Buying a washing machine can be a bit tedious. Most modern washing machines come with additional features like a quick wash, child lock, hot and cold wash, and so on. So, before purchase, we need to compare the features and choose one based on our necessity. This becomes confusing since the appliance comes in different designs and operating performance.
So, in today’s article, we will discuss the different types of wash machines available in the market and the features you should consider before purchasing.
Types Of Washing Machine
A washing machine can be further divided based on its design and also on its operating performance. Let us look at these different types of washing machines in detail.
Based On Its Operating Performance (How It Functions) –
Semi-Automatic Washing Machine
The first few machines that came out had this design, but all the recent ones are fully automatic. Semi-automatic washing machines are always top-load washing machines. A semi-automatic washing machine has two tubs or compartments – one for washing and the other for drying.
It is called semi-automatic since you have to manually fill the water for washing, empty the water after the process, then transfer the washed clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub for the drying process. Even though it requires manual labor, it is comparatively the only washing machine in the market that consumes less power, is eco-friendly, and is cheap.
Fully Automatic Washing Machine
Unlike the previous washing machine, this one is fully automatic, i.e., no human intervention is needed. A fully automatic washing machine has just one compartment for both washing and drying. You have to just put the clothes in and turn the machine on. It automatically fills the water, drains, and then dries it.
Fully automatic washing machines can either be front-load or top-load. Compared to the semi-automatic washing machine, it occupies less space and needs no manual labor. Also, more features are available in this washing machine as it is a modern device.
Based On The Design –
Front Load Washing Machine
The drum for the front-load washing machine sits horizontally; that is, you need to put the clothes through the front of the appliance. It has a faster drum rotating speed and more wash programs like start/stop timer, hot/cold water supply, advanced child lock, and so on.
They are less noisy, consume less water and electricity than a top-load washing machine. However, it is not recommended for people who have frequent back pains or for the elderly.
Top Load Washing Machine
As the name suggests, the clothes are loaded into the machine from the top. So for this washing machine, the tub sits vertically. Top load washing machines can either be semi-automatic or fully automatic washing machines. Unlike the front load washing machine, a top load washing machine is cheaper, economical, and easier to use.
7 Things To Consider While Buying Washing Machine
Listed below are the feature that you should consider before buying a washing machine.
1. Type Of Washing Machine
As mentioned above, there are four different types of washing machines. If you are low on budget or want an eco-friendlier option and don’t mind doing a little bit of work, then opt for a semi-automatic washing machine.
Fully automatic washing machines are of two types – front load and top load. Front-load offers the best washing quality, consumes less water, and is less noisy. However, it is more expensive than the top-load washing machine. If you have trouble bending and putting in clothes, then opt for a top-load washing machine.
2. Material Of The Tub
The tub or the compartment is made of either stainless steel, porcelain enamel, or plastic. A stainless-steel tub is the most durable one among the three, followed by the plastic tub and then the tub made from porcelain enamel. Even when it comes to which can withstand high spin speed, the stainless steel overtakes the other.
3. Spin Cycle Or RPM
What do you mean by spin cycle? A spin cycle determines the time the machine takes to dry the clothes. The spin cycle is measured in Revolution Per Minute or RPM. The higher the RPM, the better the washing machine’s drying capacity.
Also, note that the recommended RPM rate varies with the clothes’ material. The spin cycle for lightweight clothes is 300 to 500 RPM, while it is around 1000 RPM for thicker clothes.
4. Technology Used
The traditional washing machines are designed for a fixed load, but the power consumed and the speed at which it runs is constant irrespective of the load. So if there are fewer clothes than the recommended load, then the machines are using the same amount of power and electricity, but so much is not needed.
In an inverter technology washing machine, the appliance runs on an optimum load and power after sensing the load in the machine. This is possible using Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) motors or brushless motors.
Another technology that certain washing machines run on is the Direct Drive technology. In a traditional washing machine, the parts in the motor move, causing friction and a lot of noise. This can even damage the motor in the long run, but this technology provides a solution for that. Since the motor is behind the drum, there are no movable parts; hence friction is reduced.
5. Energy Efficiency
What is EER or Energy Efficient Ratio? It is the rating given to any appliance by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency to determine its energy performance. EER is rated from one star to five stars. Higher the rating, the more efficient it is.
So, a washing machine with 5-stars is extremely energy efficient, while a 1-star washing machine is the least efficient. Even though it consumes less power and saves up on the electricity bill, the initial cost of a 5-star washing machine is high.
A washing machine is efficient if it runs on Inverter technology. With inverter technology, the washing machine runs on an optimum load and power after sensing the load in the machine. Hence, we save energy, and the running cost will be less.
6. Temperature Control
Temperature control is what controls the temperature of the water that is supplied in the machine. This is done using an in-built heater and is very useful in the winter or rainy season. Hot water is better than cold water as it helps to disinfect the clothes and remove tough stains. Certain companies also offer a steam setting to help remove stains and dirt quickly.
7. Wash Programs
Most modern washing machines come with numerous wash settings, which help you customize your washing. Some of these wash programs include –
- Quick wash –It is a 15-18 minutes wash for clothes weight 1 to 1.5 kg.
- Delay wash –This feature helps you to delay your wash up to 23 hours.
- Fuzzy logic or Auto select – The machine automatically detects the weight of the clothes and then selects the wash cycle timing, detergent needed, and water requirement to provide the best washing program.
- Pre–Soak – The washing machine soaks the clothes for some time, after which it automatically starts washing.
- Bubble wash – With bubble washing, the detergent particles are converted into bubbles for a deeper wash so that stains and dirt are effectively removed.
- Steam wash – Steam, heat, and humidity are used to remove tough stains and dirt and make it odor-free.
- Child lock – This feature locks the machine’s program panel, so the wash program does not change even if the kids mess with the buttons.
To Sum It Up
A front-load fully automatic washing machine is the best one in the lot, but it is also the most expensive. It has the best features, is less noisy, consumes less water and electricity.
But if you are not comfortable bending down to put on clothes, then this is not the one for you; you can opt for the best top loading washing machine available in the market. However, if you are looking for an eco-friendlier option and don’t mind a little extra labor, then a semi-automatic washing machine would be your pick.
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