What to look for before you buy your major kitchen appliances...

High quality and energy efficient major kitchen appliances will make life easier in kitchen. Done correctly, you should consider colors, sizes, energy efficiency, noise ratings and configuration before you make your kitchen major appliances buying decisions.

When choosing major kitchen appliances, energy efficiency should always be a consideration because it means cheaper utility bills. And that means you'll be saving money each and every month for as long as you own and operate the appliances. Style is important, but style should not be the only factor.

When deciding which kitchen major appliances to buy, find out who can service your new appliances locally. Understand the warranties, what's covered and for how long.

The shape and size of your kitchen will probably influence which kitchen major appliances work best for you.

Major kitchen appliances - refrigerator options

The refrigerator tends to be placed at the end of a stretch of counter, or against a wall or pantry.

This most important of the kitchen appliances is the one most used appliance in your kitchen. In most cases, it gives you reliable service 24 hours a day, day after day.

Most standard refrigerators are from 30 to 48 inches wide. When selecting refrigerator size, you should consider your family size, how much you entertain, how much frozen food you use and how often and how much you buy when you shop for groceries.

You have three setup choices in refrigerators:

1- A refrigerator with the freezer on the top and the refrigerator on the bottom. This is the least expensive refrigerator and the most common model used in homes.

2- A refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom and the refrigerator on the top.

This type of refrigerator is the best option for people with back problems, as you will not need to bend over as frequently.

3- A side-by-side refrigerator - the freezer is on one side and the refrigerator on the other. This is a very popular type of refrigerator but is not very energy efficient.

If your budget permits, you should buy a full-height freezer separate from your refrigerator. If you entertain frequently and have a family, you will use all the space and storage available in both of these.

Refrigerators come in two styles

1- Built-in refrigerator - these units are more attractive. For this style refrigerator, the motor and coils need to be either over or under the food compartments.

2- Freestanding refrigerator - the motor and coils are below and behind the food compartments.

Other major kitchen appliances - refrigerator suggestions:

• If you need to buy an extra refrigerator because you have a big family or entertain a lot, put the second refrigerator in the basement or buy a separate freestanding freezer.

• Another popular second refrigerator is a "wine refrigerator". This a great option and you can have a wine refrigerator with a glass door for easy viewing of the wine you may want to serve.

You and your guests will enjoy the wine refrigerator when you are entertaining.

• You can select adjustable door bins for your refrigerator.

• In-door ice and water dispensers are very convenient. You don't have to open the refrigerator all the time to get water or ice, which is both convenient and energy-saving.

• Refrigerator or freezer drawers are a great invention and they are perfect for small kitchens. You can place them anywhere in the kitchen where it is convenient. You can also buy small under-counter refrigerators to be placed near the drawers.

Buying major kitchen appliances - Dishwashers:

A dishwasher is one of the major kitchen appliances greatest conveniences, and it will fit any standard base cabinet. Most standard dishwashers are 24 inches wide, but other sizes can also be found.

Dishwasher types:

• Portable and countertop dishwashers
• Full size dishwashers
• Dishwasher drawers

You can find major kitchen appliances two-drawer (plastic coated drawer) dishwashers that are very practical, and they will give you clean and germ free dishes.

You can use only one drawer for small loads or both drawers for a big load, or use it to separate dishes in a kosher kitchen. Dishwashers include crystal and china settings and they can run very quietly.

You can also find countertop dishwashers that make washing dishes much easier where space is limited.

Small dishwashers can accommodate up to 4 place settings and fit into tight spaces where other dishwashers will not fit. Perfect for smaller kitchens, urban apartments, condos, recreational vehicles, boats and offices...

Some dishwashers offer more energy efficiency and water savings. You can choose stainless steel tubs that can tolerate higher water temperatures during drying cycles and are more durable than the plastic interiors.

Find out how many gallons of water the dishwasher uses during the different cycles and investigate which dishwashers use the least water. A dishwasher requires hot water, a waste line and electricity.

Major kitchen appliances - Microwave ovens

Most people use the microwave oven to defrost frozen foods or to quickly warm up leftovers. The microwave is the most commonly used second oven in the kitchen.

Major kitchen appliances microwaves are available in various sizes, and you can find the same convection features as in a regular oven.

1- Stand-alone microwave - you may place the microwave oven on the countertop if you have a large kitchen, but placing it under the countertop may be a good idea.

2- Built-in microwave - this method works best when you place the microwave below the countertop (base cabinets) or locate the microwave at a height of 4 feet. Doing so will free up countertop space and it is a very safe placement method.

3- Over-the-range microwave/ventilation hood combinations - some microwave ovens are installed over the range or stove, but this method can be unsafe. Removing hot food from an over-the-range unit can be dangerous for anyone. This type of setup is popular in small kitchens.

Smaller Major Kitchen Appliances - garbage disposals and garbage compactors:

Garbage disposals are installed below the sink and part of the plumbing system in the kitchen.

These units require electricity to work and they also need to be connected to a waste line. Select a garbage disposal that is not very noisy and check the warranty.

The power of a garbage disposal ranges between 1/2 to 1 horsepower. For most homes, it is sufficient to have the 5/8 to 3/4 horsepower size.

These smaller major kitchen appliances units are more durable and efficient if made with stainless steel.

Garbage or trash compactors are growing in popularity and they compress trash into a solid mass, reducing the volume of the material by as much as 75%.

These major kitchen appliances can be located under the counter, and they will use 12 to 18 inches of space beside the sink or perhaps you could locate it a few feet from the sink (it depends on your preference). These units simply compress all trash into smaller packages using electrical power.

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