Sales of electric ranges were cooking in August

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In a summer that was baking hot it was the cooking appliances and not the air conditioners and dehumidifiers that sold best in August, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Sales of electric ranges were the hot spot in an otherwise lackluster month, rising seven percent over last year. But now may be an even better time to get a good deal on a new range or other cooking appliance as stores clear the floors to make way for new models.

In Consumer Reports latest tests of ranges, we recommend 17 electric models, including three induction and one coil-top, and 18 gas ranges. Topping the list of top electrics is the Kenmore 92163, $1,480, followed closely by models from LG and GE. But there were scant differences in those that made the recommended list. Most excelled in at least four or five of our six cooking tests. The Kenmore, for example, was excellent at high and low temperature cooktop cooking and oven broiling, and very good at baking.

But cooking prowess isn't everything. When you buy a range, you want to make sure you install one that's reliable and will serve you well over time. In our latest reliability ratings for electric ranges, which include LG for the first time, General Electric, and Whirlpool were the least repair prone brands of electric ranges and KitchenAid and Jenn-Air were among the more repair prone brands. LG was in the middle of the pack. That's what we found when we asked over 40,000 readers who bought an electric range between 2007 and 2012.

Our readers also indicated that KitchenAid was the most repair-prone brand of gas ranges, and that Maytag was also repair-prone. And while we lacked enough data to include Kenmore dual-fuel and Jenn-Air ranges in the report, data we have indicate that Kenmore dual-fuel ranges have been reliable while Jenn-Air dual-fuel and gas ranges have been repair-prone. That's what 27,000 readers told us who bought a gas or dual-fuel range between 2006 and the first half of 2012.

With the cooking season coming up, now's a good time to look for sales. Deeper discounts often take place on three-day holiday weekends such as Columbus Day in early October. If you don't need a range, how about looking for a deal on one of those air conditioners or dehumidifiers that didn't move so well this summer.


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