The average lifespan of a washing machine/washer is five to seven years. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right model suitable for your household needs. Here are a few questions to ask before buying a washing machine in Singapore.
1) Front Load or Top Load Washer?
The first thing you have to decide when buying a washing machine or washer is whether to get a front or top load washing machine. Front load is when you open the door from the front to put your clothes in, and top load is from the top. Here are a some pros and cons for front and top load washer.
Front Load Washer
- Extra space above the machine: You can stack a dryer on the washer, or place a table or rack above.
- Better water and energy efficiency: It uses less water as water only fills up to about one-third to half the drum for the wash cycle and uses the dropping/tumbling method to wash. Hence, it’s more environmentally friendly and result in a lower utilities bill.
- Better cleaning performance: Front-loaders clean better and are gentler than top-loaders. Your clothes will not be as stretched and crumpled compared to a top-load wash. Also there will be less lint on your darker clothes. There’s also a hot water function which is better at cleaning, especially useful when you have babies/children.
- Shorter drying time: The spin cycles are fast enough to wring the clothes really dry. This cuts down the time to dry your load. Also, saves energy if you are using a dryer.
- Quiet: This actually depends on the type of brand and model you are getting, but according to someone in the forum, front load is generally quieter than top load – with thumping and vibrating noises.
- Other conveniences: For pregnant ladies, you wouldn’t need to bend forward to reach for the clothes.
- Smell and mildew: In our humid environment, smell and mildew easily build up on the front rubber gaskets. You can minimise it by wiping the rubber after each use and leaving the door ajar when not in use. You can read up more on how to prevent front-loader mold.
- Higher Purchase Cost: Usually more expensive than a top-loader.
- Longer wash cycle: Front-loaders take a longer time to wash than top-loaders. But some models have options for a faster wash.
- Shorter life span: The life of a front-loader might not be as long as a top-loader.
- Low sud Detergent: Front-loaders need High Efficiency (HE) detergent which is a type of non-sudsing detergent.
Image Credit: asamedayappliancerepair.com
Top Load Washer
Basically, it’s opposite of front-load washer cons:
- Faster wash-cycle
- Longer life span
- Easier to load and unload laundry, especially for tall people.
- Other conveniences: You can pause the wash cycle to add or remove clothes from the washer. This is not possible for most front-loaders.
- Poorer Wash Performance: More likely to crumple and stretch your clothes, and more lint left on darker clothings. Does not usually come with warm/hot water function.
- Less Water and Energy Efficiency: Water has to to fill the whole tub or cover the clothes for the wash cycle. Yes, the wash for front-loader is longer, but water bill is apparently more expensive than electricity.
- Inconvenience for shorter people (like myself!): Some drums can be very deep, so it might be hard to reach for the last sock.
I found this useful infograph by Intraix, which advocates green technology and energy efficiency.
2) Are you getting 2 in 1 – washer and dryer combo?
Are you getting a dryer? If yes, then are you going to get two machines, that is a dryer and a washer? Or do you prefer to get a 2-in-1 or combined unit of washer and dryer to save space?
Hubby and I are not going to use a dryer because we prefer natural drying and I have bad experience with dryer while I was in the US. They shrunk my clothes! Also, we are not prepared to pay for the higher electricity bill.
But if you are considering 2-in-1 combo units, I have heard salespeople and read forums discouraging it. They mentioned the lower performance and the higher rate of wear and tear as compared to separate machines. Basically washing and drying don’t function well together. Also, you can only either wash or dry at any one time, imagine the amount of time spent if you have a few laundry loads to clear.
3) Other Features To Consider?
Washer capacity is measured in kilograms. The bigger the capacity, the more laundry you can wash per cycle. This means you can have fewer washes and this saves energy and water too. A washer can last you a few years, so if you are expecting additions to your household, you should purchase a bigger capacity.
Water and Energy Efficiency
With the recent hike in water prices, the government is also actively encouraging us to save water. It’s a good initiative to minimise water usage and save the earth. A water and energy efficient model will definitely help to save costs in the long run. You can check out PUB Water Efficiency Labeling Scheme (WELS) at www.pub.gov.sg/wels. The more ticks the label indicates, the more water-efficient the washer model is.
Image Credit: www.decoist.com
Different washers have different programs and options available. For example, delayed start cycles and anti-crease functions. Generally, the more options a washer has, the more expensive it is. If you have or plan to have children in the house, you should get a model with child lock or one that stops the spin cycle when the door is opened.
Porcelain-coated tubs will chip and rust over time and plastic tubs cannot withstand heavy usage and greater spinning speed. But if you don’t wash frequently, a porcelain-coated steel or high-grade plastic tub should be sufficient. Otherwise, you should get a stainless-steel tub which lasts longer for frequent wash.
You may want to consider the colour suitable for your overall design of the house. Few options include white, off-white, grey, black, red and even designs embellished with sparkling crystals.
4) Which Brand?
There are many different brands out there and many models for any particular brand. Reading through the forums, here’s a summary of what brands to go for:
- Front-Load: Go for Europeans like Miele, Bosch, Electrolux , Whirlpool. Miele is high end with honeycomb drum.
- Top-Load: Go for Asian brands like Samsung and LG.
What about us?
Though hubby and I grew up with top-loaders, we are more inclined to get front-load washer for its efficiency and performance. Moreover, we decided to go for savings in the long run.
Like I have mentioned, we are getting a pure washer, and so that helped us to focus our search. We shopped around and realised that the European brands are totally out of our budget. And most salesmen don’t recommend Samsung for washer and fridge. They happen to be on the same page as us, because with the increasing cases of explosion with Samsung electrical appliances recently, we didn’t feel safe with Samsung.
So the salesperson recommended us LG. With our requirements, our choices boil down to two options, both of which are 6 Motion Inverter Direct Drive Washing Machine:
- F1410SPRE: 10kg, with True Steam and Turbo Wash. Black only. Made in Korea.
- F1408NC3W: 8kg, with Turbo Wash. White only. Made in Thailand
Image Credit: lg.com
For a family of 2, I would wash every 2 to 3 days with a 8 kg top load. So 8 kg seemed sufficient to us. But then again, with a baby coming into our lives, we might need to increase our load capacity to 10kg. Moreover, these two models only have a price difference of S$200+. F1410 has a bigger load capacity and an additional True Steam function (it’s not dryclean function but good for steaming soft toys and lightly worn winter clothing). More importantly, it’s made in Korea instead of Thailand. We didn’t mind white or black, but the black definitely looked more stylish.
So can you guess what we got? The F1410SPRE! We got it for S$1,149 from Gain City. We were supposed to have free delivery, but were later told we need to pay $30 for items below $1,500! >.<
BAD EXPERIENCE with Andy from AMK branch.
We had a good rapport with him initially and think he’s a sincere seller. He had promised us free delivery even if we were to get the washing machine alone. He confirmed it again on WhatsApp. So we paid in full at another branch but was told we had to pay for the delivery. Hence we texted him to waive off the delivery fee on system BUT HE DID NOT REPLY our messages or answer our calls. We had to go all the way to the branch to confront him. Then he told us we can’t get the free delivery. EMPTY PROMISES. GOSH. It would have been better if he was responsible enough to answer our calls and not go MIA. Seriously, wasted our time. We also heard of neighbours complaining about Gain City sales. So make sure you get them to write down everything they had promised!
On another note, if you are getting water heater, don’t miss out on my post about buying the right type of water heater.
So have you decided on which washing machine to buy? Do you have any good or bad experience with particular brand or model of washing machine that you want to share? Tell us in the comments section below. 🙂