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10 Key Points to Remember When Purchasing New Appliances

When purchasing new appliances there are several factors to keep in mind prior to making your purchase.  It is important to be aware of these details to avoid frustration, delays, and extra costs in the end.

  1. Educate yourself before making your purchase.
    There are thousands of models, manufactured by a variety of different manufacturers, and they are not all created equal.  Discuss with your friends what they like and don’t like about their appliances, research features, benefits, and online reviews of the products you are interested in.  Consider the features that are going to be important to you based on your household and lifestyle.
  2. Prioritize what is important to you.
    Whether it’s cost, features, warranty, or style, you should create a list of what is important to you up front, identify those items when researching the products you are going to be purchasing – is it energy efficient, how loud is this appliance, how powerful is the appliance, how long is the warranty and what is covered if you end up needing to make a warranty claim.
  3. Know what you need.
    You know best how you live, and what you require.  If meal-prepping is your thing, and you freeze a lot of food, then make sure there is adequate space in the freezer to accommodate your needs.  If you tend cook a lot of things that require a strong exhaust fan, make sure you inquire as to the strength and efficiency of the rangehood.  A huge washer/dryer combo is great for certain homes, but if you don’t do large loads of laundry, you could be spending unnecessary money.  Be aware of your requirements and focus on appliances that will suit your lifestyle.
  4. Take measurements.
    It is your responsibility to make sure that your new purchases will not only fit in their designated spot, but to make sure that they will be able to get into, and through your home to their final landing spot.  Are your entry doors wide enough, will a door need to be removed to allow the appliance to pass through, will the new appliance be able to make it around certain corners, up certain staircases, into certain elevators?   Once you’ve determined that, will they fit underneath countertops properly, will anything obstruct the appliance from opening and closing, will the fridge fit underneath your cabinets.  Be aware of the heights, and depths of appliances – with handles, without handles, fridge case heights vs. fridge total heights.  Be aware of required airflow, the radius of the door swing on your fridge, which way do you need the door to swing on your fridge.  Not accounting for any of these things could lead to great complications and potentially extra costs when your delivery arrives.
  5. Make sure to consider both form and function.
    It can be tempting to seek the sleekest, most modern looking, or retro-styled appliances – taking into consideration only the aesthetic of the appliance.  But make sure when making these choices, that the appliance will first and foremost perform in the manner the suits your usage.
  6. Understanding sound levels.
    If your laundry, dishwasher, or rangehood are adjacent to rooms where you will be hosting people, watching TV, or going about your workday, then the noise level of the appliance may be of importance to you.  Understand what the sound level ratings mean and narrow your options down to the choices that will cause as little disruption as possible.
  7. Don’t forget about the extras.
    Some appliances require supplemental equipment to work properly.  This includes things like the right kind of exhaust fans and vents for a particular cooktop or dryer.  If moving your laundry room from the basement to an upstairs location, consider installing a laundry tub that could save you from future water damage.  If reconfiguring your kitchen and adding new or different types of appliances make sure that you understand the electrical requirements for these appliances, make sure that dedicated electrical lines at the proper voltage are provided for the appliances that call for these specific needs.  If you wish to switch to a gas range from an electric range, make sure that you understand the cost implications, and the logistics of the work that will need to be done in advance of making your purchase.  It’s much less costly to consider all of these during the time of renovation than it is if they become an afterthought.
  8. Scope of services from your retailer.
    Remember that most delivery personnel are just that.  They are not plumbers, they are not electricians, and they are not necessarily handymen or women.  Make sure you know if you should be scheduling an electrician or a plumber to uninstall the old and install the new.  If entry or interior doors need to be taken down, determine this in advance, because most delivery services don’t assume responsibility for this.  Make sure to have a thorough understanding from your salesperson as to what you can expect from them, and what they expect from you.
  9. Learn about the repair process.
    No one wants to think about things going wrong with an item that they have yet to even purchase, but even the best quality appliances can develop an issue.  Be informed as to the process, standard timelines, associated costs, and typical availability of service parts.  Inquire about the availability of extended warranties.  Gone are the days of appliances lasting 20 years – a small upfront fee could save you in the long-run.
  10. Set your budget.
    Once you have decided what is important to you, what appliances and sizes you require, and if there are any upfront costs you will need to incur to have your new appliances properly installed, set your budget.  Research appliances at certain price points that best match your needs.  Inquire about financing – if what you really want is slightly out of reach, perhaps a no interest term, or an equal payment schedule can be offered by your retailer.  If there are options for you to get what you want without having to settle for less, then you will be happier in the long run having explored all avenues.