How to choose the best kitchen, laundry and small appliances for your home.
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How to compare appliances
If you're trying to decide which appliance is best for you, consider the following factors:
The most expensive appliance isn't always the best one. Think about what you need from the appliance and how much you're happy to spend. Then, try to stick to that budget. Choosing a high-end appliance with all the bells and whistles can be tempting, but you may end up paying for features you don't need.
Size is an essential consideration for any appliance. Large white goods such as fridges and washing machines need to fit in the space you have available and small kitchen appliances like mixers can take up a lot of countertop and cabinet space. Even if you have plenty of room, a bigger model isn't necessarily better. Think about how many people will be using it and how much energy it requires to run.
Consider how it will fit in with the rest of the room and how it will look next to your other appliances. For example, if you have a stainless steel refrigerator, you might want a stainless steel dishwasher to match. However, some finishes and materials cost more than others so you might have to stretch your budget if you want your dream design.
Most larger appliances and whitegoods have an energy rating label with a score for energy-efficiency out of six stars. Choosing a model with a higher energy rating will help you save money on your energy bill.
Some appliances that use water, including washing machines and dishwashers, also have a water rating label. Similar to energy ratings, the more stars, the better.
Different appliances can come with a huge range of features from refrigerator door ice dispensers to hidden control panels. Typically, the more features, the higher the cost.
Ease of use
Read some online reviews to find out how easy the appliance is to use. If you can, head into a store to try it out in person.
Check how long the warranty is and what's included. Will you have to take it back to the store for support if it breaks?
If you want to be able to turn your appliance on and off using your mobile phone, look for one with smart home capability.
What should I do with my old appliances?
If you're upgrading an old appliance, you'll need to figure out how to dispose of it properly.
If it's still in working condition, you can sell it on eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. You can also check with local charities to see if they accept whitegoods.
If the appliance doesn't work anymore, the best option is to recycle it. Check with your local council to find out if you can drop the appliance off at the council tip for recycling or arrange for curbside pick up.
Some retailers recycle appliances, but this will differ depending on your location. Also, check if the store you bought it from has a trade-in scheme. In some cases, bringing back a product that can be recycled or refurbished can get you store-credit or a discount on your new appliance.
5 tips for appliance shopping
- Know what you need before you shop. It helps to have a brand, size or specific model in mind before you hit the stores. The better sense you have of what you want, the less likely you'll be swayed by a flashy design or a pushy salesperson.
- Measure twice, buy once. When you're buying larger appliances such as fridges, ovens and washing machines, fit is crucial. Measure the area several times and make sure to add a few extra centimetres onto the appliance dimensions so that you have room to slide the appliance in and out.
- Look for sales and online discounts. Once you decide on the appliance you want, check a range of online and brick-and-mortar stores for sales. Many retailers offer free shipping and some will price match if you've found a better deal elsewhere.
- Try it out in person. While buying online can help you save, there's no substitute for a hands-on assessment. If you can, head into a store to get a feel for the appliance and see how easy it is to use. You might discover some flimsy plastic parts, hard to open doors and drawers, and other issues that don't show up in online images. If you aren't able to try the appliance in person, make sure to read user reviews.
- Check the warranty. Some warranties require you to ship the appliance back to a store for repairs, while others are voided if you use unrecommended cleaning products on the appliance. Make sure to read through the warranty to find out what's included.
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