Appliance Repair During Quarantine

How to buy your first major appliance

Buying a major appliance such as a dishwasher, refrigerator or clothes dryer might not be the sexiest purchase you ever make, but it is an important — and costly — one.

The vast range of options (and price tags) can make the decision feel overwhelming, especially if this is your first time making the purchase. The Star spoke to Steve Brannan, owner and founder of the appliance repair business Brannan’s Appliance, as well as Dianna Miller, chief of Energy Star Products at Natural Resources Canada for their top tips on what to keep in mind when buying a major appliance.

Learn the language

If you’ve never bought a major appliance before, doing some homework can help narrow your choices and ensure you’re making the most informed decision.

“An educated consumer is an empowered consumer,” said Miller. “Don’t assume salespeople will know the difference between the important labels on the appliance — make sure you know what they mean before making a purchase.”

The EnerGuide label, for example, is the black and white label showing how much energy an appliance uses during one year of service, in kilowatt hours (kWh). It does not mean an appliance is energy efficient, and is required by Canadian law to be on all appliances (not including such things as furnaces or gas fireplaces).

The Energy Star label, conversely, is the small blue certification that says the product was tested by a third party and is shown to be an average of 15 to 30 per cent more efficient than…

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