Buying a washing machine is something that we do only once in a few years. Some of the reasons for buying a new washing machine could be
- Purchase of a new home which requires new appliances
- Increase in family size and changes in washing requirements that need us to buy a new washing machine
- Need to replace existing washing machine at home due to the age of the appliance or damage due to wear and tear
- To get a better, more energy efficient appliance as compared to the existing one
- Shortage of household help and reduction in dependence on part timers to wash clothes at home
The average age of a washing machine could be upto 10 years. So it is not every day that we have to make such a decision. It is therefore an important decision and one not only based on price. There are several factors to determine which machine suits you best
Some of the factors are listed below-
- Family and household size
- Frequency of changes on clothes and linen
- Lifestyle that is dependent on use of cloth
- Energy efficiency requirements
- Types of clothes to be cleaned
- Convenience of use
- Warranties and Service
- Brand reputation
Family and Household Size
The most important factor is the family and household size and therefore the overall workload of the washing machine. A household of 4 or more with frequent changes in clothes would require a higher capacity washing machine. Generally a 7 or 8 kg capacity would be good.
Typically households with school going children and working adults who have an office or outdoor job tend to have higher use. Also households which have frequent changes in bed sheets, towels, table napkins need to have a higher capacity washing machine. Or else the smaller capacity machines may have to run several times and this consumes more electricity
Type of fabric
Another major factor is the types of clothes. If you are generally washing cottons and regular fabric then you do not need machines with several options. Remember that machines with several washing options are generally more expensive so unless you really need it, don’t go for the highly complicated ones. If you wash delicates and woolens once in a while, you can always do that as a hand wash.
Energy Efficiency is major factor. Given the high cost of electricity, one should go for as high efficiency as one can afford. The irony is that high efficiency machines usually cost more as they are made out of lighter materials and with better engineering controls. It is not difficult to do a quick calculation to see how much money you will save.
Take an average running time of 2 hours. See how many units will get consumed (based on the Kilowatts being used) Multiple this by the per Kilowatt rate of your household electricity and by the number of times you run the machine in a month. You can easily calculate and estimated amount of electricity and compare the lifetime savings
Look for appliances that have at-least 3 stars as the energy rating. The best is 5 stars!
Top Loading Vs Front Loading
This is a frequently asked question. Both have their own advantages. However if you have the budgets go for a front loading machine. It tends to wash better due to various factors. Also a front loading machine allows us to use the space immediately above it either for shelving or for placing a dryer. And it is more convenient to remove washed clothes from a front loading machine as you do not have to bend into and put your hands deep down into the top loading machines.
Check the free service and warranty provided by the manufacturer. This is a major factor as washing machines usually have a lot of wear and tear and as such the cost of repairs could be very high.
This is an important factor and you should look at reviews and feedback that is available online. Also ask the sales representative to justify why they recommend one brand over the other
Not a bad idea to ask friends and family who may be having similar needs as yours. Someone else’s experience can also give you the right guidance
Buying a washing machine is an important decision and must be well thought through. While price is a factor, think of it as a long-term asset that needs to meet your current and future needs and also needs to have lower running costs. Calculate the lifetime electricity consumption cost while making a purchase decision. There are new washing machines that are evolving with the Internet of Things. These come with mobile apps and remote monitoring or your washing. Additional costs but then if you are part of the new world, and can afford these frills, you may want to also invest in these.