Factors affecting the cost of a washing machine include the type of washer, capacity and features. When buying a washing machine, operating cost should be taken into account along with the purchase price.
Washing machines come in three general categories: top-loading models with agitators, top-loading high-efficiency models and front-loading models. In general, top-loading machines with agitators are the least expensive to purchase. However, they usually have a smaller capacity and use more water than the other two types. In addition, slower spin speeds remove less water from clothes, resulting in longer dryer times and more energy use.
High-efficiency, top-loading models don’t have an agitator and can wash larger loads of laundry, while using less water and drying clothes more effectively during the spin cycle. They are more expensive than standard top-loading machines, but cost less to operate.
Front-loading machines are the most expensive to purchase, but they generally clean better and use less water than the high-efficiency models. Front-loading machines also do a better job of removing water from clothes leading to even less time needed in the dryer and further reducing operating costs.
Features that can add to the cost of buying a washing machine include automatic detergent dispensers, more accurate temperature sensing and sophisticated touch-screen controls.