What Should I Consider When Buying a Washer and Dryer?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Sara Z. Potter
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2018
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An important consideration when buying a washer and dryer is whether to choose a front-loading or top-loading model. Energy efficiency is another consideration, not only for the good of the environment, but for economic purposes as well. The types of items you wash, the amount of clothes you wash and issues such as noise level and space are other necessary aspects to considerations.

It is a good idea to consider the laundering needs of your particular household before buying a washer and dryer. Some newer models have features such as extra insulation and sturdier frames that help reduce noise. If you are short on space, consider buying a combination that is stacked vertically, usually with the drier on top of the washer. Some brands also have front-loading washers that can wash up to 16 pairs of jeans in one load. If your laundry needs require many different settings, consider buying a washer and dryer that has multiple different cycles.


If you are concerned about the environment as well as your energy costs, you should consider buying a washer and dryer that is energy efficient and has an Energy Star sticker. An Energy Star-qualified washer is shown by the United States Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to use between 35 - 50% less water as well as 50% less energy than a non-Energy Star approved washing machine. Some washer models can do several baskets of laundry in just one load and also have stain penetration systems. Look for a dryer with fast drying times, since less drying time cuts energy costs.

Front-loading washers are more expensive, but offer a larger load capacity and can be stacked. They often spin clothes faster and remove more water, saving time, money and energy. However, the detergent for front-loading washers may be more difficult to find and may also be more expensive. Front-loading dryers may cost up to 40% more than top-loading models, but use less energy. It may take a few years to see the savings in utility bills, but many people today are buying a washer and dryer that will help them save on energy costs.

Top-loading washers often offer more variety in color choice, style and features. The detergent is easy to find and often less expensive than detergent for front-loading models. They are usually less energy efficient than front-loading machines and are not stackable, but these models usually cost less. Whatever choice you make, it is best to make both the washer and drier either front-loading or top-loading ones. Not only will they look neater, they may have similar operating times.


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Post 6

It's been so long since I have needed a new washer and dryer I wouldn't even know what to look for. I keep saying I would love to have a front-loading set, but didn't realize the detergent cost more and was not as easy to find.

I have an old Maytag washer and dryer that has lasted me for over 15 years. Both of them are still working OK, and I plan on using them until they quit. I guess I got my money's worth out of them.

I would like to find a dryer that has a fast drying time. It seems like my dryer takes forever to dry clothes. Maybe that is a sign that it is starting to show its age and I might need a new washer and dryer sooner than I think.

Post 5

My mom had a hard time finding what she wanted when she needed to buy a new washer and dryer. She had a front-loading dryer, but the door folded down and made a little mini table where she could put the clothes as she was pulling them out of the dryer.

Most dryers have doors that open to the side and you have to reach in and pull all the clothes out, hoping you don't drop half of them on the floor.

I don't think she ever did find what she was looking for, and ended up going with a door that opened to the side. She still misses that old dryer she had, and would buy another one in a heartbeat if she could find one.

Post 4

I have a friend who has five kids and she got a new front-loading washer and dryer. I think she can get twice as many clothes done in one load with these than she could with her old ones. I can't imagine all the laundry she has to do everyday, but this has saved her a lot of time.

Post 3

@widget2010 -- My daughter lived in Europe for several years and it is more common there for people to dry their clothes outside on a clothes line. When she moved back to the states, she really missed drying her clothes that way.

I remember my mom using an outside clothes line all the time when we were growing up. She had a dryer inside, but preferred to hang the sheets outside. You really can't beat the smell of sheets that have been air dried. They smell much cleaner and fresher than those that are put in a dryer.

It isn't very often you see clothes hanging on a line anymore. It is so much more convenient to use a dryer instead. The only thing I would refuse to dry outside would be my underwear.

Post 2

@accordion, it is surprising to me how many people refuse to air dry clothing these days. It is how everyone dried their clothing for millennia, and yet now people won't even consider it.

A couple of years ago my mother was lamenting the cost of using the dryer and the fact that it was winter and too cold and wet to put a line outside. I suggested she put one up inside; after all, you can put on in your living room if you want to. "I don't want a clothesline in my living room, thank you very much," was her answer, to which I though, "Then don't complain!" All of these modern conveniences are just that, conveniences, and much less necessary than we think.

Post 1

When thinking about buying dryers, another energy and money saving idea is to consider buying something smaller and simpler, then most line drying your clothing. While I always line dried most of my clothing, this year I am living in an apartment with a washer but no dryer and no money to get one. While drying sheets and other large items take a little more time, it is completely possible to wash and dry everything without a dryer.

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