A major appliance, also known as a large domestic appliance or large electric appliance or simply a large appliance, large domestic, or large electric, is a non-portable or semi-portable machine used for routine housekeeping tasks such as cooking, washing laundry, or food preservation. Such appliances are sometimes collectively known as white goods, as the products were traditionally white in colour, although a variety of colours are now available. An appliance is different from a plumbing fixture because it uses electricity or fuel.
Major appliances differ from small appliances because they are bigger and not portable. They are often considered fixtures and part of real estate and as such they are often supplied to tenants as part of otherwise unfurnished rental properties. Major appliances may have special electrical connections, connections to gas supplies, or special plumbing and ventilation arrangements that may be permanently connected to the appliance. This limits where they can be placed in a home.
Since major appliances in a home consume a significant amount of energy, they have become the objectives of programs to improve their energy efficiency in many countries Increasing energy efficiency is often described as an important element of climate change mitigation alongside other improvements like retrofitting buildings to increase building performance. Energy efficiency improvements may require changes in construction of the appliances, or improved control systems.