Shopping for New Appliances?

January 12, 2017

Here are some things to consider before you buy.

Whether you’re doing a full kitchen renovation or just want to replace your appliances, the first step is to think about what you really need to fit your lifestyle. Do you cook and entertain a lot? If so, you may want special features such as a wine chiller or a warming drawer. You’ll also want to think about the layout of your kitchen in relation to the size of your appliances. You might love a huge refrigerator, but it could extend beyond your counters and interrupt traffic flow.

To help, we’ve put together a few questions to ask yourself before selecting new appliances.

What type of cooktop do you want? Gas, electric, induction or radiant? Ranges are considered the crown jewel of most kitchens. While gas cooktops are quite popular, if gas is not an option, you might consider an induction or radiant range.

  • Induction: An induction range provides precise temperature control by heating the pan, rather than the cooktop itself, but requires specific cookware to do so.
  • Radiant: Radiant ranges heat and cool cookware gradually, without any special cookware needed, and they are gaining in popularity among pro cooks.

Should you buy a convection oven? Many ovens now have a convection setting on them, which uses circulated air to speed cook time. This offers 25 percent faster cooking time than conventional ovens, and they more evenly distribute heat, which helps you to cook and brown foods more consistently.

Which style refrigerator will work best for you and in your kitchen? Consider your family’s size and lifestyle when choosing your refrigerator. Plan on at least 12 cubic feet for two people and add two cubic feet for each additional household member. If you’re often cooking for a crowd, though, you may want a larger model. You’ll also want to consider which type and door style will work best for your family. A refrigerator with French doors, for example, works well in kitchens with tight clearances. Similarly, if you have multiple generations using the kitchen, you may want to consider a refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom for easy accessibility.

What are you washing in your dishwasher? Are you washing pots and pans, small espresso cups or wine glasses in your dishwasher? Many dishwashers feature special wash cycles, adjustable racks for crystal, china, pots and pans, as well as many other unique settings. If you hate pre-rinsing dishes, look for a dishwasher with high-pressure cleaning, soil-sensing technology and a built-in food disposer. If you’re doing many small loads of dishes, consider a model with an economy cycle to save water and energy.

Selecting the right appliances not only can make your home more efficient and attractive, but also can increase its resale value.