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Washer & Dryer Buying Guide

Britney, 10/28/2016

BUYING A NEW WASHER AND DRYER?

Make laundry day brighter with a new washer and dryer. Today’s washers and dryers are designed to handle larger loads, get dirty clothes cleaner than ever quickly, use less water and maintain energy efficiency. You’ll love the innovative cycles and sleek styles available in washers and dryers laundry centers. Whether you wash every day, big loads or small, in a laundry room or closet, there’s a solution to fit your family size and available space.

WASHER & DRYER TYPES

SELECT THE PERFECT SIZE

You’ll find a large selection of standard side-by-side washers and dryers, each measuring 24” – 29” wide. A space that is 36” deep by 60” inches wide will be able to accommodate just about any washer and dryer pair sitting side-by-side. Be sure to measure the height, width and depth of the area where the appliance will be located to make sure you have enough room.

Front load washer and dryer pairs are becoming increasingly popular for their stylish design, fun color options and high performance. Front loading washers use less water and are more energy efficient. You can use pedestals to raise your washing machine and dryer to a more comfortable height for loading and unloading while adding storage drawers for laundry essentials.

STACKABLE

Today’s front load machines are designed so the dryer can be stacked atop the washer. Allows washers and dryers maximize floor space. A separate stacking kit is required.

LAUNDRY CENTERS

These stacked washer/dryer units that offer tremendous space efficiency – savings perfect for a laundry closet or tight basement space.

PORTABLE

Great for rentals or condominiums. The washers have quick connect attachments that fit most standard faucets so you don’t need direct plumbing.

WASHER/DRYER COMBOS

Perfect for apartments that don’t have space for a separate washer and dryer or an external venting source, which conventional dryers require. Plus, some models run on standard voltage electricity.

WASHER & DRYER INSTALLATION

MAKE SURE IT FITS

Washer and dryer drums are measured in cubic feet. A 4 – 5 cu. ft. capacity machine can wash 20 lbs. of laundry per load, which is large enough for a family with a couple of children. As a general rule your dryer capacity should be approximately double the size of your washer.

Stainless steel drums are more durable than plastic or porcelain drums and won’t chip, crack or scratch. They are also gentler on clothes.

Check your electrical output to ensure adequate power is available. All washers require a 110-volt grounded 3-prong electrical outlet within 4’. Also check to see if your dryer is heated by electric or gas. Most electric dryers require a 240/208-volt outlet (typically a 10-30R or 14-30R receptacle), which is twice that of a standard outlet. Select a dryer based on the available fuel source in your area.

WASHER & DRYER STYLES

If you do laundry in an area close to your living space, noise level will be important. Top loaders are somewhat noisier than front loaders. Front loaders vibrate but the noise is determined in part by whether it sits on a wood floor or a concrete slab which absorbs vibrations. Look for washing machines that have vibration and noise reduction features and are approved for 2nd floor installation.

TOP LOADER

  • Traditional top loaders have an agitator which moves laundry back and forth through the tub filled with water
  • Newer top loaders have rotating plates or disks at the bottom of the tub which rotate, moving laundry though a small pool of water
  • Agitators create additional wear from twisting/ tangling
  • Typically are less expensive than front load washers
  • Most popular style with many models to choose from
  • Easier to get repaired

FRONT LOADER

  • Laundry tumbles through small amount of water as the tub rotates
  • More expensive up-front but the cost to run is much lower
  • Uses up to 30% less water than top loader washers because the tub is only partially filled
  • High spin speed removes excess water, which translates to faster drying times, extending the life of your clothes while saving on energy costs
  • Versatile installation options. Can be side-by-side, stacked vertically with a stacking kit, raised to convenient height with storage pedestals, or installed under a countertop

WASHER CYCLE FEATURES

UNDERSTANDING POPULAR WASHER FEATURES

Preloaded washer cycles and features are designed to take the guesswork out of laundry. Different wash, spin speed, and temperature combinations will be safer for different kinds of fabric. Here are a few popular choices to consider:

EXTRA RINSE CYCLE

Ensures that less detergent is left on the clothes, ideal for people with skin sensitive to detergent residue.

STEAM CYCLE

Helps remove tough stains like protein and grass without pre-treating. The steam that penetrates deep into the fabric fibers also loosens soils and odors for a deep clean.

NSF SANITIZING CYCLE

Kills up to 99.9% of microorganisms including bacteria and allergens. Look for washers with an internal water heater, a sanitize cycle or temperature boost cycle.

QUICK WASH CYCLE

Quickly washes lightly soiled items in about 15 minutes.

DELAYED WASH CYCLE

Allows you to set the washer to run on your schedule.

DISPENSING SYSTEM

Automatically adds detergent, bleach or fabric softeners at the correct times in the wash cycle.

LOAD SENSING

This fill technology detects how much water is needed to wash a load based on its weight, so you never waste water.

HEAVY DUTY CYCLE

Ideal for sturdy fabrics like jeans and for heavily soiled items. This cycle uses higher heat and faster spin speeds to get out tough stains.

WI-FI CONNECTIVITY

Allows you to track cycles and set alerts from your mobile devices.

AVAILABLE DRYER FEATURES

UNDERSTANDING POPULAR DRYER FEATURES

All vented dryers operate the same way. They utilize a rotating drum to tumble the clothes and a system of ducts to direct hot air into the drum and out through the vent. Most dryers have to be vented to the outside, but there are a few manufacturers that make ventless dryers that are perfect for apartment dwellers with residential code restrictions. The connections you have in your home will most likely determine whether you will need a gas or electric dryer.

GAS DRYER

Provides a clean, efficient fuel to accomplish the job economically. New gas dryers are designed for efficiency with features such as pilot-less ignition and automatic shutoff. Conversion kits (sold separately) can change a dryer fueled by natural gas to one fueled by liquid propane.

ELECTRIC DRYER

Use electricity to send hot air into the drum instead of gas. Test results from Consumer Reports state that based on average utility rates that electric dryers are more expensive to operate. It cost 14¢ to dry a 12 lb. mixed load in a gas dryer, and 44¢ in an electric dryer.

DRYER FEATURES

Preloaded dryer cycles and features will make it easier to protect clothes from unnecessary wear and tear from over-drying. Key options to consider:

DELICATE CYCLE

Maintains a low temperature for clothes made of gentle fabrics such as silk or linen.

MIXED LOAD CYCLE

Keeps temperatures in a safe range when drying various types of fabrics together.

STEAM CYCLE

Uses bursts of steam to reduce wrinkles and remove odors leaving clothes fresh, even an outfit you’ve already worn.

EXTENDED TUMBLE/WRINKLE PREVENTION CYCLE

Ensures that clothes stay fresh until you are ready to empty the dryer. Some models tumble without heat, while others cycle on and off.

WI-FI CONNECTIVITY

Allows you to track cycles and set alerts from your mobile device.

SANITIZE CYCLE

Eliminates household bacteria in clothes using steam or high heat. Also helps to provide some relief for family members suffering with allergies.

MOISTURE SENSOR

Detects the amount of moisture left in the load. The dryer will automatically adjust the dry time to ensure that each load comes out perfect and stops a load early if it senses that the load is dry.

DRYER RACK

Provides a tumble free drying solution, ideal for delicate items as well as sneakers or other heavy items that could damage the dryer drum if they were to tumble.

QUICK DRY

Quickly dries light loads in half the time as a normal cycle.

ENERGY EFFICIENT WASHERS

SAVE MONEY AND ENERGY

Energy efficient washers use less water. They also remove more water from your wash load, meaning that clothing spends less time in the dryer, lowering your electric bill (and gas bill, if you have a gas dryer). EnergyStar® labeled washers are 30% more energy efficient than the federal standard and use 50% less water. According to ENERGY STAR®, dryers aren’t rated because there’s little difference in the energy use between models. However, many manufacturers, states and utility companies offer rebates on energy efficient machines.