Is it Time for a New Washing Machine? Tips to Help You Choose
Is your washer showing signs that it might be time for a replacement? It’s probably been a while since you bought your existing machine, as they can last anywhere from 8 to 14 years on average. They have evolved quickly over the last decade, offering new and sometimes confusing options. Let’s take a look at some most common choices you will have to make when buying a new washing machine.
Top Load or Front Load?
Front load washing machines have gained popularity in recent years. They are much more stylish than a traditional top load machine. However, when choosing a new washing machine, there are other important factors to consider.
Front load washers use less water than top load models. The reason for this is because they only fill partially even with a full load of laundry. A top load model has to fill completely to clean a full load. This not only uses more water but it will also use more energy for warm or hot water loads. However, complete wash cycles are typically longer with front load machines, which bumps their energy usage back up a bit. Cycles on a top load machine are shorter, reducing their energy consumption. There are also Energy Star certified models that can help reduce energy consumption.
This is a very important factor to consider when buying a new washing machine. After all, you want your clothes to be as clean as possible. The front load washer is generally considered to be better when it comes to providing a more thorough clean. How much better can vary depending on which models are compared. In some cases, the front load machines only have a 5 percent advantage over top load machines.
When shopping for a new washing machine, convenience is an important factor. Think about it. Some of us use our washing machines almost every day. Reach inside each of the models you are considering. Are you comfortable bending or kneeling down to fill or empty a front load model? How about the top load model? Can you reach the bottom to retrieve that one last sock?
There are other conveniences to consider. If you are choosing a front load machine, does the door open in the same direction as your dryer? If so, transferring your clothes from one machine to the other could be awkward. Also, front loading machines are infamous for having mold build up on the door gasket. This will require additional maintenance to keep mold from developing.
What about noise? Front load washers are quieter than top load washers but if your laundry room is in the basement or away from the main living area, this may not be an issue for you.
Front loading washers are more expensive. This is because they have more advanced motor and suspension systems which account for their lower noise level. They also typically offer more features than top load washers, such as a wide variety setting to accommodate all fabric types and soil levels. Although they may be worth the extra expense, some consumers may consider their budget to be equally important in the decision making process.
Agitator or No Agitator?
An agitator is a finned spindle-like device that sits in the middle of the washer drum. This used to be just another thing to consider when deciding between a top load or front load machine. Now there are top load models without an agitator. Instead, they use an impeller. This is a lower-profile cone or set of fins located in the washer drum. In a traditional top load washer, clothes are cleaned by rubbing against the agitator. With an impeller, clothes get clean by rubbing against each other. This can reduce the wear and tear on your clothes, including the occasional drawstring being stuck in the agitator. However, the debate continues as to whether or not the impeller gets your clothes as clean as an agitator.
Ready to Buy a New Washing Machine?
As you can see there are a lot of factors to consider. The expert staff at Jersey Coast Appliance can help you evaluate the pros and cons of the different models and assist you in choosing the best washing machine for your home. We carry all the top brands including Speed Queen. We also have expert technicians for washing machine repair and we carry a wide array of parts in stock including Kenmore. Stop in or contact us for all your appliance needs.