The market is filled with loads of washing machines of various sizes manufactured by various brands. In this case it is often difficult to choose one washing machine that is best suited to one’s needs. Before buying any product the first thing to be considered is personal requirements. Depending on our requirements we then need to narrow down our search and finally arrive upon one machine. Here are a few tips a consumer needs to consider before buying any washing machine.
Types of Washing Machines
There are two types of washing machines: – front loading and top loading. If you are considering a washing machine that is to be placed beneath your kitchen counter then front loading is the best choice, however if you are looking for a narrower machine. Compared to the front loaders the top loaders consume more power and water, however they have larger capacities.
Wash Load capacities
The wash load capacity determines the load the machine can handle for one single wash. It is advisable to use the machine to its full load capacity for optimum energy conservation. There are three categories as per the wash load capacity of a washing machine.
Machines with less than 5 kg are best suited for small families with one or two members
Machines between 5 to 7 kg are best suited for families with about 3 to 5 members.
Machines with more than 7 kg are suited for large families.
The spin speed of a washing machine determines the speed at which the machine will spin the clothes to remove the water while washing and drying it. It is measured in revolutions per seconds (rpm). Most of washing machines only determine the maximum spin speed capability of the machine. A higher spin speed is required for cotton clothes while a lower spin speed is suited for synthetics and delicate clothes. Users need to check for the option to vary the spin speed so that the machine can be used with all types of clothes.
1000 to 1800 rpm is the higher speed required for cotton clothes
400 to 800 rpm is the lower speed required for synthetic and delicate clothes
Users need to check out the various wash programmes provided. The main ones are hand wash, wool wash, delicate wash, silk wash, quick wash and anti-crease option. The secondary ones are pre-wash, intensive wash, extra rinse, economy wash, anti-bacterial wash etc.
Many new washing machines include a Fuzzy Logic programme in which users only need to add clothes in the washing machine and then the in-built sensors selects the correct settings as per the requirements of the clothes.
Efficiency is usually rated on a scale of A-G where A is the highest and G is the lowest. Thus a A rated machine will offer maximum efficiency compared to a G rated one which offers the least.
Such ratings are provided for each washing machine on the basis of energy consumption, water consumption and drying capability. The best ones are usually the AAA rated ones which offer the highest efficiency for energy, washing and drying.
Different types of clothes are to be washed at different temperatures; for example silk and delicate clothes cannot be washed at high temperatures, while cotton clothes are cleaned better if set at a higher temperature. Thus it would be better if the washing machine comes with a few temperature settings that can be used for different types of clothes. Most of the washing machines provide at-least 3 to 4 wash temperatures e.g. 30°, 60°, 90° etc.
Most machines are designed to accept cold water which is suited for delicate clothes and fabrics and help in better stain removal. These machines are considered more energy efficient.
Some machines are designed to accept cold and hot water, thus two valves are to be connected to the machine; one for the cold water and other for the hot water. These machines are however less energy efficient.
All the washing machines make some amount of noise. The amount of noise made by the machine is measured in decibels (dB). Usually they are categorised as: Less than 40dB, 40-50dB, 50-60dB and more than 60dB of noise. Most of the washing machine in the market today fall in the 50-60dB category which is equivalent to the noise made by a doorbell.
Although there are many exciting features offered by the washing machines, you need to buy the one which has the features which you commonly use, as the extra features come with a price tag. Thus the best step is to check individual requirement and then browse through the features of various washing machines and narrow down on one that most fits into the bill.