Thinking about buying a washing machine but cannot decide which one to purchase? It is very usual for any buyer to get totally confused when it comes to buying a washing machine. This is because there are several types of washing machines available with so many different parameters.
It is going to be quite overwhelming for a first-time buyer and he could end up buying a washing machine that may not be suitable for his requirements. That is why we have put together a list of essential points to check before buying a washing machine.
Type – Semi-Auto or Automatic
Washing machines are available in a fully automatic or semi-automatic design. Here is all you need to know about them to decide which is one perfect for you.
A fully automatic washing machine comes in a front-loading or top-loading design. One of the best things about having a fully automatic washing machine is that there will be reduced human interference. All you have to do is add your clothes and relax.
Fully automatic washing machines come with the latest technologies and you don’t have to worry about switching compartments or pouring water manually. However, these types of washing machines consume more electricity and can be very expensive.
In a semi-automatic washing machine, you will find two drums. The two drums are for washing and drying. However, do note that you will have to perform tasks manually like filling and emptying with water, removing clothes, and placing the clothes in the dryer.
One of the best things about having a semi-automatic washing machine is that it can consume less power and less water. You can even remove or add clothes in a wash cycle.
Loading Position – Top or Front Loading
Washing machines come in a front-loading or top-loading design. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
In a front loading washing machine, you will have to feed clothes from the front. It comes with different types of wash programs and makes less noise. The machine even consumes less electricity and power and has only a single tub. Again, this is very heavy and you will not be able to remove clothes once the wash program starts.
Top loading washing machines let you add clothes from the top. This comes with a single tub that is for washing and drying. Compared to the front-loading washing machine, this type of washing machine is less expensive. One of the best things about having this type of washing machine is that you don’t have to bend down while adding your clothes. Do check our guide on front load washing machine vs top load.
Capacity and Material
Different washing machines have different capacities. The capacity varies from 5kg to 10kg. A washing of 5-6kg is suitable for a family to 2-3 members. A washing machine of 6.5-8kg is suitable for a family of 4-5 members.
The washing machines above 8kg are suitable for a large family. Additionally, you will have to consider the tub material as it can be of plastic, stainless steel, or porcelain enamel. Stainless steel is very durable and can withstand high spinning speed. Compared to porcelain enamel, plastic can last longer but it may not be sturdy.
Number of Washing Programs
If you happen to get a fully automatic washing machine, there will be many wash programs. These programs can also be present in a semi-automatic washing machine. Here are some of these.
Daily wash is a simple program that is ideal for regular clothing. It helps to consume less water and time.
The feature of quick wash allows you to save time. You can wash and dry your clothes as quickly as 15 minutes. However, do note that this washing program depends upon the number of clothes.
Delicate clothes including woolens are prone to damage when you wash them in regular modes. Choosing the delicate mode uses low temperature along with reduced drum rotation that helps to prevent any wear and tear.
Soak wash will soak the clothes before washing. It can even agitate which makes it perfect for heavily soiled clothes.
Easy Care Wash
In an easy-care wash, you will be able to take care of non-cotton garments. It works by offering delicate wash so that there will be no damage to the garments.
By utilizing hot water, this program helps to clean cotton fabrics. The special program can clean cotton thoroughly.
Number of Drying Programs
There are two types of drying programs, intensive and gentle. Intensive drying is ideal for thick fabrics like sheets and towels. For regular clothing or light fabrics, you can go for the gentle drying option. However, some washing machines can have additional drying features. These are
- Automatic Dry: With automatic dry function, the dryer will shut off automatically when the clothes become fully dry. In doing so, it also delivers energy-efficient performance.
- Air Fluff: Air fluff is a setting that works by increasing room temperature air. This is actually not a drying function and fluffs out stuffed clothes.
- Regular or Heavy Drying: Regular or heavy drying helps in fast drying. It works great when you dry light-colored fabrics.
- Permanent Press: Permanent press works by utilizing medium heat. This can be great for colored fabrics.
- Delicate: The setting can take a longer time for drying as it uses low heat. However, it can be great for delicate fabrics.
Different washing machines have different features and here are the common ones –
- LED Display: An LED display lets you have complete information about the washing program. It will also let you know the time for the cycle to end.
- RPM: RPM is the speed of the drum spin. The one that comes with higher RPM makes sure there will be fast performance. If it comes with variable RPM, you can have a customized operation.
- Temperature Control Function: With temperature control function, there will be reduced energy. It enables you to adjust the temperature and have customized use. You can even increase the temperature for dealing with solid clothes or tough stains.
- Time Delay: With the time delay function, you can have easy loading in the washing machine. This will allow you to delay the wash cycle before you take out the laundry.
- Fuzzy Logic: This feature comes with many sensors that help to control the water intake and detergent. It can even help control the wash cycle.
- Bubble Wash: Bubble wash works by producing bubbles for deep cleaning. Keep in mind that the name can change according to the brand.
- Direct Drive Technology: In Direct Drive Technology, the motor is attached behind the drum. This helps to reduce the movement of parts so that there will be no friction. Direct drive technology also helps to save electricity and reduces noise and vibration.
- Hard Water Treatment: Washing in hard water makes the detergent tough to dissolve. It can make salt layer deposits accumulate around the supply pipe and drum. With hard water treatment technology, the machine will convert hard to soft water.
- Child Lock Function: With the child lock function, you will be able to lock the program panel of the washing machine. It is ideal for homes with children and will not affect the washing process.
- Inverter Technology: Inverter technology helps to save electricity. Kit ensures that the motor utilizes electricity to be at optimum speeds instead of always running at the highest speed. This also prolongs the shelf life of the motor.
Motor Warranty and Overall
The motor is the driving force for a washing machine. You should always prefer a brushless motor over a regular motor. It can run at variable speeds and focuses on energy efficiency. The warranty of the motor can vary according to the brand.
Motor warranty usually starts from 2 years and can go up to 10 years. Apart from the motor, some washing machines provide a warranty on the overall parts. Your preference should always be on the washing machine with a better warranty period as it reflects on the brand’s overall confidence in its product.
You have to first decide the type of washing machine as per your budget. Then you have to get the capacity correct as per your requirements. Thereafter, watch out for more wash and dry programs and focus on saving electricity bills as a washing machine runs for hours. Go for a popular brand that provides a reasonable warranty period.