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Washing machines and washer dryer buying guides

Getting advice from a comprehensive washing machine and washer dryer buying guide could make the process of buying a washer or dryer a lot easier.

With a multitude of different programs and features now being the norm on most washing machines and washer dryers, it can sometimes feel like you've been thrown in at the deep end. But by adhering to a few simple tips in Debenhams' washing machines and washer dryer buying guide, the experience could be much simpler.

A consumer's guide to washing machines and washer dryers
For starters, you need to establish whether you want a washing machine and washer dryer as separate units or as one combined washing and tumble dryer appliance. A combination washing machine and washer dryer, for instance, could be the perfect space saving utility if you don't have much spare room.

Alternatively, washing machines and washer dryers bought separately can be stacked on top of each other. But whatever washing machine and washer dryer solution you decide to choose, the choice is personal and our washing machine and washer dryer buying guide aims to help you solve it.

Using our washing machine and washer dryer buying guide
Through Debenhams' washing machine and washer dryer buying guide, you'll be able to make sense all the different tools and features offered by washer and dryer appliances - so your search will be boosted by your new confidence!

Washing machines explained
Energy efficiency of washing machines
Dryers explained
Energy efficiency of washing dryers
Classifications
Glossary

Washing machines explained
With so many programs and features it can sometimes feel like you have been thrown in at the deep end when it comes to choosing a washing machine. Before buying decide if you want a washer and dryer separately or a washer dryer as one unit. A washer, dryer is the perfect space saving solution and is extremely functional. If you buy a washer and dryer separately you can buy them so that they sit perfectly on top of each other. The choice is personal and with so many different makes and models you need to find one that is the most reliable for you. To help you we have put together a guide that makes sense of all those special features so that you buy with confidence.

Key Features
Types of loading - Washers come with either a front load or top load. Front load washers are more common in the UK than top loaders. Front load washing machines are great for space saving as you can place them directly under a work surface. Top loading washing machines cannot be fixed so when considering which one to choose consider your space and layout.

Loading capacity - It is important consider the load capacity. Below is a guide that shows the recommended capacity based on the number of people in your household.

Useful tip:
To get the best results from your washing machine it is essential that you do not overload your machine.

Number of People Recommended Capacity
Single person Less than 4.4 Kg
Couple without dependants 5 kg - 5.4 kg
Family with 2 dependants 5.5 kg - 5.9 kg
Family with 3 - 4 dependants 6 kg and more


Load size - Load size is measure in kilograms and range from 5-8kg. Machines with a larger load capacity allow you to complete more washing and as a result can reduce your weekly washes, which is ideal for the larger family.

Spin Speed - The higher the spin speed, the more moisture is removed during the spin cycle saving you time, energy and money. Spin speeds generally range from 1000-1600RPM. 1000RPM is the most efficient speed.

Fixed Spin Speed - This is the set spin speed of a machine set by a manufacturer.

Variable Spin Speed - This allows you to set your won spin speed which is ideal if you have delicate items of clothing.

Energy Efficiency
All our appliances carry an energy symbol that gives you a guide on the energy efficiency and performance of your appliances. Energy Efficiency is rated using A through to G where A is rated as the most efficient and G being the least efficient. To find out more details simply click onto the energy saving website.www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

Cost of consumption Electricity on washing machines is measure in KWh/cycle and is based on the appliance being used in standard conditions. To work out he average annual cost simply multiply KWh consumption figure by the average unit price of electricity for an approximate energy costing. Savings will depend on the actual consumption used and your electricity supplier.

Performance The performance of your appliance is based on the types of wash cycles and spin efficiency. By opting for a more expensive model you can take advantage of the energy–saving features including a time delay that set the wash during the night when electricity is cheaper. Temperature and load controls can also help with the running of your appliance and these can be set to suit each wash load.

Fuzzy Logic Most machines come complete with advanced electronic technology known as 'fuzzy logic' which monitors the wash and automatically makes adjustments for high performance cleaning using controlled energy. Fuzzy Logic machines carry AA or AAA energy efficiency gradings.




Wash programmes - All machines have a number of pre-programmed wash cycles, these include:
  • Pre-wash
  • Economy wash
  • Half load
  • Fast iron
  • Hand wash

Dryers explained
There are two types of tumble dryers:
Vented - These use a hose that will need to be fixed through an outside wall or hung out of a window so that the damp air created when drying is easily extracted.

Condensers - collects damp air created by drying and turns it into water so that it can be re-used elsewhere around the house.

Load capacity - Capacities range from 3-6KG. The larger the drying load the larger capacity required.

Drying load - This is based on the drum capacity of your dryer, for instance the larger the machine drum the more drying you can do.

Spin speed - The higher the spin speed, the quicker water will be extracted from your wash, and the dryer your clothes will be at the end of the spin cycle and a result reduces the drying time of your clothes. Spin speeds generally range from 1000-1600RPM. 1000RPM is the most efficient speed.

Classifications
Eurolabel classification is an alphabetical classification instituted by the European Union. The letters go from A-G with ‘A’ being the best. It allows you to compare and evaluate the performances of various makes and models of your washing machine.

In order to compare the performances of the various models, we use the Eurolabel, an alphabetical classification going from A to G. ‘A’ being the top marks the washer can receive. This classification instituted by the European Union, which makes it possible to evaluate the quality of your washing machine.

Classification Evaluation
A Optimum
B Excellent
C Very good
D Good
E Average
F Lower than average
G Poor


The above Classification is based on 3 criterias:
  • The energy consumption
  • The washing quality
  • The drying quality

Energy efficiency
All our appliances carry an energy symbol that gives you a guide on the energy efficiency and performance of your appliances. Energy Efficiency is rated using A through to G where A is rated as the most efficient and G being the least efficient. To find out more details simply click onto the energy saving website.www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

Cost of consumption

Running costs will depend on how much time the machine is drying for and how hard it has to work. Dryers cost more to run than washing machines but you can help to keep costs down by ensuring that you don't overload the machine, dry similar fabrics together, and spin dry your washload at the highest spin speed as possible before loading the dryer.
Some machines will have a timer delay so you can use the machine overnight on a cheaper electricity tariff. Others have sensors which tell them when the washing is dry and then shut off the heater, saving energy and preventing over-drying; you'll pay a bit more but will save on running costs.
Fuzzy Logic and similar terms refer to top of the range machines which use microprocessors and sensors to vary the drying programme to ensure best results for an individual load; the machine does the thinking for you and is highly energy–efficient.

Glossary
Digital display - A screen that shows you digital information.

Dryer capacity - The quantity or load of a tumble dryer.

Drying type - The various drying settings that you can adjust depending on your drying needs.

Energy class - Is the energy classification found on appliances. ‘A’ being rated as the most efficient and ‘G’ the least efficient. Also see Energy Efficiency.

Energy consumption - Shown as KWH used during each wash cycle. (Based on standard test results for 60° cotton cycle). Actual consumption varies with how much you use the machine.

– An energy symbol that gives you a guide on the energy efficiency and performance of your appliances. Energy Efficiency is rated using ‘A’ through to ‘G’ where ‘A’ is rated as the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least efficient. To find out more details simply click onto the energy efficient website.

Final cool cycle – Is the end setting of your appliance that dries your load.

Heat settings – Are the settings that you can adjust to vary the heat temperatures.

Load capacity – Is the amount of clothes an appliance can hold in one load.

Removable filter – This can be removed so it can be cleaned to prevent blockages.

Reverse action – Are two setting that allows you to dry a load on a high heat or cool temperature.

Sensor drying – This sets the degree of dryness you want. The machine senses the correct level and stops automatically, saving energy and prevents over drying.

Timer – Allows you to set washing and drying times according to your needs.

Water consumption – The number of litres of water used in a wash cycle.