My friends call me Sparky Sparks. And I have been supplying and installing washing machines and other appliances for nearly 30 years and if you ask me for my opinion on buying a washing machine, I would offer the following advice.
How much space is available for your washing machine?
I know this sounds obvious and a bit of a stupid question – but you whirlpool 9.5 kg washing machine would be amazed how many people become so be-dazzled by all the whistles and bells when buying a new domestic appliance that they completely forget the basics – like will it fit?
Small Washing Machines
If space is limited you will need a smaller washing machine – with a 3-4 kg load capacity. You could also consider stacking a washing machine with a tumble dryer or buying a combined washer/dryer.
Do keep in mind that the smaller washing machines won’t have as many programmes or features as the standard sized machines.
If you opt for a combined washer/dryer you won’t be able to wash a load and dry a load at the same time. Also you will only be able to dry approximately half of the load you have washed and if the machine breaks down you will have lost your washing machine and your dryer. (In my experience they do break down more than the single washing machines and dryers, and they are harder and more expensive to repair when they do).
Standard Washing Machines
If you have the space and do an average amount of washing, I would recommend a standard sized washing machine with a standard 6 kg capacity.
Large sized washing machines
If you have a very large family, or want to wash large quilts or curtains, you require a larger washing machine (available in anything from 7 – 10 kg capacity).
Many of these larger washing machines are American and used to be considered quite basic and uneconomical, this is no longer true and in fact many of these machines are AAA Rated, and packed with the latest features.
Top Tip – If you do choose one of the large machines, look for one with a half load and a quick wash option, as you won’t always have a full load.
Other Things to Consider
Energy Rating – All washing machines are now rated for efficiency, from A to G (A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient).
Fuzzy Logic – If money is no object you can get machines with features such as fuzzy logic, this basically means that the washing machine will continually monitor itself to deliver the most efficient wash cycle.
Expensive Extras – Believe it or not you can now get washing machines that weigh the load – assess the type of fabric and water hardness and then advise how much washing powder/liquid to add to the load. Some machines even learn from experience, thus maximising the running efficiency over time.
Self Diagnosis – Incredibly some washing machines can now diagnose faults and will display a code when a fault is detected which you can ring through to the repair engineer – to make sure he has the right parts when he calls, thus saving time and money!