Smart Tips For Buying a Washing Machine!
Washing machine like most other appliances is an indispensable part of most homes. Having a washing machine in the house frees a woman from the tedious hassles of washing clothes, bulky curtains, heavy bedsheets etc. and if there is a maid, then there are added of woes of days when she might skip work without notice, thus piling up work for the lady. Harder it is when she is a working woman! Therefore, it is a smart bet to buy a washing machine that will take care of this tedious chore daily. But while you actually bring home this wondrous appliance in your home, take a stock of your needs first, which will help you choose the right model. Since there is a mind-bloggling variety of washing machines, like all other appliances, you are sure to get caught in the trap of smart sales talk and bring home the wrong model.
Here are some tips that will help you choose the right machine.
Like any other appliance, a washing machine requires space, so space is a prime factor for choosing the right model, since unlike many other appliances a washing machine is quite bulky and huge. If you have a smaller space a top-loading machine is best suited. Also, if the bathroom is very compact, then you may have think of an alternative space for putting the machine. You can place it outside the bathroom in a corner where it will be out of way and you will have to make special fittings for water outlet and inlet of the machine.
Capacity of the Machine
Capacity of the washing machine is nothing but the load of clothes it can wash in single use and depends on the size of the washer drum. If you have a large family or there are small children, then you will need one with sufficiently larger capacity. For a regular-sized family with 3 or 4 members, usually a 6-7 kg capacity of the drum is sufficient. But do not blindly trust the advertisements but look inside and check the space in the drums. For best cleaning results, there should be enough space for clothes to move around.
Efficiency of the Washing Machine
Nowadays when the supply of both water and electricity both are falling short of demand, it is better to consider the models that consume less water and less electricity. Most conventional washing machines are guzzlers of both water and energy, but there are newer models now available that are termed eco-friendly as they consume quite less amounts of both these things. Generally, top loading machines consume large amounts of both water and energy whereas front-loading machines are very much efficient and cost effective. So if space is not a prime concern, then buy only the front loading machines which are more expensive but there is added incentive of money saved on energy bills. It would be prudent to consider machines that come with energy star classification, the more the stars, the better is its efficiency.
Features and Functions
Gone are the days when the only functions a machine had were soak, rinse and spin. Now almost all machines are loaded with fancy features such as automatic load balancer, delay cycle, water-level controls, single or double rinse cycles etc. An acquaintance of mine bought a machine recently that has nanotechnology! There are also ones that heat water inside to give your clothes an extra dose of cleaning up! But like I said earlier too, do not give in to the sales talk and be fascinated with so manyfeatures, most of them go unused anyway. Just buy the one with basic functions, the more features there are, the more expensive the machine is. In any case, only the functions of wash and spin are used. If you consider one with a dryer function, think if you really need to waste all that energy. For a country like ours where there is ample sunlight shining throughout the year, you do not need a dryer. And in any case, the clothes washed in fully automatic machines are almost as near to dry as they can get. Just take them out and air them for a couple of hours and they good to folded and put away. Also sunlight is the best disinfectant and sanitiser for yur clothes than anythng else. So choose a dryer only if you live in locations that are wet for major parts of the year.
Front-loading or Top-loading
Performance-wise a front-loader is excellent as it is easy on the clothes as well. A top-loader machine also gives good results but with time, it may take a toll on the quality of your fabrics.
Efficiency-wise, a front-loading machine consumes less energy and water than a top-loader. Although a front-loader is very expensive initially, it still is a better option in the long run as it will save you a lot of money on energy bills.
There are added benefits in the front-loading machine such as they are much less noisier than top-loading machines which are quite noisy, especially when in spinning mode.
The front-loading machines are more bulkier and heavier than top-loading machines so they take a lot of space and once placed in a spot cannot be moved around, whereas the top-loaders are lighter, and can be wheeled around offering some degree of flexibility. But in case of a front-loader, the top of it can be used to store light items such as laundery baskets, detergents etc.
Even though there are a couple of disadvantages of a front-loader, I would still recommend it. The disadvantage is that once the machine is in operation, the door gets locked and any piece of clothing that skipped your notice cannot be added to the wash, unlike in a top-loader where you can put in clothes while the machine is in use.
Additional Features You Might Like to Consider
The modern washing machines have now come a long way over its predecessors. They now come equipped with all sorts of attractive features that may or may not be useful, just understand them and take your pick.
You might be worried that the amount of detergent, fabric conditioners you are putting in may be all wrong and this wrong quantity might damage your clothes. The automatic dispenser will allow you to breathe free since it releases the detergent, conditioner, bleach etc. in the wash at the right time of the cycle and in the right quantities.
Machines with water heating systems come with temperature controls that are automatic and fix the temperature for the cycle quite efficiently. There is also a special feature called Child Lock that disables all the buttons when the machine is in spin cycle so that children do not play any mischief.
In conclusion, there are a lot of sizes, styles, features in a washing machine, analyse your needs well and give consideration to important factors such as space, economy, actual needs etc. as I have mentioned in the beginning and choose wisely! Happy rinsing to you all!
Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons
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