May 28, 2015

Take Children to Work Home-Tech Style

Steve and SonyaBack in 1993, Take Your Daughter to Work Day was established as a day of celebration and a way to celebrate women in the work force – in 2003, the celebration grew to include boys – and is now recognized as Take Your Children to Work Day. It’s always the 4th Thursday of April, and this year fell on April 22nd. But, here at Home-Tech, our President & CEO, Steve Marino has been taking his daughter, Sonya, to work every day since she was 7-years old. “Well, technically, Dad took me to work every day, because in the beginning, Home-Tech operated out of our house,” says Home-Tech CFO, Sonya Sawyer.

Bright Beginnings

When she was little, her sister had to move into Sonya’s room to make room for Steve’s office. And even at that young age, when her Dad went on service calls on weekends, Sonya would go with him, “It was fun,” she remembers. “I’d hand him his tools while he was working on an appliance, so I’d know the difference between a flat head and a Phillip’s head screwdriver. The customers were always really nice – sometimes, they’d even feed me,” she laughs.

The Tradition Continues

Sonya says she loved having quality time with her Dad – and seeing him help people. As a teenager, Sonya worked at Home-Tech after school and on weekends. She became a CPA and worked at a large firm, but in 1999, her Dad offered her the CFO position. “He really treats me like any other employee,” says Sonya. “But, then again, everyone’s treated the same because we’re one big family here at Home-Tech. We take pride in being a locally owned and operated business.”

Family Pride

These days, Sonya’s been known to bring her 7-year old daughter, Chloe to work – and her 10-year old son, Brandon, is already getting his hands dirty by helping out in the warehouse. “He’s already told me that when he grows up, he wants to work at Home-Tech,” she says, smiling.

At Home-Tech it really is all in the family. From management, to our team, and to the customer – family pride means quality work. So if you take your daughter or son to work – you never know – they might end up working just down the hall from you someday.

Home-Tech Gets 5 Stars for Appliance Service

Home-Tech ReviewsI am rating Home-Tech five stars out of five. I am also rating the appliance service person who came to my home five stars out of five. Here is why….

The company representative I spoke with (Pat, I think) when I first called told me exactly what rates, pricing, and time frames I could expect.

The follow-up was exactly what the home base representative told me to expect…. they called early in the day to give me a two-hour window within which the service person would arrive, and I was called by the service person when he was within ten minutes of arriving at my home.

The service person arrived in a company vehicle, was clean cut, in a white shirt and khaki slacks, with identifying patches and a name badge on his uniform.air condioning service technician

The service person had already been briefed correctly on the description of the problem I’d given to the base representative, confirmed that with me, and got right to work. His manner was pleasant, reassuring, and professional.

It was obvious that the serviceman was experienced in servicing this and similar machines. He was able to identify the problem within the first ten minutes, and was confident that he could fix it within a short time.

The serviceman exhibited an excellent work ethic, keeping to the task, working even while my wife and I talked to him, and had the job done well within his estimated time.

Whether planned or by coincidence, it was a smart move by the company to send one of their more experienced and efficient service people on a call to a new customer.

The labor rates charged are, in my opinion, somewhat high. But then I was paying for: a) someone to come to me instead of my having to bring the problem to them b) their experience and backup support, and c) the assurance that I wouldn’t get someone who comes into my home sweating and smelly, asking for a drink, stopping work to jibber-jabber on the phone, telling me the worst outcome I can expect before he’s even looked at the problem, leaves his basic tools in the truck (while I pay for the time it takes him to go back and forth from the truck), and who works like he’s already burned out on doing the work he’s in – OR – an inexperienced upstart who must spend half of his charged time on the phone with the company asking for help and instructions.
I would not hesitate to recommend Home-Tech to a friend, neighbor, or other family member. I was entirely pleased with their service, the service person, and the results.

Incidentally, the service person who came to my home was Matt E.. Extremely nice, capable, knowledgeable, professional young man who, from what I learned of him in a short time, seems like he’s going to do well for himself, his family, and for Home-Tech.

Sincerely,
J. Bogart

Clean Off Your Desk – Less Paperwork with a Home-Tech Service Agreement

CleanYourDeskWell, it came and went – National Clean Off Your Desk Day – it was last week. And I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t cleaned off my desk. Clean Off Your Desk Day makes plenty of sense – it’s a new year, after all, and we’re still only around three weeks into it – an uncluttered desk means an uncluttered mind, right? Unfortunately Feng Shui is not always easily achieved when you’re trying to organize bills, loose change, paper clips, business cards, receipts (we won’t even MENTION that tax season is right around the corner – maybe on April 14th we’ll start thinking about that), and more.

De-cluttering and De-stressing

While cleaning off your desk is a worthy goal, I propose going even further, because frankly, at my level of disorganization, I could use Clean Out Your Closet Day, which will include finally donating those jeans that I haven’t been able to zip up since I was in my 20’s. Also, Clean Out Under Your Bathroom Sink Day – because, really, does anyone truly need four cans of almost empty hair spray, 16 different shades of brown eyes shadow, and countless prescription medications that expired in the mid-1990s? While we’re at it, I would embrace Clean Out Your Car Day because if I actually recycled my vast collection of empty water bottles, it could likely save the world.

First Step – Service Agreementappliance repair technician

Getting organized and de-cluttering can sometimes feel like a challenge, but studies show that the more streamlined you make your living space, your mind will follow suit. Sometimes, it starts with the first step – like getting the paperwork off your desk.

Being a homeowner requires you to hire lots of different companies for help and that means lots of bills and business cards and clutter.  With a Gold or Silver Service Agreement, you’re taking an important step towards organization. There is only ONE PHONE NUMBER you need for all or our services. Having a Service Agreement with Home-Tech means that when one of your appliances or your air conditioning stops working, all you have to do is make one call for 7 days a week service – even if it’s a weekend or a holiday. As well, Home-Tech offers plumbing and minor electrical repairs. Our friendly, professional technicians are at your beck and call – and you won’t have to file a bill on your desk, because if you have a Gold Service Agreement, service calls are free and unlimited (Silver Service Agreements mean only a minimal service fee).

Peace of mind comes with a Service Agreement and once you have peace of mind, you’ll be ready to tackle that desk – and closet, and car, and bathroom cupboard – and it’s the perfect way to start out a new year.

Diet Resolutions – Succeed with Fabulous Refrigerators

Diet2One of the top three universal New Year’s resolution has always been “to lose weight” (the other two are “to get in shape” and “to start dieting” – a little redundant, yes – but, at least those of us who make resolutions are consistent). And these days, we have fewer excuses because we have lots of nifty new gadgets to take us down the path to skinny jeans and smaller belt sizes.

There are Fit Bits that keep track of every calorie you consume and every calorie you burn, there are cell phones apps that get you off the couch and into a 5K, and of course there are blenders, juicers, and Nutribullets to turn kale into juice and carrots into soup.

Smoothie Dreams, Refrigeration Woes

When I received a Nutribullet for Christmas, I immediately headed straight to the produce aisle at the grocery and went completely insane. Armed with a gazillion recipes from Pinterest, I filled my cart with everything from mangoes to mint leaves, raw spinach to raw flax seeds, coconut water to cranberries – and, trust me, a cart full of healthy fresh produce is NOT cheap (whereas a big bag of nacho-flavored Doritos are only around $3.00 – it really is cheaper to stay chunky). So, when I arrived home and was reminded that my fridge has only two measly crisper drawers with no temperature control, my dreams of healthy smoothies were dashed. How to keep all these celery stalks and apples, and blueberries fresh while I’m still feeling resolute?

Climate Controlled Refrigerators to the Rescuecarousel-refrigeration-more_space

Home-Tech is proud to feature G.E. Café Series French Door Refrigerators with up to four separate drawers to easily handle your enthusiasm for fruits and vegetables (as well as cheese and lunch meats). Not only is there plenty of room, the drawers are climate controlled with a variety of customized settings and temperatures. Seriously state-of-the-art chic, stainless steel, and sleek, the G.E. café series compliments any kitchen and the French Doors lend the look of a built-in without the extra cost. Check them out in our Home-Tech showroom today.

You will also want to check the Whirlpool 4 Door French Door Model: WRX988SIB with it’s carousel system.

Shop Local, Shop Fresh

Once you’ve got the perfect fridge, you can pick up all the vitamin-packed goodness you can get your hands on. And if you’re looking for tasty, fresh locally grown produce, here are a few area farmers’ markets that are super popular this time of year:

  • The Green Market at the Alliance of the Arts, open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the corner of McGregor Blvd. and Royal Palm Blvd. (10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers).
  • Third Street South Farmer’s Market, every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in downtown Naples on Third St.
  • Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market, every Saturday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. located on Lemon Ave. at the intersection of Main St.

Happy shopping, happy storing!

Save Your Parents from Appliance Repairs

appliance repair for parentsWe’re celebrating Parents’ Day here at Home-Tech and while Mom probably loves flowers and Dad might like a gift certificate to Outback, flowers don’t last and meals are soon forgotten after the last bite. If you really want to take care of Mom and Dad and give them the gift that keeps giving, how about removing the stress, hassle, and worry from their lives?

Appliance Repairs Are A Dragappliance repair

When an appliance breaks down it’s not only costly, it’s a time-waster to sit around waiting on an appliance repair person to show up. If it’s the dishwasher, Mom’s going to be stuck at the kitchen sink scrubbing pots and pans – if it’s the dryer, you know Dad’s going to get out the toolbox and try to repair it himself, which isn’t going to work and makes for even more headaches. So, take care of our parents with a Service Agreement and give them the invaluable gift . . . peace of mind.

The Gifts of Gold and Silver

Home-Tech has been providing fast, emergency service for 33 years – and we serve in five Southwest Florida counties. There’s two great plans to choose from – Gold and Silver. Our Gold Service Agreement means one of each of all major appliances are covered with repair service through the year, plus all service calls are unlimited and free – even on weekends and holidays. Our Silver Service Agreement features many of the same advantages, such as an annual air-conditioning clean and check, plus complete parts and labor coverage, and you pay only a minimal service call fee. So, if you’re a parent, tell your kids what gift you really want – gold or silver.

Or just forward them this blog post – they’ll get the hint.

 

Refrigerators with Bottom Freezers Perfect for Your Ice Cream

icecreamdayAh, the energy and impatience of youth — those were the two main ingredients that went into making homemade ice cream back in the day. And since National Ice Cream Day fell on the calendar this past Sunday (we here it Home-Tech actually prefer to celebrate the holiday all month long — oh, never mind, let’s be honest — all YEAR long), let’s look back on the days of homemade ice cream and let’s look into the perfect storage for your ice cream – refrigerators with bottom freezers.

Grandma’s Ice Cream Was The Best

Sure, you could buy ice cream at the store, but there was nothing like the rich, smooth, sweet, fresh taste of homemade — and usually, it was Grandma’s recipe, which meant eggs, sugar, vanilla, fresh cream, and the best, most important ingredient of all — Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. If you were lucky, your Grandma let you lick the inside top of the can (so good!). Next came the hard part, which meant dealing with with the ice, the rock salt, and that incredibly heavy wooden and cast iron contraption known as an Ice Cream Maker. And that’s when the adults kicked back with a cold glass of sweet tea and put the kids to work cranking.

Building Muscles and Appetitesbottom freezers

For folks 40-ish and older, childhood just wasn’t childhood unless you did your time cranking the ice cream maker — and you had to keep cranking, fast and constantly, to churn the ingredients. If you got lazy and stopped, you’d just end up with really thick cream instead of the fluffy, delicious, and most importantly, cold, ice cream you craved on a hot July day.

bottom freezerFreezing Your Sweet Creation

While things seemed better way back then, let’s remember that everything was also smaller, including freezers, so there wasn’t much room to fit ice, frozen meat, other staples, plus a carton of homemade ice cream — so you had to either eat it quick, or your Grandma had to do some creative freezer puzzle work. Something that HAS gotten better since childhood is freezers — and Home-Tech carries a variety that not only will fit your budget, but all the ice cream you want — homemade or store bought. One of the most popular models these days is the bottom drawer freezer and Home-Tech boasts proven, quality brands from manufacturers like Bosch, KitchenAid, Maytag, and more — and plenty of these Refrigerators with Bottom Freezers feature money-savings rebates. Just stop into one of our sparkling showrooms in Bradenton or Fort Myers.

Here’s the Recipe

And now that you’re in the mood for ice cream, check out this super easy recipe (no ice cream maker required — you already did your time at the crank):

1/2 cup of cold milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 pint of heavy cream

In a medium bowl, stir together cold milk, vanilla, condensed milk, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold milk mixture into whipped cream.

Pour into shallow 2 quart dish, cover and freeze for 4 hours, stirring once after 2 hours or when edges start to harden. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Yields 12 tasty servings.

 

The Best Microwave – Home-Tech Recommendations

best microwavesWhen it comes to investing in the best microwave, we decided to talk to the experts in Home-Tech’s Fort Myers sparkling appliance showroom. There was a time when owning a microwave was a major luxury and consumers had to save their pennies to be able to afford one. These days, you can walk into just about any grocery store or even pharmacy and pick one up in between the styrofoam beer coolers and box fans — but, are you getting one that’s going to break down after a few months? It may be a bargain, but it’s not what you bargained for.

Less Service Calls . . . More Reliability

The technicians at Home-Tech repair microwaves in SW Florida homes each and every day so they know which brands are the most reliable. The appliance store only provides the best microwave brands with all the bells and whistles and that last the longest.  The appliance sales reps at Home-Tech walked us around the showroom and gave us a tour of the best of the best when it comes to microwaves. Yes — there are some snazzy features you’ll love, but most importantly, these appliances are reliable and THAT’S what it’s all about.

Here are the top three BEST microwave recommendations from Home-Tech:

The G.E. Profile (model #PVM9179SFSS)best microwaves 2014

  1. This sleek, stainless steel Convection Over-The-Range Microwave Oven not only looks great, it’s a G.E., and according to our experts, that means less calls for service.
  2. There are two oven wire racks, which makes multi-tasking easy.
  3. Plus, it’s also a convection oven — two great appliances in one!

The Bosch 800 Series Convection Over-The-Range Microwave Oven (model #HMV8052U)

  1. Another quality manufacturer that the appliance store at Home-Tech loves is Bosch.
  2. With an automatic defrost function and a sensor that lets you know when your food is done, this microwave is one of the best, most trustworthy appliances on the market.

The Whirlpool Microwave Hood Combination (model #WMH76719CS)

  1. Another solid, reliable microwave that will keep you cooking, not calling for service.
  2. This one not only features sensor cooking, but it doubles as a steamer.

You can see these top three recommendations and many more quality top of the line microwaves at one of Home-Tech’s showrooms or at www.home-tech.us.  Check them out and you’ll be cooking in your dream microwave in no time!

While You Putt and Pitch – Home-Tech Masters Appliance Repairs

Golf DayLast week, America celebrated National Golf Day, but we all know that if you live in sunny Southwest Florida and you love golf, EVERY day is Golf Day. The Masters Tournament — featuring a great Sunday afternoon with green jacket winner Bubba Watson and runner-up, Jordan Spieth, was this past weekend and golf is in the air – and if one of your appliances needs some work on its drive, Home-Tech won’t make you miss your tee time by sitting around and watching the Golf Channel while you wait for a repairman to show up. Home-Tech customer service will set up a time for your repair and you will get a call from your technician to let you know when he will be there.

You’ll Have Time for all 18 Holes

We know your time is precious and when it’s a gorgeous day on the course and there’s a beverage cart nearby, we want you out there, swinging away and giving Tiger a run for his money (okay, maybe that’s a stretch). We want to see you in your Ian Poulter-inspired pink plaid pants, a lime green shirt, and a white belt as you honor your favorite sport on a bogey-free day, hammering birdies, and trying not to throw your putter down in despair. That’s why so many SW Florida homeowners love being Service Agreement Members. They love the convenience of knowing who to call, when we’ll get there, and that your appliance repair will get done right the first time!service vehicle

Lightning Fast

While you don’t want any lightning strikes while you are on the course, we do know that you’d like a lightning fast appliance repair. Home-Tech has been providing fast, emergency service for 33 years – and we serve in five Southwest Florida counties. Unlike other companies, we won’t make you waste what could have been a great day on the golf course while you wait for one of our expert technicians. So, grab your clubs, get to the greens, and worry about your swing – not your appliance repairs.

Home-Tech Announces European Appliance Break Through!

washer2The newest in technology and innovation has come EXCLUSIVELY to Home-Tech. We’re thrilled to report that Home-Tech is the only appliance retailer in the United States to carry the latest in innovation and technology from the brand new French Appliance Designer, Avil Trompier.

While Avil Trompier is new, the design company, located in Menteur, France is already receiving rave reviews and accolades in the appliance industry — and Home-Tech is introducing the La Laundry Extraordinaire!

It Does Everything

The experts at Avil Trompier have been working on this inventive new washer and dryer package at their headquarters in Menteur, France since 1996, and finally, they’ve unveiled a machine that has the appliance industry amazed. You simply load your laundry in and push a button as a dispenser senses how much water and detergent is needed and fills automatically. After the rinse and spin cycle is complete, the La Laundry Extraordinaire becomes a dryer, with air coming from small holes in the barrel.

But, That’s Not All

French designers were able to add a whole new element! After the laundry is dry, a component within the machine then separates and folds everything in the La Laundry Extraordinaire. When this process is complete, your freshly folded laundry is rolled out onto a conveyer belt. But before you have to put it away, grab a chair and pull it up to La Laundry Extraordinaire as something truly revolutionary happens (leave it to the French to come up with something so fabulous). Slide your bare feet up to La Laundry Extraordinaire and sit back as prosthetic, life-like hands emerge from inside the machine to give you a one hour foot massage. Yes, that’s right — Avil Trompier has you covered in every way!

Note: Avil Trompier is easily translated into English (Avil is French for April; Trompier is French for Fools). Happy April Fool’s Day from Home-Tech — and let’s hope somebody comes up with La Laundry Extraordinaire SOON. Meanwhile, Home-Tech has you covered for all you appliance needs.

 

 

 

 

 

March Madness – Home-Tech Appliance Style

appliance-money-wheelThe college basketball world is well into the hoopla of March Madness and our very own Florida Gators get to dance at the Sweet Sixteen Party this week (chomp, chomp!) and while we here at Home-Tech are rooting on our respective teams, we’ve also got some very merry March Madness of our own happening in the world of state-of-the-art appliances and serious savings for you. So, come on down to the court and let’s shoot for some cash back!

Run and Gun With Rebatesappliances - electrolux - laundry

You can score a $100 rebate with the purchase of a qualifying Frigidaire refrigerator or range if you make a run to Home-Tech by March 31st. Also, playing only during the month of March, a $300 rebate with a purchase of qualifying Electrolux Laundry Pairs – and trust us, that’s no foul. You get a bonus free throw when it comes to Bosch appliances – that means up to a 10 percent rebate of qualifying Bosch Kitchen Packages. You’ll hear the swishes when you get those rebate checks or gift cards!

bosch kitchen packageDon’t be a Bench Warmer

There are more money shots where those came from in one of our two appliance stores, and when you score, Home-Tech has your back with our Service Agreement Program. So dribble on down to one of our appliance showrooms and let one of our best team members show you what March Madness means at Home-Tech!