As summer turns to fall, you may be looking at new major appliances for your home. Perhaps you have an older refrigerator that's driving up your monthly electric bill, or maybe your older dishwasher is starting to struggle through its cycles. Selecting and buying a major appliance for your home can be a simple undertaking if you do a little research. For my post this week, I have some helpful information to consider as you search for new appliances.
When evaluating ovens, think about your cooking habits. Do you regularly cook several dishes at one time for your family? Or do you use your oven to heat up an occasional TV dinner? If you cook several dishes at one time, you may want a double electric wall oven. The price range for these goes from $1,300 to $2,000. The higher priced double electric wall ovens have extras such as a built-in microwave and temperature monitoring system. A single electric wall oven is a more appropriate purchase if you only plan to use it occasionally. These have a price range of $800 to $900. Be sure to measure the space where you plan to install the oven and discuss your needs with the salesperson.
Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters are available in different sizes. There are some small enough to put on a shelf in a laundry room and others that need a large section of open floor space in a basement, so it's important to choose a new water heater with dimensions suitable for its proposed location. Also, consider the amount of hot water you need for your home. If you have a large family with lots of kids who take frequent showers, then you'll need a conventional storage water heater that has a reserve of hot water inside it. Alternatively, if you live in a household with very few occupants, you may want a tankless water heater that provides hot water on demand. Conventional water heaters run from $500 to $800 depending on the size you purchase. Tankless water heaters cost from $250 to around $700 depending on the brand and the amount of water it supplies; some tankless water heaters are used to supply an entire house, while others are appropriate for a small apartment. Another thing to consider is the fuel: There are electric water heaters as well as models that run on natural gas. You must decide what type of fuel is best for your household.
Do you have a small kitchen with very little space for appliances? If so, you may want to go with a small portable dishwasher. The price range for these runs from $450 to $600. If you have adequate space in your kitchen and a lot of dishes to wash each day, you could get a large dishwasher that fits beneath your kitchen counter. The price range for these is $350 to $600. Dishwashers vary in the amount of dishes they can wash at one time, the amount of water they use, and their appearance.
When it comes to refrigerators, you can get a style with two doors (refrigerator on the bottom, freezer on the top), side-by-side doors, or even side-by-side doors with a bottom drawer. Some refrigerators provide filtered drinking water, and some allow you to closely monitor the temperature inside the appliance. If you have a large family, you may want to invest in a large refrigerator with filtered drinking water and an ice dispenser. I like the idea of giving the kids reusable bottles to fill up with filtered water each day before school. However, if you live alone, you may prefer a moderately sized traditional refrigerator without the bells and whistles. If you want a refrigerator with an ice maker or a water dispenser, make sure you have the proper lines for the hookup. Measure your old refrigerator to see if you have the space to accommodate the new model you're interested in. Lastly, don't forget to measure the width of your front door. Sometimes, taking the front door off of its hinges is required to get a new refrigerator into your home.
Washing Machine and Clothes Dryer
Think about the amount of laundry you do in a week. A simple top-loading washing machine is suitable if you do a small amount of laundry per week. These washers range from $300 to $600. If you have several loads of laundry to work through each day, you may want to go with a front-loading washing machine made to handle large loads. These range in price from $500 to $900. There are also portable washers designed to fit into small laundry or utility rooms. These are priced from $200 up to $800. Most clothing dryers are front-loading and range from $300 to $800. The higher-priced models can accommodate larger loads of laundry and have more cycles.
Make sure to look for refrigerators, clothes washers, clothing dryers, and dishwashers with the Energy Star logo on them. This logo means you're getting an appliance proven to use energy in the most efficient way. Happy shopping, and thanks for reading. - Alan