2015 Appliance Buying Guide

Introduction

Introduction

For those shopping for a new major appliance, the options have never been more plentiful. It may not have ever been as simple as strolling down to your local retailer and just picking one off the showroom floor. Now more than ever, choosing a new refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, or washer and dryer pair can be a major undertaking.

Aside from just the price, there are different styles and efficiency features - some with radically new design choices that make appliances stand head and shoulders above grandma’s avocado green kitchen appliance ensemble of the past.

There are also fads and pitfalls. For every home run hit by manufacturers that becomes a new standard in home appliances, there are dozens of fouls and missteps that can be a waste of money for consumers.

To help navigate this stainless steel minefield, BFads.net brings you another signature buying guide, this time tackling the successes and failures to be found in choosing your new major appliance. Here we’ll detail the latest trends in home appliances and give you our thoughts on what new features are worth a little extra money, and which should be avoided.


Refrigerators

Refrigerators

Bottom freezers with French door refrigerators on top are where the trend currently sits in refrigerators. These models offer a variety of benefits, such as lifting up the more often used areas of your fridge, like the vegetable drawer, above the freezer - thereby making it easier to access. This allows a nice wide profile for the entire refrigerator portion. For the top half, look for shelves split down the middle that allow you to remove only a portion of the shelf to accommodate large items whenever and wherever they are needed.

If you opt for a model that has a built-in ice maker and water dispenser, be aware that these features are often the most problematic on modern refrigerators. This is not to say they should be avoided, but there is more maintenance involved, like changing water filters and emptying the ice tray to keep the water lines from freezing if you don’t use a lot of ice.

Look for: If you’ve got extra money to spend on a refrigerator, look for models that have special drawers that keep food at temperatures closer to freezing. This can help extend the life of meat, poultry, and vegetables.

Avoid: Wi-Fi and social media-enabled refrigerators are unnecessary in most homes, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be standing in front of your refrigerator checking your Twitter feed often enough to justify the price increase.


Washer and Dryer

Washer and Dryer

Front loading washers and dryers are all the rage these days. The newest and most fully featured units are almost always front loading, and they are sure to be front and center in both advertisements and on the showroom floor at your local retailers. However, if you’re going after the largest capacity units without spending a ton of money, top loading appliances are still king. They offer larger capacity than even the largest front loaders, especially washer units without an agitator, and they don’t require the purchase of a pedestal to be comfortable to use.

Look for: In dryers, a moisture sensor can save you a bundle of money by shutting off the drying cycle when it detects the clothes are dry, and a no-heat tumble cycle that runs after the clothes are dry can prevent wrinkling. For washers, enamel-coated drums will get nicks and scratches from zippers and buttons that will lead to rusting down the line, so a stainless steel drum is often worth the extra money for the added longevity.

Avoid: Paying extra money for machines that have steam capabilities is almost never worth the large increase in price over models without steam, since most reviews show that this feature is spotty at best. Also, if you decide to go with front loading machines, you can save quite a bit of money by purchasing universal pedestals or pedestals made by third parties. These are usually not sold at local retailers, so check online and see what’s available before making your purchase.


Range and Oven

Range and Oven

The obvious thing to look for here is a gas range if you’ve got gas in your home. Gas ranges heat more quickly and evenly, offer better heat control, and turn off in an instant, making them superior to electric unless you pay extra for an electric induction stove. If you’re getting a normal electric range, a smooth top will help to alleviate cleanup issues with coil electric stoves and help to heat more evenly. In ovens, the most desirable modern feature is dual ovens, which allows you to cook two dishes at different temperatures simultaneously.

Look for: Induction ranges that heat with a magnetic field are dropping in price quickly and can offer better heat times than gas ranges - but be aware that you may have to also replace your cookware with items that are compatible with an induction stove. Convection ovens are also a worthy investment as they can help the food in your oven cook more quickly, but be sure to alter your cooking time accordingly.

Avoid: Since most modern ovens have hidden heating elements, don’t let a self-cleaning feature be a decision maker. Most ovens will be smooth and easy to clean with some baking soda or Borax and a little elbow grease. The self-cleaning features of old that used to super-heat the oven to burn food residue off of the heating element are all but useless.


Dishwashers

Dishwashers

Efficiency and silence is the name of the game in new dishwashers. Although modern dishwashers take longer to complete a full cycle, they actually tend to use less energy and less water than older dishwashers thanks to high pressure nozzles. The place you’ll see a big increase in price is when measuring how quiet a machine is, often listed as a decibel rating on product information sheets.

Racks that move up and down to accommodate more and larger dishes and some that even have removable silverware racks to grant more space are becoming commonplace as well.

Look for: Stainless steel interior tubs are a worthy investment here, as scrapes and scratches from flatware can cause enamel dishwashers to rust quickly. For homes that don’t dirty a lot of dishes, a rinse/hold feature can be worth the extra money. It keeps dirty dishes damp by giving them a quick spritz of water, which prevents food from hardening and potentially making dishes harder for the machine to clean.

Avoid: Special wash cycles are often not worth the investment. As long as the dishwasher you pick has a normal and heavy soil option, your dishes should be so clean you can eat off them!


Conclusion

Conclusion

In closing, if you decide to go with appliances with a stainless steel finish, be aware that while these appliances look great, they are extremely prone to fingerprints. You can try to alleviate this headache a bit by looking for stainless steel appliances with a fingerprint-resistant coating, but these machines will still require some extra attention when you’re tidying up.

If you’re in the market for any of the appliances we talked about here, there is no better time of the year to shop for one of these beauties than Black Friday. If you’ve decided to hold out until turkey time for a blockbuster deal, check back with BFads.net early and often, as we are the premier destination for doorbuster info and leaked ad scans. You can also head over to our Hot Deals page for a continuously updated stream of all of the best deals on the 'net. For up-to-the-minute price breaks, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where we’ll be posting updates as they happen.

September 30, 2015
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