Mattress Buying Guide – What To Consider When Choosing The Right Mattress

mattress buying guide

Any mattress that helps you sleep comfortably and wake up feeling refreshed, without pain and stiffness, is the best mattress for you. Unfortunately, there is no single mattress that works for all people, so finding your perfect mattress can be a challenge. Everyone’s bodies adjust to mattresses differently, and all have a preference to the firmness. Here is an easy guide to explain the various options you have to choose from.

Mattress Size: What size is appropriate for my room and situation?

Let’s start with the simple option first: size. Picking the size of the mattress should be the first thing you do.  Take into consideration the size of the sleeper as well as the size of the room this mattress will be in.

Twin (38”x 75”)

This mattress is best for one adult or child. The twin can easily fit into small spaces, such as a child’s room, dorm room or guest room.  There are certain bed frames like daybeds that typically use twin mattresses.

Twin XL (38” x 80”)

Similar to a twin, but offers a little more length. This is a better choice for a taller individual looking for a comfortable mattress that also fits a smaller space. These are also commonly found in dorm rooms.

Full (54” x 74)

Can sleep one or two, but is the smallest option for doing so. This is a step-up in width from the twin, but is still a good option for smaller spaces.

Queen (60” x 80”)

This size will sleep two individuals comfortably. A queen mattress offers more wiggle room than a full and is the most popular choice of mattress sizes. This mattress fits nicely in larger bedrooms. A queen mattress is also available with split box springs, making it easier to maneuver through narrow stairwells, elevators or door frames.

King (76” x 80”)

Want more room? A king mattress is 16” wider than the queen, offering a comfortable amount of room for two individuals to move around without disturbing the other. This mattress is commonly used in master bedrooms and also comes with a split box spring, which makes it easier to manage when moving.

California King (72” x 84”)

The California king is 4” narrower than the king, but it is 4” longer in length, making this a better option for taller individuals. This is a spacious two person sleeper that is commonly used in master bedrooms. The California king also comes with a split box spring for easy moving.

Sleep Positions: Does my preferred sleep position influence the type of mattress I should choose?


Side sleepers tend to want a softer sleeping surface. This allows for their shoulders and hips to receive extra cushioning and will help avoid painful pressure points in those areas.


Stomach sleepers often desire a slightly firmer sleeping surface so that they can keep their spine in proper alignment and prevent their back from bowing in too much.


Back sleepers generally prefer a firmer surface to provide extra support and resistance in their lumbar spine (lower back).

Mattress Comfort: Do I prefer a firmer or softer mattress to sleep on?

Ultra Firm

This is the firmest mattress choice for sleepers who crave a hard feel.


A firm mattress has a harder feel and holds its shape while you sleep so you won’t sink into the weight of your body. This solid foundation is perfect for those who need maximum support. Individuals who tend to sleep on their back typically prefer this type of mattress.

Cushion Firm

A cushion firm mattress is a “happy balance” between conforming support and deep down back support. This mattress provides additional comfort & cushion on the surface, and although it’s mostly firm, there is a little bit of extra padding for additional comfort.


These mattresses are softer and ideal for individuals looking for a cushioned, cradling sleep surface. These are most popular with individuals who are smaller and lighter with less weight to displace and require less support. Although plush mattresses offer maximum cushioning, they are still manufactured with a strong, supportive interior core.

Ultra Plush

Like the plush, this type of mattress is perfect for smaller-build individuals that require less support than a larger person. Although ultra-plush mattresses offer maximum cushioning, they are still manufactured with a strong, supportive interior core. Ultra-plush mattresses often have several inches of high-quality comfort materials, often made with a blend of memory foam and latex.

Mattress Type: What support system will offer me the best night’s sleep?

The inside of the mattress is just as important as the outside. How it’s constructed determines the level of support that you experience when you lay down for a good night’s sleep. Different types of mattresses are made with different types of support systems.

Traditional Innerspring

This is one of the most popular types of mattresses. A common innerspring mattress consists of two components: an innerspring unit for support and upholstery layers. They are widely available and come in a variety of firmness and comfort levels to suit personal preference.

Individually Wrapped Coils or Pocket Coils

Individually wrapped coils are a popular coil support system. They provide individualized comfort by contouring to your body. They also do not transfer motion so you can sleep undisturbed even if your partner moves at night.


Combining an innerspring system with high density specialty foam layers, a hybrid bed sets you up with the comfort and pressure relief of specialty foam, plus the traditional support of an innerspring system.

Memory Foam or Specialty Foam

This mattress type is taking on more and more popularity. Memory foam was first developed by NASA to ease pressure on astronauts during lift-off. As it turned out, the unique way this foam conforms to an individual’s body and spreads pressure to reduce pressure points made it an ideal sleeping surface. While these mattresses contour to the shape of your body, they are also designed to absorb any movement while you sleep, so that any motion on one side of the mattress will not be transferred to the other.

Mattress Construction: What type of construction is right for me?

There are two popular types of mattress construction and both are offered in plush and firm mattresses. The construction of your mattress is dependent on your personal preference.

Pillow Top

A pillow top mattress looks like a pillow is lying on top of the surface of the mattress. Pillow top mattresses feature additional padding stitched on top of the mattress.  This soft top layer offers a bit more comfort, cushioning and padding, while still promoting proper alignment and support the body needs.

Tight Top

The standard design with all-over stitching patterns compresses each layer of padding & cushioning into one interconnected design, giving it a firmer feel.

Mattress Protectors: Do I need a mattress protector to protect my health and investment?


Antimicrobial is the general term for any product or ingredient that kills or inhibits bacteria, viruses, or molds. As we sleep, our bodies give off heat, excrete fluids, and shed old skin and hair cells. These particles make their way down inside our mattress and pillows – creating an atmosphere that is warm, humid, and rich in decaying organic matter… the exact environment where harmful microbes flourish. Antimicrobial fabric prevents prevent the growth of harmful microbes inside your mattress.


These are specially designed to prevent allergies. Usually this type of mattress is tightly sealed to prevent dead skin and body oils from penetrating the mattress and attracting dust mites, along with other microscopic organisms that can cause allergic reactions. Other options are hypoallergenic pads/covers that will also protect your mattress and prevent allergies.


Stains and moisture can ruin your mattress, and even if you are exceptionally careful with your sleep essentials, the average human perspires up to two liters of moisture a night that can leave unexpected stains. Stain-resistant pads/covers will protect your mattress from stains caused by both unexpected spills and human perspiration. A stained mattress could void the warranty on the mattress.


Mattresses are difficult to clean and should never come into contact with moisture. If the mattress is not kept dry, then mold and mildew may form. The best way to keep a mattress dry and clean is with a waterproof pad or cover. This is good solution for those who experience bed wetting or who would like an added layer of protection against spills. They not only guard against stains and odors while impeding the entrance of moisture, but they also keep the mattress free from allergens and dust mites. This helps to prevent bacteria growth inside the mattress.

Mattress Encasements

A mattress encasement fully encloses either the mattress or box spring instead of above the actual sleeper like a regular pad or cover.

Types of Mattress Encasements:

  • Mattress Encasements for Allergies: For chronic allergy sufferers, there is no better solution than full mattress and box spring encasements. There are many options that offer protection from allergens such as dust, dust mites, dead skin, pet dander and pollen. A typical mattress cover cannot prevent allergens from your mattress from coming in contact with you.
  • Mattress Encasements for Bed Bug Protection: People all over the world are concerned over the growing outbreak of bedbugs. While a mattress encasement will not protect your home from a bedbug infestation, it will effectively lock them out of your sleep system. Only total encasement mattress protectors with a locking zipper provide protection against bedbugs.

Foundations: What is the benefit of a box spring or adjustable bed base?

Unless your mattress will be laying on a platform bed, you will need one of the following foundations:

Box Springs or standard foundation: The box springs take a lot of the nightly wear and tear and contribute to the overall comfort and support of your bed. Never put a new mattress on an old foundation. When you purchase your new mattress, you must purchase its matching foundation – the two are designed to work best together. In fact, buying the mattress without its matching foundation could affect the terms of the warranty.

Adjustable or Power Bases: An adjustable base allows you to customize your mattress position by using a remote control to independently adjust the head and foot of the bed for maximum comfort.  Adjustable bed bases are compatible with most innerspring and foam mattresses. There are many benefits of having an adjustable bed, which can be inclined to help with everything from back and neck problems to managing acid reflux issues. The ability to turn a bed into a lounge chair makes it a very attractive choice for those who enjoy watching TV, playing video games, using tablets, or reading in the bedroom When you are shopping, be sure to find out whether the mattress you prefer is adjustable-friendly.

 If you are looking for a mattress stop down to any of our select locations and one of our expert sales representatives can help you. You trust us with your appliances, TVs and electronics; now trust us with your mattress! Learn more here.


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Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Efficiently


As the temperatures rise, so do energy costs. We all know running the air conditioner during the summer months can be quite costly, but a cool home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some tips on how to keep your air conditioner running efficiently while keeping those energy bills low, without compromising your comfort.

Keep the Cool In and the Heat Out

Make sure your home is properly sealed. Check your attic to make sure it has been properly insulated. If you can see the attic joists, you will need to add more insulation. Check your windows and doors for drafts and seal up any cracks with caulking or weather stripping.

Help Your Air Conditioner Breathe

Air conditioners consume a lot of energy, but there are a few tricks that will help lower their energy consumption. Remember to check the filters. Filters can compromise efficiency so you want to make sure to clean them or replace them. Keeping your air conditioner out of direct sunlight will also improve performance. To help with air circulation, keep fences, decks, bushes and other obstructions away from your unit.

Be a Fan of Fans

Investing in a ceiling fan will help move air around your home and improve the efficiency of your air conditioner.  With the help of a fan, your unit will not have to work as hard and this will help lower your energy costs.

Keep Your Curtains Closed

Of course natural light can help keep your electric bill low, but if nobody is home during the day, keep the curtains closed. Keeping the sun’s direct rays from entering the house helps reduce the amount of effort your air conditioner puts forth to keep the house cool.

Reduce the Humidity

Use a dehumidifier when the temperature rises. Eliminating the humidity in your home will make it feel cooler and more comfortable. When using a dehumidifier combined with fans you can set your air conditioner on 75 degrees saving you on energy costs.

Upgrade to a More Efficient Unit

Have you tried all the tricks, but still aren’t getting the results you want? It may just be time to spring for a new one. Newer systems are more efficient then systems from 10 years ago and can help trim your energy bills by 20% or more.

If you are looking for an air conditioner, P.C. Richard & Son is your air conditioner headquarters! We have a huge selection of wall and window air conditioners at the guaranteed lowest prices. Shop online or visit us at one of our 66 locations. Stay cool!


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Get Your Grill Ready For Memorial Day Weekend!


Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer, and summer marks the start of grilling season. What better way to celebrate the warm weather than with some barbeque? Your BBQ grill has probably been sitting, unused, for months… and the last time it was opened was when you took off your final burger last summer. Did you clean it?

Let’s face it… your grill needs a good spring cleaning to welcome in the summer season. In just 5 steps you’ll have a clean BBQ and even better tasting food on Memorial Day. So without further ado, let’s get to work!

Before you begin, please make sure your grill is off and the propane tank is disconnected.

Step 1

Fill a bucket or pan with warm soapy water. Remove grates and place them in to soak.

Step 2

If you have a charcoal grill, remove the coal grate and brush out the insides. If you have a gas grill, remove briquettes, lava rocks or metal flame shield to expose the burner. Clean out any ash and residue around the burners. When you’re finished, make sure the burner is in place and did not shift during cleaning. Cleaning the burners is important, as they can accumulate grease and food which leads to uneven temperatures along your surface.

Step 3

Use a wire brush and a little soapy water to gently scrub the inside surfaces of your grill. If you have a gas grill, brush off the briquettes, lava rocks or wash metal flame shield in warm soapy water. Remove any particles from the grill and reassemble.

Step 4

Remove cooking grates from the water and brush them clean with a wire brush. Then spray them down with cooking oil. This prevents your grill from rusting and ensures a long life. Put the grates back on the grill.

Step 5

Allow the whole grill to air dry after cleaning. Once you grill again, give an extra five minutes of heating time to make sure any cleaning residue has burnt off.

For great tasting food, keeping your grill clean is essential. Optimally, you should use this method to clean your BBQ grill after every 3-4 uses. Remember: a clean grill is a happy grill!  May your burgers be juicy and your wings crispy this Memorial Day Weekend as you cook them on pristine grates..

Looking for a new grill?  Whether you want a propane grill or natural gas grill, you’ll find a wide range at low prices at P.C. Richard & Son!



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Common Washing Machine Problems and Solutions


The next time your washing machine isn’t working try checking all the simple things first before you call the repair man. Troubleshooting can save you a lot of time and money. If you still can’t resolve the issue after you have done these simple checks, then it might be time to call professional help.

Whether you have a front load washer or a top load washer, here are some common problems that can occur with your machine and easy solutions to fix them.

My Washer is Vibrating

There are a few possible reasons your washing machine could be vibrating: unbalanced load of laundry, the washer is not level, or the washer feet may not be locked in and contacting the floor.


  • Rearrange the load of laundry and be sure that you are loading your washer correctly to avoid shifting.  Check your manufacturer’s instruction book; inside you will find a recommended maximum or optimum load weight. Use that as a guide. When you fill your washer, make sure the clothes still have room to move freely and aren’t packed too tightly.
  • Check the floor to see if it’s level. You may need to add a ¾-inch piece of plywood under your washer.
  • Be sure the washer feet are in firm contact with the floor. Washing machines have adjustable, front leveling legs with a lock nut. You should adjust each leg to the proper height and then tighten the lock nut up against the body of the machine to keep the leg from rotating. After adjusting each leg, lean against the machine and make sure that you feel no movement. Some machines have the same type of legs in the rear that should be adjusted, but most machines have “self-adjusting” rear legs. These legs are set by tilting the entire machine forward onto its front legs with the rear legs about 3 inches off the floor and then setting the machine back down. The legs should adjust automatically.

My Washer is Leaking

If your washer is leaking water, it doesn’t automatically mean you need a major repair.  Leaking water could happen due to simple issues such as:

  • The washer is not balanced or loaded properly.
  • Hoses are not attached/inserted properly.
  • Hose washers are worn.
  • Drains are clogged.


  • Check to see that your machine is balanced and make sure that the washer basket is not out of alignment causing water to spill out.
  • Check all your hoses and make sure they are tightened and properly connected. Check the hose washers for cracks or damage.
  • Check water lines and faucets to ensure they are not leaking.
  • Make sure the washing machine is draining properly. If it’s not, check the drain hose as it could be clogged with lint, hair, or that missing sock.

My Washer is Making Strange Noises

Weird sounds such as clicking, gurgling or humming can be caused by objects that are caught in the washer, clogged drains or internal sensors.


  • A clicking sound may mean that an object is caught in the washer drain. Be sure to check your drain and remove any objects that have been caught.  Make sure to always check and remove items from pockets before washing.
  • If your washer is making an unusually loud gurgling noise, this may indicate that the washer drain line is partially clogged. Check the line and remove the blockage before a real problem can occur.
  • If you hear a humming or buzzing noise, that may indicate that something has jammed the pump. Check your pump and remove any objects that do not belong. If damage has been done you may need a new pump.

My Washer Will Not Run or Fill With Water

Before you think the worst, there are several simple items you should check first.

  • Don’t overlook the plug. The first thing you should always check is if the machine is plugged in. It may sound silly but dozens of times this problem has been solved by simply checking the plug.
  • If the power cord is plugged in, check to be sure the outlet has power and that your circuit breaker wasn’t tripped.
  • Check the water supply. Make sure the hoses are attached and both water inlet valves are open. Look for kinks in the hoses and make sure nothing blocking the inlet valve screens.
  • Check the inside lid switch. For most washers the lid must be closed and the lid switch engaged to operate. Make sure there is no lint or dirt on the switch that is causing it to jam.

My Washer Won’t Drain or Spin Correctly

Drainage problems are most commonly caused by clogged hoses, improper loading of clothes, obstructions or too much detergent.


  • Sometimes items are overlooked even when you have checked pockets before loading your washer.  Small items like coins, pens, or even a sock, can get caught in the pump or between the basket and tub blocking draining. Check the pump and between the basket for any unwanted items and remove them.
  • Overloading or improper loading will cause the machine to be unbalanced and prevent the washer from spinning correctly. Check your load and adjust by redistributing the wet laundry or removing some laundry to allow the washer to finish spinning.
  • Make sure the drain hose has been properly installed. The end of the drain hose should not be higher than 96 inches above the floor.
  • Remove and inspect the drain hose for clogs. Before reattaching, be sure to remove any residue from the hose.
  • Check to make sure you are using the proper amount of detergent.  Using too much detergent causes an overabundance of suds, which will slow the draining process and cause the washer to malfunction.

My Washer Dispensers are Still Full of Detergent

The most common problems with an automatic dispenser malfunctioning is the use of the wrong formula or a lack of cleaning.

  • Check your washer manual to make sure you are using the right formula in designated dispensers. If your washer manual instructs you to use liquid bleach, don’t use powder bleach.
  • Make sure to clean your dispensers every month. Heat a cup of distilled white vinegar and pour it into the dispenser, then run the washer on a regular cycle. The vinegar will clean away any clogs or built-up residue.

My Washer Smells Funny

Washer odors are common, but with simple preventive maintenance, you can keep your washer and laundry smelling clean.


  • Once again, make sure you’re using the proper amount of detergent. Excessive suds leave dirty residue on washer parts and trap odors.
  • Cleaning your washing machine monthly helps prevent smelly residue.
  • Check around your washer for mold or mildew growth. There may be an issue with moisture, which must be corrected immediately. Mold and mildew is not only unpleasant smelling, but it’s also dangerous to your health.


If you’re still experiencing problems with your washing machine after following these troubleshooting tips, it may be time to call a professional. At P.C. Richard & Son, we service what we sell, and if you purchased your washer from us we would be happy to take a look at it. Learn about our repair services here!


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How to Mount Your Flat Screen TV

Mounted TV

Mounting a TV on the wall frees up space in the home and gives a much cleaner appearance, but it can be an intimidating task. To help you out, we have put together a how-to guide with tips to mounting your TV so you can avoid the most common mistakes.

Things you should know before you get started. . .


  • Be sure you have all the necessary hardware, mounting kit, and cables required to complete the installation.
  • Read manufacturer’s instructions for both the TV and the wall mount. If you have not purchased a wall-mounting bracket yet, check your TV’s owner manual for mounting guidelines. Always check the screen size and the weight that a bracket can hold.
  • Think about what you want your bracket to be able to do as well. You may want to get a bracket that enables you to swivel your TV left and right to avoid glare, or get a better view from different seats.
  • Decide whether you will leave the cables showing or hide them in the wall behind your TV.
  • Arrange to have at least one other person present to help you hang the TV on the wall bracket.
  • Determine the best wall location for mounting your TV. Check for a location with no glare and good visibility from all sitting areas in the room. For optimal viewing, plan to mount your TV at a height on the wall that corresponds to the viewers eye level when seated.
  • Choose a location that is also close to an electrical outlet and measure the length of the TV’s power cord to be sure it will reach. Please see the safety tips section below for additional requirements on choosing the optimal place to mount your TV.

Safety Tips:

  • Ensure the area behind the wall where the TV will hang is clear of obstructions by using a cable-wire tester/locator before drilling. This will avoid damage to house wiring.
  • Turn off power in the area you will be drilling/cutting to avoid electric shock.
  • Make sure that you understand local building and fire codes. If you are routing cables inside your wall, use models that are rated for in-wall installation. Do NOT route cables through your wall that lack this safety rating. If you want to keep cables not rated for in-wall hidden, you will need to hire an electrician or purchase an easy-to-install cable management raceway, which will hide your cables on the outside of the wall.

Get started . . .

Step 1

  • Attach the TV mounting bracket to the television.  If there is a stand on your TV frame, remove it by unbolting it.
  • Locate your mounting holes on the back of your TV. Most flat panel TVs do not have their mounting holes exposed. If necessary, use a screwdriver to pry off the plastic caps that cover the holes.
  • The TV portion of the bracket comes in two pieces. Make sure you line up the screw holes on each side so that the mount is level. Attach the mounting arms to the mounting holes on TV, using the bolts provided with your mounting kit. Do not use a power drill for this and be careful not to over-tighten.
  • Set your TV to the side. It’s best to not keep your TV lying face-down as this could cause damage to your screen.

Step 2

Note: Not all brackets are mountable on concrete or brick, and only some will include the appropriate hardware. You may need to order additional materials from the manufacturer or purchase some supplies from your local hardware store, such as concrete wall anchors. Be sure to follow the instructions in the owner’s manual.

  • Use a stud finder to locate nearby studs at your mounting location. To safely and securely mount your TV to the wall, you’ll need to drill the bracket into these wooden studs. Once you have located each stud, mark the center of each with a pencil or masking tape.
  • Measure the distance between the top and bottom holes on each TV mounting arm. Mark two points in the center of each wall stud, corresponding to these holes. Use a level to verify that the bracket is level before securing it to the wall.
  • Have your helper keep it stable while you screw it into the wall to make sure it stays level. After securing the bracket to the wall, check the level again. NOTE:  Do not use hollow-wall anchors as they CANNOT support TV wall mounts.

Step 3

  • Connect the cables. If you are attaching your TV to a fixed mount laying flat on the wall, you may find it easier to connect the cables to the television before attaching to wall bracket.
  • Be sure the TV and any attached devices are unplugged.
  • Have someone help you hold the television up to the wall mount. Attach the audio and video to the television per the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • If you route your cables along the outside of your wall, you’ll want to keep the power and A/V cables separate to avoid interference. Don’t bundle them together, and try to keep a couple of inches of distance between them throughout the run. Some cable management raceways include two separate wiring channels for this purpose.
  • If you are going to run the A/V cables inside the wall, follow these instructions:
    • Shut off the power to the area you’re working in.
    • You’ll need to cut holes for the A/V cables to enter and exit the wall. Use your stud finder to check for obstacles behind the wall, then drill a pilot hole. This is a small exploratory hole, drilled in the center of the space. Use caution when drilling pilot holes, so you don’t plunge your bit into a pipe or electrical conduit. Next, insert a sturdy wire (such as a bent coat hanger) into the pilot hole, and explore the space behind the wall where you’d like to cut. You should also explore nearby crawlspaces or review your electrical and plumbing plans (available from your builder) to make sure you know what’s behind the drywall before you cut. Don’t cut unless you know that the area behind the wall is clear.
    • When cutting drywall, use a hand-held drywall saw (not an electric one) and cut slowly. Cut the drywall in one piece, on an inward slant, so that it’s easier to patch later if necessary.

Step 4

  • Hang the TV. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS ALONE.  You will need another person to help you lift and secure to the bracket.
  • Lock the TV mounting arms onto the wall bracket plate. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure the connections.
  • Confirm that every point of connection is locked down securely. Test your installation with a few light tugs.
  • If your bracket allows for tilting or swiveling, make those adjustments.
  • Test and troubleshoot connections and TV functions to be sure they all work. Make adjustments as necessary.

Step 5

  • Sit back and relax, you’re done!

Not comfortable with mounting your television yourself? No worries, just call a professional.  P.C. Richard & Son has professional electronic installers available in the NY, NJ, PA and CT areas.  Learn more about our installation packages here.


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Prepare Your Oven for Thanksgiving with These Cleaning and Maintenance Tips


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many of us are preparing for opening our home to friends and family. We are going are over our grocery lists, pulling out the table settings, and cleaning and decorating our home in preparation for this holiday. However, there’s one important thing we all may overlook… our oven. We put a lot of faith in our ovens that day, so it’s smart to get it prepared as well.

Here are a few Tips:

Clean your oven now.  If you have a self cleaning oven do not use this feature the day before or day of a big holiday, as your oven could overheat and damage a key component such as a fuse or control board. Sometimes ovens can get stuck in self-clean mode. If this happens turn off the circuit breaker or unplug your oven for one minute to reset the power.

Check all burners to make sure everything is working properly. Use your oven a couple of days before hand to rule out any irregularities in temperature or uneven cooking.  If you find your oven is not heating properly, below are the most common things to check. Remember, to avoid personal injury (or death!), always unplug the appliance or disconnect the power before attempting any repairs yourself. Always turn off the gas at the source before repairing any gas appliance.

·         Bake Element.  The bake element is a black tube near the bottom of the oven about as thick as a pencil.  You can tell there’s a problem if the element glows only a little, only in certain areas along the element or not at all. If this is the case it will need to be replaced.


·         Broil Element.  The broil element is a black tube near the top of the oven, also about as thick as a pencil. When it is operating normally, the broil element will glow red hot. In most ovens the broil element comes on during pre-heat. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly, the broil element may have burned out. It is often obvious to see where the broil element has burned out because there will be a hole in the element or blisters on the outside of the element. If this is the case, it can’t be repaired and will need to be replaced.


·         Oven Igniter. If the oven won’t heat and the oven igniter glows for more than 90 seconds without igniting the gas flame, the oven igniter should be replaced.


·         Oven Thermostat. Some ovens have a thermostat bulb that can come loose, in which case you would find it lying on the bottom of the oven or resting against the heating element. If the thermostat sensing bulb is still in place, it could still be defective and may need to be replaced.

With some oven models, you can calibrate the temperature on a keypad. On other models there’s a thermostat knob that can be adjusted. Check your owner’s manual for complete instructions. If the thermostat isn’t calibrated correctly it may be that you have to replace a gasket. If this is the case, then you should contact a professional repairman.


·         Oven Control Board. An electronic oven control panel controls the oven when its buttons are used to set the oven’s temperature. Diagnostic codes, also known as fault codes, are shown on its display when there is a problem with the oven. If the display on your oven shows a code beginning with an “F,” there is a problem with a component in the control board or oven. Troubleshoot the control board to determine if it requires replacement.


·         Convection Element. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly during convection bake, the convection element might be burned out. The convection element is located near the convection fan and helps to heat the air circulating inside the oven. The convection element can be tested for continuity by using an Ohm meter. If the convection element is burned out it will need to be replaced.


·         Convection Motor. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly during convection bake and you’ve checked the convection element, the convection motor might be defective instead. The convection motor drives the convection fan and circulates the air inside the oven. The convection motor can also be tested for continuity by using an Ohm meter. If the motor shaft doesn’t turn freely, the motor bearings are probably bad and will have to be replaced.


·         Oven Sensor. The oven sensor works in conjunction with the oven control board – or clock – to regulate the temperature. The oven sensor is a simple electronic device which varies its resistance to electrical current as the temperature varies. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly, this oven sensor resistance might be incorrect. For small variations, often there is a calibration feature at the control board. On many models there is a certain pattern of pushing buttons in order to calibrate the control board to the oven sensor resistance. Check the owners’ manual for more information.

If your oven is not working at all, check to see if the oven’s wall plug is plugged in all the way first. A partially removed plug may be the reason your oven won’t turn on. If that’s not the case check your fuse box first to see if the oven blew a fuse. Older ovens have their own fuses. To check if one is blown unplug your oven first, then pull it out from behind the wall. The fuse is located under the range top on the back of the oven.  If you have checked the plug, fuse box, and all the above parts and still can’t locate the problem, it may be time to call a repairman.

If you wish to keep your range, stove, or oven operating safely and efficiently, you will need to make sure they are kept clean. Both the control panel and cook-top can be cleaned with non- abrasive cleaners. Always apply the cleaner to the rag other than the surface you wish to clean. The burner drip holes are usually not cleanable once they have been stained, so it’s often a better idea to replace them altogether. If the oven is not a self-cleaning model, you can use oven cleaner to maintain the interior. If your oven is self cleaning, simply follow the manufacturer’s instruction for the self cleaning setting. You may also need to replace your ovens light bulb from time to time if it burns out. Most ovens use a universal 40 watt bulb. Simply unscrew the old bulb and install the new one. Follow these simple steps and your appliance should continue to run great for many Thanksgivings to come!


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Slow Cooker Recipes for Game Day


Game day isn’t just about the game; it’s also about the food.  Whether you are hosting game day at your house or you are hosting a tailgate, you are preparing food for your party. Keeping your recipes simple (and of course delicious) will make life a lot easier for you. Here are a few of our favorite slow-cooker recipes that are perfect for game day! What makes these recipes so perfect you might ask?  Not only are they delicious and simple, but with the slow-cooker you prepare it and leave it to cook, giving you the opportunity to socialize with your party…which makes you the perfect host!

Slow-cooker Turkey Chili Recipe So delicious and so easy to make!

What you will need:  (4-6 servings)

·         1 ¼ pounds lean ground turkey

·         1 large onion, chopped

·         1 garlic clove, minced

·         1 envelope chili seasoning mix (1.25-oz)

·         1 can beer (12-oz)

·         1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels

·         1 green bell pepper, chopped

·         1 red bell pepper, chopped

·         1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)

·         1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15-oz)

·         1 can tomato sauce (8-oz)

·         ¾ teaspoon salt

Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, finely chopped red onion, sliced fresh jalapenos


1.      Cook the lean ground turkey, onion, garlic and chili seasoning first in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink.

2.      Stir in beer and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, spoon mixture into a 5 ½-qt. slow-cooker: stir in corn and next 6 ingredients until well blended. 

3.      Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Serve with desired toppings.

Recipe Courtesy

Buffalo-Style Drummettes with Blue Cheese DipClassic game day treat!

What you will need: (15 servings)

·         3 pounds of chicken wing drummettes, skinned (30 drummettes)

·         ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·         ¾ cup thick hot sauce

·         2 tablespoons cider vinegar

·         1 teaspoon reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

·         2 garlic cloves, minced

·         Blue Cheese Dip

·         30 carrot sticks

·         30 celery sticks


1.      Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.      Line a jelly-roll pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Place chicken on prepared pan; sprinkle with pepper. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 7 minutes or until lightly browned.

3.      Combine hot sauce, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and garlic in an oval 4-quart electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray.

4.      Remove chicken from pan; drain on paper towels. Place chicken in slow cooker, tossing gently to coat with sauce. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve with Blue Cheese Dip, carrot sticks, and celery sticks.

Recipe Courtesy Oxmoor House

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches – Guaranteed to be a hit!

What you will need: (4 servings)

·         3 tablespoons light brown sugar

·         2 teaspoons hot paprika

·         1 teaspoon mustard powder

·         ½ teaspoon ground cumin

·         Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

·         1 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat

·         2 teaspoons vegetable oil

·         ½ cup apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste

·         3 tablespoons tomato paste

·         6 potato buns

Barbecue sauce and prepared coleslaw, for serving


1.      Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, paprika, mustard powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.

2.      Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet; add pork and cook, turning until browned on all sides for 5 minutes. Remove the pork and transfer to a plate; whisk ¾ cup water into the drippings in the skillet. Transfer the liquid to a 5-6 quart slow cooker.

3.      Add the vinegar, tomato paste, the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 cups water to the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Add the pork, cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

4.      Remove the pork and transfer to a cutting board. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt roughly, chop the pork and mix in a bowl with 1 cup of the reduced cooking liquid, and salt and vinegar to taste. Serve on buns with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

Recipe Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Loaded Creamed Corn with TomatoGet ready for a loaded bowl of Southern style goodness. This easy side dish is perfect for game day!

What you will need: (16 servings)

·         4 packages of frozen kernel corn thawed (12-oz)

·         1 ½ cups half-and-half or light cream

·         1 cup chopped onion

·         ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

·         ¼ cup butter cut up

·         1 teaspoon sugar

·         ½ teaspoon salt

·         ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

·         5 thick slices of bacon

·         ¾ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese with jalapeno peppers  (3-oz)

·         ½ cup chopped tomato

·         2 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley

·         1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

·         1/8 teaspoon sugar


1.      In a blender combine the corn from one package and the half-and-half. Cover and blend until smooth. In a 4 quart slow cooker combine blended corn mixture, the remaining corn, the onion, parmesan cheese, and butter, 1 teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper.

2.      Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3-4 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 hours.

3.      In a skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, turning once. Drain bacon on paper towels; cool. Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces.

4.      Sprinkle Monterey jack cheese and bacon over corn in slow cooker. Cover; let stand about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

5.      In small bowl stir together tomato, parsley, vinegar, and sugar. Before serving, spoon tomato mixture over corn in slow cooker.

Recipe Courtesy Better Homes and Gardens

We hope you’ll give these recipes a try on game day.  We can’t guarantee your team will win, but we can guarantee the food will be a success!


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Tailgating Tips For Rookies


Tailgating has been a long standing tradition of Football, and having a successful tailgate takes experience and preparation.  If you are about to embark on your first tailgate, you may think you have it all under control…but you’re wrong. Everybody has made a rookie mistake during their first tailgate! Here are a few basic tips from seasoned tailgaters to help you avoid some common first time mistakes on game day.

Prepare Early

Pack what you can in your car the night before.  Be as portable as possible;  grills, generators, chairs, tables or tents–make sure all these things can be easily loaded and unloaded.  You should also pack a bag/box of essentials you will need for that day.  For example, pack plastic serving ware, napkins, toilet paper (don’t assume the porta potties will have this) and garbage bags. To make your life a little easier, designate people in your tailgate party to be responsible for bringing certain items.

Make A Food List

Making a list of food you want to bring to your tailgate prior to the event will help to ensure you don’t forget certain items when packing your cooler game day morning. Having two coolers works best, one cooler for your food and one for your beverages.  Make sure to pack non-alcoholic beverages as well, you will need something for your designated driver to drink and something to keep your drinkers hydrated throughout the day. Drinking nothing but alcohol can cause people in your party to become dehydrated and ill.

Have A Plan

Know before you go!  Check your stadium’s parking and tailgating guidelines prior to game day. If you are meeting friends, you may want to discuss a general area in the parking lot where you will meet and use a flag that will signal your exact location. Get to the parking grounds early (about 3-4 hours before game time) to secure your discussed location. Do not rely on your cell phone to contact your friends once you get there since many phones have trouble with reception in and around the stadium area.  Make sure everyone in your party is aware of the plans before hand.

Get To Know Your Neighbors

Once you have completed set up, put your game face on and make friends.  Don’t be shy!  Everyone is there for the same reason so finding a common interest won’t be difficult. It’s important to get to know your community.  Say you forgot to bring mustard for your hot dogs, I’m sure your nice neighbor wouldn’t mind sharing their mustard with you!

Break Out The Radio

A portable radio is perfect for playing music while you tailgate or listening to updates on other football games going on that day. Just remember to be respectful of your neighbors. Don’t play your radio too loudly or play music with vulgar lyrics that could offend the nice neighbor who just shared their mustard with you.

Play Games

Not everyone in your party will be content just sitting around drinking and discussing their predictions of that days’ game, so have fun games available to play. Bring a football to toss around, a Frisbee or even a deck of cards for card game.  Anything to keep your party busy will make them happy, and happy people are the key to a successful tailgate.

Dress Appropriately

Check the weather beforehand and dress accordingly. It will be a long day outdoors and you don’t want to be caught over or under dressed. If you know it’s going to be chilly early in the day, bring a sweatshirt with you. If there is a chance of rain, bring a rain jacket.  There is nothing worse than sitting through an entire game and then a ride home in wet clothes.

Have Spare Chargers

In the digital/social media world we live in, it’s going to be very hard to have a day without using technology. On a busy tailgating weekend, your phone and tablet hours may double. You will also find that your battery life drains quickly when your phone or tablet is constantly searching for service. Be sure you have your devices charged and get a spare charger for the car in case you run low.

Clean Up

You want to start breaking down and packing up at least 30 minutes before you plan to head into the stadium. Put all your garbage in a garbage bag and all bottles in a separate bag.  The parking lot trash bins may be full, so it is important to bring hefty duty garbage bags that seal odors in case you have to travel home with your trash. Make sure all food you are traveling home with is sealed shut as well.

When it comes to charcoal, coals can stay hot for hours and they need to be disposed of properly. A good trick for this is using the aluminum pans that held your burgers, hot dogs and other food you came with. Discard the remaining coals into the aluminum pans then take the melted ice from your coolers to pour over the coals. After the coals have cooled you can throw them in a garbage bag as well.

Whatever you do, do not leave trash, food or bottles lying around the parking grounds. When it comes to tailgating the same rules apply as if you were camping… you should take out everything you bring in.

Don’t Forget Your Camera

Not only will you want pictures of yourself and your tailgate party, but you are going to see some interesting things while you are there. Tailgating is a huge event! You will most likely see people decked out in team spirit with their faces and bodies painted, decorated vehicles and crazy blow ups…well, who really knows what you will see, but trust me you will want to capture those memories!

These are all the tips we are willing to share, everything else you will have to learn on your own like the rest of us had to! Follow our advice, be safe, have fun, and nobody will realize you are a rookie on game day. Happy tailgating!


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Safety Tips for Using a Portable Generator



If you really want to be prepared the next time the power goes out, a portable generator is the way to go! A portable generator can be a life saver when the power goes out… You’ll have the lights back on in no time at all! Portable generators can power most, if not all of your home’s power needs. If you plan on using a portable generator here are the dos and don’ts to operating your generator and keeping you and your family safe.

What to Do:

·         Buying a generator. When choosing the right generator, you need to first figure out what you will be powering in your home. Will it be your lights, appliances, or other household equipment? Once you know that then figure out how much power they require and total it up. You will need to purchase a generator that produces more power than what will be drawn from your home’s equipment.  If the equipment in your home draws more power than the generator can produce, you may blow a fuse on the generator or damage the connected equipment. If you can’t determine the amount of power that will be needed, ask an electrician to determine that for you.

·         Storing your generator. Always store your generator in a dry, clean area that is easy for you to get to. When the power goes out you don’t want to be tripping over things in the dark trying to get to your generator.

·         Use a ground wireUse heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords to plug appliances into the generator.  Without proper grounding you could be electrocuted.

·         Check all cords. Make sure to check all cords that are to be plugged into the generator for frays and exposed wires.

·         Maintain your generator.  Always use fresh gasoline when possible. If a generator is likely to sit for long periods of time before being run again, use a gasoline stabilizer. You should start your generator at least once a month and let it run for a few minutes. If it has a battery, trickle charge the battery from time to time to ensure it is ready to go.


What you shouldn’t do:

·         Do not run your generator indoors.  Never run portable generators inside your home or in your garage. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide, and the fumes can be deadly. Keep your generator away from your home’s windows and doors as well.  To be on the safe side invest in a CO alarm with battery backup for your home; if gas from the generator has entered your home the alarm will sound to warn you.

·         Do not run your generator unprotected in rain or snow. In bad weather keep your generator in a shed, under an overhang, or a portable shelter if possible. It is very important to keep your generator dry when operating. Never touch a generator with wet hands, you could be electrocuted.


·         Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.  The only recommended method to connect a generator to house wiring is by having a QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN install a power transfer switch. Never try and do this yourself.

·         Do not refuel your generator while it is running. Shut off your generator first and let it cool down, gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite and start a fire.

·         Do not overload your generator. Use your generator only when necessary. Turn it off when you are asleep or away from your home to avoid a possible fire hazard.

When using a portable generator always remember, safety first! If you have any doubts about how to properly use your portable generator, contact the manufacturer or a licensed electrician for assistance.


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How to Prepare for Power Outages


prepareWeather can be unpredictable, and we need to keep ourselves and loved ones as safe as possible during a bad storm. There are basic things you can do to prepare your home for loss of power in either the summer or the winter months.

Don’t get caught in the dark

o   Keep a few emergency automatic power failure night lights plugged in. Plug in emergency night lights in dark hallways, bedrooms, common areas, basements, and garages.  Emergency lights can last from 6-20 hours depending upon what you purchase. These can come in handy the first couple of hours during a power outage, especially when you are trying to make your way around a dark house.

o   Always keep a number of flash lights and an emergency lantern with fresh batteries in your home. Make sure to keep your flashlights, lantern and additional batteries in a location that you can get to easily with little or no light.

o   Have candles and plenty of matches as well.  Make sure you keep your candles away from anything flammable, such as drapes.

Food Safety – What to do when power remains out for over 4 hours

o   Invest in a cooler and ice packs. Keep the cooler in a convenient location inside your home and ice packs in the freezer.  When power is out do not open your refrigerator if you do not have to, unless the power outage lasts longer than 4 hours. After 4 hours get your cooler and ice packs and pack items from your refrigerator into your cooler. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

o   If your freezer is half full, it will hold safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold safely for 48 hours – do not open freezer door if you can avoid it.

o   Get the right foods before you lose power. Keep at least a 3 day supply of nonperishable foods such as crackers, whole-grain cereals, and canned food. Don’t forget a manual can opener!

Things to do before a power outage:

o   Be prepared for injuries. You should have an emergency kit at your home that is fully stocked with bandages in various sizes, sterile dressings and gloves, hand sanitizer and antibiotic towelettes, a thermometer, pain medicines, tweezers, and scissors. Make sure you purchase or build your own first aid kit that is large enough for your family

o   Stock up on bottled water. Water purification systems may not be working when the power goes out.

o   Purchase a battery operated or hand cranked radio to stay tuned in to news and emergency information when power is out.

o   Fill up all your vehicles’ tanks in case gas stations lose their power as well. Remember if you are using a generator they require roughly 12-20 gallons of gas per day. Store all fuel away from the house.

o   Have car chargers for cell phones and keep a corded phone as well. Cordless phones require AC power. Keep in mind cell phones may be more reliable than landline phones when local service is disrupted.

o   Be prepared for special needs. Tell your utility and local fire department before a storm if someone in your home uses an oxygen concentrator, ventilator, or medical bed, as power may be restored to you sooner. Always keep a one month supply of medication on hand.

It is important to plan ahead and be prepared you never know when a bad storm will hit. Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, but being prepared can eliminate some of that stress. For prolonged power outages, it may be wiser to seek shelter with friends, family, or a hotel.  Stay safe!


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