3 Things to Consider When Buying a Washing Machine

3 Things to Consider When Buying a Washing Machine

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Published by TOP4 Team

Ask anyone what they rate as the best labour-saving device in their home and the answer is likely to be the same -- washing machine. Today’s models are better than ever in terms of wash results, plus they boast a plethora of features – from detergent detection to automatic stain removal – that allow you to tailor the way you wash.

In recent years, government rebates for water-efficiency have changed the way we shop for washing machines. Now, with electricity prices on the rise, energy ratings are front-of-mind for consumers too – and manufacturers are responding accordingly. There are, of course, many factors to consider before you make your purchase. Here’s what you should know when you’re looking to update your laundry.

Size matters.
Most people overestimate the size of machine they need. Research shows that the average load of washing – no matter what family size you have – is about 4.5kg. So it’s worth questioning whether you should pay more for a larger machine.

Choose between top-loader and front-loader.
What sets a top-loader and front-loader apart? Front-loaders ultimately provide better care for your clothes. This is because your fabrics are washed with a tumbling action. The fibres don’t take as much of a beating, as they do with the agitation from a front-loader.

Front-loaders generally use less water, energy and detergent than top-loaders, occupy less space and offer more wash programs. But this is balanced out by the fact that the wash cycle of a front-loader can take longer, and higher spin speeds might mean more ironing. But manufacturers are continually working hard to create better efficiencies in both their top-loaders and front-loaders.

Is the washing machine water-efficient?
By law, every washing machine sold in Australia must have a water-efficiency labelling and standards (WELS) rating. The Federal Government’s WELS initiative aims to reduce domestic water consumption by 5 per cent by 2021 through encouraging householders to buy more water-efficient products. Half of this projected annual national water saving of 610,000 megalitres is set to come from Australians using more efficient washing machines (which require as little as one third of the water of older models).

Since the WELS system was introduced in 2006, washing machines have continually bettered their water-usage performance. At the time of printing, the WELS website listed three machines (all front-loaders) boasting a 5-star WELS rating.

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