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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for April, 2016

Visit the Michele Trunk Show at Abt This Weekend

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

This weekend, Abt is hosting our first Michele Trunk Show of 2016. During the show, shoppers will get a chance to try on and purchase exclusive, limited-edition Michele watch models that are not regularly available in-store. Michele Watch representatives will be on hand to answer questions and give guidance on selecting the perfect timepiece for yourself or the special woman in your life. Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and an elegant Michele watch is a great gift for any extraordinary woman. Light refreshments will be served.  Can’t make it to the store this weekend? Click here to shop our online selection of Michele Watches.

michele-trunk-show

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How to Cut the Cord: A Video Guide

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

One of the most popular technology trends of the last few years is the idea of “cutting the cord,” or cancelling your cable subscription and seeking out alternative methods of watching TV. Dropping cable in favor of online video services and a streaming media player can save you hundreds of dollars a year, and gives you the freedom to watch your shows on your own terms. We put together this video to help you get started with cutting the cord. We hope it’s informative, and if you have any questions, we’d be glad to help!

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Abt Ads Through the Ages

Monday, April 25th, 2016

As part of our 80th Anniversary Celebration, we went digging through the archives for old photos and documents from throughout the store’s history. The old advertisements we found provide a fun look at the sales tactics and buying power of a bygone era. Here’s a collection of our favorites (click on the ad for a larger version):

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November 12, 1982. Celebrating our Dealerscope Dealer of the Year Award.

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Happy Earth Day!

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Today is Earth Day, a worldwide celebration of the environment and the importance of protecting it. While Earth Day is marked by a once-a-year holiday, it’s really also a continuous movement meant to educate and inform people on ways to be more environmentally friendly.  It’s also one of our favorite days, as environmental awareness is something that’s always been important to us a business. We take pride in the various green initiatives we’ve implemented in our everyday operations, and have even been called “The Greenest A/V Retailer in the Country.” From on-site recycling services to making smarter energy choices, here are the ways we celebrate Earth Day every day, and some ways that you can too.

earth day

Recycling

The Recycling Center is our on-site facility designed specifically for the processing and recycling of all waste created by the daily operations of our store. Every day, Abt completes more than a thousand deliveries and service calls in our 3-state local delivery area. All trash is returned to the store—along with old electronics and appliances that customers are replacing—and unloaded at the recycling center. Cardboard is compacted and baled, and shipped off to be recycled into paper or new boxes. Styrofoam is melted down and compressed into a compact, super-dense plastic material (it’s 98% air when used as a packing material. Remove that air and it’s very heavy) and sold to companies that will turn it products like picture frames or park benches. And all appliances are sorted and sent off to appropriate facilities to be recycled in an environmentally-friendly manner. Local customers are welcome to drop off waste at the recycling center; packing materials and small electronics like computers will be accepted free of charge, a small fee will apply to the recycling of televisions. Find out more about the Abt Recycling Center.

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A pile of condensed styrofoam.

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A forklift moves giant bags of condensed styrofoam in the recycling center. Each of those bags weighs over a ton!

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Cardboard being baled and a stack of old computer towers wrapped and ready to be recycled.

Earth Day

Old refrigerators and TVs wait to be sent off for recycling.

In 2010, around 2.4 million tons of electronic waste was disposed of, with only 27% of it being properly recycled. Products that end up in landfills will eventually leach toxic elements into the ground, which then get into our crop and water cycles. As we all own more and more electronic devices filled with hazardous substances like mercury, lead, and PCBs, it’s important that our old devices get recycled properly. Can’t make it out to Abt to recycle your old appliances, electronics, or other waste? Visit RecycleNation to search for your nearest recycling facility:

recycle finder

Energy Efficiency

We’ve all heard of the 3 R’s of being environmentally-friendly: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. While recycling seems to get all the fame, reducing your impact is just as important. One of the easiest ways for the average person to do that is to choose products that meet certain standards for energy consumption. ENERGY STAR is a program established by the Environmental Protection Agency to help make it easier for consumers to choose energy-efficient appliances. The added benefit of using ENERGY STAR products is that they’ll save you money on your monthly utility bills! See Abt’s entire selection of ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics.

Local customers also have additional motivation to replace their clunky old, power-hungry fridge or other appliances, thanks to energy provider Commonwealth Edison. As part of their ongoing energy efficiency rebate program, ComEd will give customers a cash rebate when they recycle those appliances. ComEd will come to your house and pick up your ancient fridge, and give you $50 for it! The program is great for those of you who have an old fridge running in the garage, but haven’t thrown it out because you’re not sure how to get rid of it. This program keeps it out of the trash, prevents it from needlessly wasting money, and puts some cash in your pocket. All you have to do is schedule a pickup online or over the phone. Find out more about the ComEd Energy Efficiency Rebates.

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Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is by making smart choices for simple things like the lighting in your home. Skylights dot the rooftop of our 350, 000 square-foot warehouse, letting natural light spill in and reducing our reliance on electric light. All other lights in the warehouse are on motion sensors, turning on only when someone walks into that aisle and shutting off when they leave. While motion-activated lights may be impractical for home use, you can still gain much of the same benefit by using LED light bulbs, which require about 10% of the energy of an incandescent bulb while still creating the same amount of light. Couple them with smart systems like the Philips Hue, which let you adjust your lights from anywhere with an internet connection, and you can eliminate a significant chunk of your electricity usage. See our entire selection of smart, energy-efficient home lighting.

Finding a new home for old goods

Many of us probably have a closet filled with old gadgets that we haven’t used in a while, or an old projection TV in the basement, but we’re hesitant to simply recycle them because they still work well. That brings us to the idea of “reuse.” Just because you may no longer have a use for something, that doesn’t mean it’s objectively useless. While your smartphone or digital camera might be a generation old, it’s still plenty useful and will be valuable to someone else. Last weekend, we hosted National Camera Exchange for our second annual camera trade-in event. National Camera buys and resells used camera equipment. They set up shop at Abt and nearly a hundred folks brought their old gear to Abt—gear that was otherwise sitting around unused—and left with some cash in their pockets.

The odds are that most of us have stuff around the house that we don’t use, don’t need, and don’t even want, we just haven’t figured out how to get rid of it. Instead of just throwing it out, odds are that it can be donated to someone who may actually want or even need it. And while you may not be able to get cold hard cash for all of your used goods, you will get the peace-of-mind of knowing it didn’t end up in a landfill. A quick visit to Goodwill or The Salvation Army with a trunkload of old clothes or home goods is a great way for them to get reused.

 

These are just a few of the many ways we can all help protect the earth and preserve it for future generations. The little things can add up to have a large impact, so we encourage you to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever you can. We’re always looking for new ways to do those things, and we hope you will too. Happy Earth Day!

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Making Gourmet Popcorn at Home, in Minutes.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Popping popcorn at home never seems to end up as hassle-free as you’d think it would be. Our first choice is usually to reach for the microwave popcorn, which is quick, but is usually coated in a lot of not-so-good-for-you artificial flavorings, not to mention the fact that one bag never seems to be enough for the whole family. Or you can get out the electric popcorn popper or the air popper, and make your movie treats from raw kernels. That gives you complete control over flavoring and serving sizes, but that takes longer and leaves you with bulky dishes coated in butter or oil that will need to be hand-washed.

lekue popcorn maker

The Lékué PopCorn Maker splits the difference between the methods, offering the convenience of microwave popping with the creative culinary control of popping from raw kernels. (more…)

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Camera Trade-In & Drone Demonstration Event

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

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Have an old camera collecting dust in your closet? Bring it into Abt this weekend and trade it in for cash or Abt Gift Cards! The National Camera Exchange, a premier buyer and seller of new and used photo equipment, will be in our store to find out the value of your used equipment. Products from all major brands will be accepted, and both film and digital equipment will also be accepted. While not all equipment will be eligible for a cash reward, we don’t want anyone to leave empty-handed so $10 Abt Gift Cards will be given to those whose equipment does not qualify.

Camera Trade-In

 Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th

from 11am-6pm at Abt Electronics

1200 N. Milwaukee Avenue | Glenview, IL | 60025

(more…)

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Dinner with Dacor

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

We paid a visit to our friends at the Cooking Skills Academy at DESIGNfirst in Itasca, IL, to get a first-hand look at how Dacor Appliances can make your tasks in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable. Chef Paul guided us through the process of prepping and cooking a gourmet 4-course meal, all cooked in and on the Dacor induction cooktop and convection wall oven. Watch the entire video below, and click through to find the full recipes for the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Onions, Garlic Double-Baked Mashed Potatoes, Rosemary Garlic Chicken, and Gradma’s Streusel Apple Pie, and give them a shot yourself.  Bon appétit!

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4 Things You Should Do Before You Start Grilling!

Monday, April 11th, 2016

griling tips

The season of being outdoors with great company and great food is just around the corner, yes we’re talking about grilling season. Since the warm weather is on its way very soon, it’s time to break out the grill and start grilling some delicious foods. But before you start showing off your grilling skills, there are a couple steps you should go through to make sure your grill is in great condition.

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Gourmet Kitchen Showroom Construction: Behind the Scenes

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

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At Abt, we’ve always prided ourselves on being the Chicago area’s go-to shopping spot for kitchen appliances (among other things), and think of ourselves as more of a destination than just a store. We strive to offer something more, from the incredible selection of appliances—including prestigious brands like La Cornue, Sub-Zero, and Viking—to the unique kitchen vignettes in our atrium, which let you encounter the appliances in their natural environment. But, if you know Abt, you know we like to always be pushing the envelope of what a shopping experience can be. And that quest has resulted in our latest offering, the (as-of-yet-unnamed) Gourmet Kitchen showroom on the second floor of the Abt Atrium. This showroom will be unlike anything else in the Chicago area, and possibly the entire country.  (more…)

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The Sub-Zero and Wolf Living Kitchen at Abt

Friday, April 1st, 2016

The dawn of spring ushers in one of the most popular times of the year for many homeowners to start thinking about one of the biggest projects that they’ll undertake: the full kitchen remodel. Whether it’s bringing a new face to a tired kitchen in a home you’ve owned for decades, or starting from scratch on a newly-purchased home, a new kitchen is one of the most significant ways to put your own touch on your home. But while the initial planning may be exciting, shopping for appliances can quickly become an arduous, frustrating process where you end up with more questions than answers.

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The newest vignette in the Sub-Zero and Wolf Living Kitchen

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