Whether you’re replacing a stove that has given up the ghost or updating an existing model, there are a lot of considerations that should factor into your purchase decision. As a major appliance that may last 10 years or more, a stove can be a costly and important investment, particularly if you’re a serious cook or you are thinking about selling your house in the near future, in which case you want the best possible model. Before you fall down the rabbit hole at the appliance store, think ahead about what you need.
One place to start is whether you are prepared to make modifications to your kitchen to accommodate your stove. If you’re renovating anyway, that may provide a chance to put in a major upgrade. If you’re not, think about issues like existing stove hookups, ventilation systems, and stove space, because these can all determine which model you buy.
Stoves come in both electric and gas models. Many people prefer gas because it offers superior temperature control, instant response, less waste heat, and great heat for searing and similar activities. Others like electric because it can sometimes offer more even oven temperatures as well as more energy efficiency with models specifically designed to be environmentally friendly. Generally, if you want to appeal to cooks, install a gas stove.
If you have existing gas hookups, buying another gas model makes sense. If you have to convert to put in a gas stove, be aware that it can get expensive. Sometimes, making modifications to switch from electric to gas or vice versa can open up a can of worms; opening up the wall to put in the new stove plumbing, for example, may lead to the discovery that you have problems with electrical or other systems that will need immediate attention of a plumber or electrician.
Ventilation is critical. If you don’t have a stove hood or other ventilation system in place, you should consider installing one. It can cut down on odors and reduce the risk of fire. Be aware that if you upgrade to a larger stove or one with high-heat burners, a grill, or a griddle, you may need to install a bigger ventilation system, which can also add to the expense. This might be a tradeoff you’re willing to make in the interest of cooking a wider range of foods or appealing to prospective home buyers, but make sure to get an estimate before you plunge in.
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