Hey Appliance Fans,
So maybe I’ve tackled too big of a subject to actually discuss the history of laundry. Suffice to say we used to use the local river and some rocks. In the middle ages, well, they really didn’t do too much laundry– hence the bubonic plague. Fast forward to the invention of washboards. These made for better musical instruments than anything else.
Once using the river got old and the washboard was being used in the jug band, mankind developed electricity and the door was opened to the “modern day” washing machine and dryer.
I use the term washing machine and dryer because that’s what we called them. As the “American Marketing Machine” evolved into the juggernaut that it is today, someone developed the term “Laundry System”. After hearing this term, my cynical side automatically began generating sarcastic comments at a rate of exactly 478 comments per second. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Today’s washing machines and dryers are sophisticated, convenient appliances. And, I’m sorry to say, can’t be used as musical instruments– they’re manufactured to be tone deaf.
One of the best aspects of living in America is that, as a consumer, we have tons of choices regarding any type of good or service that we want to purchase. Surprise, laundry appliances are no different. From Miele to Samsung, GE to Maytag, Fisher Paykel to Electrolux, and Bosh to LG (just to name a few); the consumer has a boat load of choices.
Efficiency, efficiency. Did I mention efficiency?
Guess what this section is going to be about? That’s right efficiency. The name of the game in laundry systems. Two aspects come into play in the efficiency game: water usage and power usage.
I’m sure you already know that there are two kinds of designs for washing machines: top load and front load. Across the board, front load washing machines are usually more water efficient. For example, some top loaders can use as much as 45 gallons in one wash cycle. The newer, front load units can use as little as 12-14 gallons. You don’t need to be a mathematician to see how drastic of a difference that is.
In addition, front load washers can spin at a higher RPM– meaning that more water can be removed from the clothes before putting them in the dryer. This translates into a much shorter drying time and less energy usage. Keep in mind that all front load and now some top load washing machines require that you use “High-Efficiency” detergent. Though this type of detergent was difficult to find a few years ago, every major laundry soap company makes an “H-E” detergent. Just look for the high-efficiency logo on the label.
Pricing Laundry Systems
Washers and dryers are priced very similarly to dishwashers in that the number of cycle options, efficiency of the model, and other features determine the price of a unit.
Basically, the lower the cost, the less features. That doesn’t always mean that a lower priced unit is inferior to a higher priced unit. It just means that there are less features and options. For instance, the Bosch Vision 500 Series washer has AquaStop leak protection ensuring that your washer won’t leak if there’s a problem. Most manufacturers will have a similar feature in some of their units, but typically more price conscious models would omit this option.
Coming in for a landing…
I tend to go on and on (and on), but I’m going to stop here. There’s no reason to write the next great American novel about laundry systems when our sales staff is happy to answer any questions you might have. Just remember these main points:
- Efficiency is the name of the game. Front loaders are typically more efficient
- Front loaders spin faster to remove more moisture making dry times shorter.
- Be sure to determine if you need high efficiency laundry detergent.
- Pricing of units varies depending on features, cycles, and options.
-The Kieffer’s Guy