Appliance Savings

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Combining utility, manufacturer, store and state rebates when buying a single Energy Star appliance can save hundreds of dollars.

Depending on where you live, the savings on new appliances this spring could be very significant.

Major appliance manufacturers such as Thermador, LG,  Monogram and Sub-Zero are making the dollar go further with large rebates on appliance packages (Ovens, Ranges & Cooktops, etc.) that probably do not fall under the Energy Star requirements in the State Rebate programs.

Rebate Programs Overview

Thermador’s One, Two, FREE

Purchase a Professional Series 36- or 48-inch Range, or any Rangetop, or any Masterpiece Series Cooktop, with an accompanying Professional or Masterpiece Double or Triple Oven and get a free Thermador Emerald Dishwasher.

New for 2010, step-up to Thermador’s top-of-the-line Sapphire™ 6-program Dishwashers for an additional $500 or $750 (depending on model).

Add any Thermador Refrigerator or any two Freedom Columns and get any size free Ventilation System.

Thermaodr Freedom columns are Energy Star Qualified while the built-in refrigeration is not and will not qualify for state rebates.

LG’s Buy More, Save More

Homeowners who purchase an appliance within 2, 3 or 4 categories qualify for a $200, $300 or $500 rebate.  Add a LWS3081ST or LWD3081ST wall oven and get a bonus $500 mail-in rebate for up to $1000 in savings.

Monogram’s Luxury Has It’s Rewards

Buy any pro range and hood OR cooktop, wall oven and hood and receive and instant rebate of $1,000.  Add a built-in refrigerator and get an additional $1000 rebate.

Monogram’s list of qualified refrigerators appear to be Energy Star Certified making them eligible for State rebate programs.

Sub-Zero and Wolf  National Consumer Promotion

Purchase a full-size (600 series excluded) built-in integrated or pro refrigerator plus any Range OR any wall oven with accompanying range top or 30″/36″ cooktop and receive an instant $1000 savings.

If you purchase 6 additional appliances you can receive an additional $1,500 in savings ($250 each). Eligible appliances listed here.

Not all of Sub-Zero’s refrigerators such as the Pro Refrigeration and the Dispenser models are Energy Star Qualified.  Check your selection for eligibility in State rebate programs.

* Subject to retail participation.

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Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater

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GE home heat pump water heaterAfter air heating and cooling, home water heating is the largest in residential energy consumption. Hot water heaters are responsible for about 17% of residential energy use.

The new industry-exclusive GE Hybrid Electric Water Heater is designed to provide the same hot water homeowners are accustomed to, but requires only about half the energy to produce it.

The water heater first uses a heat pump to bring the water up to the temperature of the ambient air. Then the electric water heater takes over, bringing the water up to 140 degrees F. This takes longer than direct heating but it only consumes 550 watts of power. If you need more power for visitor’s showers, then the electric element kicks in providing more hot water with a shorter recovery time.

The GE Hybrid Electric Water Heater is designed for easy installation because it uses the existing water and electrical connections and occupies the same footprint as a traditional tank water heater, making it perfect for new construction or a replacement upgrade.

A 30% federal tax credit may kick in for those qualified, alongside some state side Energy Star savings.

* Consumes up to 62%* less energy than a standard electric water heater
* Results in energy savings of $320 per year*
* Exceeds ENERGY STAR® minimum requirements of 2.0 Energy Factor (EF) with 2.35 EF
* Available  November 2009 in 50 gallon size

GE Water heater control pad

Bookmark Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater

Showerheads are filled with nasty bacteria

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New research suggests that many shower heads are teeming with Mycobacterium avium, a bacteria that can cause lung disease. Should you be worried?

Researchers from the University of Colorado conducted  tests on 45 different shower heads from nine cities in the United States, using genetic testing to reveal bacteria that can’t be detected by the usual method of growing them in a dish.

The type and number of bacteria in shower heads varied from place to place, often corresponding roughly with levels of bacteria in the water supply. However, one type of bacteria, called mycobacteria, appeared in higher numbers inside shower heads. The researchers think these bacteria form a waxy biofilm that’s not easily washed away by water.

The most noteworthy finding was a species called Mycobacterium avium. It’s common, often found in water and soil, and about 20 percent of the swabs gave test results suggesting that Mycobacterium avium could be present. Mycobacterium avium does have the potential to make people ill, although the immune system of a healthy person will almost always keep this germ in check.

“If you are getting a face full of water when you first turn your shower on, that means you are probably getting a particularly high load of Mycobacterium avium, which may not be too healthy,” said lead researcher Norman Pace.

Since most people do not stand facing the shower when they first turn it on  and attempt to swallow the first water that comes out there is no reason to be alarmed.

“[The study] is nothing to freak out about because most germs don’t hurt you,” says Philip M. Tierno Jr., PhD, the director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center. People come into contact with 60,000 types or groups of bacteria on a regular basis, says Tierno. “Only one or two percent are pathogenic,” he explains.

If all this talk of bacteria has you worried,  before you rush off to bleach your showerhead know that mycobacteria will slowly grow back. When researchers did try treating one shower head with diluted bleach, they ended up with a greater proportion of some (harmless) bacteria in subsequent tests.

Metal showerheads appear to be less likely than plastic showerheads to grow biofilm, according to the researchers. Tierno recommends taking a steel brush and good cleaning solution to wash out metal showerheads or replacing them once a year or more frequently, like they do in hospitals.

If you are still feeling scared that your immune system will not protect you consider taking cold showers since bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments.

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Magnetic Artwork

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motifo_refirgeratorA while ago I wrote about how you can add some whimsy and color to your kitchen with the top-mount refrigerators from Amana.  Now you can achieve new flair using your existing refrigerator with a magnetic artwork kit from Motifo 

One pack of 1296 magnetic tiles contains six colour-coded designs  for creating your own masterpiece or you can use the Motifo templates to make portraits of Audrey Hepburn, Muhammad Ali, Pink or Yoda to name a few.

A pack costs $79.95 from, where you can also download the new design templates regularly added to the site.

Obviously you can use these anywhere they will stick.  I think they could be used to liven up a plain steel entry door or bank of filing cabinets.

 albert_motifo  barack_motifo  scream_motifo  surfer_motifo

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