When you’re building a new kitchen or renovating an existing kitchen, the question of appliances will come up. It’s an important question. You want to choose appliances that look good, but that’s not all. You also want appliances that serve your needs and are energy efficient. Here’s how to choose the best appliances for your kitchen needs.

No matter what appliances you buy, the first thing you should look at is its Energy Star rating. It will give you an overview of how the system works and tell you why it is important to choose energy-efficient appliances.


Ovens can be installed under your cooktop or on the wall. First, decide where you want your oven to go. Wall mounted ovens will reduce benchtop space, but you don’t have to bend over to use them. If you need benchtop space and don’t have a problem with bending over, you might prefer an under bench oven.

If you’re a casual cook, you might be happy with an electric oven, but if you use your oven a lot, an electric oven is the least energy-efficient oven you can choose. Gas ovens heat up faster and give you more precise temperature control.

Now you have to decide what type of oven you need. Are you an experienced cook who loves to try new dishes? If so, you might prefer a convection oven. Although convection ovens use more energy than standard ovens, they cook more evenly. If you have a large family to feed or have frequent parties, you might want to consider buying a double oven. Also, think about a warming drawer or a steam oven.


We have more cooktop options today than ever before. Electric cooktops are inexpensive and continue to be popular, but are not your most energy efficient choice. Most chefs prefer gas cooktops because they can be precisely adjusted. Another cooktop option that is catching on is the induction cooktop. An induction cooktop creates an electromagnetic field that heats your cooking vessel. You have to choose cooking vessels that are compatible with induction cooktops, but induction cooktops can be precisely adjusted and are easy to clean because they have a flat surface.

Also, consider the width of your cooktop. 600mm wide is standard, but larger 900mm wide cooktops are available if you need more burners and space.


Your refrigerator runs 24 hours a day, so choosing an energy-efficient fridge is a must. Refrigerators can be gas or electric and come in a wide variety of styles. When choosing a fridge, think about the number of people who use it and the amount of storage space you need. Standard fridges have small freezers on top, but you can also find “upside down” fridges with greater freezer space under the fridge. You may also want to choose a model that has a side freezer or if you need even more freezer space, a side-by-side fridge/freezer. Another option is the French door fridge, which has two fridge doors and a bottom freezer. Finally, you can buy a fridge that does not have a freezer if you have a large chest freezer in a separate room.


Dishwashers can be energy and water wasters or misers. When choosing any dishwasher, check both the Energy Star Rating and the water rating. Consider using a cold water dishwasher or choose a model that has a temperature gauge. There is no need to use hot water for light dishwashing.

Most dishwashers are designed to be mounted underbench next to the sink. Standard dishwashers require a 600mm wide space. However, if you live in an apartment or don’t need a large dishwasher, you can also choose smaller “drawer” style dishwashers and some larger dishwashers give you a “drawer” option for small loads.


Microwaves have become standard kitchen appliances. When they first arrived on the scene, kitchen designers struggled to find a place for them. Today, most kitchen designs include a microwave space. Most microwaves come with trim kits for fitting into cabinet openings, so you can probably find a style that will suit you. The problem may be in deciding which microwave to buy. A simple microwave will defrost and heat food rapidly, but will not brown foods. If you want you microwaved dishes to have the oven-baked look, choose a microwave with a halogen/quartz light for browning. A convection microwave is a good idea if you have a busy kitchen. A convection microwave can brown, bake or roast like a traditional oven.


A range hood is a must if you do a lot of cooking on your cooktop and don’t have good room ventilation. Inexpensive range hoods usually fit into a cabinet above your cooktop. A budget rangehood will recirculate air. Ducted range hoods are more expensive to buy and install, but are more efficient. Range hoods are available for both 600mm and 900mm wide cooktops and come in a wide range of styles. Range hoods are very visible in the kitchen and your range hood’ style can make or break your kitchen design.


Living in Australia means that we are in a constant drought and any and all our water is precious. This also means that when using our appliances or even purchasing new ones it’s important to understand how they save our water.

How new appliances reduce water usage

Dishwashers- For years there has been a debate on how dishwashers save you more water than hand washing, and it’s completely true! The average energy star-rated dishwasher uses about 4 gallons per cycle/ wash, and their energy use ranges from 1.59kWh per load down to 0.87 kWh per load. However, hand washing your dishes generates about 2 gallons per minute so if you have a lot of dishes and are constantly refilling your sink you are more likely to use much more water than the average dishwasher. If you only have a few small dishes though you might get away with a little hand washing.

Washing Machines- About 30% of a households water usage comes from the laundry so ensuring your washing machine is as energy efficiency is so important. Much like the dishwashers using your washing machine saves gallons of water and honestly who wants to hand wash their clothes anyway. Washing machines save water through the rotation, this rotation cleans clothes more thoroughly and quickly, therefore, reducing water usage.

What you can do to save water with your appliances

Even if you buy an energy efficient appliance you can still reduce your water usage even more through doing a few simple changes.

Check for and repair any leaks- Simply changing water hoses can be easy and inexpensive and save much more money in the long run.

Don’t rinse the dishes- There’s no need to rinse your dishes in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher. Scrape them, and let the dishwasher do the rest.

Do full loads of laundry- or select the appropriate water level for the size of the load you’re washing.

Wash with cold water-  The time it takes for water to heat up costs you more money in energy bills and uses more water while waiting for it to heat up. So using cold water saves money, time and energy.

Determining how efficient your appliance is

Thankfully there are many ways you can determine the level of efficiency in your home appliances. There are two really easy ranking systems that do this for you. One is the energy star ratings and the WELS ratings.

WELS Ratings

WELS stands for Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme, created by the Australian government this rating system helps you compare a range of products so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing a new appliance.

They determined that using more efficient appliances could save Australians more than $2 billion by 2030 ($175 per household per year); and that 65% of these savings will come from reduced electricity and gas costs from avoided water heating and the other 35% from reduced water bills.

Here is a link to the WELS site-

Here is another link to their rating search engine-


Energy efficiency rating

This system has been in place longer and is more commonly known. Also introduced by the Australian government it allows many manufacturers to acquire the energy rating label (which you have probably seen before). It basically shows you how much energy and electricity that an appliance uses. So the more stars the more energy that particular appliance saves.

Below is a link to the energy rating calculator to help you choose the right appliance for your home-


Do you have enough hours in the day? Most busy people probably wish they had a few more. Connected appliances, while they can’t make a day longer, they CAN help you recapture more of your own time. One recent study estimated that connected appliances could save a typical household 100 hours a year.

The time savings from connected appliances could come from a number of places, including an easier process, automated tasks, and remote operation.

The concept of a “smart home” is steadily becoming a norm in daily living with the market introduction of smart plugs that can connect internet-enabled home appliances and gadgets alike.

Once the devices are connected through a frequency operating under your home broadband Wi-Fi, the homeowner can remotely access and operate these internet connected devices even when the person is away from the house.

Smart home technology is making strides in making it easier for homes to adapt and quickly realise the benefits of home automation. With an emerging steep market and a competitive industry being moulded with the home automation platform, companies and tech providers are now keen to introduce better products within the near future.

According to the Internet of Things (IoT) analysts, the future of the smart home will evolve from its commercial “plug and play” setting into an “integrated” feature where smart home technology will be a standard feature for new homes built in the future.

Here are a few benefits of these new integrated smart homes:

Peace of mind: If you’ll be away from home for a while, connectivity can allow you to make sure your appliances stay in working order while you’re gone. Connected appliances can also help you keep tabs on older or ill family members or friends who are under your care.

Repairs made easy: Connectivity could revolutionize appliance repairs and make long waits for a repair technician a thing of the past. Manufacturers are already developing features that will allow repair technicians to remotely identify problems and, in some cases, repair them without even visiting your home.

Simplified process: A connected dishwasher could “learn” when you typically wash dishes and be set up to begin the process automatically when appropriate. Clothes washers could give you advice on how to wash a certain type of garment, saving you the time of doing research. That’s one less thing you have to worry about.

Lower energy costs/ automation: Connected appliances have the potential to work with the Smart Grid to drive energy cost savings and improve the environment. They could automatically reduce energy use based on the user’s preference, or allow users to access renewable energy when it’s available.

With automation in place and the strategic application of functional energy incorporated into the home, homeowners can decide which part of the house can be powered by solar, home battery or electricity.

In connecting the energy sources in an automated — smart home energy management system, homes will be able to adjust heating and turn off connected lights, appliances, water without human assistance. This makes for a very efficient home as the home can monitor its energy consumption by itself and make informed decisions with the guidance of the homeowner in making adjustments to reach a level of energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency


Generally, when we purchase an appliance we hope it will last us a few good years (especially if it’s more on the expensive side). Now with every appliance, the life expectancy varies and that is also true with different brands, unfortunately, if your getting a bargain that’s too good to be true it may not last as long as the more expensive one you saw before.

When figuring out how long your appliance should last it’s always important to look at the warranty period for that unit, if you have a warranty of two years there’s a good chance that your unit will last for at least that amount of time. Alternatively, if you buy an appliance with a two-month warranty you would want to keep an eye on it. These decisions, however, are based on you and whether you would like quality over cost or vice versa.

What we are able to do however is give an approximate idea of how long your major home appliances may last just see our list below.

Air conditioners- Air conditioners are a must here in sunny Australia so you would want them to last a good while especially if it’s a ducted system. On average air conditioner last about 8-15 years so it’s always good to invest in a quality system of course.

Dishwashers- Who could imagine living now without their dishwasher, we sure can’t! On average dishwashers should last for around 12 years. With the lowest amount of time being 9 years and the longest averaging around a whopping 16 years!

Gas Dryers- With gas dryers they generally last for about 13 years, the lowest average expectancy being 11 years while the highest average expectancy is 16 years.

Electric Dryers- If you want a dryer that will be around longer than your kids then you will probably want an electric dryer. These beauties last on average 14 years with the longest life expectancy being 18 years!

Freezers- The life expectancy of freezers is actually quite shocking, their average life expectancy is 16 years, with the highest expectancy of 20 years! that longer than most people live in one house!

Gas ovens- Honestly how could you cook a good roast without a great oven and thank god they last for awhile, the average expectancy of gas ovens is between 10 to 18 years.

Microwaves- Microwaves are another appliance that we just can’t live without, I mean how else are we going to be able to cook our Maggi Noodles! On average this appliance should last 8 years, the lowest life expectancy for this is 5 but luckily the highest is 10.

Range hoods- Generally your range hood should last an average of 14 good years, the highest average life expectancy for them is 19 years and the lowest is 9 years. At least your range hood should last for a pretty long time.

Refrigerators- Another major appliance that we just could not live without today! Refrigerators last on average about 14 years, the lowest average is 10 and the highest average is 18 (thank god!).

Washing machines- Washing machines also another major appliance and also lasts for ages! The average for washing machines are 12 years, the highest average being 16 years and lowest average being 8 years.

All of these are just averages and estimates and depending on how well you take care of your unit can seriously impact how long each will last, so make sure to treat them well!



Average life expectancy (in years)

Air conditioners




Gas Dryers


Electric Dryers




Gas Ovens




Range hoods




Washing Machines




Some form of risk comes with any purchase, whether it’s a new or refurbished item. Fortunately, refurbished appliances and electronics can be a great deal, if you do your research first.
Refurbished products are items that have been used, opened, or slightly damaged in some way. They have been repaired to return them to a “like-new” status. If you’re thinking about buying a refurbished item to save some cash, ask yourself the following questions first:


Is it a good deal?

Large appliances are designed to last a long time with little maintenance, so you can feel confident about buying a one- or two-year-old refurbished appliance. As a general rule, if a refurbished item includes a full warranty, working parts, and significant savings, it’s a good deal.

Another way to quickly determine whether a particular purchase is worth it is to subtract the amount of depreciation from the original cost of the appliance. For instance, if a new appliance is $500 and is expected to last 10 years it would have $50 depreciation per year. If you are purchasing the item after two years, you’d ideally want to find something that is under $400 ($500 – two years of $50 depreciation = $400).


Can you find a better price elsewhere?

Use a price comparison site like PriceGrabber to first determine where you can get the best deal. Then, compare the total costs of refurbished versus new appliances. New appliances frequently come with free or discounted delivery, which can save you quite a bit off the total cost. Inquire about shipping costs before deciding on a used appliance.




How can you find a reputable seller?

It’s important to choose a reputable retailer. While you might be able to save more money with a private seller or local repair shop, there’s a chance you won’t be able to do anything if the item turns out to be a lemon.

You can find great deals on refurbished items both in-store and online. Consumer Reports suggests purchasing refurbished electronics at Amazon but warns that they don’t always include warranties. You can also see customer reviews on Amazon, which can help you make your purchasing decision.



What about warranty coverage?

Refurbished appliances are often covered by a warranty from the manufacturer or store. If the appliance has no warranty, or a very short one, it might be a warning sign that you’re getting a dud.

Even if the seller doesn’t offer a new warranty, you might still receive what’s left of the original warranty. These warranties tend to last between 30 days and one year, so they aren’t usually as long as you would get with a new item. And while you can add an extended warranty to brand-new appliances, you can’t do the same with refurbished items. Some warranties only cover new parts, so you’ll want to inquire about exactly what the warranty covers.



Did you know we sell great quality second-hand units? Visit our gumtree account to see the amazing and inexpensive stock that we have for sale!


When used and maintained properly, clothes dryers are extremely safe appliances. But accidents still happen. In 2010, nearly 15,500 fires occurred that involved clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. And the NFPA says that failure to clean the clothes dryer is the leading cause of fires involving dryers. When failure to clean a dryer was a cause, the fires led to $44 million in direct property damage.

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Kitchen Appliances


If you’re renovating or building your dream kitchen having the appliances that are best for your style and life are the most important factors. If you want some of the bigger appliances that take up space then you have to be extra careful when deciding or it can cause a catastrophe in your kitchen. However, don’t fear because if you follow our “5 questions to ask before buying a big appliance” then you should have no problem!

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Many people find eating healthy to be a challenge, but it’s important to keep in mind that humans are only as good as the tools they use. Much of healthy eating simply comes down to good planning and preparation. From ovens and ranges to refrigerators and freezers, knowing how to use high-quality appliances can go a long way towards helping you eat healthier.

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Once upon a time a metal washboard and bar of hard soap with a tub of hot water was a newfangled way of tackling laundry, though today it’s a common picture of “old-fashioned” laundering; But what went on before? How did people wash clothes without the factory-made equipment and cleansing products of the 19th century?

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You need a good vacuum cleaner to keep your indoor environment clean and healthy. A poor vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, will give you a headache in more ways than one. When it’s time to buy a vacuum, don’t rush out and buy the most attractive model at your local big box store. Think of this purchase as an investment in your health and research it accordingly. Here are 5 essential questions to help you in the process:

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