When a family moves into a new home, there are a few appliances that are must-haves. One is a place to store perishable foods. Another is an appliance to cook the food and yet another is for washing clothes. In modern homes, this means some kind of refrigeration unit, an oven and/or cooktop and a washing machine. Nowadays, washing machines are paired with dryers to remove the inconvenience of having most of the family’s clothes take a day or two to dry in the sun. Other, less crucial appliances are dishwashers, garbage disposal units, ice makers and coffee makers. Many households use Maytag appliances and appliances from other manufacturers.


The most popular refrigerator in America has a freezer compartment on the top. These tend to be both roomier and less expensive than other types of refrigerators. Others are refrigerators with a freezer compartment on the bottom of the unit and double-doored units with the refrigerator on one side and the freezer on the other. Some homeowners have refrigerators installed in built-in cabinets in their kitchens.

Ovens, Stoves, Cooktops

Like refrigerators, ovens, or cooking stoves can be installed in built-in cabinetry in the kitchen. Modern ovens are so well insulated that the homeowner doesn’t have to worry about heat affecting the cabinet material. Ranges are ovens with cook-tops. The burners on these appliances are usually heated with gas or electricity.

Some homes have separate cooktops and ovens. The cooktops can be installed in the counter or in the kitchen island. Newer ones use magnetic energy to heat food. This is a benefit to a household with young children, because the burners do not get hot. However, they can only heat food in cookware made of magnetic metals such as iron.

Washing Machines

Washing machines are top loaded or front loaded. Top loaded machines use an agitator, and the drawback is that clothing washed in these machines don’t last as long as clothes washed in front loaders. The good thing about top loaders is that they can be stopped in mid cycle and clothes or cleansers can be added. Front loaded machines rely on the actions of a drum.


Modern dishwashers are very convenient and sophisticated, with different settings and adjustable racks. However, there are still some items that are not dishwasher safe. Items made of aluminum, tin, pewter, brass, bronze or cast iron should not go into a dishwasher. The same is true of fine crystal, flatware with wooden or bone handles, knives and nonstick pots and pans.

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