Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My Green Tips

As you know from reading this blog, I have been using my apartment as a laboratory of sorts. It is almost time to shut off the air conditioning or at least curtail it sharply at night. You can save money with every degree.

I have written this before, but shut off the paddle fans when you leave the room. Paddle fans only cool using wind chill across your skin.

For next year, shade your central air conditioner. The unit will not have to work as hard without direct sunlight

Green Refigerator Tips

I love it when people do my job....A gentlemen by the name of Sukhsadhu published a list of refrigerator tips that are worth publishing.

His Address


His Tips:

Next to air-conditioning and heating, a refrigerator is the largest user of electricity in a home. If you have an old refrigerator, a new model likely will pay for itself in a few years. To make your refrigerator even more efficient, follow these simple tips:

Develop quick in-and-out habits. Resist the urge to stand and peruse the possibilities with the door open, and enjoin the rest of your family to do the same.

Lower the freezer and raise the fridge settings. The lowest you should go for the freezer is 0 degrees; the highest you should go for the fridge is 38 degrees.

Check for a tight door seal. A piece of paper should stay snug in the door when closed, even if you tug it. If it slips out easily, replace the gasket.

Make sure the condenser doesn't have to deal with dust bunnies. Most condensers are near the floor; remove the coverplate and vacuum all around the bottom of your fridge a few times a year.

Keep a full freezer, which makes it easy to keep new items cold. The same is not the case, though, with a full refrigerator, which forces the motor to run all the time

Friday, September 28, 2007

How To...Buy an Appliance Part 5

I spend a portion of my free time blogging and answering blogs. If something is written about Yale, I will respond. I have been watching you.

There seems to be a pricing misconception in the marketplace. When you shop for appliances, shop the whole purchase. So much of the charges are hidden yet substantial. You should ask the following questions:

Delivery Charge
Removal charge per piece
Cord charge($25 is still a charge, right)
Extended Warranty Charge
Who fixes the product when it breaks(guess what most manufacturers do not fix anything)

You should also ask for this in writing. Only then will you have an idea of the true cost of your purchase

Have a nice weekend,


How to...Buy a Gas Range

This first stove post will cover the basics. I will show the exactly the differences between the basic, better and best ranges. To simplify, I chose Frigidaire as a product line. I could have chose GE or Maytag, because the "step up" features are the same. Certain lines like Bosch and KitchenAid do not manufacture a lower priced range. Others like Whirlpool and Amana do not have a more upscale product. Regardless, the comparative features are the same.
Lets Look:

The Frigidaire FGF368. This is the base self cleaning with a 14,000 BTU power burner and oven with a storage drawer. Frigidaire will also manufacture this same model sporatically with convection Model number FGF375. This same range type is also available as the GLGF 376. The only difference is the right front burner is 16,000 BTU. BTW, a BTU or British Thermal Unit is a of measure for heat.

Frigidaire FGF368

The next logical step is their Gallery series GLGF388. This unit has stainless handles instead of black. The right front burner remains 16,000, but now you have a fifth burner.

Frigidaire GLGF388

The PLGF397 is a new range. Instead of a fifth burner you have a griddle or oblong shaped design. Also intead of a storage drawer, you have have a warming drawer. I love this feature(well maybe not love), beacuse its great for warming and refreshing without dehydrating foods. Think about. When is a family ever at the table together? Now you can serve anytime without microwaving. Buying just a warming drawer alone costs $700-1200. This range sells for around $1200.

Frigidaire PLGFZ397

The PLGF96 is Frigidaires' best range. Curiously, it has 5 burners instead of the griddle burner, but instead of just a warming drawer you now have a second functional oven

Frigidaire PLGFMZ96

So really the differences are: Convection, BTU output, 5 burner or griddle burner, warming drawer or second oven

Save $72 or Much More and Do Almost Nothing

I love talking to smokers. Invariably, they will say that their habit does not cost them that much. At the end of their elaborate computation, they have to remember its after tax dollars. So you would multiply that $2,000 habit times your tax break to figure your true cost of smoking. Suddenly that habit could cost $3,000-$4,000. Even so, it is one tough habit to break.

This is an easy almost weekend post. $72(before tax, get it now?) doesn't seem like much, but guess what, I am not asking for very much except:

1. Shut off lights. One incandescent bulb on for 4 hours adds up to 15 dollars per year. The average American home has 40 different lights....Yow

2. Only use as much water as you need to boil....boiling 2.5 times a day adds up to about $25 per year

3. Shut off your computer monitor....instead of sleep...This adds up to about $15 per year

4. Shut off the television instead of standby. It adds up to about $17 per year

Its pretty easy. Now multiply that by everyone you know and they know...That's some pretty significant savings

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesday Night Late.. Thursday at The Beehive

Its Midnight. I have been travelling to Vegas and Chicago on business. Marketing has changed in the last year. Nobody is listening anymore. In the 1960s, you could reach 80% of the female audience with 3 Television spots. Now its all peer to peer as it should be. Its just the digital expression of what people have been doing forever.

But anyway, we are going into the holiday season, so I will have Kurt show you how to cook a turkey. Hopefully my mother reads this blog. Last year she burnt soup. It tasted like ash. I will review stoves next week, so you will have a good idea of whats decent. We will throw in a little green, only because it is so easy to save money and help the environment at the same time for the elusive "win win"

Lastly, every year we sponsor the Beantown JazzFest. I respect Darryl Settles who is the driving force behind this wonderful event. All the proceeds go to Prostate Cancer(yet another win win)..Anyway, we have a private party from 6-9 at The Beehive tomorrow night and I have totally spaced on inviting people....So the first 20 people who respond to the blog are in...Trust me on this one. This place is awesome.

We are upping the ante on the Yale blog...Objectively inform, entertain, teach and when all else fails bribe them with a good time.

See some of you tommorrow

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ebony Lighting and the Kelvin Spectrum

This is a tough title for content....Framburg has a really interesting finish called ebony. Its richer and smoother in texture than a bronze or a wrought iron finish, so it tends to be more formal

Sneak a peek:

Yale Showroom #331

For those familar with The Yale, you may have noticed that we have completely blocked the windows. This is unheared of in a store setting. Sunlight, however, actually diminshes earth tone textures like blacks and bronzes. Sunlight is 5000 degrees, whereas candlelight is 2000. Candlelight is more pleasing to the eye. Thus, these fixtures look much better without the sunlight

If you are planning a formal dining area, gallery etc, you want to consider shading for windows or skylights....Just a thought

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Breathing Earth

This is the image courtesy of BreathingEarth.Net. Take a look and click the image to see it in action:

Filter Your Own Water

We have about 75 active blog readers. Most are still drinking bottled water, despite the math to the contrary. Any simple water filter will save serious money

The breakdown:

The WaterX(or similar) will filter 5,000 gallons of water for $400 through Carbon, ceramic and resin filters. The price is 8 cents a gallon. Bottles water costs $1.67 per gallon on average or.....$8,350 for 5,000 gallons

WaterX WX500

With filter replacement, any standard system, WaterX, Everpure or GE, the price drops to 2 cents per gallon. This of course does not include benefits to the environment such as the transportation, manufacture and disposal of 1 billion dollars worth of plastic annually.

Slide In Ranges

So Many slide in ranges....They look the same and have similar features. To refresh, a slide in range does not have a backguard, so it allows for a more finished look in your kitchen. Custom tile backsplashes can be featured, because they are not hidden.

Most slide ranges will have dual fuel, convection and a power burner of at least 16,000 BTU(you are cooking on 10-12). It depends on your viewpoint in determining the right purchase

Frigidaire: Similar features and at $1289 the best price. Frigidaire does not offer a bottom freezer or a stainless interior dishwasher, so outfitting a whole kitchen is difficult.

Frigidaire Slide-In

Jenn-Air: Pricey at $1800-2000, but a great package with an underrated dishwasher and tons of rebates. Good name cache(what? That doesn't matter)

Jenn-Air Slide-In

KitchenAid: At 1,800, it has intuitive controls and good package opportunities

KitchenAid Slide-In

GE Cafe: Ge is the best range for features, 5 burners and an 18,000 BTU burner. But at 2400 it will cost you, and the packages will be another 2,000 more than a JennAir

GE Cafe Slide-In

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dry Cleaners

I love the dry cleaners. You bring them dirty, wrinkled laundry and you receive pressed, clean looking clothes. Billy and Hue at Columbus Street Dry Cleaners are like brothers to me. Unfortunately, the main ingredient to dry cleaning is Tetracholrethylene. A chemical this long cannot be good....And it isn't. I found an objective article from the government of Australia.


But anyway, until I find a green dry cleaner(can anyone help) I have a Miele washer and dryer with the honeycom drum...Is it possible to clean my clothes in a slow spin to not destroy the fabric?

Sunday is Green Day

Sunday is my weekend day to work. Everyone else in the company works a weekend day, so if you want a rule you can't be the exception(get it).

Its a good day to read and blog about Green. The blog should be about appliances, but I have tried to double the size of the blog by adding Green.

First some stats:

46% of homeowners in the US admit to not knowing much about environmental issues, maybe because it is not a political hot button yet

44% of the population would not be interested in paying more upfront for Green products. Once again, this is understandable. The message should be buy Green and save a bunch of money. Consumers will save $300 a year just buying switching their washer and bulbs.

Other interesting facts:

From a website called duct-911: Replace your filters. Filters bcome dirty, clogged and require more energy to push air through

From a website called Ramsayhome.com: 20% of your heat loss is related to your windows. Caulk and reseal them

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ge Cafe

As I have stated in a previous post, GE has launched their new Cafe line. Its actually some pretty decent equipment, especially the stove.

Lets look:

The slide has an enhanced burner of 17,000(the average burner on a 10 year old stove is 10,000BTU) as well as a griddle burner in the middle, electric convection and an oven below. The knobs and most of the finishing touches are stainless, so the stove looks upscale as well

GE Cafe Slide-In

On the surface, the refrigerator looks good as well. As Michael points out, it is a side by side competely finished in stainless including the sides. Unfortunately, GE dropped the ball a bit. Although the product looks good, most upscale consumers buy bottom freezers and products that are shallow depth. GE effectively is marketing a product, which would be successful 10 years ago.

GE Cafe Side x Side

Have a Nice Weekend,


Flushing Water Away

Toto has a new low water toilet on the market. Although we do not sell toilets(I think),. At 1.28 gallons per flush versus 5.5 gallons per flush, how many gallons do you think the average household will save yearly?

A. 10,300
B. 15,383
C. 24,665
D. 101,312

Answer Monday

Globalwarming and Jellyfish?

We launched our Green Project last year in order to educate clients on the benefits of energy efficient appliances. For instance, buying a front load washer will use 1/3 the water and half the energy with twice the capacity of a top loading machine. You save $150 per year and the net effect to the environment is equally compelling. As part of the program, we rebate these machines $75 to $100 instead of funding more advertising

The Green Project really was inspired by a Canadien friend of mine. It seemed apparent to her that Green living is the way to sustainability and not depletion of resources. With an accelerated birthrate, it becomes more important to learn and teach new more earth friendly ways. Thank you Louise

Green has been on my mind subconsciously for awhile. About 4 years ago, My nephew and I visited the Aquarium. There was a jellyfish exhibit. It seems jellyfish thrive on oxygen deprived and warmer oceans at the expense of other fish.

Flash forward 4 years to this months Discover magazine. The cover is "The Rise of the Jellyfish: Meet our Planets Next Masters". I have scanned some images for your review. Just remember these creatures live at the expense of other fish commonly found at your local Stop&Shop or Whole Foods....

Jelly #1

Jelly #2

Jelly #4

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Lets look at this light from Holtkotter...

Holtkotter Light

Holtkotter is a German company renown for quality, and this fixture is a fine example. First, it has a stainless frame and is totally adjustable vertically. The transformers work. Then again, it should. The price tag is around $800

Years ago, we bought knock offs and sold them for $400. These lights did not stay sold as the cables would fray or the transformers would not work. At that time, we did not have an electrical department so finding an installer was always a mind numbing experience.

I am not advocating spending too much money on anything, but be careful, especially in lighting or any other industry where quality is not defined. Buying super cheap usually will cost more in the long run

Monday, September 17, 2007

Another Lighting Solution?

In many parts of the country, the loft has become a popular option for apartments or condominiums. Typically, lofts are common in old factory or mill buildings located in urban areas. Its a developers dream really. Keep the original shell replace windows, add a few floors and an intercom system and sell as is.

For the homeowner, it allows the opportunity to customize...but not completely. If the ceilings are 20 feet and concrete, how do you light it? You are probably not blasting through the ceiling to install recessed lighting or hang track.

In this situation, its important to understand where you need lighting. The kitchen and bath should be the two brightest areas. For our purposes, we will focus on the kitchen in this post. Instead of lighting from the ceiling, lets light from the cabinet...

As a gentleman named Arthur clearly shows us, there are 3 ways to accomplish this:

A cable or track system mounted to the cabinet. (The track is behind him)

Picture# 215

Monoponts with individual lights again from the actual cabinet itself

Picture# 213

Sunday, September 16, 2007

50 tips to Conserve Energy and Save Money

I found this website called FtostFirefriends.com, and they publish 50 tips for energy efficiency. Rather than being dishonest, I would rather be truthful and tell you I am stealing.

One small note: There is growing sentiment that eating red meat actually causes global warming for two reasons. The transportation of said meat uses gas, adds pollution, etc. Belching of cows is another reason. This future steaks(or pot roasts) actually belch so much methane that it registers as a small percentage of the overall global warming problem.

Here you go:

Here is a list of 50 simple things that everyone can do in order to fight against and reduce the Global Warming phenomenon: some of them are at no cost, some other require a little investment but can help you save a lot of money, in the middle-long term!

Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models available.

Do not leave appliances on standby
Use the "on/off" function on the machine itself. A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.

Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50°C.

Move your fridge and freezer
Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ºC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.

Don't let heat escape from your house over a long period
When airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during six cold months (10ºC or less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.

Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing
This requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in the long term. If you go for the best the market has to offer (wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), you can even save more than 70% of the energy lost.

Get a home energy audit
Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.

Cover your pots while cooking
Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!

Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full
If you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load or economy setting. There is also no need to set the temperatures high. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.

Take a shower instead of a bath
A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximise the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.

Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

Insulate and weatherize your home
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. Energy Efficient has more information on how to better insulate your home.

Be sure you’re recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. Earth 911 can help you find recycling resources in your area.

Recycle your organic waste
Around 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions through the methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By recycling organic waste or composting it if you have a garden, you can help eliminate this problem! Just make sure that you compost it properly, so it decomposes with sufficient oxygen, otherwise your compost will cause methane emissions and smell foul.

Buy intelligently
One bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. As well, buy recycled paper products: it takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.

Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can
You will also cut down on waste production and energy use!

Reuse your shopping bag
When shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.

Reduce waste
Most products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one or another way, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes.

Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.

Switch to green power
In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. The Green Power Network is a good place to start to figure out what’s available in your area.

Buy locally grown and produced foods
The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

Seek out and support local farmers markets
They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. You can find a farmer’s market in your area at the USDA website.

Buy organic foods as much as possible
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

Eat less meat
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.

Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible
Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Look for transit options in your area.

Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. eRideShare.com runs a free national service connecting commuters and travelers.

Don't leave an empty roof rack on your car
This can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% due to wind resistance and the extra weight - removing it is a better idea.

Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

Drive carefully and do not waste fuel
You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. By readjusting your driving style you can save money on both fuel and car mantainance.

Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle
You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency on FuelEconomy and on GreenCars websites.

Try car sharing
Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar - offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.

Try telecommuting from home
Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.

Fly less
Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel by investing in renewable energy projects.

Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions
You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging other to take action.

Join the virtual march
The Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort to bring people concerned about global warming together in one place. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of other people urging action on this issue.

Encourage the switch to renewable energy
Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely but there are regulatory barriers impeding them. Take action to break down those barriers with Vote Solar.

Protect and conserve forest worldwide
Forests play a critial role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere - deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Conservation International has more information on forests and global warming.

Consider the impact of your investments
If you invest your money, you should consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on global warming. Check out SocialInvest and Ceres to can learn more about how to ensure your money is being invested in companies, products and projects that address issues related to climate change.

Make your city cool
Cities and states around the country have taken action to stop global warming by passing innovative transportation and energy saving legislation. 194 cities nationwide representing over 40 million people have made this pledge as part of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Find out how to make your city a cool city.

Tell Congress to act
The McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would set a firm limit on carbon dioxide emissions and then use free market incentives to lower costs, promote efficiency and spur innovation. Tell your representative to support it.

Make sure your voice is heard!
Americans must have a stronger commitment from their government in order to stop global warming and implement solutions and such a commitment won’t come without a dramatic increase in citizen lobbying for new laws with teeth. Get the facts about U.S. politicians and candidates at Project Vote Smart and The League of Conservation Voters. Make sure your voice is heard by voting!

Share this list!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Doug West and The Maytag Company

Doug West was our Maytag rep when I was about 15 years old. He taught me about the appliance business and certainly more about sales in general. One of our first conversations was about Maytags'founder, Frederick Maytag. Fred, it seems was a bit of an eccentric, wearing the same clothes for days or weeks at a time then pulling out a wad of dough to buy a car with cash. The lesson was never judge people by appearances. Car dealers still have this problem especially with women according to many sales experts.

Freds' company after reaching its zenith in 1997 with the successful launch of its Neptune series crashed to earth, when it failed to respond to its inherent flaws. A couple of poor CEOs finished the job. Whirlpool bought the exhausted Icon in 2005.

Its been a mixed bag for Whirlpool as they entered the fast growing bottom mount refrigeration business, but they also inherited inefficient factories and plenty of poor products. As I said in the last post, their attempt at marketing the Maytag name with a high end top load washer is lamentable.

Lets look again:

Maytag MTW6600Maytag MED6400

The product has 4 speed and probably 20 cycles and a stainless tub. All are nice, but hardly necessary. You can buy a front load Frigidaire for less money, which will be 35% larger and $100-$175 cheaper to operate. Still, Some people will buy the Maytag, because of the marketing or past experience.

Just do not be one of them

Have a nice weekend

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Light Bulbs, The Northwest Passage and PlayStation

Front page of the Wall Street Journal, sailors are now navigating through the risky Northwest Passage. Evidentally, it has thawed so it is now not so treacherous. On the flipside, Congress is finally taking measures to ban incandescent bulbs by 2014. Australia is banning these relics(invented in 1807) by 2010. Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction.

Todays Energy Tip of the Day is simple. Shut it off. Before you roll your eyes or go to a more intelligent blog, understand that todays games and toys use a ton of energy. Case in point, the Sony Playstation uses 150 watts of power versus 30 watts just last year. We have computers, fax machines and high powered light bulbs. Leaving them on will cost you.

Lastly, I was in our warehouse yesterday looking around. We have just installed a more efficient fluorescent bulb that is activated by motion. I have to look at our bills, because they must have been reduced dramatically. Motion sensors are a great idea for any lighting residential and commercial.

Warehouse Clearance October 6 and 7

Although most of the readership are not from the Metro Boston area, every year we have 2 clearance events in our warehouse in Mansfield. The reason is simple. We average about 250 units on 100 deliveries a day. Between units that do not fit and other assorted misunderstandings, a certain percentage is returned, and becomes a markdown for the next clearance event.

Rather than opening a clearance center, we sell it for a loss twice a year. Hours are 10-1 and 9-11.

Last Spring, I let Yale blogger readers in on Thursday(hence the post) from 3-7....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Invasion of Canada?

Now why we want to invade our closest ally? As they say in the movies its not personal, just business. As it turns out, only 2.5% of the worlds water is drinkable, and 20% of that resides in Canada. Water is becoming increasingly scarce. Experts predicted severe shortages in the year 2025, and were astounded to discover that they were actually right. Except now the year is 2010.

Found a great tip for procrastinators like me everywhere. When you mow your lawn, leave the clippings as they decompose naturally. It is not necessary to use those huge plastic bags to dispose the excess grass

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Japan, Myspace, etc

I read the Wall Street Journal, because I want to feel like a business person. (Note that I did not say that I understand The Journal). Interesting article today about Japan. The government offices are raising the temperature to 82 degrees from 79.2. I have my house at 75, but most people have the thermostat at 68-72

What does an increase of 2.8 degrees do for the environment on a semi universal basis? Reduces carbon emissions by about 2.9 million tons or the equivalent of 6 million homes

Yale has finally reached the digital age at age 84(we were founded in 1923). We have our own page on Myspace. What does this mean?....Being 43, I am not really sure, but you can be a friend of Yale at Myspace.com/yaleappliance...It will probably be entertaining.

Maytag versus Whirlpool(you would think)

Take a look at this picture. The machines are similar yet from seemingly different manufacturers Whirlpool and Maytag. Can you guess the difference(beside color)

Whirlpool and Maytag Laundry

Actually, The Whirlpool Duet and Maytag Epic are the same machine, except for one crucial difference: the price. Maytag, this month, is about $250 less due to rebates.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Consumer Protection Rant...Part 6

So rants won 16-11 according to pole results. Hard to believe. But, anyway, as you look at reviews online about appliance companies, you will notice the 2 hardest parts of this industry are delivery and service. Unfortunately, shoppers do not immediately understand this until it is way too late. Any measure of ambiguity(good word)will cost you money and at times lots of it.

Until Now. I will teach you how to be my worst nightmare 15 years ago.

Delivery: Is it free? Well your average kitchen delivery requires 2 to 3 deliveries, are they all free? Where is the delivery? Is it curbside(yes, believe it, this is the majority of deliveries) or in home? How about removals? How much to remove each? Worst case, this is $350 worth of charges

Service: Does this store have service? How many people work in this department? Do they service all brands. This is highly important, because most brands have discontinued their service departments as a cost savings. If you have purchased a machine from 75% of all appliance dealers, your products will probably not be fixed in a timely manner(if at all).

Remember ask first and place everything in writing. The hour or so of prevention will save you time and money later

EnergyStar Ratings

EnergyStar has just published an interesting guide. Although I do not understand the numbers, it is interesting to compare.

Refrigerator 10 years ago 25.92 per month to operate
Energystar Refrigerator 10.80 per month(seems high)

Electric Oven 1 hour per day 18.9 per month
Microwave 1/2 hour per day 2.16 per month

Dehumidifier 24 hours per day 51.84 per month....Ouch

Top loading washer 14.40 per month(seems low, but does not include water)
Front loading 4.32 per month

Computer monitor, printer
sleep mode 1.94 per month
Not in sleep mode 19.44 per month....OUCH

Waterbed 51.84 per month...Do we really need these things
Matress with a quilt, etc 0

Click here for an interactive energy usage cost calculator

Click here to download the NStar Appliance Operating Costs pamphlet

The Garden Of Jim O'Neil

Jim and I have worked together for about 10 years. He is one of those super organized, super efficient guys. I often wonder how we survived for 11 years without him. But anyway, Jim has a nice house on the South Shore of Boston, and has just landscaped his front and back lawn in typical Oneil fashion, new flowers, bushes and grass.

But there is a small problem with Jims' Garden of Eden. There is a water ban in his town, and water seems to be essential to his flowers vitality

Rather than telling him that winter is only 12 weeks away, I was reading about water problems in other countries and their solutions. Europeans, for instance, save everything. Water from the shower, brushing teeth and even rain water is saved in cisterns.

This begs the question: How much water do we unconsciously waste every day?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Energy Tips of the Day

Europeans seem to consider energy efficiency a pretty seriously...Consider this article, I just read from the UK. "Instead of flushing the toliet, use the urine as a nitrogen source for your compost heap"...Seriously.

In this country, we are just starting. A few simple changes in our habits could save a ton of money and save the environment in the process.

You will like this one. If you have an former empolyee at your work, he or she will be generating unnecessary paper for 5 years. This waste will equal cutting down a tree...Now there is a website to handle this proble. WWW.ecologicalmail.com. Enter the information and never handle unnecessary mail again.

Simple to do...Now imagine if everyone did it.

Have a nice weekend,


Newest, Latest and Greatest...The Rest

The rest of the appliance show was tepid. There are a few nuggets amongst the endless pile of rock.

Fisher Paykel shallow depth french door...Hey to admit it but the New Zealanders have decent sense of style

F+P 198

New Fisher Paykel stove...Its stylish with decent burner outputs and around $2500

F+P 200

This is actually a decent 24 inch range..Relief for apartment owners in the market for a decent product

Range 201

The induction range....finally, but at $8500?

F+P 203

Newest, Latest and Greatest....Whirlpool

The original 2 guys who originally founded Whirlpool first invented the washer. Whirlpool has been the dominant player in laundry every since. With their acquisition of the timebomb called Maytag, they now own about 50% of the market.

Naturally, their new products include a steam washer and steam dryer in all the new fashionable colors seafoam green and pastel blue as well as stainless and black

Whirlpool 194

Whirlpool 195

Yale Blog reader, Dan Barkley, showing the new 22 cubic foot french door refrigerator

Amana 196

The old fashion Maytag top load washer and dryer evoke an old fashion feel. Of course it has an old fashion approach to energy efficiency. These machines are no bargain, especially when you consider that it will cost at least $150 more to operate than a front load machine. At the high price point for nostalgia, you can even buy a few front loaders for less....Sorry Dan

Maytag 197

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Energy Tip Of the Day

Think about this for a moment: If you were to limit your shower by just one minute, you would save 2,000 gallons of water and the costs of heating it

That, my friends, is the tip of the day

Newest, Latest and Greatest...GE?

In 1990, GE started manufacturing their own compressors. There were only three problems. 1. The compressor did not work. 2. They were afraid to tell their CEO 3. They placed these time bombs in their refrigerators. This added up to a billion dollar write off...and that was when a billion was a ton of money

I also thought that they stole money from R&D to pay for it years later, because their product seemed dated...... until now

Their new 25 cubic foot, french door refrigerator with LED interior. LED as we know do not add residual heat unlike every other bulb

GE 183

GE 184

New washers and dryers with decent price points and capacity

GE 187

An induction rangetop that will fit over a wall oven

GE 188

The strength of the GE line has always been their range. You are looking at the best freestanding range in the market. It is, however around $2,000

GE 190

Newest, Latest And Sometimes Greatest....Lighting

As lighting becomes sourced more from the same place(China), similar styles have been marketed by more companies. The following are exceptions

Framberg Ebony pendant....The finish is darker than oil rubbed bronze as is the glass. Available in a flush mount as well

Light 172

Light 173

Polished Nickel Pendant by Sonnemen...Its a smaller version of a really great commercial style

Light 207

Triarch etched frame with opal glass: Very different and inexpensive

Light 179

Hinckley Bath Sconces...Radical departure for a company known for traditional and outside products, but stylish, simple and contemporary

Light 180

Wilmette by Tech: Take what I said and reverse it. Tech is reknown for miniature pendants, but this is large in size(obviously)

Light 177

Sonnemen Sconce: The 70s are back...This is a little much for me, but retro certainly

Light 182

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

September Posts

August was a busy month for the Yale Blog....For the first week of September, we will look at some new interesting(and probably uninteresting)products. This month seems to be the month of new releases, so there should be plenty to write and even more to rail against.

The Pine Beetle and P,G&E

Hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day...

I spent mine in Toronto. Toronto Globe And Mail is the newspaper of choice. The cover story was the pine beetle, which seems to be eating through the forests of Northern Canada. The rapacious creature is only about the size of a grain of rice, but it seems to be a hungry grain of rice. The creature is rapacious. Read further, and realize the Pine Beatle has been around. The experts will say that the beatle is killed by prolonged cold. Prolonged cold has not happened for a number of years...in Northern Canada(for the unitiated to the Yale Blog, this is a veiled reference to global warming)

Anyway..Pacific Gas and Electric has three basic ideas on how to save roughly $750 a year...Anything sound familar

1. Unplug and remove your old, secondary refrigerator. Estimated savings $360 per year

2. Raise your thermostat from 72 to 78 degrees

3. Change your 10 most used bulbs to compact fluorescent