Your Ultimate Guide to Buying your First Major Appliance

Smart Living

Expert Ideas for a Healthier Home

A major appliance is an essential and prime purchase. These major appliance groups includes a fridge, electric and gas cooker, air conditioner, washing machine, and dishwasher, among others.

You must be smart and wise in buying these major appliance groups, particularly if this is your first time to purchase any of these appliances. To help you in your search and purchasing significant appliances for your homes, here are some guidelines that you should know:

1. Fridge

The following are the things you should consider before buying a fridge:

  • Space

Think of the area in your kitchen before buying a fridge. How much space do you have in your kitchen for a fridge? Your fridge must fit and be proportion to your kitchen. The fridge varies in size, features, and brand. Once you have measured the space in your kitchen for a fridge, you could now find a fridge with a suitable size. Do not forget to measure the doors and hallways too. Your chosen fridge must fit into your doors and hallways to get into your kitchen.

  • Types and Budget

This major appliance may be the top-mounted freezer, bottom-mounted freezer, or side-by-side. You may choose the one that you like and suits best your lifestyle and budget.

The top-mounted freezer is the most economical of the three types. It ranges from SGD 500 to SGD 825. Consider as well the number of people in your household who will use the fridge. The single door with a top-mounted freezer has a capacity of 50 to 700 liters. It is for two family members. Meanwhile, the double door with a top-mounted freezer has around 280 to 700 liters and may suit four family members.

The bottom-mounted freezer has the freezer located near the compressor. With this, it needs more energy to make it cold. Its price ranges from SGD 800 to SGD 1,200. The double door bottom-mounted freezer has a capacity of 480 to 700 liters and may serve around four people.

The side-by-side door fridge has a great feature and quite expensive. Its freezer is placed on one side of the door, and it has two to four doors. It costs around SGD $1,000 to SGD $10,000. It has a capacity of 550 to 859 liters. This large fridge is suitable for big families with over five family members.

  • Features

The fridge, as a major appliance has different features. Some of them have through-the-door filtered water and ice, which is convenient to use and saves energy because you do not need to open the door always. There are also fridges with many adjustable shelves, spill-proof shelves with raised edges, and fruit and vegetable crisper bins, among others.

  • Energy Efficiency

You have to look at the number of ticks on the energy label attached to the fridge. The higher the ticks, the more it is energy efficient. It is advisable to choose a fridge with many ticks because it consumes less power. It means it will reduce your energy cost.

2. Washing Machine

The washing machine may be top-loader, in which you put your laundry on top of it or the front-loader with a circular front cover. You may choose any of these two types that best suits you. Also, look for a washing machine with the following features:

  • Less water consumption
  • A faster spin cycle

A quick spin cycle would extract more water and less dryer time. Know the rpm or the rotations per minute of the machine and choose a higher number. It is advisable that you select a washing machine with at least 900 rpm, which is fast enough.

  • Unit with pedestals that could be used for easy loading and unloading. You may also look for a pedestal with drawers.
  • A washing machine that only warms the necessary water, which saves more energy.
  • Right budget

You must opt for a washing machine that is within your budget. The top-loader machine is typically less costly than the front-loader machine.

3. Electric and Gas Hobs

Gas hobs use gas to heat the cookware, while the electric hob uses electricity. You may look for the following elements when buying a gas or electric hob:

  • Space and Size

You must consider the space where you should put your gas or electric hob. You must have an area or a bench space that your unit must fit in. Again, measure the space and be sure that the hob you are going to buy fit within the area or the bench space.

  • Ventilation

You must put your hob near the kitchen window for proper ventilation. In case, you have a cooker hood, set and know the clearance for the cooker hoods, and the cupboards.

  • Design

Look for an easy to clean cooker hobs and easy-to-use control knobs. Also, it must have easy-to-read temperature level markings with a  buyingbetter size.

  • Special Features

Some hobs have added features such as wok burners and grills just like the gas hobs. Meanwhile, electric hobs may have a safety feature, in which it has a residual-heat warning light that turns on until the electric hob is cooled down.

  • Budget

Again, you must buy a hob that meets your budget. Typically, an electric hob is costlier than a gas cooker. Also, an electric hob may consume more energy, which could make your energy bill quite higher.

4. Air Conditioner

Any air conditioner can cool your room, but you must know first the following before you buy a unit:

  • British Thermal Units (BTU)

A BTU is the cooling capacity of the air conditioner. You must choose an air conditioner that has the right BTU level suited in your room. It is advisable that you select a BTU level that is not too high or too low to have proper cooling and would not increase your energy bill. Do not buy a big AC for a small room because it will be uncomfortable or too cold. To know how much BTU you need, get the measurement of your place in square footage and then multiply by 35. The product is the right BTU for your room. You may add 600 BTU for each person that will be in the room. Likewise, add 4,000 BTU if you are going to place the air conditioner in the kitchen.

  • Energy Efficient Ratio (EER)

EER refers to the ratio or number that indicates how efficient is the unit. Most of the units manufactured after the year 2000 have an EER of 9.7. An EER with a higher number means it is more efficient and uses less energy. On the other hand, it is more expensive. Also, a one-point increase in EER could save you around 10% on your electric bill.

  • Noise

Some air conditioners may be noisy or quiet. Of course, you may settle for a quieter AC unit. But, this is more expensive.

  • AC Drainage Pipe

In Singapore, the standard size of the AC drainage pipe is ¼”. On the other hand, this size could make the aircon leaks. You must at least settle for ½” pipe when your air conditioner is installed.

  • Special Features

The other features of the air conditioner could make you convenient or make the air conditioner efficient. Among these other features include remote control, temperature range, programmable timer, sleep/energy-saver settings, fan speed setting, slide-out filter, temperature increments, air direction, and dirt filter indicator.

  • Warranty

A major purchase such as an air conditioner must have a warranty. Most of the units have a one-year warranty. There are also some suppliers that offer extended warranty.

These significant appliances are handy for your homes. You need to buy them to make you comfortable and at the same time will meet your needs. On the other hand, you must apply the guidelines mentioned above in choosing these appliances so you could select the most functional and efficient devices.

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