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If you were to choose any two home appliances which work almost as hard as you do, we’re sure they would be your washer and dryer. These are workhorses that function continually and consistently to give you clean laundry – day in and day out. Whether you’re contemplating a home renovation, upgrading your existing washer and dryer model, or moving into a new house – it’s vital that you get your hands on the best washer and dryer buying guide before purchasing them for your home.
On an average, a washer and dryer set should last you anytime between eight to fourteen years. And, while you may take your washing machine for granted, its failure to operate satisfactorily may leave you frustrated. So its imperative that you choose well.
Buy the best washer and dryer from the ones available in the market and let them ease your load by gently cleaning and drying clothes, for years to come. How do you select the right and the most reliable ones? Simple. We help you. Go through our washer and dryer buying guidelines to sort through the 100+ varieties out there. You can thank us later.
It all boils down to what you need. Ask yourself some pertinent questions before starting a washer-and-dryer hunt. What is the size of your family? Do you have outdoorsy children who soil their clothes more often than not? What are the measurements of your laundry room?
Keeping the above in mind, you may need a high-capacity machine which can tackle dirt and stains in the best possible way. For instance, a smaller space would benefit from a front load that needs lesser area and accommodates more clothes. If you have varied laundry and fabrics to wash, a machine with a combination of settings will serve you a better purpose.
Space For Washer And Dryer
The logical conclusion we can draw from the above is to keep your laundry room in mind before considering your options. It’s important that the new machines fit well into your space. They should also be able to pass easily through the doorway and hallway before reaching their designated area. Make sure that the washer door has enough room to open. You don’t want it banging against a wall every time you operate the machine.
When space is an issue, you may opt for a washer-dryer combination that comes in a single unit. Both functionalities in less space! Ventless ones, with no outer ducts, are also preferred.
The first step: grab a measuring tape and jot down the measurements. If you have narrow space, a front loader may be your best bet. The washer and dryer can easily be stacked on top of each other and give your room a symmetry.
Size Of Appliance
Washers and dryers are available in varying sizes. Typically, full-sized washers are 24 to 30-plus inches wide. Dryers generally come in sizes ranging from 5-7 cubic feet in capacity (they are rated by their capacity size). Choose the ones that complement each other. For instance, a 3.5 cubic-foot washer would require approximately a 7 cubic-foot dryer capacity.
As far as the aesthetics go, a matching washer-dryer set is more pleasing to the eye. Also, most sets are engineered to work together.
The important aspect to consider is the tub dimension. The presence or absence of a few in-built features may also interfere with the size of the appliance. For instance, a front-load or a top-load washer without the central agitator will have more capacity.
Typology Of Washer-Dryer
So, which one is it going to be? Top-load or a front-load washer and dryer? While both offer similar functional features, there might be differences when it comes to how they treat your clothes and their usability. Take a look:
Advantages Of A Top Loader
- Large capacity
- Less expensive
- Smaller/faster cycles
- No bending or kneeling required
- More reliable; tried-and-tested mechanism
Advantages Of A Front Loader
- Energy efficient; use less water
- Easily stackable together
- Higher spin speeds
- More features
- Modern looking
When it comes specifically to washers, you may opt for a High-efficiency (HE) one that uses less water for its washing cycle. Most front-load washers are HE-certified. Alternatively, you may also find top load ones with an HE setting. Do note that HE machines require HE detergents. These are low-sudsing, and use lesser water and energy than their traditional counterparts.
If you’re particular about your laundry, you may want to peek inside your washer to understand how it treats your clothes. A washer may use an agitator or impeller. An agitator is the more traditional spindle with fins in the center of the tub. It rubs the clothes together to remove soil and stains. An impeller, on the other hand, is a lower-profile cone or set of fins which rubs clothing against itself to remove the dirt.
We suggest, you prefer a front-loader or a top-loader without the agitator, which can cause clothing to tangle. In fact, most washer manufacturers have now replaced the old-school agitators with impellers. They are less intrusive, have larger capacities, and are gentler on the fabric. Today, most front loaders tumble-clean clothes; they don’t use either an agitator or an impeller. Great for the clothes’ life.
As far as a dryer is concerned, most of them are fairly equal in terms of their cleaning mechanism. They all spin your clothing in a drum with a heat source. That said, a proper research is of course required to choose the best one. You definitely need a dryer that can keep up with your washing machine.
Read more: How to clean a dryer vent
Cycles And Cycle Time
Most mid-level washers will have standard cycles. You can of course choose the one that has added features. For example, If you have a family that doesn’t mind playing hard and dirty (pun unintended!), you can opt for a machine which has a pre-soak cycle or a heavy-duty cycle to attack those stubborn stains.
Some high-end models have special cycles designed to clean specific materials – from denims, towels, baby clothes, to even shoes. Also look for custom features such as stain removal through steam, adjustable spin speeds to reduce tangling, and sanitizing cycles to kill germs.
The length of a cycle matters too. If you’re often pressed for time, or have a big family with a lot of laundry – you don’t want a washer that takes too long to run a load. Top loaders are the best bet if you want shorter washing cycles.
Dryers too may have specialized options for drying clothing. For example, a cool-down cycle, a damp-dry cycle, or a moisture sensor that tells dryers when to shut off. There are some dryers with tumble-free cycle for drying odd-sized items such as shoes.
Choosing an energy-efficient washer makes sense on many levels. For one, it uses less energy. Two, it conserves electricity and water. And three, helps you save money.
Energy Star-certified washers help you save up to $45 a year on utility bills. Apart from this, they use 13 gallons of water per load compared to the 23 used by traditional machines. You can save more than 3,000 gallons of water a year!
If you can’t purchase a washer that has the EnergyStar logo for some reason, choose one that has settings that allow for manually regulating temperature control and amount of water to be used. It helps.
Although dryers use a lot of energy, newer models have specialized options for drying clothing that spend less energy depending upon the setting. If you’re budget-conscious, you may want to consider using a gas dryer because they’re more energy-efficient.
Extra Features To Seal The Deal
Don’t be swayed by the fancy features on the washer-and-dryer set you’re considering to buy. It’s important to know which ones are actually beneficial for you and your family. For instance, if you’re prone to allergies, there’s an option for anti-allergen or sanitizing cycles in some machines. If you like quieter washers and dryers, there are noise level ratings available to choose from.
Here are some more potential features. Please note that they may be named differently in different models.
- Digital displays
- Wifi-enabled functions
- Special wash cycles
- Higher spin speeds
- Detergent dispenser
- Fabric softener dispenser
- Pre-soak facility
- Heavy-duty stain removal
- Temperature control
- Self-cleaning maintenance
- Stainless steel body
- Digital control panel
- Separate rack for delicates
- Detachable racks
- Cool-down cycle/ damp-dry cycle/ auto-dry cycle
- Moisture sensor to avoid over-drying
- Wrinkle removal/refresh cycle
- Wifi sensors
Some of these features may not significantly increase the performance of your machines but may add to your the ease and convenience of getting your laundry done. They make the process more fun than it is!
Choosing the right washer and dryer for your house may be a tough decision, but it’s very much doable. Keep this washer-and-dryer buying guide in mind and choose the perfect set. The best set.