Appliances come in all shapes and sizes and can perform many actions, giving you freedom in your home. But when it comes to choosing an appliance, it can be difficult to figure out which one you should exactly be buying. With specifications, performance data, temperature controls, parts and more to consider – it can be confusing to actually decide if you need the appliance, and what specific appliance you should buy.
I understand the issue with buying online, we’ve all been there. You spend more time choosing what product to buy rather than actually using it. So with that in mind I’ve constructed a guide to inform you of the things you should look for when purchasing an appliance.
We know that we need an appliance to serve our task, but we need to check some important features to make sure the appliance is convenient for us. Below are some generic yet useful points you should look out for when buying any appliance online.
The question you need to ask yourself is whether the appliance is actually going to save you time. One thing that is usually overlooked when buying an appliance is any regular maintenance you’ll need to perform. Cleaning and maintenance can be vital for some products, like air conditioners or cooking appliances.
To avoid maintenance taking too much time, you want to make sure the appliance is constructed with materials which are easy to clean, such as a non-stick plate for an electric griddle. Cleaning these sorts of products is much easier and saves time in the long run.
It’s also beneficial to check if your appliance requires replacement parts like new filters – and making sure that these are reasonably priced and easy to install.
Does the appliance come with any additional features? Extra sections, operating modes, auto shut-off timers.. these are just some examples of what you can may get with an appliance that generally expand it’s base-functionality. These little extras can save you time and money, and allow your appliance to accomplish a much wider range of tasks.
Whether you’re cooking, travelling, or doing push ups with it on your back. You’ll want to ensure the build quality is superb so external or internal damage does not occur and the appliance doesn’t break down through heavy usage. Typically you’ll find the build quality of any product will give you tell-tale signs over how long you can expect it to last.
Metal, or sturdy materials especially in moving parts, will fare much better over the years than just plastic. If the appliance is mostly plastic, try to make sure it’s at least got a decent warranty to keep you covered.
Brand quality also covers the build quality. You’ll typically find with high-end brands comes much higher build quality. Keep this in mind.
We’ve covered brand slightly above, but higher end brands will most likely come with better customer support if you require any information about the product. So if you’re buying an appliance which is complex, keep this mind and it can save a lot of hassle in the long run. Customer support is also extremely useful if the appliance has an issue.
One important thing to note is that appliances break down, and when they do one of your best options is to go through the warranty to either repair or replace your appliance. A good warranty can not only save you time and money, but also give you that priceless peace of mind.
Most companies nowadays will give you a free 1 year warranty. But when buying an appliance if you see an option to upgrade to a better warranty, that could be a game-changer. If you have your mind set on a specific appliance but it only has a 1 year warranty. Most of the time you can either contact the manufacturer and get this upgraded, or just buy a longer duration warranty at checkout.
Just remember, it may seem like a hassle to upgrade the warranty, but in the worst case scenario, they really come in handy.
An often overlooked feature of any electronic product is how long it’s cord length is. It can be one of the worst feelings in the world when you’ve set out a perfect place at home for your appliance, but it doesn’t quite reach the power outlet.
This also applies to travelling with compact electric appliances. Some power outlets can be in weird and unexpected places in hotel rooms. Thinking back to the scenario above, imagine having to set up your travel iron in an extremely inconvenient place, simply because of its cord length?
The above are just some examples of why cord length can be an important aspect of a product. If you using it is going to be location dependant, try to be informed of the cord length before purchasing; ensuring they’ll be easy to use and fit in perfectly.
Ensuring that your appliance not only visibly works effectively but also has high energy efficiency can be a money saver. Often an overlooked point, energy efficiency is key. You’ll typically find that certified products are the go-to in this respect. Check if your product is energy efficient by looking to see if it’s certified by organisations like EnergyStar.
To find out more about energy consumption, see EnergyStars’s Website
Appliances can provide you ease-of-life anywhere on the road, but it’s important to note that if this is your requirement, you’ll need to purchase your appliance with the mind for travel, we’ve gone through slightly about cord length above, so here are some other important points to note.
A simple point, but when purchasing anything for travel, ensure that the dimensions of the product are going to fit well in a suitcase. Find out the dimensions of your suitcase and compare it to the product. You don’t want to be buying your ideal travelling iron if it’s not going to be compact enough for you.
Weight is also key. Even if the appliance is compact, when you’re lugging around a heavy appliance it’s still going to be the opposite of convenient. To stop this from happening, check the specification of the product and see if the weight is at a desirable level. This means you’ll avoid any injury and can carry your appliance easily.
Comparing the market
Don’t just set your eyes on one product and buy it! You will find that some lower rated appliances may be a diamond in the rough. Have a look at other brands as well as those at the top of the list. Shop around and see if you can get a better bang for your buck. Take your time, look through buying options (different websites, different brands) and you’ll typically be rewarded with better knowledge, and understanding of the product.
Get Third-Party Input
If you’re unsure on what you want to buy, check websites such as Appliance Analysts to see if we’ve done the work for you! We research and review dozens of products to give you easy-to-read summaries and unbiased opinions on which products are worth their price tags.
If we’ve not yet reviewed the product, here’s some other fantastic websites that are worth a check:
Having others review and investigate products for you is one of the best ways to get the job done quickly, give you peace of mind and gain better insight on specific products.
So there you have it, a simple explanation on what you should be looking for when purchasing an appliance. Here’s a quick summary of what to remember:
Your Appliance Shopping Checklist:
When looking for a new appliance, make sure to check that it’s:
- Suitable for the job
- Easy to maintain
- Got positive reviews
- From a well-known brand
- Reliably warrantied
- Suitable for travel (if applicable)
- Take your time to look at different options / extras it may come with
Now you’re prepared and ready to surf the market to find the best appliance for you!