Ask The Expert - Joseph Abbate of Richmond Appliance
Joseph Abbate is one of the owners of Richmond Appliance in Staten Island, New York. Since 1970, Richmond Appliance has sold and serviced a variety of appliance types from big-name brands like Maytag, Viking, and Whirlpool.
Richmond Appliance works with buyers to make smart purchases for their homes. Different consumers have different needs, and the refrigerator or dryer that is perfect for one buyer could be inadequate for another. It is not uncommon for new appliance buyers to have a lot of questions about the products that Richmond Appliance offers. Joseph and the rest of the Richmond Appliance team make it a priority to help buyers find the appliances that are right for their homes and their families’ needs.
What should a prospective purchaser look for when buying appliances?
Really, a good, reliable product. A consumer looking into buying a new appliance for their home should purchase a product from a company that they’re comfortable with, a brand that has a good reputation. Other factors to consider are the color, style, and trim of an appliance and how it will look in the buyer’s home.
Obviously, the size of an appliance is also an issue to consider. Often people bring in floor plans and photographs to show the size of their rooms and determine which appliances will fit them. Buyers do this for both new construction and existing homes.
Is there anything a first-time buyer should be wary of when buying appliances?
Size is an issue we run into more than you might think. People often buy appliances for a certain look or feature without considering how they will fit into their houses, then they end up with pieces that are too big or too small for their spaces.
Another thing to keep in mind is that regardless of price, the lifetime of an appliance is about the same across brands. An expensive refrigerator might have more technological features than a more moderately-priced one, but the two will last about the same length of time if they’re cared for similarly.
Buy an appliance that can be serviced. We advise against buying appliances that do not have authorized repair service providers in the area.
What are some popular appliance trends?
Currently the most popular pieces are stainless steel. Black glass with stainless steel trim is also a sharp look that’s gaining in popularity, as is slate-colored appliances. More and more people have also been looking for the blend-in look, where a refrigerator door matches the cabinetry.
Some manufacturers have started making microwave drawers that you can mount in a kitchen island or a counter. This reduces the clutter on counter tops, making for a cleaner look overall. A lot of refrigerator manufacturers are also incorporating drawers into their newer models.
Another rising trend in the appliance world right now is steam technology. We’re seeing a lot of new steam ovens, steam dishwashers, and steam washers and dryers for clothing.
Say you’re cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving. You put it in your steam oven raw and the oven steams it, keeping it moist as it cooks the meat through completely. Hot steam can reheat food more quickly and in a smaller cavity than in a conventional oven. It does all of this without stripping away the nutrients in foods – in fact, steaming foods can actually be a lot healthier than traditional cooking methods. It’s mostly high-end companies that are coming out with steam ovens because of consumers’ health concerns. They also have different modes so you can use them like conventional ovens when you need to, like when you’re baking a pie or making a pizza. They’re very user-friendly and becoming more popular.
Other steam appliances use steam to do jobs that were traditionally done by hot water. Steam dishwashers, for example, use the steam to break up the caked-on food and a combination of steam and hot water to wash it away.
Do you have any helpful hints or tips for first-time appliance buyers?
Before you go to the store to look at appliances, measure the area in your house where the appliance will go. Get the height and depth of the space with a tape measure and bring these measurements with you to the showroom – this will save you a lot of time and frustration. Buy an appliance that can be repaired. Don’t assume that you need to replace a broken appliance. Usually, your appliance can be repaired and continue to work for years.
Buyers should also think about their future plans when they make appliance purchases. For example, a couple that plans to have a family in the future should think of what their appliance needs will be then, rather than right now, when picking pieces to buy. As a family grows, their appliance needs grow along with them.