Buying a washing machine for your home may sound like a simple task, but with so many makes and models out there it can be far from easy. It’ all about choosing the right model and the right features to suit your individual needs. Here are some tips and advice to help you choose.
- Choosing a drum size: The load capacity is an important factor to consider, as this will determine how much washing you can do at one time. Larger families may require a model which can handle more heavy duty loads. Smaller families and couples however may only need a small drum with more features and settings. It is also a good idea to look ahead to the future, buying a larger drum than you currently need could save you having to buy another if you choose to extend your family. Capacity varies from 5-11kg, if you often wash bulky items such as towels and bedding you should look for a larger drum built to hold 9-11kg. However, the average family only needs standard machine with a capacity of 7-8kg.
- Choosing a temperature: All washing machines have a selection of temperatures to choose from ranging from 30-90 degrees. 30 of course, is the most energy efficient, with most detergents designed to keep clothing and other items clean and fresh at this temperature. 40 degrees is the most common temperature to use, whilst 50 degrees is more suited to washing polyester and cotton mixtures. Higher temperatures are often used to remove tough stains.
- Programmes available: There are now many programmes to choose from on a washing machine other than the traditional rinsing and spinning. Here we have outlined some of the newer programmes available.
Quick Wash: A speedy setting that will wash clothes in around 30 minutes (depending on the model). This option saves you a lot of time and is great for washing smaller amounts of fabric. There are models which can wash around 2kg of clothes in 15 minutes under a “super quick” programme.
Allergen Removal Wash: High temperature steam programmes are designed to help allergy sufferers by removing dust mites and pollen from fabrics in the home.
Eco-Friendly Wash: Energy saving programmes are designed to reduce your electricity and water bills and are more environmentally friendly. Some models also have a “half load” setting which also saves energy and is ideal for smaller loads of washing.
Reduced Ironing Wash: Slower spin speeds allow for ironing to be done quicker, using reduced crease technology.
4. Washer Dryer Benefits: These are ideal for kitchens or utility rooms with limited space. There are many models to choose from which all have virtually the same features as separate washing machines and tumble dryers.
A modern dishwasher saves you time, water and electricity usage. Whatever dishwasher you require, there are a few basic points to consider:
- What Size? – You can have a full size (60cm width) or a slim line (45cm width), or even a tabletop.
- Place Settings? – Different place settings allow more flexibility in the baskets to store all of your plates, bowls and glasses etc.
- Quick Wash? – A very useful feature if you haven’t got a full load of heavily soiled items (i.e. breakfast bowls and mugs). This cycle will wash away light dirt & stains in about 30mins.
- Flexible Baskets? – Most dishwashers have a height adjustable top baskets, allowing for taller items to be placed in the bottom basket or to place taller glasses in the top.
Whatever dishwasher you choose, always remember to use dishwasher salt on a regular basis. In hard water areas such as the southeast this will ensure that you glasses and plates stay at their best, and the internals of the dishwasher stay limescale free for many years to come.
Refrigerators come in varying shapes and styles with a number of features to choose from. It is necessary to consider your unique needs when choosing your refrigerator, so here are some tips to help you.
- Decide what style you want: Choose a built in fridge if you want a sleek look, but these can be smaller and more expensive than other options. Choose a top freezer refrigerator if you want a basic, economical choice. Pick a bottom-freezer refrigerator if you want your refrigerator shelves to be easier to reach. Consider a refrigerator drawer if you want extra space, these usually hold speciality items such as beverages.
- Decide whether you want an ice maker/water dispenser: This type of refrigerator will have to be hooked up to your plumbing system and can require more repairs than other refrigerators. However, they are great in summer and are a quick and efficient way of getting ice cool drinks.
- Choose the size: Most refrigerators have a tag to indicate their capacity, top freezer refrigerators have the least space, side by side refrigerators have the most.
- Choose interiorfeatures: Choose a refrigerator with adjustable drawers and shelves is flexibility is important to you. Deep door bins allow you to store bulkier items such as milk jugs.
- Frost Free? – Having frost free means the whole machine defrosts itself, saving you time & energy, but you will lose some space in the freezer so not ideal if you buy a small unit to begin with.
Like any appliance, personal needs are very important when deciding on what size and which type of oven to get. Freestanding cookers come in 50cm, 55cm, and 60cm widths. Range cookers range from 60 – 120cm widths. Built in ovens vary from 60cm – 90cm in height, and built under at 70cm in height. The aperture you currently have will dictate which oven you can have so it is important to measure correctly.
Conventional ovens: Conventional ovens cook food by using radiant energy from their fuel source and natural convection from the heated air inside the oven. They can be either gas-fired or electric. Gas ovens bake moister; however electric ovens bake more evenly.
- Convection ovens: They cook with an electric heat source and use a fan to circulate hot air within the oven. As the unit uses moving air to cook the food, the oven tends to dry food out. Recipe cooking times must also be modified because a convection oven cooks much more quickly than a conventional oven.
- Combination units: A combination convection/conventional oven uses a heating element inside the oven (conventional) and a fan to circulate the heated air (convection). The drawback to this design is that this oven doesn’t heat as evenly as a true convection oven, so you really need to watch the food you’re cooking to avoid burning it.