Buying a new appliance can be daunting. With so many features to consider, it can be difficult to know where to start. And after making a major investment, you don’t want to have buyer’s remorse if you chose the wrong one – or even worse – got a lemon.
To help, we talked with Black Hills Energy Senior Service Technician Salvador. He repairs hundreds of appliances a year and gave us some tips to help make good purchasing decisions.
Tip 1 – When buying a fridge, sometimes less is better.
Sometimes the most basic appliances are your best bet. Fridges with features like touchscreen doors and built-in coffee machines are impressive, but sometimes they can cause a customer more problems than they might anticipate. Things can go wrong with the appliance that have nothing to do with its main operation (keeping food cold) and can be a challenge to fix.
Some new fridges with lots of add-on features have 12 or more control boards on them, so it’s hard to troubleshoot problems.
Tip 2 – Google it before you buy it.
"I had a friend buy a new fridge recently," says Salvador. "He found out after the purchase that the ice maker had been recalled."
This can be avoided by doing a quick search online to see if there are any issues with the model you’re considering. Look for things like recalls, numerous negative customer reviews or consumer report warnings.
Tip 3 – Consider wait time for new parts.
Appliance parts for certain brands can take a long time to ship. Salvador suggests talking with your salesperson about the availability of replacement parts in your area. This helps ensure that repairs can be made quickly.
Tip 4 – Think about where you’re going to install it.
Installation of a fridge or freezer in an unconditioned area, like a garage or shop, is really hard on the compressor. It increases the chances for a breakdown and also wastes a lot of energy. "Plus, it’s likely that the temperature in your fridge or freezer isn’t staying consistent with the extreme heat and cold around it, which could be a food safety issue," says Salvador.
Tip 5 – Make sure used air conditioners are up to code.
If you’re considering buying a used air conditioning unit, check to make sure it doesn’t use R22, a type of refrigerant that is being phased out of use due to environmental regulations. Units that use R22 aren’t compatible with the new refrigerants being used now, and can’t be retrofitted to adapt.
Tip 6 – Choose an ice maker that’s in the freezer compartment.
"From my experience working on appliances, I’ve noticed that it’s best to buy a fridge that has the ice maker in the freezer compartment and not in the fresh food compartment," says Salvador. Ice makers in the fresh food compartment can sometimes start leaking onto your milk and veggies, but of course, a freezer compartment will always keep the ice frozen.
Tip 7 – Go for the dishwasher with more padding and insulation.
Dishwashers priced in the middle to high range are a lot quieter these days. The appliances tend to have a lot more padding and insulation, which makes them quieter than older versions.
Service Guard is here to help!
Even after you do your homework, the best appliances still need repairs from time to time. Experienced service technicians like Salvador are ready to help you when you need it. With Service Guard, you have peace of mind that your appliances are covered. Call 800-504-2000 to schedule an appointment with a local technician today.