Selecting the Washer and Dryer for Your Home
As you lay out the plans to remodel your home, one of the aspects you may want to address is laundry. If you currently have an old or inefficient washer or dryer, you could be putting up with excess noise, clothes that never come out perfectly clean or constant repair problems that put a damper on your everyday life. Since there are so many different types of washers and dryers on the market, let this guide help you navigate the many choices and walk away happy with the perfect appliances for your needs as well as your financial situation.
Capacity of Washer and Dryer
One of first things to take into consideration as you pick out a new washer and dryer is what capacity you need each to handle. If you're a single adult who gets work clothes dry-cleaned, for example, then you might only need a minimum capacity for your washer and dryer.
If you are the parent of three children, on the other hand, you probably do large loads of laundry every couple of days, necessitating a much larger machine.
The capacity for washers is typically measured in kilograms. As a reference, a typical family of four might do best with a washer capacity of seven kilograms.
The capacity of dryers is measured in cubic feet, with most standard dryers coming in somewhere between five and seven cubic feet.
Top or Front Loading Appliances
Another big decision that you'll need to make is whether to invest in a top-loading or front-loading washer and dryer. This question applies to both washers and dryers, but it is more important for washing machines.
A top-loading washing machine will tend to be the cheaper version, and it also boasts a much faster wash cycle. Unfortunately, however, a top-loading washer also requires more water and energy to run, requires you to use more laundry detergent, and it can be harder on the items you put in the wash.
An alternative to the traditional top-loading washing machine is the front-loading style. A front-loading washing machine will generally be slightly more expensive overall, but it also has a faster spin cycle and helps clothing to last longer.
For many modern homeowners, a front-loading washing machine is also a more upscale look, adding value and style to the laundry room.
Energy and Water Efficiency Considerations
While there are plenty of considerations when choosing a new washing machine or dryer, cost among them, efficiency is also a top priority for many homeowners. As mentioned, a front-loading washer will be more efficient, using both less water and less energy with each cycle.
This may be important to you if you want to do your part to help the environment or you simply want to keep your utility bills as low as possible.
Dryers, however, are the far bigger users of energy. If you want to take big steps to keep costs down each month, then investing in a gas dryer is the best choice.
If you don't have the option of gas for your home, then you can specifically choose a dryer with a great energy star rating.
The most energy efficient dryers tend to be those that boast at least one automatic cycle, which senses when clothes are dry and turns off the machine.
Noise Level of the Washer and Dryer
As part of your home's remodel, you might be planning to relocate the washer and dryer to a new spot. Whether or not that is the case, one of your concerns when choosing these appliances may be their noise level.
If you have both washer and dryer in an out-of-the-way location, such as the basement, then the volume may not be important to you. If they are close to one of the bedrooms, kitchen or living room, however, a long and noisy cycle could quite literally keep you up at night.
Some washers are designed to be whisper quiet, and some dryers offer greater stability so that they won't rock excessively during the drying cycle.
Available Cycles and Sensors
Standard, budget washers and dryers tend to have fewer overall cycle options, which might not be a big problem for you if you only do laundry occasionally or if you don't wash delicates, bright colors or anything out of the ordinary.
For some homeowners, the types of cycles available will be incredibly important. A washing machine, for example, might boast options for very dirty items, things that need just a gentle spin, and items such as towels and sheets that don’t require any special care.
You might also want to choose the temperature range depending on whether you're washing whites, brightly colored clothing or specialty clothing items that could shrink in hot water. Some washing machines also have sensors that can tell instantly how big the load is, how much water is needed and even how dirty the clothes are.
Your dryer, too, can have a wide range of functions and features. An automatic sensor makes it easy to stop the drying cycle as soon as clothes are done, and a quick mist cycle lets you quickly take the wrinkles out of clothing to put them on when you're in a hurry.
Some dryers have settings that won't tumble, which is great for running shoes.
Aesthetics and Finishes of Your Ideal Washer and Dryer
The last thing to think about when remodeling your home and replacing your washer and dryer is the overall aesthetic appeal of these appliances.
Washers and dryers come in all kinds of styles and colors depending on your preferences and your budget.
Typically, the cheapest will be a plain white, but you can find stainless steel and even colored versions for a burst of fun or elegance in the laundry room. If space is an issue, you can choose stackable washers and dryers to minimize the footprint.
Washing machines and dryers are everyday appliances that few homes can do without. This guide can help you find the right washer and dryer by taking into account capacity, volume, aesthetics, cycles and sensors, top or front-loading capabilities and even energy and water efficiency.