Laundry Buyerâ€™s guide
Learn to love laundry
Buying a new washer or dryer may not be rocket science, but there are a few things to consider to ensure you are getting the right machine for your needs. The following guidelines will help get you on your way.
What’s your priority? Efficiency: If you’re all about saving money and conserving resources, look for a washer with the letters “HE,” which stand for high efficiency. These models use less water, require less detergent, and consume less energy. And, high efficiency technology can be found in both front and top load styles. Dryers, which convert energy into hot air, cannot be rated as efficient. To make sure your dryer operates efficiently, use it less. Look for a washer with high spin speeds (measured in rpms) to ensure wet clothes hold as little moisture as possible before they enter the dryer.
Family: Kids produce a ton of laundry, so your choices are go big or go crazy. With capacities ranging from 3.5 to 5.0 cubic feet, large front loaders will increase the efficiency of your household operations tremendously. They are also great for making small work of over-sized items, such as blankets and bedspreads.
Economy: If cost is your
biggest priority, standard top load washers and dryers offer the lowest prices thanks to tried-and-true technology. The design is also easier on your back. The top load door designs are also not prone to mildew build up.
5% of the average Americanâ€™s annual salary is spent on clothes. Protect your investment with newer laundry machines, which are naturally gentler on fabric.
The Bells and Whistles
Sometimes the little extras are worth every penny. Affresh clean washer option:
If your new washer offers an Affresh cycle, drop an Affresh Washer Cleaner Tablet, developed by Whirlpool, into your washer and let it run. Affresh reduces mildew build up, keeping your washer—and your clothes—fresh.
Eco boost wash options:
The ecoboost cycle option runs longer, but saves both water and energy.
Front load wash machines can have internal water heaters to boost water temperatures. Highheat sanitary cycle water can tackle even the toughest stains and mildew. And as a bonus, you can turn your water heater thermostat down.
Steam WASH option:
Steam offers impressive cleaning power, deeply penetrating fabrics and loosening grime—from lipstick to marinara—even without a pretreat solution. If your typical laundry day involves fighting one stain after another, consider steam.
Fan fresh dryer option:
Fan fresh dryer option: This cycle automatically turns on when clothes have been left in the dryer. The fan blows a small amount of air onto the door seal, keeping mildew from growing.
Steam DRY option:
Steam not only offers impressive cleaning, it provides impressive wrinkle-eliminating abilities. Whether you are refreshing a load left in the dryer or getting an extremely wrinkled button-down work-worthy, steam provides consistent de-wrinkling results.
Accessories like pedestals not only provide storage, but lift the machine to a comfortable level to load your laundry.
What Machine Works With You? Front loaders:
The beauty of the front load machine is capacity and efficiency. Front loaders are substantially more spacious and typically feature more powerful spin speeds (up to 1400 rpms). They also feature much quieter operation. Consider that laundry pairs can either be stacked or put on pedestals, and front loaders are even more appealing.
Easy access makes top loaders top choice for anyone opposed to stooping. Top loaders also have short wash cycles, non-locking lids (convenient for adding items mid-cycle), and very thorough rinsing abilities. New agitator mechanisms, such as impellers, allow them to operate more gently, like a front loader. Plus, the top load door design means they are not prone to mildew build up, making them easy to keep clean.
Getting to know the Energy Guide label This bright yellow tag provides plenty of facts that can help you make an informed decision.
Energy Star qualified: Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy developed to protect the environment with energy efficient products. Compared to a model manufactured before 1994, an Energy Star-qualified clothes washer can save up to $110 per year on your utility bills. Through superior design and system features, Energy Star-qualified washers clean clothes using 50 percent less energy than standard washers.
Consortium for Energy Efficiency: The CEE is a non-profit consortium of efficiency program administrators from across the U.S. and Canada that are committed to promoting energy efficiency for the public good. CEE promotes industry-to-industry partnerships in order to share strategies and provide higher-value offerings. CEE certification is based on Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III ratings, with Tier III having the best efficiency rating. Look for CEE certification on the Energy Guide label.
A Lists key features of the product for comparison purposes B Lists the maker, model, and size of the product C Lists the estimated annual operating cost (gas and electric) of the product and shows it in comparison to similar models D Lists an estimate of the average annual electricity use of the product. Multiply this number by your local electricity rate on your utility bill to get a better estimate of what the actual operating cost will be for you E Provides the average energy rates used to calculate the estimated yearly operating cost for this product F If the label displays the Energy Star logo, it means the product uses less energy than standard models for this product type
Common Myths MYTH: Cold water gets my laundry clean.
Cold water is great for blood or protein-based stains. For everything else, use warm.
MYTH: Steam causes mildew. It canâ€™t prevent it.
Indirect moisture, like steam from your shower, can certainly cause mildew. Direct steam in a washer is super-heated to 150Â°, which effectively kills mildew, leaving you with fresh, clean (and cleansmelling) laundry.
MYTH: It takes twice as long to dry clothes as it takes to wash them. Thanks to new high efficiency technology, washers are capable of extracting more water in the spin cycle. This means that it will take half as much time to dry a load, which saves you both time and money.
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Published on Aug 19, 2011
Published on Aug 19, 2011
Buyer’s guide and more! Economy: if cost is your Family: Kids produce a ton of Efficiency: if you’re all about biggest priority, standard to...