Sears' Cooling Station Helps Hot Consumers Chill Out at Houston's International Festival

Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is bringing an air-conditioned oasis to the Houston International Festival, April 17th and 18th. Festival attendees can find relief from the heat at Sears' "Cooling Station," a colossal blue, air-conditioned igloo that will provide festival-goers a refreshing environment.

A visit to the Cooling Station can also help ensure homeowners are ready for the summer heat. Sears, America's leading home appliance retailer and the nation's largest HVAC repair services provider, is displaying its newest products and educating consumers on how to save hundreds of dollars in energy bills by using Energy Star®-qualified central air, window air, refrigerators and freezers.

"The Sears Cooling Station gives Houston residents a brief respite from the heat," said Steve Kendziera, Houston district general manager for Sears. "More importantly, consumers can receive maintenance tips for window or central air conditioners and refrigerators, as well as guides for selecting a new product. And they'll see the latest product innovations.

"An Energy Star-rated window air conditioner can pay for itself within two to three years. And many Kenmore Elite® Energy Star refrigerators run on less energy than a 75-watt light bulb*. And inefficient central air conditioners and HVAC systems present the largest opportunity for energy savings of any system in the home. The 2004 models of energy-efficient HVAC systems can save consumers as much as 40 percent, when properly sized and installed, compared to older systems that are in many homes today," Kendziera said.

Energy Star-qualified window and central air conditioners can bring the same comfortable temperatures to consumers' homes.

Festivals and fun go hand in hand and Sears' Cooling Station fits the bill perfectly. Families will love the giant igloo, take-home gifts and summertime music. Visitors can stop by the Cooling Station at the Houston International Festival to:

  -- View the latest Energy Star-qualified window air conditioner units,
     central air units and refrigerators
  -- Take home an "Ask Me Why I'm Cool" t-shirt (while supplies last, limit
     one per person)

The Sears Cooling Station also features a Kenmore refrigerator with the PUR Ultimate Filter. Introduced just two weeks ago at the Kitchen and Bath Show in Chicago, this new refrigerator gives consumers clean, great-tasting water and ice, at a fraction of the cost of bottled water. These refrigerators also reduce contaminants such as chlorine taste and odor, lead, cysts, sediment, herbicides and pesticides, TTHMs (a chlorination by-product) and MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, a gasoline additive that frequently leaks into water supplies).

Sears is also giving consumers a sneak peek at its breadth of selection for the kitchen, showcasing a variety of the hottest energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers on the market. Sears' Kenmore refrigerators are not only Energy Star-qualified, but also very affordable, starting at $549 for a top freezer model and $899 for a bottom freezer model.

The Sears Cooling Station will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 17 and 18 at the Houston International Festival in Reliant Park. Members of the media can receive a sneak peak on Friday, April 16.

About Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2003 of $41.1 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through,, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million services calls made annually.

  *Based on comparable run times

                                FACT SHEET
                Maintenance Tips, Buying Guide, Fun Facts

  Window Air Conditioning Maintenance and Cleaning
  -- A window air conditioner should be serviced every year before it is
     turned on.
  -- The air filter should be checked at least once a month to see if
     cleaning is necessary because particles trapped in the filter can
     build up and cause frost on the cooling coils.
  -- With little pollen build-up, you should clean and wash the filter each
  -- Wash the filter with liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Then,
     gently shake excess water from the filter and replace.
  -- A well-maintained window air conditioner should last up to 10-12 years.

  HVAC Systems - Maintenance of Existing System

Proper operation of your home heating and cooling systems isn't just important for your comfort; it can also affect your safety. Imagine being without heat on those below freezing days or without air conditioning on those sweltering summer days.

Keeping your system tuned-up with an annual maintenance check has many benefits:

  -- It will help keep your system running at peak condition which can
     increase energy efficiency
  -- It can prevent minor problems from becoming big headaches
  -- A comprehensive heating tune-up includes checking carbon monoxide
     emission levels for your family's safety

  Prolong the life of your heating and cooling system. Here are some tips:

  * Change filters monthly and use drain cleaning tablets and chemicals
    available at local hardware stores.
    -- Changing filters monthly will improve energy efficiency and reduce
       service calls to clean clogged evaporators. Cleaning drains will
       avoid possible flooding due to algae clogging drain lines in high
       humidity areas.
  * Keep outside condenser coil units clean of dirt and grass and any other
    -- Improves on efficiency and possible failures due to bug infestation
       and dirt in relay contacts and other electrical connections.

  When It Makes Sense to Purchase a New System

As your heating or cooling system ages, it loses its ability to cool or heat your home -- and do so efficiently. A new EPA ENERGY STAR labeled high efficiency system, when properly sized and installed, can save up to 40% on your annual heating and cooling costs.

Consider these guidelines when selecting a heating & cooling contractor for your new system:

  -- Consider the company's reputation and tenure. Make sure its technicians
     are trained and experienced.
  -- Ask about the manufacturer's warranty and an installation warranty --
     and be sure to get both in writing.
  -- Look for a contractor who supports/sells high efficiency products with
     the ENERGY STAR® label.
  -- Make sure your satisfaction is guaranteed with a money-back offer in

  -- Americans purchased $7.5 billion of bottled water in 2003. The new
     Kenmore and Kenmore Elite refrigerators with the PUR Ultimate filter
     eliminates the need to buy or store bottled water because it offers
     "America's Best Ice and Water Filtration System"**
  -- If just 20 percent of all refrigerators met the Kenmore Elite standard,
     at least 38.6 million kWh would be saved annually.  That additional
     electricity would be enough to light Houston for a month!
  -- The Kenmore Elite UltraFresh 26-cubic feet side-by-side refrigerator
     uses less energy than a 75-watt light bulb.*

** Among leading brand side-by-side refrigerators based on contaminant removal, filter location, installation and removal and filter status indicators.

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck & Co.

CONTACT: Larry Costello of Sears PR, +1-847-286-9036, ;
or Kim Charney of Dome Communications, +1-312-251-1223,

Web site:

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