Replacing or buying new kitchen appliances

Whether you’re replacing old appliances or renovating your home by yourself, good quality ovens, cookers, washing machines and other white goods are essential to the running of your household. It is easier to get a replacement if your appliance breaks down beyond repair from your appliance insurance provider if your policy covers you for that, but if you do not have insurance and with so many different options out there, how do you know which appliances are the right ones for you?

To help you out, we’ve compiled a short guide of the things to consider when replacing kitchen appliances.

Kitchen appliances

How to choose the best oven, stove, or hob for you

Before you buy a new oven, stove, or hob there are a lot of things to consider. What size do you need? Do you need a single or double oven? Do you have space for a freestanding cooker or will a built in one be more suitable to your needs? There are so many questions that need answering before you even head down to your local Curry’s store that it can quickly become a confusing experience. Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

Built in or freestanding

If you already have a built-in oven, then it may be convenient to replace it with one of the same kind. Likewise, if you have a fee standing stove or oven, you may not have space to fit a built in one. Unless you’re changing kitchen units at the same time, you will probably be limited to the type of oven or stove you already have. Obviously built-in solutions tend to look neater than free standing ones but are generally smaller in size so limit cooking potential.

If you have your eyes set on a stove, then you will need to make sure you have even more space as they tend to be far larger than conventional ovens.

Single or double

Single ovens are a good choice if space in your kitchen is tight or if you don’t spend a huge amount of time cooking. If you have more space or need to cook for a family, a double oven will give you more cooking options.

Gas, electric, or induction (if you are buying a hob)

Again, the type of fuel your cooker, stove, or hob will use will more than likely be dictated by your current set up. Changing from gas to electric or vice versa complicates matters and will require extra installation costs. If you are buying a hob and your current one is electric, then you have the choice between regular electric or induction. Our recommendation is to get induction as it cooks faster and is more economical.

Kitchen appliances

How to choose the best fridge, freezer, or fridge-freezer for your home

A good fridge freezer will maximise the lifespan of the food you buy without increasing energy bills. But buying a new appliance suitable to your household needs is not an easy task. Here are a few things to consider:

Free standing or built in

If you want your new appliance to fit in the same gap as your old one, you’ll need to choose the same form-factor, whether that be built-in or free-standing. If you are renovating your entire kitchen, you will have more options and may be able to choose the style you want. If you do get to choose, then a built-in fridge, freezer, or fridge-freezer generally looks neater than a free-standing one but comes with an extra monetary cost and generally less internal space. Of course, if fridge space is your main criteria, then an American fridge-freezer will give you acres of space so long as you have room for it and the money to buy it.

Internal space

Of course, the type of fridge, freezer, or fridge-freezer you buy will dictate the amount of internal space it has, but it is important to maximise it or you may find that you won’t have room to store all the food needed for your family. We suggest opting for a fridge that has at least 10 cubic feet in space and a freezer that has about 5 cubic feet. Of course, these dimensions can vary depending on your own requirements. For instance, if you freeze a lot, you may need to sacrifice fridge space for more freezer space or vice versa.

Frost-free freezers are essential

If you look for any feature in your freezer, make sure it is frost-free. There’s nothing more tedious or annoying than having to defrost your freezer periodically due to a build-up of ice.

Choose a low energy rating

All appliances are rated on the amount of energy they use. The higher the rating, the more electricity it uses, the more it will cost you, and the worse it will be for the environment. Ratings are given from A to D, with A being the most economical and the one we would recommend.

Chest, built-in, or free-standing freezer

If you are just looking to buy a freezer, then you will have an extra choice. Not only can you choose freestanding or built in, but you can also opt for a chest freezer. Chest freezers tend to take up more space but offer higher internal capacities.

 

How to choose the best tumble dryer for you

There are many things to look out for when you replace your tumble dryer. With technology constantly advancing and sizes, energy efficiencies, and a variety of other trends changing yearly, how do you know which tumble dryer is right for you? Here’s a short guide to help you out:

Drum capacity

The more drum capacity your tumble dryer has, the more laundry you can dry in one go. Machines with larger drum capacities tend to cost more but can be more convenient for a family. Sizes come in somewhere between 3kg and 9kg in most models. 7kg is generally suitable for drying an average washing machine load and should be the size you aim for. Anything less can hamper air flow and lengthen the time required to dry.

Vented or condenser

Vented tumble dryers use a plastic hose to remove the moisture from clothes and expel it outside of the machine via a permanent vent in the wall (although some people hang the pipe out of a window). Vented machines tend to be older tech and as such are less economical, efficient, and generally cheaper.

Condenser tumble dryers use a container to hold the separated water from the moist air in the dryer, and as such have no need for a plastic hose. The container must be emptied regularly but even so, they still tend to be more convenient to run than vented machines. Condenser dryers are newer tech and are far more efficient than other types, which could save you a lot of money during their lifetime. This efficiency comes at a cost, however, with condenser dryers being far more expensive than their vented counterparts.

Washer dryer?

Some people don’t have room for both a washing machine and a dryer and as such opt for a washer-dryer. Washer dryers work well as a washing machine, but the size of the drum can limit their drying capabilities. On the positive side, there is no need to vent the machine as the water created in the drying process is expelled through the normal washing machine’s outlet.

For our money, washer dryers are an expensive option that are only suitable for smaller households.

Kitchen appliances

How to choose the best washing machine for your household

You’d think that all washing machines these days would do a decent job of getting the dirt out of your clothes, but in our experience, many can fail at this simple task. The question is, with so many different options on the market how do you know which one is the best for your home? Here are a few things to look for:

Drum size

Just like tumble dryers, washing machines come in a variety of drum sizes. Obviously, the larger the drum, the more washing you can do in one sitting, and the higher the cost of the machine. Sizes tend to range from 5kg to 12kg with 9kg being the good family-sized sweet spot.

Spin speed

The spin cycle of the machine removes water from clothing at the end of the wash to partially dry items. The faster the spin speed, the dryer the clothes. The current range of spin speeds in modern machines range from 1,000rpm to 1,800rpm. We recommend opting for a 1200rpm to 1400rpm machine to prevent clothes coming out sodden and to keep costs and noise (faster means louder) low.

Free standing or built in

Again, this will depend on your current kitchen set up. If you already have a built-in or free-standing appliance, then you will probably opt for the same so that it fits into the same space. If you are refitting your entire kitchen or utility room, on the other hand, you may be able to choose the type of washing machine you buy. As mentioned previously, built-in appliances tend to look smarter but have lower capacities due to their smaller size. They are also more expensive than their free-standing cousins.

Eco rating

You may be surprised to know that a washing machine can cost up to £100 a year to run, with some more environmentally friendly machines costing as low as £20. At the top end, that’s quite a cost and the effects on the environment cannot be ignored. To help us choose an energy efficient model, appliances are rated on a scale based on how economical they are. Our recommendation is to look at one of the many variations of A rated machines (A, A+, A++, etc) to ensure you save money and help the environment.

How to choose the best ventilator or extractor system

Good extraction is an important factor in your kitchen environment and soft furnishings, carpets, and painted walls don’t go well with the smell of frying.

There are a number of practicalities to consider when shopping for the best extractor unit for your kitchen space, but with so many choices, knowing what to look for can be a tricky proposition. Here are a few tips to help you out:

Price

Kitchen extraction units come in a huge price range from as little as £50 up to £3,000 for more advanced models. At the higher end you are getting excellent extraction suitable to a working kitchen environment and at the lower end you’re getting a hair dryer that sucks a small amount of grease out of the air. Our recommendation for a family kitchen is to look at around the £350 to £500 price point in your local Curry’s or other appliance store. At this price range you get decent extraction without breaking the bank.

Duct or recirculation?

Ducted extractors draw the air in and pass it out through a duct on the outside of the property. While this type of extractor requires a hole in the wall and may be trickier (and more costly) to install, they tend to offer excellent extraction.

Recirculation extractors, on the other hand, work by passing greasy air through a filter that cleans it before expelling it back into the room. Recirculation models tend to be far less effective than ducted models but are easier to fit and tend to be cheaper to buy and install.

Noise level

Extraction units can be noisy beasts, but all models come with a decibel (dB) rating to let you know how much sound they output. The lower the dB rating the quitter the unit is. Conversely, the lower the noise the less powerful the extractor could be. Look for an extraction unit that offers high power and low noise to get the best of both worlds.

Choose a hood style

This is primarily an aesthetic choice but may be dictated by the shape of the space you have. Units come in 2 main styles – chimney hoods and canopy hoods, although you can also buy ceiling fitted units too. Either will do the job. Choose the one you like the look of.

Built-in integrated vs freestanding appliance

We’ve discussed this a little in each section above, but let’s break down the pros and cons of each option:

Freestanding:

Pros

  • Generally cheaper than built-in
  • Easy to install.
  • Easier to change out in the future.

Cons

  • Can’t mix and match between gas and electric in respect to ovens and hobs.
  • Not as seamless in looks as built-in

Built-In

Pros

  • Visually more pleasing than freestanding.
  • Can mix and match gas and electric in respect to ovens and hobs.

Cons

  • Tend to be more expensive.
  • Need to make sure you get the exact right size and can be expensive and difficult to replace down the line.

General things to consider when buying appliances

The biggest thing to think about when buying kitchen appliances is price. Cheap may be enticing but could also mean poor build qualities and a lack of features. Our tip is to set a budget and get the best appliance you can in that price range.

Size is also something to think about. There’s no point splashing out on a huge American fridge if you have a tiny galley kitchen. Buy appliances that fit into your space.

Finally, don’t pay for features you will never use. It’s great to have a 15kg drum in your washing machines but if you live alone, filling the beast could be difficult and you will waste money on electricity.

 

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