You can buy a standard washing machine quite inexpensively these days. Washing machines have been around for a long time now and unless you are getting an appliance with a particularly large drum size or with up to the minute technological features, you can get some really good deals if you are on a budget. One of the lowest priced washing machines that is available is the Beko WMA 520W at around the £200 mark, and the most expensive is the Maytag free standing washing machine MAF2002AES at over £1000 according to today’s prices on the internet. Of course, there are plenty of washing machines that come in between these two and have varying features. But generally, this shows that whether you are after a washing machine on a budget or want an appliance with all the trimmings, there is something for everyone.
There are three basic types of laundry appliance- washing machines, tumble dryers and combined washer dryers. The latter can be an excellent option if you need to save space. The tumble drying capacity in a washer dryer is usually less than the actual washing capacity, but most models these days allow for 6kg of washing or 4kg of drying at a time.
If you have plenty of space in your kitchen though, or even a separate utility room, you will probably decide to purchase a separate washing machine and tumble dryer. This generally allows for larger capacities, which is great for larger families. But not only that, having separate appliances means that you can wash and dry at the same time, so whilst one load is in the tumble dryer, you can get the next load into the washing machine, taking you less time and keeping your washing routine running smoothly.
One great feature to look out for is the automatic timer, which means that you can set exactly when you want the washing machine to turn on. This means that you can take advantage of the lower electricity rate overnight by setting your load to come on a couple of hours before you wake up. If you do plan to do this though, make sure that your machine has also got a ‘quiet’ or ‘very quiet’ rating for noise levels so that it doesn’t wake you up any earlier than you need to be.
Laundry appliances are generally available as free standing appliances or integrated appliances. More and more people are beginning to opt for integrated appliances whether it be refrigeration, ventilation or laundry appliances. One way of hiding your laundry appliances is to have a separate utility room, but if this is not an option and you would prefer to keep your washer and dryer out of sight and out of mind, then an integrated appliance is probably the best option for you. A panel is usually placed over integrated appliances which is designed to match your existing cupboard doors so that you would hardly even realise that it were there.
If you do not mind your appliances being on display, then there are over three hundred free standing laundry appliances available on the market today, of which most are in the price range of between £300 and £600. This is probably a good price to be looking at for a laundry appliance as for this kind of money, you are likely to get a mid- range appliance with a decent drum capacity, a good energy efficiency rating and it should not be too expensive to repair should anything ever go wrong.
Obviously, like most things, you get what you pay for. If you get a cheaper appliance that you are going to be using all the time, the likelihood is that it is going to need repairing more often than a more expensive appliance. However, a more expensive appliance will probably cost more to repair if it ever does need to be repaired than a cheaper appliance. So it is really a case of balancing initial cost, features and how much it will cost to maintain.