Decorating Your Home

Faced With Too Many Choices? Use These Tips to Buy the Right Washing Machine for Your Needs

Washing machine choices have exploded over the past few years, with more manufacturers adding new colors, styles, and functions. As recently as a decade ago, washing machines were mostly white, boxy, top-loading appliances with a few wash cycles and temperature settings. Now, washing machines come in a rainbow of colors, load from the top or front, offer dozens of functions, and sometimes come with an agitator. 

While having more washing machine choices is a good thing, homeowners faced with rows of new washers at the appliance store often admit to struggling to decide which one they should choose. Homeowners who find themselves feeling a bit dazed by the sheer number of washing machine choices can use the following tips to help hone their search and select the best one for their needs. 

1. Will you be using the same space? 

If your home or apartment is already plumbed for a washing machine, the simplest route is to choose a new model that will fit the existing space without requiring plumbing changes to the existing water intake hoses and drain assembly. If opting for a stackable model on a stand, it may be necessary to install new, longer supply and drain hoses. Homeowners who are planning to change the location of their laundry room will want to design it with sufficient space to house the washer model they plan to purchase. 

2. Should you select a model without an agitator? 

Washing machine models without an agitator use impellers or pulsators to move the water throughout the drum and clean the laundry. Although washing machine manufacturers test for performance, the customer's individual laundry situation should be considered before deciding whether to buy a machine with an agitator, impeller, or pulsator. In households where laundry is often moderately to heavily soiled, purchasing a machine with an agitator typically offers a better cleaning experience due to more turbulent water movement. The downside to a washing machine with an agitator is that load size is smaller than machines without agitators and wear on clothing can be more pronounced.

Washing machines with pulsator or impeller systems flush water through the drum in a more gentle fashion than those with agitators. These machines are well suited to households where the laundry soil level is light to moderate. Because of the gentler washing action, washing machines with impellers or pulsators can be less damaging to delicate fabrics than those with agitators. 

To learn more about the benefits of each available washer, visit an appliance store and discuss your family's laundry needs with one of their knowledgeable sales professionals.