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Appliance Factory Outlet & Mattresses is Colorado's largest independent retailer of household appliances, employing more than 300 people in 12 stores.

Customer Concerns About Buying A New Mattress. Is This You?

There are quite a few myths, questions, concerns, and even fears based around buying a new mattress. People in the market for a new mattress may not understand that the mattress they end up buying could affect more than just their sleep. Purchasing a mattress that fits your physical needs can improve your quality of life.

Several people are uneasy about buying a new mattress because it is such a large part of our lives. Our mattresses are to us as chargers are to our phones – it’s where we go to charge back up for the next day, so changing the platform in which your body rests on can be really nerve-racking.

When you think of purchasing a mattress, what are your concerns? You would be surprised how many other people have similar hesitations. Below are some customer concerns that July’s edition of Sleep Savvy came up with – can you relate?

 

  1. 1.   Knowing when to replace your mattress

Consumers need help identifying when to replace their mattresses.

  • “I usually replace (my mattress) when there are holes in it or it sags so bad I can’t sleep”
  • “I replace when I feel a sunken impression made by years of sleeping in the same place on  my mattress”

From our previous mattress post, Improve the Quality of Your Sleep:

4 Signs you desperately need a new mattress set

  • You wake up with stiffness, numbness, and aches and pains.
  • You had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed, such as a hotel.
  • Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse – it sags, has lumps, the interior is exposed, etc.
  • Your mattress is 7 years old or older.
  1. 2.   Being overwhelmed with options

Some consumers don’t know where to start.

  • “I hate shopping when the options are limitless.”
  • “Do I start by researching the technology or find something in my price range?”

Our Mattress Buyer for Mattress Kingdom always asks, “Do you prefer to sleep in the mattress or on the mattress?” If you know if you like to sink in to your mattress or like to sleep comfortably on top of it, that will eliminate about 50% of your options to get you started. You also want to keep your physical needs in mind: do you have a bad back, in which position do you typically sleep, etc. Keeping all of this in mind and talking to a mattress specialist about these things will help eliminate most of your confusion and help make the experience a more pleasant one.

  1. 3.   PDA… with a mattress

Consumers are embarrassed about testing mattresses in public.

  • “I hate going to a store to look at a mattress. You can never really lie down and test it like you would at home. I am afraid of messing up the mattress or of everyone staring at me.”

The reason why mattress retailers have test beds is so you can get a feel of what you are looking to purchase. You shouldn’t be shy to test out the bed you are interested in, I mean, it’s a very important and impactful purchase! How will you know which bed is for you if you don’t get a feel for it; so jump on in and get comfy!

  1. 4.   The “used car salesman” approach

Consumers liked genuine retail associates who encouraged “test-drives.”

  • “(The retail associate) immediately had me lay down on a mattress while she talked about it and asked me how it felt. She was not pushy at all and kept reminding me which ones were firmer and which weren’t to help me remember. She was very knowledgeable and shared stories from her customers. She never made me feel that I was bothering her or wasting her time.”

Most mattress retailers understand that the customers coming in are shopping for “the most important health care product in the house hold.” They have also been mattress customers themselves so they will understand you mean when you say, “this isn’t the one.”

Have no fear potential mattress customers! It’s really not as scary as you think it is. Take your time and find the mattress that is right for YOU.

If, by chance, you are looking for a mattress, check out Mattress Kingdom’s new website! MattressKingdomCo.Com

Get Ready For the First Energy Efficient Dryer!

You’ve seen and heard about HE washers; shoot, you probably have one! But Whirlpool has gone above and beyond to create the first HE dryer.

What does it mean for a dryer to be Energy Star-qualified? To be considered energy efficient, these HE dryers need to use approximately 20% less energy on average than dryers that meet the federal minimum efficiency standards for 2015. Dryers have been adapted to this by including advanced moisture sensors which prevents over drying and is easier on your fabrics. HE dryers are also advanced because of the Ecoboost setting which improves the method for turning the heaters on and off during the cycle depending on the load. This is where you can save most of your dryer’s energy!

 

Great it saves energy, but “How much money does it save?” is what you really want to know. Energy Star says to expect to save about $18 a year in electricity costs. Over 12 years, that’s more than $200 – it doesn’t seem like a lot but consider saving that amount of money on top of saving the life of your clothes. The Whirlpool Duet WED87HED electric dryer is the ‘ying’ to your HE washer’s ‘yang’ – it may not seem like you’re saving much now but using these high efficiency laundry sets  not only save you money in the long run but can take better care of your clothes and in turn, take better care of your wallet.

 

 

Keeping Up With Your HE Washing Machine

Several family homes have upgraded to the front load washing machine. They stack, they’re energy efficient, they save you time and money – mostly money! But what about the upkeep to make these beautiful machines last longer? You’re probably saying, “Wait, upkeep?? People do that?” YES! Maintenance is very important to help keep your machine running smoothly and almost more importantly, keep your machine and clothes from exuding a nasty, moldy stench.

Today, most energy efficient washers have a self-cleaning setting – much like your oven. This cycle helps to take care of and even prevent mold and mildew build up from all those loads of laundry. But there are other cost efficient, easy ways to keep your machine clean and if you’ve passed that point and it’s already starting to stink, there are solutions for that as well.

Below are some helpful tips that we have found to help the average laundry-set-owner keep their washing machine clean and fresh. Whether it’s a daily ritual when you’re doing the laundry or a here-and-there cleaning, these tips will help you prevent and take care of this unfortunate situation.

Tips and tricks to do for every load: http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/how-to-keep-your-he-front-load-washer-clean-and-smelling-fresh/

 

Daily + Once-in-a-while cleaning techniques: http://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/8-tips-maintaining-front-load-washing-machines.html

 

Deep cleaning your cleaning machine: http://www.ehow.com/how_8160246_clean-high-efficiency-washing-machines.html

 

Bleach and vinegar – but not all at once! http://blog.diynetwork.com/maderemade/2013/04/30/get-your-laundry-back-on-track/

Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

How do you know if it’s time to replace your mattress or if it’s just time to change your habits? Read the tips and statistics from Sleep Savvy Magazine below to learn how to improve the quality of your sleep.

 

How to get the best sleep you can!

 

  • Commit to seven to eight hours of sleep. The average adult needs this many hours of quality sleep each night. Work backward from your wake time.
  • Keep regular sleep hours. Make sleep a priority by keeping consistent bedtime and wake schedules – even on the weekends.
  • Exercise during the day. Even moderate exercise, such as walking, can help you sleep better. Just make sure you don’t’ work out within two hours of bed time.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep habits. Smokers also should avoid tobacco before bed.
  • Eat light at night. Finish eating at least two to three hours before bed. Eating too close to bedtime can disturb sleep quality.
  • Relax before bed. Create a bedtime ritual that is relaxing. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath or shower.
  • Create a sleep sanctuary. Transform your room into a haven of comfort and relaxation. Make sure your room is cool, quiet and free of distraction for the best possible sleep.
  • Evaluate your mattress and pillows provide the proper comfort and support. If your mattress is seven years older or older, it may be time for a new one. In general, pillows should be replaced every year.

 

 

Interesting Sleep Facts

 

Sleep deprivation equals being drunk on the job

Don’t think having the best bed for you is necessary or important? It is – it not only improves your sleep but improves your ability to function while you’re awake. According to researchers in the Sleep Medicine Division of Harvard Medical School, it has been proven that sleep deprivation is the equal cognitive impairment as alcohol consumption. Crazy, huh? This sleep deprivation is costing companies $63 billion a year from insomnia and other health and productivity-related problems. Insomnia is most likely affecting your personal life as well. So, maybe it’s time to re-think getting that new mattress?

 

 

 

The language of sleep

A study conducted at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville shows that the words involved in coaxing your brain to sleep may be an important factor in the amount of sleep you get. Participants, who were exposed to sleep-related words like “cozy” and “relax” for five minutes before napping, snoozed 47% longer than those who didn’t see the language. It’s been said that reading relaxing words activates goal-oriented mental processes in your brain that help control how tired or wired you feel. Who knew you could talk your body and mind in to being tired?!

 

4 Signs you desperately need a new mattress set

 

  1. You wake up with stiffness, numbness, and aches and pains.
  2. You had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed, such as a hotel.
  3. Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse – it sags, has lumps, the interior is exposed, etc.
  4. Your mattress is 7 years old or older.

 

 

Content courtesy of: Sleep Savvy Magazine http://www.sleepsavvymagazine.com

“Sleep Shorts.” Sleep Savvy. Vol. 13, No. 1, Pg. 8. January/February 2014.

“Spring Ahead: Tips to ease daylight saving time suffering.” Sleep Savvy. Vol. 13, No. 2, Pg. 8. March 2014.

“4 Signs your customers desperately need a new mattress set.” Sleep Savvy. Vol. 13, No. 3, Pg. 8. April 2014.

Preventing Dryer Vent Fires in Your Home

More than 15,000 fires are sparked every year by clothes dryers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many people are more aware of cleaning out the lint trap between loads but seem to forget that the dryer vent needs to be cleaned out on a regular basis as well.

I’m not saying you need to clean the hose every month or anything – that’s unnecessary; we’re talking about every year to year-and-a-half. The vents used in dryers can built up thick walls of lint and other dirty debris over time that can trap the air that needs to escape for effective drying. By preventing the air and moisture to escape, the dryer has to work harder and harder at drying – leading to heat build-up which may cause a vent fire.

The placement of your washer and dryer could create a higher risk for a fire to occur. If the dryer is located in the middle of the house rather than up against an outside wall, the dryer vent hose is much longer which makes it more difficult for the dryer to push the lint out. Therefore, dryers with longer vents need to be monitored more closely as they are more susceptible to fires.

Getting your dryer vent cleaned out also preserves the life of your dryer and keeps your energy bill down! If you installed your own dryer, chances are, there may be a few tweaks a technician can help you fix in order to ensure your machine is working safely and efficiently.

So please, be mindful of this household task as these fires are preventable. If you don’t remember the last time you had it cleaned, it would be a good time to call someone to get it looked at because chances are, you’re over-due and holding you and your family at high risk!

For tips on how to catch build-up before it’s too late, visit ABC Action News here:

http://www.abcactionnews.com/money/angies-list/thousands-of-fires-are-sparked-each-year-by-clogged-dryer-vents

 

LINT ALERT is also available!

Lint alert can be installed in your home to take the guess work out of this potentially hazardous issue. This device is placed in your home and is connected directly to your dryer; this system detects the amount of lint and debris build up in your dryer vent and will alert you once it evaluates that the vent is too full and there is a high risk for fire. Our specialists highly recommend the use of the Lint Alert to be used in every home to eliminate the risk of a house fire and ensure the safety of your family.

References:

ABC Action News

http://www.abcactionnews.com/money/angies-list/thousands-of-fires-are-sparked-each-year-by-clogged-dryer-vents

The Almetal Dryer Vent Corporation

http://www.almetaldryervent.com/productinfo.html

 

We provide vent cleaning services! Call Brand Source at (720) 881-8384 to learn more about Lint Alert and schedule your vent cleaning appointment today!

 

Why Upgrade?

Growing up, my dad would always say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is how I’ve been taught to ‘save money’ and take care of the things I have so they’ll last forever. Unfortunately, Dad, times have changed.

Refrigerators seem to be that appliance that people use until it falls apart; because of my Dad’s philosophy, I have always been a firm believer that upgrading is the last resort. But what people don’t know, is that by keeping that 10 year old refrigerator and passing up the new models, they are actually spending more money and settling for less. The main difference between an old and new refrigerator is the electrical consumption. With better temperature control, new features, more space, and lower noise levels, these new refrigerators are much more efficient, and save you money at the same time!

By consumers ‘indulging’ in new, upgraded appliances, energy use has dropped over 50% between 1987 and 2010. Appliances that have especially helped save energy are refrigerators with the Energy Star rating. Why is this so important? “Refrigerators that earn the Energy Star rating are about 15% more energy efficient than models that meet the minimum federal energy efficiency standard.” That’s 15% more energy saved on top of the amount of energy being saved with a new model refrigerator! If that’s not enough to encourage one to upgrade, switching to a new model is also better for the environment. Using energy efficient appliances in your home will significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that have been a growing concern.

So, if it ain’t broke… that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade!

Content courtesy of:

Manila Standard Today: http://manilastandardtoday.com/2013/06/04/why-you-should-upgrade-your-appliances/

Energy Star: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=RF

Which is Best: Top Load or Front Load Washing Machines?

Traditional Top Loaders:

There’s a reason why we call these guys traditional.  It’s what I grew up with and you probably did too.  There’s an agitator in the middle of the basket which bangs your clothes all around the interior.  Yes I said “bangs” because traditional top loaders are the most violent on your clothes.  These washers are why you have so much accumulation in your dryer’s lint trap.  The agitator is pushing against your clothes which frays the fibers on your garments.  When you throw the clothes in your dryer, the dryer removes the frayed fibers and they are caught in the lint trap.  I bet you throw that lint away, don’t you?  Well don’t.  Save it because it makes great tinder to start a fire. Incidentally that agitator in the center of the basket takes up room, so generally traditional top loaders have less capacity than high efficiency top and front load washers. They also use the most water per cycle than the other types of laundry.  A whole lot more—sometimes up to 44 gallons for an entire cycle! However, they definitely have a niche in the marketplace.  Their price points are usually the most aggressive out of the three options and generally speaking, the wash times are less than your other washer choices.

Pros of Traditional Top Loaders:

  • Lower Price Point
  • Faster Wash Times (generally speaking)
  • What we’re “used” to

Cons:

  • Harsher on your clothes
  • Slower RPMs on the spin cycle meaning more moisture left in your clothes for a longer dry time
  • Less capacity (generally speaking)
  • Use an incredible amount of water per cycle

High Efficiency Top Loaders:

These units are on the market for consumers who are fearful of front loaders, but recognize the importance of water efficiency.  There is no agitator in the baskets of these units.  Instead, there is an impeller at the bottom that’s designed to pull the clothes into the water.  The water will never fill the entire basket hence the water usage is less than traditional top loaders, but still more than front loaders.  It’s VERY important that if you purchase this type of washer (or front loader) to switch to HE detergent.  This is a formula specifically designed for machines that are water efficient.  Basically this detergent won’t create as much suds during the wash.

A great feature of HE Top Loaders is that their spin cycle is MUCH faster than traditional top loaders—sometimes even rivaling front loaders’ spin cycle.  A faster spin is very important when we’re talking about the overall energy efficiency of the washer and dryer combined.  Higher RPMs on a spin cycle removes more moisture in the clothes which means you won’t be running your dryer as long (a dryer uses way more energy than your washer).

Pros of HE Top Loaders:

  • More water efficient than traditional top loaders
  • Faster RPMs in the spin cycle
  • Larger capacity than traditional top loaders (generally speaking)
  • Gentler on your clothes than traditional top loaders

Cons of HE Top Loaders:

  • Not as water efficient as front loaders
  • Higher price point than traditional top loaders
  • Slower spin cycle than front loaders (generally speaking)

Front Loaders:

One of the biggest complaints with front loaders of the early 2000’s was that they would develop mold and they would emit an odor.  It’s true they did, but manufacturers have solved this problem.  First, if you open any of the doors on a front loader and look at the gasket inside, you’ll see some drainage holes.  This gets water out of the gasket that might have remained after the cycle is finished.  Second, many of the front loaders today have a “clean basket” or “sanitize basket” cycle.  This is a wash program NOT designed to wash your clothes, but rather to clean out the interior of the washer.  The water temperature during this cycle can reach up to 170 degrees and it kills/washes away any mold that could potentially build up.  Depending how often you use your washer will depend on how often you utilize the clean washer cycle, but assume that you’ll use it about once a month. By keeping the door slightly ajar, the interior will dry out with less chance of an odor developing.

Now that I’ve tackled the smell issue, let’s talk about why I love front loaders the most.  They are the most water efficient type of washer on the market sometimes using as little as twelve gallons in a cycle!  Front load washers are also the gentlest on your clothes.  Remember that there is no agitator grinding against your clothes fraying them.  This means that your clothes will last longer, retain their color longer, and you’ll notice less lint being captured by the dryer.  How does a front loader clean your clothes if there isn’t an agitator?  While the drum is spinning, it’s dropping your clothes into the water located at the bottom of the drum.  It’s using gravity to “slosh” the water through your garments.

Don’t forget that a lack of an agitator means more capacity in front loaders.  Some brands offer a 5.1 cubic foot drum.  That’s HUGE and will fit a bunch of clothes or bulky items like comforters or jeans.  As long as you can close the door without using force (unlike how you close your suitcase when you go on vacation), you haven’t over filled it.

There’s yet another reason to love front loaders: energy efficiency.  Yes, we talked about these units using less water, but their spin cycle is MUCH faster than other forms of washers.  Some units can spin at 1400 RPMs! Spinning your clothes at that speed will remove ridiculous amounts water before you put them in the dryer.  You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to know that less moisture in your clothes means a shorter dry time.  The water and energy savings of a front load laundry pair basically pays for the dryer over the lifetime of the machines.

The most important thing to know about front loaders if you’re switching from a top loader is that front loaders clean your clothes differently.  Don’t expect to see tons of water and bubbles filling up the drum during a wash cycle.  Just like high efficiency top loaders, make sure to use HE detergent.

Pros of Front Loaders:

  • Less water usage
  • Gentle on your clothes
  • Fast Spin Cycle
  • Large Capacity

Cons of Front Loaders:

  • Higher price point
  • Mold is a thing of the past, use the “sanitize drum cycle”!
Content courtesy of: http://kieffersblog.com

10 Creative Cleaning Tricks!

  1. Play-Doh: Use it to pick up tiny shards of invisible glass that are impossible to sweep or vacuum up.
  2. Microwave: Use it to sanitize sponges and wash cloths by rinsing/squeezing and microwaving them for 3 minutes.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and 3 Tbsp salt. Use it to clean tarnished copper by spraying the copper, letting it sit, and then wiping it clean.
  4. Remove colored markers from the walls by spraying with hairspray and immediately wiping clean.
  5. Wash a narrow vase by adding dry rice and water. Shake vigorously.
  6. Dust heard to reach places with a hair dryer.
  7. Pour a can of cola in the toilet to remove rust rings.
  8. Treat glass shower doors with a water repellent product to keep them scum free.
  9. Remove pet hair from upholstery with duct tape.
  10. Use walnuts to hide scratches in wood furniture

Clean Your Microwave Easily

Cleaning dried food off the inside of a microwave oven can be time consuming and difficult, but not if you follow these steps to clean it easily and effortlessly!

Follow these steps:

  1. Either fill a microwave safe bowl halfway with water and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, or cut a lemon in half and place both halves upside down on a plate with water.
  2. Place bowl (or plate if you used lemons) in the microwave
  3. Turn microwave on for 3-5 minutes for the bowl (or 1-2 minutes for the lemons)
  4. The steam should loosen the food and make it easy to wipe clean
REMINDER:
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners on your microwave
  • Do not stand close to the microwave or allow the microwave to run too long due to the fact that the door may burst open and spray hot water everywhere

10 Interesting Facts About Recycling

10 Interesting Facts About Recycling

  1. Rain-forests are being cut down at a rate of 100 acres per MINUTE!
  2. The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio is “Mount Rumpke” – a mountain of TRASH at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.
  3. Plastic tossed into the ocean kills nearly 1 million sea creatures each year
  4. 500,000 trees must be cut down to produce the Sunday’s newspaper
  5. It takes a 15 year old tree to produce 700 paper grocery bags
  6. The U.S. produces 70% of the world’s solid waste
  7. Landfills are responsible for 36% of all methane emissions in the US, one of the most potent contributors to global warming.
  8. Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours
  9. It takes an orange peel 6 months to decompose and it takes a styrofoam cup 400-500 years to decompose
  10. Using recycled glass takes 40% less energy than making products from all new materials.

10 Simple Ideas to Summerize Your Home

Turn your home into a summer wonderland with these 10 simple ideas!

  1. Plant or hang outdoor flowers.
  2. Attract hummingbirds with honeysuckle vines, wildflowers, bird feeders, and bird baths.
  3. Add outdoor string lights to your patio.
  4. Replace heavy winter drapes with sheer light curtains to let in more light.
  5. Replace dark lampshades with light colored shades.
  6. Use terracotta pots indoors for fruit, utensils, or plants.
  7. Keep a pitcher of cucumber water or iced tea in the fridge.
  8. Replace torn screens to get fresh air without letting the bugs in.
  9. Add a fire pit to your outdoor patio.
  10. Always keep a vase of fresh flowers in the living room, dining room, or kitchen.

How to Get a Foul Smell Out of a Refrigerator

Smelly refrigerators are the worst. They’re not only a pain, but they’re also dangerous. Typically, odors in our refrigerators tell us some of our food is spoiled. Sometimes these smells can even seep into our fresh vegetables and contaminate them.

In this post, we’ll show you how to get foul smells out of your refrigerator.

Shown: LG Stainless Steel French Door Refrigerator, LFX25974ST. Click for our locations

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