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It’s hard to believe how much has changed in the past decade, and if you asked someone what’s the biggest difference in the homes of 2005 and the homes of 2015, they’d probably talk about technology.

10 years ago we didn’t have iPhones or iPads. There were laptops, but most people still used a desktop computer, and we definitely didn’t have smart thermostats, WiFi connected garage door openers, or access to instant streaming video.

But another area in home tech has really changed, and it’s the part most people overlook until they need replacements—appliances! I’m guilty of this myself, and it wasn’t until I replaced my 10 year old stove and dishwasher recently that I realized how far major appliances have come over the past 10 years. Swapping out your old appliances for new appliances will save you on your energy bill, give you cleaner clothes, sparkling clean dishes, and even cut down on your grocery bills.

It’s a new year, and if you haven’t upgraded your appliances in the past decade, it’s definitely time for new appliances.

Dishwashers

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Can you believe that the dishwasher was invented in 1886? The first model worked by turning a handle and splashing water on dishes.

Times have definitely changed, and although we’ve come a long way since hand operated appliances, this past decade has seen real advancement in dishwasher technology. Older dishwashers have two racks, 3 wash settings, and when they run they’re as loud as an airplane flying overhead.

You get used to your appliances and their performance, so although your dishwasher may get your dishes clean, you’d be shocked at how the latest models will make your dishes sparkle. Take the LG Tall Tub Dishwasher for example—it has 3 racks for pots and pans, dinner plates, and glasses, 7 cycles including a wash specifically for china and crystal, and it’s ultra quiet.

The new dishwashers fit in more dishes than old models, let you wash all types of dishes instead of just the standard plates and pots, and sanitize each plate and utensil until they sparkle. They also use less water than older models, and use less electricity.

Pulling out dishes and trying to remove bits of food from them after they’ve been washed really is a thing of the past now.

refrigerator.jpgRefrigerators

If you haven’t updated your refrigerator in the past 10 years, you’re spending more on your electric bill than you should. Because refrigerators are operating 24 hours a day to keep your food cool, they consume more electricity than any other appliance.

But slashing your energy bill is only one of the benefits you’ll see when you bring home a new refrigerator. There are different makes and models to suit every kitchen, from French Door, Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer, or Side By Side, and they have features like sliding racks, side door milk storage, and crisper drawers so you can store more and get easier access to your food.

A French Door refrigerator like the Samsung 23-cubic-foot French door refrigerator lets you store huge party platters or just open one door at a time to grab a snack.

It also has two cooling systems to control the temperatures of the refrigerator and freezer compartments, soft LED lighting so you can see everything inside, and four split glass shelves for the ultimate in refrigerator organization. The crisper drawers are even humidity controlled, and it’s designed to cool the food in your fridge to an optimum temperature so it lasts longer. That means you’ll throw less food away than you do with your current fridge, because it won’t spoil as quickly.

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Whether you call it a range, stove, or oven, it’s the one appliance you stand in front of the most, and it’s the appliance you’ll notice the biggest difference when you upgrade it.

I recently upgraded to a slide-in smooth top convectional range after my 10-year-old range, complete with one internal rack and coil style burners, bit the dust, and my new stove has literally blown my mind. Compared to my 10-year-old stove, the burners work faster, food boils more quickly, and the convection oven bakes every single cookie or cake to absolute perfection. I made my Christmas turkey in it and it was golden brown and took ½ hour less time to cook than my old stove.

If you’ve ever had to turn a cookie sheet half way through baking so the back row doesn’t burn or you’ve tried to bake two dishes at once and couldn’t, you’ll be thrilled with a new convection oven like the GE slide-in electric range. It’s 5.2 cubic feet and a true convection oven with 5 elements. That means you can make multiple dishes at one time, and everything bakes evenly, no matter where it’s placed.

Gas ranges have really come into their own in the past 10 years too, and you can find sleek, compact gas ranges like the Bosch Self Clean Gas Range complete with an amazing warming drawer to keep everything toasty until you’re ready to eat. I can attest to the fact that the warming drawer is one feature you’ll wonder how you ever did without.

B0000022 copy.jpgWasher and Dryers

If you have a top loading washing machine and dryer pair, you know they use a lot of water and electricity. They also don’t get your clothes as clean as they should be, only do small loads, and often times they will actually ruin clothing.

I had a favourite sweater that was wrapped around the agitator in an old top load washing machine, and let’s just say my arms were never meant to be that long.

The latest laundry pairs are so different from washers and dryers of 10 years ago, you’ll be shocked at how they clean your clothes. Now you can your program your washing machine and dryer so you can clean your clothes exactly when you’d like to, and laundry sets like the LG SteamWasher and Dryer feature steam washing to handle large and dirty loads of laundry, Turbo Wash for efficient cleaning, and SteamSanitary Cycles to sanitize toys or other items that can’t wash.

The LG SteamWasher also has FreshCare technology, and this is a feature you’ll appreciate if you’ve ever left your laundry in too long and it came out smelling so funky you had to wash it again. FreshCare will rotate the drum periodically so you don’t have to rush home and throw everything into the dryer to avoid the smell. Plus, it’s got ultra-capacity, so you can wash then dry up to 18 pairs of pants at one time.

Yes, you probably notice how tech has changed your home over the past decade, but until you upgrade your appliances, you’ll never know just how much it has changed in your kitchen and laundry room.

Thanks to innovations in appliance technology, the food you buy from the grocery store lasts longer, it’s easier to cook, and it’s cooked more evenly. When it’s time to do the dishes, you have more room for bigger loads and they come out fully sanitized and sparkling. And although the latest laundry pairs won’t fold and put away your clothes for you, they’ll keep them new and fresh for a lot longer than your old washing machine and dryer.

It’s a brand new year, so kick it off with a new set of home appliances. Trust me when I say you’ll wonder why you waited so long.