The dreaded moment has finally come; that pesky old home appliance has kicked the bucket, and you are in full-out panic mode. Choosing the right home appliance can be overwhelming initially. You must examine the size, brand, functionality, design, efficiency, budget, and even more. With so many components to consider, how are you supposed to make the best-informed decision? Don’t worry! We put together this simple guide to make your home appliance shopping experience a walk in the park.
Is It Time to Replace My Existing Home Appliance?
The first thing to consider when your home appliance stops working is whether or not it can be reasonably repaired. The internet is the best place to start when making an informed decision. Most likely, others have had the same experience you have. Make sure there isn’t an easy fix and that the repair or replace warranty is over, or you could be wasting hundreds or thousands to replace something that could have lasted a few more years.
Digging out the home appliance manual can be a pain, and where did you even put that thing when you bought it 5 years ago? All you need to find a user manual online is a brand name and model number, which are usually found somewhere on or in the home appliance. If you don’t feel like slowly paging through the manual, try searching for a walk-through to help you better understand the possible repair.
If others online make it look easy enough, committing to a short DIY project can be a huge money saver. But if you’re not the DIY type (don’t worry, not all of us are), consider the 50% rule: if the repair cost is over 50% of the cost of a new home appliance, and the appliance is over 50% through its lifespan, it’s time to replace rather than repair. A quick online search will tell you the average lifespans of each home appliance. Also, if updating the home appliance for increased efficiency would save money in the long run, replacing is usually a better option than repairing.
Things to Note before Buying a New Home Appliance
There are a plethora of aspects to consider before buying a new home appliance but don’t worry, we’ve listed them in the order you should consider them to make things a little bit easier. Some aspects could be more important to you than others listed above it, so feel free to rearrange the list so that it reflects your lifestyle and priorities.
Before you think about anything else, the home appliance MUST fit in your space or you won’t even be able to use it efficiently. The brand and model number should yield exact measurements online, but be sure to measure multiple times to make sure there are no mistakes. The layout is also important when considering the traffic flow in your home.
If you have extra space the home appliance could be using, then use it! If your current home appliance restricts traffic flow, it may be time to downsize or consider rearranging furniture to best utilize your specific room layout. Whether you are working with a new building plan or simply replacing an old home appliance, getting the correct dimensions of your space is vital to making the right choice for you.
The only reason that budget is not at the top of the list is that the price of the home appliance doesn’t matter if it won’t fit in your space! That is to say, your budget should be considered a high priority.
- Research the typical price range of the home appliance you are looking for, and decide which end of the range you’re most comfortable with. Consider the necessary features for your space and lifestyle that also meet your preferences (without breaking the bank!). Some features will jack up the price of the home appliance, so pay close attention to needs versus wants.
- Most home appliance stores will offer monthly payment plans, so look back at your recent finances to determine a reasonable price range. If you’re willing to budget in other areas of your finances to afford a more expensive home appliance, verify that this plan is conceivable.
- When considering your budget, keep sales and seasonal special offers in mind. There are specific seasons when home appliances are on sale, so if you can buy them during that specific time it will save you money.
- If you need your new home appliance as soon as possible, check what stores have sales or if any stores nearby are closing and offering liquidation sales.
- If you find an appliance online for a low price, check what they offer in terms of shipping. Shipping can be ridiculously expensive sometimes, so avoid unnecessary extra costs if possible.
- Also, make sure the company can deliver the home appliance to you if necessary. You may be able to pick up your home appliance if you have a vehicle that can handle the load, but if not, focusing on delivery is extremely vital.
Now that you’re comfortable with the space and budget you’re working with, the next aspect to consider its function. You know what type of home appliance you need, such as an oven or refrigerator, but each home appliance has a range of functional options within its category. Refrigerators, for example, have multiple door options, such as french doors, side-by-side, and lower freezer doors. Take the time to consider which functional options fit your budget and lifestyle best.
If you tend to keep a lot of frozen foods, make sure the freezer is a reasonable size for your needs. The same principle applies to other home appliances such as ovens, washing machines, and microwaves. There are often multiple door varieties for each home appliance, and many offer optional features that can make your life easier. Pay attention to how much each feature adds to your total cost. There is no reason to purchase a home appliance with expensive features that don’t serve your needs.
Considering functionality involves researching brands and specific features. This is where consulting expert home appliance design professionals can come in handy. You will most likely be able to find an expert at any home appliance store, but if they seem to be more interested in making a sale than finding you the right home appliance, walk away and find another option. Some brands and models will be available for demonstration at a storeroom, which can help you individually decide what features and functions suit your needs and preferences.
If you have the opportunity to physically examine a home appliance, pay close attention to the tiny details as well as the main functionality. Determine what finishes feel better to the touch or what button types are more comfortable for you. The visual finish on a home appliance may be important to the overall aesthetic of your room, but be sure not to let the finish dictate the direction your purchase goes in too much. Put your options in perspective with your budget, needs, and preferences to ensure you make the best decision for your home.
Unless you are indifferent to the look of mismatched furniture, the overall design and style of the space you’re working with are important to consider. Pay attention to the look and feel of other furniture and home appliances in the space, and make sure you are looking at options that match the overall aesthetic and functionality of your space.
For example, stainless steel is a popular home appliance finish, but if you have young children that leave fingerprints all over your appliances, you may want to look into options that protect against fingerprints. There are stainless steel options that prevent fingerprints, so stick to those options if that is important to you.
Design quality and budget will correlate. The higher the quality, the greater the price. This is often the area where compromises are made. While you want your home appliance to look good in your space, breaking the bank is usually not worth a fancy appliance. One of the areas that can often push the budget is technology. With new smart technology on the rise, many home appliances offer a variety of smart technology options, such as smart refrigerators and ovens.
These options allow you to see what food you have available, to see what dishes you can make with available ingredients, verbally set timers and temperatures, and even order groceries from the comfort of your home. While these smart technology options may be tempting, they will raise the price of the home appliance, so be sure to consider what features are necessary and what features you can pass on.
Another aspect to consider while looking at the design of your home appliance is efficiency. Researching the efficiency of a home appliance can be confusing, but discussing it with a professional or simply looking up how to calculate long-term efficiency can make the process easier. The goal when focusing on efficiency is to make sure you save money in the long run.
You must first know if you are looking at gas or electric energy. Calculating how much a new home appliance can knock off your energy bill can give you some wiggle room with your home appliance budget. If the efficiency can save you $20 per month on energy, for example, you can add that $20 per month to your home appliance budget, which may allow for additional features you are eyeing up.
You May Also Like: Best kitchen gadgets: the most essential tools for a culinary delight
How to Find Out Which Home Appliance is For You
When you consider each aspect of your decision in the right order, you will be able to find a home appliance that works best for your specific needs and flexibilities. If this plan still seems overwhelming, the best option is to find an expert to guide you through the process. Look for consultations with experts in-store or look up what experts are saying online.
Find the best home appliances for each of your individual needs and see if the brands and models overlap in any areas. The models and brands that overlap are most likely the ones you will end up buying.
Image Source: PixaBay