5 Tips for Picking Appliances: Conquer the Kitchen (and Beyond!)

5 tips to choosing appliances

Congratulations, homeowner! You’ve conquered the real estate jungle and landed your dream space. Now comes the fun part (well, mostly fun) – outfitting your new home with functional and stylish appliances! But with so many brands, features, and price points, picking the right appliances can feel like navigating an appliance labyrinth.

Fear not, fellow homeowner! This guide equips you with 5 essential tips to navigate the appliance aisle like a pro, ensuring you choose appliances that match your needs, budget, and style.

Tip #1: Know Your Needs (and Lifestyle)!

Not everyone needs a high-powered blender or a double oven. Before diving into specific models, honestly assess your cooking and laundry habits.

Do you bake elaborate cakes every weekend? Do you have a large family and constantly need to cook in bulk?

Make a list of your daily routines and how you envisage using each appliance. This step ensures that you prioritize functionalities that match your specific lifestyle.

Actionable Step:

Make a list of your “must-have” features and “nice-to-have” features for each appliance. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting distracted by shiny (but unnecessary) bells and whistles.

Pro Tip:

Consider your future needs as well. Are you planning a family in the next few years? Opt for an appliance with a larger capacity.

John Smith, a seasoned Home Appliance Specialist, emphasizes, “The right appliances can make a house feel like a home, but it’s crucial to understand your needs and options before making a purchase.”

appliance efficiency

10 Appliance Tips Your Mother Never Taught You

Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate!

While most big-box stores have fixed prices on major appliances, smaller retailers may be open to negotiation.

Actionable Step:

Ask politely if there’s any wiggle room on the price. Mention that you’re comparing prices and are serious about buying, but open to a better deal.

Pro Tip:

Be prepared to walk away if the price isn’t right. Remember, there will always be another appliance (and another store) out there.

Setting a realistic budget while prioritizing essentials is paramount. Remember, the most expensive option isn’t always the best fit for your needs.

Tip #3: Factor in the Long Run: Consider Energy Efficiency and Warranties.

While the upfront cost might be tempting, remember that appliances are long-term investments. Look for models with high energy efficiency ratings (like Energy Star certified) to save money on your utility bills in the long run.

Actionable Step:

Check the warranty information for each appliance you’re considering. A longer warranty typically indicates a more reliable product and provides peace of mind in case of any issues down the line.

Pro Tip:

Consider purchasing an extended warranty if the appliance is a significant investment, like a refrigerator or washer and dryer.

Energy-efficient appliances not only benefit the environment but also offer significant savings in the long run.

“Consider appliances with Energy Star ratings to ensure long-term savings,” suggests Alex Johnson, an Appliance Store Manager.

Tip #4: Measure Twice, Appliance Once!

Before you even think about brands and models, grab your trusty measuring tape. Measure the dedicated space for each appliance in your kitchen, laundry room, or wherever you plan to use it.

This includes height, width, and depth, accounting for any clearance needed for doors, ventilation, or hoses. What Is Counter-Depth Refrigerator Size

Actionable Step:

Make a detailed layout of your kitchen with appliance measurements clearly marked. This will be a lifesaver when comparing appliance dimensions at the store or online.

Pro Tip:

Don’t forget to consider countertop depth when measuring for refrigerators and ranges. You might need a counter-depth appliance if you want a seamless, built-in look.

One common mistake is overlooking the dimensions of your space and the appliance. Ensure you have accurate measurements before making a purchase.

tips to pick appliances

Tip #5: Research, Read Reviews, and Compare!

Once you have a good understanding of your needs and measurements, it’s research time! Read online reviews from other consumers and check out appliance comparison websites.

These resources can provide valuable insights into performance, reliability, and user experience.

Actionable Step:

Make a shortlist of 2-3 models that fit your criteria. Then, compare prices from different retailers both online and in-store. Utilize price-matching options wherever possible.

Pro Tip:

Look for consumer reports and rankings from reputable organizations like Consumer Reports or J.D. Power. These reports offer independent assessments of various appliance brands and models.

Unveiling the Best Undercounter Refrigerators: Reviews and Guide

Bonus Tip: Embrace the Second-Hand Market!

Looking for a more budget-friendly option? Don’t rule out second-hand appliances.

There are many reputable stores and online platforms that sell gently used appliances in good condition.

Just be sure to thoroughly inspect the appliance before purchasing and ensure it comes with a warranty from the seller.

Checklist for In-Store Appliance Comparisons

Before you head to the store:

  • Measure your space: Measure the designated area for each appliance, including height, width, and depth. Account for clearance needs for doors, ventilation, and hoses.
  • Make a list of needs and wants: Identify your “must-have” features and “nice-to-have” features for each appliance.
  • Research and shortlist models: Research online and create a shortlist of 2-3 models that fit your needs and budget.

At the store:


  • Compare sizes and dimensions: Ensure the appliance fits your designated space with room for clearance.
  • Check for cosmetic defects: Look for dents, scratches, or any other imperfections.
  • Ask about warranty and delivery options: Clarify warranty details and inquire about delivery fees and timelines.

Specific features:


  • Open the doors and drawers: Check for layout, organization, and shelf configurations.
  • Check water dispenser functionality: Test the water dispenser for proper function and water pressure.
  • Listen for noise level: Stand near the running refrigerator and evaluate the noise level.


  • Operate the knobs and controls: Ensure they are smooth and easy to use.
  • Preheat the oven (if possible): Check for even heat distribution and desired preheating time.
  • Inspect the oven door seal: Ensure a snug fit for efficient heat retention.


  • Check the wash cycle options: Evaluate the available cycles and their suitability for your needs.
  • Open the rack system: Assess the rack design and adjustability for various dishware sizes.
  • Listen for noise level: Stand near the running dishwasher and assess the noise level.

Washer and Dryer:

  • Open the lid and drum: Check for drum size and capacity.
  • Spin the drum manually: Ensure smooth rotation and no excessive wobbling.
  • Select and test different cycle options: Try various cycle options to gauge their functionality and noise level.

Additional Tips:

  • Bring your measuring tape: Double-check the appliance dimensions at the store.
  • Take photos and ask questions: Capture images of the appliances and don’t hesitate to ask store personnel for assistance.
  • Compare prices before making a final decision: Check different retailers and utilize price-matching options if available.

Glossary of Terms

General Appliance Terms:

  • BTU (British Thermal Unit): A unit of heat, commonly used to measure the power output of ovens, ranges, cooktops, and sometimes grills. Higher BTU means faster and more powerful heating.
  • Capacity: The internal volume of an appliance, usually measured in cubic feet (cu. ft.) or liters. This is crucial for determining how much food or laundry an appliance can hold.
  • Energy Star Certified: Appliances that meet strict energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These models generally use less energy and water, saving you money on utility bills.
  • Decibel (dB): A unit measuring sound intensity. Lower dB ratings indicate quieter appliances, perfect for open-concept living spaces or homes with light sleepers.

Refrigerator Terms:

  • Counter-depth: Refrigerators are designed to sit flush with standard kitchen countertops, creating a seamless, built-in look.
  • French door: A refrigerator style with two side-by-side doors on top and a freezer drawer below. Offers generous storage and easy access to frequently used items.
  • Through-the-door ice/water dispenser: A convenient feature for easy access to filtered water and ice without opening the fridge door.

Oven/Range Terms:

  • Convection: Ovens with a fan that circulates hot air, enabling faster and more even cooking compared to traditional ovens.
  • Induction Cooktop: A type of cooktop that uses magnetic energy to heat cookware directly. Offers fast heating, precise temperature control, and is energy-efficient.
  • Self-cleaning: An oven feature that uses high heat to burn off food residue, eliminating the need for manual scrubbing.

Washer/Dryer Terms:

  • RPM (Revolutions Per Minute): A measure of how fast a washing machine drum spins during the spin cycle. Higher RPMs extract more water, resulting in faster drying times.
  • HE (High Efficiency): Denotes washing machines and dryers designed to use less water and energy while still delivering effective cleaning and drying performance.
  • Sensor Drying: A dryer feature that uses sensors to detect moisture levels in clothes and automatically adjusts drying time, preventing over-drying and saving energy.


With these 5 tips and a little research, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect appliances for your new home. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so prioritize your needs, do your research, and enjoy the process of creating your dream space!

J.S. Diyhouseskills

I’m J.S., I created and am the content manager at DIYHouseSkills.com. I do the research and write the articles that appear on this website. I’ve learned many household skills during my life and think it’s important to at least know the basics so that you can save yourself time and money… READ FULL BIO >