Our deal-hunting colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports don’t just keep track of which products perform the best in their tests, but they also track prices on items to figure out what’s the best time to buy. What do they say are the best things to buy during the month of August? It’s a great time to pick up an air conditioner, a backpack, a dehumidifier, or a snow blower. Wait, a snow blower? [More]
We’re almost through the entire summer: has your air conditioner worked hard for you through the whole season? If it is no longer performing like it used to, here are some quick fix-it-yourself ideas from our optimal-temperature colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports. It’s possible that you don’t need to junk your A/C: just check a few things that you can probably handle yourself. [Consumer Reports]
The concept of a portable air conditioner implies that the device is portable, and that you can cool a room with it. They would be a wonderful tool if this were were true, but tests by our breezy and cool colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports show that they compare unfavorably to window-mounted air conditioners in pretty much every way, and you might be better off with no air conditioner at all. [More]
We don’t need to go outside, look at a thermometer, or even to peek outside the skylights of the Consumerist Bunker: we can tell when temperatures are beginning to climb in much of the United States, because search engine traffic begins to pour in to old posts about how to figure out how many BTUs you need when shopping for a room air conditioner. Fear not, overheated Consumerists: we’re always here to help. [More]
We can tell when a heat wave strikes this great nation, because classic Consumerist posts on calculating what size air conditioner you need suddenly surge in popularity. There are handy charts that give you a rough guide, but surely those calculations aren’t the same for someone in Miami and someone in Boston. Enter Econofy. [More]
We’ve long been advocates of using Twitter for customer service when the regular channels of customer service don’t work. There’s something about the combination of pithy microblog updates and public posting that some companies have done very well, and that others have been unable to manage. Others are giving up on the platform entirely.If you can get help via Twitter, that turns you into a VIP, and that made Lindsay Robertson of The Awl uncomfortable after she used Twitter to complain to Home Depot about her backordered air conditioner. [More]
Has anyone else noticed that it’s been pretty hot this summer? As such, your air conditioner is probably getting quite the workout. But it’s important to make sure you’re getting the most out of it as you can so it can do its very best to cool you down instead of just running up your electric bill. That goes for your dehumidifier as well. One easy way to optimize those appliances? Cleaning out your dirty filters. [More]
Rona, ladylike, didn’t tell us her age, but she is a senior citizen. As for many Americans, Sears has always just been where she went when there was an appliance to buy. She and her husband ordered up two air conditioners from Sears.com last month, and Sears contracted some local installers in New Jersey to put them in the windows. After the second installation appointment, she discovered that the window was cracked. One of two things had happened: either the installers noticed that the window was cracked and put an air conditioner in anyway, or they’re the ones who did it, then hoped that no one would notice. [More]
In New York City, if you have a store with more than 4,000 square feet of retail space, or if you own a chain of at least five stores in the city, you’re required by law to keep your cool air inside where it belongs. That means none of this leaving the door open so your cool air will “lure in overheated customers,” reports WNYC. A city councilwoman says she hopes to conduct surveys this week to catch any retailers skirting the law. An employee at French Connection in SoHo said that her store is concerned about the energy crisis, so they only open one door instead of two these days. [More]
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and what does summer mean here at The Consumerist? Air conditioner horror stories, of course! Janet, a senior citizen with health problems living in Memphis, Tenn., tells Conumerist that Sears is dragging out the repair of her air conditioning unit in a way that’s unacceptable considering the current weather conditions. When Janet’s daughter explained to a Sears that she couldn’t leave her alone in a roasting house during her planned, non-refundable vacation, she says the rep helpfully suggested that she cancel the vacation. Not helping, Sears. Not helping. [More]
Remember Eric, Fleur, and their epic air conditioner ordeal? When we last spoke to them, they were AC-less, hot, cranky, and reaching out to the Internets for help. Now they have their air conditioners, but only after a stunning show of disorganized solicitousness on the part of Sears.
Consumer Reports noted:
There’s nothing like a bunch of schmutz to make your air conditioner run less efficiently, and cost you more in electricity, repairs, and requiring a new one faster. Here’s a few reminder tips from Consumer Reports about proper care and maintenance of your AC to keep it “cool runnings.”
1. No matter how much the little sign made by the owner gushes, there’s a reason why a liter of “Duggan’s Dew” blended scotch whiskey is only $15.95.
If you’re going to buy an air conditioner unit this summer, remember to pick the right size. [Energy Star]
FreeMoneyFinance has six tips to keep your energy bill from overheating this summer: