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Need a New Kitchen Appliance? Saving Energy Is an Option at All Price Ranges

by Susanne Clemenz

Price and size are, of course, considerations when purchasing a major kitchen appliance; however, there is much more to learn. Your building supply store's kitchen appliance showroom can be bewildering. A little research can help you spend wisely and get the features you want.

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Consider making Consumer Reports your first step of the purchasing process. Consumer Reports' unbiased, tested-in-use kitchen appliance reviews are worth a visit to the library or subscribing to their Web site. Note or print out important ratings.

Kitchen Appliance Considerations

Here are some prime considerations for any refrigerator, freezer, range, or dishwasher:

  • How many years will you use the appliance?
  • What capacity do you need? Base this on family size and how often you cook or entertain.
  • Will the appliance size fit? Bring your room space measurements to the kitchen appliance showroom.
  • What features are lacking in the appliance you've been using?
  • What features would you like? Prioritize your list.
  • Is your selection easy to use?
  • What are the cleaning procedures?
  • Does the appliance have an Energy Star rating? Monthly savings add up quickly!
  • What type of energy is used? For example, electric, natural gas, or propane.
  • What type of repair ratings have your preferred brands received?

Appliance Styles and Configurations

Your last considerations may be style and configurations. Along with exterior color or finish, select from:

  • Refrigerators: Side-by-side, top freezer, bottom freezer, built-in, under-counter
  • Freezers: Self defrosting or not?
  • Ranges: Freestanding or separate cooktop and ovens, number of burners, extras like convertible grill or griddle
  • Dishwashers: Rack configurations, flatware and stemware holders, one- or two-drawer model, noise rating

After answering some questions about your own personal needs and wants for the kitchen, you're ready to choose that great new kitchen appliance!

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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