Andersen Corporation Earns 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award

Andersen has been named a 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner, the highest honor given for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements.

BAYPORT, Minn., April 6, 2017 – Andersen Corporation, including Renewal by Andersen, has been named a 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award winner, the highest honor given for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Andersen’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2017.

An ENERGY STAR® partner since the Windows program began in 1998, Andersen is known for its long history of leadership in producing energy-efficient products. Andersen was the first window manufacturer awarded the ENERGY STAR National Window Partner of the Year in 1999.

Andersen’s leadership in energy efficiency is exemplified through products that have helped set industry standards for minimizing environmental impacts while maximizing energy efficiency, performance, and durability for customers.  Andersen’s dedication to promoting the ENERGY STAR program is centered on advancing energy-efficient products within its four major brands, and educating all stakeholders about the benefits of ENERGY STAR certified products and programs.

In 2016, Andersen’s top three ENERGY STAR related accomplishments included:

  1. Advancing energy efficiency ratings across the portfolio. Andersen now offers products that are ENERGY STAR® v. 6.0 certified in the Northern Climate Zone; added PassiveSun® glass and HeatLock® coating to most product lines for greater energy efficiency options; and also increased sales of Andersen®     A-Series products with triple-pane glass – recognized as Most Efficient of ENERGY STAR in 2017 with specific glass options.
  2.  Expansive outreach to consumers. Andersen deployed a multi-faceted campaign to educate consumers about energy efficiency benefits. Specific tactics included social media infographic, bylined articles and educational videos. Andersen also worked directly with the EPA to develop an engaging in-home ENERGY STAR® Scavenger Hunt for kids.
  3. Reducing operational energy use and increasing renewable energy. Andersen Chairman and CEO Jay Lund launched a Chairman’s Sustainability Award to recognize employees who deliver impressive environmental results. The winning site reduced its energy consumption by 20 percent through an LED lighting upgrade – helping Andersen to drive closer to an enterprise goal. Andersen also announced a subscription to up to 19 megawatts of solar energy through Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community® program.

“Andersen is honored to receive the 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award,” said Sal Abbate, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Andersen Corporation. “We are committed to educating consumers about the critical importance of selecting energy-efficient windows that last. The ENERGY STAR® brand helps consumers make wise decisions about energy efficiency throughout their home.”

In 2015 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners saved American businesses and consumers 503 billion kilowatt hours and $34 billion dollars on their energy bills, while achieving broad emission reductions.

“The 2017 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award reflects how Andersen employees bring to life our company value of corporate citizenship, and lead by example, reducing environmental impacts by making our operations more energy efficient,” added Eliza Clark, Director of Sustainability and Environmental, Andersen Corporation. “Lowering energy consumption is a win for all of us and the right thing to do for the environment.”

Spring is great time for Home Improvement…and scammers!

his-scamsSpring is a popular time for home improvement projects as many homeowners are receiving their tax refunds and beginning maintenance for both inside and outside homes.

Additionally, the spring season can sometimes bring extreme weather, resulting in storm damage. Throughout this time, homeowners who are repairing their homes or are planning to use their tax refunds to cover the costs of home remodeling projects are advised to be on the lookout for scams.

Before hiring a home improvement business, consider these tips:

  1. Check out a business. We recommend ASK THE SEAL. You can do online searches to read complaints and reviews, and find out more information. hi rez Corp Logo B&W WO Free smaller seal
  2. Get multiple estimates. Before accepting an estimate, get at least three bids or quotes in writing. Don’t feel pressured to go with the lowest bid, as it might reflect the quality of materials.
  3. Ask for references. Ask for at least two or three references from the business’ last few jobs and ask questions about the quality of work, if it was within budget and on time, and to the customer’s satisfaction.
  4. Check out licenses. Be sure to check if the business is properly licensed in Florida. It’s also important that any business you hire is properly insured if working on your home.
  5. Get everything in writing. Do not sign a contract until you have read through it entirely. If you made verbal agreements, they should be included in the written contract. Any deposit or payment plans should be included, as well as any warranties or guarantees.
  6. Never sign a blank or partially completed contract. Also, be aware that for sales made at your home, you may cancel the contract within three days without any penalty, per Florida law. LEARN MORE HERE.
  7. Do not pay for the entire job in advance. Do not make the full payment up front or pay cash to a salesperson or contractor. Typically, a down payment of 30 to 50 percent of the total contract price is made before the work is started with remaining payments to be made after completion of each phase of work; final payment should not be made until work is completed and you have inspected the work.

Top 10 Home Design Trends To Expect In 2017

Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff

voice-activated-homedesignLooking for some great ideas for your home? How about a voice-activated assistant that will give you a weather update while you pour coffee into a preheated mug from a warming drawer? Not your style? No worries — there’s something for everyone in this preview of 2017 design trends. We plowed into Houzz data, sifted through popular photos and articles, and talked to industry leaders for this look at 10 things we think you’ll be seeing more of in the home in 2017.

  1. Satin brass.Brass finishes have been making a comeback in recent years, cherished for their ability to bring shiny golden tones to a space without the high price tag. But more recently, designers like Elizabeth Lawson have been turning away from the reflective finish of polished brass and embracing satin or brushed brass, which is more muted and warm.

“I especially like a satin brass finish because it’s transitional and can complement a number of styles,” says Lawson, who used the finish in the kitchen shown here. “It also looks amazing against almost any color of the rainbow. I think we’ll continue to see rooms with satin brass for quite some time and also possibly mixed with other finishes for a more eclectic look.”

  1. Voice-activated assistants.There’s been a lot of talk about voice assistants in the home. It’s something Shawn DuBravac, chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association, which puts on the Consumer Electronics Show every year in Las Vegas (Jan. 5 to 8, 2017), says will be big in 2017.

Amazon’s Alexa, which is enabled in the Echo Dot shown on this side table, acts as a voice-activated interface for many smart home devices. Google Home’s voice assistant launched about a month ago.

These devices work through activation phrases like “Alexa” or “OK Google.” The devices, placed throughout your home, are always listening in somewhat of a dormant state. Say the activation phrase, and the device fires up and awaits your command. Ask it to give you the weather or play a song from Spotify or dim your lights or power up the hot tub.

Early last year, Amazon opened its platform to third parties and has since added thousands of integrated features from smart home companies like Lutron, Crestron, Philips Hue, Wemo, Honeywell, Nest, Samsung Smart Home to other services from Uber, Domino’s, NPR and more.

Google Home just launched its voice-activated assistant about a month ago, and DuBravac says he expects the company to open the platform to third-party companies soon.

“What you’re seeing is continued maturing of the smart home ecosystem,” he says. “It’s still a very nascent technology. Maturing isn’t something that happens instantaneously, but over time.”

  1. Vanity conversions.If you’re having trouble finding the right premanufactured vanity for your home, try thinking outside the cabinet box. Many savvy homeowners are finding chests of drawers, old file cabinets, vintage consoles and more, and converting them into one-of-a-kind vanities.
  2. Hardworking kitchen storage walls.In search of more open space, many homeowners and designers are doing away with expanses of upper cabinets and pushing all that storage onto a single hardworking wall. This one-stop hub frees up the rest of the space to create a breezy look.
  3. White with off-white.There’s just something refreshing about a room bathed in white. But when done in one stark white tone, things can start to feel clinical. Balancing a white palette with creamy off-whites and natural linen hues creates a breathtaking look that can be rich with character.
  4. Greenery.Pantone’s verdant color of the year for 2017, Greenery, seems to be an instant hit for those looking for a revitalizing, back-to-nature hue that brings zest while still managing to work with warm wood tones.
  5. Splurging on laundry rooms.Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms get the big remodeling dollars, but many homeowners are seeing value in making every space look great. And laundry rooms in particular are seeing more love. Design tricks to bring in more light, smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize that since they spend a lot of time doing laundry, why not do it in a space that makes them feel good?

According to the 2016 Houzz & Home Report, people remodeling their laundry rooms of 150 square feet or more will spend an average of $2,700. Take away appliances, and that’s a sizable budget to splurge on tile and other details.

  1. Splurging on entryways.The entry, like a powder room, is a compact place where you can have fun with design without blowing a budget. Homeowners will spend on average $2,500 to make over their entryway or mudroom that’s 150 square feet or more ($1,400 for a space that’s less than 150 square feet), according to the 2016 Houzz & Home Report.

Sometimes all it takes is a small area to feature a fun piece of wallpaper, a statement mirror or a narrow table with a tray for shoes underneath. After all, first impressions matter.

  1. Outdoor-feeling indoor showers.An outdoor shower is highly desirable but not practical year-round in most areas of the country. To get around the weather dilemma, designers and homeowners are looking to intimate courtyards and strategic site placement to create bathrooms that connect deeply to the outdoors while still maintaining privacy.

 

  1. Counter-depth fridges.For small to modest-size kitchens, remodeling is often a game of inches. Counter-depth refrigerators sit flush with adjacent cabinetry and countertops, freeing up just a bit more space while creating a streamlined look.

 

Holiday Time Wisdom…Keeping your family Safe

christmas-treeHoliday Lighting
  • Use caution with holiday decorations and, whenever possible, choose those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant and non-combustible materials.
  • Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees.
  • Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings, and replace damaged items before plugging lights in.  Do not overload extension cords.
  • Don’t mount lights in any way that can damage the cord’s wire insulation.  To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples–don’t use nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
  • Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
  • Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground-fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
 Decorations
  • Use only non-combustible and flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel and artificial icicles of plastic and non-leaded metals.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp and breakable, and keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children.
  • Avoid trimmings that resemble candy and food that may tempt a young child to put them in his mouth.
Holiday Entertaining
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.  When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range.
  • Provide plenty of large, deep ashtrays, and check them frequently. Cigarette butts can smolder in the trash and cause a fire, so completely douse cigarette butts with water before discarding.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of sight and reach of children (preferably in a locked cabinet).
  • Test your smoke alarms, and let guests know what your fire escape plan is.
 Trees
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “fire-resistant.”
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches, and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators and portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
  • Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.
  • Make sure the base is steady so the tree won’t tip over easily.
  Fireplaces
  • Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
  • Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  Toys and Ornaments
  • Purchase appropriate toys for the appropriate age. Some toys designed for older children might be dangerous for younger children.
  • Electric toys should be UL/FM approved.
  • Toys with sharp points, sharp edges, strings, cords, and parts small enough to be swallowed should not be given to small children.
  • Place older ornaments and decorations that might be painted with lead paint out of the reach of small children and pets.
Children and Pets
  • Poinsettias are known to be poisonous to humans and animals, so keep them well out of reach, or avoid having them.
  • Keep decorations at least 6 inches above the child’s reach.
  • Avoid using tinsel. It can fall on the floor and a curious child or pet may eat it. This can cause anything from mild distress to death.
  • Keep any ribbons on gifts and tree ornaments shorter than 7 inches. A child could wrap a longer strand of ribbon around their neck and choke.
  • Avoid mittens with strings for children. The string can get tangled around the child’s neck and cause them to choke. It is easier to replace a mitten than a child.
  • Watch children and pets around space heaters or the fireplace. Do not leave a child or pet unattended.
  • Store scissors and any sharp objects that you use to wrap presents out of your child’s reach.
  • Inspect wrapped gifts for small decorations, such as candy canes, gingerbread men, and mistletoe berries, all of which are choking hazards.
 Security
  • Use your home burglar alarm system.
  • If you plan to travel for the holidays, don’t discuss your plans with strangers.
  • Have a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

Thanksgiving….and Help for Charity Giving!

Check-A-Charity

scamalertCharities depend on the generosity of donors to support them for various causes and purposes. Many charitable organizations use your donations wisely; however, some may misrepresent their fundraising intentions or solicit for phony causes. Keep these tips in mind before making a donation:

Watch out for Scams

Scammers take advantage of people by pretending to be a real charity in order to commit fraud. Frequently, bogus charities will exploit a recent natural disaster or tragedy, promising to use the donations to aid victims. It is important not to judge a charity solely on its name. Many organizations may use names similar to well-known charities and organizations.

Check out a Charity Before Donating

Ask the charity or organization why it is asking for donations and what purpose will be served. Florida law gives the prospective donor the right to request and receive a copy of a charity’s financial report before donating. You can also use our Check-A-Charity tool at FreshFromFlorida.com to view a charity’s financial information and current registration status, or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352). Be aware that many telephone appeals for funds are made by paid solicitors, not volunteers. Telemarketing is expensive and may entail substantial fundraising costs. Ask the solicitor what portion of your donation will be retained by the charity.

Avoid High Pressure Tactics

Some solicitors use high-pressure tactics and may even offer to send a “runner” to pick up your money immediately. Don’t feel forced to make a quick decision without getting all the information you need to make an informed decision. Reputable charities and organizations are just as happy to receive your donation tomorrow as today. If you decide to make a donation; never send cash. Typically, it is best to pay by check, made payable to the charity itself, not to the solicitor. If you decide to make a donation online, look for indicators that the site is secure, such as a URL that begins with “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”).

Keep Good Records

Always obtain and save a printed copy of your donation or a receipt showing the amount of the contribution. Not all organizations soliciting in the name of benevolence are true charities eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. If this is important to you, ask about the organization’s federal and state eligibility for receiving tax deductible donations. Typically, such donations fall under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

All charities soliciting within Florida (excluding religious, educational, political and governmental agencies) are required to register and file financial information with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. If a professional solicitor is requesting a donation on behalf of a charity, the solicitor also must be registered with the department and should be able to provide you with their registration number. Visit Check-A-Charity online at FreshFromFlorida.com to view a charity’s financial information and current registration status, or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the state’s clearinghouse for consumer complaints, protection and information. Consumers who believe fraud has taken place can contact the department’s consumer assistance center at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352), 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) en Español or visit FreshFromFlorida.com.