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How Do I Choose the Best Compact Washing Machine?

Article Details
  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Many people find that doing laundry in a home washing machine is far more convenient than using an apartment building’s communal machine or a commercial laundry center. If your living space is limited, however, a full-size washer may be too big for your home. Luckily, many washing machine manufacturers produce compact models designed to suit small spaces. To choose the best compact washing machine, first decide what size machine would suit your needs and then consider whether you want a washer only or a washer-dryer combination. Then, note whether your living space has any structural limitations and evaluate prospective machines’ energy ratings.

To choose the best compact washing machine, first decide what size machine would suit your needs. Measure the width, depth, and height of the space in which you intend to keep your machine, and keep these measurements at hand as you shop. You may be pleased to find that many modern compact machines have been engineered in such a way that while their exterior dimensions are significantly smaller than those of a full-size machine, their load capacities are generous.

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If your usable space is extremely limited, you may wish to consider a very compact washing machine. Models are available with a load capacity as small as 1.5 cubic feet (42.5 cubic liters), or approximately one-third the capacity of an average full-size machine. One of the primary advantages of this type of machine is that it can be fairly easily stored in a closet or cabinet between uses. Many models even feature wheels, making them extremely portable. On the downside, however, these machines can wash only a fairly limited amount of laundry at one time.

Once you have decided what size machine best fits your needs, consider whether you want a washer only or if you would prefer a compact washer-dryer combination. Some combination units are multi-leveled, with a compact washer at the unit’s base and a compact dryer suspended above it. This type of unit allows you to simultaneously wash and dry clothes, but it may not fit in a very small space. As its name suggests, an all-in-one compact washing machine and dryer unit can wash and dry clothes in the same drum. While this type of machine requires less space than a multi-level unit, users cannot start a new load of wash until the previous load has finished drying.

Next, survey the space where your compact washing machine will be placed to determine whether you face any structural challenges. For instance, some washer-dryer combination units produce exhaust which must be vented to an exterior space. If it is not possible to create a vent in your home, avoid selecting a machine that requires venting. Additionally, some very compact machines must be connected to a water tap during use. If you are considering one of these models, ensure that there is an accessible tap in the area where you intend to use it.

Before making a final selection, you may wish to evaluate the energy ratings for the compact washing machines you are considering. Those with favorable energy ratings use water and electricity more efficiently than those with poor ratings. This efficiency means that a machine is less harmful to the environment than low-efficiency models. Additionally, energy efficiency can translate to cheaper utility bills.

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