How to choose the best washer and dryer
The best option for a new washer and dryer will not be the same for everyone, as the ideal units will depend on your space and personal needs. Keep these tips in mind when it's time to invest in new machines:
Consider your personal preferences
Your first step should be finding the measuring tape to determine how much space you have for the washer and dryer. The size of the machines is also dependent on your laundry habits, specifically how many loads you're doing and how frequently you're doing it. Consumer Reports suggested counting the average number of towels that end up in your laundry basket to determine the machine capacity that will suit your needs. High capacity machines, measuring about 9 cubic feet in dryers and 6.2 in washers, can hold 17 full-size bath towels, whereas compact machines will only fit about six towels.
Next, consider the type of machine you might prefer. For washers, you'll need to choose between top- and front-load options. According to Consumer Reports, front-load washing machines are usually more expensive, so budget could be a factor in this decision as well. For dryers, you can choose between gas or electric machines. Finally, narrow down your choices by aiming your sights on side-by-side or stackable units.
Determine your must-have features
It's easy to be swayed by the numerous features on new machines, but it's important to determine which ones are actually most beneficial to you. For instance, some homeowners will benefit from the option for anti-allergen or sanitizing cycles to alleviate their allergy symptoms, while others may focus on finding the quietest machines available.
Potential features for washers include:
- Automatic detergent dispensers
- Water temperature control
- Delayed or scheduled starts
- Wash cycle options
- Stain removal settings
- Self-cleaning cycle for maintenance
- Stainless steel interior for higher spin speeds
Potential features for dryers include:
- Moisture sensors to avoid over or under drying
- Auto-dry cycles
- Wrinkle release
- Attachable drying rack for delicates
Some of the best washer and dryers are available with digital displays and Wi-Fi enabled benefits that allow you to start cycles from your smartphone and receive notifications when the cycles are complete. Hi-tech home automation solutions are popular features these days, but they don’t necessarily provide for better washing and drying. However, they can significantly increase the ease and convenience of getting laundry done.
Keep energy efficiency in mind
If you're buying new machines, you should strongly consider looking for energy-efficient models to save water, energy and money. According to ENERGY STAR, their certified washers use about 25 percent less energy than regular machines, saving you about $45 a year on utility bills. Plus, they use 13 gallons of water per load compared to the 23 used by standard machines, which saves more than 3,000 gallons of water every year. ENERGY STAR certified dryers use roughly 20 percent less energy, while offering the same features as conventional models.
Review differentiating factors
If you've narrowed down your options to your top two or three, it's time to search for any significant differences between the models. Start by comparing the manufacturer warranties, then confirm what kind of maintenance the appliance will need. You can also check out online reviews to feel more confident about your decision.
Fingers crossed your new energy-efficient washer and dryer won't need major repairs any time soon.
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