There are a few periods in your life when you know it’s time to upgrade your major kitchen appliances. The most obvious precursor is when something breaks down. But if you’ve decided to undergo a big kitchen renovation, redoing cabinets, re-painting, and finding a new backsplash, it’s also the perfect time to size things up and choose some new appliances to match the refreshed décor. Or maybe you are just tired of looking at the same old drab refrigerator and want something that is not only more pleasing to the eyes but also has new features that are worth investing in. Maybe these features help a fridge run more efficiently to keep food fresher for longer, a dishwasher do a better job of tackling caked on grease, or a stove that encourages more home cooking.
How do you decide what to get? Here are 5 handy tips to consider as you ponder the options.
1.Stick with the same brand name of kitchen appliances
You might have your eye on a particular oven/range or a particular refrigerator, in which case, if you know what you want, go for it! But if you don’t, it’s not a bad idea to stick to the same brand across the board. Not only will this ensure a seamless user experience, but sometimes, certain finishes, like black stainless, can look slightly different from one manufacturer to another. Keeping it all in the family, so to speak, means everything will look perfectly in sync.
Plus, you can often save huge on bundles when you buy multiple appliances from the same brand via kitchen appliance packages. If you’re looking for a refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher, or any combination of these, a bundle (or even discounted pair) can save you a ton by grabbing them at once.
2.Take stock of features you will value the most
The latest appliances might have tons of cool bells and whistles, like Wi-Fi connectivity or various cooking modes. But take a good, hard look at your habits and how you use the appliances you have now, as well as how you wish you could use them. Choose based on the features you will actually use versus the ones that are tempting just because they’re high on cool factor meter.
For example, if you don’t often store a lot of food in the refrigerator, you might not need a door-in-door model with tons of storage. But if you have a big family with kids who are opening and closing the refrigerator constantly just to get condiments, snacks, or drinks, a door-in-door model makes a ton of sense. If you do a log of make-ahead and freeze meals, you’ll want a refrigerator with an easy-to-access and amply sized freezer that makes it easy to organize them.
With a dishwasher, having a special spot on the top rack for wine glasses is amazing if you’re a wine drinker, not so much if you aren’t. If you have a baby in the house, one that runs ultra-quiet could be your ultimate priority. And if you cook a lot and tend to have a ton of heavily soiled pots and pans, a powerful dishwasher that can conquer caked on food is worth the extra dough.
Finally, with an oven/range, consider whether you have a gas line worth using to upgrade to a gas stove (if you don’t already have one) or if you want to stick to an electric stove. As an avid cook, I love having a dual fuel oven, which provides the best of both worlds with a gas stovetop and electric oven. Depending on how much you cook, you might get use from a five-burner stovetop over four, whereas if you are often in a hurry or running late, an oven with a convection cook option could be a lifesaver so you can cook meals quicker.
3.Consider size with kitchen appliances
When I say size, I don’t just mean the actual dimensions of the appliances, though making sure you have the right amount of space for new appliances is important, too. (Check out some of our handy tips on measuring your kitchen for a new built-in dishwasher or measuring for a new refrigerator). But consider capacity and organization and how this relates to your current set-up. Have you found that you never have enough space to store your food in your refrigerator, or that you wish you had a bottom freezer instead of top? With your range, could you make use of a double oven, for example, that lets you cook two dishes at different temperatures at the same time?
To help you figure out the most common pain points with your current appliances, write down what you wish each did better or what most annoys you about them. You can then use this list to find new models that solve these concerns.
4.Don’t be afraid to liven things up
We were all reluctant to switch over from basic white and black when stainless steel became trendy. Then black stainless came around and totally shook things up once again. Now, you can get appliances in all types of finishes. Don’t be afraid to take things up another level and make your kitchen a truly funky and modern oasis. Find a finish that will complement the cabinets, paint, and backsplash and tie the entire look together. This might mean opting for, dare I say, even red or blue for a retro look? Or it might simply mean switching from white to silver stainless for every outdated appliance.
5.Efficiency across the board
The environment is a major concern, which means finding appliances that run efficiently is a top priority for many. Consider that while you can unplug many of the devices in your home so they don’t draw more energy than they need, you can’t really do that with major appliances. So, it’s important to find ones that run efficiently. The easiest way to confirm this is to look for the recognizable Energy Star logo and research which appliances have additional features that relate to efficiency, whether it be in cooling, automatic shut-off, or reduced water usage.
But efficiency goes beyond just how much power the kitchen appliances use. You want refrigerators that can do things like rapid cool after the doors are open for longer than usual (while restocking after a grocery shop, for example) to ensure the optimal temperature is maintained. This will, in turn, help prolong the life of your food. Crispers with adjustable temperatures to help keep fruits and vegetables fresher for longer can also be a game-changer.
Finally, delivery is an important step to overall efficiency of the purchase process. If you don’t own a truck or a large SUV, or even if you do, you want to ensure that the appliances can be delivered direct to your door. Bonus points if they can be installed as well, so they’re up and running without you ever having to lift a finger.
Find the right major kitchen appliances for you!
Having just recently upgraded my washer and dryer after our old ones finally breathed their last breaths, I realize how daunting it can be to choose. We’re also considering replacing our old dishwasher. And even though our refrigerator is still kicking, it has been giving us signs that it might not last much longer.
That’s my driving force to looking for new major kitchen appliances, but you might have another. No matter what the reason is for you shopping around, it’s never a bad idea to start considering your options early to make sure that, when it comes time, you pick the right replacements. It’s a big decision and a big investment, after all. Unlike a smartphone or a pair of headphones or winter boots, major appliances aren’t products you’re going to replace every year or two. They will be with you for at least the next decade or longer. And they will truly become part of the family.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make the right choice.
Check out a wide selection of major kitchen appliances at Best Buy Online.