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Washing Machines – Top Load Vs Front Load Washers

When choosing a washing machine many people look for the “cheapest” option assuming that all washing machines are the same. After all, they just wash clothes don’t they? Well, it’s true that they all wash clothes; but how they wash them differs, how long the machine will last differs, and how much they cost to run differs. We all want clean clothes but we don’t all have the same needs from a washing machine. There are literally hundreds of options whirlpool 9.5 kg washing machine available so how do you choose? I have listed three questions that you need to consider and given my views as the answers to help you make your decision. At the end of this article I have given a short summary to use when actually shopping for your new machine.

Q1. Is the cheapest washing machine really the cheapest?

A1. The cheapest washing machines available generally have fewer features and are lower rated than more expensive models. Ok, so most of us don’t use all the features and programs anyway but if you make use of quick wash and half load programs when necessary you will reduce your running costs and a cheaper machine might not have these options available. The ratings on a washing machine refer to water consumption, energy efficiency and drying efficiency. With more of us on water meters and constant increases in electricity bills the benefit of a good rating on water and energy consumption is obvious but what benefit is a good drying rating? Well, if you regularly use a tumble dryer you will find that a good drying rating and a high spin speed on your washing machine can reduce drying time by up to 30 minutes on a full load, thus saving on running costs for your dryer. So in answer to question 1, the cheapest machine to buy is probably not the cheapest to run and the savings you make initially will be used up in running costs for the life of the machine.

A2. Washing machines range from under £200 to over £1000 so knowing what is most suitable is very important. In answer 1 we covered the basics about cheap machines, so why not look for the cheapest machine that still has the programs I most use and good ratings? Generally this is a good point but there are a few other factors involved. If you live alone and use the washing machine perhaps once a week then do go for the cheapest with the right programmes and best ratings, but if you are a family of 5 and all play rugby three times a week the machine is probably going to get a lot more use. The life expectancy of a washing machine is calculated on amount of use and purchase price, therefore if you use the machine a lot you will probably get a longer life from one that cost a bit more. As a guide normal use is usually based on two full loads a week one on a hot temperature and one on a warm temperature, and washing machine life expectancy is 2-8 years (2 years being for lower priced machines, 8 for higher priced machines). Using this as a basis consider how often your machine will be used and if you expect 4 washes a week reduce the life expectancy by half etc. If you do four or more loads a week or particularly dirty or heavy loads you probably need to go for a more expensive machine or accept that it will need replacing every few years. Quite often you will find that a more expensive machine will include a longer warranty, take this into account when looking at the price. A five year warranty could cost you anywhere between £100 and £200 so deduct that from the price of the machines offering a free 5 year warranty when comparing, or add it to the cost of the cheaper machine and then take out a warranty separately.

A3. It is surprising how many people buy washing  machines based on what they look like. The look of a washing machine is of little importance if it is in a laundry room where it is rarely seen but it is important if it is in the kitchen on constant display. If you are going to have to look at it all the time buy one that you do like the look of, but bare in mind that whether it works and saves you money is far more important that how “pretty” it is. If you really hate the look of a washing machine in your kitchen go for a fully integrated model that can be hidden behind a false door to match your kitchen units, but this option will cost more with no benefits other than the cosmetic affect on your kitchen.