Smart Guide for
Selecting Electrical Appliances


You may have this unpleasant experience before: Your newly bought electrical appliances could not function properly or deliver the performance as expected. This is avoidable. Before purchasing a new electrical appliance, just pay special attention to the following points and the notes in the buying guide:

  • Whether the operating voltage and the frequency of the appliance are suitable for using in Hong Kong
  • Whether the electricity capacity of your electrical installation is adequate to supply this additional appliance
  • Get more information about the specifications and the features of the appliance
  • The safety precautions for using the appliance
  • The energy efficiency of the appliance you are going to purchase

We hope the following smart guide can provide you with some smart tips on how to select a suitable appliance for your home.

General Guidelines Before Buying Electrical Appliances

  • The electricity supply in Hong Kong is in the form of Alternating Current (AC) at a frequency of 50 Hertz. For residential customers, the voltage supplied is either 220 volts single phase or 220/380 volts 3-phase 4-wire. While buying an electrical appliance, particularly from places out of Hong Kong, please first make sure that the appliance is suitable for operating with the electricity supply system in Hong Kong safely and efficiently.
  • Please check the main switch rating of your home to ensure that the electricity supply capacity is adequate to run the appliance. A common mistake among the public is trying to run a three-phase water heater in a single-phase electrical installation. As most portable appliances get their electricity supply through plug and socket, please make sure the plug of the appliance complies with the current standard. In case of doubt, you may consult a registered electrical contractor / registered electrical worker.
  • Please ensure that the space available is adequate to accommodate the appliance. Most appliances will produce heat when they are operating. You should allow additional space at the back and on the two sides of the appliance for heat dissipation. Some appliances may require installation of special facilities such as drainpipe for washing machine and dishwasher, exhaust air vent for clothes dryer. Remember to check before purchasing.
  • While choosing an appliance, remember to seek for advice on the safety precautions in using the appliance, e.g. the need for safety guards/enclosures to protect against inadvertent contact with the moving parts or hot elements, the provision of auto cut-off devices for over heating or overloading protection and locking devices to guard against tampering by children, etc.
  • Check energy labels when available – Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MEELS) and Voluntary Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (VEELS) are launched by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. The registered models of electrical appliances in market are all tested before their energy efficiency performance is recognized. Refrigerator, air conditioner, washing machine, electric clothes dryer, electric storage water heater, rice cooker, dehumidifier, television and compact fluorescent lamp are included in the list of products available for registration. Energy efficient appliances are recognized in their performance to save energy, money and natural resources.
 energy labels


 energy labels

VEELS (Grading Type)

 energy labels

VEELS (Recognition Type)

  • Do not overlook the after-sale service - Reliable dealers sell appliances bought directly from suppliers / manufacturers who always stand behind their products and provide good services.

General Guidelines for Receiving and Installing the Electrical Appliances

  • When the new appliance is delivered to your home, check the delivery note and make sure that you have received all the parts and accessories including the operation manual and the warranty card. Stay nearby when the appliance is being installed. Clarify with the installer any of your concern before he or she leaves.
  • Read through the operation manual to get familiarized with the use and the care of the appliance. Check if the model and the serial number on your appliance are same as those shown on the warranty card.
  • If applicable, fill in the registration card and return it to the dealer, agent or manufacturer. This will be useful if you have any problem with the appliance in the future.
  • Pay attention to the period of the warranty offered and the exemption clauses.
  • Always keep the appliance clean. Use the appliance under the recommended temperature and condition.
  • It is important to try out all functions of your appliance several times during the warranty period to make sure that all of them are operating properly.
  • When you encounter a problem with your appliance, try to find a solution in the operation manual or the instruction book before calling for service. There may be some suggestions which you can try and it may help saving unnecessary service charge.

Smart Guide for Major Home Electrical Appliances

There are over a thousand types / models of electrical appliances in the market. You can easily find an appliance that meets your requirement if you bear in mind some basic guidelines in the selection of the electrical appliance. It is with this purpose that our smart guides are prepared and the guides are categorized as follows:


The materials in these web pages are for general guidance only. In case of doubt, you should consult an expert or a professional engineer for advice. We shall not be liable for any loss and damage suffered by any persons howsoever arising from or in reliance upon the whole or part of the content of these materials.