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Home appliances – when to splurge and when to save

Author: Cynthia Madison
by Cynthia Madison
Posted: Nov 23, 2021
home appliances

Whether you're buying a washing machine or refrigerator, shopping for home appliances can be tricky when you have a tight budget. Appliances tags list features you aren't sure you want or need. Count the choice of manufacturer, size, colour, energy efficiency, cost, and ratings, and you end up overwhelmed and with a headache.

Home appliances can make your life much easier if you make sure to purchase those that fit your lifestyle. They can even increase the house's value if you plan to sell it fully equipped. With so many products available on the market, how do you know if buying the one you have in mind is money well spent? Should you purchase an expensive item or choose a more economical alternative?

Here are some recommendations on when to splurge and when to save when you shop for home appliances.

Clothes dryer

The process of drying clothes didn't change since the first dryer was built in the early 1900s. The machine heats up the air and then blows it through a drum to raise the temperature in the fabrics and remove it through a vent. The dryers you can buy nowadays have several features and settings, and their prices differ according to the experience they provide.

When to save: if you want a basic clothes dryer, pick an economic machine that provides the essential benefits but costs less than the latest model launched on the market.

When to splurge: electronic settings and stabilization features enhance the cost of a clothes dryer because you benefit from a quieter and more effective machine. If you use it regularly, it's worth paying more for one that also includes a steam feature because it reduces wrinkles and saves the effort of ironing clothes.

Tip: check the size of the dryer tub. If you do laundry, frequently you need a large capacity dryer to reduce the number of loads and save time.

Oven

If you upgrade the kitchen, you definitely want to change the oven and buy one that facilitates cooking. Before browsing the internet for a new oven, decide what model you prefer. Do you want one or two cavities? Do you prefer a free-standing or built-in machine? Built-in appliances and electronics usually cost more, but they are worth every penny. Suppose you don't have enough money to purchase all appliances simultaneously. In that case, you can visit a platform that specializes in buy now pay later electronics because it allows you to equip your kitchen and choose a payment plan that fits your needs.

When to save: if you host parties and gatherings regularly, a double-wall oven can serve as entertainment. It's nice to watch the food cooking in the oven and be able to bake both the main course and side dishes at the same time. But if you use the oven only during the holidays, it's not worth wasting the money. You can opt for a piece of equipment with two smaller ovens or a larger one. Single-cavity ovens are more affordable than built-in units.

When to splurge: if you have an electric oven at the moment and hate the fact that you have to wait too long for meals to cook, you can upgrade it to an induction unit. It's 20% more expensive than a traditional oven, but the foods cook faster and have a better taste. However, keep in mind that induction units require the use of special cookware, so make sure you also afford to switch the other kitchen equipment. Induction relies on magnetic energy transfer, so flat-bottomed pans and pots made of stainless steel or cast iron are needed.

Tip: if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and have a passion for cooking, it's worth spending money on a unit that includes several features. When you splurge on an oven, make sure to purchase one that is easy to clean because you don't want to waste your time caring for it.

Dishwasher

Dishwashers must meet several performance levels. If you spend more on energy bills after getting a dishwasher, it isn't worth the financial effort. The entire purpose of a dishwasher is to be energy efficient, provide you with an additional wash hand, and upgrade filtration.

When buying a dishwasher, look beyond its energy efficiency and noise level.

When to save: the latest models of dishwashers are integrated into the furniture and don't have buttons on the front. They're placed on the top door, and they can affect their function if you're used to leaning on the unit when loading it. They are worth the effort if you are a careful user and don't mind looking for the buttons.

When to splurge: if you have a baby or small child or don't want the home appliances to drown out your conversations and sleep, you can splurge on a dishwasher. A unit with a stainless steel interior costs 15% more than a regular machine, but it's quieter, has a better seal and a plastic lining, and smells better.

Tip: check the decibel rating before buying it.

Refrigerator

How much refrigerator storage do you need? If you have children, you need a larger unit than living by yourself and mostly eat out. Think about the foods you store in the refrigerator because some appliances come with trays that hold bottles and pizza boxes.

When to save: if you need a refrigerator to keep foods cold, then a top-freezer or side-by-side unit is perfect. Top freezers are the traditional choice for most households because they come in several sizes and at lower prices. French-door units are labeled premium on the market and cost more.

When to splurge: the price of the refrigerator should be 15% of the overall cost of the kitchen. If you renovate the house and have a large budget, you can splurge on a unit with a high-end appearance.

Tip: check the kitchen's measurements before buying a refrigerator. Some units come with adjustable features to allow you to customize the space.

About the Author

Cynthia Madison is a young blogger and economics and marketing graduate. She writes about home, lifestyle and family topics and is a senior contributor to popular niche publications.

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Author: Cynthia Madison
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Cynthia Madison

Member since: Jun 30, 2017
Published articles: 87

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