Budget-wise · Cash for Appliances · Discount appliances · Energy Efficiency

MN appliance rebate stimulus (part 2) gone; wait list filling up

A little after 10:30 this morning, the $717,000 of unused appliance rebate funds were fully claimed, according to http://www.mnappliancerebate.com.

Those who didn’t get one of the nearly 4,000 second-chance appliance rebates can take a spot on the wait list and hope that someone doesn’t cash in for the up to $200 being offered for a purchase of an Energy Star appliance.

From the website:

Thank you for your interest in the Minnesota “Trade-in & Save” Appliance Rebate Program. Currently, all rebate funds for this program have been reserved. However, you may choose to add your name to a waiting list. In the event additional funds become available, wait listed rebate applications will be processed in the order they are received. To add your name to the waiting list, complete the online reservation, print your confirmation page and follow the instructions listed on the confirmation page. Qualifying purchases made on or after March 1, 2010 are eligible for a rebate. Please note that you must make the appliance purchase before applying for the rebate.

That’s all she wrote.

I hope our customers got the lion’s share of these rebates. And being that they’re smart enough to buy from us, I’m confident that they did 🙂

Did any of you get one this morning? How did you find out about the relaunch?


Budget-wise · Cash for Appliances · Energy Efficiency · Events

Get a second chance at an appliance stimulus rebate

The State of Minnesota Trade-in & Save Appliance Rebate Program relaunched today to hand out about $717,000 in unused funds to customers who didn’t get a rebate reservation in March.

If you bought an ENERGY STAR appliance on or after March 1, you could be eligible for a rebate of up to $200 from the State of Minnesota!

To get your rebate, go to www.mnappliancerebate.com or call 1-877-230-9119. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, but you cannot apply for a rebate until you have made an eligible purchase. So you better hurry, before you miss out for the second time! (At the time of this blog, more than $500,000 in rebate funds remained, with about one-quarter being used.)

Appliance Design · Design · Friday Links Roundup · Kitchen Design · Product Roundup

Kitchen appliance colors 2010

You won’t see color appliances outside white and black in many kitchens, but gee, isn’t it fun to look at pictures to get kitchen color ideas?

I’d pledge my firstborn Le Creuset to someone who could actually produce a photo with this combination of kitchen appliance colors, but for some Friday fun, I assembled a roundup of fall-inspired colored appliances.

Viking Colored Microwave

This little (Viking Pumpkin Colored Microwave) guy’s so festive, I’d like to carve him up and put it on my doorstep.

No, you can’t panel a microwave — and yes, lots of people ask — but Viking Appliances does let you choose among a bunch of colors:

Viking appliance colors
Red Wine never looked so good. (Actually, red wine looks good to me on a regular basis, but it’s still a very attractive range.)

Viking iconic pro-style ranges aren’t the only choice for cooking in colors.

Bertazzoni, an Italian cooking appliance-maker, uses the same paint as car-maker Ferrari to paint its appliances.

(What is it with appliances mixing with automotive design?).

In fact, one of its ranges is even called Ferrari Red.

This Bertazzoni colored range in Wine just seems so cold-weather inspired.

>> See other Bertazzoni range colors

Perhaps Plum is more of a winter color…but I couldn’t resist including a big purple refrigerator.

Back to Viking: Doesn’t your dream kitchen include a built-in colored refrigerator…in plum?

Those not in the high-end appliance market shouldn’t feel left out.

There’s always seasonal dishwasher magnets.

Cleaning · Refrigerator

Refrigerator cleaning tips, anyone?

Not my fridge (you really think I'd embarrass myself like that) but not too far off either. How do you clean these things?

This weekend, I broke down and cleaned the refrigerator. The condiment shelves alone took a half-hour, because of a combination of leaky bottles and cold temperatures. I used a rag and some Seventh Generation spray cleaner, but because the cold air sucks moisture from the spills, they were condensed and hardened and impossible.

There’s got to be a better way. Does anyone have good tips for a clean refrigerator to share in the comments? How often do you clean your refrigerator, or do you just religiously clean messes as they happen?

I would normally just sic ’em with some Bar Keepers Friend or Bonami, but not around my food. See other things to avoid (lifted from a major manufacturer’s site):

Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners such as window sprays, scouring cleansers, flammable fluids, cleaning waxes, concentrated detergents, bleaches or cleansers containing petroleum products on plastic parts, interior and door liners, or gaskets. Do not use paper towels, scouring pads, or other harsh cleaning tools.

Seriously, paper towels are “harsh?” Too funny.

FAQ · HOW TO · Refrigerator

Refrigerator moving advice

Here’s a true Frequently Asked Question, pulled from the “I used to answer phones at the store” file.

I’ve fielded many calls inquiring if it’s OK to put a refrigerator on its side when moving it. Certainly, the manufacturers don’t recommend it. But sometimes it’s necessary, right?

So, when you can’t transport your fridge upright, GE suggests laying your top-freezer refrigerator or bottom-freezer refrigerator on the side opposite the hinges, so the door will remain closed. If you have a side-by-side fridge, place it freezer-side down (that door is less likely to come open).

When you bring the fridge inside its new home, keep it unplugged and upright for the same amount of time it spent on its side. If the refrigerator spend more than a day on its side, let it stand for 24 hours before plugging it in.

Also, GE suggests wheeling the refrigerator on its side when using a dolly to avoid damage to the front or rear of the unit.

And please, remove all the racks and cover your beautiful Warners’ Stellian refrigerator with a moving blanket. We love appliances too much so see you damage them on accident.

Cleaning · Energy Efficiency · Refrigerator

Beware of pet hair in your kitchen

Manufacturers say that most people don’t need to regularly clean their refrigerators’ condenser coils.

But, you should clean the condenser coils on refrigerators in greasy, dusty environments — and homes with “significant pet traffic” (which just sounds like a kitten parade, right?) — every two or three months.

What’s that? Cleaning stuff is a pain in the butt? Yeah, well so is replacing stuff. Regular maintenance not only ensures your refrigerator runs efficiently (aka for less money) but it will help it run for longer.

I’m betting it’s been about the suggested time span (times 10?) since you have cleared out what lies beneath, so here’s a refresher course:

1. Unplug refrigerator or disconnect power. (We don’t need any heroes, people.)

2. Take off the kick plate, or “grille.” How you do this depends on the configuration of your fridge (e.g. top freezer, side by side), but the “wiggle and pull” method seems pretty universal. For more help, consult your Use & Care manual or (do what I do and) ask a family member for help.

3. Clean the kick plate, the open area behind it and the front surface area using either a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment or, my sister’s favorite, a baby bottle brush duct-taped to a stretched-out coat hanger.

Budget-wise · Energy Efficiency · Refrigerator · Sustainability

Hurry! Electricity companies’ ‘Fridge Farewell’ program ending soon

I’ve blogged before about the expense of keeping an elderly refrigerator or freezer in use simply because it still works.

I bet you wouldn’t be doing that if you realized you were paying up to $150 per year in energy costs to keep it humming.

Well, it’s the last month many energy providers, including Connexus Energy and Dakota Electric Association, not only will haul away and recycle your refrigerator for free but give you $35.

image courtesy Arca Inc.

But there are still plenty of ongoing refrigerator and freezer “bounty” programs (Xcel’s program is ongoing, as far as I can tell) though your ability to participate depends on your utility company.

Is your utility company offering a bounty?

Check here and here.