November 18, 2017

Archives for December 2010

Ten Money Saving Tips – Read This Before You Buy

Here are some handy tips to consider if you really want to save money on your next appliance purchase:

1. Buy Last Year’s Model
If you don’t mind owning last year’s model, you can shave hundreds of dollars off of your appliance purchase. Best time to shop: September and October when stores are under pressure to clear space for the new arrivals.

2. Shop the Scratch and Dents
A small scratch or dent could become your best friend if you’re on a tight budget. Ask the sales associate if they have any damaged appliances for sale. Then, survey the damaged models to decide what you are willing to live with – even the smallest blemish can net big savings.

3. Buy What You Need
Have you ever noticed how the most expensive appliance models are typically the first that you come to in the store? No coincidence, I assure you. To keep yourself from falling for the latest bells and whistles, make a list of what you need before you venture into the stores. Then, buy the cheapest model that meets those needs. Just remember: that refrigerator with the built-in TV isn’t going to keep your food any colder.

4. Do a Trade-In
It’s no secret that trading in your car can save you money on a new car purchase, but did you know that you can sometimes do the same thing with your appliances? Check with appliance dealers in your area to see if any accept trade-ins. Then, find out how much your current appliance is worth. It could just be your ticket to a bargain.

5. Shop the Sales
Find something you like, but not thrilled with the price? Ask a sales associate when your pick is scheduled to go on sale. Waiting a week or two could be all it takes to reduce your purchase price by 25%. September and October are the best months to make major purchases but the second-best time is during the holidays. Merchants offer deep discounts at Christmas, when consumers want to spiff up their homes for the holidays. Also keep an eye out for sales on the less-celebrated weekends, like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and Labor Day.

6. Look for a Package Deal
Need a washer and dryer or all new appliances for your kitchen? If so, an appliance package could be your biggest source of savings. Retailers frequently bundle appliances to boost sales, and these packages can offer significant savings over the price of purchasing each item individually.

7. Buy a Floor Model
Do you mind if your new appliance comes without a box? If not, consider purchasing a floor model. You’ll enjoy the same warranty that you’d get with a new-in-box item, without the new-in-box price. Sacrifice a little cardboard and save a lot.


8. Shop Box Stores

Shopping warehouse and box stores can be hit or miss. Sometimes you get a great deal and other times you may pay more. When it comes to appliances, however, you may be surprised at the bargains you can find. Such stores don’t usually honor price matches so what you see is what you get. Before hitting these cut-rate stores, research prices and quality online.

9. Avoid Rentals
It’s tempting to pay just $20 a week for a new refrigerator, but the interest you’ll pay for a rent-to-own appliance means you end up paying much more than the purchase price. These retailers thrive on consumers who pay the minimum amount each month or end up reneging on payments and losing the appliance.

10. Surf Craigslist
Keep an eye on the appliances section for low prices on brand new appliances. Dealers sometimes advertise their overstocks on Craigslist. Look for “dealer” notations to know if you’re working with a store and not a private seller. Realtors and remodeling contractors also offer new or nearly new appliances. You’ll likely have to manage your own delivery and installation, however.

Credit to about.com and couponshepa.com

Recall: STIHL Inc. Chain Saws Due to Laceration Hazard

Name of Product: STIHL MS 361C chain saws (C-Q version)

Units: About 5,000

Manufacturer: STIHL Incorporated of Virginia Beach, Va.

Hazard: The throttle trigger may stick after it has been released by the operator, which could cause the engine to continue to run at a speed that drives the saw chain. This can pose a risk of a laceration injury to the user or a bystander.

Incidents/Injuries: STIHL has received three reports of the throttle trigger sticking. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled chain saws have a rear-handle activated chain brake (C-Q version) and have an orange top casing, gray base, black handle and “STIHL MS 361C” printed in an orange circle on the side of the unit.

Sold at: Authorized STIHL dealers nationwide from February 2004 through August 2009 for about $640.

Manufactured in: United States.

Remedy: Consumers should stop using these chain saws immediately and return them to an authorized STIHL dealer for a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact STIHL at (800) 610-6677 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit STIHL’s website at www.stihlusa.com

LG Electronics Debuts New Four Door French-Door Refrigerator

LG’s new four-door refrigerator, with an ultra-large capacity of nearly 28 cubic feet, is among the largest in the industry. This LG model offers the most refrigerator shelf space available, even more than refrigerators with a larger claimed capacity. The refrigerator compartment can accommodate up to 47 gallons of milk and provides ample space for the entire family’s favorite foods, as well as keeps them conveniently organized and within reach.

Innovations such as the Slim SpacePlus Ice System allow for more shelf space providing greater organization and access for consumers. This innovation moves the icemaker from the top shelf of the refrigerator to the door, which is compact enough to also include door bin shelves, allowing for maximum refrigerator shelf space.

Additional convenience features of this four-door model include two bottom freezer drawers. With these two separate freezer drawers, consumers have easy, organized access to the things they need often—and an ample lower compartment that is perfect for larger items or longer-term storage.

The refrigerator’s upgraded Four Compartment Crisper System is designed to help keep fresh foods organized and ensure every fruit, vegetable and soda has its place. With three top drawers – two of which are humidity-controlled – and a fourth Glide N’ Serve drawer below, there is greater organization and easier access. The extra tall ice and water dispensing center, measures 12.6 inches, among the tallest in the industry. A slide-out pitcher rest makes filling uniquely shaped and assorted sized pitchers and glasses easy, including coffee pots and sports bottles.

LG’s Four-Door French-Door Refrigerator Evolution…Converta Drawer

With this latest model, LG has transformed the concept of the four-door refrigerator with a unique Converta Freezer Drawer, which allows the top freezer drawer to be used as extra refrigerator space if needed. This delivers new flexibility options previously unavailable to consumers, and is especially helpful for entertaining at home when extra space is often desired. Additionally, this drawer can operate at numerous temperatures, including at a “soft freeze” setting to safely thaw meat and poultry. With the Converta drawer set to refrigerator mode, this model can accommodate up to 53 gallons of milk, nearly 13 percent more than the already-spacious refrigerator section alone. This is more fresh-food storage space than any other freestanding French-door refrigerator on the market.

In addition to the convenience of Converta Drawer, this refrigerator includes an auto open/close freezer drawer option. This enables users to automatically open and close the bottom freezer drawers with the touch of a button, making it easier to access food items or unload groceries. The drawers also have an assisted open/close function; a slight push or pull on the drawer will prompt it to open/close by itself. A Safety Interruption feature stops automatic closing if a child’s hand or any obstacles are in the way.

Stainless Steel Never Looked So Green…Linear Compressor Technology

To achieve maximum efficiency, LG redesigned the refrigerator’s compressor, the element that uses the most energy. Typically, the refrigerator’s compressor is either running at full capacity or off completely; however, LG’s Linear Compressor can vary output depending on need, saving eight to 17 percent in energy usage compared to previous models with conventional compressors. This technology leads to fewer temperature swings, which means consumers use less energy and spend less money. LG’s Energy Star rated refrigerator is 20 percent more efficient than the minimum federal standard. The compressor is backed with a 10-year warranty, so consumers can be confident their home will be environmentally friendly for years to come.

LG’s new French-door refrigerator (Model: LMX28994) is available at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $3,299.

Winter Safety Tip – How to Prevent Dryer Fires

One of the ways that dryers can start household fires is by igniting the excess lint that accumulates around the motor, burner shroud (for gas dryers) and cabinet interior. Lint is composed of very small, dry clothing particles which includes cotton and polyesters–both very good fires starters. Polyesters are particularly pernicious fires starters and are very difficult to extinguish once they ignite. Polyesters, vinyl in particular, pose another fire hazard when used as vent hoses, which we’ll talk more about later.

There are three things you can do to prevent the threat of fire from accumulated lint inside your dryer. First, clean your lint filter before every load. This will minimize the lint blow-by around the filter and save energy by helping the dryer run more efficiently.

Second, inspect your lint filter each time you pull it out. If you see any rips or distortions in the screen, replace the filter immediately.

Finally, have your dryer professionally disassembled and cleaned annually. A thorough professional cleaning removes accumulated lint and dirt from the dryer cabinet interior, motor, and burner or heating elements. In addition to substantially reducing the risk of dryer fires, this type of regular cleaning will help the drum bearings and rollers last longer, preventing or minimizing future service calls.

Many dryer installations use the common, cheap white vinyl vent hose for the dryer exhaust. These hoses were never UL-approved for dryer installations and are increasingly being recognized by local building codes as fire hazards. The American Household Appliance Manufacturers Association (AHAM) recommends the use of either rigid aluminum or steel duct or spiral-wound aluminum flex hose–NOT the white vinyl hose. For any dryer, but especially gas dryers, white vinyl vent hose should never be used and if yours has this installed on it, replace it ASAP with UL-approved materials.

One of the biggest causes of vent hose fires is the ignition of accumulated lint inside the vent hose. Lint gets caught in the folds and creases and sticks there because of the humidity. Over time, the lint builds up to such a degree that the dryer cannot exhaust properly. This results in increased drying times initially and, ultimately, in a fire. Once a fire starts in a vinyl vent hose, the hose itself ignites and burns vigorously creating a fire that is very difficult to extinguish.

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Recall: Sterno Portable Butane Stoves Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

Name of Product: Sterno Portable Butane Stoves

Units: About 37,500

Importer: The Sterno Group LLC, of Des Plaines, Ill.

Hazard: The stove’s “on-off” valve can fail to close completely when turned to the “off” position, causing butane to leak from the stove. This poses a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Sterno has received one report of a stove failing to completely shut off. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled portable butane stoves have model numbers STO6001 and 50006. The single burner stoves are black and measure about 14 inches wide x 12 inches long x 4 inches high. They use an eight-ounce butane canister as the fuel source. “Sterno” is printed on the front of the stove. The model number and UPC 0-27371-50006-9 or UPC 0-76642-06001-6 is printed on the stove’s packaging.

Sold at: Sporting goods stores and other retail stores nationwide, including Puerto Rico, from September 2009 through September 2010, and to restaurants and restaurant supply stores from August 2006 through September 2010 for between $20 and $30.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled portable butane stoves and contact Sterno for instructions to return the units to Sterno for a free replacement stove. Do not return the stoves to the place of purchase.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Sterno toll-free at (877) 478-3766 between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.sterno.com

Recall: Fagor America Inc.Refrigerators Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Fagor Refrigerators

Units: About 1,400

Importer: Fagor America Inc., of Lyndhurst, N.J.

Hazard: The refrigerator’s control board can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Fagor America has received 19 reports of incidents, including two reports of fires resulting in damage to the refrigerator and surrounding property. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Fagor 24-inch wide refrigerators sold in stainless steel and black. “Fagor” is printed on the refrigerator’s front door. Model and serial numbers are located inside the refrigerator door, on the left hand side near the food storage drawers.

Model: Fagor T/3FCA-68NFX — Serial numbers starting with 0609xxxxx through 0727xxxxx
Model: 3FCA-68NFX — Serial numbers starting with 0746xxxxx through 1017xxxxx
Model: FCA-86ART — Serial numbers starting with 0839xxxxx through 0915xxxxx

Sold at: Specialty Home Appliance Stores nationwide between July 2006 and May 2010 for between $2,000 and $2,500.

Manufactured in: Spain

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the refrigerator, unplug it and contact the Fagor repair hotline to schedule a free inspection and repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Fagor America at (888) 354-4411 between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.fagoramerica.com

Recall: Wal-Mart Recalls Electric Heaters Due to Fire and Burn Hazard

Name of Product: Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze & Comfort Essentials Heaters

Units: About 2.2 million

Importer: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Arkansas

Hazard: The heaters can malfunction resulting in overheating, smoking, burning, melting and fire.

Incidents/Injuries: Wal-Mart has received 21 reports of incidents, which included 11 reports of property damage beyond the heater. Injuries were reported in four incidents, three of which required medical attention for minor burns and smoke inhalation. The remaining incidents included smoke irritation, sparking or property damage beyond the heater.

Description: This recall involves Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze and Comfort Essentials 1500 watt heaters. The heaters are grey with a metal handle on the top with vents and grey control knobs on the front. The model number is 1013 and can be found on a label on the lower left corner of the back panel of the heater.

Sold Exclusively at: Walmart stores nationwide from December 2001 through October 2009 for about $18.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled heater and return the product to any Walmart store for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Wal-Mart toll-free at (800) 925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.walmart.com

Space Heater Safety – Keep Your Loved Ones Safe

A portable electric heater can be a great convenience in cold weather, but if not used properly can be a fire or electric shock hazard. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has developed this helpful list of tips for safely using a portable electric heater. Take time to review the information in
this guide, as well as the use and care manual provided by the manufacturer.

These safety tips apply to all types of portable electric heaters.

    Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using your portable electric heater.
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    DO NOT leave operating heater unattended and always unplug heater when not in use.

    DO NOT use your heater with a power strip or extension cord. Overheating of a power strip or extension cord could result in a fire.

    String out cords on top of area rugs or carpeting. Placing anything, including furniture, on top of the cord may damage it.

    Keep combustible materials, such as furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes and curtains at least three feet from the front of the heater and away from the sides and rear. DO NOT block heater’s air intake or exhaust source.

    Keep flammable materials away from the heater.

    Unless the heater is designed for outdoor use or in bathrooms, DO NOT use in damp or wet areas. Parts in the heater may be damaged by moisture.

    Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug does not fit snugly into the outlet or if the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced. Check with a qualified electrician to replace the outlet.

    Unplug the heater when not in use by pulling the plug straight out from the outlet. Inspect the heater’s cord periodically. DO NOT use a heater with a damaged cord.

    DO NOT plug any other electrical device into the same outlet as your heater. This could result in overheating.

    Heaters should be kept away from children and not be placed in a child’s room without supervision.

    Place heater on a level, flat surface. Only use heater on table tops when specified by the manufacturer. DO NOT place your heater on furniture. It could fall, dislodging or breaking parts in the heater.