Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

LED Yet Again

So the discussion continues on LED. My lighting manager, Robert Joyce, and I have argued about the dollar benefit to converting to LED. To the disbelievers an explanation is not possible, or so the saying goes.

Unless of course, you have imperical evidence, which I do. I converted all my recessed to LED in March. Have a look at the bill.

The bill is almost $40 cheaper despite delivery and generation charges being higher. Monthly consumption is down 33% from 813 kilowatts to 544. The only change has been converting lights.

Any questions, Robert?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whirlpool is Maytag for $500 Less

The goal of this blog has been to promote energy efficiency, eliminate misconceptions and to offer an unbiased opinion about appliances and lighting.

Which inevitably brings to the enigma known as Whirlpool. Their problems really started with the purchase of Maytag. So they added the names Maytag, JennAir, Amana into their brand portfolio. In their defense, most experts would have been in shock at how desperate Maytag become in just a few short years.

So the decision had to be effected. Would Whirlpool keep the brands unique and independent with their own features and benefits or would they streamline the brands under one platform and just throw different logos on the same machine.

They chose the latter and have been disappointed just like GM with their lineup of the same cars with different logos...For consumers, it is an opportunity.

Two exact laundry pairs...with $500 difference in price...

Hint...buy the Whirlpool.

Monday, May 25, 2009

10% Off?

Are Holidays celebrated or are they now just marketing opportunities in disguise? The newest ads are 10-15% off. Off what? Since the economic downturn, manufacturers have routinely offered 5-35% in the form of rebates, so shop around. 10% should be easy to beat.

One last thought: I live in Boston near Copley. Without fail, I will bump into our delivery guys working. Years ago, I did it as a form of quality control.
Now, I already know their job performance. They have background checks, credit checks and have to pass mandatory drug testing in order to work at Yale...

My point to this post is this: Do you know who is walking in your house? Couple of pointers:

1. Buy from a reputable establishment

2. Ask if your delivery is handled in house or outsourced. Find out the trucker and run a basic Google search against that company

3. Ask for identification before he/she enters the home

4. Be careful when someone is in your home. That includes people and valuables.

Friday, May 22, 2009

LED Vs Incandescent

We have bulbs with similar characteristics. One bulb is $50. The other is $5. Which would would you choose?

Before you answer, the $5 bulb uses $1.46 per month and the $50 uses only $.20 Further, the $5 bulb needs to be replaced every 7 months versus 20 years for the $50.
Also, the $5 heats to 300 degrees versus 0 for the $ 50, so there is some impact to your HVAC system.

We are really comparing the 7 watt LED versus the 50 watt low voltage MR16. At a $23 yearly savings in energy and replacement, The LED becomes a better value in less than two and a half years.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

LED Seminar

Following is the powerpoint to yesterdays LED presentation...

Monday, May 18, 2009

What happened To Amana?

Really, what happened to this company? 20 years ago, Amana dominated the premium refrigeration market and were actually the first to manufacturer counter depth products.

Of course, they were owned by Raytheon, who naturally is significantly invested in defense. So there were effectively bisected and sold. Goodman Holding bought their air conditioning products, and a rapidly deteriorating Maytag company acquired the appliance division.

Maytag was then acquired by Whirlpool, and Amana has been largely ignored until now. There seems to be a pervasive logic during a recession: Sell it for whatever you can.

With rebates, Amana once again becomes interesting (at least for now.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009


KitchenAid dishwashers were originally manufactured by Hobart a commercial manufactured. KitchenAid was always the best product back in the day...Whirlpool acquired the line in 1988 and relaunched as a full line product.

Unfortunately, Whirlpool are factory people, not marketing people and KitchenAid became commoditized...Then the Europeans like Bosch started grabbing share based on quietness, metal tanks and overall fit and finish

Its funny how a brand can lose its appeal by doing nothing. In the late 1990s, KitchenAid relaunched the brand again with a metal tank and guess what quieter models. I really like this dishwasher as it also has more features and a evisserator instead of a filter like Bosch

Here is a funny (to me) stat.

KitchenAid dishwasher 1986 $599...

KitchenAid dishwasher 2009 $399 after rebate...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Great Outside

Outside lighting...so many types, finishes and styles.

So how do you pick one? Take this easy test.

1. How much illumination do you need
2. What does your entrance look like
3. Do you have garage or other landscape lighting

A couple of tips: Hang the light roughly 66 to 68 inches from the ground. Typically, the front door should have the largest light (average size 17 tall by 8 inches wide.)

Monday, May 11, 2009


I started full time in the appliance business in May of 1986 approximately 3 days after graduation....

Following is an interesting observation, which is a sign of the times.

Self Cleaning range in 1986 was sold for $599-649 depending on the features.

Self cleaning range in 2009....$389 in black and white($549 in stainless). So much for cost of living increases...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How To Buy Appliances(Again)

Short post today...I have been thinking about this a bunch over the last 2 weeks. I have become more mercenary over the past year or so. How I would buy appliances now is a bit different than years past

My plan:

1. Find a bunch of suitable products and brands..like Bosch versus KitchenAid, Frigidaire v GE, Maytag, etc..So you would be buying a self cleaning gas range, then deciding on the brand

2. Find the best value including rebates..Rebates are absoutely huge. Do I like a Bosch dishwasher better than a KitchenAid..yes. Would I like the Kitchen better if it was $200 cheaper with rebates..defintely

3. Find a good service provider or be prepared for torment...Appliance service is bleak at best. Spending the ncessary time discovering who are the best service providers

4. Buy on recommendations, reputation, value and price

Monday, May 04, 2009

New Math

Lets look at this Bosch washer and dryer. It sold well 2 years ago at $1749 and why not? It is incredibly water efficient, quiet and has great capacity. Of course because there is a recession and fewer of you, it now has $400 in rebates.

Of course, you want pedestals...Why should you bend? There is an extra $400 in rebates if you "buy" the peds or $800 total.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Yale PSA...Join Our Mailing List (Please)

I receive 5 emails a week from a shoe company and another 2 a week from a raquetball company. In my opinion, thats way too much. We send emails once or twice a month, and they are designed not waste the recipients time.

You are looking at Andy Husbands owner of Tremont647. He is hosting two private cooking classes for email subscribers only.

Link to Sign up!

Have a good weekend