How to buy a Dishwasher
Certain basic requirements need to be identified before considering features and appearance of a new dishwasher.

Size, Noise Levels and Energy Ratings are three important specifications that will effect your choice.
As the dishwasher is normally visible in the main kitchen area, style may also need careful consideration.


Dishwashers are generally available in either full size (600mm wide) .
Full size dishwashers typically have 12 or more place settings making them ideal for the family

Energy Ratings

The Energy Rating label enables you to compare the energy efficiency of each appliance.

Programmes and Temperatures

You need to ensure that your new dishwasher incorporates all the features you will
find useful and think you will use. Everybody's needs are different but essential features
may include pre-wash, quick wash or glass care programmes.

Fridges and freezers are available as either separate appliances or as one combined unit.

When buying a fridge there are a few things you should consider. With an array of different
products and sizes to choose from, it is important to choose the right style of fridge to suit your needs.

The first thing you should do when purchasing a fridge is measure the space that you intend the
fridge to go in. Its simple, there is no use looking for a fridge if you're not sure how big the
space is that it needs to fit in. Basically if you are moving into a new place you should ask for
measurements or access to take measurements before you start looking.


There are quite a few different styles of fridges available so you should have a look at all of the
styles and decide which is best for you. Different styles of fridges suite different needs;

Top Mount Fridge

This is the most common fridge that you will see, freezer on top and fridge below. A top mount fridges
comes in a large range of sizes from 180Ltrs (height 1400mm, width 500mm, depth 580mm) approx up to
580Ltrs (height 1800mm, width 850mm, depth 700mm) approx. These fridges are usually suited to anywhere from 1-4 people.

Bottom Mount Fridge

Bottom mount fridges are a style that have come about in the last 5 or so years and are becoming more and
more popular. Bottom mount fridges are basically the same as a top mount fridge flipped upside down.
You will usually find that the ratio of fridge to freezer is less in a bottom mount than a top mount i.e.
More freezer less fridge. Bottom mount fridges come in a range of sizes from 370Ltrs
(height 1600mm, width 630mm, depth 600mm) approx up to 580Ltrs height 1800mm, width 850mm, depth 700mm) approx.
These fridges are usually suited to anywhere from 1-4 people.

Side by Side Fridge

Side by side fridges are usually found more in the family households as they generally have a larger
internal size which helps cater for families. Side by side fridges come with a few different options
depending on models such as, ice and water dispenser, home bar (drinks access from the front of the fridge door).
A disadvantage of a side by side fridge is that the fridge and freezer space is not so wide so this makes them not
so good for large platters etc.

French Door Fridge

These are similar to side by side fridges in size. The difference being, these fridges are split horizontally
and not vertically giving them the same space as the equivalent side by side but with more width in the fridge and freezer.

Pigeon Pair (Vertical Fridge/Freezer)

A pigeon pair is a matching but separate fridge and freezer that are designed to stand side by side.
The advantage being that you get a full size fridge and a full size freezer. The main issue with these
is usually that they have a combined width of over a meter and in most households are just not practical.
You will find that generally pigeon pairs are made by limited brands.

Size and Capacity

It is important to work out what size fridge you need, a vast range of sizes are covered across most brands
whether as individual (pigeon pair) or combined appliances. Combined fridge freezers also have varying splits
of fridge and freezer capacities to suit your requirements.

Frost Free

Always recommended where a frost free model is an option, frost free refers only to the freezer section
only (all fridges are frost free). Frost free means the air is circulated efficiently around the appliance to
prevent any build up of frost. This means no scraping ice off your freezer elements.

Energy Rating

The Energy Rating label enables you to compare the energy efficiency of each fridge and freezer


You should consider the following features when choosing your new laundry products. Each feature will have
a different level of importance to you depending on your needs and circumstances.

Spin Speed

The faster the spin speed, the dryer your clothes come out at the end of the wash. As a result it will take
less time and energy for you to dry your clothes. Spin speeds vary from 800rpm to 1800rpm and generally faster spin models
cost more money.


The larger the capacity of the machine the more clothes you can wash effectively during one wash cycle.
The standard capacity is between 5-7Kg and this will be sufficient for most households. Larger loads are catered
for by 8Kg and larger load capacities.

Energy Ratings

The Energy Rating label enables you to compare the energy efficiency of each appliance.

Water Ratings

The Water Rating label enables you to compare the water efficiency of each appliance


Quality is key here not necessarily quantity. You need to ensure that the machine you choose
incorporates all the programmes you require. These can vary from woollen and special care washes,
to quick wash or sensor wash programmes everybody's needs are different.


The standard dimensions for a front load washing machine are 600mm wide x 600mm deep x 850mm high.
There is no standard dimension for top load washing machines or dryers.

Tumble Dryers

When making your choice first establish the capacity you will need. Manufacturers usually offer between 3.5Kg to 7Kg loads.
The method of venting is an important consideration. There are 2 methods of venting, some models are vented outside,
whilst in others the air is condensed by the machine.
Vented dryers are preferable where possible but condensers do provide an acceptable compromise where venting
is not an option.

Washer Dryers

All of the above features also apply to washer dryers.
All washer dryers will be rated seperately for there wash and drying functions and in most cases the drying capacity
will be half that of the wash capacity. Whilst washer dryers are a very efficient way of saving space be aware that
to do more than one full wash and dry load, times can be nearly doubled as this is now being done in the same machine
i.e. you do not have the advantage of drying a load whilst washing a new one. Where space allows it is always prefferable
to have a seperate washer dryer for this reason.

Vacuum Cleaner
Certain basic requirements need to be identified before considering features and appearance of a new vacuum cleaner.
Filtration, Size are important considerations that will affect your choice.
Because of the large price difference between vacuum models, making sure that you select
a vacuum that has the features you need but also fits inside your desired budget, is essential.


Filtration is an important hygiene consideration when purchasing a vacuum cleaner.
A filter in a vacuum cleaner is used to filter the exhaust air.
There are many different filters available on the market and it is important to be sure that the vacuum you
choose has a filter which is up to your health standards and requirements. Be aware that some entry level
vacuum cleaners have no filtration at all.

HEPA Filters

A common and extremely effective vacuum cleaner filter is the HEPA filter. This is very beneficial for asthma
and allergy sufferers. HEPA filters trap fine particles (such as pollen and dust mite faeces) which trigger
\ allergy and asthma symptoms. It is important that the vacuum cleaner has a fully sealed air system for the HEPA
\ filter to be entirely effective.


If you are living in a small apartment or storage space is a concern to you then you should make sure that
your vacuum cleaner is a practical size for your storage space. There are many compact vacuum cleaners
available to suit this requirement.


Having a vacuum cleaner that is easy to get around is important. Maneuverability is commonly overlooked
when purchasing a vacuum cleaner however it can be extremely frustrating to clean a house with a vacuum that
lacks mobility. One thing to look for are wheels that have a 360 degree swivel and a long power cord
(a retractable power cord can make life very easy) to give you a greater operating radius (anything above 8m is good).