Planning the Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Family Trips to the Cape

Family Road Trip

Pack up the kids; it’s time for the ultimate summer road trip! Whether you’re planning a cross-country trek to visit family or a week-long getaway to the Cape, look to P.C. Richard and Son for ways to keep everyone entertained as the miles roll along.

Here are 5 must-haves for a stress-free summer road trip with kids of all ages:




1. Keep on Track With a GPS

A quality GarminGPS navigation system with updated maps help you avoid construction and other traffic delays that can add hours to any road trip. GPS features to look for include real-time traffic updates, reliable route alternatives to avoid construction, or other traffic snarls and free map upgrades for life. While a map service or GPS app for your phone may be able to get you from point A to point B, a portable GPS offers much more, including multiple destination routing… and keeps your mobile phone free for entertaining the kids!



2. Smart Snacks = Happy Kids

It’s essential to pack kid-friendly snacks for any road trip. Without ample supply you’ll end up having to stop often, therefore wasting time and often indulging in not-so-healthy choices. The five perfect snacks to pack for any road trip with kids are:

  • String cheese
  • Snack baggies filled with pretzels
  • Grapes (only if the kids are old enough; grapes can be a choking hazard)
  • Granola bars (tip: the chewier ones create fewer crumbs)
  • Snack baggies filled with baby carrots and celery sticks

You want to pack snacks the kids will eat but ones that won’t be super messy or potentially hazardous. Keep everything chilled in a cooler. The U.S.D.A. recommends packing drinks in a separate cooler so the food cooler is not opened frequently.

3. Games and Entertainment EssentialsTablet

Keep the kids entertained by playing family-friendly games like 20 Questions, I Spy and the Alphabet Game. The Alphabet Game can be played multiple times and the rules are simple: the driver chooses a category (cartoon characters, foods, etc.). Everyone starts with the letter A and tries to come up with cartoon character that starts with A. Play rounds for each letter of the alphabet.

When everyone tires of games, let the kids pass the time by watching a movie on a  car video system or your tablet. A tablet PC offers even the youngest viewer a nice-sized screen to enjoy a favorite movie. Don’t forget to pack headphones!


4. Remote Start for Quick Cooling

Nothing is wo4105v-1rse during the heat of summer than having to get back into a vehicle that’s baked in the scorching sun. Whether it’s a rest stop for lunch or a side trip to enjoy a scenic view, entering a stifling hot vehicle makes everyone uncomfortable and cranky. A remote car starter solves this problem. Use the remote start to get the air conditioning running, reducing the interior heat before everyone gets back in.




5. Post Trip Essentials

You’ve spent 10 days at the Cape, three of those days were in the car with the entire family — sometimes you simply need a bit of rest after your “restful” vacation. De-stress from the driving and other vacation activities by lounging in the yard in an outdoor chair or taking a long, uninterrupted soak in the bath tub. You’ll feel relaxed and recharged after enjoying some down time. Then you can begin planning next summer’s road trip!


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Win A Trip To The iHeartRadio Music Festival 2015 In Las Vegas


How would you like to win a trip for two to Las Vegas to see the hottest concert of the year?! Two back-to-back nights of amazing talent in a city internationally known for its nightlife? Of course you would, and P.C. Richard & Son wants to send you there!

We are giving away a pair of tickets to the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, September 19th and 20th! The grand prize includes; round trip airfare for two, hotel accommodations for two nights, two tickets to each night of the iHeartRadio Music Festival and two tickets to the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village. You do not want to miss this show!

To enter for a chance to win the iHeartRadio Music Festival Sweepstakes 2015, “like” us on Facebook and fill out the entry form here, or stop by any of our convenient sweepstakes kiosk at any of our 66 P.C. Richard & Son Superstores! Hurry . . . . Sweepstakes ends August 21, 2015!

Good Luck!!!


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How to Buy the Right Type of Air Conditioner for You


imagesChoosing the right air conditioner unit, when central HVAC may not an option, involves several factors. To determine what type of air conditioner to buy, consider the following questions:

  • What type of window space can I install a unit in?
  • Is an in-wall or slide-out unit possible?
  • How many BTUs do I need to effectively cool the room?
  • Will it need to be portable?

You may also need to factor in the ease of installation and the energy efficiency the AC unit offers.

Window Space

Types of air conditioners vary depending upon the window space available. A vertical hung sash window that opens up and down typically can accommodate a standard window air conditioner, while a slider/casement style AC unit is needed for casement windows that crank open or slide open horizontally. These types of indoor air conditioners sit on the window sill with the window partially open, held secure in place by the window sash and/or other manufacturer recommended methods.

In-Wall or Slide-Out Window AC Units

The chassis is the supportive frame for a window air conditioner unit. Units built with a slide-out chassis can be removed and may be installed through a wall inside an air conditioner sleeve (which may require brackets for support.) Certain in-wall AC units can be installed so they sit flush with the wall, creating a sleek, minimalistic look. In-wall and slide-out chassis air conditioner units don’t have the same side-vents a regular window air conditioner has, but they do offer a high cooling capacity ideal for bedrooms and offices.

Note: The thickness of your wall will determine if installing an in-wall air conditioner is possible.

About BTUs

BTUs, or British thermal units, are units of energy. Cooling is measured in BTU per hour. According to, “Based on size alone, an air conditioner generally needs 20 BTU for each square foot of living space.” On average, most window AC units or portable air conditioners range from 5,500 BTU per hour to 14,000 BTU per hour. You may also see units with a cooling capacity size of a ton. A ton, in air conditioner cooling terms, means that unit has a rate of 12,000 BTU per hour.

While the size of the room is key in figuring how much BTU is needed, don’t forget to consider how much sun or shade the room receives, the effectiveness of the room’s insulation and the height of the ceilings — it takes more energy to cool a room with 9-foot or higher ceilings.

Tip: When buying a window air conditioner, avoid one that is oversized (too high BTU) for the space. Use a BTU calculator to figure the right size for the space.

Portable AC Units

A portable AC unit is an ideal choice if your room has only one window or a window AC unit isn’t permitted by your landlord. Consider a portable air conditioner for rooms that need supplemental cooling, such as offices, enclosed porches or loft rooms. You can find units with timers, multi-fan settings and that are easy to move from room to room as needed.

Trust P.C. Richard & Son for all your air conditioner needs, including wall sleeve replacement air conditioners and accessories such as filters, sealing foam, brackets and covers for when the unit is not in use.



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Patio Furniture – Summer Trends

It’s not too late to spruce up your yard, deck or patio! There is still plenty of summer left to enjoy the outdoors, and with the right patio furniture you can enjoy it in style. Here are some of our favorite trends we have seen this season:

The Fire Pit

Fire pits are a great place to bond with friends and family and      well worth the money.  Whether you use your fire pit in the  summer or the winter, it’s always enjoyable. During the summer  nights it’s a great place to gather and roast marshmallows and  during the colder months it’s a warm, cozy place to hang and  chat with friends without being stuck indoors. You can browse a  variety of fire pit sets here.


Hanover Fire pit set



Is your style more traditional? If so, wicker furniture is what you want. Wicker has always given a traditional, homey feel to any outdoor living area, and you’ll love how durable and easy to clean it is. Wicker furniture is also super easy to dress up with stylish outdoor pillows, allowing you to add some color to your outdoor living space. It’s no surprise that wicker is such a popular trend.





During the summer months it’s nice to relax outside under the sun, but as temperatures rise if you don’t have the luxury of natural shade from trees or a swimming pool to cool off in your outdoor living space may be too unbearably hot to enjoy. A patio umbrella is a perfect way to create a shaded, cool area in your yard, allowing you to enjoy the warm summer air comfortably. As for the summer nights, adding string lights to your patio umbrella adds the right amount of light for hanging outside in the evenings and highlights any outdoor decor perfectly.

patio umbrella

Egg Swings

Enjoy the feeling of being on vacation with resort-style hanging egg swings. Adding these suspended baskets to your outdoor living space provides a comfy spot for relaxing or curling up with a good book. It’s a perfect addition to your yard or patio area if you’re looking to create your own backyard oasis.





Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack chairs have long been a symbol of relaxation making these iconic wooden chairs a summertime must have! The rustic and timeless appeal of an Adirondack chair will add instant charm to your yard or patio. They are perfect for lounging or gathering with friends and come in a wide variety of color for any personality, or try mixing and matching colors to really brighten up your outdoor space.


adirondack chairs



Looking for more summer trends or inspiration? Follow our board ‘Summer Backyard/Patio Fun’ on Pinterest for ideas on décor, lighting and much more! If you have recently made over your backyard we would love for you to share pictures with us on Instagram using @pcrichardandson #BackyardGetaway2015. Relax and enjoy your outdoor space this summer!


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HP Back To School Bundle Sweepstakes


It’s that time of year again! You may not want to think about school while you’re lying on the beach, but now is the time to start preparing to head back and we want to help. P.C. Richard & Son wants to kick off your school year right with a chance to win an HP Back to School Bundle! This bundle has everything you’ll need for studying: a desktop computer for the dorm, laptop for class, and a wireless printer!

The lucky winner could be YOU! For a chance to win you can enter on our Facebook page here or stop by any of our 66 P.C. Richard & Son Superstore locations and fill out an entry form at our convenient sweepstakes kiosk. GOOD LUCK!

Looking for help preparing for the school year? Visit our Back to School page with tips to help you survive the school year and view our checklist of what you need for studying, cooking, cleaning, relaxing and having fun. From classroom to dorm room, P.C. Richard & Son has everything you need to get ‘U’ ready for the upcoming school year!


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Outdoor Man Cave Done Right

SunBrite TV

Who said your man cave had to be inside? You can take it outdoors and still have a large flat screen TV and serious sound system, plus a great grill for manly eats and a mini fridge to keep your favorite beverages close. You can have all these luxuries outdoors, and when done right, still create a space the whole family can use too.

Must-haves for the ultimate outdoor man cave?

  • Outdoor TV
  • Great sound system
  • Grill
  • Outdoor fridge
  • Comfortable seating

Outdoor TV vs. Indoor TV

There are signifurlicant and important differences between outdoor and indoor television sets. An all-weather outdoor TV is designed specifically to withstand outdoor conditions such as heat, humidity, dust and even bugs and it will have an electrical cord rated for outdoor use.


When you’re outside watching the big game, you want a TV with an anti-glare screen that won’t make it difficult to see who’s at bat or which team just scored that touchdown. Outdoor TV screens also have a protective layering to resist scratches and any issues from the elements. You can mount an outdoor TV to a wall and create an eye-catching focal point for your outdoor man cave.

Sound Systems

Depending on the proximity of your neighbors, you may opt for a pair of headphones while enjoying the game on your outdoor TV. However, a great portable sound system may be just want you need when hosting a game day party — just don’t forget to invite the neighbors! Consider wireless speakers that also can be used to stream your favorite music as well, ideal for parties and get-togethers when you’re not using the outdoor TV.



Whether you swear by the easy start of a gas grill or are a die-hard, got-to-have-charcoal kind of guy, P.C. Richard & Son has the perfect grill for your outdoor man cave. If the outdoor TV is going to be the focal point of your man cave, then consider placing the grill on the opposite side of the space. This helps keep smoke from wafting into the TV viewing area and is a great way to keep the “kitchen” in its own space. Consider a grill that will serve all your needs. Side burners are a great way to heat sauces and sides liked baked beans. A grill with a large work area plus space for holding the proper tools is the perfect way to keep any grillmaster organized and on point when cooking for a crowd.

Mini Fridge

A compact refrigerator or mini fridge is an easy way to maximize space in an outdoor man cave. A compact fridge measuring 5.6 cubic feet can hold about 5.1 cubic feet of fresh food. It’s perfect for keeping cans, bottles and other beverages cold and within reach while grilling and watching the game with friends. Some mini fridges even include freezer space; a nice feature when you want popsicles handy for the kids when sharing this luxury leisure space with the family on movie night.

Comfortable Seating

The ultimate outdoor man cave needs comfortable seating that includes a place to put your feet up and can double as a great conversation area when entertaining friends. Look for sets with thick cushions upholstered in all-weather fabric that will resist fading with sun exposure. If the space permits, indulge in sectional-style outdoor seating that comes with a cushion footrest that can double as an additional seat if needed.

Other outdoor man cave items to consider are fans to keep cool even on the warmest days, and decorative lighting. If the layout and spacing of the outdoor area allows, don’t forget to add a fire pit!


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Air Conditioning – Common Problems and Solutions

Trouble Shooting air contioner

A window air conditioner can provide the much-needed relief you need when the temperature rises, especially in homes without central air. To ensure you stay cool all summer long it’s important to know how to troubleshoot some common problems with the unit. You may not be able to fix every problem, but at the very least have an understanding of what the problem could be. From that point you can decide whether you need to repair the unit or purchase a new one.

My air conditioner won’t turn on.

First thing to do if you’re A/C unit won’t turn on is to check for power. Is the air conditioner plugged in? If so, test the outlet by plugging another appliance in to that same outlet. If the outlet is receiving no power, check your circuit breaker.

If the A/C is receiving power but still doesn’t turn on, there are a number of issues that could be wrong and would require repair including the wiring, thermostat, compressor, selector switch or control board.

My air conditioner isn’t cold enough.

This is a common complaint and why it’s important to purchase the right BTU size air conditioner for the space you are trying to cool. Check your BTU size here to see if you purchased the right size for your space. You may need a new air conditioner with a larger BTU size to get the job done.

If you have the right size BTU use a thermometer to get the temperature of the room and compare that to the temperature you want it to be.  If there is a 15 degree difference you may be asking the unit to do more than it is capable of. Try resetting the temperature to 10 degrees lower than the room temperature.

If the difference with the thermometer is less than 15 degrees, check the air damper. If it is open it will bring in outside air and this is bad for the unit’s efficiency. Check your back cover also, many people forget to remove this cover after the winter season.

Lastly check the condensing coils, which are located on the warm end of the A/C unit. Remove the air conditioner cover to access the coils and clean them with a soft brush. For more tips on how to keep your air conditioner running efficiently click here.

Air Conditioner diagram

My air conditioner isn’t blowing out any cold air.

If you’re not feeling any cold air coming from the unit but the fan is blowing, make sure the thermostat is set appropriately first.  Next check the compressor motor, which is a small case inside the air conditioner. If it is humming continuously, it could be the condenser, evaporator or compressor, all of which would need service from a professional.

My air conditioner is leaking water.

If you find your A/C unit is leaking water this could be a sign that it wasn’t installed properly. Re-check the manual’s installation instructions to be sure the installation was done correctly. Most likely you may just need to tilt the unit back slightly to allow water to run off.

My air conditioner stinks!

If you have consistent problems with your A/C unit and you have gone through all the troubleshooting steps, the unit may need service from a professional or you it may just be time for an upgrade.  An average window air conditioner has a life span of 8 years, and this varies on how often it is used and how well you maintain the unit.


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Create Your Backyard Getaway

Backyard Getaway

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor living space, take advantage of it! The backyard doesn’t have to be an extra piece of space just for the dog, it can be a welcoming extension of your home. All you need is some imagination and a little planning. Here are some great tips to get you started!

Design a Layout

The first thing you want to think about is layout.  When planning the layout of your backyard, think of it as you would your home: divided into “rooms” for different activities. Take into consideration where you will want to eat, relax, entertain, etc. Remember multiple levels or different surface areas help define different zones, like the patio, deck, lawn or garden.

Creating an Outdoor Kitchen

If you like barbecuing and eating outdoors, you will definitely want establish an area where you can easily cook and serve your guests. The space and your budget will determine how fancy you get, but you don’t need to get too fancy to make this work; simply a grill and a table and chairs will do the trick. If you really enjoy grilling and you find yourself eating outdoors 2-3 times a week, you may want to consider getting a countertop for food prep and storage.  Later down the road you may even want to add a refrigerator and sink to make preparation and clean up even easier.

Relaxation Station

Do you enjoy sun bathing, reading a book, or having a cocktail around a fire pit? Think about what you do to unwind and design the perfect area in your yard to do just that. If you enjoy lounging in the sun, Adirondack chairs would be perfect for this area, or check out Hanover’s outdoor egg-shaped swings if you’re looking for a comfy place to read a good book.

Some yards take on more sunlight than others and if there are no trees to create shading it can get really hot.  If you are looking for a place to relax in the shade an outdoor umbrella can help you create a shaded area so that you can relax comfortably.


Whether you are hosting a party in your yard, relaxing, or playing games, you can enjoy your favorite music with outdoor speakers.  There are a variety of different styles to help match your backyard’s personality. And don’t stop with the music! have you ever considered an outdoor television? An outdoor TV is perfect for movie nights in the summer or watching sporting events.  SunBrite HDTVs are engineered for permanent outdoor placement, they are completely waterproof, viewable in direct sunlight and built and styled for safety in an outdoor environment.

Once you have this basic layout down you can really have some fun by adding all the little extras! Follow our board ‘Summer Backyard/Patio Fun’ on Pinterest for inspiration on décor, lighting and much more! If you have recently made over your backyard we would love for you to share pictures with us on Instagram using @pcrichardandson #BackyardGetaway2015. Relax and enjoy your outdoor space this summer!


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Father’s Day Gift Ideas 2015: The Perfect Gift for Every Type of Dad


tumblr_luaqdkU0Lx1r3kpv0o1_1280Give it up for Dad! He’s the handyman around the house, the master of the grill, the bug executioner and so much more! Father’s Day is a great opportunity to show this man of many talents how much you appreciate him.  Whether he’s into gadgets, sports, grilling etc. we have you covered.

The Grill Master

If your dad is anything like my own, he’ll look for any excuse to BBQ. Even rain or snow won’t stop him! During the summer months mom usually gets a break from preparing dinners and dad will ‘man’ the grill. If your father’s grill is looking a little worn or just outdated, you can be sure he’d appreciate a new one. We bet he’ll grill you up something tasty to show his appreciation! Learn more about how to choose the right BBQ here.

The Entertainer

Does your dad enjoy having company? Maybe he has his own man cave or even a pub shed where he likes to entertain guests. If so, what could Dad use to spice it up? A new TV? Great audio? A beverage center? We have TONS of great items perfect for this type of dad!

The Camera Man

This is the dad who’s never without a camera; whether it’s snapping photos or taking home videos, this man is trying to capture it all. We have a large selection of point and shoot digital cameras as well as professional SLR cameras, camcorders and tons of camera accessories!

The Office Man

If your dad is more likely to be found working in a home office than gardening outdoors, you’re in luck… because we have the perfect gift ideas both big and small! From office furniture, to computer software and accessories, we’re sure to have something that your hard-working father will appreciate.  Browse our home office here.

The Get Fit Dad

Has your dad been saying he’d like to get in better shape? Why not help him reach his health and fitness goals with an activity tracker or smart watch?  Dad can log workouts, track calories, get his heart rate, and so much more. Trackers also celebrate fitness milestones and challenges, keeping dad motivated on his progress. Learn more here!

The Smart Dad

If your dad is into the latest technology, then he’s interested in home automation! Help your smart dad turn his house into a smart home. We have everything you need for dad to automate and control everything from thermostats to lighting from the palm of his hands. Visit our learning center to watch videos on how these innovative products work to make any home smarter.

The Cruiser

He loves his car! Every dad spends time in the car, whether driving the kids to school, lugging sports equipment to games, tutus to recitals, or just commuting back and forth to work. Why not make his time more enjoyable? From car stereo systemsandGPS systemsto aremote car starter, we have the perfect gift for this type of dad.

Looking for more gift ideas? Check out our Father’s Day Gift Guide or stop down to any one of our P.C. Richard & Son Superstores and one of our expert sales representatives can help you find the right gift for Dad!


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Elder Scrolls Online June 9, 2015 – Win a Code for a Free Full Game Download!


Return to Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, the latest chapter of the award-winning series, and bring the legendary experience online for the first time. Explore the vast world with friends or embark upon an epic adventure alone — the choices you will make will shape your destiny.

Discover more of Tamriel than you’ve ever seen, from the frozen peaks of Skyrim to the murky depths of Black Marsh—and do it all with your friends by your side! With a vast (and growing) world full of dungeons to delve, ancient mysteries to unravel, and incredible treasures to claim, you’ll find endless reasons to explore every corner of Tamriel.

Three alliances clash in a struggle to claim Cyrodiil, the heartland of Tamriel, and the chaos of war spreads to every province. Unlikely allies stand together on the battlefield, but a more sinister threat stirs beneath the surface—the Daedric Prince Molag Bal, God of Schemes, is hatching a plan to pull all of Tamriel into his Oblivion realm and enslave every mortal soul. It is in the face of overwhelming odds that champions are forged!

Your Character, Your Strategy

You’re more than your class. Pick up and use any weapon, any armor, and choose from an enormous selection of spells and abilities to customize your fighting style—no matter which class you select. Create exactly the hero you envision, try out new abilities, and change out your skills anywhere to adapt to new threats. You’re in control of your character’s fate.

Swear Allegiance

Forced to seek allies in the face of war and Daedric invasion, the people of Tamriel have come together under three banners. Each alliance seeks to claim the Ruby Throne in Cyrodiil, drive back the forces of the Daedra, and restore their own ideal of order to the land. But the bonds between them are tenuous at best—ancient enemies must put differences aside for the greater good. Who will you stand with?

Here is your chance to join the battle! We are giving away a code for a full game download of Elder Scrolls Online for PS4 or XBOXONE. The sweepstakes ends June 8, 2015 at 5 pm and the winner of the sweepstakes will be emailed the code to download and ready to play by 12:01 on the release date! Enter for your chance to win on our Facebook page here. Good luck!


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