When you are finished building your new home, you may also need new appliances when you move in. If you are purchasing a new washing machine, there are many new options available to choose from. They have become more water, energy, and time efficient with more washing options.
You should choose the washing machine carefully. It will be long lasting and needed in your home. According to research, an average family will do eight to ten loads of laundry per week. Knowing this, an extended warranty on the machine should also be considered.
Top loading machines have been the most common on the market for a long time. They were not as efficient as a front-loading machine, but were easier to use, had larger capacity, and were cheaper to run. With the new technology available and concern for energy efficiency, front-load machines are now more efficient and clean better.
Advantages of Front-Loaders
Front-loaders can be more convenient because you do not have to lean over the top to get clothes in and out of the machine. Most of these machines can be put in closets or other areas that have a lot of cupboard space because you will not need access to the top area for loading and unloading. This allows more storage space above the machine. You can also now purchase a frontload set that is stackable to offer even more space. Many times, the controls are mounted on the front of these machines. There is not an agitator in the center of the tub, so they have more capacity and allow easier blanket and rug washing.
Front-load washers usually use about 40% less water than a top-loader. Without an agitator, water movement is used to clean the laundry. The spin cycle is better in the front load compared to the top load also. The clothes are damp when finished instead of wet. This reduces the wear and tear on the clothes and creates faster drying ability. The continuous rotation uses 75% less electric compared to the agitator that has to rotate back and forth.
There is not twisting and tugging on the clothing as there is in a top-loader, so your clothes have longer life. The machine itself typically has a longer life expectancy than a standard top model.
Disadvantages Of Front-Loaders
Front-loaders are normally more expensive than other machines. The price ranges $800 to $2000. Even though the purchase price is higher, the long-term savings can make up for it. You save on water, energy, and detergent. Just as some complain of the reaching and leaning into a top load washing machine, some may also complain of the bending down to reach in and load and unload.
Features To Look For
There are lots of features available like: stainless steel drum, multiple cycles that control washing time, water temperature, volume, and spin speed. You can choose automatic dispensers for the detergent and bleach, electronic or mechanical controls, digital displays, and computerized touch screens. You can choose a model that has an internal heater to raise the water temperature to 200 degrees or more to take the place of using bleach (these models usually require a 220 volt line).
There are a wider variety of models available in top-load washers. They come in different colors with different features. They cannot be stacked though. The prices are generally lower ranging $450 to $800. They do tend to be less energy-efficient than the front-load machines. If bending to load and unload is unappealing to you, these have access from the top. When browsing for a machine, be sure that you look at the tub inside right away. It may have the features you like, but the capacity needs to accommodate your needs also.
The deciding factor for your purchase will most likely depend on the features that you need and want. Most manufacturers will have a model that compares to another manufacturers model, so you can find a model that you like most, then compare brand to brand for some minor differences in looks and warranties. The tubs in the top-load machines are now made in a plastic that is actually longer lasting than a porcelain-coated steel tub. Porcelain can chip and rust eventually, but is still heavy duty. The plastic tubs may seem less durable, but they are made very well to hold up to many years of use. There is a possibility that the plastic tub may someday crack, but less likely than a steel tub is to chip and rust. You will find that sales people at the appliance store will lead you to the steel tub. The machines themselves with steel tubs do tend to be better quality for long-term use.
All washing machines will have some setting for water levels. To be most efficient in water use, the clothes should just be covered with water. It would be to your advantage to choose a model with more water levels than just the minimum options. There are models that have several different wash cycle options. The type of clothing you and your family wash should guide you on the options to look for in your machine. If you have a lot of hand washable clothing, a model with a 'true' hand wash cycle may benefit you. Using wash cycles that your clothing requires will help them last longer. Water temperature is another option that varies from model to model. If the machine you get has a temperature regulator to allow compensation for variations in the water source of your home, your clothes will also benefit.
Know Your Capacity
The washing machine's tub size is the capacity. This is rated in volume and ranges about 2 to 2 1/2 cubic feet for a large tub, 2 1/2 for an extra large tub, and 3 to 3 1/2 for a super large tub. Unless you're washing bulky items like comforters and throw rugs, figure on about a 10- to 12-pound maximum load for large-capacity machines and 14 pounds or more for extra large and super large ones. Front-loaders typically can handle 7 to 8 pounds without mangling your clothes.