Lyndsy Adams on May 19, 2014 19 Comments Table of Contents Things to Consider When Shopping for Laundry Machines Top Loading vs. Front Loading Size Budget Features Glossary: Terms You Should Know When Shopping Overview of the Top Brands Laundry is an essential part of everyday life and having the right washer and dryer can make a huge difference. There are a lot of options in the market so we’re here to help simplify it for you. Whether you’re just starting your research or are ready to make a purchase, below we provide everything you need to know. This is a great overview of the different types of washers and dryers, sizes, and features along with a glossary and breakdown of the brands we carry. Overview Doing laundry is everyone’s least favorite chore, but having the right washer and dryer can make it a breeze. Having a place to do laundry in your home, apartment or office can make this everyday task more enjoyable. There are different types of machines including combo units, portable units, stackable units, and full size. With so many options you are guaranteed to find the right one for your lifestyle. Things to Consider When Shopping for Laundry Machines Before you rush out and buy the first washer or dryer you come across, it’s wise to do your research and figure out what features will work best for your situation. Below are a few important considerations you should keep in mind when buying a washer and/or dryer. Top Loading vs. Front Loading: Top loading machines are easier to load since they don’t require bending. Generally they are less expensive than front loading machines but they are not as energy efficient because they require more water. Front loading machines can accommodate larger loads and clean better, but wash cycles tend to last longer than those in top loading machines. Click Here to View All Washers & Dryers Over time, the water and electricity savings costs will balance out the larger price tag for a front loading machine. Another plus for front load washers is they tend to damage your clothes less and items will last longer. It’s also wise to leave the door of a front-loading washer open for a short while after you move your clothes to the dryer. This allows the moisture to escape, preventing mildew from forming. Size: Depending on how many people will be using the machine and what items you will be laundering will help determine what size to choose. Laundry machines are measured in cubic feet. Generally speaking, 4 cubic feet is enough to wash 12-16 pounds of laundry. A larger capacity unit at 4.5 cubic feet can hold up to 20 pounds of laundry. A general rule of thumb is a queen size comforter can fit into 3.5 cubic feet and a king size comforter fit into a 3.8 cubic feet machine. For further reference, a complete child’s outfits can weigh 1 to 3 lbs and an adult’s outfit can weigh 3 to 5 lbs. One to two person household can use a small to medium size washer (1.8 to 3.5 cu ft) while a family should opt for a large washer (3.6 to 5.1 cu ft). The dryer should be almost twice as large as the washer so wet clothes can tumble freely and dry more quickly. Be sure to coordinate and purchase a larger cubic feet capacity dryer with your washer. Budget: Budget is important when choosing a washer and dryer since they are an investment. Prices can range from $340 – $2600. Hand crank units are much less expensive costing anywhere from $50-$100. Top loading washers and dryers are less expensive than front loading machines, but front loaders will save you money on energy costs in the long run. Combo units are a great option because you only have to purchase one unit instead of a separate washer and dryer. Larger capacity models tend to be more costly than smaller ones. If a unit has high tech features like touch-pad controls, steam cycles, and delayed start time it will likely cost more than a basic unit. Features: Washer and dryers offer a wide variety of features to enhance the functionality and appearance of the units. Standard washer and dryers are white, but machines are now being offered in different colors, like red and silver. These fun colors make it easy to incorporate these appliances into your décor. Most of our units have electronic controls, making it easy to set and read. It’s easy to customize your wash or dry cycle now that units offer multiple cycles. Different varieties of wash cycles, spin speed selections, temperature settings and soil level settings ensure you get the perfect wash and dry no matter the size, fabric, or stain. Being able to alter your wash and dry cycles make it easier to maintain and extend the life of your clothing. A humidity sensor is a great feature in a dryer, you can set it to a preferred dryness and it stops the cycle once the inside has reached a certain humidity. This saves money on energy costs and prevents clothes from being over dried. Other features to look for are delayed wash function, quiet operation, and warranties. Glossary: Terms to Know Agitator — In a top loading machine the agitator is a bar that sticks up in the center of the machine’s drum, it twists and turns during the wash cycle moving clothes throughout. Capacity — The amount of laundry a machine can hold, usually measured in cubic feet. Combo Washer Dryer — An all in one machine that washes and dries. These units do not require laundry connections. Since they are ventless, combo washer dryers capture the condensation instead of needing to send hot, moist air outside through a vent. They are portable and can be stored away when not in use. Front Loading — These units have a front mounted door. Full size — Washer and dryers that are 2.1 cubic feet or larger. These units can hold larger loads but use more water and energy than compact units. Full size machines can come as combo units or stackable varieties. Humidity Sensor — Also known as a moisture sensor, it reads the progress of your load and can adjust the drying time based on your preferred dryness level. This helpful feature saves time, money on energy costs, and prevents over drying to extend the life of your clothes. Pedestal — A platform installed underneath washer and dryers to elevate the unit to a more convenient height. They reduce the amount of bending and provide increased accessibility and storage space. Portable Washers — These efficient units can do small loads of laundry, are compact in size, and provide easy mobility. Some units require a water hook up and electricity while others are hand operated. Stackable — Some front load dryers can be placed on top of front load washers for maximum space saving. Stackables are ideal for apartments, condos, small homes and fit great into closets. Only front loading machines are available as stackable. Top Loading — These units have a top mounted door. Top Brand Overviews Edgestar — Edgestar focuses on innovative use of small spaces while keeping the focus on quality construction and great customer support. Frigidaire — Frigidaire has greatly contributed to the appliance industry as a whole because of its thoughtful innovations. Haier — Haier combines products and services to meet the customer’s need for convenient home solutions. LG— LG washers and dryers are industry leaders by combining high performance and energy efficiency. Summit — Summit carries over 600 models of compact appliances with innovative designs and superior construction.