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Washer and Dryer Buyers Guide

by Product Specialist

A washer and dryer is a big home purchase, and there are numerous new models on the market offering all of the bells and whistles that even the most discriminating buyer will covet. There are a few key elements that you should keep in mind when shopping, beyond the amazing claims and stylish appearance of these new household appliances.

Some things to know before buying a washer and dryer include:


One of the key features of any washer and dryer is the capacity.


Buyers may be looking for models that can hold a bigger load, which may make household chores a bit more efficient. The fact is that bigger capacities equate to longer cycle times, so if time is of the essence, you may want to consider smaller capacity models for your home. These conventional sets may cost less, too.


Another thing to be concerned with is the amount of water used during a wash cycle. This may be particularly relevant for those consumers that pay for their water usage, such as those hooked-up to city or municipal water sources. The appliance might be energy-efficient, but be sure that it isn't a water-waster, which may subsequently drive up your utility costs.

Cycle Time

Since larger loads equals longer cycles, look for models that offer variable cycle times. This will help to conserve utilities and energy when you want to wash an item or two, or when running small loads through your machine. There are some amazing sets that offer lightning fast cycles, but the prices may be a bit higher for these high-tech appliances.


Depending on your lifestyle, you may have the need to wash specific, unconventional items in your washer and dryer. Be sure that these materials won't threaten to damage your machines, or that they won't cause your machine to become imbalanced. This may include waterproof apparel, camping items, and even water-resistant fabrics such as vinyl tablecloths and plastic coated shower curtains. Some of these items are specifically outlined in the consumer cautions for the appliance you are looking at.


Be sure to take into account the cost to run the machine, beyond the mere sticker price of the appliance in the store. Read the information provided regarding the monthly energy costs, as well as the water consumption, to determine if a great deal on a washer and dryer is actually a bargain at all.

It also pays to read online reviews from customers and consumer protection groups that could identify the pros and cons of the model that you are looking at. Don't get discouraged by one or two sour reviews, but look at your specific needs and overall satisfaction before making buying decisions. When it comes to buying a new washer and dryer, it can pay to do your homework and compare pricing before you shop.