Are you thinking of buying a new washer and dryer? While it might be tempting to choose something quickly, don’t make an impulse buy that you might later regret. Instead, use this checklist to make sure you find the best appliances for your household’s specific needs and preferences:
- What size washer and dryer can your laundry area space accommodate? Full-sized washers can be between 24 and 30 inches wide (or more). Carefully measure your old set, including height, width, and depth of each machine and their total measurements when side-by-side or top-to-bottom, and then measure the space where the washer and dryer will sit. You’ll also need to allow for about six inches in the back of the machine and an inch between the appliances. It’s also a good idea to measure doors that the appliances will need to fit through. Take these measurements with you when you shop.
- What capacity do you need? Think about your household’s laundry requirements
,and about how often you do laundry, as well as how big each average load is. Obviously, larger families will likely need washers and dryers that have larger capacities than smaller families or single people. Tub capacities usually measure from 2.45 cubic feet up to 5.6 cubic feet.
- What’s your budget? Washing machines and dryers come in a wide range of prices, so go shopping with a specific budget in mind so that you don’t overspend. Top loading machines are usually the cheapest, but front loading washers usually use less water and clean more efficiently.
- Will you use all the features? If you don’t need a lot of cycle choices and temperature selections or programmable features, why pay for them? Choose more basic features and you’ll likely save some money.
- What color do you want? Washers and dryers come in more vivid color options than ever before, including bright blues, reds, and greens as well as popular stainless steel finishes. Look at your laundry area, and decide what colors would work best. If you aren’t picky, you can often save money by choosing basic white.
- The last item on your checklist should be to choose an ENERGY STAR certified washer and dryer. As washers are the second largest water user in the home, you’ll save on utility bills and help the planet by choosing the most energy efficient option. Most ENERGY STAR clothes washers use four times less energy than washers manufactured before 1999. And, ENERGY STAR dryers use 20 percent less energy than conventional models.
While you’re installing a new washer and dryer, why not give your laundry room a clean start with a makeover? When the old units are removed, give the area a thorough cleaning and take the opportunity to give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Install shelves, cabinets, or storage baskets to help organize all your laundry products and essentials. If you have room, add a table or countertop to make folding clothes easier. With your new washer and dryer and an organized area, you might just find that laundry isn’t such a big chore after all.