Buying a washing machine can be a very complicated task among all the models that are currently on the market. Since you last bought a washing machine, surely the market and technology have changed a lot, so you may find yourself a bit lost. That is why we have made this guide to buy the perfect, efficient and cheap washing machine what do you need.
The washing machines are in the group of home appliances that has evolved the most in recent years: now they have many more functions and possibilities than before. Being aware of the needs of each one to choose the washing machine that best suits our expense or type of clothing is essential, so pay attention to these tips so as not to get lost among the infinity of options that you will find when it comes to buy your new washing machine.
For starters, common sense. Before you start comparing washing machines like crazy measure the space you have available and, if you plan to buy a front-loading one, make sure that you will be able to open the door without problems. Warned you stay.
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front loading washing machines
Most Spanish homes have a washing machine, although lately there is a proliferation of laundry facilities in neighborhoods, so typical of American cities. The vast majority of washing machines found in homes are of front loadwhich -surprisingly- are the most efficient.
Front-loading washing machines tend to have larger capacities, more advanced washing programs, and use less water as the drum is vertical. In addition, they spin better and in some it is possible to place a dryer on top, saving a lot of space.
On the other hand, yes, front-loading washing machines are usually more expensive, although it is also true that they require less water to work and that, in the long run, means significant savings. Keep this in mind when choosing a washing machine.
top load washing machines
Quite widespread in the United States, top load washing machines They represent a niche market in Spain, to the point that some manufacturers do not even sell this type of washing machine in our country.
The main advantage of top load washing machines is that they are cheaper. On the other hand, they are more compact, which is a plus especially in small apartments and, in addition, loading clothes is much more comfortable as you do not have to bend down.
One of the most attractive features of top-loading washers is that they allow you to add garments during the wash cycle. However, as a general rule, they consume more, although the differences vary according to each model.
Between the Disadvantages of a Top Loading Washer It stands out that it is difficult to integrate it into the kitchen, since it cannot be installed under the worktop and, moreover, care must be taken that the upper cupboards do not obstruct the opening of the door.
As in the case of refrigerators, the capacity is a fundamental element when choosing a washing machine perfect. The needs of each person and household must be taken into account. The house of a bachelor is not the same as a large family, but neither is a home where the washing machine is used daily than one where it is used three or four times a week.
- 1 or 2 people / Less than 4 uses per week – Washing machine with a load of 6 kilos or less.
- 3-4 people / 4-5 washes per week – Washing machine with a load of 7-8 kilos.
- +4 people / 6 or more weekly washes – Washing machine of 9 or more kilos of load.
The increase in load capacity usually translates into a significant additional cost: a washing machine with a 5 kilo capacity can cost around 350 euros, while a similar model with 8 kilo load capacity will probably cost at least 650 euros.
Having a washing machine with more load capacity than necessary is not recommended since it implies a higher price and consumption of water and electricity, in addition to the original extra cost that it implies. Although there are models that load water automatically depending on the weight of the clothes, good advice for choosing a washing machine is to adjust to the needs of each home, looking at that in the medium term because who least expects the washing machine to last ten years.
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The washing machines They are also measured by the revolutions per minute that they are capable of reaching, although in this case you should know that a washing machine will not work better because it is more powerful.
The revolutions per minute of washing machines refer to the spin speed or, more specifically, the number of revolutions that the drum gives per minute. A washer with a higher spin speed will get drier laundry, but it will do so at a higher cost.
There are all kinds of washing machines on the market, from those that barely reach 400 revolutions per minute to those that reach a monstrous 1,800 rpm.
How to choose the spin speed of your new washing machine? At a minimum, your washing machine should reach 600 revolutions per minute and, from there, it will depend a lot on your pocket.
Good advice when buy a washing machine is to review the efficiency class of your spin -independent of the efficiency of the device itself-, which measures the residual moisture left in the clothes through a classification by letters that goes from A -most efficient- to G – less efficient- If you have questions, ask the manufacturer.
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Energy efficiency in washing machines
According to the IDAE, after the refrigerator and the television, the washing machine is the appliance that consumes the most energy in Spanish households as a whole. Most of the energy they consume (between 80 and 85%) is used to heat the water, so it is very important to resort to low temperature programs.
Washing machines, like other electrical appliances, are subject to the energy label of the European Union, which classifies electrical appliances from the letters A to G, with A being the most efficient and G the least. Currently, only washing machines with the A label can be found in stores, but in this category there are four classes where efficiency also varies (A, A+, A++, A+++). You can see it in more detail in the following graph offered by the OCU.
Choosing a washing machine for its energy efficiency can result in long-term savings. A family of four puts the washing machine around four times a week, which means more than 2,000 washes throughout its entire useful life.
Is it worth paying more for a more efficient washing machine? The Xunta de Galicia has created an interesting simulator that is used to identify how long it takes to amortize the extra cost involved in buying a more energy efficient model.
The modern washing machines They boast a thousand and one special washing programs or cycles depending on the type of clothing, the degree of dirt or the price of electricity.
Each program of the washing machine uses a different temperature and spin speed, but in practice the reality is that the vast majority of people will end up using just two or three programs, so care must be taken that the extras do not make the product too expensive.
What washing programs should a washing machine have? In principle, cotton washing at 30 or 60 degrees, synthetic at 401 and cold water cycles for delicate wool garments. From there, everything adds up, including eco programs that serve to save water and money.
washing machine noise
Just like we said before that washing machines can look like a car engine, it can also sound the same. The washing machine can become an enemy of peace in any house because of the noise. Although now they allow you to program them when you are away from home, it is never a good idea to antagonize your neighbors.
The energy label indicates the level of decibels reached by the washing machine, whose noise is sharpened mainly in the water filling and the final phase of the spin.
What noise should your new washing machine make? It depends on how sensitive you are to noise, but much better if during the spin it does not exceed 80 decibels. Now you have many brands and models with the nickname of Extra Silent as those of Balay that have a sound power of 50/74 dB(A) re 1 pW.
Most washing machines already incorporate electronic controls and LCD screens to -in theory- make things easier for you.
The electronic panels are usually the most attractive, the most modern are tactile, and allow you to create custom programs or verify, for example, the temperature control.
However, traditional manual controls are quite easy to use and, above all, cheaper if any problem arises, so you should not rule them out when choosing your new washing machine.
smart washing machines
Of course, one of the greatest revolutions that technology has brought to our homes is the connection and the Internet of Things. Being able to control all your household appliances from your mobile and ask our virtual assistant to connect the washing machine while we go buy bread may sound very attractive.
However, this new type of home appliance has a much higher price, so it is advisable to consider whether we really need these functions and if we are going to use them to compensate for the investment.
Review the news that a smart washing machine offers you and ask yourself if it really suits you.
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One of the elements that usually go unnoticed when it comes to buy a new washing machine is security.
Some washing machines, for example, incorporate an automatic door lock system during operation that can save you from more than one scare if you have children at home. The delayed opening does not seem like a bad idea either, which will prevent water leaks.
The most modern washing machines incorporate systems that detect water leaks in the event of a breakdown, control the foam generated and optimize the distribution of the garments inside the drum to avoid caking.
Washer and dryer, together or separately?
Some department stores tend to promote washer-dryers, a 2-in-1 product that performs washing and drying functions. But that does not mean that they are better than the traditional ones since normally, at the same price, washer-dryers lose performance.
In addition, the dryer is not a basic necessity in a good part of Spain, which enjoys a dry climate and relatively well-equipped spaces for hanging clothes. Of course, dryers are a good ally for some areas of the north and the coast, where humidity prevents clothes from drying efficiently.
In short, for choose a perfect washing machine You have to think first about what needs you have at home, especially at the capacity level, so as not to end up buying a much more powerful device than necessary, more expensive in the short term and probably in the long term if breakdowns arise.