technology

The buyer's guide to home appliances

With many brands available in the market, choosing the right home appliance can be a daunting task

10:54 February 20, 2017

Vacuum Cleaners

What to consider 

Ziad Houdeib, General Manager, Better Life, says you should first decide what type works best for you: upright, robotic, large, cylindrical,  handy, or wet and dry. Then consider mechanics: do you want suction power or a blower? Bag or bagless? Do you need special attachments? A retractable cord is always handy, too. 

Technology

Vacuum cleaners mostly use the principle of electrostatic precipitation. Heavy-duty vacuum cleaners use cyclonic technology for deeper cleaning and suction. Nowadays, high-efficiency particulate arrestance (Hepa) filters are also used to clear the room of radioactive particles as minute as 0.3 microns, while removing odours. Do research the filtration process before buying a vacuum cleaner.

Bag or bagless

Bagless vacuum cleaners are popular with consumers, but bagged ones are more hygienic due to the convenience of dust removal. 

Washing machines

What to consider

Ankit Jain, Category Head of Appliances at Emax, says you must first decide if you want a top-loading fully automatic or semi-automatic, or a front-loading washer. This comes down to where the unit is to be placed. Then look at capacity and spin speed based on the needs of your family. Also take into account the energy efficiency level and warranty.

Top or front 

Traditionally, top-loading washing machines are cheaper, and have their advantages. They are efficient, mould-free, fast, and capable of handling large loads — now they offer the option to add clothes mid-cycle. 

Front loaders, on the other hand, are expensive, sleeker, quieter and gentler on fabrics while being more energy efficient and using less detergent. They also have higher spin speed, which help clothes dry faster.

Refrigerators

What to consider 

Family size and your style of cooking — whether you prefer to use more fresh products or love to cook with frozen ingredients — are the two critical factors that must influence purchase, says Houdeib. Also look at the pros and cons of the different fridge styles:  side by side, bottom freezer, top freezer, French door and retro coloured units. 

Usage 

The most overlooked factor is how you’re going to use the fridge. If you’re going to take out water and vegetables and fruit, bending down to reach these frequently used items is not ergonomically sound. Bottom freezers can be a solution, so ask showroom staff about it. 

Energy rating 

Your fridge will be running 24 hours a day, so it’s advisable to buy an energy-efficient model. You might pay less for a refrigerator without a proper energy rating but in the long run, higher electricity consumption could override any savings. 

Cooktops

What to consider

Shop for cooktops based on the space in your kitchen, kind of fuel, your style of cooking and the number of burners you use at the same time. A combination of a strong wok burner and simmer burners should cover most cuisines, says Jain. 

Gas, electric or induction? 

Gas cooktops heat up quickly once you light the flame, and temperatures are easy to control while cooking.

Electric cooktops can be basic (solid element and coils) to more efficient ceramic ones. 

Induction cooktops are the safest and most efficient as they use electromagnets to heat the pan. They’re considerably faster than gas and far more precise in terms of heat control.