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How to Buy a Clothes Washer

by Stephen Lilley

Front loading washing machine

Buying a new clothes washer is a different experience than it was even a few years ago. Where the market was formerly flooded with top-loading units, front-loading units are now very popular. A new emphasis has been made on large appliances in the home conserving both energy and water. It is important to remember that buying any large appliance is a big investment in the way your home functions. Here are a few things before you take the plunge.

Buying a Clothes Washer:

  1. Set a budget. Clothes washer prices vary widely. Think about the features you really need and want and look for clothes washers with those features in your price range.

  2. Determine the configuration. You can buy a top-loading washing machine (meaning that the top of the unit opens for loading and unloading clothes) or a front-loading washing machine (meaning the door is on the front of the unit). Both types have their benefits. While a front-loading washing machine will use a third of the water of a top-loading washing machine, the top-loading unit may cost less.

  3. Look at the size of the clothes washer. If you have a big family, you may want a larger model to accommodate a lot of clothes at one time. This will cause the price of the unit to increase. A smaller model may be cheaper but will be able to wash fewer clothes at once. Prioritize the size of the model before purchasing. To find the capacity of a washer, look at that the unit's technical specifications. If a washer is listed as compact or has a length of 24 inches, it will be able to wash between four and eight pounds of laundry per load. A full-sized washer will have a length of 27 inches and can wash between eight and ten pounds of laundry per load.

  4. Consider any added costs. Think about how much more money adding a clothes washer to your home will add to your utility bills at the end of the month. A clothes washer uses a great deal of both water and energy and will cause both of these bills to increase.

  5. Look at the energy efficiency of clothes washers. A less expensive clothes washer may use large amounts of water and power to operate, while more expensive models may be energy efficient and use much less water and energy. An energy-efficient model may cost more money up front but will ultimately save you money on utility bills. To determine whether or not the washer is energy efficient, look for the Energy Star label.

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