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How to Choose a New Washer and Dryer

Blog / May 25, 2015

So your old washer and dryer have bit the dust, and it’s time to choose a new set.  You think that you know what you want, but then you walk into the store, and the choices are overwhelming.  There are so many options! 

Do you want front load or top load, high efficiency or regular, large capacity or super – the options are endless!  Don’t get overwhelmed.  Do a little research before you actually head into the store, and you’ll be more prepared to make the right decision.  Use these tips to help you choose a new washer and dryer.

  1. First, choose the washer that you want.  Washers and dryers are almost always sold as sets.  Washers have many more features and options to choose from, so decide what washer you want first, and then get the dryer that goes with it.  If you are on the fence about a couple of washers, the features of the matching dryer can be the tiebreaker.  Trying to examine all of the options on both washers and dryers is a major task, so narrow down your search to a few washers that you like, and then bring the dryers into the picture to help you make your final decision.
  2. Determine what capacity you need.  Obviously, the capacity that you require will be very different if you live alone than if you are married with five young children.  A washing machine can be as small as 3 cubic feet, or larger than 5 cubic feet.  If you have a small household or don’t do much laundry, you can save space and money by choosing a smaller capacity machine.  If you have a big family, though, you’ll end up kicking yourself if you don’t get a larger capacity machine.  Even a small increase in capacity can have a significant impact on how much you can fit into one load, so this is an area where you should go bigger if you have that option.
  3. Decide whether you want a front loading machine or a top loading machine.  Both styles have benefits and drawbacks; it’s really a matter of personal preference.  Here’s a brief guide to the two options:
    1. Front loaders use less water and often have steam sanitizing cycles.  Many people feel that front loaders clean better.  However, they do tend to accumulate mold and mildew faster than a top loader, and they cost more to repair.
    2. Top loaders often have larger capacity than front loaders, and they are almost as energy efficient.  It’s easy to throw in a forgotten item after the load has started.
  4. Measure your space.  It doesn’t matter whether you’ve found the perfect washer and dryer if they won’t fit into your laundry room.  Before you shop, measure your space and take those dimensions with you.  Make sure that the set will fit comfortably into the space so that you can work around it.
  5. Choose a set that is energy efficient.  This is pretty easy, because most new washers and dryers are pretty energy efficient.  Look for the energy star symbol when you shop.
  6. Check out all the special features.  I recently bought a new dryer and didn’t realize until afterward that the dryer didn’t buzz when the load was dry.  Now I have to go into the laundry room and check periodically to see if the clothes are dry.  Look for simple and more advanced features on your washer and dryer that may be important to you.