Buyer's Guide

  • Ranges

    In terms of today's cooking products, there are two basic types of ovens. Electric ovens, which are renowned for their great in-oven heating distribution, and Gas ovens, which take the cake when it comes to range top and burner heat management.

    • Electric ranges are commonly available in 4 different widths: 20″- 24″- 30 and 40″ variations though 30″ is the most common size.
    • Gas ranges are also commonly 30″ but are also available in 20″, 24″, 36″, 48″ and 60″ widths.
    • When a gas range is manufactured, it is set up to handle natural gas as a fuel source. Many gas ranges have conversion kits available to convert to meet the needs of customers who utilize liquid propane as their gas type unit. This combination delvers the benefits of both of the gas and electric configurations.
  • Coooktops

    Cooktops are a convenient way to utilize all of the benefits of a range without sacrificing the space below the unit. Cooktops, like ranges are made to use gas and electricity as an energy source (Though all gas models are built for natural gas, and require conversion for L.P situations.) Often paired with a wall oven to provide standard cooking capabilities, cooktops can be built in to island or peninsula setting and provide a very versatile and functional cooking option.

    • Each manufacturer has its' own set of dimensions for cooktop cut-outs. Therefore, it is important to consider the exact space available for a particular unit.
    • All electric cooktops are 220v direct wired units. electric cooktops, like ranges, come in coil-top and smooth top configurations.
    • Typical sizes for cooktops are 30 and 36 inches, although other sizes do exist.
    • Range tops are cooktops with a taller profile with controls on the front of the unit. They are often high performance and of a heavy duty "pro" design.
  • Wall Ovens

    Wall ovens are designed to be built into a cabinet along a wall of a kitchen area. Some of the benefits of wall ovens include freeing up space in the kitchen, and also providing an elevated position for easy access to the cooking compartments.

    • Today, about ninety percent of wall ovens run on electricity.
    • Wall ovens come in three standard widths: 24″-27″ and 30″ varieties.
    • Single, Double, and Microwave/wall oven combinations each offer a different set of tools and advantages for cooking situations.
  • Convection Cooking

    Wall ovens are designed to be built into a cabinet along a wall of a kitchen area. Some of the benefits of wall ovens include freeing up space in the kitchen, and also providing an elevated poConvection cooking provides an upgraded method of spreading heat throughout the inside of an oven cavity. Along with providing a more even cooking temperature, convection features work to reduce cooking times by upwards of 25%. Another advantage of convection is the ability to cook on multiple oven racks all at once without sacrificing even heating and "hot/cold" spots in an oven.

    There are two types of convection:

    • Fan convection – which works to spread the existing radiant heat throughout the oven
    • True convection – which combines a heating element and fan for optimal performance
  • Microwaves
    • Microwaves have 3 distinct varieties, and can provide features beyond cooking that include lighting and ventilation.
    • OTR (over the range) microwaves are mounted over a range or cooktop surface, and typically come in a standard 30 inch width. Though rare, 36 inch setups are also available from some manufacturers.
    • Built-in microwaves are mounted in cabinets and are typically framed in with manufacturer-built trim kits to meet the needs of custom configurations.
    • Over the range microwaves can be recirculated with a charcoal filter, or vented outside though the top or back of the unit. These units MUST be mounted underneath a cabinet.
    • Dimensions for OTR microwaves are fairly standard, however, it is very important to know the exact dimensions going in to a project.
  • Dual Fuel Ranges

    Dual fuel Ranges utilize the benefits of a gas cook top surface and the even heating aspects of an electric oven. These units are geared towards cooks who want more versatility from both the oven and the cook top surface.

  • Dishwashers
    • Dishwashers are available in 18″ and 24″ types.
    • Nearly all built-in dishwashers sold today are 24″ units.
    • Single and double dish drawers are available through some MFG's. These are designed for a built-in look, along with added convenience.
    • Portable dishwashers are free standing, usually on wheels for mobility, and attach to a standard sink fitting for convenience.
  • Refrigerators
    • Units have no "standard" size when it comes to refrigeration. Generally, 36″, 33″, 30″, 28″, and 24″ are common widths.
    • Refrigerators have both standard and counter depths, and are available in both free-standing and built in styles.
    • The key to shopping for fridges, would be to determine your height and width of the space available for the unit, along with the desired features, i.e. ice and water, door configuration.
    • Compared to units built 15-20 years ago, units today use about 50 percent less energy and have many more convenient features.
  • Washers

    There are two basic types of washers on the market today. Traditional top loading washers use 2/3 more water and often include an agitator that works the clothes during a wash cycle. These units often include basic features and fit within a budget.

    • Front load washers use 1/3 of the water when compared to top load units. They spin out at 900-1300 rpms, and extract more water in the process, which is easier on the dryer. These units save between $100 and $200 annually.
    • A third, new type of washing system is high-efficiency top loaders which offer many of the same features as front loaders, and use an impeller system to gently rotate the clothes for a safer clean. These systems use high spin speed, extra capacity, and low water usage to deliver the high performance that they are known for.
  • Dryers

    When purchasing a dryer, it is important to remember that dryers need to be vented, and that the supplies for this process can vary for each laundry setting. These items are available at most homeware stores, and need to be provided by the buyer.

    • Electric dryers also have 2 types of cords. Older construction requires a 3 prong cord, while new construction within the last 5 years takes a 4 prong cord. Prime appliance sells these cords as optional accessories. It is usually recommended to replace a cord to ensure proper connection.
    • Gas dryers come set up to use natural gas, and can be converted to Liquid Propane upon purchase. Prime appliance has technicians that can convert these units, with a typical cost of $25.00-30.00 including labor.
  • Freezers

    There are two types of freezers available on the market. Chest freezers, which come in a variety of sizes typically 5-24 cubic feet. Upright freezers usually start at around 12 cubic feet.

    Manual defrost is the most common setting for ice removal, and are less likely to "dry" out food. They require draining and thawing a few times a year. Frost-free style freezers have temperature variances that work to reduce ice build-up.