Front load or top load? Here are some washing machine-choosing tips to get more bang for your buck.
Article taken off ehow.com
Consider how much noise the washing machine makes and where in your home it will be located.
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.
Look to consumer magazines or websites for repair histories of particular brands. Your $300 to $600 investment should last you at least 20 years.
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.
Make sure the lint trap is easy to reach and clean.
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.
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.
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.
Look for extras such as bleach-, detergent- and fabric softener-dispensers, a hand-wash cycle, and automatic temperature controls.
Compare prices from department and appliance stores with those found on the Web.
Be sure to get a good warranty.