So, you know your kitchen needs an update but you're not sure where to start. Usually remodeling means getting new kitchen appliances, which can be a confusing and overwhelming task. In many cases you've had that trusty gas range for years, maybe decades, and suddenly you're in need of a new one. It can be intimidating looking at all of the options that are available nowadays with all the bells and whistles that appliances can have. I mean, do you really need a self cleaning option or advanced water filtration system?
We have collected the most common kitchen appliances with some of the key points for selecting which ones would work best for your home. Just remember to always keep in mind your budget and how you want your kitchen to feel as well as function.
Side-by-side refrigerators place the old-fashioned icebox on one side and the freezer on the other. This gives you more freezer space than a conventional refrigerator. Here's a good kitchen appliance tip to keep in mind: that jumbo-sized pizza box isn't going to fit into a side-by-side refrigerator. A better choice for those who need plenty of room for leftovers is the refrigerator with French doors that combines the style of side-by-side refrigerators with the convenience of much more horizontal storage area. Those that prefer to buy frozen food in bulk at discount clubs should definitely look into the advantages of French door refrigerators that situated a spacious freezer on the bottom. Lifting heavy frozen food up is much easier on the back than pulling it down from the top.
Our top tip for buying a dishwasher: if the sound of dishes getting cleaned in the kitchen makes it nearly impossible to have a quiet conversation in the living room, you might need an upgrade. Dishwashers made in the last decade are much quieter than older models. Not to mention more energy efficient, more spacious and much greater latitude in how you arrange items for cleaning. You can find them in a variety of colors (usually black, white, and stainless steel) and most are now more energy efficient.
If you are serious about cooking, or spend a lot of time preparing meals for your family, there are a lot of really great benefits in getting a gas range instead of an electric. Not because food cooked on a gas range tastes better than food cooked with electricity. Not because a gas range is easier to cook with or requires less maintenance than an electric range. The reason a gas range is preferable is that you have a lot more control over the heat supply. You can look at a gas flame and immediately get an accurate sense of the heat being produced. This gives you more accuracy and efficiency while you're cooking on the stove. Often times this means you can prepare food quicker. Some even come with fun features like a pancake griddle in the middle.
Of course, you may not have any choice but to buy an electric range since the electrical grid is much more common than gas. Don't despair, however, since the only certified advantage of cooking with gas is heat control (In many cases, cooking with gas is cheaper than using electricity, but not always.) Electric ranges offer more variety than gas ranges as well. If you grew up with a stove featuring traditional metal coils, you may prefer a glasstop range that not only looks more stylish but it easier to clean. Another little perk offered up by contemporary ranges is an extra burner that is used to keep already cooked food warm while you are still finishing food on the other burners.
Ovens are also available in both gas and electric models, but the advantage that comes from stovetop cooking with gas is reduced when baking, roasting or broiling. By the way, you definitely want to make sure you get an oven that broils as as well bakes, meaning hotter temperatures from above that cooks faster than baking with heat from below. Look for an oven with that has a built-in warming drawer that keeps food warm while you are busy cooking other food. Some ovens may also include a storage drawer for bakeware or even a double oven option.
The microwave is where you can save a little money if you actually use your range and oven for cooking. At best, microwave ovens should be used almost exclusively for heating up leftovers and for making snacks specifically designed for optimum cooking inside the microwave. Even thawing food is really not what this appliance does best. That being said, a freestanding microwave offers more convenience for doing what a microwave does best than those mounted above the oven because you can choose the best location to ensure maximum counter space.
No matter which appliance you may be shopping for, always look for one that is Energy Star rated to maximize the savings and efficiency in your home. For more on choosing appliances and furnishing, please contact us.