Buying a large appliance can be stressful – especially if it is your first time doing so. Even if it’s not your first time, things change so quickly in the appliance industry that it’s hard to keep up. As they say, “They don’t make things like they used to.” So what steps should you take to ensure you make the best choice for yourself, your home, and your wallet? Check out the following steps to make the purchase of a washer and dryer (or any large household appliance) simpler.
Set a budget
As with any larger purchase, set a budget. Know what amount is the most you want to spend on a new washer and dryer. Going in with this number firmly in your mind will help keep you from getting distracted by all the new LED screens and cute sound effects that let you know your load of laundry is finished.
Make sure you measure the area where your washer and dryer will go. If you would like to include a shelf or a drying rack in between the machines as is the latest style on Instagram, make sure you account for that too. Getting your washer and dryer home and finding that they don’t fit in the planned area will really take away from the happy ending you are going for.
Think about what features you need and what features you want
If it has been a while since you purchased a new washer and dryer, there might be new features you never knew existed. Do some research to see what is out there and what would take away from laundry being your most hated chore. Do you have people in your family who are forgetful and often need to add something into the wash? Some washers have a smaller door that allows you to throw in a few garments mid-wash. Do you often do very small loads – for instance, do you have a lot fewer whites than you do colors? Some washers have a small wash compartment that allow you to wash a small load without wasting water. Other common features are steam refresh (for those of us who prefer not to iron), a built in drying rack, a built in sink for pre-treatment, and more.
Be sure to prioritize and divide your wishes in to categories of “wants” and “needs.” A $600 washer without fancy sound effects might do the job for your family just as well as a $1300 washer that connects to your smartphone and has 14 different cycles.
This concept cannot be stressed enough: read the reviews! Visit a few different websites for the washers and dryers that you are considering and check out their reviews! No matter how good a salesman tells you it is, read reviews from other purchasers. Lowes and Home Depot are good places to start finding reviews since they are national companies with lots of customers, even if you don’t actually intend to buy from them. Consumer brand reviews are also good, but take them with a grain of salt, as some could be influenced by payouts from manufacturers.
Consider electricity and water consumption
It is always important to consider the full cost of ownership of something, whether it’s a large appliance, a car, or a pet. The majority of new washers and dryers today are energy efficient and have an efficient water usage. Use the yellow EnergyGuide tags to compare energy efficiency between models. Chances are, though, that if you’re going from an old washer and dryer to a new set, you will be increasing your home’s energy efficiency, and therefore lowering or maintaining your energy bill.
Should you get a warranty?
Most appliance stores offer additional warranties. How do you decide if you should purchase a warranty? See what type of warranty your chosen machines come with. Some offer a 10 year limited warranty on parts, and some only offer a 1 year limited warranty or none at all. Did you choose your washer and dryer with the intention of buying something cheaper and replacing it every few years? If so, there is probably no point to get a warranty. If you bought a more expensive washer and dryer hoping it will last a while, a warranty may make more sense. With newer appliances, a common reason for having to replace them is the electronic features breaking. Make sure that if you do decide to purchase a warranty, you choose one that covers issues with the electrical components and control boards.
Need some extra funds?
If you need some extra funds to stretch your appliance budget a little, Patriot can help! Depending on your needs, we offer $1,000 express signature loans for members* as well as credit cards and other personal loans for anyone who qualifies for membership. Visit our website, give us a call at 888-777-9982, or stop in to any of our branches to learn more about how we can help you get that new appliance in no time.
*You need to have been a member of Patriot for six months, eligible for Overdraft Protection and have had a checking account for the last 3 months. You will need to have a recurring direct deposit, no less frequency than monthly for $500 or more. The $20 application fee cannot be added on to the $1,000 loan amount.