What washing machine to buy - tips from the pros
Today, no normal home can be imagined without an automatic washing machine. Demand creates supply, and now the choice is so great that you can get confused. Increasingly, people are wondering which washing machine is best to buy. Experts offer a specific selection algorithm, because a washing machine is not a cheap purchase, and you need to spend your money wisely.
First of all, you need to clearly define your budget. Then make a list of requirements for the machine, in particular - determine its exact dimensions with the method of loading the laundry, list and write down all the necessary functions, and, last but not least, examine the reviews and determine the preferred brand and manufacturer. Only after that you can answer yourself the question of where to buy a washing machine that would meet all the requirements.
What is interesting about narrow washing machines?
Narrow washing machines have a width of up to 40 cm, most often 32 cm, which, in comparison with the standard width of 60 cm, is much preferable for small apartments. Most of our citizens live in small apartments, and not everyone has the opportunity to install a washing machine in the bathroom or kitchen. A narrow washing machine can be installed without compromising the usable area, even in the corridor. However, it should be understood that in narrow machines, compared with conventional machines, much less load. If in a standard machine fits up to 7 kg of linen, then in a narrow one - no more than 3-4.
Among the shortcomings of narrow machines can be called the fact that their model line is much shorter than standard ones. However, an indisputable plus is the saving of space, because many of them are with vertical loading and do not require additional space to open the door. And front-loading models are so compact that they can be installed directly under the sink.
Another important plus - some narrow washing machines often use direct drive (no belt), which significantly reduces noise during operation, vibration and power consumption. That is, in addition to saving space, the narrow machine also saves money, and this is important for single people and young families without children.
The vast majority of narrow washing machines have a sufficient number of washing programs (7-9). In many models, the heating element is ceramic coated, which eliminates the formation of scale and premature failure of the machine, and also eliminates the need for frequent use of anti-scale reagents.
The water consumption for the entire washing cycle in such machines is standard and amounts to 48 (42 to 60) liters. Thus, the washing quality in narrow machines is no different from the standard washing quality, and the spin cycle is even better due to the small radius of the drum and the smaller amount of laundry.
Which load do you prefer - vertical or front (side)?
A priori, vertical loading was invented for machines that should not take up much space. Everyone knows that in between launches, the door of the machine should be ajar, and this is inconvenient in places with increased traffic, and even more so, narrow passages.
But vertical loading has other important advantages. For example, right during operation, you can open the lid and throw extra laundry into the machine. And this is also a great solution for families with small children - the control panel of such cars is located on top, and a small child, with all the desire, simply does not reach her cherished buttons.
When buying a top-loading machine, pay attention to the opening angle of the lid. Ideally, when it is 180 degrees, that is, when the lid leans back completely. This is especially important if you plan to install the machine under the kitchen panel. You should also pay attention to the material from which the drum is made.Preference should be given to models with a stainless steel drum, because they are more reliable and durable, although models made of composites (plastic or metals) can be cheaper.
What washing class to choose?
The washing class indicates the ratio of the quality of the washing to the level of energy consumption. In automatic washing machines, washing classes are indicated by letters - from G to A. The minimum energy consumption with a gentle washing is provided by class A machinesThey are considered the best. But class G is the lowest level of machine efficiency.
Separately, but in the same way, spin classes are indicated. Although in most modern washing machines the spin speed is manually controlled, the range is from 400 to 2000 rpm (in conventional machines - 1200). The smallest revolutions are shown for thin and delicate things, the largest - for thick and dense. Also, the higher the spin speed, the more water is removed from the laundry, but at the same time, the higher the cost and energy consumption of the machine. What is more important is for the owner to decide.
Which washing programs are preferable?
Consider the most popular and commonly used washing modes.
- Quick wash - designed to refresh clothes, no more.
- Soaking and stain removal - for heavily soiled and baby clothes.
- Economic washing with half load - for economical housewives, consumes significantly less water and electricity.
- Extra rinse - for those who do not like the smell of powder on clothes.
The choice of preferred washing programs is closely related to the choice of the method of connection to the water supply. Depending on the usual temperature of the washings, you should also choose the connection method - to cold water, hot or mixed way.
When connected to a cold water supply, the water is heated smoothly, but you will need to regularly use water softeners and periodically remove scale. Hot water filling allows to significantly save energy, but is not acceptable when washing delicate fabrics, both because of the high starting temperature and because of the low quality of hot water, because it is a priori technical.
Additional features of automatic washing machines
Drying clothes. Many modern washing machines do with a built-in drying function. The obvious convenience of this feature is fraught with a serious drawback. Only half of the washed laundry can be dried inside the machine, that is, each time after washing, you need to listen to half. And often, the laundry is overdried and cannot be ironed, and drying inside the machine is contraindicated in delicate fabrics. Therefore, you should carefully consider whether it is worth overpaying for an additional drying function.
Soundproofing. It can be different, so you should know that the most silent machines are with three-phase asynchronous motors (in conventional machines, collector motors). A special insulating layer of a special material inside the case also reduces noise. But you should not pay attention to the bright stickers on the case on which the class of noiselessness is indicated.
Extra protection against leaks. It is not available in all machines, it is installed exclusively at the manufacturer, that is, it will not be possible to buy it in the spare parts store and install it on an existing machine. Leakage protection is either full or partial. If the machine has an Aqua Stop control system, then when water gets into any wrong place inside the machine, the water supply automatically stops.
Water control system. There are machines in which parameters such as the weight of the loaded laundry, water and electricity consumption are automatically controlled. For example, the Aqua Sensor system controls the degree of transparency of the water, the dirtier the laundry, the more muddy water, and the system automatically increases the duration and intensity of rinsing.
Detergent dissolution quality control system.Booble-soaking is an additional system that creates a lot of air bubbles in the water, so any powder dissolves quickly and 100%.
Automatic washing mode selection. This function is provided by the Fuzzi Control system, which analyzes the volume of loaded laundry and its type, after which it itself determines the optimal washing and subsequent rinse with spin.
Also, this system controls the degree of foaming, with its excess takes appropriate measures, for example, includes an additional rinse and changes the speed of rotation of the drum during the spin cycle. Some other systems work similarly, for example, Smart- and S-systems serve to control foaming, Fuzzi Logic - to automatically select the washing mode.
The water cooling system before draining allows you to extend the life of drainage units and plastic sewage.
The sunroof protection system locks the door for 1-3 minutes after washing, during which time the laundry has time to cool and will not burn hands.
Protection against creasing slows the rotation of the drum at the end of each wash cycle to 30 rpm. The spinning at intervals, and the function of stopping the machine with water, serves a similar purpose, at this time you can take out the wrung out laundry and hang it on the shoulders, in which case it will turn out practically without wrinkles. Or, conversely, add extra underwear to the machine.
The start timer allows you to set the start time of the wash in the range from 1 to 24 hours. This is a useful feature for those people whose nightly electricity is much cheaper than daytime.
Automatic washing machines
- Traditional. The machine is filled with water without any tricks, the contact of linen and washing solution is at the bottom of the drum.
- AquaSpar and Aqua-Tronic. The drum of such a machine has asymmetrical grips that direct water up the drum, the laundry contacts the detergent both from the bottom and the top of the drum.
- 3-DAquaSpar and 3-DAqua-Tronic. The machine is designed so that water is supplied from below, from above and from the side.
- Activa and Jetsystem. Machines with such a system feed water into the drum in the form of a powerful jet, the tank fills up quickly, and the laundry is subjected to primary processing.
- Direct Spray During washing, the washing solution is constantly supplied to the laundry in the form of a shower.
- Combiwash. The system of combined washing, when delicate laundry is washed “under the shower”, and normal - as usual, in water. Moreover, the shower is unusual, but with air bubbles that gently knock dirt out of the fabric.
What brand of washing machine and which manufacturer to choose?
It should be understood that products assembled at the subsidiary factories of a well-known brand whose parent company is located in another country will in any case be of worse quality than the original ones. The location of assembly shops in itself is closer to consumers - evidence of the manufacturer’s desire to reduce production costs. And such a policy is manifested in everything, including the use of cheaper and less high-quality components. Therefore, the service life of such machines is steadily declining.
But this has its plus, because the closer the assembly shop, the more accessible the parts. The only question is how often do you agree to make repairs. Most often, cars of the lowest price category last no more than 5 years, many do not reach this period, after which there are endless repairs. This primarily applies to Chinese cars and Russian clones of European brands.
Machines of the middle price category are distinguished by a large number of washing programs, a spin of 1200 rpm, the presence of additional functions, lower noise and vibration. The service life of such machines without breakage is at least 8 years. The most expensive and “advanced” cars last at least 15 years and have a complete set of additional functions. And if you calculate the savings from careful washing of the most expensive things, the savings of detergents and electricity, the absence of repairs, then it turns out that the overpayment for a purchase pays off pretty quickly.