We’ve been microwaving it for over a week now. We only needed our range to last 6 more months (until we sell our house), but it just couldn’t make it. The Sears Kenmore range was only 13 years old, but has required multiple repairs throughout those years and finally became unrepairable. So on Sunday, we made our way to Warners Stellian in St. Paul to buy a new range. While we were at it, we also started looking at some new appliances for our new home.
This might seem a bit out of order (we haven’t even started foundations yet)- but one thing we discovered was that stainless steel appliances typically have a significant price increase at the beginning of the new year. If we were able to start our appliance order prior to Dec. 31, we can avoid the increase.
For our appliances, we will be looking for the Energy Star labels. Only cooktops and
ovens do not have Energy Star labels. To earn the ENERGY STAR, they must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Many of these products will qualify for rebates or tax credits. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=rebate.rebate_locator
For refrigerators, we were initially looking for counter depth. The reduced depth allows for everything to be within reach and sight. But the reduced capacity and increased cost (in some cases) made this option less attractive. I also learned that the door water and ice dispenser is by far, the part most likely to fail on a refrigerator. Because of this, we are going to forego the door dispenser (even though we have all dreamed about this feature since childhood). This 25 cubic foot LG model is looking good for now.
Cooktops and ovens are even more complicated and varied. GE seems to be the manufacturer with the most advanced cooking technologies. But we are not sure if we want to be able to bake things in ¼ the time (Kevin won’t even allow a bread maker in our house!) For energy use, convection ovens use less energy because they cook in less time and self-cleaning ovens actually use less energy because of their construction. There is a relatively new technology called induction that allows for a flat, easy to clean cooktop and it’s only hot when a metal pan is in contact with it (great for homes with kids). But for now, we are going to go with a 5-burner gas cooktop. We are planning on a wall oven (better ergonomics) and potentially a upper microwave/convection oven.
Bosch makes a great dishwasher. It saves water, energy and is quiet. You can pick the level of acoustical rating you desire.
Some folks like to select all their appliances from the same line so that they look consistent and handles all match. This might be important if you select a line that has a very different esthetic, such as GE's Profile line with curves. But we're in favor of clean, simple lines and getting the best appliance for each category rather than staying within one manufacturer's line.