Shop Wisely for New Appliances

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ July 30, 2010

So many reasons today can contribute to your desire to buy new cooking appliances. You may be remodeling a kitchen because it's too small. Or perhaps your energy bills are just too high for the kind of cooking you do. You may like the idea of getting a tax credit for replacing energy hogs in the house. For others, it may be that you're doing what you can to raise the value of your home while waiting for a rebound in the housing market.

No matter the impulse, you should know your options before racing off to the appliance or home improvement store with your checkbook. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has an informational website that answers the most basic--and salient--questions about cooking appliances.

When it comes to choosing cooktops or combination cooktop/ovens, the ACEEE reports that you use the same amount of energy for cooking on the range. But in the choice between gas power and electric, says the ACEEE, you may find greater control over the amount of energy you spend if you choose gas. But be sure you vent any gas-powered cooking surfaces to the outside of your home.

If you do go with electric cooktops, ACEEE recommends you choose a conventional solid-disc burner over pricier radiant or induction models. The latter technology is more efficient, but you won't notice a huge difference unless you cook a lot! As for ovens, convection models are more energy efficient than conventional ovens and you can cut energy use by as much as 20 percent with them.

Refrigerator Models Make an Energy Difference, Too

The Federal Trade Commission reports that refrigerator models with the same total capacity have a wide variance on energy use. All things considered, you can save $20 annually on your energy bills by choosing the more efficient model. That can add up over the lifespan of the appliance. And, if you're doing your kitchen remodeling to get your home ready for the market, remember that shoppers are looking for houses with energy efficient appliances.

Always read the black and yellow Energy Guide label required by law to be posted on new appliances. In addition to finding the right appliance, you want to make sure your home wiring supports it. Shop carefully and you can find the right deal to help you live comfortably.

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