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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for April, 2010

Earth Day Guest Blog From Tim S.

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

What type of Earth Day celebration would it be without discussing water??? It covers most of our planet, humans are made mostly of water, no living thing can survive without it, and most people spend more on it (per gallon) than on gas. Did you know bottled water costs anywhere from $7-$18 per gallon?

Here are some tips on reducing water usage and saving money in the process:

1 Buy a fridge that is Energy Star rated and has a filtered water dispenser. Get reusable bottles and stop paying for bottled water! On top of that, Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour, that’s 21,900,000,000 plastic bottles a year. Not only will you save thousands of dollars per year, but you will create significantly less waste too.

2 Buy a front loading washing machine. They use, on average, half of the water a top loader uses and 68% less electricity. These units not only pay for themselves over time, but also clean your clothes better.

3 Purchase an energy star rated dishwasher. When the dishwasher is not full, either wait until it’s full, or use the half load option that many new dishwashers come equipped with.. Either way, you will conserve water.

4 Turn your water heater down. Water heaters come pre-set from the factory at about 140-150 degrees. That is hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns on a child in 3 seconds. If you turn your water heater down to 110 degrees, it’s not only safer, but you will significantly reduce the amount of energy your water heater is using.

Get out there and have a great Earth Day!!!

Tim S.

Happy Earth Day

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

-Kelly B.

Happy Retirement?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

One of Abt’s favorite managers is celebrating a milestone birthday today. Conrad S., Conny, is turning 65 tomorrow, his day off… So one of his loyal minions decided to start the party today! Megan, internet sales specialist, spent hours last night decorating Conny’s desk.

Lovingly pranking Conny, she decorated his desk as if he was celebrating his retirement. All day people have been stopping him to find out about his impending retirement…

Happy Birthday Conrad! Or, should I say, Happy Retirement!

If you call in and speak with Conrad, make sure you wish him a happy birthday or retirement.

-Kelly B.

Get Ready for Summer Crusin'

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Abt’s mobile audio department can get any vehicle ready to rock! It’s almost boating season, so make sure you aren’t stuck on a lake with nothing to listen to.

We just got finished installing a new stereo system in a Yamaha jet boat today. It’s got new Kenwood speakers, a receiver made to use with an iPod, an Alpine marine amp, and Alpine marine sub woofers.

Whatever mode of transportation you use, Abt’s got a mobile audio solution for you!

Speak with a mobile audio sales specialist today about our line of marine audio components.

-Kelly B.

Appliance Rebate Money Gone in the Blink of an Eye

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The Energy Star appliance rebate program slated to run from April 16-25th was a huge success. Millions of consumers all over the United States opted to get new energy saving appliances as well as heating and cooling systems for their homes. The rebate program was so successful that it lasted a mere 10 hours in Illinois.

The New York Times discussed the successes and failures of the program in an article yesterday. “Illinois took another approach, pushing all of the paperwork hassles onto retailers, which were required to give instant rebates to the customer and recover the funds from the state. “It was easier on the customer,” said Michael Abt, president of Abt Electronics in the Chicago area.

Mr. Abt said that the state paid his company promptly after the first phase of rebates in January, which applied to heaters and hot water heaters, and he expected to get paid within a month for Friday’s phase, which covered other appliances.“ (New York Times¹)

In other states, consumers had to spend hours online and on the phone reserving their rebates. There were many flaws and consumers suffered the most, even though they were the ones that this program intended to help.

Did you participate in the program? Did everything go as expected or did you have a hassle? Let me know!

Kelly B.

1. Zeller Jr., Tom and Skipp, Catherine. “Appliance Rebates Come and Go, Quickly.” The New York Times 19 April 2010:http://www.nytimes.com 19 April 2010. 20 April 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/business/energy-environment/20rebate.html

A Guest Blog From Internet Sales Specialist Tim S.

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Earth Week is a good time to look at what we all can do to help our planet. Often times, helping the planet also helps our pocket books! Take a moment to look at what is probably the most used piece of electronics in your home: The TV.

If you don’t need to buy a TV now, there are several things you can do to reduce how much energy you use watching TV:

1. Watch TV with a DVR. A digital video recorder allows you to record your favorite shows onto a hard drive. By doing this, you can watch your favorite TV shows and fast forward through the commercials. For every 30 minutes of programming on TV, there are 10 minutes of commercials. By fast forwarding through commercials, you can immediately cut how long your TV is on by 33%!

2. Do you fall asleep with the TV on in your bedroom? Most TVs have a sleep timer. Start using it when you go to bed and you’ll see a couple of benefits. First, the TV won’t wake you up at four in the morning when someone selling a Snuggy starts talking waaaay too loud. Second, you’ll eliminate the hours your TV is on when no one is actually watching it.

3. Check to see if your TV has a power saving mode. Many brands have included this feature lately. It reduces the brightness and power consumption of your TV. Turning it on makes the picture a little less bright, but the benefit is that the picture is often more realistic and has better depth.

4. Try and limit the number of TVs on at any given time. Watch TV as a family instead of everyone watching in different rooms. If you’ve got a family of four all watching four different TVs, only watching one TV cuts your energy consumption by 75%!

5 And, of course, there is the ever unpopular watch less TV! Maybe go outside and hug a few trees instead!

If you do need to buy a TV now, you should definitely check out the Sony environmental set or the Samsung LED sets. Those use the least power of any TV out there.

Happy energy savings, all!

By Tim S.

Earth Week at Abt

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Abt celebrated Earth Day on Sunday; it was quite a kick off to Earth Week.

We had so many Earth Friendly activities. Our Glenview neighbors at the Grove brought some cool snakes and turtles for everyone to get to know. Com Ed told us about their environmentally friendly programs. Dan from Garvy’s Office Supplies showed us all sorts of recycled office products. Abt gave tours of the recycling center and had Earth Day treats like granola and oatmeal raisin cookies. Kids who visited got to make sun catchers and mouse pads from recycled materials.

Abt’s goal is to make everyday Earth Day, according to Abt’s President Mike Abt. “Our goal is to have no waste, and we are close,” said Mike. “It’s a core value of the company and is demonstrated in everything we do.”

So on the heels of the Energy Star rebate program and Earth Day 2010, make sure you do your part to make this world a better place. Take a look at http://www.abt.com/green/ for information on how Abt works toward making a small carbon footprint.

To find out how you can make your home more energy efficient, check out these products and learn more: http://www.abt.com/search/search.php?keywords=energy+star.

Check back all week for Earth Week blogs!

-Kelly B.

Get to Abt to Save 15%

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The Energy Star rebate program is in full swing. After the busiest morning in Abt history, the store is still full of people ready to get their hands on a new Energy Star appliance.

Right now there is still stimulus money available but we are hesitant to think money will be available after 5 pm. So, if you are in the market for a new appliance, come on in, while the money is available.
To accommodate those who weren’t able to get into the store today, Abt will continue giving 15% off most products for the next few days.

-Kelly B.

The Energy Star Rebate Program is in Full Swing

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The scene at Abt Electronics this morning was amazing. People began lining up at the front doors starting at 5:00 am so they could be the first ones in the store.

Mike Abt spoke with Fox News Reporter, Dawn Hasbrouck, this morning about the Energy Star Rebate Program and his predictions for the rest of the day. Mike told Hasbrouck that originally he anticipated that the funds would run out by noon today. Since he has seen the turnout at our store in Glenview, he has altered his prediction considerably. Now he believes the money could run out by 10-10:30 this morning. Mike said the last time the lines were around the building was when former Chicago Blackhawk, Bobby Hull, was here signing autographs.

So hurry in to make sure that you can get your Energy Star qualified appliance before the funds run out!

-Kelly B.

Doors Open Early for the Energy Star Rebate

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Remember, tomorrow Abt opens at 7:30 am for the Energy Star rebate program. It starts tomorrow at 8 am and ends April 28th at 9 pm, or when funds run out—whichever comes first. We expect the 6.2 million dollars to run out quickly. Due to the limited funds, a cap of $400 has been put on the rebate amount per appliance. Only in-store purchases are eligible for the rebate. Energy Star qualified clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and room air conditioners from participating retailers will be eligible for the rebate.

Here are a few program rules to keep in mind:

• Only one rebate per product category, per household is allowable. For example, a customer may receive a rebate on an ENERGY STAR refrigerator as well as a qualifying dishwasher, but would not be eligible for two dishwasher rebates.
• Only Illinois residents are eligible for these rebates. Home zip code must be supplied at point of purchase.
• Rebates will not be retro-active; they will be available for only the periods announced.
• No rebate will be offered to customers who are representing a company or using corporate funding to purchase appliances. In addition, retailers will have the right to refuse to have the appliances delivered to a place of business.
• Only residential-scale equipment will qualify. Only installations in Illinois will qualify. Installations in commercial space will not be applicable.
• All appliances must be delivered by May 28, 2010 – close of business

For Disabled Citizens
Disabled individuals physically unable to make their purchases in-store may do so by calling a participating retailer. This is ONLY for persons physically unable to make their purchases in-store. The State reserves the right to revoke any and all rebates made by individuals violating or misusing this stipulation.

For more information on the Energy Star rebate program, view Abt’s Energy Star State Appliance Rebate Program information page.

-Kelly B.