Homeowner How-To's: Appliance Buying Guide

By Alex Long

Posted on October 4th, 2022
Disclaimer: We strive to provide objective, independent advice and reviews. When you decide to use a product or service we link to, we may earn a commission.

Shopping for kitchen appliances? You’ve got plenty of options! Today, you can find stoves that “think” and you can even buy appliance sets that communicate with each another. But, how do you decide which features are must-haves and which ones you can live without? Use these homeowner how to’s as a guide.

When you go appliance shopping, there are three key things to consider:

1. Features and technology

If you have the budget and love the idea of having appliances that you can control via a smartphone app, look for brands that are programmable and provide high-tech solutions to everyday needs. For example, there are refrigerators that allow you to write notes, pull up recipes, and index the contents of the fridge via a touchscreen built into the front of the door.

If that’s a little much for you, you can opt for a model that includes temperature-controlled drawers that allow you to speed-chill a bottle of wine or maximize the freshness of your vegetables.

When it comes to stoves, technology also plays a big role in new ranges. Many models have settings that facilitate cooking an entire meal at the same time and keeping dinner perfectly warm for hours. Other options will memorize your favorite recipes so that you can enter a code to bake bread, roast a duck or bake a pie.

If too much automation seems excessive, you can save money by purchasing more conventional appliances.

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2. Styles and finishes

Some high-end appliance companies, notably Viking, Aga, and other European names, offer bright enamel finishes. You can add matching or custom exhaust hoods to create a stunning one-of-a-kind kitchen. If you’re captivated by retro style, you’ll find kitchen appliances in 1950's colors, from candy apple red to turquoise and pink.

Black, white, and stainless are still popular for refrigerators and ranges, but a trend is emerging toward sleek glass induction cooktops and more linear styles throughout the kitchen.

While stainless steel is not likely ever to disappear from American kitchens, the new look is darker — blackened stainless, matte finishes, and occasionally brown-bronze tones. Generally, the trendier it is, the more you’re going to pay. So make sure you really love the style enough to make it worth the cost before you pull the trigger!

3. Warranties and performance

When you bring home your new appliances, they’ll likely be with you for a long time and see a lot of use — so appliance warranties should also be a big consideration. Look for reputable brand names, reasonable guarantees and qualified service technicians — no matter what price range you consider.

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Use this advice to help guide your appliance purchasing decisions!

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Posted in Home Improvement