Washing Machine Buying Guide- How to Choose a Washing Machine?
Buying home appliances is definitely not easy and requires a lot of research and planning. One of the most basic and necessary appliances is the washing machine. Therefore, we compiled this guide to help you know what to focus on to get the best washer that meets your needs.
Hopefully, after reading this guide you will have a better understanding of what washing machines are all about, what makes one better than the other, and identify your personal needs above all. Next time you hear the salesman talking to you about these features you will be able to grasp most of what he says without feeling lost confused or pressured to buy because you have a solid understanding. Let’s get started.
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- Identify your own needs
- Types of washing machines
- Drying efficiency- Rpm
- Energy efficiency ratings
- Drum size
- Measurements and average dimensions
- List of common washing programs and their uses
- Common colors
- General tips
1. Identify your own needs
Base your starting point on family size, how often you like to wash, item sizes, design, and full cost.
A small size family of 2 people requires 7 kg washer, a medium-size family of 4-5 members requires 7-9 kg, while large families typically need 10-13 kg washing machines. Make it an investment by accounting for future family expansion that may increase your capacity requirements.
Item size and washing frequency
If you are planning to wash bulky items then you will obviously need a large drum especially for bed comforters, pillows, and covers. Then consider how often you like to do laundry. If you have a medium-size family and don’t mind washing twice a week a 7 kg washer is suitable. However; if you like to wash once a week, go for a bigger size washing machine.
A washer’s cost is not just the ticket price. To calculate a washer’s actual cost you need to calculate the ticket price and estimate the running cost to properly evaluate your current affordability and future financial demands.
Color and design
Make sure that you choose a washing machine’s color and design that matches your home’s lifestyle and design. You can choose among the most common colors which are black, silver, white and grey.
2. Types of washing machines
Washers can be either semi-automatic or fully automatic. There are several types of washers but mainly two types: top load and front load. You can have them freestanding or built-in according to your space and design preferences.
Semi-automatic: Requires some manual intervention. You can pause the washing machine and scrub the clothes to remove excess dirt and dry in a separate tub.
Fully automatic: There is no need for manual effort. It has more washing programs than semi-automatic and saves you time and physical effort.
Top-load washing machines
You open and load from the top, so if you plan on getting a dryer you need to have a side by side installation. Top-load washers typically have agitators or impellers. Unfortunately, agitators take up a lot of space thereby wasting some space for clothes. Hence, agitator models are typically less expensive.
- No need to bend or kneel to load or remove your laundry. This is especially convenient for elders who suffer from back or knee pain.
- They are generally cheaper than front load washers because they use more water and energy
- Top loaders use on average 17.94 gallons of water per wash which is twice the water needed for a front loader. Hence top-loading machine has a higher running cost.
- Agitators can sometimes be too harsh on delicate items and softer fabrics
- Agitators also occupy a lot of space giving less room for clothes, i.e. reducing the net capacity for washer
- With a top loader, your only option is to have a side by side installation for your dryer which can reduce room especially if your place is small.
- Deep tubs mean you have to reach in for the bottom to fetch all your clothes.
Open and load from the front. They use tumble cleaning instead of agitators which makes them gentler on fabrics and more energy efficient.
- Modernly designed and classier
- They have a variety of washing programs
- They are practical as they offer the possibility of stacking a dryer on top.
- Efficient energy and water usage, they use on average about 8.74 gallons of water per load, which is half the water needed for a front loader.
- They are more expensive than top-loading washing machines
- You have to kneel or bend to fill or remove laundry
They are small washers that fit underneath the main one so you are able to do two laundry jobs at the same time. However; they raise the main washer by 30 to 40 cm.
HE Top-loading Washing Machines
they are like top loader washers but they have a larger capacity because they don’t use agitators but use impellers instead. They are considered much quieter than top load machines and use less energy.
3. Drying efficiency- Rpm
Washers’ spin speeds are measured in RPMs, the quicker the drum rotation per minute the better drying you can have. A good spin speed or rpm removes excess water at the end of the program reducing the duration needed to dry the clothes on a washing line or time spent in the tumbling dryer. Spin speeds vary from 1000 to 1800 rpm with typical rpm falling between 1200 up to 1400. Higher RPMs are needed for big and thick towels, while socks and delicate garments require lower spin speed. You can reduce the spin speed but you can’t go above your machine’s rpm. It is worth noting that the running cost of the washer rises with faster spin speed as well as the noise level.
4.Energy efficiency ratings
One of the most important factors that should go into your decision for your purchase is energy and water consumption. There are many options for energy-efficient washing machines with several ratings. Companies make these ratings by comparing washers’ energy and water usage on the cotton program at 60 degrees. Efficiency ratings range from A+++ being the highest down to A. It is best if you can buy an energy star model because it consumes less electricity and water.
5. Drum size
One of the most important factors you should take into consideration is your washer’s drum size. The drum size basically is the number of kilograms of dry clothing that fits into the washer. You should know there are different drum sizes and your choice should be based on your needs. You want to be able to fit laundry easily without any difficulty. Pick a suitable size drum and get the best cleaning results by filling according to the program’s size limit. Of course the bigger size drum the easier it is to fit a large load and fewer rounds you will need to wash all laundry. You will guarantee that your clothes are cleaned thoroughly and more space for your laundry to move around and dry more efficiently.
How can you pick a suitable sized drum?
You will easily find a range between 5 to 12 kg with the most common washing machine having a drum capacity of 7 kg. Internal washtubs are also measured in cubic feet with a range from 1 cubic foot to 6 cubic feet. A top load washer has a drum size between 3.2 up to 6.2 cubic ft., while a front load washer has an internal capacity between 4.2 to 5 cubic ft. To get a sense of this measurement, 4.5 cubic feet fit a king-size comforter, almost equal to 25 to 30 bath towels.
6.Measurements and average dimensions
What are the average dimensions to a typical washer?
Standard washing machines have the following average dimensions:
Height 85 cm, width 60-70 cm and depth range from 40 to 70 cm.
Which measurements to take?
When you are taking measurements for your washer, the first step is to measure the height, width, and depth of the area that the washing machine is going to be placed in. Take into consideration the internal and external dimensions of the washing machine, some washers are curvy and bulgy around the edges and front. Measure doorways and pathways to make sure it fits through them as well as the space behind the washing machine.
Before you install your washing machine consider prior installations and possible plumbing efforts for your washer to fit and operate properly.
Additional space is needed for pipes and installations behind the washer. First, you need to have a drain connection for wastewater and a clear passageway. Of course, you will need hot and cold water lines preferably as close as 3 feet from your washer’s hookups. If you plan to add pedestals know that it will add 16 to 40 cm to washer’s height possibly affecting any cabinets that may be present above the unit.
In addition to the standard dimensions of the washer make sure that you leave extra space for the following:
- Front: 4 extra feet to easily open the door, load and unload your washer.
- Width: Allow for 3 to 8 cm on each side to give space for air circulation and noise reduction.
- Depth: Allow for 10- 15 cm of space for dryer vents, drainage, and water hookups.
8. List of common washing programs and their uses
Front-load washing machines have so many programs to help you care best for your clothes. Along with the basic normal cycle, there are additional programs with different temperatures, spin speeds, and soil settings. Check out this blog post for a list of 22 washing programs and their uses.
You can use a variety of detergents for your washing machine. Powder, gel, and liquid. Powder and gel detergents make it easy to get the dosage right without having difficulty estimating. Liquid detergent, on the other hand, is ideal for usage at low temperature as they dissolve easily.
10. Common colors
If you plan to have your washing machine somewhere where visitors can see it then you might want to spend some time choosing a design and color that matches the colors of the bathroom or the kitchen appliances. Most washing machines come in the following common colors silver, stainless steel, grey, black and sometimes red.
11. General tips
- Washing machines have a life expectancy between 8 to 14 years.
- Help your machine live longer and last more with drum clean programs.
- Check the washer’s years under guarantee
- The best energy ratings are efficient ratings A+++.
- If you have a small apartment, near a living area or you have an open living plan with an open kitchen you will need washing machines with low noise motors generally between 70 to 75 dB and ones with low vibration.
- Before stacking your dryer on top of the washer make sure it is compatible for stacking. Not all models are stackable.
- If you plan to stack your washer and dryer, the dryer comes on top as it weighs less.
We hope this guide is useful for you to buy your washing machine informatively and easily.
Shop B.Tech’s selection of washing machines here.
To read on washing programs and their uses check out this blog post.