Buyers Guide To Washing Machine and Dryer Appliances
Washing clothes is one of the most hated chores around the world, particularly in Australia. Just the thought of washing, drying, hanging, and folding clothes may even send a shiver down your spine or, at the very least, make you feel tired even before starting the task. Thankfully, a good washing machine and dryer can help make laundry a more manageable chore. (1)
Washing machines and dryers come in all sorts of models and features. If you want to get the most value out of your cash, you’d want to make sure that you’re buying something that will best suit both your home and your personal laundry needs.
If you want to start your search right, feel free to read on. Here’s a quick guide to buying washing machines for sale for your home.
Figure out the orientation that you want
When it comes to buying a washing machine for sale, you get two options based on orientation and loading: front-load and top-load. Knowing which one will be better for you will help you narrow down your list.
- Front-load: This is the most common type of washing machine used by Australians. The most significant advantage of front-load washing machines is that they’re very efficient at using water. Most people also love front-load washing machines because you can place or stack other appliances like separate dryers on top of it— a lifesaver if you live in a small apartment.
Front loaders do have a few cons. For starters, you wouldn’t want this if you have a bad back, as it will require you to bend over when putting or taking clothes in it. Furthermore, front loaders are not only more expensive, but also tend to require more frequent maintenance and cleaning. In fact, a 10kg front loader washing machine may be out soon. In 2020, only 28% of all washers shipped to stores were front-loaders, while the remaining 72% were top-loaders. (2)
- Top-load: If you want a cheap washing machine, you can choose to have a top-load. Compared to front-load washing machines, top-load options can handle more load and water, making them more efficient when it comes to electricity usage. The only reasons you wouldn’t want a top-load in your home is that you can’t save space with it, as you can’t stack a dryer on top of it, and that it uses up more water per load compared to a front-load.
Figure out the washing method you prefer
Washing machines can be categorized by how they wash clothes: impeller, agitator, and tumbler. Each washing action has its own set of pros and cons, as explained below:
- Agitator: This is only available to top load washing machines. Aside from the steel drum, there’s also a pole-like structure in the center of the washing machine, referred to as the agitator. This spindle-like agitator can be finned or vaned, depending on the model or manufacturer.
Agitator action offers the fastest and most thorough cleaning action, as it takes full advantage of spraying, wash basket, and agitation. The only downside is that a washing machine with agitator action has a limited load compared to other types of washing machines. Typically, you’ll be limited to an 8kg washing machine, if not smaller.
- Impeller: Like agitators, impellers are only available as top-loading washing machines. Instead of an agitator, impeller types have a large wheel or fan-like mechanism at the bottom of the washing drum. While impellers don’t clean as thoroughly or as fast as agitators, they are capable of handling bigger loads per wash.
- Tumbler: As you may have already guessed, this washing action type is only available to a front-loading washing machine. Instead of impellers and agitators, front-loaders rely on the side of the drum and gravity to do their washing. Its main advantage versus agitators and impellers is that it’s less harsh on clothes, as there are no fast-spinning fans or agitators that gradually wear down your clothes’ fabric.
Figure out the features you want
Modern washing machines are vastly superior to the ones created decades ago. Even if you search the net using the keyword, “washing machine for sale near me,” most of the ones you’ll see are new models with many hi-tech features.
Of course, aside from that, new machines have other features that you may or may not want.
- Wi-Fi: Tired of going back and forth to see if your laundry machine is done? Get a Wi-Fi–enabled machine that can let your washing duties remotely. If you’re curious if the machine is done washing, you can check your phone to see its status.
Self-clean: Most modern machines still experience problems because of lint. You will often find yourself having to manually remove the lint accumulated in the trapper or it will end up sticking to your clothes (not to mention that it might cause mechanical problems if there’s too much of it). A machine with self-clean can let you get away without worrying about the filters and lint.
- Separate electric or gas drier: While not a mandatory feature, it’s an option you would want if you don’t want to be bothered hanging clothes to dry. With an electric or gas drier, you can just put spin-dried clothes, wait for 15–20 minutes, and get your clothes warm, soft, and thoroughly dried as if you hung them outside on a sunny day.
Of course, choosing between electric or gas—heat pump, condenser, or traditional—requires a bit of research. These options can affect the price, operating costs, and expected lifespan of your unit. (3)
A lot of people find themselves overwhelmed with so many washing machine and drier options that choosing can get stressful. With the help of this guide, you’ll have an easier time narrowing down your options and, more importantly, feel confident that you went with an option that best suits your needs.