Washing Machine Buying Guide
It is important to understand all that goes into the decision process of buying a new washing machine considering that it will typically be the longest lasting appliance in your home and can greatly affect your water and energy bill. Please use this handy buyer’s guide from Number1Direct to educate yourself on all the different choices we have to offer when purchasing a new washing machine.
Types of Washing Machines:
The Top Load Washing Machine has been the standard design with the washer door on top of the machine. These models are cost effective with a wide variety of models, colors and styles to choose from. These are often times less expensive and can wash clothes more quickly, but can use more energy and water than front load machines.
The Front Load Washing Machine is a new option that is becoming increasingly popular with high end users. The machine door is on the front of the machine and tumble clothes much like a dryer does. These models will use less energy, water and detergent than top loading machines and are usually quieter.
The Laundry Center is one unit with the dryer stacked on top of the washing machine. These models are ideal for apartments and condos and other areas with limited space. Laundry centers typically have less capacity than single units but are great space savers.
Features & Issues to Consider When shopping:
It is important to determine what capacity is needed in your new washer based on household size and need. This feature is measured in cubic feet.
All washers will have the basic cycles such as "heavy" and "light."
Temperature & Water Settings:
Newer models can now automatically detect the amount of water needed for each load along with the optimal temperature of the water for proper garment care.
This can range from 600-2000 rpms depending on the model with higher speeds on more advanced models.
The best models have stainless steel tubs with high quality plastic and porcelain coated steel as other options. However, the later can rust and deteriorate if the porcelain gets chipped.
New models can dispense detergent, bleach and fabric softener at the right times in the cycles for maximum efficiency and garment care.
Some models come with a pedestal to raise the height of the machine for easier access. This also adds more storage space with a bonus drawer in the pedestal.
In order to save energy some advanced models have microbe killing capabilities to sanitize clothing without the use of hot water.
new models now offer a steam cycle to de-wrinkle clothes and remove odor without the use of water and detergent.
Newer models have more high-tech control features and custom settings.
Gives you the ability to start loads at different preset times of the day for when you are out of the house or when utility costs are lower.
Extra Rinse Cycle:
Gives clothes one extra rinse for those with sensitive skin.
Ability to mount the door for access on the left or right side.
Newer models have a "quieting" feature to reduce noise as the machine runs.
A model with the Energy Star label uses 30%-50% less water than models without the label.
What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is a program from the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency that certifies appliances as "energy efficient" and helps reduce environmental impact and utility bills. To learn more visit www.energystar.gov