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July 16, 2019

10 General Tips When Shopping for Appliances

Whether you’re purchasing a refrigerator or an air conditioner on Maui, you can’t make hasty decisions -- at least if you want to make the most out of your money and avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse. There are several things you can do to ensure you’re getting value for your hard-earned money.

1. Don’t buy on impulse.

Keep your impulses in check! Otherwise, you will end up buying things you don’t need. This is becoming a problem for a growing number of people in this digital age, wherein shopping is at the tip of their fingers. It’s easy to click on an item and hit the buy button.

Always ask yourself whether you need an item. It doesn’t matter if it’s a state-of-the-art television or a brand new watch -- if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Even if a coffee maker is on sale, if you don’t need it, you don’t have to buy it.

2. Read specifications.

Manufacturers lure buyers with photos of their sleek products, and many buyers fall for the trick of buying seemingly cool stuff that proves to be troublesome in actual use. Read the product description to know how big the product is, how it is operated, and how it works. You don’t want a pretty toaster that breaks after a month.

3. Read reviews.

Most popular e-commerce sites allow customers to leave reviews. If you’re looking at a model of an oven or ceiling fan, look it up on sites like eBay or Amazon, and look at reviews. People are quite critical online, and they won’t hesitate to air complaints when dissatisfied with their purchase.

4. Choose efficient appliances.

When you’re planning to buy an appliance, don’t just look at its price. Think of the other price -- the one you have to pay as you use the appliance throughout its lifespan. Some people save on the first price but overspend on the second price without them knowing it. A cheap room air conditioner on Maui that sucks more electricity will drive your utility bill higher than a more expensive unit that doesn’t need as much power. Remember, you will be using that machine for at least 10 years.

Energy efficiency specifications should tell you how much power a machine draws and how much running it will cost you in a year. The more efficient an air conditioner is, for instance, the less energy it requires to cool your home and the less you spend in air conditioning. Although an energy-efficient machine is generally costlier than a less efficient one, it’s less expensive to operate in the long run.

So when examining a piece of equipment, look at the yellow and black EnergyGuide label, which indicates the annual power consumption and operating cost of the appliance. The federal government requires every appliance to bear this label.

5. Look for the Energy Star® label.

This label means an appliance more than meets the minimum federal standards not just for efficiency but also for quality. That means a product with the Energy Star logo is reliable and durable and doesn’t give you a headache when the electric bill arrives. These are things that you have to look for when buying electrically powered devices or machines that you will use on a daily basis.

Look for retailers that allow you to see Energy Star qualifications for appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners, which can be notorious energy hogs at home.

6. Choose smart appliances.

Certain models of air conditioners, dishwashers, and refrigerators come as smart appliances, which may be hooked up to programmable systems that turn them up only during peak hours. Smart appliances help you curb energy consumption and lower your electric bill by reducing usage during off-peak hours. Smart air conditioners, for instance, can be programmed to lower temperature settings only when you arrive from work.

7. Take the appliance’s size seriously.

A small air conditioning unit isn’t appropriate for a large household with pets. Many people buy a piece of equipment without thinking beforehand if they have a space large enough to accommodate the size of the appliance. Also, large appliances are difficult, if not utterly impossible, to be moved indoors through narrow doors. It’s easy to disregard the limited space in the kitchen when you’re too excited to take a new fridge home.

If you’re planning to buy a piece of equipment, take measurements of the room you will place it in and take note of the size of the thing you’re about to buy. Make sure you have a dedicated space in that room where the new appliance won’t block windows, doors, or hallways. In addition, make sure that there are no obstructions around it.

8. Choose function over form.

Yes, we get it. We’re visual creatures. We love things that look great. We’ll pick a neat cooking range whose color matches the theme of our kitchen despite its size and performance. At the end of the day, what matters is that you can cook great dishes with the new oven range without high utility bills and pesky issues early into its lifespan.

9. Listen.

Have you ever had a ceiling fan that kept you awake all night? It’s frustrating, right? This is why we advise consumers to listen to how much noise an appliance generates. Noise levels are an important consideration for machines that are running for hours on end. Too much noise hinders concentration at work and relaxation at home. That rattling AC in your bedroom that keeps you well awake at night should be checked by a technician.

10. Ask about installation.

Some appliances need professional installation to be properly set up. Air conditioners, for instance, work more efficiently when installed by licensed contractors.

Before you go and buy a new AC or heater, please don’t just throw your old unit away. Help the environment by finding a recycling facility in your area. Some facilities make use of scrap metal from your retired appliance. Ask your retailers if they pick old equipment up for recycling or other purposes.

At Pacific Air Conditioning, we help people find the best air conditioners on Maui. Call us at 808-244-0161 if you need help in choosing the right unit.







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