5 Tips For Buying A New Cooking Appliance

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There are so many options when it comes to today's cooking appliances (stoves, wall ovens, cooktops and more). Use our guide to help you find the right one.

Whether it’s your first cooking appliance (stove, cooktop, etc.) or a replacement, it seems like there are so many options available, choosing one with the features you want can be overwhelming. We’ve scoured the web and taken the best pieces of advice we’ve found (and added some ourselves), to arm you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

  • Measurements: Often, stoves are fitted between counters, so unless you are planning a full renovation or have flexible cabinetry, you will likely be replacing it with the same-sized appliance. Ranges come in specific sizes from compact to professional (24"-60"), with controls on the front (a slide-in model) or at the back on a freestanding model. Your kitchen's backsplash may prevent you from switching from a freestanding to a slide-in.
  • Type of Range: Are you interested in a gas range, electric, a gas cooktop with an electric oven (dual fuel), or an induction cooktop with electric oven, the choices are plenty. And so is the price range. Induction stoves are generally the priciest in each size category but also doesn't require a gas hook-up. If you're considering gas but have never had it installed, make sure gas is available in your neighbourhood, and ask for a quote for installing an interior line to your kitchen if you don't have one now.
  • Energy Efficiency: Although ranges don't have Energy Star ratings, they have become significantly more energy efficient since 2003. The latest models use slightly more energy than their predecessors from 10 years ago due to additional features such as warming drawers and secondary ovens. However, overall they are better insulated and so use less energy.
  • Reliability: It’s important to choose a stove that will last its intended lifespan and according to AHAM, that's about 18 years (although most retailers we've spoken with say that a range will last around 10 years). A lot will depend on how well you take care of it, and how often you use it. Once you've narrowed it down to a few different models, check out online reviews and repair forums to make sure there are no consistent problems or issues.
  • Repairability: As electronics become increasingly into our kitchen appliances, they have a tendency to break down more. Look for stoves that are easy to fix or brands that have a history of reliability. Buy from a vendor who has a team in place to service your range in the event it needs it. Smaller vendors who don’t have their own in-house service people will often work with service companies – just make sure you ask before you buy about what they do for service. This is especially important if you’re buying a brand that isn’t well-known in your area. Are there service people to fix it?

For tips on how to buy a refurbished or used stove, check out our other articles.