BBM Team

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The Appliance Buying Guide

Buying kitchen appliances can be a daunting task, especially when you are faced with all kinds of options in the market – high-end, low-cost and energy-saving models. With prices often running into six figures these days, appliances are a big investment – in terms of your pocket as well as your time. Choose home gadgets that merge form and function – this ensures that they will satisfy your aesthetic sense as well as score high on the performance scale.


Pick the right capacity. An area of 100 sq ft needs about 1TR (tonnage refrigeration) of cooling capacity. But the tonnage also depends on the room location, the number of occupants, number of electrical appliances and other such factors.

Ensure that the AC has a high energy star rating – this is good for you and the environment.

Check for an adjustable thermostat, at least two cooling and fan speeds.

The air filter, which needs to be regularly cleaned or replaced, should be easily accessible. These days, anti-fungal and antibacterial filters are also available.

Other factors to consider include: comfort level, running costs and noise levels.


Choose the capacity wisely. Families with growing children and frequent guests need larger models. Consider configuration, shelf and crisper placement to ensure you max out the space.

Look for spill-proof shelves that keep small messes from becoming big and “crank adjusted” shelves that allow fixing of trays without removing food and containers.

Look for models with water and ice dispensers, and built-in filters.

Door alarms, LCD displays that provide temperature and other performance information, and a fast-cooling compartment are good.

Ensure that the refrigerator has a high energy star rating – higher the energy efficiency, lower your bill


What will you use your microwave for? If only for reheating, go for a small model. But if you plan to cook, get a bigger one. Choose from small (up to 0.9 cu. ft.), medium (1.0 to 1.4 cu. ft.) and large (greater than 1.4 cu. ft.) models.

Most modern microwaves offer shortcut keys (auto settings), in-door controls (allows more interior capacity), removable racks and child safety locks.

Check if the model offers inverter technology. This delivers constant power when cooking at different power levels, resulting in foods being cooked more evenly.

High-end models offer a steam function that allows you to opt for a healthy way of cooking


Consider the capacity – a family of four needs a machine of 5-6 litres. Front-loaders have gained in popularity these days. Though more expensive, they are gentler on clothes, do a better wash and use less water.

Ensure that the washing machine has a high energy star rating – this is good for you and for the environment in the long run.

Most machines have advanced touch-pad controls that allow you to set the speed, washing cycle, water temperature and more. On days when you are not likely to be home, simply programme your machine to do the laundry.

Check the cycles offered (delicates/hand wash/ wool, extra rinse, heavy wash, prewash, baby wash and speed wash) and noise levels (front-loaders can be noisy).



Match the right model, to your needs. A sturdy yet lightweight model ensures that carting it around isn’t a cumbersome chore.

For regular use, get a wet-dry vacuum with high suction. A cross-over floor brush (that combines a power nozzle for cleaning carpets and a bare floor tool for hard surfaces) is a good pick.

Look for a flexible hose and special attachments such as a crevice tool and upholstery brush for greater versatility.

Other things to look for include 360-degree swivel function, quick release button for changing attachments, performance indicator, stair grip, pet attachments (to get pet hair off upholstery) and variable power controls (to reduce suction).

High-end machines offer features such as dirt sensors (a built-in infrared sensor tells you if an area is clean, or if it needs more work) and a LED light to provide better visibility in nooks and crannies.


A BIS /ISI mark is a must to ensure safety and quality standards.

A 5-star rating will give you the best value for money. It will lower electricity bills in the long run.

A copper heating element heats the water the fastest as compared to other coils and is also shockproof. A PUF insulated tank ensures longer heat retention.

A thermostat for auto cut-off at 60oC, thermal cutout (a device to prevent dry heating) and a pressure-***-release valve (to avoid build-up of positive and negative pressure in the tank) are other features to look for.

If you live near the coast or receive bore/hard water, pick a geyser with a fibre outer body and an internal copper assembly set-up. Copper is anti-corrosive and a good conductor of heat.

A solar heater is an expensive but a good investment


A water purifier should rid water of bad taste, odour, chlorine and other pollutants.

A UV disinfection unit can rid water of contaminants, including parasites, heavy metals and other such pollutants.

An RO water purifier uses a semi-permeable membrane to weed out impurities. Pick this only if the water supply in your home has high levels of salts and impurities. Get an independent expert to test your water.

Hard water can be softened by a softener machine – an appliance that’s plumbed into your home’s water supply – which softens it with a process known as ion exchange.

Check the costs of maintenance and after-sale service.


Opt for a juicer-mixer-grinder instead of a mixer grinder. It saves you the hassle of picking up a separate juicer.

Most models these days come with at least three speeds. Ensure that you choose one with a pulse mode too, for chopping delicate food, whipping milkshakes.

An overload protection function is a must for times when we tip in more food into the jar than recommended. It is essential for safety and maintenance.

Pick a model with a variety of jar sizes – these ensure that the machine is versatile. A locking system that ensures that the machine does not start till the jar is correctly locked is an essential safety feature – especially with children at home.


When buying a food processor, look for a large capacity. Remember that this workhorse will be pulled into action most when you have guests!

A heavy chassis ensures that the food processor stands “still” while doing heavy-duty processing.

Other optional features include a mini-chopping attachment (perfect for chopping coriander and mint), a continuous feed slicer/shredder (allows you to chop without emptying the bowl) and touch pad controls.

To keep safe and ward off disaster, ensure that the processor won’t start until the bowl locks onto the base unit and the top locks onto the bowl.


Choose an OTG with a door that’s light and easy to open, and has a large enough window so that you can get a good view of what’s cooking.

When looking at capacity, check the usable space and the number and range of shelf positions. Three shelves are useful for those who like to maximise their oven use at a time.

Look for shelves with safety stops and those that don’t slope down when a heavy casserole is placed on top.

A smokeless grill tray that traps fat and grease below it helps prevent the mess that comes with grilling meats.

Look for options such as a timer (oven will shut itself off after the cooking time is over) and delayed start (to start the cook cycle according to your convenience).


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