Household Electrical Appliances
Home improvement and household appliances news and updates

What to look for when buying a new microwave?

Not many of us like to buy new appliances for our kitchen as it is often an expense that we could do without. Many households have microwaves which can offer a quick and effective way of reheating or cooking food. There is a vast range in prices when it comes to choosing your new microwave with the cheapest starting at around £50 upwards of £250! So, what is the difference and is it worth spending more on your microwave?

Firstly you need to consider how often you use it, if it is only once or twice a week then you may not want to fork out a lot but if you use your microwave daily then you want to make sure that it is fast, energy efficient and also big enough to accommodate the items that you want to cook in it. Microwave sizes are usually displayed in litres. A 25-litre microwave will offer ample space inside, but you may find that it is too big if you have a smaller kitchen. One of the main features you may want to look out for is the wattage. 700-watt microwaves will take longer to cook something than a 900-watt microwave, but this is often reflected in the price. You also need to decide if you want a manual microwave with a knob that you turn to set the time or a digital one. If you often use the microwave for short amounts of time (i.e. less than a minute) or you need it to be accurate then a digital one will be best suited to you.

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Choosing an electric fire for your home

If your home hasn’t got a fireplace with a working fire then all is not lost. With a wide range of electric fires now on the market, you are literally spoilt for choice. Historically electric fires were often found in the homes of older people, with the traditional two bars running along the front and often some charcoal effect plastic display. Now you can pick up a number of different types of fires that will complement any home. You can get Led fires which can look great in a modern setting, some of which have LED flames, colour changing backlights as well as a heating function.

If you want something a little more traditional then why not go for an electrical wood burning fire. These fires can look very realistic and to the untrained eye you may not realise at first that the flames are simply a lighting effect.

When choosing a fire be cautious about buying one second hand. If possibly be sure to have a qualified electrician give it a once over. If you are going for a gas fire then you need to ensure that it is fitted and maintained by someone who is Corgi registered.

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Are cordless vacuums really comparable to corded?

More and more of us are looking to cordless alternatives to usual household items as they often are easier to use, store and you no longer need to worry about cables trailing all over your home. There are some cordless items that work just as effectively as cored ones but for others you may need to compromise on the standards you can expect. This is often true for the cordless vacuum. Cordless vacuums have been around for a little while now but up until recently they were seen as a quick way to clean up lightly soiled areas and not an alternative to your everyday upright vacuum.  

Dyson and Shark have recently released a range of cordless upright vacuums that they say are as good if not better than your standard vacuum. They are powered by a battery which can be easily recharged if placed back on the charging unit and usually you can get up to an hour vacuuming time from each full charge. This is usually plenty of time to clean every room in your house.

A recent review of these types of products however show that the majority of customers still feel they are lacking in power and simply do not pick up bits off the carpet and hard floors as effectively as their usual corded vacuum.

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The 3rd generation Amazon Echo review

There is so many new techno gadgets hitting the market that it can be hard to keep up with them and to understand what they really do. Amazon have bought out a range of products which seem to be going down a storm with the public. There range includes the Amazon Echo Dot which is a smaller more compact version of the Echo. The Dot is a small round device that has a built in speaker. This device can be used for a number of things that are practical but also very fun. Firstly the device can connect to your Wi-Fi and phone using an Amazon account. The device can be used as a way to stream music from multiple platforms such as Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify. You can ask the assistant – Alexa a number of questions such as what will the weather be like tomorrow or set a reminder for my meeting. On top of this you can enable certain skills. These skills can range from kids games to movie quizzes to online shopping.

The Amazon Dot can also link to smart compatible devices in your home or smart plugs. This allows you to control devices through speech. If you have a light plugged into a smart plug you can tell Alexa to turn it on or off and also set up a schedule to do it automatically.

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Buying second hand appliances

If you are in the market for a new washing machine, fridge or freeze then you may struggle to fork out the high costs of a brand new one. Second hand appliances can often be picked up at a fraction of the cost of a new one and often have a good few many years left in them.

There are a number of places in which you can buy second hand appliances but you need to think carefully before parting with your cash. If you are buying a reconditioned appliance from a shop they should be able to give you some sort of warranty, if not then I would be a little dubious and go elsewhere.

If you are buying from a private buyer then ideally you want it to be someone you know or at least make sure that you see the item fully working before committing to the sale. It may be that it has an intermittent fault on it and unfortunately not everyone is honest and you may not find out until you have gone through the hassle and expense of transporting it and installing it.

Try to establish why the buyer is selling this one and find out how long they have owned it for. If they will not let you see it working, then it’s time to look elsewhere.

Posted in Appliances by Linda. Comments Off on Buying second hand appliances