The good news is that buying a new washing machine really just starts with answering some basic questions. Specifically, there are big questions you need to answer before bringing a new washing machine into your home.
If you’ve decided which type of washing machine fits your needs best, you can start to look at the extras and features that can turn a good choice into a great choice, and make a great machine indispensable.
If you think your clothes need special care and attention that an ordinary wash program can’t provide, look for a model that provides unique settings. A good machine will have you covered whether you need to get dirt out of sports gear, or want to use a ‘Handwash’ mode for delicate items; with some models even letting you program and save your own custom wash setting.
The washing drum or tub will take a lot of wear and tear, so it’s important that it is durable enough to last the lifetime of your machine. Higher quality washing machines will have a stainless steel drum, while entry level machines may have drums made of porcelain or reinforced plastic. Porcelain drums may chip over time, while plastic drums are very durable, although neither are as gentle on clothes as stainless steel.
Automatic Water Level Sensors
This feature is the key to ensuring your machine is as water-efficient as possible by detecting the washing load size and adjusting the water level to suit it. Assuming you keep this machine for 8-10 years, an efficient machine could bring you substantial savings, which offsets your initial outlay.
If you iron a lot, this feature can help reduce the time you spend getting those wrinkles out. Various models will achieve this in different ways; some through steam, others through altering the rinse and spin cycles.
Washing machines can vibrate a lot during their spin cycle, with front loading machines being more susceptible to vibration. Adjustable legs are one way to keep the unit steady, as long as they are correctly installed when setting up. Some top-loading machines will automatically adjust an unbalanced load mid-cycle, by either alternating the spin speed, or adding more water.
Adjustable Spin Speed
Spin speeds typically range from 1000-1600 rpm, with higher speeds reducing drying time, but resulting in stiffer, more wrinkle-prone clothes. Being able to manually select the correct spin speed can help your clothes last longer, and can make ironing easier, along with saving power.
When exploring washing machines at a retail store, make sure you can easily read and adjust the controls, and that these controls logically make sense. The last thing you would want is to receive a machine and wonder why there are 25 different buttons on it. These buttons also need to be responsive, and sturdy enough to last the life of the machine.
Ease of Installation
It’s worth looking at whether or not you’ll be able to install the washing machine yourself, or if you will need assistance. Some retailers and manufacturers will include the cost of installation in their pricing. Make sure you can fit the machine through all doorways, and if the machine will be installed above ground floor, make sure it is well supported underneath.
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