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Refrigerators range in size from small compact units that fit into the smallest of spaces, to a unit with a 26 cubic feet capacity. The average refrigerator contains 18-26 cubic feet of storage; however, most families consider 19-22 cubic feet plenty. When deciding what works for you, consider the space you have in your kitchen and how much storage you need. There are also counter height units that provide extra storage for items such as extra beverages.
In the interest of space, most people buy a combination refrigerator/freezer, as opposed to two separate units. You can find refrigerators in the side-by-side configuration or freezer on the bottom. This is a matter of preference and taste. Depending on the manufacturer, you usually have a choice of colors, or they can come in stainless steel or have panels customized to match your kitchen décor.
Some people enjoy extra features for convenience. The most common specialty features include see-through bins, adjustable shelving, water filters, ice makers and water dispensers. The more features there are, the more expensive the refrigerator.
Ovens/ Cooktops/ Ranges
Whether you enjoy cooking or have to cook as a necessity, it is important to select the ideal cooking appliances to suit your needs and the functionality of your kitchen. You can choose from ovens and cooktops or ranges. The types of cooking appliances you select all depends of the layout of your kitchen. Another important factor to take into consideration is whether your home is equipped for gas or electric appliances. Oven, cooktops and ranges are sold in a wide range of prices. It all depends on the special features you require when cooking.
Wall ovens are designed to be built directly into the wall amongst your cabinetry, offering a great space-saving solution. One plus about surrounding your oven with cabinetry is that it offers an ideal space to store all your backing items. Choosing a wall oven over a range allows you to add more oven space as you can choose from single or double wall ovens.
Cooktops are built directly into your countertops or islands creating a seamless cooking surface. They are also available in a wide range of styles to suit your cooking needs and your kitchen decor. You can select a cooktop that will blend nicely into your countertops. Cooktops' widths typically range from 30" to 45". Some features to consider when purchasing a cooktop are downdraft venting, electronic touchpad controls, Wok/ Griddle options, separate simmer and high-heat burners, additional burners aside from the standard four and grills.
Ranges are the most popular cooking appliance in most peoples' kitchens. They offer an oven and a cooktop all rolled into one convenient cooking mechanism. It can be tricky selecting the range that is perfect for your cooking style because now you have to consider what you need on the top of your range and what you need in an oven as well. Checking consumer reports is a great idea when choosing a range because the reports will offer reviews for both cooking aspects of the range.
Laundry is a fact of life, and having a washer and dryer at your disposal is essential. There are plenty of choices available in washers and dryers for your home. Your available space will dictate your options-including whether a front or top loader would be right for you. You must also determine what you need in terms of such aspects as capacity, water and energy efficiency, programs, controls, and filtering systems. Stackable combination units are also popular among people who have limited space, but couldn't imagine foregoing these important appliances.
High-efficiency top-loading washers, on the other hand, use discs, or wash plates, as opposed to the agitator. The washing performance is genuinely better than a regular top-loader. The high efficiency washers are often more expensive in comparison to regular washers.
Front-loading washers clean laundry by lifting it to the top of the tub and then dropping it into the water below. They offer efficiency over regular top loaders by filling only half way with water and also outperform the best high-efficiency top-loaders without having to necessarily pay more.
There are several important features to consider when purchasing any type of washer. A stainless-steel tub is often the way to go because they can withstand higher spin speeds - this helps your laundry items to dry faster. You also do not have to worry about rust with a stainless-steel tub the way you would with a porcelain-coated steel tub if it gets chipped. Choose a washer with legible and easy to operate controls. Higher end models tend to have touchpad controls while others have the traditional dial settings. The only advantage of the touch pads, as opposed to the dial controls, is that they offer more versatility. You can save and program specific settings, including automatic water-level settings and temperature control, extra rinse cycles and time-delay features. On some washers, touchpad controls even allow you to set the machine for automatic dispensing of detergent, bleach or fabric softeners.
Although, there are many washing machine options to choose from, there are limited options for dryers. They have stood the test of time and there have been very few advancements made over the years. Aside from compact dryers, a lot of dryers offer the same load capacity. Some specials features to look for when purchasing a new dryer include moisture sensors, auto-dry cycles and more- and less-dry settings. It is important to select a dryer that offers the appropriate heat settings to protect your clothing from damage.
Some people could not imagine life without their dishwasher, especially those who have large families or like to entertain. The convenience of a dishwasher adds hours to your day and provides the added benefit of sanitizing your pots and pans, dishes, glasses and utensils. Finding one that meets your needs is a matter of deciding on the features you want and the space you have.
The cycle setting features are probably the most important options to consider when purchasing a dishwasher. The options you choose depend on the types of items you plan on putting in your dishwasher. Some dishwashers offer light cycles for delicate items like china and crystal, normal cycles for everyday usage dish washing, and heavy cycles for pots and pans. Another convenience feature offered on some dishwashers is the "rinse and hold" cycle that can be run if your dish will sit for a while before the load is run. This cycle merely rinses off stuck-on food and odors.
Information courtesy of ABT.com
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