Appliances help you to perform countless daily tasks, quickly and effectively. Ideally, they also do the job efficiently and affordably. There’s an appliance for everything, from vacuuming crumbs and ironing clothes to food storage, home comfort and making your coffee.
The variety and sophistication of modern home appliances make it a challenge to settle on the perfect choice but the benefits can be great. And with energy-efficient technology becoming more prevalent, it’s easy than ever to make a purchase that’s both affordable and also good for the environment.
Irons & Clothes Steamers
An iron or clothes steamer will keep you looking your best every day. For special occasions and even casual, everyday dress, it’s important to have an iron on hand. Irons range from basic and inexpensive to elaborate and pricey.
Important features include steam blast settings to flatten stubborn wrinkles and variable heat settings so that you can safely work with different fabrics. You may also want to consider safety features like auto-shut off- especially if you’ve got little ones around the house.
The two main types of home vacuums are canister and upright, but you’ll also find robots, stick vacuums and cordless, handheld versions, too. Canister vacuums are easier to move around and have a long, flexible hose that connects to the vacuum head to provide more reach. They’re also easier to handle when vacuuming stairs. Upright vacuums are slightly heavier but require less lifting and bending.
Both main types of vacuums come with interchangeable attachments for hard to reach areas in and around furniture. An upright should have separate settings for carpeted and bare floors.
For coffee-loving households that go through several pots a day, a 10-12 cup, drip coffee maker with a cone or basket filter is usually the best option. Various settings can control the number of cups and brewing strength, and many machines feature a bean grinder and a timer to preset your morning pot and beep when it’s ready.
If you’re a gourmand or solo coffee drinker, you might consider a pricier single-cup brewer, which uses individual pods to brew one cup at a time. Many single-serve brewers also feature milk steamers, espresso pods, and other accessories, so you can make a frothy and delicious latte or cappuccino.
Just make sure that you purchase pods that are compatible with your machine.
Standing over a sink full of hot water is tedious and tiring. If you’re looking to install a dishwasher for the first time (or upgrade your existing model) consider the size of your family and the number of loads per day.
A larger capacity model means fewer loads and if more economical for big families. Water usage and noise levels are important considerations, too. A timer feature is essential for running the dishwasher at night or while you’re away. Make sure the racks are durable and adjustable.
A range hood vents or filters steam, smoke, and cooking odours before they spread throughout your home or trigger your smoke alarm. Typically installed above the stove, they can also be custom-installed into kitchen cabinetry for a more streamlined appearance.
The trends are toward discrete, low-profile hoods that offer a more industrial, modern feel. External ventilation systems direct smoke and smells outdoors while recirculating or downdraft systems only filter and disperse the air.
When installing a range hood, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for minimum clearance over your cooking surface.
Whether you’re reheating leftovers, making popcorn for movie night, or trying a special recipe, a microwave is a workhorse appliance in most kitchens. Countertop microwaves are affordable but can occupy valuable space.
If you have a smaller kitchen, consider getting a microwave cart to maximize storage and avoid clutter. Microwaves can also be installed directly into your cabinetry for convenience and efficiency. Over-the-range microwaves combine a microwave oven with a range hood. Look for single-touch buttons that perform the most common tasks.