By Ashley Gebert
In the past few years, washers and dryers have been getting bigger and pricier. They’ve also been gaining many new electronic features — like starting the wash with the touch of your smartphone. But how many of these “improvements” are worth your money? How do you know if you’re getting the best bang for your buck? Check out these five tips for getting the best bang for your buck when buying a washer and dryer.
What Exactly Do You Want?
Before you even start your search for your new appliances, make a list of all features that are most important to you. No matter what deals are out there, you want to get a washer and dryer that best meet your needs. For example, a certain washer model may be stellar at saving water and electricity, but if it’s more important to you to save time on your laundry than to save water, it probably wouldn’t be the best appliance for you. Here are a few features to consider:
- Length of washing and drying time
- Size of washer and dryer (obviously you want to purchase models that will fit in your laundry room or closet)
- Front loaders vs. top loaders
Research the Best Models and Vendors
Search online for the best models that meet all of your personal requirements. While searching, be sure to look at both the positive and negative customer reviews for each model. Reviews will give you a more accurate view of how well the model operates in real life than the product description ever will.
Once you have found the model of washer and dryer that will best suit you, search online for the best place to purchase from. Price differences between stores should be a big factor in making your decision, but remember to look at more than just the price tag. Some stores may have special discounts available. Other stores may include an installation fee in the price. You’ll also want to look at customer service reviews of each vendor and research their available warranties and return policies.
Decide Between New or Used
Purchasing a second-hand model can be very tempting, especially when finances are tight. But will this actually save you money in the long run? The main concern with purchasing new versus used appliances is their lifespan. You’ve likely heard stories about new washers breaking down after just a few years of use, and seriously, no one wants to get trapped into spending a fortune on an unreliable appliance. But that doesn’t mean used models are going to last longer. I bought my first washer second hand for $200 and it lasted exactly two months before breaking down beyond repair. Good value? Nope.
The best policy is to research about how long a model will last. If you have the funds to purchase a long-lasting new model, this will likely save you more money and hassle than buying several used washers and dryers that last less than a year. If you’re skeptical about the lifespan of your washer or dryer, consider purchasing a warranty (if they do not already come with one).
The best policy is to research about how long a model will last. If you have the funds to purchase a long-lasting new model, this will likely save you more money and hassle than buying several washers and dryers that last less than a year. If you’re skeptical about the lifespan of your washer or dryer, consider purchasing a warranty (if they don’t already come with one).
Cut the Price
Beyond getting a great deal, try cutting the price in other ways. With some sellers, you can negotiate the price down to a more affordable range, particularly if that seller does price-matching or if you’re buying a used model. Another great way to save money is to install the washer and dryer yourself or have a skilled friend install it because some professional installation fees can cost you several hundred dollars.
Save After You Buy
Even after you’ve bought and installed your washer and dryer, you can save money and the environment by practicing good washing and drying habits:
- Wash your clothes in cold water to save about 64 cents per load.
- Run a full load each time since full loads cost just as much money to run as small loads.
- Clean the lint filter after every use to dry faster and use less energy.
- Dry your clothes on a clothes line or indoor drying rack when you can.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to own a reliable washer and dryer. Simply follow these practical buying tips and use good appliance maintenance habits to make laundry day stress-free for many years to come.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.dreamstime.com