The average American only buys new appliances once every decade or so. They’re big purchases, and many people choose not to replace their old ones until they stop working, move or remodel.

So, if you’re in the market for a major appliance, odds are the models available today differ greatly from the ones you saw when buying your last one. Whether you’re looking for a refrigerator or range, dishwasher or microwave, washer or dryer, there has been a lot of product innovation in recent years.

Here are a few things that are probably different from the last time you bought appliances.

 

1. Refrigerator functionality

Fridges used to be pretty basic, but manufacturers have introduced many new features aimed at making them more functional and flexible. Many models now feature enhanced organizational features such as extra drawers and quick-access doors.

Samsung has introduced fridges with a convertible Cool Select Plus compartment that allows you to adjust the cooling zone so it can be used to either cool or freeze. Some models even have Wi-Fi-enabled LCD panels so you can browse the Internet and sync with devices, in addition to controlling the interior settings.

 

2. Convection Cooking

Convection ranges have become increasingly popular because they cook food faster and more evenly than their traditional counterparts. Convection microwaves offer similar benefits, and they function like a second oven for exceptional baking and roasting without taking up as much space in your kitchen.

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3. New Finishes Beyond Standard Stainless Steel

Love the look of stainless steel but hate the fingerprints and smudges? You’re not alone, and that’s why new alternatives — black stainless steel and slate — are among the hottest trends in the industry right now. LG and Samsung Black Stainless Steel appliances are sleek, sophisticated and easy to clean — plus, the surface is magnetic, so you can display family photos and household reminders.


4. Activewash Technology

If you’re in the market for a new washer and dryer, there are more features to consider than just whether you want a top loader or front loader and gas or electric. For example, Samsung has introduced activewash technology, a built-in sink with scrubbing board and integrated water jet so you can easily pre-treat and hand wash your laundry.

 

5. Improved energy efficiency

If you’re looking to go green, you’ll be happy to know that today’s appliances are much more energy efficient than those of years past. An ENERGY STAR ® certified refrigerator is 9-10 percent more efficient than a model that meets the federal minimum energy efficiency standard, and it can save you $35 to $300 on energy costs over its lifetime. A new washing machine uses 70 percent less energy than one purchased in 1990, and new dishwashers use 40 percent less energy.

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