The two types of washers are top-load and front-load. Each has distinct advantages, but determining which one is best involves more than simply choosing a style. In addition to frequency and size of wash loads, you'll want to consider the types of clothes you launder. For heavy-duty laundering, a larger, more efficient washer may be the answer. For smaller households, look at space-saving compact models. For a long-term, cost-effective solution purchase an ENERGY STAR qualified washer and watch the savings add up on your monthly utility bills.
Prior to purchasing a washer, you'll want to assess both your short- and long-term needs. If you plan to move within the next couple of years, you may want to go with a basic model and then reconsider your options after the move. Conversely, if you've just remodeled your utility room and don't plan on leaving anytime soon, look into ENERGY STAR qualified models that carry a higher price tag but offer added savings over the course of its life. Given the amount and type of laundry you do, find the features that best fit your needs. If you have a lot of delicate items like silk sweaters, purchasing a washer with a hand-wash cycle can save you money and time.
- Consider both short-term and long-term needs
- Choose features that facilitate the type and amount of laundry you do
- Special cycles like hand-wash or delicates can save you money and time
- Noise reduction is important if you plan to store the unit near frequently used rooms
Automatic Temperature Regulators
To ensure proper fabric care and activation of the cleaning properties in your detergent, purchase a unit with a built-in regulator that ensures the temperature needs of each load are automatically cared for.
Some washers incorporate sensor technologies that gauge the size of your load to determine precisely how much water should be added for more effective cleaning and added efficiency.
While most units cease spinning when the door is open, some models feature child locks that prevent the lid from being opened during operation to make use even safer.
If you plan to store your washer in a utility room near a bedroom, kitchen or other high-traffic area, consider a model that has sound-dampening features. Reduced noise levels are particularly desirable if you run the washer at night.
Many units feature porcelain-on-steel tubs, which are durable and include a smooth surface that won't snag or catch fabric. Units with a stainless-steel interior provide solid construction and durable, long-lasting use. Plastic tubs deliver quiet operation and can have a slightly larger capacity than porcelain-on-steel.
If you have a tendency to forget to add detergent, bleach or fabric softener, look for a washer with an automatic dispenser, which disperses cleaning materials into the wash cycle at the appropriate time for optimum results.
People with sensitive skin or allergies will want to find a unit with an extra rinse feature, which ensures the efficient removal of detergent and bleach to prevent discomfort the next time you wear your favorite shirt.
Electronic Touchpad Controls
New, more intuitive control panels with digital displays and touch-screen functionality make selecting your next wash cycle a breeze. Advanced capabilities even let you choose a cycle based on the type of clothing you are washing or allow you to save your settings for one-touch convenience.