleaner to keep it looking new. The water filter in your fridge will need to be replaced every six to 12 months. And please, for the sake of your breathing, don’t overstuff your vacuum bags!
By this morning, rebate reservations for the Trade-In & Save Program (aka Cash for Appliances) had been exhausted, leaving only spots on the waiting list.
Approximately 6,000 rebates each for washers and dishwashers were reserved either by phone or online as well as of 11,400 for fridges and 2,000 for freezers.
So, you’re on the waiting list: what now?
The process looks exactly the same as the process for an actual rebate reservation, except without a guaranteed rebate. You’ll have 30 days to purchase a qualified appliance, arrange for “Proof of Demanufacturing” if you’re replacing a fridge or freezer and postmark your application materials.
The rebate processor will hold received wait-listed applications is the order they are received by mail. They will be opened in this order as needed as additional funds become available and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Again, no guarantees and no communication from the State Office of Energy Security or the Department of Commerce, but if you’re going to buy anyway, we have nothing to lose. Right now is certainly the time to buy, with oodles of manufacturers’ rebates and Warners’ Stellian’s own sale prices and instant stimulus rebate.
Our sales staff can help you identify the manufacturers’ rebates on your new appliances, but remember to check for possible rebates from your utility company (see dsireUSA.org for a complete list of incentives).
Even my phone’s been ringing with people who want to know how to get money back for purchasing new Energy Star appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and washers.
Oh, and freezers.
Yup, freezers count, too. Out of the approximately 25,400 rebates available in the state of Minnesota, 1,999 of them are earmarked for those replacing a freezer. I have only gotten one call about a freezer, which leads me to think people might not realize they’re included in this program!
The rebate for replacing a freezer will earn you $100 if you “demanufacture” (fancy word for recycling) your old one or $50 if you just purchase a new one.
Freezers aren’t the most exciting replacement. Usually they’re relegated to a basement or garage or mudroom or something, so you don’t think about it unless it breaks. But even if it’s working, it could be costing you dearly.
A freezer from before 1993 wastes $35 a year in utility costs. A freezer from the 1980s? That’s setting you back $70 in energy costs annually.
I’ve compiled this “how to” guide with official info and my own words to help you through the process. Please read it in its entirety to minimize confusion.
1. Beginning 8 a.m. Monday, March 1, reserve a rebate by completing the online application form at www.MNApplianceRebate.com or by calling the program’s toll-free number at 1-877-230-9119.
Reservations can be made for one appliance only. Reservations will only be taken for categories (refrigerator, clothes washer, dishwasher or freezer only) with funds still available or if the wait list is open for reservations.
There are only about 11,000 refrigerator rebates; 6,000 rebates each for washers and dishwashers; and 2,000 rebates available for freezers.
2. Print the online application confirmation page. You will need to mail this page after you have completed your purchase with all supporting documents. Phone applicants will receive the application confirmation page by mail.
3. Purchase an eligible ENERGY STAR qualified appliance (browse our selection online, though we carry more than we display online) to replace an existing appliance from a Minnesota retail location. You don’t need to wait to receive your application by mail if you reserved a rebate by phone. You don’t need to bring in your forms at all, actually. Online purchases and purchases made before March 1, 2010 will be disqualified.*
*Our suggestion: shop now. Head to one of our 7 stores (see store locations & contact info) and our sales staff will help you choose the best eligible ENERGY STAR product for your needs and will put what we call a “quote” in our computer system with your product selection and personal information. This is not a purchase, as we’ve taken no payment. If you get your rebate reservation, all you have to do is call your salesperson with your credit card number and schedule delivery.
We anticipate a flood of calls and store visits beginning March 1, so this will hopefully speed up the process for you. We appreciate your patience throughout this process.
4. We will help you arrange to either pick up your appliances or get them delivered (delivery is free to customers in the Twin Cities metro area with a minimum purchase of $499; delivery is free after mail-in rebate to customers in the Rochester area with a minimum purchase of $499) and properly recycle the replaced appliance.
You will receive with your application from the state a “Proof of Demanufacturing” form if you are replacing a refrigerator or freezer. Our delivery crew will sign that when they take away your old appliance. You must submit that form for the increased rebate amounts ($200 for a refrigerator and $100 for a freezer; rebate amounts are half that without “Proof of Demanufacturing” because the state doesn’t want people keeping these units in use).
5. Fill out the submission form completely and make a copy for your records.
6. Mail the required materials within 30 days of the online or phone reservation.
Approved applicants will be receive by mail a rebate check to their residential address, with no exceptions. PO Boxes are not accepted. Rebates are not allowed for commercial endeavors, including owner-occupied rental properties.
The state rebate can be combined with offers from Warners’ Stellian, manufacturers, utilities, and municipalities.
Warners’ Stellian will be offering an instant $25 rebate on all products eligible for this program, as well as exclusive manufacturers’ rebates.
So, you’ll save $223 over the life of the washer, meaning that you’ll make up for the upfront additional cost of an energy-efficient model within 4.7 years. But that’s just the savings of a standard new washer versus an Energy Star washer. Most Energy Star washers replace a old “clunker.”
Nearly 30% of all clothes washers in the U.S. are more than 10 years old. Replacing a model that old with an Energy Star model can save you more than $135 a year on your utility bills.