A washing machine is a household necessity nowadays. It saves both time and money.
Given that, in a typical family, a washing machine usually gets used several times a week, we recommend investing in a very good one which is both energy- and water-efficient, even if it costs substantially more. The clothes we put in to be washed may be worth hundreds of dollars and we certainly would like them to last as long as possible.
So, here is the Spot Guide to choosing the best washing machine.
Top-Loader or Front-Loader
There are basically 2 types of washmachines: Top-loading and front-loading. Top-loading is more convenient to use and less expensive. Front-loading is gentler on clothes and generally more energy and water efficient: you can save over 50% on electricity and water bill. Other factors to consider are the noise level, spin cycles and washing capacity. Of course, the wash performance is the most important factor of all.
MEF stands for Modified Energy Factor. It is a measure of efficiency which takes into account the drum capacity and the energy use. The higher the MEF, the more efficient the washing machine. In the US, the minimum standard is 1.04 MEF (1.26 MEF as from 2007). For Energy star appliances, it is 1.42 MEF (not yet detemined for 2007).
WF means Water Factor. The lower the WF the less water the washing machine uses. As from 2007 there will be a maximum WF requirement for the Energy Star specification.
We recommend going for the biggest washing load you can afford. It is more energy and water efficient to wash a big load than several small loads. A large drum also enables you to wash bulky items like pillows, duvets, quilts, mattress pads and beddings. If you have only a small load to wash, use the setting for light or economy load. Washing a small load in a big drum reduces creasing and ironing becomes much easier.
The higher the spin cycles the better the water removal from the wash items. The drying time will be reduced and it means more energy saving for the dryer. However delicate items like silk and fine cottons require low spin speed. So a variable spin speed would be a useful feature if the wash program for delicate items does not include spinning.
The last thing you want to have when the washing machine is working is to hear rumbling noise or vibration, especially if it is located on the same floor as the bedrooms or livingroom.
Ideal Washing Machine
- Excellent washing performance
- Gentle on fabrics
- Big washing capacity
- Consumes little water
- Consumes little power
- Very quiet
LG WM204#C, WM2432H, WM2032H, 16220FD
Kenmore Elite HE4t
Frigidaire Gallery GLTF1670A