Purchasing a new washing machine isn't a decision that should be made lightly. The fact is that there are dozens of different units, all of which have their own unique features. To ensure you get the one that's right for you, it's important to familiarize yourself with some of the common features found in washing machines; otherwise, you could end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a unit that offers you little use.
Front or Top-Loaders
The first thing you should decide on is whether you want a front or top-loading washing machine. As the name suggests, front-loaders have the door located on the front of the unit, while top-loaders feature a door on the top. In the past, most all washing machines produced were top-loaders, but a new manufacturing trend is leaning towards front-loaders. So, which one is better? There's no easy answer to this, as there are advantages and disadvantages associated with each.
Front-loading washing washing machines generally use less water; therefore, they will end up saving you money on your energy bill. However, the downside is that they frequently leak and may leave a foul-smelling odor behind. This is an easy fix by running an empty load with warm water and bleach, but it's still something that many people find a nuisance. Top-loaders, on the other hand, use more water, but they are also less likely to leak.
Some washing machines can be quite the space hogs, making them hard to fit into otherwise small laundry rooms. Before purchasing a new unit, take a couple minutes to determine exactly how much space you have. If you plan on purchasing a new dryer, you'll need to factor it into the space as well. One of the benefits of front-loading washing machines is that you can stack a dryer on top of them, which saves you valuable space.
With energy costs continuing to rise, more and more owners are looking for ways to cut their home's energy usage. If you have a large family and are constantly washing clothes, using an energy efficient unit may save some money on your monthly energy bill. Washing machines will usually have an Energy Star label on them which states how efficient they are. Look for a unit with a favorable rating if you want to save some money on your energy bill. In addition, try to wash your clothes using the cold water setting for an additional savings.