Return to How To's & Project Ideas

Choosing Your Kitchen Appliances

Print this article Share

You look at and use your kitchen appliances every day, so choosing the right ones has a huge influence on how much you enjoy your kitchen. Style, size, energy efficiency, functions and price are just a few of the points to consider.

Ovens/Cookers

An oven and cooktop combination, whether gas or electric, suits most cooks’ needs. Modular systems that include separate single or double ovens and worktops, allow you to customise your cooking space to include as many ovens, grills and hobs as you desire.

When comparing gas to electric, remember electric produces a more even heat and the appliance will cost less. Gas gives a more instant heat, more temperature control, and a lower operating cost, but the appliance will cost more. With the modular components, you can always combine a gas oven with an electric cooktop or vice versa.

Another consideration is convection versus conventional ovens. Convection means it uses heated air to cook, while conventional ovens use a radiant heating action. Convection ovens are more common now as they offer more benefits. They will produce a more consistent and even heat throughout the oven, where conventional ovens tend to undercook some trays and overcook others.

Fridges/Freezers

The most important factor in choosing a fridge  and freezer, after size, is its energy rating. It is one of the few appliances that is using power all the time. All fridges and freezers, or fridge-freezers, are rated A to G based on their energy efficiency and benefits to the environment; A of course being the best. The SEAI states that you can save up to €100 per year on your energy bill if you choose an A-rated appliance. Remember however that the rating takes into account the size of the appliance, meaning an extra-large A-rated fridge will use a lot more electricity than a small A-rated fridge, so you should only use the size you need and no bigger.

There are many formats available: separate fridges (compact refrigerators) and freezers (chest freezers), or fridges with a mini freezer on the top (fridge-freezers) or with a full size freezer on the bottom (bottom-freezer refrigerators). This choice is down to your own unique needs and preferences.

Dishwashers

Like fridges and freezers, dishwashers are energy rated and this is an important factor. Another thing to look at is the number of place settings it can take; a decent size for homes with two people or more is a 12 place setting capacity. There should also be enough programmes to select from to allow you to use less power and water for less dirty loads. Of course, you should also measure the space you have available in your kitchen to ensure it will fit.

Small Appliances

Your kettle, toaster, microwave, coffee maker, etc. all  contribute to the décor of the kitchen, and look best when in a similar colour and finish. Each is available with varying capacities and degrees of functionality, which you can choose from to suit your needs.

You might also be interested in