Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cash For Appliance Clunkers..What To Buy Now

You must be sick of C4c by now, so this is one of two posts. Anyway, if you have a voucher consider these models:


Great category as almost everything qualifies:

1. Frigidaire FTF2140 $199 after rebates It's $199!
2. Bosch WFVC3300 $299 after rebates 4.4 cubic foot and eco-friendly
3. Frigidaire FTF3577 $399 after rebates Every Option under the sun


Worthwhile category

1. Whirlpool DU1030 $49 Decent price wouldn't you say
2. Bosch SHA5AO $99 Good basic Bosch
3. Frigidaire Fdh2433 $169 Integrated and feature laden


Almost nothing qualifies here

1. Hotpoint HTH17 $199 17 cubic foot basic, but $199?
2. GE GSH25 $699 25 cubic foot side by side
3. Maytag MBF22 $839 Decent stainless bottom mount

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pro Grills

Post number 900 of the Yale Blog...hard to believe on so many levels. Let's return to an earlier gilded era, and show you the features of a professional grill. Typically, these units will be available in 27, 30, 36, 41 and 53 inches wide.

The key to buying and enjoying a professional grill is the BTU output. A 36 inch version should have an output of 75,000 BTUs. More heat means better performance. Also, the construction should be a weather resistant stainless steel .

Some other features/options:

True-Sear element: A high powered infra-red element to quickly sear the meats
Smoker box: An accessory to place wood chips to add smokey flavor
Rotisserie: You know this one....For even cooking, there should be an element behind the rotisserie
Side burners: Side burners for cooking corn, etc...on most pro grills, they are fairly hot at 15,000 BTUs

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Product in Review

When I first started writing the ole blog, I started comparing a front load to a top load. Well one product has changed and one hasn't (since 1948).

The New Bosch WFVC645:

4.4 Cubic foot capacity.....Older front loads averaged 3.5 to 3.8 cubic feet
13 gallons of water....versus 17-19
130 KWH....versus 220
RPM spin: 1100 versus 800. (Faster spin will dry the clothes allowing for less time in the dryer)

Any Top Load:

2.5 Cubic foot capacity (remove the volume of the agitator)
42 gallons per wash
440 KWH
RPM spin 400

So the front load is now almost twice bigger, uses less than a third of the water and about one quarter of the energy and spins three times faster.

In 2006, EnergyStar claimed the savings would be about $100 per year. This was based on 8 loads a week. Of course the front load equivalent would be about 5 loads.

Savings now should be at least $150-200 (not including the energy saved for the dryer)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Michael Myers Meets Cash For Clunkers

This promotion just wont quit. Latest news:

All 39,000 applications will be honored including wait list

You now have until May 12th(to buy a $49 dishwasher) to purchase and June 26th to accept delivery.

MASS SAVE Great Appliance Exchange


You are receiving this email because you secured at least one of the more than 39,000 rebate reservations during last Thursday's Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange. Due to the overwhelming response to the program - all of the reservations were taken in 2 ½ hours - the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has decided to fulfill ALL reservations, including those on the waiting list.
The deadlines for appliance purchases and for submitting paperwork have both been extended by one week to accommodate wait-listed customers. Everyone with a reservation, including those originally on the wait list, must purchase their eligible appliances by May 12, take delivery of new appliances, have old inefficient ones picked up for recycling, and submit necessary paperwork by June 26, 2010 (must be postmarked on or before this date).
If you had difficulty viewing your confirmation or printing your Rebate Application Form during the reservation process and have not yet received an email with your information, or if you need an additional copy of your form, please call and speak to a Customer Service Agent at 1-877-MA SWAP1 (1-877-627-9271). After selecting your preferred language (English or Spanish) press Option 2.
IF YOU RECEIVED YOUR REBATE APPLICATION FORM, please continue with the following steps:
  1. Visit a pre-approved Massachusetts retail store (a list of pre-approved retail stores can be found at www.MassSave.com/GAX).
  2. Choose and purchase an eligible model by May 12th (a complete list of eligible models can be found at www.MassSave.com/GAX).
  3. Schedule delivery of your new unit and removal of old unit with retailer.
  4. Fill out the rebate form that is pre-printed with your reservation number(s) on it.
  5. When sending in completed application, include documentation necessary for verification purposes:
    • Rebate form with the pre-printed reservation number(s)
    • Copy of sales receipt showing appliance was purchased during the time period of April 22 through May 12, 2010 and containing manufacturer, make, and complete model number of the product, as well as store address and sales price for each product purchased
    • Copy of a recent electric utility bill with account number for the installation address
    • Copy of delivery document confirming pick up of old appliance(s)
  6. Send completed rebate application package for processing (address provided on rebate form) postmarked by June 26, 2010.
If you lost appliances due to recent flooding and your appliances have already been removed and disposed of, you may be eligible for an exemption from the haul-away/recycling requirements of the Exchange. To receive an exemption, please provide documentation of either:
  1. Your insurance claim OR
  2. Documentation from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) indicating the affected appliance.
This documentation must be submitted with your rebate application package; it is in place of the haul-away documentation. Also, please write "STORM DAMAGE" next to your signature on the Rebate Application Form.
In addition, there are ongoing incentives and programs that are available through Mass Save, which is a public-private partnership of the Commonwealth's energy efficiency program administrators (Bay State Gas, Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact, National Grid, New England Gas Company, NSTAR, Unitil, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).
Please explore www.MassSave.com/residential.aspx for other energy efficiency incentives and programs that can help you save money and protect the environment.
Thank you for your participation in the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange!

Finally Something Really Cool

Have peek at this:

You are looking at totally customizable LED tiles: You choose the color, the grid pattern and even the shape and size. These tiles are great inside or outside and can be activated any number of ways including motion sensing. Find more info from Tilit.

Immediate applications: Decks, kitchens and hallways.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Imitation is Flattery

I was eating at The GasLight in the South End. It's a beautiful, French bistro. They had a staff of designers to really build an authentic eatery. Now most of you do not have a staff, and not a ton of time either.

From a lighting aspect, this type of style is pretty easy to emulate. The French restaurants seem to use a lot of opal shades and optic glass.

Have a look:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cash For Clunkers...Delivery

If you are placing orders against your reservations, be careful about backorders and long lead times. The product must be delivered by June 19th in order to qualify for the State rebate

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Return of Cash For Clunkers

State just announced:

1. They will honor all reservations
2. They will have a similar promotion and allocate 5 million sometime in spring/summer

Cash For Clunkers..Not Dead Yet

The energy secretary will be at Yale at 3:30 to announce something. I dont know what that something is yet

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cash For Clunkers...Reservation List

Yes, this process was trying to say the least. Their call center supposedly had over 1 million calls in a couple of hours.

You still might have a chance if you are on a waiting list. If people do not use the rebates, then the money will be divided amongst the people on the wait list on a first come first serve basis

The Money is Gone

As of 11:56, the state site has run out of rebates. For the people who were not able to obtain reservations, sign up on the wait list. There will be people who will not use the confirmations and that money becomes available

For the people who were lucky enough to obtain a reservation, thats half the struggle. Now you have to find qualifying products and schedule deliveries before June 15th


This site is running slowly as well....as is the phone number

Keep trying...most people arent aware of the site change

Go To Maswap1.com

www.maswap1.com...original site has a bug

Cash For Clunkers Now

To qualify for Cash For Clunkers:

Logon to www.Masssave.com/residential
or call 1-877-Ma-Swap1

You have to register multiple times for different categories, and then buy a qualifying piece in the store

There will be 30,000 people calling for rebates in about 15 minutes. There probably will be some minor issues

Good Luck

I will be manning Click to Chat if you have questions

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Click To Chat

I will be manning The Yale Click To Chat Lines about Cash For Clunkers from 12-2:30 on Wednesday April 21. Just go to Yaleappliance.com and hit the click to chat button

Cash For Clunker....Final

Now that the hounds of publicity have been released, lets cover the fine points of what this promotion is and better yet how to qualify

The Great Appliance Exchange AKA "Cash For Clunkers" is a Federally sponsored stimulus package. It mandates $250 for qualifying dishwashers, $200 for qualifying refrigerators, $175 for qualifying washers and $50 for qualifying freezers from April 22-May 5. It is an exchange program meaning you buy a qualifying EnergyStar product for your old inefficient products

Couple of fine points:

1. You must register at masssave.com or 1-877 Ma Swap at 10 am Thursday April 22

2. You must register multiple times for multiple products

3. Purchases must be consummated in store, not online or on the phone

4. If you register for a particular product, you cannot apply it to another product

5. Product must be delivered by a qualifying dealer...Customer cannot pickup(Not our rules, sorry)

6. The program ends when the money is depleted

The skinny AKA My Advice AKA Do this please

1. Be First on Masssave or 1-877-masswap1

2. Be first in choosing products. We are amongst the last state to execute this program. The manufacturers have shortages due to demand

3. Be first on delivery...Trucks will be bogged down

4. Fill out the paperwork properly

Look at our website at Yaleappliance.com for more information...Good luck tomorrow. It will be interesting

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clunker Considerations

MassSave, Great Appliance Exchange, Cash For Clunkers or whatever the name, has been huge in other states. For example, Rhode Island ran out of money within a couple of hours.

There are a couple of considerations for Mass residents. First, there will be shortages, because we are last to promote. Secondly, not all the products qualify. In fact most do not.

Let me break it down by category.


Dont bother (either doesn't qualify or has no availability):


Almost anything front loading qualifies
Best Values:
Bosch (they have limited supply, if any)


Refrigerators are the weakest category. Frigidaire has not shipped their tier 3 qualifying refrigeration. Bosch has zip. Most of the premium products do not qualify....


Don't bother:
Everything else with some minor exceptions

So good luck...do some basic research and you should be able to buy very well (at least until the money runs out)

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Week Of Clunkers

This will be a good week for the Ole Blog. You will see the best pieces to consider for Cash For Clunkers (April 22-May 5), and we will have some regular posts as well.

Now have a look at this Bosch WFVC3300...

This is not a bad time to buy a $700 4.4 cubic foot washer for $299 after instant and mail in rebates.

To review:

Go to MassSave.com at 10 am on April 22, 2010 at 10 am sharp.
You have to register 4 different times if you want a refrigerator, washer, freezer and dishwasher.
You must buy an approved energystar appliance...not everything qualifies.
If you want a reminderto register, then click here...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cash For Clunkers...Refrigerators

How does this $499 17 cubic foot Hotpoint become $199?

Simple math really:

$50 Instant Yale rebate
$50 EnergyStar rebate
$200 Great Appliance Exchange (aka Cash for Clunkers) April 22-May 5 or when funding is depleted)

Remember: Be first on April 22...Go to YaleAppliance.com for all the nuances of this program

Have a nice weekend

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Future Of Incandescent

I am leading a panel discussion about The Future of Incandescent Lighting tomorrow at the RDC show. Personally, the incandescent bulb should be outlawed (then only outlaws will have incandescents), because it is only 10% efficient, lasts about 5 months and emits 90% of its energy as heat. That's 300 degrees, which will turn on your air conditioner.

A 100 watt bulb will cost Mass citizens $45 dollars a year to operate if used only 6 hours...(How many people left the lights on at home as you are reading this.)

Below is my presentation to the trade...

Big thanks to www.michaelbluejay.com and his energy calculator....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Many Brands of Induction

An anonymous poster asked the difference between the profusion of new induction cooktops (induction is faster, less heat retentive, childsafe, with a better simmer and 90% efficient, and yes it is cheaper than pro gas).

We show Thermador, Bosch, GE, Wolf, Electrolux, Viking and Gaggenau. Most are identical looking with the big burner in the middle and the smaller units on the sides. We have several of these units live, and that middle burner is fast, really fast...But as it turns out, they are not identical, here are the top wattage:

Miele- 3850
Wolf- 4000
Viking- 3700
Electrolux- 3800
Kitchenaid- 3600
GE- 3700
Bosch- 4400
Thermador- 4600

Fastest: Thermador

Best Value: Electrolux

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cash For Clunkers Almost Final

Well our Cash For Clunkers microsite(go to Yaleappliance.com) is finally operational. I do not want to be heavy handed or overly promotional, but C4C has been a huge success in every participating state. It starts and probably ends on April 22

Most of you are not in our trade area, but participate if it is being offered where you live

You(and I) will never again see a $49 stainless steel dishwasher in your lifetime

Monday, April 12, 2010

Task Lighting....Track

To rehash how to light a room, There are 4 different light sources: Decorative, which provides the visual pop and depth like chandeliers...Ambient or uplighting provides even, environmental lighting from pendants and sconces. Accent lighting highlights objects.

But the most important element of lighting is task, which is provided by track or recessed. Task lighting provides the functional light for the room and is the backbone of any lighting plan. The majority of new construction employs recessed, but track has its merits. It is more versatile with movable light sources (called track heads).

It also has become more unique and customizable with literally thousands of possibilities...and you do not have to cut into your ceiling multiple times like recessed...

Have a look at some apps:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cash For Clunkers...Yet Again

Cash For Clunkers AKA The Great Appliance Exchange is a state funded rebate program. Rebates are $250 on a dishwasher, $200 on a refrigerator, $175 on a washer and $50 on a freezer.

From a price/value standpoint, the trick is to piggyback the state rebate with manufacturer rebates...

Have a look:
Bosch dishwasher normally $500.....On April 22, the price after rebates is $99. We will be sending our last Cash for Clunker rebate on Tuesday...Click here to sign up.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Induction Compared

I really am unbiased. What people buy at Yale is consequential to me as long as they are happy with their purchase and are treated fairly. However, when a product is superior, I will certainly extol its virtues (unless it has a bad repair record).

Induction is that product. It is faster, safer, easier to simmer and less expensive than pro gas. We have a number of Youtube videos demonstrating this.

Electrolux seems to be ahead in the induction category. Lets compare their two slide in models:

Frigidaire (an Electrolux Brand) FPCF3085UF...

At $2599, this unit is hybrid induction meaning two of the five burners are induction and the other two are electric. This unit also features a convection oven and warming drawer

Electrolux EW30IS65JS $3599

Better than above with a more intuitive (still like that word) control panel, all induction burners and a second oven instead of just a warmer.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

New Products

Every year in April there is a new appliance show in Boxborough. This year was somewhat sparse, because we are almost four years in a recession. Manufacturers have decreased their R&D and focused on their core competencies.

There were a few kernels of innovation:

Big winner: Frigidaire induction slide-in with convection and warming drawer

Second Place: GE 20 cubic foot french door

Distant Third: AGA 36 inch professional

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Evolution of Laundry

Lets look at this popular Bosch washer:

Success aside, it was discontinued for this model

Sure, the newer one is a bit larger and eco-friendly, but it is irregular for a manufacturer to completely change a productive series before its time. Bosch had very good reasons:

The new model could stack with a matching dryer. Stacking has become very important as many people are now placing the laundry near the bedroom instead of the basement.

So Bosch could kill two proverbial birds (hate that cliche) by entering a growing market and still produce only one machine.

Then again, they could be following Frigidaire, Electrolux, Whirlpool and GE who have already been producing this type of product for years. You probably don't see too many one piece washer dryer stacks any more for that reason.

And yes, Cash For Clunkers will cover these units extensively.....If you want to know the best Cash For Clunker models, and better yet how to qualify, sign up for our C4C newsletter...

Monday, April 05, 2010

How To Buy a Weber Grill

Weber is the best non-professional grill. It has decent output and is durable, which are the two most desired traits of an outside cooking product.

They have three basic series (and iterations thereof)

The Spirit

Good basic grill with 36,000 BTU porcelain grates and flavorizing bars.

The Genesis

Better grill with more weather-resistant stainless construction and stainless grates, larger cooking area and 42,000 BTU output. The Genesis is available with or without the side burner.

The Summit

Weber's best grill has 60,000 BTU, a rotisserie with an infrared heating element (The Genesis also has a rotisserie without the infrared) and a smoker box to infuse smokey flavor.

Prices start at $499 including delivery and assembly (because you don't want to).

Just as a FYI if you want to learn how to BBQ, we have a couple really great grilling seminars from nationally ranked BBQ'ers:

April 17th: Andy Husbands and his IQUE BBQ team. Sign up.

May 8th: Doug "Ribswithin" Keiles. Sign up.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Cash For Clunker...Part 6

The Frigidaire front loader...

Its a pretty decent deal at around $500. It has 40% more capacity than your top loading, uses 25 less gallons of water per wash as well as half the electricity.

How would you like to buy it for $250??....then read this memo.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Failure....Its the New Success

Enough with the how-to's, green tips, etc...If Google can celebrate failure than so can we. Have a look at some appliances which you as the buying public refused to buy.

The LG all everything refrigerator.

Years ago, a refrigerator with internet capability, jukebox, tv, camera and menus would be desirable. In my marketing experience, ask people if they want something, they will invariably say yes (heck I want my refer to do the same). However, if you tell them it is $8,000, they (along with I will) say no. This unit exists only in our lunchroom, where it holds our lunches....like a regular refrigerator.

The Whirlpool Polara

I actually liked this product. You can grab an item out of the freezer, defrost and then cook it in the same oven...It refrigerated and cooked....We sold one. The display. The whole "smart" appliance trend never materialized as people did not want to pay the premium. We want our appliances dumb and cheap

The Maytag Neptune
The Neptune killed the 100 year old Maytag company. In what seems an eon ago, Maytag was known for dependability. The Neptune failed in peoples homes at a staggering rate. Either Maytag couldn't or wouldn't rectify the issue thus killing its pedigree, brand and marketing...It exists today only as a division of the Whirlpool company.

Tomorrow its back to more successful products.