3 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing a New Major Appliance

washing machines

Are you in the market for a new appliance? If so, comparison shopping has never been easier. Between online search and mobile internet access you can find the best prices from Best Buy to Amazon to Home Depot. Don’t forget to try small appliance stores as well where you are likely to find unique products or even last year’s models at lower prices.

If you’re in the process of building a home and thinking about appliances for that new kitchen or laundry room, talk to your contractor. He may be able to get you a better price on kitchen and laundry appliances. If that’s the case you may want to consider upgrading using the additional savings. Builder financing may even be available, but be careful. Make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Before you start comparing features and benefits or deciding which of the bells and whistles you’d like to have on your new refrigerator or washing machine, there are some practical things to consider.

Size Matters

More and more of the major appliances have gotten bigger. Many seem custom-made for those new larger homes that have been popping up over the last 20 years. Get out the tape measure and measure your space. Remember to measure height, width and depth. Don’t just measure where the appliance will be placed, but the doors and other areas you’ll need to access to move the appliance into place. Also be sure to measure how much space you need to open the door of the appliance.

Size also speaks to capacity. If you’re buying a washing machine, how large is your family? How much laundry is in a load and how many loads areyou doing a week? If you r laundry room is small, you might consider stacking your appliances. Same goes for that fridge. If you have a small family, buying an appliance can be like over eating, sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Make sure your choice matches your lifestyle, not just your decor.

Power Consumption

One of the best features of new appliances is that they meet today’s more demanding energy standards. Washing machines and dish washers that use less water and detergent as well as dryers and fridges that use less power are readily available. Not only are they more efficient at performing their individual functions better and more reliably, used correctly, they can also be counted on to add some savings to your monthly utility bills. Shop for products with the Energy Star label to be sure your new appliances meet the efficiency standards of the Environmental Protection Agency.


Be sure that before you have the product delivered you understand the terms of the warranty. Does it cover the cost of full replacement? Warranties can run anywhere from one to five years, and in some cases, may be renewable. Make sure you register your new product right away – it’s fast and easy. You can usually do it online.

A note on buying used: Used appliances can save you money, but it’s important to be cautious when considering buying used. If you’re buying directly from the seller, you should ask to see the appliance in working mode. Check carefully for any hidden damage or rust on the back or bottom of the unit. Your best bet is to find an appliance reseller. These outlet type stores have reconditioned units and are more likely to offer at least a limited warranty which is more than you’re likely to get through a purchase on Craigslist.

There is of course a wide range of prices for major appliances. Finding the right stove or fridge, washer or dryer in your price range may mean settling for less of the bells and whistles. Consult Consumer Reports Annual Buying Guide as well as other online sources for expert and customer reviews. If you do your research and shop for quality as well as price, you’re sure to get an appliance that meets your needs, saves on energy and can be replaced or repaired should it prove to be unreliable.<

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