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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Simple Recipes For Campus Living

dorm room recipes

Making your own meals at college can be challenging. Most likely you will have a mini fridge that that stores less than you are accustomed to. You might also share this fridge with your college roommate, leaving you with even less space. This, along with your peers and time constraints, may influence you to just grab something quick at a fast food restaurant or your campus cafeteria. The truth is, this is not a healthy diet and can be much more expensive than preparing your own food.  Here are some simple recipes that are healthier for you than your local fast food chain.


Grilled Chicken Teriyaki

Chicken breasts marinated in teriyaki sauce, lemon, garlic, and sesame oil, then grilled to a tasty finish will make a healthy and delicious dinner option. Chicken teriyaki leftovers are great over a green salad or on a sandwich so dinner, as well as lunch, are both taken care of. Grilled Chicken Teriyaki is easy to make and all you need is a small indoor grill; this Proctor-Silex 32 Square Inch Non-Stick Indoor Grill only weighs 3lbs, takes up little space, and is under $20 – perfect for campus life!



  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  • Place chicken, teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and sesame oil in a large Ziplock  Bag. Seal bag and shake to coat. For best results, leave in refrigerator the night before you plan on cooking your chicken, giving your chicken enough time to marinate.
  • Preheat your grill for high heat.
  • Remove chicken from bag, dispose of any remaining marinade. Grill for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

Bean & Cheese Nacho Boats

These fun and tasty little boats will the make the perfect snack for you and your roomie.  All you need is a toaster oven, microwave and a 6 cup toaster oven muffin pan. Don’t own a toaster oven? Check out these toaster ovens for $50 and under here.


*makes 12

  • 4-5 large flour tortillas
  • 1 26.5-ounce black beans. Rinsed and drained
  • 1 box of Santa Fe 90 second microwave rice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Sour cream optional


  • Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6 count toaster oven muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Lay each tortilla out on a flat surface, use an empty can or cookie cutter to cut 3 medium sized circles out of each tortilla. Press firmly and use a twisting motion until the circle is cut through.
  • Press each tortilla circle in the muffin tin using your fingers to make sure they are firmly in place.
  • Meanwhile microwave your rice. Then mix rice with black beans.
  • Spoon 1 or 2 large tablespoons of the black bean rice mix into each tortilla circle. Top with a handful of the cheese.
  • Bake in the toaster oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the tortillas are lightly browned.
  • When cool enough to handle, use a knife to loosen the edges. The nacho boats should pop right out of the pan.
  • Top with chopped tomato and sour cream and you are ready to serve!


On to dessert  . . .


Mug Cookie Recipe:


When you get that craving for a warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookie – you know, the kind your mother use to make – then this is the recipe for you! Cookies may not be on the top of the healthy food list, but remember “everything in moderation” and you will be fine. This is a very simple recipe and all you need is a microwave, coffee mug and about 60 seconds!




  • Tablespoon of butter
  • Tablespoon of white sugar
  • Tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of vanilla
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • Small bag of chocolate chips




  • First melt a tablespoon of butter in your mug.
  • Add one tablespoon of white sugar, one tablespoon of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla.
  • Mix up with a fork until smooth.
  • Add flour.
  • Mix until it looks like cookie dough.
  • Add some chocolate chips and mix again.
  • Microwave for 40-50 seconds.
  • And bam! You have a cookie in a mug. Grab a fork and a tall glass of milk and enjoy!


For more simple recipes for college students, check out “The Everything College Cookbook: 300 Hasle-Free Recipes For Students On The Go” by Rhonda Lauret Parkinson.


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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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Relieve Spring Allergies with HEPA Air Filtration

Golden Retriever Welpe

Spring is in the air… and so is the POLLEN. While some are running into the great outdoors, others are running to the pharmacy for some allergy relief! And it’s not just pollen; there are other air pollutants in our home that can trigger allergy symptoms. The itchy eyes, runny nose and fatigue that come with allergies can be brutal. The use of HEPA filters can help relieve your home of these allergens and thereby reduce your allergy attacks.


HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters work by trapping those pollutants that trigger allergies. It’s a type of mechanical air filter that works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke that non-HEPA filters can’t catch.

Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help you breathe easier. A HEPA air purifier (also known as an air cleaner) reduces the concentration of airborne contaminants and is an essential component to maintaining an allergen-free home. They guarantee that they will trap 99.97% of particles larger than .3 microns (enough to help relieve your symptoms). They’re also beneficial to those with asthma and other respiratory-related issues.


A HEPA air purifier can remove most airborne particles, but the particles suspended in air are not the only ones in your home. There are far more particles in your rug, on your floor, mattresses, or upholstered furniture. A vacuum with HEPA air filtration works best to remove these particles and they throw less dirt and fewer microscopic dust mites back into the room as you vacuum.


Whether you are in the market for allergy relief or simply looking for a cleaner home or office, an air purifier or vacuum with HEPA air filtration from P.C. Richard & Son can help. Get yours today!


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Spring Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

spring cleaning

For allergy sufferers, spring cleaning is a great opportunity to clean many over looked items that could be harboring allergens and help reduce symptoms. On the other hand, the cleaning itself may set off fits of sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion. Whether you dread this process or find it strangely satisfying, it’s got to be done especially if you suffer from allergies.

Here are some cleaning tips to keep in mind as you spring clean your home. These cleaning tips will help both you and your family breathe easier.

Replace Filters

Clean or replace filters on humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, air conditioning units and furnaces. If you are replacing your filters, try replacing them with HEPA filters which are ideal for allergy suffers.

Clean Vents

Vents can be easily overlooked, but particles can build up in them. Unscrew vents for the heat or air system, put them in the sink and rinse with soap and water.

Clean Any Damp Areas

Monitor areas that are likely to produce mold, such as closets, inside cabinets near sinks, the bathroom floor, areas under appliances and areas around pipes. Wiping walls, floors or ceilings around these areas with a solution of vinegar is a safe effective mold deterrent.

Clean The Inside AND Outside of Windows

Use bleach to clean your window sill.Then you can either hose off your window screens in the backyard, or use a vacuum to suck up the dirt and dust embedded in the screen.

Get Under Things

If you haven’t moved your furniture while cleaning to get under or around things, now is the time to do so. A thorough cleaning is what you need! Just because you can’t see the dust or dirt does not mean it’s not affecting your breathing.

Vacuum Mattresses and Furniture

If you have any upholstered furniture, vacuuming and steam cleaning are great ways to reduce the amount of allergens in your home.

Wash Your Bedding

Using hot water and special laundry detergent that help kill dust mites and eliminate other allergens. If you have not already encased your bedding in allergy relief bedding, take this opportunity to do so. Check your pillows as well. Replace them every 2-3 years and cover them with hypoallergenic encasings.

Clean Your Curtains

This should be done periodically since they are huge allergen collectors. Make sure you read the care instructions before cleaning your curtains. Some may be ok to throw in the wash, while others may have to be steamed cleaned or even taken to the dry cleaners.

Get Your Carpets and Rugs Cleaned Professionally

If you have smaller rugs, like a bathroom rug, throw it in the wash. If your smaller rugs are not washable, you should consider replacing them with rugs that are.


Don’t dust with cotton cloths though, they just spread particles around on surfaces and send them back into the air. Instead, use electrostatic or microfiber cloths which trap dust or a vacuum attachment designed specifically for dusting.

In addition to the tips above, the following tips are some cleaning principles to stick to in order to minimize allergy attacks while cleaning.

  • Wear a dust mask.
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Click here to browse vacuums that have HEPA air filtration.
  • If you have pets, clean off their fur when they come in from the outside to avoid bringing pollen into your home.
  • Keep the humidity in your home below 50% to prevent growth of dust mites. You may want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier.
  • Clean “top to bottom” so that any stirred-up dust and other debris that settles on the floor will be sure to be cleaned up.
  •  Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals, which can aggravate sensitive nasal passages and airways.
  • Invest in a HEPA air purifier. HEPA air purifiers are very effective at controlling particles and allergens such as pollen, dust, and dander.


We hope you find these tips helpful and please check back on our blog for more spring cleaning tips!



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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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Keeping Your Devices Safe In The Cold


Stepping out into the bitter cold does not only have an effect on you, but the blast of arctic temperatures could put your electronics on thin ice! Smartphones, notebooks, tablets, and laptops can all lose functionality as the temperature drops. Here are some problems that may occur during these chilly days:

Battery Drain: Is the most common and most immediate effects of cold weather. Your device may spontaneously power off with a dead battery in extreme cold. If your smartphone is exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period of time, you risk killing the battery altogether.

Screen Issues: LCD displays on smartphones, Apple iPads or Android tablets are sensitive to the cold. Users may experience delayed touchscreen reactions as well as smudging or ghosting of images. The cold weather makes the panel more rigid, which makes it more likely to shatter if dropped.

Internal Component errors: In extreme cold temperatures, smartphones and mobile devices may begin to register various errors of their internal components. Smartphones may have difficulty reading a SIM card or executing any number of processing  operations.

Physical Damage to Internal/External Components:  Mobile devices that are subjected to extreme cold  can cause both internal/external components to become rigid, which could lead to physical damage such as spontaneous screen shattering. Leaving devices in extreme cold temperatures for an extend ed period of time can cause permanent damage.

Liquid Condensation: When used too quickly after bringing your device in from the the cold, your mobile devices are susceptible to liquid condensation underneath their displays. This can cause various liquid damage issues and make your display screen hard to read.

Now that you are familiar with the problems that can occur with your mobile devices in cold weather, here are tips to help prevent it.

Tip #1

Try not too take your devices out in cold weather, or if you have to, limit the use.  Keep your devices in your jacket pocket, bag or purse to limit exposure to the direct cold.

Tip #2

Protect your devices with a case. For smartphones, use a heavy duty, weatherproof case such as a Lifeproof or Otterbox.  For laptops or tablets, get a well insulated and well padded case.

Tip #3

Never leave your smartphone, notebook, tablet, iPad or any other mobile device in your cold vehicle for extended periods of time. Even with a case, such extended time left in the cold can cause permanent internal and external damage.

Tip #4

In addition to protecting your devices from the cold weather, you should keep your devices out of the snow. Dropping your device in the snow causes it to get wet and this can be extremely damaging. If your device does get wet, you should get indoors (to keep the seeped water from freezing), remove the battery, take out the SIM card (if the device has one), dry the device with a clear microfiber cloth or paper towel and then put the device in an air-tight container with packets of silica gel to absorb the moisture. It has also been said submerging your wet device in a pot or bowl of uncooked rice can help remove moisture from it.

Tip #5

Laptop hard drives can freeze from the cold. It is recommended that you let your laptop warm up to room temperature before using it. This is a good rule a thumb to use for all mobile devices that have spent extended time in cold weather.

Tip #6

NEVER use pocket warmers or other warmers not intended for mobile devices to try and keep them warm.  These warmers  are not designed for that purpose and can create other issues. For example, generating too much heat can cause internal components to melt.

Tip #7

You can keep your laptop warm by changing the power settings to power save mode. This keeps the laptop warm as it continues to run, and instead of shutting down the hard drive, it keeps it spinning. The longer the laptop can be kept running, the warmer it will stay as it generates its own heat.

Tip #8

If you find your smartphone has shut off, don’t start it back up immediately. Condensation can form inside your device if you turn it on while it’s still cold.

Tip #9

Charge your smartphone before going outside. If your battery is fully charged before going into the cold, it is less likely to experience battery drain. For all your mobile devices, keep a mobile charger around for long trips as well as an extra battery for backup.

Tip #10

Make sure to check your manufacturer’s temporal guidelines. For example, Apple products can operate in temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees.

We hope this post will help you keep your devices protected from the cold days ahead. Remember, if you can, avoid or limit use of your electronics in the cold. Stay warm!


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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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Thanksgiving Last Minute Checklist


Thanksgiving is almost here and if you are hosting at your house this year, you’re probably scrambling to make sure everything is in order. Here is a quick checklist to run down to make sure you are right on track for the big day:


  • Confirm your guest list. You may have had last-minute cancellations or last-minute invites.
  • Confirm you have enough place settings, tableware, and chairs.
  • If you didn’t already clean up the house this weekend, start your cleaning now.
  • Make sure all of the china and glassware has been washed and your napkins and table cloths are clean and ironed.
  • Make room in your fridge for fresh groceries you may still need to purchase.
  • If you haven’t stated defrosting your turkey yet, you better start now… it takes 24 hours to defrost a 4-5 pound turkey. You can thaw it in the sink faster with cold water if you are pressed for time.
  • Purchase any fresh items on your list tonight, as well as drink items you might need, seltzer, cider, etc., and fresh flowers if you plan on making an arrangement for a centerpiece.
  • Set your cooking schedule for Thursday


  • Prepare and refrigerate your deserts and side dishes.
  • Set the table and arrange seating. Place any additional fall decorations throughout the house.
  • Chill beverages and make extra ice cubes if you aren’t buying a bulk bag.

Thanksgiving Morning

  • Turn on the Thanksgiving Day parade and get into the spirit!
  • Follow the cooking schedule you set
  • Put the turkey in to roast
  • Defrost dinner rolls and any other frozen items.
  • Complete all other dishes needed such as salad, fruit trays, cheese platters, etc.

Serve, socialize, enjoy, and relax! From the P.C. Richard & Son family to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!


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