Monday, July 26, 2010

How To Choose A Washing Machine

Front load or top load? Here are some washing machine-choosing tips to get more bang for your buck.

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Step 1
Consider how much noise the washing machine makes and where in your home it will be located.

Step 2
Measure the space where you plan to install your new appliance. If you're off by even an inch or two, it can make a huge difference.

Step 3
Look to consumer magazines or websites for repair histories of particular brands. Your $300 to $600 investment should last you at least 20 years.

Step 4
Shop for a washer in which the controls are easy to read and use. The touch-pad types are a little more expensive and not necessarily better.

Step 5
Make sure the lint trap is easy to reach and clean.

Step 6
Look at the insides carefully: Porcelain coating on the top surface is best. However, for the drum, stainless steel or plastic is preferable because a drum made from these materials won't scratch like a painted one will, or chip and then rust like porcelain coating.

Step 7
Save water and electricity with a front-loading model. These are also more gentle on clothes because they don't use an agitator. They also are typically quieter than top-loaders, and fit in smaller spaces. They require special detergent, however.

Step 8
Think about capacity - each brand has a different definition of high-capacity. Clothes are measured in pounds; you may want to weigh an average load before going shopping to make sure your new washer can handle your washing habits. Front-loading models only hold about 8 pounds.

Step 9
Look for extras such as bleach-, detergent- and fabric softener-dispensers, a hand-wash cycle, and automatic temperature controls.

Step 10
Compare prices from department and appliance stores with those found on the Web.

Step 11
Be sure to get a good warranty.