The first step in making the right purchase for a washer and dryer is a little advanced planning. Know your needs. For example, how much time do you spend doing laundry? Do you have a large family requiring daily clothes laundering, or are you a single person or a couple with no children?
It's also important to consider where your laundry room or washer and dryer will be located. If you are an apartment dweller, available space is probably an issue.
If you have a multilevel home, space is probably still an issue, but more from a sense of location within your home and how far you have to go to change a load. Do you need to consider wheelchair accessibility or other health needs?
Thinking about when and how you do your laundry will help you decide what size of washer or dryer to purchase and what cycle options are important to your family's needs. If you are energy-conscious (or are trying to become so) there are several options and models available to meet this requirement.
In any case, the main points for consideration on any washer and dryer include size and style, capacity, cycles, temperatures, controls, and energy efficiency.
Capacity: When selecting a washer, consider both capacity and loading type. Capacity depends on the size of the wash basket.
Families with children and several loads daily may like the convenience of a large-capacity washer. Smaller-capacity models, which use less water and energy, can be economical for singles and couples. Front-load washers use less water, making them energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Here is a list of typical washer capacities:
Compact: 1.7 to 2.3 cubic feet
Medium: 2.1 to 2.5 cubic feet
Large: 2.7 to 3 cubic feet
Extra-large: 3.1 or more cubic feet
High-efficiency (water- and energy-saving) washers save energy and extend the life of your clothes and linens.
Look for Energy Star horizontal-axis, front-loading washers or top-loading washers, which tumble clothes instead of twisting or rubbing them. These models, which don't have agitators, use less water and energy than top-loaders of the same size.
Some machines may use a special High Efficiency detergent. The amount of detergent needed depends on the load size, not on the amount of water used, so check manufacturer's instructions.
Learn more about washer features below.