........The Cajun Contractor, Michael King.........
..................Michael King
...........The Cajun Contractor




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Next time your washer and dryer are heading for appliance heaven…which studies show happens on average every 10-13 years…consider these factors when replacing them.

The trend:
Font load washers are trending up, but top-loads still outsell front loads 2-to-1, says Karen Cobb, spokeswoman for Lowe’s. The main factors driving consumer decisions are capacity and energy savings.

Cost:
Top-loads are cheaper. Prices range from $350 to $1,000. Font loads cost from $800 to $1,600. Dryers coast between $400 and $1,000. Most people choose the washer first and get the matching dryer. If yours doesn’t match be sure capacity levels do.

Cycle time:
Top-loads finish faster, averaging 48 minutes a cycle, versus 84 minutes for a front load. However, clothes emerging from a front-load have spun off more water, so need less drying time.

Energy efficiency:
Front-loads are greener. Top-loads use more water and energy. While greener is better for the planet, it will take years before you break even cost-wise if you buy a front-load.

Performance:
I though top-loads would get clothes cleaner because they used more water, and I didn’t want to sacrifice cleanliness for efficiency. But Consumer Reports compared 20 front-loads and 22 top-loads, and the top 10 front-loads cleaned better on average than the top ten top-loads.

Gentleness:
Because front-loads don’t have that center agitating piece, they’re easier on clothes. Some of today’s top-loads don’t have center agitators either, but these models cost as much as front-loads.

Door position:
If you’d rather not bend over to fill your washer, get a top-load. But front-loads offer the option of stacking if space is tight.

Colors:
Though today’s washer sets come in cool colors, white outsells colored machines two to one. Next hottest is red, followed by blue, then silver. I chose white because I’d rather not call attention to my appliances. Color also cost $100 more per machine.

Storage:
Matching drawers that slide beneath appliances are great if you’re short enough. But if you have enough, skip the $200 per machine option. The drawers raise the machines so high you can’t use the top as a folding surface.

 

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