Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seeking input: Washer & Dryer

Appliances are at the top of the list of things we will need for our new home, specifically a refrigerator, a washer, and a dryer. We are prepared to spend the bulk of our small "moving in" budget on these items...my parents are strong advocates of "buy once, buy right" when it comes to appliances. The Maytag washer and dryer they bought for their first home lasted 25 years (washer) and 30+ years (the dryer is sitting in the garage at their river house, ready to quick-dry wet winterwear). I've been told they don't make them like the used to, but I'd really like to purchase appliances that are going to last us a long, long time...and perform their functions efficiently. I'm a big fan of high efficiency appliances that save resources (such as water) and energy (and therefore money).

In this post I am requesting any an all advice about washers and dryers, especially if you've acquired some recently and are familiar with current options. Here are some of the questions running through my mind:

  • I think that Maytag and Whirlpool are good brands - am I right? What other brands are trustworthy? Kenmore, Frigidaire, LG?
  • Are the high efficiency models worth it? Do they clean and dry well? How about with cloth diapers?
  • Have you dealt with incomplete draining and/or mold growth in a front-loader?
  • If I go with front-loading HE models, do I need to buy the pedestals as well? What do you use those drawers for?
  • I am considering shopping for appliances at a local Sears Outlet store, where "cosmetically flawed" units are discounted. I don't mind a scratch or ding if it saves us money. Have you ever made a purchase at a store like that?
Please share your experiences and ideas with me via the comments, email, or Facebook message. Thanks!

Photo credit: chris.corwin


Beth said...

Woot! Appliance time! Well here we go then. We have the Kenmore 5 elite ones. They have the steam sanitize too. They are the high efficiency ones. I love them so much!!! They have served me very well! Cloth diapers are a cinch in them and even with the extra washings and rinses I do believe I have seen savings in our water bill. call if you have more questions!

HeleneB said...

Hi Francis,

Haven't tuned int your blog for awhile so it's a pleasure to see how Teresa has grown. My advice on washer & dryer is the same as your parents - buy well. But I would caution on buying front load washer if it's to be put on a second floor laundry room or non-concrete foundation. Frontloaders have a high spin vibration that can shake the floors and walls if they are not level set on concrete. We made the mistake with our home and ended up after the washer kept walking (knocking) across the floor trading it in for a high efficiency top loader. Top loaders use a bit more water (but not bad if you get a HE one), but if your going to have your washer on a second floor laundry room, then the piece of mind of is worth it. I have a Whirpool Bravos set with glass top so I can see in & love it

Good luck with your big purchase

Hanna said...

We have a Kenmore frontloader going on its 10th year - absolutely love it. We don't have the pedestal for it so I just have to bend over farther to get the laundry out - big deal. We haven't had any problem with it 'walking' on our floors. We've had it in several different homes and on wood surfaces, though first floor only, and it's done very well. For me, when we make a large purchase in an appliance, I want some sound advice and peace of mind. Where I've gotten that is ConsumerReports.org for only $5.95 per month. I count it well worth that cost when I've been able to see all the testing done on available brands and models, and I can ask questions on forums that are specifically for... whatever it is (washers, dryers, etc.)that I'm looking to buy. Best wishes on the purchases, probably already made!