Things to consider, washers and dryers, washing machine, washer, dryer, combo, washer dryer, capacity, laundry needs, laundry, load, available space, dimensions, technologies, sensors, energy efficient, steam, washing, energy consumption, noise, rating, decibel, dB, installation, home laundry
So, it’s time to replace your washer or dryer. Maybe it’s out of commission, or it simply isn’t delivering clean, odour-free home laundry anymore. Whatever your reasons, shopping for washers and dryers can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be.
To help you ease through the process, we have come up with a list of things to consider when you are in the market for washers, dryers, or combo washing machines.
Here are the things to consider when it comes to washers and dryers.
The capacity of your washer or dryer will dictate how much laundry you can fit in the wash bin or drum in one cycle. A washer dryer with an 8Kg capacity means that it can wash 8 Kilos of clothing at one time. This is around the weight of 40 t-shirts.
However, it is important to note that a washer dryer combo will always have a lower drying capacity than its washing capacity. For example, if a washer dryer has an 8Kg washing capacity, it will typically have a 6Kg drying capacity.
This means you can wash 40 t-shirts, but you can only dry 30 t-shirts in one go. If you are unsure about what capacity may suit your needs, consider your laundry basket and put your weekly washing on a bathroom scale for a better weekly estimate.
Getting an 8Kg washer when your average load is just 4Kg is not ideal because you either won’t be using your machine efficiently, or you’ll have longer wait times between cycles, especially if you want to do full loads. For an average home, a 7Kg washing capacity is adequate to meet laundry needs.
Available Space and Dimensions
Naturally, you will have to measure the machine and the space you have available in your home. However, when you measure the space, always remember to add a 4-5mm clearance at the back and the sides of the machine, no matter its type.
Most washers and dryers have a standard width between 590-600mm, which means it isn’t too difficult to replace your existing one without needing to change its location in your home.
Most modern washing machines have various built-in sensors that can detect the weight of your laundry and adjust the settings like program and time for washing and drying accordingly. This is great because you don’t have to do these things manually, and your machine will automatically deliver time and energy-efficient loads.
However, older or inexpensive budget models may not have this technology, and you will have to determine most settings yourself, which can be tricky. However, if your laundry needs are basic and your loads are minimal, you may consider saving the money and opting for smaller, sensor-less models.
Similarly, some machines have a steam function technology that delivers steam washing. This is great for hard stains and deep cleaning because the steam can penetrate fabrics deeper to remove hard stains without damaging the garment.
What’s more is that steam cycles use less water, which is great because it means it requires less energy. You save money on water, energy and get better results. However, steam capable machines are more expensive, so there is a trade-off, but we think it’s well worth it for the results and efficiency you get.
Most machines come with an energy efficiency rating, which is a good indicator of their energy consumption. The best ones are rated “B” or higher. The spec sheet also measures energy consumption in kWh based on a full load cycle.
We all want to save money on energy bills so that this measurement can be handy, but it isn’t a major concern because most modern machines are relatively efficient. If you want to make a difference, try to limit your drying cycles because drying consumes more energy than anything else in a machine.
All sounds are measured in decibels (dB), and washers and dryers are no different. They have ratings on their spec sheets that denote the noise levels in decibels. Combo machines usually have two ratings, one for washing and one for drying.
However, most of these ratings are from the manufacturer, so take them with a grain of salt. The lower the rating, the quieter the machine. Here are some examples for you to get an idea: Your smartphone rings at around 80dB, which is its maximum speaker output, whereas a silent library typically has a 40dB rating.
For washing machines and dryers, anything below 55dB is considered relatively quiet. If noise is a concern for you, then consider the dB rating.
Unless you are replacing an existing machine, you will need to consider a few things for installation. All washer and dryer machines need a socket for energy, water supply, and a drain in the machine’s proximity.
As mentioned previously, most machines have a standard width between 590-600mm, and you will need to leave a 4-5mm space on the sides and back for pipes. Many people want to place their washing machines in their garage, but this is not ideal due to the low temperatures during winters.
Almost all machines use condenser technology, which does not operate sufficiently at temperatures near 5°C. Only vented tumble dryers can operate properly at lower temperatures.
Washer and dryers can be confusing to shop for, especially if you are unaware of what you need. Following the mentioned things to consider, you will have a much easier time shopping for them. Just remember to consider your available space and laundry needs before you start shopping.
We recommend trusted online vendors, and you can check out some great modern models at gimmie.com.au/product-category/washers-dryers/ for an easy shopping experience.