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I have been in spring cleaning mode for a few weeks now. I’ve purged, thrown out, donated, recycled and painted non-stop. Next comes fixing anything that has broken or worn out the past year, and sometimes that means purchasing new appliances for the home. Today I’m talking about some signs to look for if your microwave is on its last legs, and what you should be looking for in a new one.

Signs you need a new microwave

Most microwaves seem to last around 10 years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean yours will last that long. There are a few signs that will let you know when it’s time to trade in your old microwave for a new one. Your microwave will be sure to let you know when it’s not functioning at its best. You may notice that your foods aren’t cooking or heating through properly or as quickly as they should.

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  1. If you smell a burning or smokey smell while it’s in use and you know it’s not your cooking food that’s causing the smell, then it’s probably time for a microwave upgrade.
  2. If the keypad on your microwave is broken you might not be able to use all of the functions of your microwave, and you may be getting the wrong information on your digital screen.
  3. Most importantly I think, is the seal on your microwave door. It should be intact and fully seal when the door is closed. If there’s any cracks or you notice it’s looking really worn, it’s definitely time to purchase a new microwave.

Three types of microwaves

Samsung Powergrill Over-the-rangeWhen buying a new microwave your first decision will be to decide on the type of microwave you’re looking for. Microwaves come in built-in, counter top or over-the-range styles. You may want to stick with the style you currently have or maybe another style would suit your kitchen space better.

Counter top microwaves are convenient for the home and work space. They simply need a standard outlet to use and are great for re-heating and defrosting foods.

Over-the-range microwaves are installed over your oven and act as a range hood. They’re great for saving counter top space and come in a variety of sizes to fit into your kitchen design.

Built-in microwaves are perfect for new homes or kitchen renos. They get designed to fit seamlessly into your cabinetry or wall and are aesthetically pleasing.

All three types of microwaves come in different sizes, colours and with a variety of functions to fit your needs. You’ll also want to think about how many watts you want your new microwave to have. The higher the wattage the faster and more efficient it will be, which means time saved.

What’s new in microwaves

Breville Countertop MicrowaveMicrowaves today are used for much more than just re-heating or defrosting a meal. It was only a matter of time before microwaves joined the list of “smart” appliances. Checkout this Breville Countertop Microwave. It has smart buttons, sensor functions and pre-  programmed shortcuts that will automatically decide the right cooking time and power level needed for your foods.

I would never think to broil something in a microwave, but this Samsung PowerGrill Over-the-Range Microwave can do just that. The grill function distributes the heat evenly and will brown and crisp your foods to perfection.

Bosch 500 series Built-InWith the upgrade in size and wattage of many microwaves on the market, they are so convenient for families looking to save time but who still want to eat a homemade meal. This Bosch 500 Series Built-In Microwave is 2.1 cu. ft. and has 1200 watts for quick cooking. The sensor program means you can put your food in there and walk away with the confidence that you’ll have a perfectly cooked meal when you come back.

With all the new changes in microwave tech and the variety of sizes and styles on the market, there’s a lot to think about when choosing the right microwave for your needs and your kitchen.

You can shop a huge selection of microwaves at

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Lindsey Reed
I am a mom of two boys who loves reading and trail runs. I am passionate about health, fitness and food and write about these topics and more on my personal blog