Top tips for buying a new washing machine

Buying a new washing machine is a serious investment. After all, you ideally want it not only to thoroughly wash your clothes and be energy efficient, but to last a good few years as well. To help you choose the right washing machine to suit your needs and pocket, we've created this guide on what the energy label means. The difference between an older model machine and the latest A+++ is around €17 per year (or €136 over its lifetime) in energy costs and, soon to be, water charges. So if you're thinking of investing in a new washing machine there are a few things you should note.

Check the warranty

The average service call now costs about € 80 plus parts and there are many variations of manufacture warranties out there – all provide a 12 months full warranty and some provide additional extended parts warranties. Some manufacturers however, now offer up to 5 year parts and labour, so it’s important to check this before buying.

Time delay feature

Select a machine with a delay timer because it is very likely that in the next few years smart meters will be installed in Irish homes and lower cost electricity will be available at ‘off peak’ hours (typically night time ). A delay timer will allow a home owner to set their machine before going to bed and have it wash for example at 6am in the morning.

Variable temperature

This is an essential requirement on a washing machine as it provides you with more choices (the difference between a 40 degree wash and a 60 degree wash is around €13 per year).
Half load facility: This is a good feature, because it allows you to do quick washes

Things that are not so important

Lots of programmes: Most people only ever use a few programmes so don't over rate this. However, one useful feature is to be able to see ‘how long’ remains before a wash reaches the end of its cycle

Variable spin speed: wash programmes already have the correct spin speeds built into the programmes so we're not convinced about the merits of this feature.

Washing machines of the future

Washing machines of the future (some already here!) will have software that will have lots of ‘smarts’ built in e.g. a clever washing machine will weigh the clothes you place in the drum and then choose the best programme and then add the correct amount of water and detergent. It will also be remotely controlled from your smart phone and manufacturers will be able to remotely diagnose/fix faults via the internet.