Honest opinions about how to buy Appliances and Lighting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How to buy....A front load washer

As I have mentioned in previous posts, front load washers will pay for itself versus a top loading machine in a very short period of time.

Laundry Chart

But which is the best? That really depends.

Perhaps the best overall machine for fine washables is the Miele. This machine has a honeycomb drum so the clothes "glide" on the drum with minimal contact. It also has an incredibly intuitive control panel, so you can customize wash, rinse and spin cycles. Because Miele manufactures almost every part down to the component level, typically there are less service issues with this brand in general. Out of 15,000 total warranty service calls performed by us last year, less than two dozen were Miele.

Miele Laundry

If you are placing machine on a second and third floor, then you should consider the Duet Sport by Whirlpool. The Duet Sport has a six point suspension system that keeps the machine balanced during a spin cycle. Front loaders spin at 2-3 times of a top loader, so floors will vibrate. (For people building homes, consider this and move the studs closer, so it will not be a problem). Whirlpool has always manufactured great laundry, and The Duet is no exception.

Duet Laundry

For energy efficiency and capacity, look at the Bosch. Bosch is huge and incredibly water efficient(10% less than comparable pieces). It has the number 1 rating in Consumer Reports, which is good for any brand(but should not be taken as gospel).

Bosch Laundry

I like Frigidaire. Their products are always well priced and designed. The machines are a tad smaller in internal capacity and the water usage is 17 gallons, which is still good. The price for a washer and dryer at $1099 is outstanding. Look at the ATF6000 and ATF7000 models....Excellent values.

Frigidaire Laundry


  1. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Steve, what are your thoughts on the frigidaire unitized washer/dryer? Its the one for 1049 on your website?

  2. Buy it in 2 pieces...more selection and better options

  3. Anonymous11:53 AM

    but much higher prices and the service plans alone would run $400 total right?

  4. Yes, the price is higher, but the capacity is larger as well. If one part is unrepairable, you dont have to replace both

    Most companies still consider a one piece stack 2 pieces, so the warranty costs should be identical

  5. Anonymous10:59 PM

    I dont mean to harp on this but I was just in Yale and was considering the unitized front loader frigidaire vs the washer and dryer stackable. The deciding factor was that the stackable was $200 more as a result of the service plan being $400 (199x2) vs $199 for the unitized.

  6. Mea Culpa...You are not harping at all. We should be charging double for the unitized, because it is very expensive to repair when broken. And it is in effect two pieces

    As a FYI, we underwrite our own warranties, and the redemption rate is over 80%, so they seem like a good value to the consumer

  7. Anonymous11:59 AM

    The reason I chose Yale (besides the great blog) was all the posts about the importance of servicing what you sell. I had a nightmare experience with a box store over a microwave and vowed to never again deal with an out of state warranty company.

  8. First thank you for the compliment

    Look at the Better Business ratings of the warranty companies. Awful. You spend a bunch of money with a store who sells it to an underwiter. It all works great until something is wrong, because neither employs a service tech. Thus, the work is then factored out to an agency based on low bid not qualification.

    Sound familar?

    We self insure. Its a pain as we have to escrow funds for 5 years to support any repairs...but I do not need the customer angst of factoring out repairs

    Unless of course, I wanted to alienate them