Are you in need of a new stove? Read on to find out all you need to know about buying a stove for your home.
Stoves Come in All Flavors
A stove—or range, as it’s also called—is one of the most useful appliances in your home. Today’s range typically serves multiple functions in a single unit. Your stove could be a free-standing device with finished sides, a drop-in model that slides into a section between cabinets, or one that is incorporated into a wall or countertop.
Whether you buy a stove installed on top of a countertop and a wall oven or the most popular stove-oven combo, buying such a major appliance requires a few considerations to get right.
Measure for Size
Let’s focus on the combo appliance, which begs the concern of a proper fit. That’s why you should make sure to measure your old appliance properly before buying a new one to replace it. If you are remodeling, ask your contractor to give you specific measurements for the stove’s location.
AJ Madison Appliances states that most ranges are about 30 inches wide, usually no more than 28 inches deep, and about 48 inches high. But this is your stove we’re talking about, so your needs matter above all.
When measuring your kitchen area, it’s important to keep in mind the following:
- space for the plug in back
- space for the door to open
- space around the appliance (distances from other appliances and cabinets that might be nearby)
- height of the appliance
- depth of the appliance location
Decide on Your Fuel Type
Now that you’ve got the size figured out, are you going with gas or electric, or perhaps both? This is the time to think about which type of range you want to put into your home. Both types have their pros and cons, as follows:
- Gas – Gas ranges use natural gas to provide even, strong heat to burners and ovens. Lowe’s reports that these ranges offer more control, higher temperatures, and quick startup.
A gas range uses a 110V/120V connection, which means no extra work for your electrician. A 110V is the three-prong plug you are used to seeing in modern-day appliances, computers, and vacuum cleaners. Though your range will produce heat through the use of gas piped into the home, the stove will still need electricity to spark the ignition switch that turns on the gas to the oven and burners.
There are different types of grates—the placeholders where you set your pot over the burners—to choose from, and widths vary widely.
However, remember that a gas stove uses gas, of course, so that means if you don’t have a current supply to your home, you will need to have one installed by a professional. A note of warning: Installation of a gas stove should never be a DIY project. Hire a professional for safety, security, and peace of mind.
- Electric – An electric range uses a 220V power source due to the extra power it needs to produce heat. A 220V plug has four prongs, so a special outlet is needed if your home doesn’t have one already installed.
Electric ranges offer more even cooking, though the startup tends to be slower. The oven temps are considered more consistent than gas ovens, which comes in handy for more precise recipes.
- Other types – A dual-fuel stove will provide you with the use of electricity and gas, giving you the best of both worlds. These ranges are pricey, so shop wisely to ensure you are getting the best deal, but they offer precisely heated burners and a dependable oven that is perfect for delicate baking. It’s best, of course, to read up on reviews to gauge the reliability and usefulness of any range you choose.
Do You Need the Bells and Whistles?
Ranges today are nothing like your mom and dad’s old stove. Current appliances boast so many add-ons, it’s hard to list them all. Here are a few additional components you might like to have on your new stove:
- Convection oven – Convection refers to the process of moving heat around food with a fan. It helps cook faster and more evenly. Think of it as an air fryer on a bigger scale.
- Chef’s appliance – Cooking for a lot of people all the time? You might want a range that is much wider than the standard 30-inch width of freestanding ranges. If you have the money, appliances are available in almost whatever size you desire.
- Warming tray – Installed separately or combined with your new stove’s capabilities, a warming tray uses the stove’s heat to keep food ready for later.
- Griddle/grill – Gas stoves can come with all kinds of configured burners, including pancake griddles and barbecue grills, that mix and match.
- Electric induction – Lowe’s states that if a magnet reacts to your pot or skillet, you can use it on an induction stove, which uses electromagnetism to create energy from the burner to the pot. Just remember not every pot or skillet will work, though cast iron works well on this type of stove.
- Double oven – Why settle for just one oven when you can have two? And yes, freestanding stove-oven combos are available in double models as well!
- Open or closed burners – Gas stoves have either one or the other. If you can see an open flame, that means you have “open” burners.
- Self-cleaning – Some people swear by self-cleaning ovens, while others say it’s a feature they use only once or twice a year. It’s up to you.
Before Your Shiny New Stove is Delivered, Get Rid of the Old One
It’s time now to make way for the new range headed to your home. When it comes to appliance removal, depend on a professional to take things in hand. Appliance removal involves disengaging the gas or electrical hookups, moving the appliance safely out of the home, loading it onto a vehicle, then properly disposing of the appliance according to the law.