Ovens

From Fridges to Ovens, How to Choose the Right Appliances for You — Side By Side: A Guide to Appliance Shopping

Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen? Do you have a refrigerator that's way (way) past its expiration date? If you're just starting your search for a new appliance (or appliances!), you'll quickly find that there are a lot more factors to consider than you may have anticipated.

Is a top freezer or a bottom freezer better for the way you store your stuff? Is a counter-depth or a built-in fridge worth the extra expense? Should you get a convection oven, or maybe you should go for that vintage range you've been eyeing for years? And what about a microwave oven? Do you need one (we say yes!), and should you go for a countertop version or a microwave drawer?

Here are your top-asked questions answered.

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Should You Get a Vintage Range or a New One? — Side by Side: A Guide to Appliance Shopping

Some things just get better with age — a good bottle of red wine, a leather handbag, and that Chevy that your dad used to drive with such pride. When you're buying kitchen appliances, the general wisdom seems to be that newer is better, right?

Not always. Sure, there can be some "Can you believe it does this?" features in the newer models, but there's one appliance that can be just as functional if you buy it vintage. No, it's not an OG Smeg refrigerator — it's a range! Here's what to think about when you're considering a vintage version.

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Is the Convection Setting on an Oven All That Important? — Side by Side: A Guide to Appliance Shopping

The oven is the workhorse of the kitchen. It's the thing that bakes the cookies for your kid's school functions, warms the soup when you're sick, and helps you get that casserole on the table in a pinch.

If you're in the market for a new one, you don't want to make the wrong decision! There are tons of factors to take into consideration (Do you want gas or electric? Do you want a wall oven, a slide-in, or something else? Do you want stainless steel?), but here, we're looking at one thing that seems to confuse a lot of people: the convection setting. Do you need your oven to have that feature?

To help you with your oven shopping, we've explained exactly what the feature does, and the pros and cons of an oven with and without it.

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This Is How Much You Should Spend on a New Range — Big Appliance, Big Welcome

A range is arguably the most important appliance in the kitchen. Not convinced? Just think back to your college days when, chances are, all you had to work with was a hot pot and a microwave. If you're in the market for a new range, you want to make sure you're investing in a good one.

But how much exactly should you spend? When is it worth it to shell out an extra hundred dollars (or two) and when is it totally not? Whether you're a first-time range shopper or it's been a while since you've purchased one (they can, knock on wood, last 15 years or more), you may have no idea what you're in for, financially or feature-wise.

Luckily, we're here for you — and so is Thomas Lazzara, the buyer for cooking appliances at Sears. He's had his job for nearly a decade and knows the market better than anyone. Here, he explains what you'll get for the budget you have.

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Did You Just Get a New Range? 5 Things to Do Right Away. — The Smart Appliance Shopper

Congrats on your fancy new appliance! That is very exciting. Just know that you'll have to do a few things before you can get cooking.

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The One Sign It’s Time to Replace Your Range — The Smart Appliance Shopper

Your range is a wonderful and complicated thing that helps you put dinner on the table. And even though it may see like a complicated heat box machine, it's actually pretty simple to repair.

The ceramic top has a crack? No big deal! A new one can be popped into place (just don't cook on it until then, as it could further shatter or lead to some electric shocks!). The oven seems to be giving off a lot of heat? You might just need a new gasket. Is the control panel being wonky? That's probably an easy fix, too. You can even get a new thermostat or heating element if the oven isn't heating up as fast or evenly as it used to.

If you're feeling particularly handy, you can even do a lot of these little fixes yourself (hello, YouTube!), or you can get a certified repair expert out to your house.

The point is: Ranges are almost always worth a fix — there's just this one time when they're not.

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