July 30, 2014

Read This Before You Buy Your Next Appliance

Purchasing a major appliance is a major decision. To ensure satisfactory return on your investment, comparison shop before each appliance purchase.

The following pointers from The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers can help ensure your satisfaction with appliance purchases:

• Ask your dealer for specification sheets from several manufacturers who build the types of appliances you plan to purchase. Compare available features, designs and capacities;

• Read the warranty before finalizing your decision. Does the warranty cover the entire product? Only certain parts? Is labor included? How long does the warranty last?

• Ask you dealer for the appliance’s use and care manual and read it carefully before you buy the appliance. The dealer should have available manuals from the floor models. Reading the manuals will help you ask pertinent questions, tell you how the product operates and inform you of any special care the product needs;

• Decide which features you will really use. Consider the possibility of adding features at a later date, such as installing an icemaker in a refrigerator;

• Decide what capacity or size your family requires. For example, when purchasing a room air conditioner, know the dimensions of the room you want to cool and the number of windows, so you can select a model with sufficient cooling capacity;

• Check the space available for the appliance to make sure you select the right size unit and make sure halls and doorways allow clearance for entry and installation;

• Establish the cost of delivery and installation — are they included in the appliance’s price?

• Make sure authorized factory service is readily available in your area for the brand you select;

• Check the product’s design carefully to make sure it meets your needs and accommodates your habits and favorite cookware. Compare the designs of different models and brands;

• Compare price in relation to convenience and service, which will vary by model. Price tends to increase as features are added;

• Avoid overloaded circuits by making sure your house has adequate electrical service for the appliance. Check for adequately grounded, three-hole receptacles.

By doing your homework and being prepared, you can be an appliance buying superhero, avoiding the purchasing pitfalls that trip up ordinary shoppers.